Author: Alan Stern <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
AuthorDate: Wed Oct 10 16:24:56 2007 -0400
Committer: Greg Kroah-Hartman <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
CommitDate: Fri Oct 12 14:55:34 2007 -0700
USB: documentation for USB power management
This patch (as998) adds documentation on how USB power management
works and how to use it.
Signed-off-by: Alan Stern <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
Signed-off-by: Greg Kroah-Hartman <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
Documentation/usb/power-management.txt | 517 ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
1 files changed, 517 insertions(+), 0 deletions(-)
diff --git a/Documentation/usb/power-management.txt
new file mode 100644
@@ -0,0 +1,517 @@
+ Power Management for USB
+ Alan Stern <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
+ October 5, 2007
+ What is Power Management?
+Power Management (PM) is the practice of saving energy by suspending
+parts of a computer system when they aren't being used. While a
+component is "suspended" it is in a nonfunctional low-power state; it
+might even be turned off completely. A suspended component can be
+"resumed" (returned to a functional full-power state) when the kernel
+needs to use it. (There also are forms of PM in which components are
+placed in a less functional but still usable state instead of being
+suspended; an example would be reducing the CPU's clock rate. This
+document will not discuss those other forms.)
+When the parts being suspended include the CPU and most of the rest of
+the system, we speak of it as a "system suspend". When a particular
+device is turned off while the system as a whole remains running, we
+call it a "dynamic suspend" (also known as a "runtime suspend" or
+"selective suspend"). This document concentrates mostly on how
+dynamic PM is implemented in the USB subsystem, although system PM is
+covered to some extent (see Documentation/power/*.txt for more
+information about system PM).
+Note: Dynamic PM support for USB is present only if the kernel was
+built with CONFIG_USB_SUSPEND enabled. System PM support is present
+only if the kernel was built with CONFIG_SUSPEND or CONFIG_HIBERNATION
+ What is Remote Wakeup?
+When a device has been suspended, it generally doesn't resume until
+the computer tells it to. Likewise, if the entire computer has been
+suspended, it generally doesn't resume until the user tells it to, say
+by pressing a power button or opening the cover.
+However some devices have the capability of resuming by themselves, or
+asking the kernel to resume them, or even telling the entire computer
+to resume. This capability goes by several names such as "Wake On
+LAN"; we will refer to it generically as "remote wakeup". When a
+device is enabled for remote wakeup and it is suspended, it may resume
+itself (or send a request to be resumed) in response to some external
+event. Examples include a suspended keyboard resuming when a key is
+pressed, or a suspended USB hub resuming when a device is plugged in.
+ When is a USB device idle?
+A device is idle whenever the kernel thinks it's not busy doing
+anything important and thus is a candidate for being suspended. The
+exact definition depends on the device's driver; drivers are allowed
+to declare that a device isn't idle even when there's no actual
+communication taking place. (For example, a hub isn't considered idle
+unless all the devices plugged into that hub are already suspended.)
+In addition, a device isn't considered idle so long as a program keeps
+its usbfs file open, whether or not any I/O is going on.
+If a USB device has no driver, its usbfs file isn't open, and it isn't
+being accessed through sysfs, then it definitely is idle.
+ Forms of dynamic PM
+Dynamic suspends can occur in two ways: manual and automatic.
+"Manual" means that the user has told the kernel to suspend a device,
+whereas "automatic" means that the kernel has decided all by itself to
+suspend a device. Automatic suspend is called "autosuspend" for
+short. In general, a device won't be autosuspended unless it has been
+idle for some minimum period of time, the so-called idle-delay time.
+Of course, nothing the kernel does on its own initiative should
+prevent the computer or its devices from working properly. If a
+device has been autosuspended and a program tries to use it, the
+kernel will automatically resume the device (autoresume). For the
+same reason, an autosuspended device will usually have remote wakeup
+enabled, if the device supports remote wakeup.
