Commit fc5fb2c6 authored by Pavel Machek's avatar Pavel Machek Committed by Linus Torvalds
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[PATCH] swsusp: documentation updates

This updates documentation and fixes pointers in MAINTAINERS file.

Signed-off-by: default avatarPavel Machek <>
Signed-off-by: default avatarAndrew Morton <>
Signed-off-by: default avatarLinus Torvalds <>
parent 5a72e04d
......@@ -164,11 +164,11 @@ place where the thread is safe to be frozen (no kernel semaphores
should be held at that point and it must be safe to sleep there), and
if (current->flags & PF_FREEZE)
If the thread is needed for writing the image to storage, you should
instead set the PF_NOFREEZE process flag when creating the thread.
instead set the PF_NOFREEZE process flag when creating the thread (and
be very carefull).
Q: What is the difference between between "platform", "shutdown" and
......@@ -233,3 +233,81 @@ A: Try running
cat `cat /proc/[0-9]*/maps | grep / | sed 's:.* /:/:' | sort -u` > /dev/null
after resume. swapoff -a; swapon -a may also be usefull.
Q: What happens to devices during swsusp? They seem to be resumed
during system suspend?
A: That's correct. We need to resume them if we want to write image to
disk. Whole sequence goes like
Suspend part
running system, user asks for suspend-to-disk
user processes are stopped
suspend(PMSG_FREEZE): devices are frozen so that they don't interfere
with state snapshot
state snapshot: copy of whole used memory is taken with interrupts disabled
resume(): devices are woken up so that we can write image to swap
write image to swap
suspend(PMSG_SUSPEND): suspend devices so that we can power off
turn the power off
Resume part
(is actually pretty similar)
running system, user asks for suspend-to-disk
user processes are stopped (in common case there are none, but with resume-from-initrd, noone knows)
read image from disk
suspend(PMSG_FREEZE): devices are frozen so that they don't interfere
with image restoration
image restoration: rewrite memory with image
resume(): devices are woken up so that system can continue
thaw all user processes
Q: What is this 'Encrypt suspend image' for?
A: First of all: it is not a replacement for dm-crypt encrypted swap.
It cannot protect your computer while it is suspended. Instead it does
protect from leaking sensitive data after resume from suspend.
Think of the following: you suspend while an application is running
that keeps sensitive data in memory. The application itself prevents
the data from being swapped out. Suspend, however, must write these
data to swap to be able to resume later on. Without suspend encryption
your sensitive data are then stored in plaintext on disk. This means
that after resume your sensitive data are accessible to all
applications having direct access to the swap device which was used
for suspend. If you don't need swap after resume these data can remain
on disk virtually forever. Thus it can happen that your system gets
broken in weeks later and sensitive data which you thought were
encrypted and protected are retrieved and stolen from the swap device.
To prevent this situation you should use 'Encrypt suspend image'.
During suspend a temporary key is created and this key is used to
encrypt the data written to disk. When, during resume, the data was
read back into memory the temporary key is destroyed which simply
means that all data written to disk during suspend are then
inaccessible so they can't be stolen later on. The only thing that
you must then take care of is that you call 'mkswap' for the swap
partition used for suspend as early as possible during regular
boot. This asserts that any temporary key from an oopsed suspend or
from a failed or aborted resume is erased from the swap device.
As a rule of thumb use encrypted swap to protect your data while your
system is shut down or suspended. Additionally use the encrypted
suspend image to prevent sensitive data from being stolen after
......@@ -2115,9 +2115,7 @@ S: Maintained
P: Pavel Machek
S: Maintained
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