I ran across what looks like a bug in the 'kernel_entry' function in
linux/arch/mips/kernel/head.S while chasing another problem. Our
version of kernel_entry is for 2.4.17. 2.4.22 seems to have
the same problem.
kernel_entry initializes the kernel stack pointer 'kernelsp'. But then
immediately after this clears the bss, which has the side effect of setting
kernelsp to 0. In our system, on initial entry to cpu_idle(), kernelsp is 0.
The bug "heals" itself the first time schedule() is called. But, if for some
reason CP0_STATUS doesn't have CU0 set at startup (which would be
bad for other reasons), and you get an exception before the first call to
schedule() (e.g., the syscall to create "init"), the exception handler will
try to save registers starting from kernelsp, which is 0.
NESTED(kernel_entry, 16, sp)
* Stack for kernel and init, current variable
la $28, init_task_union
addiu t0, $28, KERNEL_STACK_SIZE-32
subu sp, t0, 4*SZREG
sw t0, kernelsp /* <-- this is going to get overwritten
below when bss
is cleared... [srs] */
/* The firmware/bootloader passes argc/argp/envp
* to us as arguments. But clear bss first because
* the romvec and other important info is stored there
* by prom_init().
la t0, _edata /* <-- here is the code that eventually
kernelsp [srs] */
sw zero, (t0)
la t1, (_end - 4)
addiu t0, 4
bne t0, t1, 1b
sw zero, (t0)