Enable vUART Configurations

Introduction

The virtual universal asynchronous receiver/transmitter (vUART) supports two functions: one is the console, the other is communication. vUART only works on a single function.

Currently, only two vUART configurations are added to the misc/vm_configs/scenarios/<xxx>/vm_configuration.c file, but you can change the value in it.

.vuart[0] = {
        .type = VUART_LEGACY_PIO,
        .addr.port_base = INVALID_COM_BASE,
},
.vuart[1] = {
        .type = VUART_LEGACY_PIO,
        .addr.port_base = INVALID_COM_BASE,
}

vuart[0] is initiated as the console port.

vuart[1] is initiated as a communication port.

Console enable list

Scenarios

vm0

vm1

vm2

vm3

SDC

Service VM (vUART enable)

Post-launched

Post-launched

Hybrid

Pre-launched (Zephyr) (vUART enable)

Service VM (vUART enable)

Post-launched

Industry

Service VM (vUART enable)

Post-launched

Post-launched (vUART enable)

Post-launched

Logic_partition

Pre-launched (vUART enable)

Pre-launched RTVM (vUART enable)

Post-launched RTVM

How to configure a console port

To enable the console port for a VM, change only the port_base and irq. If the IRQ number is already in use in your system (cat /proc/interrupt), choose another IRQ number. If you set the .irq =0, the vUART will work in polling mode.

  • COM1_BASE (0x3F8) + COM1_IRQ(4)

  • COM2_BASE (0x2F8) + COM2_IRQ(3)

  • COM3_BASE (0x3E8) + COM3_IRQ(6)

  • COM4_BASE (0x2E8) + COM4_IRQ(7)

Example:

.vuart[0] = {
                     .type = VUART_LEGACY_PIO,
                     .addr.port_base = COM1_BASE,
                     .irq = COM1_IRQ,
             },

How to configure a communication port

To enable the communication port, configure vuart[1] in the two VMs that want to communicate.

The port_base and IRQ should differ from the vuart[0] in the same VM.

t_vuart.vm_id is the target VM’s vm_id, start from 0. (0 means VM0)

t_vuart.vuart_id is the target vuart index in the target VM. Start from 1. (1 means vuart[1])

Example:

/* VM0 */
...
/* VM1 */
.vuart[1] = {
                     .type = VUART_LEGACY_PIO,
                     .addr.port_base = COM2_BASE,
                     .irq = COM2_IRQ,
                     .t_vuart.vm_id = 2U,
                     .t_vuart.vuart_id = 1U,
             },
...
/* VM2 */
.vuart[1] = {
                     .type = VUART_LEGACY_PIO,
                     .addr.port_base = COM2_BASE,
                     .irq = COM2_IRQ,
                     .t_vuart.vm_id = 1U,
                     .t_vuart.vuart_id = 1U,
             },

Communication vUART enable list

Scenarios

vm0

vm1

vm2

vm3

SDC

Service VM

Post-launched

Post-launched

Hybrid

Pre-launched (Zephyr) (vUART enable COM2)

Service VM (vUART enable COM2)

Post-launched

Industry

Service VM (vUART enable COM2)

Post-launched

Post-launched RTVM (vUART enable COM2)

Post-launched

Logic_partition

Pre-launched

Pre-launched RTVM

Launch script

  • -s 1:0,lpc -l com1,stdio This option is only needed for WaaG and VxWorks (and also when using OVMF). They depend on the ACPI table, and only acrn-dm can provide the ACPI table for UART.

  • -B " ....,console=ttyS0, ..." Add this to the kernel-based system.

Test the communication port

After you have configured the communication port in hypervisor, you can access the corresponding port. For example, in Linux OS:

  1. With echo and cat

    On VM1: # cat /dev/ttyS1

    On VM2: # echo "test test" > /dev/ttyS1

    You can find the message from VM1 /dev/ttyS1.

    If you are not sure which one is the communication port, you can run dmesg | grep ttyS under the Linux shell to check the base address. If it matches what you have set in the vm_configuration.c file, it is the correct port.

  2. With Minicom

    Run minicom -D /dev/ttyS1 on both VM1 and VM2 and enter test in VM1’s Minicom. The message should appear in VM2’s Minicom. Disable flow control in Minicom.

  3. Limitations

    • The msg cannot be longer than 256 bytes.

    • This cannot be used to transfer files because flow control is

      not supported so data may be lost.

vUART design

Console vUART

../_images/vuart-config-1.png

Communication vUART (between VM0 and VM1)

../_images/vuart-config-2.png

COM port configurations for Post-Launched VMs

For a post-launched VM, the acrn-dm cmdline also provides a COM port configuration:

-s 1:0,lpc -l com1,stdio

This adds com1 (0x3f8) and com2 (0x2f8) modules in the Guest VM, including the ACPI info for these two ports.

