VintageNet.PowerManager behaviour (vintage_net v0.11.1) View Source

This is a behaviour for implementing platform-specific power management.

From VintageNet's point of view, network devices have the following lifecycle:

off --->  on ---> powering-off ---> off

Power management does not necessarily mean controlling the power. The end effect should be similar, since VintageNet will try to toggle the power off and on if the network interface doesn't seem to be working. For example, unloading the kernel module for the network device on "power off" and loading it on "power on" may have the desired effect of getting a network interface unstuck.

When a device is "on", VintageNet expects to be regularly told that the device is working ok. Working ok is device dependent, but could be something like the device has transmitted and received data. If VintageNet is not told that the device is working for a long enough time, it will reset the device by powering it off and then back on again.

VintageNet calls functions here based on how it wants to transition a device. VintageNet maintains the device's power status internally, so implementations can blindly do what VintageNet tells them too in most cases. Powering on and off can be asynchronous to these function calls. VintageNet uses the presence of the networking interface (like "wlan0") to determine when the device is really available for networking.

The following timeouts are important to consider:

  1. time_to_power_off
  2. power_on_hold_time
  3. min_power_off_time
  4. watchdog_timeout

The time_to_power_off specifies the time in the powering-off state. This is the maximum time to allow for a graceful shutdown. VintageNet won't bother the device until that time has expired. That means that if there's a request to use the device, it will wait the powering-off time before calling finish_power_off and then it will power the device back on. Device app notes may have recommendations for this time.

The power_on_hold_time specifies how much time a device should be in the powered-on state before it is ok to power off again. This allows devices some time to initialize and recover on their own.

The min_power_off_time specifies how long the device should remain powered off before it is powered back on.

Finally, watchdog_timeout specifies how long to wait between notifications that the device is ok. Code reports that a device is ok by calling VintageNet.PowerManager.PMControl.pet_watchdog/1.

While normal Erlang supervision expects that it can restart processes immediately and without regard to how long they have been running, bad things can happen to hardware if too aggressively restarted. Devices also initialize asynchronously so it's hard to know when they're fully available and some flakiness may be naturally due to VintageNet not knowing how to wait for a component to finish initialization. Please review your network device's power management guidelines before too aggressively reducing hold times. Cellular devices, in particular, want to signal their disconnection from the network to the tower and flush any unsaved configuration changes to Flash before power removal.

Here's an example for a cellular device with a reset line connected to it:

  • power_on - De-assert the reset line. Return a power_on_hold_time of 10 minutes
  • start_powering_off - Open the UART and send the power down command to the modem. Return a time_to_power_off of 1 minute.
  • power_off - Assert the reset line and return that power shouldn't be turned back on for another 10 seconds.

PowerManager implementation lifetimes are the same as VintageNet's. In other words, they start and end with VintageNet. This is unlike a network interface which runs only as its existence and configuration allow. As such, VintageNet needs to know about all PowerManager implementations in its application environment. For example, add something like this to your config.exs:

config :vintage_net,
  power_managers: [{MyCellularPM, [ifname: "ppp0", watchdog_timeout: 60_000, reset_gpio: 123]}]

Each tuple is the implementation's module name and init arguments. VintageNet requires :ifname to be set. If you're managing the power for an interface with a dynamic name, enable predictable interface naming with VintageNet and use that name. The watchdog_timeout parameter is optional and defaults to one minute.

Link to this section Summary


Handle other messages

Initialize state for managing the power to the specified interface

Power off the hardware

Power on the hardware for a network interface

Start powering off the hardware for a network interface

Link to this section Callbacks


handle_info(msg :: any(), state :: any()) :: {:noreply, new_state :: any()}

Handle other messages

All unknown messages sent to the power management GenServer come here. This callback is similar to GenServer.handle_info/2.

To receive your own messages here, send them to self() in code run in any of the other callbacks. Another option is to call VintageNet.PowerManager.PMControl.send_message/2


init(args :: keyword()) :: {:ok, state :: any()}

Initialize state for managing the power to the specified interface

This is called on start and if the power management GenServer restarts. It should not assume that hardware is powered down.

IMPORTANT: VintageNet assumes that init/1 runs quickly and succeeds. Errors and exceptions from calling init/1 are handled by disabling the PowerManager. The reason is that VintageNet has no knowledge on how to recover and disabling a power manager was deemed less bad that having supervision tree failures propagate upwards to terminate VintageNet. Messages are logged if this does happen.


power_off(state :: any()) ::
  {:ok, next_state :: any(), min_off_time :: non_neg_integer()}

Power off the hardware

This function should finish powering off the network interface hardware. Since this is called after the graceful power down should have completed, it should forcefully turn off the power to the hardware.

The implementation also returns a time that power must remain off. power_on/1 won't be called until that time expires.


power_on(state :: any()) ::
  {:ok, next_state :: any(), hold_time :: non_neg_integer()}

Power on the hardware for a network interface

The function should turn on power rails, deassert reset lines, load kernel modules or do whatever else is necessary to make the interface show up in Linux.

Failure handling is not supported by VintageNet yet, so if power up can fail and the right handling for that is to try again later, then this function should do that.

It is ok for this function to return immediately. When the network interface appears, VintageNet will start trying to use it.

The return tuple should include the number of seconds VintageNet should wait before trying to power down the module again. This value should be sufficiently large to avoid getting into loops where VintageNet gives up on a network interface before it has initialized. 10 minutes (600 seconds), for example, is a reasonable setting.

Link to this callback


View Source


start_powering_off(state :: any()) ::
  {:ok, next_state :: any(), time_to_power_off :: non_neg_integer()}

Start powering off the hardware for a network interface

This function should start a graceful shutdown of the network interface hardware. It may return immediately. The return value specifies how long in seconds VintageNet should wait before calling power_off/2. The idea is that a graceful power off should be allowed some time to complete, but not forever.