On 08/07/2017 08:25 PM, Brendan Higgins wrote:
On Sat, Aug 5, 2017 at 3:23 PM, Corey Minyard <miny...@acm.org> wrote:
On 08/04/2017 08:18 PM, Brendan Higgins wrote:
This patchset introduces IPMI Block Transfer over I2C (BT-I2C), which has
same semantics as IPMI Block Transfer except it done over I2C.
For the OpenBMC people, this is based on an RFC:
The documentation discusses the reason for this in greater detail, suffice
say SSIF cannot be correctly implemented on some naive I2C devices. There
some additional reasons why we don't like SSIF, but those are again
the documentation for all those who are interested.
What you have is not really BT over I2C. You have just added a sequence
number to the
IPMI messages and dropped the SMBus command. Other interfaces have sequence
too. Calling it BT is a little over the top.
Fair point, maybe ISIF (I2C System Interface)? I don't have strong feelings
about the name.
I'm not too picky, either, I just didn't want someone to get confused.
Do you really need the performance required by having multiple outstanding
That adds a lot of complexity, if it's unnecessary it's just a waste. The
IPMI work on top
of interfaces does not really require that much performance, it's just
FRU data, and such. Perhaps you have a reason, but I fail to see
why it's really that big a deal. The BT interface has this ability, but the
driver does not
take advantage of it and nobody has complained.
Yes, we do have some platforms which only have IPMI as a standard interface
and we are abusing some OEM commands to do some things that we probably
should not do with IPMI like doing firmware updates.
Perhaps that is some level of abuse, but it's pretty common. I'm not
There is standard IPMI firmware NetFN (though no commands defined) that
if you use
the driver automatically goes into "Maintenance mode" and modified the
and handling to some extent to help with this.
Also, we have some
commands which take a really long time to complete (> 1s). Admittedly, this is
abusing IPMI to solve problems which should probably be solved elsewhere;
nevertheless, it is a feature we are actually using. And having an option to use
sequence numbers if definitely nice from our perspective.
We will probably want to improve the block transfer driver at some
point as well.
As long as you have a legitimate need, I don't have a problem with
this. The upper layer
of the driver can already handle this, there's just a small piece that
the lower layer that needs to be modified. And the ability to query the
number of outstanding messages from the lower layer.
BT will be harder, the SI interface code would need more significant
I would agree that the multi-part messages in SSIF is a big pain and and a
unnecessary complexity. I believe it is there to accommodate host hardware
limited. But SMBus can have 255 byte messages and there's no arbitrary
I2C. It is the way of IPMI to support the least common denominator.
Your interface will only work on Linux. Other OSes (unless they choose to
driver) will be unable to use your BMC. Of course there's the NACK issue,
but that's a
big difference, and it would probably still work with existing drivers on
I hope I did not send the message that we are planning on using this instead
of SSIF forever and always. This is intended as an alternative to SSIF for some
systems for which I2C is really the only available hardware interface, but SSIF
is not well suited for said reasons.
It would be great for OpenBMC if someone added support for SSIF, but as far
as I know, no one is asking for it.
I am not convinced that SSIF is not suitable for this. It is true that
the lack of NACK
support won't work right now, but for the current SSIF driver that is
adding a condition
to a single if statement. I would be happy to have that. The current
code returns an
error in this case, but it might be better to just ignore it, anyway.
Plus people may choose to use OpenBMC on things besides the aspeed devices
could do a NACK. That's kind of the point of OpenBMC, isn't it?
Yes, using OpenBMC on other things is part of the point; however, all
of the projects
that I am currently aware of and am trying to support use Aspeed parts
need an option.
My suggestion would be to implement a BMC that supports standard SSIF single
messages by default. That way any existing driver will work with it. (I
about the NACK thing, but that's a much smaller issue than a whole new
Coming up with a satisfactory solution to working around systems that cannot
NACK is my primary goal; I don't care about alternatives that do not address
Then use OEM extensions to query things like if it can do messages larger
bytes or supports sequence numbers, and how many outstanding messages it
can have, and extend the current SSIF driver. It wouldn't be very hard.
