MPIPL (aka FADUMP) Overview

Memory Preserving Initial Program Load (MPIPL) is a Power feature where the contents of memory are preserved while the system reboots after a failure. This is accomplished by the firmware/OS publishing ranges of memory to be preserved across boots.


In the OPAL context, OPAL and host Linux communicate the memory ranges to be preserved via source descriptor tables in the HDAT (MDST and MDDT table inside SPIRAH). Host Linux can register/unregister using OPAL_MPIPL_UPDATE API (see OPAL MPIPL APIs).

Initiating dump

Whenever Linux crashes, it makes reboot2 OPAL call with type as MPIPL. (see OPAL_CEC_REBOOT and OPAL_CEC_REBOOT2). Depending on sevice processor type OPAL makes appropriate call to initiate MPIPL. On FSP system we call attn instruction (see __trigger_attn()) and on BMC system we call SBE S0 interrupt (see p9_sbe_terminate()).

Dump collection

Hostboot then re-IPLs the machine taking care to copy over contents of the source memory to a alternate memory locations as specified in descriptor table. Hostboot publishes this information in the result descriptor tables (MDRT table inside SPIRAH structure). The success/failure of the copy is indicated by a results table.

SBE/Hostboot also does the requisite procedures to gather hardware register states for all active threads at the time of the crash.

MPIPL boot

On MPIPL boot, OPAL adds device tree entry (/ibm,opal/dump/mpipl-boot) to indicate its MPIPL boot. Kernel will use OPAL_MPIPL_QUERY_TAG API (OPAL MPIPL APIs) to retrieve metadata tag. Kernel then uses its existing logic (kdump/fadump) to write out a core dump of OPAL and Linux kernel in a format that GDB and crash can understand.

Device tree

We create new device tree node (/ibm,opal/dump) to pass dump details to Linux kernel from OPAL (see Dump (MPIPL) Device Tree Binding).