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Persist printk buffer across reboots.

From:  Avery Pennarun <>
To:  Andrew Morton <>, Josh Triplett <>, "Paul E. McKenney" <>, Ingo Molnar <>, "David S. Miller" <>, Peter Zijlstra <>, "Fabio M. Di Nitto" <>, Avery Pennarun <>, Johannes Weiner <>, Olaf Hering <>, Paul Gortmaker <>, Tejun Heo <>, "H. Peter Anvin" <>, Yinghai LU <>,,
Subject:  [PATCH 0/5] Persist printk buffer across reboots.
Date:  Tue, 13 Mar 2012 01:36:36 -0400
Message-ID:  <>
Archive-link:  Article

The last patch in this series implements a new CONFIG_PRINTK_PERSIST option
that, when enabled, puts the printk buffer in a well-defined memory location
so that we can keep appending to it after a reboot.  The upshot is that,
even after a kernel panic or non-panic hard lockup, on the next boot
userspace will be able to grab the kernel messages leading up to it.  It
could then upload the messages to a server (for example) to keep crash

The preceding patches in the series are mostly just things I fixed up while
working on that patch.

Some notes:

- I'm not totally sure of the locking or portability issues when calling
  memblock or bootmem.  This all happens really early, and I *think*
  interrupts are still disabled at that time, so it's probably okay.

- Tested this version on x86 (kvm) and it works with soft reboot (ie. reboot
  -f).  Since some BIOSes wipe the memory during boot, you might not have
  any luck.  It should be great on many embedded systems, though, including
  the MIPS system I've tested a variant of this patch on.  (Our MIPS build
  is based on a slightly older kernel so it's not 100% the same, but I think
  this should behave identically.)
- The way we choose a well-defined memory location is slightly suspicious
  (we just count down from the top of the address space) but I've tested it
  pretty carefully, and it seems to be okay.

- In printk.c with CONFIG_PRINTK_PERSIST set, we're #defining words like
  log_end.  It might be cleaner to replace all instances of log_end with
  LOG_END to make this more clear.  This is also the reason the struct
  logbits members start with _: because otherwise they conflict with the
  macro.  Suggestions welcome.

Patch generated against v3.3-rc7.

Avery Pennarun (5):
  mm: bootmem: BUG() if you try to allocate bootmem too late.
  mm: bootmem: it's okay to reserve_bootmem an invalid address.
  mm: nobootmem: implement reserve_bootmem() in terms of memblock.
  printk: use alloc_bootmem() instead of memblock_alloc().
  printk: CONFIG_PRINTK_PERSIST: persist printk buffer across reboots.

 init/Kconfig    |   12 ++++++
 kernel/printk.c |  117 +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++---------
 mm/bootmem.c    |   10 ++++-
 mm/nobootmem.c  |   23 +++++++++++
 4 files changed, 140 insertions(+), 22 deletions(-)


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