+It is worth mentioning that many USB drivers don't support
+autosuspend. In fact, at the time of this writing (Linux 2.6.23) the
+only drivers which do support it are the hub driver, kaweth, asix,
+usblp, usblcd, and usb-skeleton (which doesn't count). If a
+non-supporting driver is bound to a device, the device won't be
+autosuspended. In effect, the kernel pretends the device is never
+We can categorize power management events in two broad classes:
+external and internal. External events are those triggered by some
+agent outside the USB stack: system suspend/resume (triggered by
+userspace), manual dynamic suspend/resume (also triggered by
+userspace), and remote wakeup (triggered by the device). Internal
+events are those triggered within the USB stack: autosuspend and
+ The user interface for dynamic PM
+The user interface for controlling dynamic PM is located in the power/
+subdirectory of each USB device's sysfs directory, that is, in
+/sys/bus/usb/devices/.../power/ where "..." is the device's ID. The
+relevant attribute files are: wakeup, level, and autosuspend.
+ This file is empty if the device does not support
+ remote wakeup. Otherwise the file contains either the
+ word "enabled" or the word "disabled", and you can
+ write those words to the file. The setting determines
+ whether or not remote wakeup will be enabled when the
+ device is next suspended. (If the setting is changed
+ while the device is suspended, the change won't take
+ effect until the following suspend.)
+ This file contains one of three words: "on", "auto",
+ or "suspend". You can write those words to the file
+ to change the device's setting.
+ "on" means that the device should be resumed and
+ autosuspend is not allowed. (Of course, system
+ suspends are still allowed.)
+ "auto" is the normal state in which the kernel is
+ allowed to autosuspend and autoresume the device.
+ "suspend" means that the device should remain
+ suspended, and autoresume is not allowed. (But remote
+ wakeup may still be allowed, since it is controlled
+ separately by the power/wakeup attribute.)
+ This file contains an integer value, which is the
+ number of seconds the device should remain idle before
+ the kernel will autosuspend it (the idle-delay time).
+ The default is 2. 0 means to autosuspend as soon as
+ the device becomes idle, and -1 means never to
+ autosuspend. You can write a number to the file to
+ change the autosuspend idle-delay time.
+Writing "-1" to power/autosuspend and writing "on" to power/level do
+essentially the same thing -- they both prevent the device from being
+autosuspended. Yes, this is a redundancy in the API.
+(In 2.6.21 writing "0" to power/autosuspend would prevent the device
+from being autosuspended; the behavior was changed in 2.6.22. The
+power/autosuspend attribute did not exist prior to 2.6.21, and the
+power/level attribute did not exist prior to 2.6.22.)
+ Changing the default idle-delay time
+The default autosuspend idle-delay time is controlled by a module
+parameter in usbcore. You can specify the value when usbcore is
+loaded. For example, to set it to 5 seconds instead of 2 you would
+ modprobe usbcore autosuspend=5
+Equivalently, you could add to /etc/modprobe.conf a line saying:
+ options usbcore autosuspend=5
+Some distributions load the usbcore module very early during the boot
+process, by means of a program or script running from an initramfs
+image. To alter the parameter value you would have to rebuild that
+If usbcore is compiled into the kernel rather than built as a loadable
+module, you can add
+to the kernel's boot command line.
+Finally, the parameter value can be changed while the system is
+running. If you do:
+ echo 5 >/sys/module/usbcore/parameters/autosuspend
+then each new USB device will have its autosuspend idle-delay
+initialized to 5. (The idle-delay values for already existing devices
+will not be affected.)
+Setting the initial default idle-delay to -1 will prevent any
+autosuspend of any USB device. This is a simple alternative to
+disabling CONFIG_USB_SUSPEND and rebuilding the kernel, and it has the
+added benefit of allowing you to enable autosuspend for selected
+The USB specification states that all USB devices must support power
+management. Nevertheless, the sad fact is that many devices do not
+support it very well. You can suspend them all right, but when you
+try to resume them they disconnect themselves from the USB bus or
+they stop working entirely. This seems to be especially prevalent
+among printers and scanners, but plenty of other types of device have
+the same deficiency.
+For this reason, by default the kernel disables autosuspend (the
+power/level attribute is initialized to "on") for all devices other
+than hubs. Hubs, at least, appear to be reasonably well-behaved in
+(In 2.6.21 and 2.6.22 this wasn't the case. Autosuspend was enabled
+by default for almost all USB devices. A number of people experienced
+problems as a result.)
