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.. SPDX-License-Identifier: GPL-2.0
phylink is a mechanism to support hot-pluggable networking modules
directly connected to a MAC without needing to re-initialise the
adapter on hot-plug events.
phylink supports conventional phylib-based setups, fixed link setups
and SFP (Small Formfactor Pluggable) modules at present.
Modes of operation
phylink has several modes of operation, which depend on the firmware
1. PHY mode
In PHY mode, we use phylib to read the current link settings from
the PHY, and pass them to the MAC driver. We expect the MAC driver
to configure exactly the modes that are specified without any
negotiation being enabled on the link.
2. Fixed mode
Fixed mode is the same as PHY mode as far as the MAC driver is
3. In-band mode
In-band mode is used with 802.3z, SGMII and similar interface modes,
and we are expecting to use and honor the in-band negotiation or
control word sent across the serdes channel.
By example, what this means is that:
.. code-block:: none
&eth {
phy = <&phy>;
phy-mode = "sgmii";
does not use in-band SGMII signalling. The PHY is expected to follow
exactly the settings given to it in its :c:func:`mac_config` function.
The link should be forced up or down appropriately in the
:c:func:`mac_link_up` and :c:func:`mac_link_down` functions.
.. code-block:: none
&eth {
managed = "in-band-status";
phy = <&phy>;
phy-mode = "sgmii";
uses in-band mode, where results from the PHY's negotiation are passed
to the MAC through the SGMII control word, and the MAC is expected to
acknowledge the control word. The :c:func:`mac_link_up` and
:c:func:`mac_link_down` functions must not force the MAC side link
up and down.
Rough guide to converting a network driver to sfp/phylink
This guide briefly describes how to convert a network driver from
phylib to the sfp/phylink support. Please send patches to improve
this documentation.
1. Optionally split the network driver's phylib update function into
two parts dealing with link-down and link-up. This can be done as
a separate preparation commit.
An older example of this preparation can be found in git commit
fc548b991fb0, although this was splitting into three parts; the
link-up part now includes configuring the MAC for the link settings.
Please see :c:func:`mac_link_up` for more information on this.
2. Replace::
select FIXED_PHY
select PHYLIB
select PHYLINK
in the driver's Kconfig stanza.
3. Add::
#include <linux/phylink.h>
to the driver's list of header files.
4. Add::
struct phylink *phylink;
struct phylink_config phylink_config;
to the driver's private data structure. We shall refer to the
driver's private data pointer as ``priv`` below, and the driver's
private data structure as ``struct foo_priv``.
5. Replace the following functions:
.. flat-table::
:header-rows: 1
:widths: 1 1
:stub-columns: 0
* - Original function
- Replacement function
* - phy_start(phydev)
- phylink_start(priv->phylink)
* - phy_stop(phydev)
- phylink_stop(priv->phylink)
* - phy_mii_ioctl(phydev, ifr, cmd)
- phylink_mii_ioctl(priv->phylink, ifr, cmd)
* - phy_ethtool_get_wol(phydev, wol)
- phylink_ethtool_get_wol(priv->phylink, wol)
* - phy_ethtool_set_wol(phydev, wol)
- phylink_ethtool_set_wol(priv->phylink, wol)
* - phy_disconnect(phydev)
- phylink_disconnect_phy(priv->phylink)
Please note that some of these functions must be called under the
rtnl lock, and will warn if not. This will normally be the case,
except if these are called from the driver suspend/resume paths.
6. Add/replace ksettings get/set methods with:
.. code-block:: c
static int foo_ethtool_set_link_ksettings(struct net_device *dev,
const struct ethtool_link_ksettings *cmd)
struct foo_priv *priv = netdev_priv(dev);
return phylink_ethtool_ksettings_set(priv->phylink, cmd);
static int foo_ethtool_get_link_ksettings(struct net_device *dev,
struct ethtool_link_ksettings *cmd)
struct foo_priv *priv = netdev_priv(dev);
return phylink_ethtool_ksettings_get(priv->phylink, cmd);
7. Replace the call to::
phy_dev = of_phy_connect(dev, node, link_func, flags, phy_interface);
and associated code with a call to::
err = phylink_of_phy_connect(priv->phylink, node, flags);
For the most part, ``flags`` can be zero; these flags are passed to
the of_phy_attach() inside this function call if a PHY is specified
in the DT node ``node``.
