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Re: [Xen-devel] [HVM} xen_platform_pci=0 doesn't prevent platform device creation and disk and nic take over by PV drivers.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013, 5:03:56 PM, you wrote:

> On Wed, 9 Oct 2013, Sander Eikelenboom wrote:
>> Wednesday, October 9, 2013, 2:00:02 PM, you wrote:
>> > create ^
>> > title it xen_platform_pci=0 doesn't work with qemu-xen
>> > owner it Anthony Perard <anthony.perard@xxxxxxxxxx>
>> > thanks
>> Perhaps in general looking at the libxl and xend .. and .. qemu-xen and 
>> qemu-xen-traditonal compatibility shoud be added too.
>> Perhaps i'm a bit blunt ..
>> but for users it's quite a mess and PITA now for quite some time, the 
>> transition of both is now smeared out over quite some major and minor 
>> releases.
>> With some features not working since .. some features are working again but 
>> have a gap of not working,
>> since old features becoming usable again are (understandably) not backported.
>> This seems to be at a level that it is even undocumentable ... you would 
>> need a spreadsheet
>> with every minor version to try to document that ... it seems to be leading 
>> to a lot of user questions as well.
>> I'm not blaming any one personally or anything like that .. just expressing 
>> my worries and the threat i see for Xen as a project in general.
>> Namely users sop
>> I understand that new features like the arm port are interesting .. but i 
>> think that has the cost of both
>> IanC and Stefano time to work on libxl and qemu-upstream seems to be quite 
>> limited, and perhaps developer time in general is.
>> But getting these major transitions smeared out over several major and minor 
>> releases doesn't seem to be very desirable.
>> This will be enlarged since distro's like debian are going to stop packaging 
>> the xen-forks. But since they will be using a "stable" release for these
>> projects like qemu, i will take some time for xen patches to for instance 
>> qemu to trickle down into the qemu-upstream stable.
>> (BTW debian unstable already seems to be not packaging qemu-traditional 
>> anymore but rely on the upstream qemu package entirely,
>> leading to questions on IRC already )
>> KVM seems to have it's act quite together with their virtio drivers at the 
>> moment and i must say i'm getting
>> attracted to try to switch (although i generally like Xen so i'm still in 
>> denial :-) ).
>> Just my few cents and a call out as a user ..
>> (and perhaps a topic for the developer conference to address .. also in the 
>> light of the short discussion about a long term stable release
>> which in my opinion can't be done before both are resolved)
>> Don't know how Pasi thinks about this and if he has any comments, since he 
>> seems to be quite involved in (helping) the user community ..

> Thank you for the feedback. We need constructive criticism like this to
> improve the project and the way we handle things. Let me tell you where
> I stand.

> In the case of xl, we really thought that we filled all the gaps. Just
> when we were about to remove xend for good, people stepped up telling us
> to wait because actually we missed something.
> I don't think we could have done anything better, given the
> circumstances. If we don't know that we have a bug or a missing feature,
> we can't do anything about it.

I know it's hard to test all the (possible combination) of options.
However a systematic screening of the documented options allowed in config 
files would have revealed
more before missing features in libxl even before user testing.

But i agree it has some chicken and egg problem to it, since early adopter user 
testing usually comes after the .0 release
and the rest after the .1 or .2.

However (with hindsight) when refactoring such major components it's perhaps 
better to adjust the release schedule and
focus developer attention to that refactoring for that release and make the 
refactoring job set the pace and be the one and only true blocker
and for the .1 at least be liberal with backporting missing features as well 
(to prevent a feature gap as much as possible).

That would (hopefully) prevent such a refactoring from dragging on, which is 
also a developer burden.
The earlier it is done and over with, the more time to work on the exciting new 
features and less nagging users :-p

I know that for the external projects you are not in control for both the patch 
acceptance and release pace,
so f.e. for the linux kernel there wasn't a way to prevent it being smeared 
over multiple releases.

However i think qemu is perhaps different in the sense that on distro's users 
will be more inclined to compile a newer kernel
than to compile a new qemu package from upstream sources. Also (PV)HVM seems to 
only gain importance ...

So i think it is even more important to keep xen in qemu-upstream in good shape
and to direct some test effort into it, especially prior to an upcoming qemu 
release (rc's).

> In the case of QEMU, we could probably have done a better job at
> tracking missing features. However in general once we know that we have
> an issue, we usually resolve it in a timely manner.

I must say in general the responsiveness is quite good, although as i mentioned 
i think it is somewhat reduced for the qemu and libxl parts since the arm port 
is on it's way.

For instance there wasn't much response to the thread about lacking pci 
multifunction passthrough
options. (Neither to my personal problem about the rom bar of passthroughed pci 

I don't say they have to be solved right away, the more since they are in the 
interaction between 2 or more components
(libxl, qemu, hvmloader, seabios), but at least *some* response on how to 
proceed would be nice.

Another thing i stumbled across in the qemu source in include/exec/memory.h:

From:   Avi Kivity
Subject:        [Qemu-devel] [PATCH 16/23] memory: temporarily add 
Date:   Mon, 19 Dec 2011 16:13:37 +0200
 * memory_region_get_ram_addr: Get the ram address associated with a memory
 *                             region
 * DO NOT USE THIS FUNCTION.  This is a temporary workaround while the Xen
 * code is being reworked.
ram_addr_t memory_region_get_ram_addr(MemoryRegion *mr);

It seems it is temporary for quite some time ;-)

> Anthony wrote a blog post
> (http://blog.xen.org/index.php/2013/09/20/qemu-vs-qemu-traditional-update/)
> on this, but having a detailed well formatted wiki page listing
> everything we know is missing in upstream QEMU would go a long way
> toward avoiding situations like this in the future.

> The other thing that could help is better testing. OSSTests doesn't
> cover the xen_platform_pci option, otherwise we would have found and
> fixed the issues months ago.

Yes .. although it seemed to be in the bugzilla for quite some time ..

I know there was a discussion some time ago about bugzilla's not being used by 
but if that is the case it better can be closed with a message to just send it 
to the mailing
list instead. Now a user has the expectation he has reported it and the chance 
he won't post it again to
xen-devel and thus the project is losing a perfectly sound bug report
(and perhaps a user since it's not addressed nor replied to).

I know that most bugzilla's are actually distro bugzilla's, and are out of 
reach, however this one
is on xensource. I don't know how much contact there is with the various distro 
package maintainers to forward
the bugzilla reports that should be fixed upstream ?

> Anybody can write a new OSSTest, not just developers. Give a look at
> Wei's recent blog post:

> http://blog.xen.org/index.php/2013/09/30/osstest-standalone-mode-step-by-step/

> Do you care about a particular feature? Do you want to make sure it
> doesn't break in xen-unstable? Write an OSSTest for it!

Well one of the features happens to be the pci passthrough.

Since i use it, i can say it works in general for single devices and when the 
device is not requiring it's expansion rom to function.
But that last issue i just stumbled upon.

But for such an OSSTEST the test machine should have certain hardware to 
or is there a possibility to create a fake/dummy test pci device on the host 
and pass
that through and test its behavior (if all mem ranges, ioports and rom are 
read/writable as expected)
(did a fast google but didn't found something immediately useful.


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