assert_slb_presence aaargh_warnings_everywhere make_it_stop

We're tracking what seems to be a recent regression in Linux ppc64le (and probably big-endian as well, if we understand the actual cause) kernels from at least 4.20.5 and possibly a little earlier which throws recurrent kernel warnings to dmesg. Depending on your distro this may pass completely unnoticed except for your logs filling up a little faster, but systems that send notifications on such events may drive you up the wall (such as our Fedora 29 installation, where our testing of current Firefox trunk trips this assertion like mad). The output invariably looks like this:

[46425.991034] WARNING: CPU: 22 PID: 0 at arch/powerpc/mm/slb.c:74 assert_slb_presence+0x28/0x40
[46425.991039] WARNING: CPU: 18 PID: 0 at arch/powerpc/mm/slb.c:74 assert_slb_presence+0x28/0x40

followed by the usual debugging information. As the filename implies, this is related to the CPU's segment lookaside buffer, but failing the given assertion is otherwise harmless on the Talos. It looks like the bug has been there for a little while but at least as of 4.20.10 only occurs on CPUs that support the slbfee. instruction (POWER6 and up) and, if our understanding is correct, only on testing effective addresses with a particular bit set. If so, this patch should fix it, but there is no ETA.

In the meantime, if you're badly affected, one way to get the messages to temporarily quiet might be to twiddle your console logging level settings; see man klogctl for how this works. Alternatively, on a Red Hat-type system like ours (Fedora, CentOS, etc.), the notifications come from ABRT, so killall abrt-applet will temporarily quell the warnings (/usr/bin/abrt-applet --gapplication-service & to restart).




    1. Heh. I'm talking with him about another issue, as it happens.

    2. Sorry, I wasn't sure if you'd report the bug.

      P. S. Did you receive my mail about "Nitrux"?

    3. I did, but T-Mobile won't let me reply to you as they spamblocked my provider's entire netblock. I think that's fixed now. It's a little preliminary for an article but it's worth watching, I agree.


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