A Year of Testing - From 14.04 to 16.04

AmigaOne X1000 platform specific issues related to Linux only.

A Year of Testing - From 14.04 to 16.04

Postby Srtest » Mon Nov 02, 2015 4:36 pm

Now that we are approaching a new long term release (16.04 Xenial Xerus) I want to start a discussion about the pros and cons of testing these distros. One should really take into consideration the amount of attention our Power platforms get or the lack of such attention which results in the same graphics issues that were there a year ago. My opinion is that given the Mesa and driver situation regarding the entire array of cards being used here (especially after the AOS and Warp3D SI upgrade which pushed people to change their card on their Sams and X1000), perhaps delving into such testing (notwithstanding the kernel testing) isn't suited for most and yield minimal benefits. There isn't an advantage in frame rates and video playback, or in overall performance. What I can think of are the newer versions of LibreOffice and Firefox and maybe like a second or two faster booting with Systemd. Other than that my comparison of 14.04 "Trusty" and what came afterwards is that there isn't really an advantage for us Power platforms users.

That being said, The next two releases are supposed to incorporate new stuff, Like the new LXqt (Lubuntu-Next) GUI based on Qt and Lubuntu's returned support of long term Power releases.

Given the need for stable Linux distros that are easy to set-up and use, us voluntary testers should consider a better focus of our efforts to supplement these needs.
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Re: A Year of Testing - From 14.04 to 16.04

Postby papaoskar » Thu Nov 12, 2015 5:20 pm

Srtest wrote:Now that we are approaching a new long term release (16.04 Xenial Xerus) I want to start a discussion about the pros and cons of testing these distros. One should really take into consideration the amount of attention our Power platforms get or the lack of such attention which results in the same graphics issues that were there a year ago. My opinion is that given the Mesa and driver situation regarding the entire array of cards being used here (especially after the AOS and Warp3D SI upgrade which pushed people to change their card on their Sams and X1000), perhaps delving into such testing (notwithstanding the kernel testing) isn't suited for most and yield minimal benefits. There isn't an advantage in frame rates and video playback, or in overall performance. What I can think of are the newer versions of LibreOffice and Firefox and maybe like a second or two faster booting with Systemd. Other than that my comparison of 14.04 "Trusty" and what came afterwards is that there isn't really an advantage for us Power platforms users.

That being said, The next two releases are supposed to incorporate new stuff, Like the new LXqt (Lubuntu-Next) GUI based on Qt and Lubuntu's returned support of long term Power releases.

Given the need for stable Linux distros that are easy to set-up and use, us voluntary testers should consider a better focus of our efforts to supplement these needs.


I still use the ubuntu 12.-04 as distributed via CD. Next spring it will be 4 years out of time, so I hope, that I can buy a CD with Lubuntu 16.04 from the shop or any other flavour. It is necessary to have a stable distro easy to set up. I am looking forward and thank you and the testers for all your difficult work.
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Re: A Year of Testing - From 14.04 to 16.04

Postby mechanic » Thu Nov 12, 2015 10:56 pm

[quote="Srtest" which results in the same graphics issues that were there a year ago. My opinion is that given the Mesa and driver situation regarding the entire array of cards being used here (especially after the AOS and Warp3D SI upgrade which pushed people to change their card on their Sams and X1000), perhaps delving into such testing (notwithstanding the kernel testing) isn't suited for most and yield minimal benefits.

Given the need for stable Linux distros that are easy to set-up and use, us voluntary testers should consider a better focus of our efforts to supplement these needs.[/quote]

The more complex a system, the more subtle the errors.
Dr. Strangelove


I totally agree with your evaluation of the current situation. So much so that I have stopped testing new kernels as it is necessary for me to rebuild them to get proper performance out of my RV730 or Barts based cards. Seems like we are all playing in the same game but everybody is using a different type of ball.