+This means that non-hub devices won't be autosuspended unless the user
+or a program explicitly enables it. As of this writing there aren't
+any widespread programs which will do this; we hope that in the near
+future device managers such as HAL will take on this added
+responsibility. In the meantime you can always carry out the
+necessary operations by hand or add them to a udev script. You can
+also change the idle-delay time; 2 seconds is not the best choice for
+Sometimes it turns out that even when a device does work okay with
+autosuspend there are still problems. For example, there are
+experimental patches adding autosuspend support to the usbhid driver,
+which manages keyboards and mice, among other things. Tests with a
+number of keyboards showed that typing on a suspended keyboard, while
+causing the keyboard to do a remote wakeup all right, would
+nonetheless frequently result in lost keystrokes. Tests with mice
+showed that some of them would issue a remote-wakeup request in
+response to button presses but not to motion, and some in response to
+The kernel will not prevent you from enabling autosuspend on devices
+that can't handle it. It is even possible in theory to damage a
+device by suspending it at the wrong time -- for example, suspending a
+USB hard disk might cause it to spin down without parking the heads.
+(Highly unlikely, but possible.) Take care.
+ The driver interface for Power Management
+The requirements for a USB driver to support external power management
+are pretty modest; the driver need only define
+methods in its usb_driver structure, and the reset_resume method is
+optional. The methods' jobs are quite simple:
+ The suspend method is called to warn the driver that the
+ device is going to be suspended. If the driver returns a
+ negative error code, the suspend will be aborted. Normally
+ the driver will return 0, in which case it must cancel all
+ outstanding URBs (usb_kill_urb()) and not submit any more.
+ The resume method is called to tell the driver that the
+ device has been resumed and the driver can return to normal
+ operation. URBs may once more be submitted.
+ The reset_resume method is called to tell the driver that
+ the device has been resumed and it also has been reset.
+ The driver should redo any necessary device initialization,
+ since the device has probably lost most or all of its state
+ (although the interfaces will be in the same altsettings as
+ before the suspend).
+The reset_resume method is used by the USB Persist facility (see
+Documentation/usb/persist.txt) and it can also be used under certain
+circumstances when CONFIG_USB_PERSIST is not enabled. Currently, if a
+device is reset during a resume and the driver does not have a
+reset_resume method, the driver won't receive any notification about
+the resume. Later kernels will call the driver's disconnect method;
+2.6.23 doesn't do this.
+USB drivers are bound to interfaces, so their suspend and resume
+methods get called when the interfaces are suspended or resumed. In
+principle one might want to suspend some interfaces on a device (i.e.,
+force the drivers for those interface to stop all activity) without
+suspending the other interfaces. The USB core doesn't allow this; all
+interfaces are suspended when the device itself is suspended and all
+interfaces are resumed when the device is resumed. It isn't possible
+to suspend or resume some but not all of a device's interfaces. The
+closest you can come is to unbind the interfaces' drivers.
+ The driver interface for autosuspend and autoresume
+To support autosuspend and autoresume, a driver should implement all
+three of the methods listed above. In addition, a driver indicates
+that it supports autosuspend by setting the .supports_autosuspend flag
+in its usb_driver structure. It is then responsible for informing the
+USB core whenever one of its interfaces becomes busy or idle. The
+driver does so by calling these three functions:
+ int usb_autopm_get_interface(struct usb_interface *intf);
+ void usb_autopm_put_interface(struct usb_interface *intf);
+ int usb_autopm_set_interface(struct usb_interface *intf);
+The functions work by maintaining a counter in the usb_interface
+structure. When intf->pm_usage_count is > 0 then the interface is
+deemed to be busy, and the kernel will not autosuspend the interface's
+device. When intf->pm_usage_count is <= 0 then the interface is
+considered to be idle, and the kernel may autosuspend the device.
+(There is a similar pm_usage_count field in struct usb_device,
+associated with the device itself rather than any of its interfaces.
+This field is used only by the USB core.)
