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jamtat
Tux's lil' helper
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 14, 2015 4:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jamtat wrote:
the X seems to have realtek chips in both wired and wifi NICs.

Make that Realtek for the wired NIC and Ralink 2800 for the wifi. See my new installation help request thread at https://forums.gentoo.org/viewtopic-t-1012756.html if anyone from this thread would care to offer assistance. Thanks.
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jamtat
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 17, 2015 3:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

SiliconFiend wrote:
I tried to keep it simple and boot with just a kernel without an initramfs, but I think the eMMC storage wouldn't work . . .

This is the problem I'm having: I can't get the non-initramfs kernel to see the eMMC. Nothing I've tried over the last 3 or 4 days has resolved it (see https://forums.gentoo.org/viewtopic-t-1012756.html ). No help has been forthcoming in that thread so far: all posts are by me, except for one.
WD-40 wrote:
If it helps any, I found out that an initramfs / dracut is NOT required. I too like to keep things simple. :wink: The key was that the system was loading too fast for the eMMC to be available in time for the root mount... so the fix was to edit /etc/default/grub, and add "rootdelay=8" to the GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT line for default kernel parameters and regenerate the grub config. After that, the system would pause on boot, the eMMC partitions would populate, and then the booting would resume with the root filesystem mount after the 8 second timeout. 8) 8 seconds was somewhat arbitrary... less may be OK, but I decided to play it safe.

I tried the rootdelay= option (tried first 5, then 10 seconds) too. I got the kernel panic (not finding the root file system) with both. Then I tried rootwait, which just pauses forever because the kernel is not finding the eMMC drive--as onscreen output shows. The pause comes right after the kernel finds the second USB drive I have hooked to the device. I should mention that I'm not using GRUB, if that matters. I put the kernel in the fat32 partition that, were the system to actually finish booting, would get mounted under /boot. So the system is booting via UEFI. The boot commands are being passed to the kernel, in my case, via the bult-in kernel command line as follows; root=/dev/mmcblk0p3 rootwait.

Could I ask that that you post your kernel config file on pastebin or some such, WD-40? I've looked over SiliconFiend's and modified in some ways my config accordingly. But since he is using an initramfs, yours, which apparently does not--as I wish to do as well--might prove more decisive in helping me get my system to finally boot.

Thanks

Oh, by the way, my kernel config is posted at http://pastebin.com/tSsmxNRj .
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SiliconFiend
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2015 4:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

jamtat wrote:
SiliconFiend wrote:
I tried to keep it simple and boot with just a kernel without an initramfs, but I think the eMMC storage wouldn't work . . .

This is the problem I'm having: I can't get the non-initramfs kernel to see the eMMC. Nothing I've tried over the last 3 or 4 days has resolved it (see https://forums.gentoo.org/viewtopic-t-1012756.html ). No help has been forthcoming in that thread so far: all posts are by me, except for one.
WD-40 wrote:
If it helps any, I found out that an initramfs / dracut is NOT required. I too like to keep things simple. :wink: The key was that the system was loading too fast for the eMMC to be available in time for the root mount... so the fix was to edit /etc/default/grub, and add "rootdelay=8" to the GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT line for default kernel parameters and regenerate the grub config. After that, the system would pause on boot, the eMMC partitions would populate, and then the booting would resume with the root filesystem mount after the 8 second timeout. 8) 8 seconds was somewhat arbitrary... less may be OK, but I decided to play it safe.

I tried the rootdelay= option (tried first 5, then 10 seconds) too. I got the kernel panic (not finding the root file system) with both. Then I tried rootwait, which just pauses forever because the kernel is not finding the eMMC drive--as onscreen output shows. The pause comes right after the kernel finds the second USB drive I have hooked to the device. I should mention that I'm not using GRUB, if that matters. I put the kernel in the fat32 partition that, were the system to actually finish booting, would get mounted under /boot. So the system is booting via UEFI. The boot commands are being passed to the kernel, in my case, via the bult-in kernel command line as follows; root=/dev/mmcblk0p3 rootwait.

Could I ask that that you post your kernel config file on pastebin or some such, WD-40? I've looked over SiliconFiend's and modified in some ways my config accordingly. But since he is using an initramfs, yours, which apparently does not--as I wish to do as well--might prove more decisive in helping me get my system to finally boot.

Why not just use an initramfs? I would have rather not had one either, but any small deviation from a strict set of rules basically makes it a requirement now. It's really not a big deal to set one up. dracut generally automatically includes all the things you need. If you want to try to run without an initramfs, though, the one tip I would add is to make sure the eMMC driver and any bus drivers, etc. it needs are compiled in to the kernel and not as modules (i.e., * not M).
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jamtat
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2015 3:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SiliconFiend wrote:
Why not just use an initramfs? I would have rather not had one either, but any small deviation from a strict set of rules basically makes it a requirement now. It's really not a big deal to set one up. dracut generally automatically includes all the things you need. If you want to try to run without an initramfs, though, the one tip I would add is to make sure the eMMC driver and any bus drivers, etc. it needs are compiled in to the kernel and not as modules (i.e., * not M).

Thanks for your additional input, SiliconFiend. I've so far thought of 2 possible ways out of my present impasse: one is to try booting the system with GRUB and not using UEFI; the other is to use an initramfs. I have no idea why either of those should work while what I'm presently doing does not, but it's something to try; I see that doing those things has allowed others to come up with a bootable Liva system.

Here's my point of hesitation regarding the initramfs option. I have tried, through some research and by soliciting input from others (not a lot of which has been forthcoming), to determine what I need to compile into my kernel (as * and not M) to support this hardware. There must be some error in my configuration, since the kernel is not finding the eMMC: but I cannot so far determine where that error lies. So, in offering dracut as a solution, are you saying that it will be able to determine, without input from me, what modules need to be loaded in order for the kernel to find and use the eMMC? If it can do that, it does definitely seem like a way out of the impasse. I will not, if I apply that sort of dracut solution, end up learning what I've done wrong in my kernel compilation. But it can at least allow me to finally be able to boot this system.

