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/Documentation/watchdog/watchdog-api.txt

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  1The Linux Watchdog driver API.
  2
  3Copyright 2002 Christer Weingel <wingel@nano-system.com>
  4
  5Some parts of this document are copied verbatim from the sbc60xxwdt
  6driver which is (c) Copyright 2000 Jakob Oestergaard <jakob@ostenfeld.dk>
  7
  8This document describes the state of the Linux 2.4.18 kernel.
  9
 10Introduction:
 11
 12A Watchdog Timer (WDT) is a hardware circuit that can reset the
 13computer system in case of a software fault.  You probably knew that
 14already.
 15
 16Usually a userspace daemon will notify the kernel watchdog driver via the
 17/dev/watchdog special device file that userspace is still alive, at
 18regular intervals.  When such a notification occurs, the driver will
 19usually tell the hardware watchdog that everything is in order, and
 20that the watchdog should wait for yet another little while to reset
 21the system.  If userspace fails (RAM error, kernel bug, whatever), the
 22notifications cease to occur, and the hardware watchdog will reset the
 23system (causing a reboot) after the timeout occurs.
 24
 25The Linux watchdog API is a rather AD hoc construction and different
 26drivers implement different, and sometimes incompatible, parts of it.
 27This file is an attempt to document the existing usage and allow
 28future driver writers to use it as a reference.
 29
 30The simplest API:
 31
 32All drivers support the basic mode of operation, where the watchdog
 33activates as soon as /dev/watchdog is opened and will reboot unless
 34the watchdog is pinged within a certain time, this time is called the
 35timeout or margin.  The simplest way to ping the watchdog is to write
 36some data to the device.  So a very simple watchdog daemon would look
 37like this:
 38
 39int main(int argc, const char *argv[]) {
 40	int fd=open("/dev/watchdog",O_WRONLY);
 41	if (fd==-1) {
 42		perror("watchdog");
 43		exit(1);
 44	}
 45	while(1) {
 46		write(fd, "\0", 1);
 47		sleep(10);
 48	}
 49}
 50
 51A more advanced driver could for example check that a HTTP server is
 52still responding before doing the write call to ping the watchdog.
 53
 54When the device is closed, the watchdog is disabled.  This is not
 55always such a good idea, since if there is a bug in the watchdog
 56daemon and it crashes the system will not reboot.  Because of this,
 57some of the drivers support the configuration option "Disable watchdog
 58shutdown on close", CONFIG_WATCHDOG_NOWAYOUT.  If it is set to Y when
 59compiling the kernel, there is no way of disabling the watchdog once
 60it has been started.  So, if the watchdog dameon crashes, the system
 61will reboot after the timeout has passed.
 62
 63Some other drivers will not disable the watchdog, unless a specific
 64magic character 'V' has been sent /dev/watchdog just before closing
 65the file.  If the userspace daemon closes the file without sending
 66this special character, the driver will assume that the daemon (and
 67userspace in general) died, and will stop pinging the watchdog without
 68disabling it first.  This will then cause a reboot.
 69
 70The ioctl API:
 71
 72All conforming drivers also support an ioctl API.
 73
 74Pinging the watchdog using an ioctl:
 75
 76All drivers that have an ioctl interface support at least one ioctl,
 77KEEPALIVE.  This ioctl does exactly the same thing as a write to the
 78watchdog device, so the main loop in the above program could be
 79replaced with:
 80
 81	while (1) {
 82		ioctl(fd, WDIOC_KEEPALIVE, 0);
 83		sleep(10);
 84	}
 85
 86the argument to the ioctl is ignored.
 87
 88Setting and getting the timeout:
 89
 90For some drivers it is possible to modify the watchdog timeout on the
 91fly with the SETTIMEOUT ioctl, those drivers have the WDIOF_SETTIMEOUT
 92flag set in their option field.  The argument is an integer
 93representing the timeout in seconds.  The driver returns the real
 94timeout used in the same variable, and this timeout might differ from
 95the requested one due to limitation of the hardware.
 96
 97    int timeout = 45;
 98    ioctl(fd, WDIOC_SETTIMEOUT, &timeout);
 99    printf("The timeout was set to %d seconds\n", timeout);
100
101This example might actually print "The timeout was set to 60 seconds"
102if the device has a granularity of minutes for its timeout.
103
104Starting with the Linux 2.4.18 kernel, it is possible to query the
105current timeout using the GETTIMEOUT ioctl.
106
107    ioctl(fd, WDIOC_GETTIMEOUT, &timeout);
108    printf("The timeout was is %d seconds\n", timeout);
109
110Envinronmental monitoring:
111
112All watchdog drivers are required return more information about the system,
113some do temperature, fan and power level monitoring, some can tell you
114the reason for the last reboot of the system.  The GETSUPPORT ioctl is
115available to ask what the device can do:
116
117	struct watchdog_info ident;
118	ioctl(fd, WDIOC_GETSUPPORT, &ident);
119
120the fields returned in the ident struct are:
121
122        identity		a string identifying the watchdog driver
123	firmware_version	the firmware version of the card if available
124	options			a flags describing what the device supports
125
126the options field can have the following bits set, and describes what
127kind of information that the GET_STATUS and GET_BOOT_STATUS ioctls can
128return.   [FIXME -- Is this correct?]
