[alsa-devel] [GIT PULL FOR 2.6.39] Media controller and OMAP3 ISP driver

Mauro Carvalho Chehab mchehab at redhat.com
Mon Mar 7 12:50:28 CET 2011

Em 06-03-2011 14:21, Laurent Pinchart escreveu:
> Hi Mauro,
> On Sunday 06 March 2011 14:32:44 Mauro Carvalho Chehab wrote:
>> Em 06-03-2011 08:38, Laurent Pinchart escreveu:
>>> On Sunday 06 March 2011 11:56:04 Mauro Carvalho Chehab wrote:
>>>> Em 05-03-2011 20:23, Sylwester Nawrocki escreveu:
>>>> A somewhat unrelated question that occurred to me today: what happens
>>>> when a format change happens while streaming?
>>>> Considering that some formats need more bits than others, this could
>>>> lead into buffer overflows, either internally at the device or
>>>> externally, on bridges that just forward whatever it receives to the
>>>> DMA buffers (there are some that just does that). I didn't see anything
>>>> inside the mc code preventing such condition to happen, and probably
>>>> implementing it won't be an easy job. So, one alternative would be to
>>>> require some special CAPS if userspace tries to set the mbus format
>>>> directly, or to recommend userspace to create media controller nodes
>>>> with 0600 permission.
>>> That's not really a media controller issue. Whether formats can be
>>> changed during streaming is a driver decision. The OMAP3 ISP driver
>>> won't allow formats to be changed during streaming. If the hardware
>>> allows for such format changes, drivers can implement support for that
>>> and make sure that no buffer overflow will occur.
>> Such issues is caused by having two API's that allow format changes, one
>> that does it device-based, and another one doing it subdev-based.
>> Ok, drivers can implementing locks to prevent such troubles, but, without
>> the core providing a reliable mechanism, it is hard to implement a
>> correct lock.
>> For example, let's suppose that some driver is using mt9m111 subdev (I just
>> picked one random sensor that supports lots of MBUS formats). There's
>> nothing there preventing a subdev call for it to change mbus format while
>> streaming. Worse than that, the sensor driver has no way to block it, as
>> it doesn't know that the bridge driver is streaming or not.
>> The code at subdev_do_ioctl() is just:
>>         struct v4l2_subdev_format *format = arg;
>>         if (format->which != V4L2_SUBDEV_FORMAT_TRY &&
>>             format->which != V4L2_SUBDEV_FORMAT_ACTIVE)
>>                 return -EINVAL;
>>         if (format->pad >= sd->entity.num_pads)
>>                 return -EINVAL;
>>         return v4l2_subdev_call(sd, pad, set_fmt, subdev_fh, format);
>> }
>> So, mc core won't be preventing it.
>> So, I can't see how such subdev request would be implementing a logic to
>> return -EBUSY on those cases.
> Drivers can use the media_device graph_mutex to serialize format and stream 
> management calls. A finer grain locking mechanism implemented in the core 
> might be better, but we're not stuck without a solution at the moment.

Ok, i see. This is not the best world, as I suspect that developers will
just try to enable media controller for a few devices without taking enough
care to avoid buffer overflows.
While we don't have a better way for doing it, please add a note at the kernel 
api doc saying about that, briefly describing how to properly lock it, because
this is not obvious at all.


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