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Documentation / debugging-via-ohci1394.txt




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Based on kernel version 3.15.4. Page generated on 2014-07-07 09:00 EST.

1	
2	  Using physical DMA provided by OHCI-1394 FireWire controllers for debugging
3	  ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
4	
5	Introduction
6	------------
7	
8	Basically all FireWire controllers which are in use today are compliant
9	to the OHCI-1394 specification which defines the controller to be a PCI
10	bus master which uses DMA to offload data transfers from the CPU and has
11	a "Physical Response Unit" which executes specific requests by employing
12	PCI-Bus master DMA after applying filters defined by the OHCI-1394 driver.
13	
14	Once properly configured, remote machines can send these requests to
15	ask the OHCI-1394 controller to perform read and write requests on
16	physical system memory and, for read requests, send the result of
17	the physical memory read back to the requester.
18	
19	With that, it is possible to debug issues by reading interesting memory
20	locations such as buffers like the printk buffer or the process table.
21	
22	Retrieving a full system memory dump is also possible over the FireWire,
23	using data transfer rates in the order of 10MB/s or more.
24	
25	With most FireWire controllers, memory access is limited to the low 4 GB
26	of physical address space.  This can be a problem on IA64 machines where
27	memory is located mostly above that limit, but it is rarely a problem on
28	more common hardware such as x86, x86-64 and PowerPC.
29	
30	At least LSI FW643e and FW643e2 controllers are known to support access to
31	physical addresses above 4 GB, but this feature is currently not enabled by
32	Linux.
33	
34	Together with a early initialization of the OHCI-1394 controller for debugging,
35	this facility proved most useful for examining long debugs logs in the printk
36	buffer on to debug early boot problems in areas like ACPI where the system
37	fails to boot and other means for debugging (serial port) are either not
38	available (notebooks) or too slow for extensive debug information (like ACPI).
39	
40	Drivers
41	-------
42	
43	The firewire-ohci driver in drivers/firewire uses filtered physical
44	DMA by default, which is more secure but not suitable for remote debugging.
45	Pass the remote_dma=1 parameter to the driver to get unfiltered physical DMA.
46	
47	Because the firewire-ohci driver depends on the PCI enumeration to be
48	completed, an initialization routine which runs pretty early has been
49	implemented for x86.  This routine runs long before console_init() can be
50	called, i.e. before the printk buffer appears on the console.
51	
52	To activate it, enable CONFIG_PROVIDE_OHCI1394_DMA_INIT (Kernel hacking menu:
53	Remote debugging over FireWire early on boot) and pass the parameter
54	"ohci1394_dma=early" to the recompiled kernel on boot.
55	
56	Tools
57	-----
58	
59	firescope - Originally developed by Benjamin Herrenschmidt, Andi Kleen ported
60	it from PowerPC to x86 and x86_64 and added functionality, firescope can now
61	be used to view the printk buffer of a remote machine, even with live update.
62	
63	Bernhard Kaindl enhanced firescope to support accessing 64-bit machines
64	from 32-bit firescope and vice versa:
65	- http://v3.sk/~lkundrak/firescope/
66	
67	and he implemented fast system dump (alpha version - read README.txt):
68	- http://halobates.de/firewire/firedump-0.1.tar.bz2
69	
70	There is also a gdb proxy for firewire which allows to use gdb to access
71	data which can be referenced from symbols found by gdb in vmlinux:
72	- http://halobates.de/firewire/fireproxy-0.33.tar.bz2
73	
74	The latest version of this gdb proxy (fireproxy-0.34) can communicate (not
75	yet stable) with kgdb over an memory-based communication module (kgdbom).
76	
77	Getting Started
78	---------------
79	
80	The OHCI-1394 specification regulates that the OHCI-1394 controller must
81	disable all physical DMA on each bus reset.
82	
83	This means that if you want to debug an issue in a system state where
84	interrupts are disabled and where no polling of the OHCI-1394 controller
85	for bus resets takes place, you have to establish any FireWire cable
86	connections and fully initialize all FireWire hardware __before__ the
87	system enters such state.