+The driver owns intf->pm_usage_count; it can modify the value however
+and whenever it likes. A nice aspect of the usb_autopm_* routines is
+that the changes they make are protected by the usb_device structure's
+PM mutex (udev->pm_mutex); however drivers may change pm_usage_count
+without holding the mutex.
+ usb_autopm_get_interface() increments pm_usage_count and
+ attempts an autoresume if the new value is > 0 and the
+ device is suspended.
+ usb_autopm_put_interface() decrements pm_usage_count and
+ attempts an autosuspend if the new value is <= 0 and the
+ device isn't suspended.
+ usb_autopm_set_interface() leaves pm_usage_count alone.
+ It attempts an autoresume if the value is > 0 and the device
+ is suspended, and it attempts an autosuspend if the value is
+ <= 0 and the device isn't suspended.
+There also are a couple of utility routines drivers can use:
+ usb_autopm_enable() sets pm_usage_cnt to 1 and then calls
+ usb_autopm_set_interface(), which will attempt an autoresume.
+ usb_autopm_disable() sets pm_usage_cnt to 0 and then calls
+ usb_autopm_set_interface(), which will attempt an autosuspend.
+The conventional usage pattern is that a driver calls
+usb_autopm_get_interface() in its open routine and
+usb_autopm_put_interface() in its close or release routine. But
+other patterns are possible.
+The autosuspend attempts mentioned above will often fail for one
+reason or another. For example, the power/level attribute might be
+set to "on", or another interface in the same device might not be
+idle. This is perfectly normal. If the reason for failure was that
+the device hasn't been idle for long enough, a delayed workqueue
+routine is automatically set up to carry out the operation when the
+autosuspend idle-delay has expired.
+Autoresume attempts also can fail. This will happen if power/level is
+set to "suspend" or if the device doesn't manage to resume properly.
+Unlike autosuspend, there's no delay for an autoresume.
+ Other parts of the driver interface
+Sometimes a driver needs to make sure that remote wakeup is enabled
+during autosuspend. For example, there's not much point
+autosuspending a keyboard if the user can't cause the keyboard to do a
+remote wakeup by typing on it. If the driver sets
+intf->needs_remote_wakeup to 1, the kernel won't autosuspend the
+device if remote wakeup isn't available or has been disabled through
+the power/wakeup attribute. (If the device is already autosuspended,
+though, setting this flag won't cause the kernel to autoresume it.
+Normally a driver would set this flag in its probe method, at which
+time the device is guaranteed not to be autosuspended.)
+The usb_autopm_* routines have to run in a sleepable process context;
+they must not be called from an interrupt handler or while holding a
+spinlock. In fact, the entire autosuspend mechanism is not well geared
+toward interrupt-driven operation. However there is one thing a
+driver can do in an interrupt handler:
+ usb_mark_last_busy(struct usb_device *udev);
+This sets udev->last_busy to the current time. udev->last_busy is the
+field used for idle-delay calculations; updating it will cause any
+pending autosuspend to be moved back. The usb_autopm_* routines will
+also set the last_busy field to the current time.
+Calling urb_mark_last_busy() from within an URB completion handler is
+subject to races: The kernel may have just finished deciding the
+device has been idle for long enough but not yet gotten around to
+calling the driver's suspend method. The driver would have to be
+responsible for synchronizing its suspend method with its URB
+completion handler and causing the autosuspend to fail with -EBUSY if
+an URB had completed too recently.
+External suspend calls should never be allowed to fail in this way,
+only autosuspend calls. The driver can tell them apart by checking
+udev->auto_pm; this flag will be set to 1 for internal PM events
+(autosuspend or autoresume) and 0 for external PM events.
+Many of the ingredients in the autosuspend framework are oriented
+towards interfaces: The usb_interface structure contains the
+pm_usage_cnt field, and the usb_autopm_* routines take an interface
+pointer as their argument. But somewhat confusingly, a few of the
+pieces (usb_mark_last_busy() and udev->auto_pm) use the usb_device
+structure instead. Drivers need to keep this straight; they can call
+interface_to_usbdev() to find the device structure for a given
+ Locking requirements
+All three suspend/resume methods are always called while holding the
+usb_device's PM mutex. For external events -- but not necessarily for
+autosuspend or autoresume -- the device semaphore (udev->dev.sem) will
+also be held. This implies that external suspend/resume events are
+mutually exclusive with calls to probe, disconnect, pre_reset, and
+post_reset; the USB core guarantees that this is true of internal
+suspend/resume events as well.
