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Overriding ACPI tables via initrd
=================================

1) Introduction (What is this about)
2) What is this for
3) How does it work
4) References (Where to retrieve userspace tools)

1) What is this about
---------------------

If the ACPI_INITRD_TABLE_OVERRIDE compile option is true, it is possible to
override nearly any ACPI table provided by the BIOS with an instrumented,
modified one.

For a full list of ACPI tables that can be overridden, take a look at
the char *table_sigs[MAX_ACPI_SIGNATURE]; definition in drivers/acpi/osl.c
All ACPI tables iasl (Intel's ACPI compiler and disassembler) knows should
be overridable, except:
   - ACPI_SIG_RSDP (has a signature of 6 bytes)
   - ACPI_SIG_FACS (does not have an ordinary ACPI table header)
Both could get implemented as well.


2) What is this for
-------------------

Please keep in mind that this is a debug option.
ACPI tables should not get overridden for productive use.
If BIOS ACPI tables are overridden the kernel will get tainted with the
TAINT_OVERRIDDEN_ACPI_TABLE flag.
Complain to your platform/BIOS vendor if you find a bug which is so sever
that a workaround is not accepted in the Linux kernel.

Still, it can and should be enabled in any kernel, because:
  - There is no functional change with not instrumented initrds
  - It provides a powerful feature to easily debug and test ACPI BIOS table
    compatibility with the Linux kernel.


3) How does it work
-------------------

# Extract the machine's ACPI tables:
cd /tmp
acpidump >acpidump
acpixtract -a acpidump
# Disassemble, modify and recompile them:
iasl -d *.dat
# For example add this statement into a _PRT (PCI Routing Table) function
# of the DSDT:
Store("HELLO WORLD", debug)
iasl -sa dsdt.dsl
# Add the raw ACPI tables to an uncompressed cpio archive.
# They must be put into a /kernel/firmware/acpi directory inside the
# cpio archive.
# The uncompressed cpio archive must be the first.
# Other, typically compressed cpio archives, must be
# concatenated on top of the uncompressed one.
mkdir -p kernel/firmware/acpi
cp dsdt.aml kernel/firmware/acpi
# A maximum of: #define ACPI_OVERRIDE_TABLES 10
# tables are  currently allowed (see osl.c):
iasl -sa facp.dsl
iasl -sa ssdt1.dsl
cp facp.aml kernel/firmware/acpi
cp ssdt1.aml kernel/firmware/acpi
# Create the uncompressed cpio archive and concatenate the original initrd
# on top:
find kernel | cpio -H newc --create > /boot/instrumented_initrd
cat /boot/initrd >>/boot/instrumented_initrd
# reboot with increased acpi debug level, e.g. boot params:
acpi.debug_level=0x2 acpi.debug_layer=0xFFFFFFFF
# and check your syslog:
[    1.268089] ACPI: PCI Interrupt Routing Table [\_SB_.PCI0._PRT]
[    1.272091] [ACPI Debug]  String [0x0B] "HELLO WORLD"

iasl is able to disassemble and recompile quite a lot different,
also static ACPI tables.


4) Where to retrieve userspace tools
------------------------------------

iasl and acpixtract are part of Intel's ACPICA project:
http://acpica.org/
and should be packaged by distributions (for example in the acpica package
on SUSE).

acpidump can be found in Len Browns pmtools:
ftp://kernel.org/pub/linux/kernel/people/lenb/acpi/utils/pmtools/acpidump
This tool is also part of the acpica package on SUSE.
Alternatively, used ACPI tables can be retrieved via sysfs in latest kernels:
/sys/firmware/acpi/tables

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