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authorNicolas Pitre <nicolas.pitre@linaro.org>2011-06-19 23:36:03 -0400
committerNicolas Pitre <nico@fluxnic.net>2011-06-20 10:49:24 -0400
commit37b8304642c7f91df54888955c373ae89b577fcc (patch)
tree217e97c421fe58bb715b3d31bfc11f9a08cc8738 /Documentation/arm
parent2c53b436a30867eb6b47dd7bab23ba638d1fb0d2 (diff)
downloadlinaro-lsk-37b8304642c7f91df54888955c373ae89b577fcc.tar.gz
ARM: kuser: move interface documentation out of the source code
Digging into some assembly file in order to get information about the kuser helpers is not that convivial. Let's move that information to a better formatted file in Documentation/arm/ and improve on it a bit. Thanks to Dave Martin <dave.martin@linaro.org> for the initial cleanup and clarifications. Signed-off-by: Nicolas Pitre <nicolas.pitre@linaro.org> Acked-by: Dave Martin <dave.martin@linaro.org>
Diffstat (limited to 'Documentation/arm')
-rw-r--r--Documentation/arm/kernel_user_helpers.txt203
1 files changed, 203 insertions, 0 deletions
diff --git a/Documentation/arm/kernel_user_helpers.txt b/Documentation/arm/kernel_user_helpers.txt
new file mode 100644
index 00000000000..0c33f72d187
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+++ b/Documentation/arm/kernel_user_helpers.txt
@@ -0,0 +1,203 @@
+Kernel-provided User Helpers
+============================
+
+These are segment of kernel provided user code reachable from user space
+at a fixed address in kernel memory. This is used to provide user space
+with some operations which require kernel help because of unimplemented
+native feature and/or instructions in many ARM CPUs. The idea is for this
+code to be executed directly in user mode for best efficiency but which is
+too intimate with the kernel counter part to be left to user libraries.
+In fact this code might even differ from one CPU to another depending on
+the available instruction set, or whether it is a SMP systems. In other
+words, the kernel reserves the right to change this code as needed without
+warning. Only the entry points and their results as documented here are
+guaranteed to be stable.
+
+This is different from (but doesn't preclude) a full blown VDSO
+implementation, however a VDSO would prevent some assembly tricks with
+constants that allows for efficient branching to those code segments. And
+since those code segments only use a few cycles before returning to user
+code, the overhead of a VDSO indirect far call would add a measurable
+overhead to such minimalistic operations.
+
+User space is expected to bypass those helpers and implement those things
+inline (either in the code emitted directly by the compiler, or part of
+the implementation of a library call) when optimizing for a recent enough
+processor that has the necessary native support, but only if resulting
+binaries are already to be incompatible with earlier ARM processors due to
+useage of similar native instructions for other things. In other words
+don't make binaries unable to run on earlier processors just for the sake
+of not using these kernel helpers if your compiled code is not going to
+use new instructions for other purpose.
+
+New helpers may be added over time, so an older kernel may be missing some
+helpers present in a newer kernel. For this reason, programs must check
+the value of __kuser_helper_version (see below) before assuming that it is
+safe to call any particular helper. This check should ideally be
+performed only once at process startup time, and execution aborted early
+if the required helpers are not provided by the kernel version that
+process is running on.
+
+kuser_helper_version
+--------------------
+
+Location: 0xffff0ffc
+
+Reference declaration:
+
+ extern int32_t __kuser_helper_version;
+
+Definition:
+
+ This field contains the number of helpers being implemented by the
+ running kernel. User space may read this to determine the availability
+ of a particular helper.
+
+Usage example:
+
+#define __kuser_helper_version (*(int32_t *)0xffff0ffc)
+
+void check_kuser_version(void)
+{
+ if (__kuser_helper_version < 2) {
+ fprintf(stderr, "can't do atomic operations, kernel too old\n");
+ abort();
+ }
+}
+
+Notes:
+
+ User space may assume that the value of this field never changes
+ during the lifetime of any single process. This means that this
+ field can be read once during the initialisation of a library or
+ startup phase of a program.
+
+kuser_get_tls
+-------------
+
+Location: 0xffff0fe0
+
+Reference prototype:
+
+ void * __kuser_get_tls(void);
+
+Input:
+
+ lr = return address
+
+Output:
+
+ r0 = TLS value
+
+Clobbered registers:
+
+ none
+
+Definition:
+
+ Get the TLS value as previously set via the __ARM_NR_set_tls syscall.
+
+Usage example:
+
+typedef void * (__kuser_get_tls_t)(void);
+#define __kuser_get_tls (*(__kuser_get_tls_t *)0xffff0fe0)
+
+void foo()
+{
+ void *tls = __kuser_get_tls();
+ printf("TLS = %p\n", tls);
+}
+
+Notes:
+
+ - Valid only if __kuser_helper_version >= 1 (from kernel version 2.6.12).
+
+kuser_cmpxchg
+-------------
+
+Location: 0xffff0fc0
+
+Reference prototype:
+
+ int __kuser_cmpxchg(int32_t oldval, int32_t newval, volatile int32_t *ptr);
+
+Input:
+
+ r0 = oldval
+ r1 = newval
+ r2 = ptr
+ lr = return address
+
+Output:
+
+ r0 = success code (zero or non-zero)
+ C flag = set if r0 == 0, clear if r0 != 0
+
+Clobbered registers:
+
+ r3, ip, flags
+
+Definition:
+
+ Atomically store newval in *ptr only if *ptr is equal to oldval.
+ Return zero if *ptr was changed or non-zero if no exchange happened.
+ The C flag is also set if *ptr was changed to allow for assembly
+ optimization in the calling code.
+
+Usage example:
+
+typedef int (__kuser_cmpxchg_t)(int oldval, int newval, volatile int *ptr);
+#define __kuser_cmpxchg (*(__kuser_cmpxchg_t *)0xffff0fc0)
+
+int atomic_add(volatile int *ptr, int val)
+{
+ int old, new;
+
+ do {
+ old = *ptr;
+ new = old + val;
+ } while(__kuser_cmpxchg(old, new, ptr));
+
+ return new;
+}
+
+Notes:
+
+ - This routine already includes memory barriers as needed.
+
+ - Valid only if __kuser_helper_version >= 2 (from kernel version 2.6.12).
+
+kuser_memory_barrier
+--------------------
+
+Location: 0xffff0fa0
+
+Reference prototype:
+
+ void __kuser_memory_barrier(void);
+
+Input:
+
+ lr = return address
+
+Output:
+
+ none
+
+Clobbered registers:
+
+ none
+
+Definition:
+
+ Apply any needed memory barrier to preserve consistency with data modified
+ manually and __kuser_cmpxchg usage.
+
+Usage example:
+
+typedef void (__kuser_dmb_t)(void);
+#define __kuser_dmb (*(__kuser_dmb_t *)0xffff0fa0)
+
+Notes:
+
+ - Valid only if __kuser_helper_version >= 3 (from kernel version 2.6.15).