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.. SPDX-License-Identifier: GPL-2.0
Management Component Transport Protocol (MCTP)
net/mctp/ contains protocol support for MCTP, as defined by DMTF standard
DSP0236. Physical interface drivers ("bindings" in the specification) are
provided in drivers/net/mctp/.
The core code provides a socket-based interface to send and receive MCTP
messages, through an AF_MCTP, SOCK_DGRAM socket.
Structure: interfaces & networks
The kernel models the local MCTP topology through two items: interfaces and
An interface (or "link") is an instance of an MCTP physical transport binding
(as defined by DSP0236, section 3.2.47), likely connected to a specific hardware
device. This is represented as a ``struct netdevice``.
A network defines a unique address space for MCTP endpoints by endpoint-ID
(described by DSP0236, section 3.2.31). A network has a user-visible identifier
to allow references from userspace. Route definitions are specific to one
Interfaces are associated with one network. A network may be associated with one
or more interfaces.
If multiple networks are present, each may contain endpoint IDs (EIDs) that are
also present on other networks.
Sockets API
Protocol definitions
MCTP uses ``AF_MCTP`` / ``PF_MCTP`` for the address- and protocol- families.
Since MCTP is message-based, only ``SOCK_DGRAM`` sockets are supported.
.. code-block:: C
int sd = socket(AF_MCTP, SOCK_DGRAM, 0);
The only (current) value for the ``protocol`` argument is 0.
As with all socket address families, source and destination addresses are
specified with a ``sockaddr`` type, with a single-byte endpoint address:
.. code-block:: C
typedef __u8 mctp_eid_t;
struct mctp_addr {
mctp_eid_t s_addr;
struct sockaddr_mctp {
__kernel_sa_family_t smctp_family;
unsigned int smctp_network;
struct mctp_addr smctp_addr;
__u8 smctp_type;
__u8 smctp_tag;
#define MCTP_NET_ANY 0x0
#define MCTP_ADDR_ANY 0xff
Syscall behaviour
The following sections describe the MCTP-specific behaviours of the standard
socket system calls. These behaviours have been chosen to map closely to the
existing sockets APIs.
``bind()`` : set local socket address
Sockets that receive incoming request packets will bind to a local address,
using the ``bind()`` syscall.
.. code-block:: C
struct sockaddr_mctp addr;
addr.smctp_family = AF_MCTP;
addr.smctp_network = MCTP_NET_ANY;
addr.smctp_addr.s_addr = MCTP_ADDR_ANY;
addr.smctp_type = MCTP_TYPE_PLDM;
addr.smctp_tag = MCTP_TAG_OWNER;
int rc = bind(sd, (struct sockaddr *)&addr, sizeof(addr));
This establishes the local address of the socket. Incoming MCTP messages that
match the network, address, and message type will be received by this socket.
The reference to 'incoming' is important here; a bound socket will only receive
messages with the TO bit set, to indicate an incoming request message, rather
than a response.
The ``smctp_tag`` value will configure the tags accepted from the remote side of
this socket. Given the above, the only valid value is ``MCTP_TAG_OWNER``, which
will result in remotely "owned" tags being routed to this socket. Since
``MCTP_TAG_OWNER`` is set, the 3 least-significant bits of ``smctp_tag`` are not
used; callers must set them to zero.
A ``smctp_network`` value of ``MCTP_NET_ANY`` will configure the socket to
receive incoming packets from any locally-connected network. A specific network
value will cause the socket to only receive incoming messages from that network.
The ``smctp_addr`` field specifies a local address to bind to. A value of
``MCTP_ADDR_ANY`` configures the socket to receive messages addressed to any
local destination EID.
The ``smctp_type`` field specifies which message types to receive. Only the
lower 7 bits of the type is matched on incoming messages (ie., the
most-significant IC bit is not part of the match). This results in the socket
receiving packets with and without a message integrity check footer.
``sendto()``, ``sendmsg()``, ``send()`` : transmit an MCTP message
An MCTP message is transmitted using one of the ``sendto()``, ``sendmsg()`` or
``send()`` syscalls. Using ``sendto()`` as the primary example:
.. code-block:: C
struct sockaddr_mctp addr;
char buf[14];
ssize_t len;
/* set message destination */
addr.smctp_family = AF_MCTP;
addr.smctp_network = 0;
addr.smctp_addr.s_addr = 8;
addr.smctp_tag = MCTP_TAG_OWNER;
addr.smctp_type = MCTP_TYPE_ECHO;
/* arbitrary message to send, with message-type header */
buf[0] = MCTP_TYPE_ECHO;
memcpy(buf + 1, "hello, world!", sizeof(buf) - 1);
len = sendto(sd, buf, sizeof(buf), 0,
(struct sockaddr_mctp *)&addr, sizeof(addr));
The network and address fields of ``addr`` define the remote address to send to.
