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Re: [patch 29/29] initrd: Fix virtual/physical mix-up in overwrite test

To: Atsushi Nemoto <>
Subject: Re: [patch 29/29] initrd: Fix virtual/physical mix-up in overwrite test
From: Geert Uytterhoeven <>
Date: Fri, 25 Jul 2008 21:22:20 +0200 (CEST)
In-reply-to: <>
Original-recipient: rfc822;
References: <20080717191758.556975996@mail.of.borg> <> <Pine.LNX.4.64.0807242032430.701@anakin> <>
On Sat, 26 Jul 2008, Atsushi Nemoto wrote:
> On Thu, 24 Jul 2008 20:49:27 +0200 (CEST), Geert Uytterhoeven 
> <> wrote:
> > > Because an argument of mips virt_to_phys() is an pointer and
> > > initrd_start is unsigned long.  It seems most (all?) arch's
> > > virt_to_phys() casts its argument to unsigned long internally.  Should
> > > mips follow?
> > 
> > Alternatively, as initrd_start is really a virtual kernel address,
> > perhaps it should be changed from unsigned long to void * instead?
> > 
> > It's cast to `void *' in several place. arch/xtensa/kernel/setup.c even
> > has `extern void *initrd_start' to fool around this?
> I agree it would make code cleaner, but the conversion might be
> somewhat hard.
> If we converted initrd_start (and initrd_end) to void *, we should
> also convert INITRD_START, free_initrd_mem(), some other arch specific
> local/global variables and printk format strings.  Also code like
> "initrd_start & PAGE_MASK" should be changed too...
> Is it worth to do?

Maybe not.

Several free_initrd_mem() implementations (including the mips one, which
has to call virt_to_phys()) just cast the parameters to `void *'.
Others call free_area() or free_init_pages() (other callers of these have to
cast `void *' to `unsigned long'!).

Further, we have:

    memset((void *)initrd_start, 0, initrd_end - initrd_start);

I agree `unsigned long' is nicer for `for (; start < end; start +=
PAGE_SIZE)' loops and `initrd_start & PAGE_MASK' (don't we have a macro
for that?), though.

So there's definitely room for a small janitors project...

Probably the best short term solution is to make mips' virt_to_page()
cast to `unsigned long' internally, like the other platforms.

Alternatively, you can try the patch below (compile-tested on mips :-),
which does add a cast to the generic code.

Subject: [PATCH] initrd: cast `initrd_start' to `void *'

commit fb6624ebd912e3d6907ca6490248e73368223da9 (initrd: Fix virtual/physical
mix-up in overwrite test) introduced the compiler warning below on mips,
as its virt_to_page() doesn't cast the passed address to unsigned long
internally, unlike on most other architectures:

init/main.c: In function ‘start_kernel’:
init/main.c:633: warning: passing argument 1 of ‘virt_to_phys’ makes pointer 
from integer without a cast
init/main.c:636: warning: passing argument 1 of ‘virt_to_phys’ makes pointer 
from integer without a cast

For now, kill the warning by explicitly casting initrd_start to `void *', as
that's the type it should really be.

Noticed by Atsushi Nemoto <>

Signed-off-by: Geert Uytterhoeven <>

diff --git a/init/main.c b/init/main.c
index 756eca4..525b2ac 100644
--- a/init/main.c
+++ b/init/main.c
@@ -630,10 +630,11 @@ asmlinkage void __init start_kernel(void)
        if (initrd_start && !initrd_below_start_ok &&
-           page_to_pfn(virt_to_page(initrd_start)) < min_low_pfn) {
+           page_to_pfn(virt_to_page((void *)initrd_start)) < min_low_pfn) {
                printk(KERN_CRIT "initrd overwritten (0x%08lx < 0x%08lx) - "
                    "disabling it.\n",
-                   page_to_pfn(virt_to_page(initrd_start)), min_low_pfn);
+                   page_to_pfn(virt_to_page((void *)initrd_start)),
+                   min_low_pfn);
                initrd_start = 0;



Geert Uytterhoeven -- There's lots of Linux beyond ia32 --

In personal conversations with technical people, I call myself a hacker. But
when I'm talking to journalists I just say "programmer" or something like that.
                                                            -- Linus Torvalds
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