So, is that what dracut does? I.e., does it do detection of all hardware and cause all needed modules to be loaded, independent of user input?
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SiliconFiend
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2015 5:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jamtat wrote:
SiliconFiend wrote:
Why not just use an initramfs? I would have rather not had one either, but any small deviation from a strict set of rules basically makes it a requirement now. It's really not a big deal to set one up. dracut generally automatically includes all the things you need. If you want to try to run without an initramfs, though, the one tip I would add is to make sure the eMMC driver and any bus drivers, etc. it needs are compiled in to the kernel and not as modules (i.e., * not M).

So, is that what dracut does? I.e., does it do detection of all hardware and cause all needed modules to be loaded, independent of user input?

No, dracut only generates an initramfs, but it populates it with the modules, config files, etc. that you need to get a bootable system. You still have to have the right drivers configured in the kernel for your hardware. I *think* with an initramfs that it's more flexible about being able to use drivers as loadable modules instead of compiled in to the kernel though. If your boot CD/DVD was able to see the eMMC storage (using a partition editor, etc.), then you just need to look at the loaded modules under that environment for a clue as to what needs to be configured.
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jamtat
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2015 6:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SiliconFiend wrote:
dracut only generates an initramfs, but it populates it with the modules, config files, etc. that you need to get a bootable system. You still have to have the right drivers configured in the kernel for your hardware. I *think* with an initramfs that it's more flexible about being able to use drivers as loadable modules instead of compiled in to the kernel though. If your boot CD/DVD was able to see the eMMC storage (using a partition editor, etc.), then you just need to look at the loaded modules under that environment for a clue as to what needs to be configured.

Thanks for the clarification, SiliconFiend. Yes, my boot media (Bodhi live environment dd'd to a USB flash drive) does see the eMMC, and I can, from within that environment, do disk partitioning and the like on the eMMC.

Actually, you should be saying "you just need to look yet again at the loaded modules under that environment for a clue as to what needs to be configured." :) I've looked at it many, many times. But, given the fact that I'm new at this and that this is relatively new hardware, I may well have overlooked some thing(s). So I'll go over the dmesg/lsmod and other relevant output again while considering the dracut option.
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jamtat
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2015 10:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I took a suggestion someone made of changing UEFI settings to Windows 8 in CSM mode, then setting the eMMC as the first boot option. With those settings applied, I've now been able to boot my Gentoo kernel for the first time. I'll have to see whether things continue to work on this thing, but there is at least some progress to report.
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steveL
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2015 1:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

jamtat wrote:
I took a suggestion someone made of changing UEFI settings to Windows 8 in CSM mode, then setting the eMMC as the first boot option. With those settings applied, I've now been able to boot my Gentoo kernel for the first time.

Yay :-)

Celebrate while you can. ;-)
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noisome
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2015 8:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You guys have a step by step on what worked for you? Yes, its like asking for hand holding instead of reading, but heck, it would be nice with this box. :D
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steveL
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 25, 2015 1:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

noisome wrote:
You guys have a step by step on what worked for you? Yes, its like asking for hand holding instead of reading

You're clearly about to try it; so whatever notes you do get from others, can I ask you to summarise the process in a step-by-step, either in this thread or a new one (preferably the latter, but we can take it in stages.)

Think of it as backup in case your machine gets fried, and you need to redo the whole thing on a fresh install (from scratch.)

Regards
steveL
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jamtat
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PostPosted: Wed May 13, 2015 12:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

WD-40 wrote:
But once I had Gentoo installed, I enabled the "TearFree" graphics driver option, and it DID fix tearing, but at a noticeable negative impact to even general purpose non-video usage.

I thought I'd read this thread pretty thoroughly. But just now re-reading it, I noted this thing about tearing, which I've been seeing to a minor degree when I view HD content. So I researched a bit further and found a good write-up on the Arch wiki about some modifications one can introduce into xorg.conf to deal with the problem of tearing (see https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Intel_graphics). So I added the file /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/20-intel.conf with the content
Code:
Section "Device"
   Identifier  "Intel Graphics"
   Driver      "intel"
   Option      "TearFree"    "true"
EndSection
I also found a Gentoo forum thread on this that stipulated another line that could be added--Option "AccelMethod" "sna" (https://forums.gentoo.org/viewtopic-p-7279402.html)--so I put that in too. Once I'd killed and restarted X, sure enough, that resolved the tearing problem. So there's another tweak that can be done to imporve the way this hardware renders video.
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jamtat
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2015 6:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My system has been up and running for awhile now and is functioning pretty well. There are still a few areas where I'd like to check to make sure I've got everything optimally configured, and one is playback of video. I note that, when I'm playing back an HD video I've recorded, CPU usage runs at between 15% and 20% per CPU. Does that match what others who have installed MythTV on their Liva systems are seeing? I have no experience with vaapi and GPU decoding, so I am uncertain what I should be expecting here. So, should CPU usage be lower that this if all is properly configured for GPU decoding? Or does this sort of CPU usage look about right?

I'll mention in closing that part of the reason I've begun investigating this is because I've had to compile MythTV with -vaapi (though I do have the vaapi option enabled system-wide in make.conf). Introducing -vaapi was the only way I was able to compile MythTV after I'd switched this system to the no-multilib profile. I'm uncertain whether that could be affecting video playback on this system, since MythTV's internal player is, as I understand it, just a modified version of ffmpeg. And ffmpeg compiled fine on this system, without the need for setting -vaapi.

Input will be appreciated.
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