It would not be that hard to implement something that is naive, but I
think it would
be difficult to implement something that is maintainable and robust.
if I added an OEM extension that allowed me to add a sequence number, I would
have to find a place that I could put it that would allow IPMI
messages that do not
have the sequence number to still be sent and parsed correctly so that if either
the host or BMC reset the other would still be able to send the
message to return
it to the desired state. I can think of ways that this could be done,
but I cannot
think of anyway that it could be done cleanly and would not make maintaining
SSIF more complicated.
There are ways to accomplish this that aren't that complex. You can
create an OEM
command that can query the maximum message size and the ability to do
numbers in the messages.
If messages larger than 32-bytes are supported, and the host I2C/SMBus
supports it, you could use the standard SSIF SMBus commands to do this, they
have an 8-bit length field.
If sequence numbers are supported, The SSIF could use different SMBus
to do the write and read requests. Since this is only if you get an OEM
and if you put the sequence numbers at the end where they are easy to add on
the send side, this is a small change to the driver.
So I think the changes would be small and contained. I'm actually ok with a
different driver, but I think it would be more valuable to the OpenBMC
to have a standardized interface that would work (in a not quite as
mode) with software that does not use the Linux IPMI driver.
In my experience, sticking with standards is a good thing, and designing
protocols is fraught with peril. I'm not trying to be difficult here, but I
the proliferation of things that do not need to proliferate :).
I totally agree, which is why I tried to do something which looks like an
existing IPMI interface to all of the software outside of this. As I mentioned
above, I am afraid that hacking up SSIF to achieve the desired effects would
make it much harder to maintain. I figured that the stuff I was trying
to do does
not really look like SSIF, so I should not force it into SSIF. If we
don't advertise it
as SSIF, then no one will expect it to behave that way.
Moreover, if we put all of the hacky stuff in its own driver then we
don't have to
worry about it forever polluting SSIF; whereas, if we modify SSIF to support
whatever weird things we suggest, it becomes a lot harder go back and clean
it up if one day we find that no one is using it, which I do indeed hope becomes
I guess that I would say that sticking with standards is a good thing,
but if you
are going to break them, you must not make anything more difficult for the
people who are following them.
All this being said, we do not terribly mind keeping these patches internal, at
least for sometime (by then maybe we will have a better solution). The main
reason I wanted to upstream these is twofold: I heard that there are some
other people who ran into this problem and were interested in a solution of
this type and I thought this would be a good motivating example behind a new
BMC side IPMI framework that we are working on as it would help to illustrate
the desire to separate the hardware layer from the common routing layer as
you had done with the host side; however, as long as you are aware that there
may be other implementations, just possibly not in the mainline kernel, then
I suppose that is not really an issue. I will try to send out an RFC for this
In addition, since I am adding both host side and BMC side support, I
that now is a good time to resolve the problem of where to put BMC side
drivers; right now we have it (there is only one) in drivers/char/ipmi/
rest of the host side IPMI drivers, but I think it makes sense to put all
host side IPMI drivers in one directory and all of the BMC side drivers in
another, preferably in a way that does not effect all of the current
users. I have not created a MAINTAINERS entry for the new directory yet,
figured there might be some discussion to be had about it.
Regardless of what we do with the "BT-I2C" stuff, I am still interested in what
you think about this.
I think you are right, it probably belongs some place else. The way
that makes the most
sense to me would be to have an "ipmi" directory with a "host" and
"slave" side, and since
ipmi is not really a char driver, to move it to the main driver
directory. That might be
fairly disruptive, though.
The other option that makes sense to me would be to add a
or something like that, and put the slave code there. That would be
I have tested this patchset on the Aspeed 2500 EVB.
Changes since previous update:
- Cleaned up some documentation.
- Added patch which moves the Aspeed BT-BMC driver to the new ipmi_bmc