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From: Jani Nikula <>
To: "Ahmed S. Darwish" <>,
	"David Airlie" <>,
	"Daniel Vetter" <>,
	"Joonas Lahtinen" <>,
	"Rodrigo Vivi" <>,
	"Alex Deucher" <>,
	"Christian König" <>,
	"David Zhou" <>,
	"Ard Biesheuvel" <>,
	"Matt Fleming" <>
Cc: Linus Torvalds <>,
	Greg Kroah-Hartman <>,
	John Ogness <>,,
Subject: Re: DRM-based Oops viewer
Date: Mon, 11 Mar 2019 11:04:19 +0200
Message-ID: <> (raw)
In-Reply-To: <20190310013142.GA3376@darwi-home-pc>

On Sun, 10 Mar 2019, "Ahmed S. Darwish" <> wrote:
> Hello DRM/UEFI maintainers,
> Several years ago, I wrote a set of patches to dump the kernel
> log to disk upon panic -- through BIOS INT 0x13 services. [1]
> The overwhelming response was that it's unsafe to do this in a
> generic manner. Linus proposed a video-based viewer instead: [2]
>     If you want to do the BIOS services thing, do it for video: copy the
>     oops to low RAM, return to real mode, re-run the graphics card POST
>     routines to initialize text-mode, and use the BIOS to print out the
>     oops.  That is WAY less scary than writing to disk.
> Of course it's 2019 now though, and it's quite known that
> Intel is officially obsoleting the PC/AT BIOS by 2020.. [3]
> Researching whether this can be done from UEFI, it was also clear
> that UEFI "Runtime Services" do not provide any re-initialization
> routines. [4]
> The maximum possible that UEFI can provide is a GOP-provided
> framebuffer that's ready to use by the OS -- even after the UEFI
> boot phase is marked as done through ExitBootServices(). [5]
> Of course, once native drivers like i915 or radeon take over,
> such a framebuffer is toast... [6]
> Thus a possible remaining option, is to display the oops through
> "minimal" DRM drivers provided for each HW variant... Since
> these special drivers will run only and fully under a panic()
> context though, several constraints exist:
>   - The code should be fully synchronous (irqs are disabled)
>   - It should not allocate any dynamic memory
>   - It should make minimal assumptions about HW state
>   - It should not chain into any other kernel subsystem
>   - It has ample freedom to use delay-based loops and the
>     like, the kernel is already dead.
> How feasible is it to have such a special "DRM viewoops"
> framework + its minimal drivers in the kernel?

Please first better define what you want to achieve.

Do you want to store the dmesg or oops (like your original series
suggests) or do you want to display the oops? Do you want the facility
to be functioning at all times, or only when specifically requested in
advance by the user? If you want to display the oops, do you want it to
also work when the display is disabled at the time of the oops? What if
the display is at attached to a port on a dock?

There's at least kdump, ramoops, and netconsole that can be used to
achieve some of what you want. How do they fall short for you?


> The target is to start from i915, since that's what in my
> laptop now, and work from there..
> Some final notes:
>   - The NT kernel has a similar concept, but for storage instead.
>     They're used to dump core under kernel panic() situations,
>     and are called "Minoport storage drivers". [7]
>   - Since Windows 7+, a very fancy Blue Screen of Death is
>     displayed, with Unicode and whatnot, implying GPU drivers
>     involvement. [8]
>   - Mac OS X also does something similar [9]
>   - On Linux laptops, the current situation is _really_ bad.
>     In any graphical session, type "echo c > /proc/sysrq-trigger";
>     the screen will just completely freeze...
>     Desired first goal: just print the panic() log
> Thanks a lot,
> [1]
> [2]
> [3]
> [4] UEFI v2.7 spec, Chapter 8, "Services — Runtime Services"
> [5] UEFI v2.7 spec, Section 12.9, "Graphics Output Protocol"
>     "The Graphics Output Protocol supports this capability by
>      providing the EFI OS loader access to a hardware frame buffer
>      and enough information to allow the OS to draw directly to
>      the graphics output device."
> [6] linux/drivers/gpu/drm/i915/i915_drv.c::i915_kick_out_firmware_fb()
>     linux/drivers/gpu/drm/radeon/radeon_drv.c::radeon_pci_probe()
> [7]
> [8]
> [9]
> --darwi

Jani Nikula, Intel Open Source Graphics Center

  parent reply index

Thread overview: 9+ messages / expand[flat|nested]  mbox.gz  Atom feed  top
2019-03-10  1:31 Ahmed S. Darwish
2019-03-10  8:44 ` Martin Steigerwald
2019-03-11  9:04 ` Jani Nikula [this message]
2019-03-11 13:49   ` Daniel Vetter
2019-03-11 23:39     ` Ahmed S. Darwish
2019-03-11 22:12   ` Ahmed S. Darwish
2019-03-12 10:20     ` Jani Nikula
2019-03-11 12:10 ` Joonas Lahtinen
2019-03-11 17:47 ` Noralf Trønnes

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