88	
89	Step-by-step instructions for using firescope with early OHCI initialization:
90	
91	1) Verify that your hardware is supported:
92	
93	   Load the firewire-ohci module and check your kernel logs.
94	   You should see a line similar to
95	
96	   firewire_ohci 0000:15:00.1: added OHCI v1.0 device as card 2, 4 IR + 4 IT
97	   ... contexts, quirks 0x11
98	
99	   when loading the driver. If you have no supported controller, many PCI,
100	   CardBus and even some Express cards which are fully compliant to OHCI-1394
101	   specification are available. If it requires no driver for Windows operating
102	   systems, it most likely is. Only specialized shops have cards which are not
103	   compliant, they are based on TI PCILynx chips and require drivers for Win-
104	   dows operating systems.
105	
106	   The mentioned kernel log message contains the string "physUB" if the
107	   controller implements a writable Physical Upper Bound register.  This is
108	   required for physical DMA above 4 GB (but not utilized by Linux yet).
109	
110	2) Establish a working FireWire cable connection:
111	
112	   Any FireWire cable, as long at it provides electrically and mechanically
113	   stable connection and has matching connectors (there are small 4-pin and
114	   large 6-pin FireWire ports) will do.
115	
116	   If an driver is running on both machines you should see a line like
117	
118	   firewire_core 0000:15:00.1: created device fw1: GUID 00061b0020105917, S400
119	
120	   on both machines in the kernel log when the cable is plugged in
121	   and connects the two machines.
122	
123	3) Test physical DMA using firescope:
124	
125	   On the debug host, make sure that /dev/fw* is accessible,
126	   then start firescope:
127	
128		$ firescope
129		Port 0 (/dev/fw1) opened, 2 nodes detected
130	
131		FireScope
132		---------
133		Target : <unspecified>
134		Gen    : 1
135		[Ctrl-T] choose target
136		[Ctrl-H] this menu
137		[Ctrl-Q] quit
138	
139	    ------> Press Ctrl-T now, the output should be similar to:
140	
141		2 nodes available, local node is: 0
142		 0: ffc0, uuid: 00000000 00000000 [LOCAL]
143		 1: ffc1, uuid: 00279000 ba4bb801
144	
145	   Besides the [LOCAL] node, it must show another node without error message.
146	
147	4) Prepare for debugging with early OHCI-1394 initialization:
148	
149	   4.1) Kernel compilation and installation on debug target
150	
151	   Compile the kernel to be debugged with CONFIG_PROVIDE_OHCI1394_DMA_INIT
152	   (Kernel hacking: Provide code for enabling DMA over FireWire early on boot)
153	   enabled and install it on the machine to be debugged (debug target).
154	
155	   4.2) Transfer the System.map of the debugged kernel to the debug host
156	
157	   Copy the System.map of the kernel be debugged to the debug host (the host
158	   which is connected to the debugged machine over the FireWire cable).
159	
160	5) Retrieving the printk buffer contents:
161	
162	   With the FireWire cable connected, the OHCI-1394 driver on the debugging
163	   host loaded, reboot the debugged machine, booting the kernel which has
164	   CONFIG_PROVIDE_OHCI1394_DMA_INIT enabled, with the option ohci1394_dma=early.
165	
166	   Then, on the debugging host, run firescope, for example by using -A:
167	
168		firescope -A System.map-of-debug-target-kernel
169	
170	   Note: -A automatically attaches to the first non-local node. It only works
171	   reliably if only connected two machines are connected using FireWire.
172	
173	   After having attached to the debug target, press Ctrl-D to view the
174	   complete printk buffer or Ctrl-U to enter auto update mode and get an
175	   updated live view of recent kernel messages logged on the debug target.
176	
177	   Call "firescope -h" to get more information on firescope's options.
178	
179	Notes
180	-----
181	Documentation and specifications: http://halobates.de/firewire/
182	
183	FireWire is a trademark of Apple Inc. - for more information please refer to:
184	http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FireWire
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