Data Flows

Three different data flows exist based on how the post-launched VM is started, as shown in the diagram below:

  • Figure 1 data flow: The post-launched VM is started with the vUART enabled in the hypervisor configuration file only.

  • Figure 2 data flow: The post-launched VM is started with the acrn-dm cmdline of -s 1:0,lpc -l com1,stdio only.

  • Figure 3 data flow: The post-launched VM is started with both vUART enabled and the acrn-dm cmdline of -s 1:0,lpc -l com1,stdio.

../_images/vuart-config-post-launch.png

Note

For operating systems such as VxWorks and Windows that depend on the ACPI table to probe the UART driver, adding the vUART configuration in the hypervisor is not sufficient. Currently, we recommend that you use the configuration in the figure 3 data flow. This may be refined in the future.

Use PCI-vUART

PCI Interface of ACRN vUART

When you set vuart[0] and vuart[1], the ACRN hypervisor emulates virtual legacy serial devices (I/O port and IRQ) for VMs. So vuart[0] and vuart[1] are legacy vUARTs. ACRN hypervisor can also emulate virtual PCI serial devices (BDF, MMIO registers and MSIX capability). These virtual PCI serial devices are called PCI-vUART, and have an advantage in device enumeration for the guest OS. It is easy to add new PCI-vUART ports to a VM.

Index of vUART

ACRN hypervisor supports PCI-vUARTs and legacy vUARTs as ACRN vUARTs. Each vUART port has its own vuart_idx. ACRN hypervisor supports up to 8 vUART for each VM, from vuart_idx=0 to vuart_idx=7. Suppose we use vUART0 for a port with vuart_idx=0, vUART1 for vuart_idx=1, and so on.

Please pay attention to these points:

  • vUART0 is the console port, vUART1-vUART7 are inter-VM communication ports.

  • Each communication port must set the connection to another communication vUART port of another VM.

  • When legacy vuart[0] is available, it is vUART0. A PCI-vUART can’t be vUART0 unless vuart[0] is not set.

  • When legacy vuart[1] is available, it is vUART1. PCI-vUART can’t be vUART1 unless vuart[1] is not set.

Setup ACRN vUART Using Configuration Tools

When you set up ACRN VM configurations with PCI-vUART, it is better to use the ACRN configuration tools because of all the PCI resources required: BDF number, address and size of mmio registers, and address and size of MSIX entry tables. These settings can’t conflict with another PCI device. Furthermore, whether PCI-vUART can use vuart_idx=0 and vuart_idx=1 depends on legacy vUART settings. Configuration tools will override your settings in How to Configure a Console Port and How to Configure a Communication Port.

You can configure both Legacy vUART and PCI-vUART in ./misc/vm_configs/xmls/config-xmls/<board>/<scenario>.xml. For example, if VM0 has a legacy vUART0 and a PCI-vUART1, VM1 has no legacy vUART but has a PCI-vUART0 and a PCI-vUART1, VM0’s PCI-vUART1 and VM1’s PCI-vUART1 are connected to each other. You should configure then like this:

<vm id="0">
   <legacy_vuart id="0">
     <type>VUART_LEGACY_PIO</type>     /* vuart[0] is console port */
     <base>COM1_BASE</base>            /* vuart[0] is used */
     <irq>COM1_IRQ</irq>
   </legacy_vuart>
   <legacy_vuart id="1">
     <type>VUART_LEGACY_PIO</type>
     <base>INVALID_COM_BASE</base>     /* vuart[1] is not used */
   </legacy_vuart>
   <console_vuart id="0">
     <base>INVALID_PCI_BASE</base>     /* PCI-vUART0 can't be used, because vuart[0] */
   </console_vuart>
   <communication_vuart id="1">
     <base>PCI_VUART</base>            /* PCI-vUART1 is communication port, connect to vUART1 of VM1 */
     <target_vm_id>1</target_vm_id>
     <target_uart_id>1</target_uart_id>
   </communication_vuart>
</vm>

<vm id="1">
   <legacy_vuart id="0">
     <type>VUART_LEGACY_PIO</type>
     <base>INVALID_COM_BASE</base>     /* vuart[0] is not used */
   </legacy_vuart>
   <legacy_vuart id="1">
     <type>VUART_LEGACY_PIO</type>
     <base>INVALID_COM_BASE</base>     /* vuart[1] is not used */
   </legacy_vuart>
   <console_vuart id="0">
     <base>PCI_VUART</base>            /* PCI-vUART0 is console port */
   </console_vuart>
   <communication_vuart id="1">
     <base>PCI_VUART</base>            /* PCI-vUART1 is communication port, connect to vUART1 of VM0 */
     <target_vm_id>0</target_vm_id>
     <target_uart_id>1</target_uart_id>
   </communication_vuart>
</vm>

The ACRN vUART related XML fields:

  • id in <legacy_vuart>, value of vuart_idx, id=0 is for legacy vuart[0] configuration, id=1 is for vuart[1].