+If a driver wants to block all suspend/resume calls during some
+critical section, it can simply acquire udev->pm_mutex.
+Alternatively, if the critical section might call some of the
+usb_autopm_* routines, the driver can avoid deadlock by doing:
+ rc = usb_autopm_get_interface(intf);
+and at the end of the critical section:
+ if (!rc)
+Holding the device semaphore will block all external PM calls, and the
+usb_autopm_get_interface() will prevent any internal PM calls, even if
+it fails. (Exercise: Why?)
+The rules for locking order are:
+ Never acquire any device semaphore while holding any PM mutex.
+ Never acquire udev->pm_mutex while holding the PM mutex for
+ a device that isn't a descendant of udev.
+In other words, PM mutexes should only be acquired going up the device
+tree, and they should be acquired only after locking all the device
+semaphores you need to hold. These rules don't matter to drivers very
+much; they usually affect just the USB core.
+Still, drivers do need to be careful. For example, many drivers use a
+private mutex to synchronize their normal I/O activities with their
+disconnect method. Now if the driver supports autosuspend then it
+must call usb_autopm_put_interface() from somewhere -- maybe from its
+close method. It should make the call while holding the private mutex,
+since a driver shouldn't call any of the usb_autopm_* functions for an
+interface from which it has been unbound.
+But the usb_autpm_* routines always acquire the device's PM mutex, and
+consequently the locking order has to be: private mutex first, PM
+mutex second. Since the suspend method is always called with the PM
+mutex held, it mustn't try to acquire the private mutex. It has to
+synchronize with the driver's I/O activities in some other way.
+ Interaction between dynamic PM and system PM
+Dynamic power management and system power management can interact in
+a couple of ways.
+Firstly, a device may already be manually suspended or autosuspended
+when a system suspend occurs. Since system suspends are supposed to
+be as transparent as possible, the device should remain suspended
+following the system resume. The 2.6.23 kernel obeys this principle
+for manually suspended devices but not for autosuspended devices; they
+do get resumed when the system wakes up. (Presumably they will be
+autosuspended again after their idle-delay time expires.) In later
+kernels this behavior will be fixed.
+(There is an exception. If a device would undergo a reset-resume
+instead of a normal resume, and the device is enabled for remote
+wakeup, then the reset-resume takes place even if the device was
+already suspended when the system suspend began. The justification is
+that a reset-resume is a kind of remote-wakeup event. Or to put it
+another way, a device which needs a reset won't be able to generate
+normal remote-wakeup signals, so it ought to be resumed immediately.)
+Secondly, a dynamic power-management event may occur as a system
+suspend is underway. The window for this is short, since system
+suspends don't take long (a few seconds usually), but it can happen.
+For example, a suspended device may send a remote-wakeup signal while
+the system is suspending. The remote wakeup may succeed, which would
+cause the system suspend to abort. If the remote wakeup doesn't
+succeed, it may still remain active and thus cause the system to
+resume as soon as the system suspend is complete. Or the remote
+wakeup may fail and get lost. Which outcome occurs depends on timing
+and on the hardware and firmware design.
+More interestingly, a device might undergo a manual resume or
+autoresume during system suspend. With current kernels this shouldn't
+happen, because manual resumes must be initiated by userspace and
+autoresumes happen in response to I/O requests, but all user processes
+and I/O should be quiescent during a system suspend -- thanks to the
+freezer. However there are plans to do away with the freezer, which
+would mean these things would become possible. If and when this comes
+about, the USB core will carefully arrange matters so that either type
+of resume will block until the entire system has resumed.
To unsubscribe from this list: send the line "unsubscribe git-commits-head" in
the body of a message to [EMAIL PROTECTED]
More majordomo info at http://vger.kernel.org/majordomo-info.html