If ``smctp_tag`` has the ``MCTP_TAG_OWNER``, the kernel will ignore any bits set
in ``MCTP_TAG_VALUE``, and generate a tag value suitable for the destination
EID. If ``MCTP_TAG_OWNER`` is not set, the message will be sent with the tag
value as specified. If a tag value cannot be allocated, the system call will
report an errno of ``EAGAIN``.
The application must provide the message type byte as the first byte of the
message buffer passed to ``sendto()``. If a message integrity check is to be
included in the transmitted message, it must also be provided in the message
buffer, and the most-significant bit of the message type byte must be 1.
The ``sendmsg()`` system call allows a more compact argument interface, and the
message buffer to be specified as a scatter-gather list. At present no ancillary
message types (used for the ``msg_control`` data passed to ``sendmsg()``) are
Transmitting a message on an unconnected socket with ``MCTP_TAG_OWNER``
specified will cause an allocation of a tag, if no valid tag is already
allocated for that destination. The (destination-eid,tag) tuple acts as an
implicit local socket address, to allow the socket to receive responses to this
outgoing message. If any previous allocation has been performed (to for a
different remote EID), that allocation is lost.
Sockets will only receive responses to requests they have sent (with TO=1) and
may only respond (with TO=0) to requests they have received.
``recvfrom()``, ``recvmsg()``, ``recv()`` : receive an MCTP message
An MCTP message can be received by an application using one of the
``recvfrom()``, ``recvmsg()``, or ``recv()`` system calls. Using ``recvfrom()``
as the primary example:
.. code-block:: C
struct sockaddr_mctp addr;
socklen_t addrlen;
char buf[14];
ssize_t len;
addrlen = sizeof(addr);
len = recvfrom(sd, buf, sizeof(buf), 0,
(struct sockaddr_mctp *)&addr, &addrlen);
/* We can expect addr to describe an MCTP address */
assert(addrlen >= sizeof(buf));
assert(addr.smctp_family == AF_MCTP);
printf("received %zd bytes from remote EID %d\n", rc, addr.smctp_addr);
The address argument to ``recvfrom`` and ``recvmsg`` is populated with the
remote address of the incoming message, including tag value (this will be needed
in order to reply to the message).
The first byte of the message buffer will contain the message type byte. If an
integrity check follows the message, it will be included in the received buffer.
The ``recv()`` system call behaves in a similar way, but does not provide a
remote address to the application. Therefore, these are only useful if the
remote address is already known, or the message does not require a reply.
Like the send calls, sockets will only receive responses to requests they have
sent (TO=1) and may only respond (TO=0) to requests they have received.
Kernel internals
There are a few possible packet flows in the MCTP stack:
1. local TX to remote endpoint, message <= MTU::
-> mctp_local_output()
: route lookup
-> rt->output() (== mctp_route_output)
-> dev_queue_xmit()
2. local TX to remote endpoint, message > MTU::
-> mctp_local_output()
-> mctp_do_fragment_route()
: creates packet-sized skbs. For each new skb:
-> rt->output() (== mctp_route_output)
-> dev_queue_xmit()
3. remote TX to local endpoint, single-packet message::
: route lookup
-> rt->output() (== mctp_route_input)
: sk_key lookup
-> sock_queue_rcv_skb()
4. remote TX to local endpoint, multiple-packet message::
: route lookup
-> rt->output() (== mctp_route_input)
: sk_key lookup
: stores skb in struct sk_key->reasm_head
: route lookup
-> rt->output() (== mctp_route_input)
: sk_key lookup
: finds existing reassembly in sk_key->reasm_head
: appends new fragment
-> sock_queue_rcv_skb()
Key refcounts
* keys are refed by:
- a skb: during route output, stored in ``skb->cb``.
- netns and sock lists.
* keys can be associated with a device, in which case they hold a
reference to the dev (set through ``key->dev``, counted through
``dev->key_count``). Multiple keys can reference the device.