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d2_racing
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2009 3:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi, you have a lot of intel stuff and you have an intel wireless card too.

I'm sure that Pappy can create a custom kernel for you :P
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Moriah
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2009 4:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I really like the laptop. Core 2 duo 2.56 GHz with 8 GB ram and 250 GB of solid state disk, WUXGA 1920x1200 screen, and it gets about 4 hours on battery under xp. 8)

I just want his recomendation on a flavor and version of kernel. Right now, I have the 256 GB SSD set aside with windoze xp on it because I need it for work, but I have a 320 GB 7500 rpm drive installed so I can experiment with linux configurations for it.

Ultimately it will have to run either Linux KVM or vmware so I can run windoze xp and windoze ce on it for work, but with 8 gb ram, I have plenty of room for that.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot. It has a Pantech PCMCIA card for Sprint wireless broadband that I also need to get working under Linux.
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2009 4:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

At this point, either the .30 or .31 will work. I'm still not all that impressed with .32. They seem broken to me. They work, but I've had to set up two fixes to get everything to work properly. If you don't use lm_sensors, that probably won't be an issue.

Are you using the ATI or the Intel graphics?

BB!
P
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2009 4:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

And...before I forget, I have uploaded settings pages five and six. I'm working on page seven, but somehow, I don't think it will be ready for xmas. There's a lot to configure with networking. Enjoy!

Blessed be!
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2009 4:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I could use either intel or ATI graphics. I'm not a heavyweight graphics user; I'm primarily a software developer, so resolution and low power for longer battery life are more important than speed. I just have my screen covered with text most of the time. I rarely even watch video clips.

Reliability is very important to me, as my work lives on this machine. Although I usually back up every night, if I am out of town, backups are not as frequent.
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2009 8:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

pappy_mcfae wrote:
At this point, either the .30 or .31 will work. I'm still not all that impressed with .32. They seem broken to me. They work, but I've had to set up two fixes to get everything to work properly. If you don't use lm_sensors, that probably won't be an issue.

Are you using the ATI or the Intel graphics?

BB!
P


No lm_sensors here, resulting in this 2.6.32-zen1 kernel being the smoothest I've run yet. Those sources rock far as I'm concerned.

(config here if you're curious)

The ONLY issue I've hit is with ath9k being unstable under load. Disassociates and reassociates heaps if I hit it with a large request from a fast server. Usually only rears its ugly head if transferring a large file from the LAN, or streaming HD video.

Found a few hits on google, seems it's a known issue, with a handful of potential causes - one being power management, which i thought I'd get around by disabling via:

Code:

# CONFIG_CFG80211_DEFAULT_PS is not set
CONFIG_CFG80211_DEFAULT_PS_VALUE=0


but no joy. That's it. Literally THE only negative I've found. Just sharing experience, btw, always welcome advice but am happy with my current rig ;)

Now that I'm getting the hang of tweaking, this laptop is starting to be an immense source of pride and joy. Between a happy fast zen kernel, and an openrc/bl-2 migration getting my boot time down to 26 seconds despite a 5400RPM drive, absolute bliss.
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2009 10:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Since 2.6.30-zen11 is out, I've switched to using that version. I really do like the feel of the .30 kernel. It's been very reliable, and not very broken.

The .31 is ok, as long as you fix the NFSv3 issues. The .32 also has issues. It whines about udev. It's probably just a cosmetic thing, but perception means a lot.

Moriah,

I'd say it's probably better to set up for the radeon card, using the VESA-vga framebuffer. The really old radeon card in my headless server runs the latest version of X with the latest xf86-video-radeon driver. All I have to do is plug in the monitor, log in, and I'm ready to rock with X.

cach0rr0,

The .32 kernel is supposed to be loaded with a new sort of /dev file system setup similar to udev. Since it's new code, I'm sure it's going to need some work. Hopefully, that can all get ironed out so I can run the newer source without having udev issues.

Blessed be!
Pappy
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2009 8:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

pappy_mcfae wrote:

The .32 kernel is supposed to be loaded with a new sort of /dev file system setup similar to udev. Since it's new code, I'm sure it's going to need some work. Hopefully, that can all get ironed out so I can run the newer source without having udev issues.


That's the devtmpfs stuff eh?

Still not completely clear on how it's supposed to be used, what changes are required, etc.
If it truly speeds up boot as advertised though, be some more fodder for this ricer thread

Saw some notes I think on the Ubuntu wiki about the idea of caching /dev so that it didn't have to be recreated on every boot if the system is fairly static (which, the laptop is!). This might be a more sane alternative, albeit without as significant a performance boost.

