[alsa-devel] emu10k1 driver can't allocate memory

Takashi Iwai tiwai at suse.de
Tue May 29 11:57:56 CEST 2012

At Sun, 20 May 2012 03:04:14 +0200,
Mikael Magnusson wrote:
> Hi, (please CC me on replies, not subscribed)
> I recently upgraded to 3.3.6 from (yeah, I know). Since then
> I noticed sometimes sounds were sometimes missing, then I noticed
> thousands of these in dmesg,
> [37280.283484] max memory size is 0x7fffffff (addr = 0x1d5d70071038000)!!

I guess you are enabling IOMMU?  I guess it translates the address
somehow in a way emu10k1 doesn't like.
There are really little changes in emu10k1 driver itself, so if the
kernel upgrade changes the behavior, it must be in the core part such
like IOMMU handling.

Try to boot without iommu and see whether it changes the behavior


> [37280.283486] emu: failure page = 32
> I also checked asfxload -M output, right after boot it shows all the
> synth memory free as you would expect, but after a while of usage, it
> is close to 0 (around 50KiB or so). Trying to run a simple program
> that writes to /dev/audio fails with
> write(3</dev/audio>,
> "\32\21\t\3\0\0\4\n\23\34&/6:;94,#\31\17\10\2\0\0\4\v\24\36(07"...,
> 4096) = -1 ENOMEM (Cannot allocate memory)
> You can also note the output from asfxload -M dropping rapidly while
> the program is making sound before it fails. Native alsa apps seem to
> fare slightly better as the memory decrease caused by them is actually
> returned when they close the device again.
> Loading and unloading soundfonts seem to work as normal, the memory is
> returned when the soundfont is unloaded afaict. (I have the patch
> applied that makes it possible to load soundfonts (changes the DMA32
> zone to 2GB). I don't think this is the cause of my problem since the
> given addresses are way way outside the 4GB range as well.)
> Note that even well before the reported memory is at 0, apps randomly
> fail to open the sound output and are silent. Curiously espeak when
> successful doesn't cause a decrease in available memory, but when it
> fails, it causes about 100KiB drop.
> I can't (don't dare) bisect because this is my production machine, but
> I can test patches, or check the major releases between 2.6.33 and
> 3.3.6 if you have no idea what causes this.
> I'm not the only one with the problem either,
> http://www.google.com/search?nfpr=1&tbs=li:1&q=emu%3A+failure+page+%3D+32+max+memory+size+is+0x7fffffff
> -- 
> Mikael Magnusson

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