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memory management issue (Re: another regression on Efika)

From: Robert Millan
Subject: memory management issue (Re: another regression on Efika)
Date: Tue, 10 Jul 2007 16:08:23 +0200
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.13 (2006-08-11)

On Tue, Jul 10, 2007 at 12:04:44PM +0200, Jordi Mallach wrote:
> Hey,
> On Wed, Jul 04, 2007, Hollis said:
> > This problem could be caused by firmware presenting an
> > incorrect /memory/available property. I would instrument
> > grub_available_iterate() and heap_init() to confirm.
> > 
> > That property lists unclaimed areas of memory, which are free for us to
> > use as heap. The memory used for firmware itself (including exception
> > handlers at 0), and the memory used by the loaded ELF file (GRUB), are
> > missing from /memory/available, so we know not to try to use those
> > regions for the heap.
> > 
> > If that is in fact the problem (which wouldn't surprise me given this
> > particular firmware's track record), then we'll have to add some
> > hardcoded hack particularly for Efika in grub_machine_init(), bypassing
> > the more general code we have now.
> I'm afraid there must be more to this.
> [...]
> When the package was later on updated to a CVS snapshot of 20070505,
> GRUB started dropping me to OF at boot time. On Saturday, Robert helped
> me track this regression down to this same commit. After reverting and
> regenerating grub, I'm happy to report that for the first time my
> Powerbook G4 laptop was able to boot with me pressing no keys at all,
> using GRUB.
> In short, whatever is causing these crashes is not only an Efika issue.
> I suspect Apple, or Apple powerbooks at least, are also affected. I got
> Sjoerd to try this on his powerbook, and he confirms this fixes for him.
> Paul also tried, with the same results. Not all the powerbooks are the
> very same model, there are different model revisions involved.

The error Jordi was seeing before reverting your commits was very similar to
what I get on my Efika (something like "claim failed").

Hollis, do you still think this is a firmware bug?

Robert Millan

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