Screw it, let's try it - I have a safe kernel to boot from if this breaks anything ^_^

I don't know if supposedly it means I should take udev out of the sysinit runlevel, e.g. if it's a total replacement...or if it's just supposed to make things swifter/easier for udev. We'll see

EDIT: so, I just ran a quick test - zero speed improvement whatsoever. bootchart here - http://omploader.org/vMzI1aA

given its new and experimental nature, I'd be leaning the direction of avoiding it; considering that it seems to offer zero *perceivable* benefit, completely and totally pointless/unwise to try it at this stage...unless of course there's something I'm missing - maybe I'm supposed to nuke udev, but I'm not doing that while this thing is still experimental.
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pappy_mcfae
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2009 10:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What worries me is that eventually, someone is going to break udev support, and few are going to know until there is a pile of smoking, broken machinery. While I am sure that udev will move on to allow the next greatest thing, I'd like them to be doing a lot more testing of this next greatest thing before it's dropped on us. Just a few weeks in the kernel does not a new setup make.

Blessed be!
Pappy
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 23, 2009 5:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Pappy,
Did things per your instructions and no joy. I next deleted raid support. No joy. I noticed you left out sata_nv, so I added that. Still no joy, but now i'm back to where I started.
The boot doesn't get far enough to make /var/log/demesg, so I won't be able to send that to you. But here are the last 7 lines before boot stalls:

kjournal starting: Commit interval 5 seconds
EXT3-fx: mounted filesystem with journal data mode
VFS: Mounted root (ext3 filesystem) readonly device 8:8
Freeing unused kernel memory: 604k freed
Write protecting the kernal read-only data: 9096k
Warning: unable to start an initial console
init-early.sh used greatest stack depth:4216 bytes left

This is the first time that I've seen that last line.
Note that the boot seems to stall as opposed to die(forgot the correct word, Alzheimers kicking up again). I can still see usb devices register when I plug and unplug them.
I hate to be a pest during the Christmas holidays, but do you have any other suggestions?
I liked your kernel seed. I thought I was a minimalist, but your kernel was .5 seconds faster than mine.
And I always thought the .config in my /boot partition had to be changed not the one in linux-x.x.x. I have learned something new.
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 23, 2009 6:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you're using grub, post /boot/grub/grub.conf. If you're using lilo, post /etc/lilo.conf.

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Pappy
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Moriah
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 23, 2009 2:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So Pappy, given that I am going to need an initrd for fully encrypted disk vie luks and also lvm on the root filesystem, should I use zen or gentoo-sources?

BTW What is zen (the kernel, not the subset of Bhudism), and where can I learn more about it?

One think I really like about the w500 is that I can swap hard drives with nothing but my bare hands, given that I just leave the little plastic cover off oll the time. It is held on by one screw, but the drive is held in by friction of the rubber shock mounts.
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 23, 2009 7:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zen sources are experimental, and tend to favor raw speed. They can be used as normal sources, and do support initrd/initramfs.

Speaking of which, it appears it will be needed for your purposes. While you could use genkernel to make the initrd, you can emerge -av mkinitrd, and use it instead. That way, you can compile your kernel in the standard way, and make initrd afterward. That's how I used to do it in the bad old Slacker days.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 23, 2009 10:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I used to do it completely manually, by writing my own linuxrc script and using redhat nash to run it. I coded my own pivot root and the whole bit. It got pretty tedious when libraries changed and I had to manually redetermine what all to put in /lib again. Using genkernel made my life easy. I wish they would fix genkernel so it would work with the new stuff. I have quite a few machines blocked from being updated because of this.

I am a bit hesitant to use an experimental kernel, as my livelihood will be on this laptop. How stable is it, and how much of a speed increase does it produce?
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 24, 2009 7:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

2.6.30-zen11 appears to be rather stable. I know for a fact that 2.6.30-zen10 is really stable, as it has operated my machines for quite some time now. I was using 2.6.32-zen1, but I am not really liking the feel of the .32 sources. They feel broken.

As for the speed of zen sources, that is due to BFS (Brain Fuck Scheduler). In its experimental stages, BFS wasn't very sturdy. It is really sturdy at this point. Some claim speed increases in the ten percent range. I've not benchmaked the differences, but according to seat-of-the-pants, BFS does add a noticeable increase to speed.

My personal test for this machine is whether or not it will run the FireworX screensaver smoothly. It does. Standard kernel sources will run it, but sometimes, it gets ker-chunky. That doesn't happen with zen sources.

As far as whether I trust them for mission critical operation, my web server is running 2.6.30-zen9. It has been doing so continuously since I backed the system up on November 1, 2009. I'd call that fairly trustworthy operation.