``node`` should be the DT node which contains the network phy property,
fixed link properties, and will also contain the sfp property.
The setup of fixed links should also be removed; these are handled
internally by phylink.
of_phy_connect() was also passed a function pointer for link updates.
This function is replaced by a different form of MAC updates
described below in (8).
Manipulation of the PHY's supported/advertised happens within phylink
based on the validate callback, see below in (8).
Note that the driver no longer needs to store the ``phy_interface``,
and also note that ``phy_interface`` becomes a dynamic property,
just like the speed, duplex etc. settings.
Finally, note that the MAC driver has no direct access to the PHY
anymore; that is because in the phylink model, the PHY can be
8. Add a :c:type:`struct phylink_mac_ops <phylink_mac_ops>` instance to
the driver, which is a table of function pointers, and implement
these functions. The old link update function for
:c:func:`of_phy_connect` becomes three methods: :c:func:`mac_link_up`,
:c:func:`mac_link_down`, and :c:func:`mac_config`. If step 1 was
performed, then the functionality will have been split there.
It is important that if in-band negotiation is used,
:c:func:`mac_link_up` and :c:func:`mac_link_down` do not prevent the
in-band negotiation from completing, since these functions are called
when the in-band link state changes - otherwise the link will never
come up.
The :c:func:`validate` method should mask the supplied supported mask,
and ``state->advertising`` with the supported ethtool link modes.
These are the new ethtool link modes, so bitmask operations must be
used. For an example, see drivers/net/ethernet/marvell/mvneta.c.
The :c:func:`mac_link_state` method is used to read the link state
from the MAC, and report back the settings that the MAC is currently
using. This is particularly important for in-band negotiation
methods such as 1000base-X and SGMII.
The :c:func:`mac_link_up` method is used to inform the MAC that the
link has come up. The call includes the negotiation mode and interface
for reference only. The finalised link parameters are also supplied
(speed, duplex and flow control/pause enablement settings) which
should be used to configure the MAC when the MAC and PCS are not
tightly integrated, or when the settings are not coming from in-band
The :c:func:`mac_config` method is used to update the MAC with the
requested state, and must avoid unnecessarily taking the link down
when making changes to the MAC configuration. This means the
function should modify the state and only take the link down when
absolutely necessary to change the MAC configuration. An example
of how to do this can be found in :c:func:`mvneta_mac_config` in
For further information on these methods, please see the inline
documentation in :c:type:`struct phylink_mac_ops <phylink_mac_ops>`.
9. Remove calls to of_parse_phandle() for the PHY,
of_phy_register_fixed_link() for fixed links etc. from the probe
function, and replace with:
.. code-block:: c
struct phylink *phylink;
priv-> = &;
priv->phylink_config.type = PHYLINK_NETDEV;
phylink = phylink_create(&priv->phylink_config, node, phy_mode, &phylink_ops);
if (IS_ERR(phylink)) {
err = PTR_ERR(phylink);
fail probe;
priv->phylink = phylink;
and arrange to destroy the phylink in the probe failure path as
appropriate and the removal path too by calling:
.. code-block:: c
10. Arrange for MAC link state interrupts to be forwarded into
phylink, via:
.. code-block:: c
phylink_mac_change(priv->phylink, link_is_up);
where ``link_is_up`` is true if the link is currently up or false
otherwise. If a MAC is unable to provide these interrupts, then
it should set ``priv->phylink_config.pcs_poll = true;`` in step 9.
11. Verify that the driver does not call::
as these will interfere with phylink's tracking of the link state,
and cause phylink to omit calls via the :c:func:`mac_link_up` and
:c:func:`mac_link_down` methods.
Network drivers should call phylink_stop() and phylink_start() via their
suspend/resume paths, which ensures that the appropriate
:c:type:`struct phylink_mac_ops <phylink_mac_ops>` methods are called
as necessary.
For information describing the SFP cage in DT, please see the binding
documentation in the kernel source tree