  • type in <legacy_vuart>, type is always VUART_LEGACY_PIO for legacy vUART.

  • base in <legacy_vuart>, if use the legacy vUART port, set COM1_BASE for vuart[0], set COM2_BASE for vuart[1]. INVALID_COM_BASE means do not use the legacy vUART port.

  • irq in <legacy_vuart>, if you use the legacy vUART port, set COM1_IRQ for vuart[0], set COM2_IRQ for vuart[1].

  • id in <console_vuart> and <communication_vuart>, vuart_idx for PCI-vUART

  • base in <console_vuart> and <communication_vuart>, PCI_VUART means use this PCI-vUART, INVALID_PCI_BASE means do not use this PCI-VUART.

  • target_vm_id and target_uart_id, connection settings for this vUART port.

Run the command to build ACRN with this XML configuration file:

make BOARD_FILE=$PWD/misc/acrn-config/xmls/board-xmls/<board>.xml \
   SCENARIO_FILE=$PWD/misc/acrn-config/xmls/config-xmls/<board>/<scenario>.xml

The configuration tools will test your settings, and check vUART Rules for compilation issue. After compiling, you can find ./misc/vm_configs/scenarios/<scenario>/<board>/pci_dev.c has been changed by the configuration tools based on the XML settings, something like:

struct acrn_vm_pci_dev_config vm0_pci_devs[] = {
    {
       .emu_type = PCI_DEV_TYPE_HVEMUL,
       .vbdf.bits = {.b = 0x00U, .d = 0x05U, .f = 0x00U},
       .vdev_ops = &vmcs9900_ops,
       .vbar_base[0] = 0x80003000,
       .vbar_base[1] = 0x80004000,
       .vuart_idx = 1,               /* PCI-vUART1 of VM0 */
       .t_vuart.vm_id = 1U,          /* connected to VM1's vUART1 */
       .t_vuart.vuart_id = 1U,
    },
 }

This struct shows a PCI-vUART with vuart_idx=1, BDF 00:05.0, its a PCI-vUART1 of VM0, and it is connected to VM1’s vUART1 port. When VM0 wants to communicate with VM1, it can use /dev/ttyS*, the character device file of VM0’s PCI-vUART1. Usually, legacy vuart[0] is ttyS0 in VM, and vuart[1] is ttyS1. So we hope PCI-vUART0 is ttyS0, PCI-VUART1 is ttyS1 and so on through PCI-vUART7 is ttyS7, but that is not true. We can use BDF to identify PCI-vUART in VM.

If you run dmesg | grep tty at a VM shell, you may see:

[    1.276891] 0000:00:05.0: ttyS4 at MMIO 0xa1414000 (irq = 124, base_baud = 115200) is a 16550A

We know for VM0 guest OS, ttyS4 has BDF 00:05.0 and is PCI-vUART1. VM0 can communicate with VM1 by reading from or writing to /dev/ttyS4.

If VM0 and VM1 are pre-launched VMs, or Service VM, ACRN hypervisor will create PCI-vUART virtual devices automatically. For post-launched VMs, created by acrn-dm, an additional acrn-dm option is needed to create a PCI-vUART virtual device:

-s <slot>,uart,vuart_idx:<val>

Kernel Config for Legacy vUART

When ACRN hypervisor passthroughs a local APIC to a VM, there is IRQ injection issue for legacy vUART. The kernel driver must work in polling mode to avoid the problem. The VM kernel should have these config symbols set:

CONFIG_SERIAL_8250_EXTENDED=y
CONFIG_SERIAL_8250_DETECT_IRQ=y

Kernel Cmdline for PCI-vUART console

When an ACRN VM does not have a legacy vuart[0] but has a PCI-vUART0, you can use PCI-vUART0 for VM serial input/output. Check which tty has the BDF of PCI-vUART0; usually it is not /dev/ttyS0. For example, if /dev/ttyS4 is PCI-vUART0, you must set console=/dev/ttyS4 in the kernel cmdline.