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SubjectRe: [PATCH RFC] net/mlx4: Remove improper usage of dma_alloc_coherent().
On 4/7/2015 10:43 PM, Ido Shamay wrote:
> On 4/7/2015 2:00 AM, David Daney wrote:
>> From: David Daney <>
>> The dma_alloc_coherent() function returns a virtual address which can
>> be used for coherent access to the underlying memory. On some
>> architectures, like arm64, undefined behavior results if this memory is
>> also accessed via virtual mappings that are not coherent. Because of
>> their undefined nature, operations like virt_to_page() return garbage
>> when passed virtual addresses obtained from dma_alloc_coherent(). Any
>> subsequent mappings via vmap() of the garbage page values are unusable
>> and result in bad things like bus errors (synchronous aborts in ARM64
>> speak).
>> The MLX4 driver contains code that does the equivalent of:
>> vmap(virt_to_page(dma_alloc_coherent))
>> This results in an OOPs when the device is opened.
>> To fix this...
>> Always use result of dma_alloc_coherent() directly.
> Hi David,
> I'm not sure this solution is good enough for the common case(s).
> Typical allocation size will be around 64KB (with default 1K ring size).
> We can't rely on the system to always provide us with that amount of
> contiguous memory.
> Current code allocation scheme is more robust, max_direct is typically
> 2 * PAGE_SIZE,
> so pages from order 1 are far more available then higher order.
> I need to check why the code is written as it is today, and not as in
> this RFC (which is much more trivial).
> I'll continue to investigate tomorrow, will get back with some answers.
> Ido

Acked-by: Ido Shamay <>
Thanks David, this is good for us

>> Remove 'max_direct' parameter to mlx4_buf_alloc(), as it is unused,
>> and adjust all callers.
>> Remove mlx4_en_map_buffer() and mlx4_en_unmap_buffer() as they now do
>> nothing, and adjust all callers.
>> Remove 'page_list' element from struct mlx4_buf as it is unused.
>> Signed-off-by: David Daney <>

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