129
130	WDIOF_OVERHEAT		Reset due to CPU overheat
131
132The machine was last rebooted by the watchdog because the thermal limit was
133exceeded
134
135	WDIOF_FANFAULT		Fan failed
136
137A system fan monitored by the watchdog card has failed
138
139	WDIOF_EXTERN1		External relay 1
140
141External monitoring relay/source 1 was triggered. Controllers intended for
142real world applications include external monitoring pins that will trigger
143a reset.
144
145	WDIOF_EXTERN2		External relay 2
146
147External monitoring relay/source 2 was triggered
148
149	WDIOF_POWERUNDER	Power bad/power fault
150
151The machine is showing an undervoltage status
152
153	WDIOF_CARDRESET		Card previously reset the CPU
154
155The last reboot was caused by the watchdog card
156
157	WDIOF_POWEROVER		Power over voltage
158
159The machine is showing an overvoltage status. Note that if one level is
160under and one over both bits will be set - this may seem odd but makes
161sense.
162
163	WDIOF_KEEPALIVEPING	Keep alive ping reply
164
165The watchdog saw a keepalive ping since it was last queried.
166
167	WDIOF_SETTIMEOUT	Can set/get the timeout
168
169
170For those drivers that return any bits set in the option field, the
171GETSTATUS and GETBOOTSTATUS ioctls can be used to ask for the current
172status, and the status at the last reboot, respectively.  
173
174    int flags;
175    ioctl(fd, WDIOC_GETSTATUS, &flags);
176
177    or
178
179    ioctl(fd, WDIOC_GETBOOTSTATUS, &flags);
180
181Note that not all devices support these two calls, and some only
182support the GETBOOTSTATUS call.
183
184Some drivers can measure the temperature using the GETTEMP ioctl.  The
185returned value is the temperature in degrees farenheit.
186
187    int temperature;
188    ioctl(fd, WDIOC_GETTEMP, &temperature);
189
190Finally the SETOPTIONS ioctl can be used to control some aspects of
191the cards operation; right now the pcwd driver is the only one
192supporting thiss ioctl.
193
194    int options = 0;
195    ioctl(fd, WDIOC_SETOPTIONS, options);
196
197The following options are available:
198
199	WDIOS_DISABLECARD	Turn off the watchdog timer
200	WDIOS_ENABLECARD	Turn on the watchdog timer
201	WDIOS_TEMPPANIC		Kernel panic on temperature trip
202
203[FIXME -- better explanations]
204
205Implementations in the current drivers in the kernel tree:
206
207Here I have tried to summarize what the different drivers support and
208where they do strange things compared to the other drivers.
209
210acquirewdt.c -- Acquire Single Board Computer
211
212	This driver has a hardcoded timeout of 1 minute
213
214	Supports CONFIG_WATCHDOG_NOWAYOUT
215
216	GETSUPPORT returns KEEPALIVEPING.  GETSTATUS will return 1 if
217	the device is open, 0 if not.  [FIXME -- isn't this rather
218	silly?  To be able to use the ioctl, the device must be open
219	and so GETSTATUS will always return 1].
220
221advantechwdt.c -- Advantech Single Board Computer
222
223	Timeout that defaults to 60 seconds, supports SETTIMEOUT.
224
225	Supports CONFIG_WATCHDOG_NOWAYOUT
226
227	GETSUPPORT returns WDIOF_KEEPALIVEPING and WDIOF_SETTIMEOUT.
228	The GETSTATUS call returns if the device is open or not.
229	[FIXME -- silliness again?]
230	
231eurotechwdt.c -- Eurotech CPU-1220/1410
232
233	The timeout can be set using the SETTIMEOUT ioctl and defaults
234	to 60 seconds.
235
236	Also has a module parameter "ev", event type which controls
237	what should happen on a timeout, the string "int" or anything
238	else that causes a reboot.  [FIXME -- better description]
239
240	Supports CONFIG_WATCHDOG_NOWAYOUT
241
242	GETSUPPORT returns CARDRESET and WDIOF_SETTIMEOUT but
243	GETSTATUS is not supported and GETBOOTSTATUS just returns 0.
244
245i810-tco.c -- Intel 810 chipset
246
247	Also has support for a lot of other i8x0 stuff, but the
248	watchdog is one of the things.
249
250	The timeout is set using the module parameter "i810_margin",
251	which is in steps of 0.6 seconds where 2<i810_margin<64.  The
252	driver supports the SETTIMEOUT ioctl.
253
254	Supports CONFIG_WATCHDOG_NOWAYOUT.
255
256	GETSUPPORT returns WDIOF_SETTIMEOUT.  The GETSTATUS call
257	returns some kind of timer value which ist not compatible with
258	the other drivers.  GETBOOT status returns some kind of
259	hardware specific boot status.  [FIXME -- describe this]
260
261ib700wdt.c -- IB700 Single Board Computer
262
263	Default timeout of 30 seconds and the timeout is settable
264	using the SETTIMEOUT ioctl.  Note that only a few timeout
265	values are supported.