Blessed be!
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 24, 2009 6:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Your web server is not your source of income, and I'm not sure a 10% speedup is enough to justify the risk. I think I'll stick with gentoo-sources. What version and what seed do you recommend? Since I am using an SSD, a kernel version with filesystem support for TRIM would be nice, but not mandatory. I might end up using a pair of SSD's in a RAID-0 for even faster disk speed. :twisted:
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 24, 2009 8:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Moriah,

With SSDs, you want the noop scheduler, but I suppose you know that anyway.
There are no heads to move around so no point in trying to optimise anything there.
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 24, 2009 8:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Your web server is not your source of income, and I'm not sure a 10% speedup is enough to justify the risk.


Only because I haven't put up the ads yet, or the donation button. Even when that happens, I'm still going to continue to run zen sources. And, if the need were ever to arise, there is a patch available that adds hardened security to zen sources.

I'd still stick with the .30 or .31 families. .32 sources feel broken.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 24, 2009 9:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is there any reason to prefer .30 over .31, or vice verse?
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 24, 2009 9:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks like the default kernel is gentoo-sources 2.6.31-r6, so I'll just go with that for now. At least it will get the box up and running. This is a throw-away installation anyway, because it does not use LUKS or LVM, just plain and simple to make sure I can get all the devices working.

Regarding the NOOP scheduler, the SSD still has XP on it, so I am running a 320 GB HDD for the gentoo install right now. After I know everything will work the way I want, I'll do it again on the SSD, so for now anyway, I don't want the NOOP scheduler -- not yet.
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 24, 2009 10:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not necessarily, depending on your needs.

If you use lm_sensors, you want to use the .30. There is an "improvement" in the .31 family that requires one to use an append= statement in /boot/grub/grub.conf or /etc/lilo.conf in order for lm_sensors to work. The CPU sensors work, at least for the core2 and Celeron core derivatives. However, other sensors (fan speed, overall CPU temp (as opposed to only the core temp), will not work without the append=.

If that isn't an issue, I'd go with the .31. While I've noted .31 kernels have a tendency to soft hang exiting X with Intel GPU's, this failure does allow for the three finger salute. It's more of an annoyance than a real issue. Since I prefer to run without annoyance, I run the .30 series.

Blessed be!
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 24, 2009 11:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It would seem that a laptop would need temperature and fan speeds to operate properly. Maybe I should go with .30 instead.
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 25, 2009 4:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

pappy_mcfae wrote:
And, if the need were ever to arise, there is a patch available that adds hardened security to zen sources.


This I did not know.
Well, I mean I know you could snag a patch and try to manually merge that with zen patches, but I'm not going to do that

I defer to one of my friend's rants for an explanation - slightly different topic, but still holds true.

It pertains to qmail, but is the same reasoning I use for most things:

Code:

<strerror> 3. qmail has none of the features that many modern MTA's should have, eg smtp-auth
<strerror> now point number 3 is the really insidious one
<strerror> because people say "look there is a patch for smtp-auth"
<strerror> and there is, but guess what, its not written by djb
<strerror> so you find yourself applying patches to qmail to get the functionality you want, but now its not just djb's code instead you have to audit some other persons patch
<strerror> but thats not too bad you think, its fairly straight foward, other people must have reviewed it
<strerror> you do that for a few patches to get "basic" modern mta functionality
<strerror> only then you discover that the patches start to conflict
<strerror> and now you are manually merging patches yourself
<strerror> at this point I asked myself "is this really secure now? do i know what I am doing to the same extent djb does ?"
<strerror> ofcourse not, i had lost hte primary advantge of qmail, ie its security design


Am no expert myself, but far as i can tell the grsec guys do tremendous work - seems every nasty new kernel vuln these days doesn't affect hardened-sources, which AFAIK includes their patchset.

For desktops I do not worry so much. For my server...it's all "by the book", no experimentation. And even still I am not fully comfortable, as I've not yet deployed RBAC.

Anyway, if the hardening patches for zen-sources are fairly straightforward to apply, and are sensible for my Phenom 9950, I may look at them. For now the prospect of having to manually apply patches scares me a bit for production.

(especially since, once first paycheck hits, going to snag a comcast business connection with statics, and address space that isn't on PBL - going to really ramp things up then, especially the threat research)

Hopefully that all was clear, it's Christmas Eve and I've been into the Texas Egg Nog (read: 9% ABV 90-minute IPA)

EDIT: oh right, speaking of.....

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL! Pappy, Moriah, Neddy, everyone stumbling onto this thread this holiday season!
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 25, 2009 6:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

To those I already missed, Happy Hanukah (I know is spelled wrong; I just don't know how to spell it right).

To those celebrating today, Merry Christmas, and read http://www.elilabs.com/cgi-bin/myword_query.cgi?query=mat1.18-25

To Pappy, as he already said a few days ago, Happy Solstice.

To the reat of you, have a great day.
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 25, 2009 3:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Merry Christmas to all.

Blessed be!
Pappy
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