Re: Inconsistent kallsyms data on ARM.

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On Wed, Mar 14, 2012 at 01:21:46PM +0000, Arnd Bergmann wrote:
> On Tuesday 13 March 2012, Paul Gortmaker wrote:
> > This bug(?)  has been seen to float from one ARM build to another since
> > I started tracking the day-to-day changes in Stephen's linux-next builds.
> > 
> > I see it was discussed earlier:
> > 
> >
> >
> > 
> > but no concrete cause was nailed down.  Can the linux-next build results
> > help shed some light on this in any way?  Since it seems sporadic, is
> > there value in embedding a diagnostic of some sort in the infrastructure
> > so that when the error is detected, that it prints out more detailed info?
> > 
> > I can provide links to failed linux-next builds, but at the moment, all they
> > really seem to have is the same repeated error message, like this one:
> > 
> >
> > 
> > and I don't see that helping folks all that much....
> > 
> I'm sure I can reproduce it if necessary, but I need to know what to
> look for to find out what the problem is.

Right, last night's omap3430ldp build failed because of this, so I've
re-run the build and taken a look at what's happened:

$ arm-linux-nm -n .tmp_vmlinux1 > vm1.syms
$ arm-linux-nm -n .tmp_vmlinux2 > vm2.syms
$ arm-linux-nm -n vmlinux > vm3.syms
$ diff -u <(sed s,^...........,, vm2.syms) <(sed s,^...........,, vm3.syms) 

.tmp_vmlinux1 is the vmlinux file with no kallsyms data.  .tmp_vmlinux2 is
the vmlinux file with kallsyms data generated from the first image.
vmlinux is the vmlinux file with kallsyms data generated from the second

What the above shows is that we have the same symbols in the same order
in the second and third stage.  However:

$ diff -u vm2.syms vm3.syms
 c0352900 R kallsyms_names
-c03acd00 R kallsyms_markers
-c03acf10 R kallsyms_token_table
-c03ad290 R kallsyms_token_index
+c03accf0 R kallsyms_markers
+c03acf00 R kallsyms_token_table
+c03ad280 R kallsyms_token_index

So, the size of the kallsyms names has changed.

Now, looking at the differences between stage 1 and stage 2:

@@ -1,9 +1,3 @@
@@ -17151,6 +17145,12 @@
@@ -28372,11 +28372,11 @@

The difference in placement for the kallsyms symbols is more or less
expected, because these appear as weak symbols in stage 1.  However,
notice that __data_loc has moved in relative position.

As the names are compressed, this causes the size of the kallsyms name
data to change size (because we end up with a different compression)
which then causes the subsequent kallsyms data and other read-only data
to move.  This then causes 'inconsistent kallsyms data' error.

Now, looking at the __data_loc values in these files:

vm1.syms-c03bd408 t __irf_start
vm1.syms-c03bd408 T __security_initcall_end
vm1.syms-c03bd408 T __security_initcall_start
vm1.syms-c03bd608 T __initramfs_size
vm1.syms-c03bd608 t __irf_end
vm1.syms:c03be000 A __data_loc
vm1.syms-c03be000 A __init_end
vm1.syms-c03be000 D __per_cpu_end
vm1.syms-c03be000 D __per_cpu_load
vm1.syms-c03be000 D __per_cpu_start
vm1.syms-c03be000 D _data
vm2.syms-c0438608 t __irf_end
vm2.syms-c0439000 A __init_end
vm2.syms-c0439000 T __per_cpu_end
vm2.syms-c0439000 T __per_cpu_load
vm2.syms-c0439000 T __per_cpu_start
vm2.syms:c043a000 A __data_loc
vm2.syms-c043a000 D _data
vm2.syms-c043a000 D _sdata
vm2.syms-c043a000 D init_thread_union
vm2.syms-c043c000 D __nosave_begin
vm2.syms-c043c000 D __nosave_end

What we see here is the start of the data section aligned to 8K as
required for the init task data.  The per-cpu data is aligned to a 4K
boundary immediately before it.  However, as it is an empty section,
it can be aligned to the same 8K boundary as the data section depending
on the size and placement of the previous sections which include the
kallsyms data.

The solution?  We could artificially increase the alignment of the
per-cpu data, or waste a byte after the per-cpu data to ensure that we
don't align both together.  That could mean wasting up to 12K of space
for no reason other than to avoid this error which is exceedingly silly.

I'm not sure whether the kallsyms name data generation could be
changed so that this kind of thing doesn't matter but I suspect
that's an exceedingly difficult problem to crack.

In the mean time, I'd suggest building with the additional kallsyms pass
when it's required.
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