266
267	Supports CONFIG_WATCHDOG_NOWAYOUT
268
269	GETSUPPORT returns WDIOF_KEEPALIVEPING and WDIOF_SETTIMEOUT.
270	The GETSTATUS call returns if the device is open or not.
271	[FIXME -- silliness again?]
272
273machzwd.c -- MachZ ZF-Logic
274
275	Hardcoded timeout of 10 seconds
276
277	Has a module parameter "action" that controls what happens
278	when the timeout runs out which can be 0 = RESET (default), 
279	1 = SMI, 2 = NMI, 3 = SCI.
280
281	Supports CONFIG_WATCHDOG_NOWAYOUT and the magic character
282	'V' close handling.
283
284	GETSUPPORT returns WDIOF_KEEPALIVEPING, and the GETSTATUS call
285	returns if the device is open or not.  [FIXME -- silliness
286	again?]
287
288mixcomwd.c -- MixCom Watchdog
289
290	[FIXME -- I'm unable to tell what the timeout is]
291
292	Supports CONFIG_WATCHDOG_NOWAYOUT
293
294	GETSUPPORT returns WDIOF_KEEPALIVEPING, GETSTATUS returns if
295	the device is opened or not [FIXME -- I'm not really sure how
296	this works, there seems to be some magic connected to
297	CONFIG_WATCHDOG_NOWAYOUT]
298
299pcwd.c -- Berkshire PC Watchdog
300
301	Hardcoded timeout of 1.5 seconds
302
303	Supports CONFIG_WATCHDOG_NOWAYOUT
304
305	GETSUPPORT returns WDIOF_OVERHEAT|WDIOF_CARDRESET and both
306	GETSTATUS and GETBOOTSTATUS return something useful.
307
308	The SETOPTIONS call can be used to enable and disable the card
309	and to ask the driver to call panic if the system overheats.
310
311sbc60xxwdt.c -- 60xx Single Board Computer
312
313	Hardcoded timeout of 10 seconds
314
315	Does not support CONFIG_WATCHDOG_NOWAYOUT, but has the magic
316	character 'V' close handling.
317
318	No bits set in GETSUPPORT
319
320scx200.c -- National SCx200 CPUs
321
322	Not in the kernel yet.
323
324	The timeout is set using a module parameter "margin" which
325	defaults to 60 seconds.  The timeout can also be set using
326	SETTIMEOUT and read using GETTIMEOUT.
327
328	Supports a module parameter "nowayout" that is initialized
329	with the value of CONFIG_WATCHDOG_NOWAYOUT.  Also supports the
330	magic character 'V' handling.
331
332shwdt.c -- SuperH 3/4 processors
333
334	[FIXME -- I'm unable to tell what the timeout is]
335
336	Supports CONFIG_WATCHDOG_NOWAYOUT
337
338	GETSUPPORT returns WDIOF_KEEPALIVEPING, and the GETSTATUS call
339	returns if the device is open or not.  [FIXME -- silliness
340	again?]
341
342softdog.c -- Software watchdog
343
344	The timeout is set with the module parameter "soft_margin"
345	which defaults to 60 seconds, the timeout is also settable
346	using the SETTIMEOUT ioctl.
347
348	Supports CONFIG_WATCHDOG_NOWAYOUT
349
350	WDIOF_SETTIMEOUT bit set in GETSUPPORT
351
352w83877f_wdt.c -- W83877F Computer
353
354	Hardcoded timeout of 30 seconds
355
356	Does not support CONFIG_WATCHDOG_NOWAYOUT, but has the magic
357	character 'V' close handling.
358
359	No bits set in GETSUPPORT
360
361w83627hf_wdt.c -- w83627hf watchdog
362
363	Timeout that defaults to 60 seconds, supports SETTIMEOUT.
364
365	Supports CONFIG_WATCHDOG_NOWAYOUT
366
367	GETSUPPORT returns WDIOF_KEEPALIVEPING and WDIOF_SETTIMEOUT.
368	The GETSTATUS call returns if the device is open or not.
369
370wdt.c -- ICS WDT500/501 ISA and
371wdt_pci.c -- ICS WDT500/501 PCI
372
373	Default timeout of 60 seconds.  The timeout is also settable
374        using the SETTIMEOUT ioctl.
375
376	Supports CONFIG_WATCHDOG_NOWAYOUT
377
378	GETSUPPORT returns with bits set depending on the actual
379	card. The WDT501 supports a lot of external monitoring, the
380	WDT500 much less.
381
382wdt285.c -- Footbridge watchdog
383
384	The timeout is set with the module parameter "soft_margin"
385	which defaults to 60 seconds.  The timeout is also settable
386	using the SETTIMEOUT ioctl.
387
388	Does not support CONFIG_WATCHDOG_NOWAYOUT
389
390	WDIOF_SETTIMEOUT bit set in GETSUPPORT
391
392wdt977.c -- Netwinder W83977AF chip
393
394	Hardcoded timeout of 3 minutes
395
396	Supports CONFIG_WATCHDOG_NOWAYOUT
397
398	Does not support any ioctls at all.
399