Commodity hardware. :-(

I do not have an answer. :-(
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Re: A Year of Testing - From 14.04 to 16.04

Postby Srtest » Fri Nov 13, 2015 4:32 am

If stable was so easy then it would simply be a matter of buying a cd like with any other os. Now you can put the 12.04 cd and it will be less stable than a Lubuntu installation from the net (at least until they put that missing hard drive issue in their installer). That is why it is a matter of balancing different issues like the ability to do certain stuff and how easy it is to do it. If you constantly get that ability + a fast and easy access to what you need accomplished then that in itself is stability. Right now the os and computer that keep getting flack from amigans actually offer a better graphics experience all-around than a modern Linux like Ubuntu on Power platforms.

I don't think that has something to do with those kernels being developed. At least those still take into consideration Power platforms users and offer compatibility and enhancements. The issues with those kernels relate to 3rd parties like AMD which has written its kernel-based drivers to support only the very latest generation of cards. Newer kernels allow us to enjoy faster and safer booting with Systemd or opening new filesystem features for us (at the cost of incompatibilities with older distros). Whereas the distros themselves are a completely different story.

I view it as a seperation into two axies:

1. This is some kind of "meta-axis" and involves not only amigans but amigans as a pioneer group of Power platform users, who are all suffering from neglect.
2. The more practical axis that is about certain solutions and the current hardware being between AOS and Linux worlds. This is about what you can get and enjoy right now.

The first makes me think that maybe we should lay a path for other Power platforms users and abandon those that see this architecture as obsolete - namely Ubuntu and all its flavours. I have seen myself this discussion that was mentioned to Xeno on another forum where the Ubuntu and Mesa guys practically say that fixing our issues is not a priority. They plain out say it and contrary to that behaviour, when the Xserver issues were brought up to the Debian gurus they released a fix pretty fast and they always try to release Power versions of everything. So maybe as a collective we need to move to 2-3 distros that take us under consideration for the future.

The second makes me want to persue whatever can improve the situation, be it new drivers, optimizations and such. Also, the current situation is that every optimization is very important for us sometimes maybe even more than basic compatibilty. So it is more about finding a right mix and adhere to the request of stability and availabity while questioning the endgame of such releases.

Its not really work its more like I'm my man Chrisitan's little helper :-)
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Re: A Year of Testing - From 14.04 to 16.04

Postby xeno74 » Fri Nov 13, 2015 12:10 pm

Hi All,

We are working on a solution of the problems with 3D acceleration with Radeon HD7xxx graphics cards. Many thanks to Alex Perez because he is trying to solve the problems for us currently. Solving the problems is very important for the X5000 and A1222 too.

But I need your help because of the issues with the new interrupt system and our SB600 source code. The kernel 4.3 was the last mainline kernel I was able to release for our AmigaONE X1000. It means if we don't solve the problems with the SB600 source code in the Nemo patch then we won't get any new mainline kernels for our AmigaONE X1000. We have to adapt the SB600 source code in the Nemo patch to the new interrupt system. Please read the following threads:

Kernel 4.3
Kernel 4.4

Last mainline kernel: vmlinux-git_021115_patched-AMIGA_one_X1000.tar.bz2

PLEASE help me to solve the problems with the new interrupt system. This is very important for the future of our Linux support for the AmigaONE X1000.

By the way, in the meantime I will release new longterm 4.1 kernels and test them with some new Linux distributions.

Thanks in advance,

Christian
http://www.amigalinux.org
http://www.supertuxkart-amiga.de

Running Linux on AmigaONEs can require some tinkering.
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Re: A Year of Testing - From 14.04 to 16.04

Postby aperezbios » Fri Nov 13, 2015 9:00 pm

Unless someone is willing to put their money where their mouth is with regards to getting the interrupt patches permanently into the upstream kernels, 4.1.x long term maintenance kernels will almost surely be the end of the line for X1000 hardware.

Is anyone? I am not, as I (A) do not own an X1000 (I do have a PASemi Chitra reference board, but this doesn't have the same problem) and (B) I have already put a significant amount of my own personal finances towards enabling proper in-kernel support for Cyrus.
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Re: A Year of Testing - From 14.04 to 16.04

Postby mechanic » Sat Nov 14, 2015 12:10 am

Srtesr

I think we have gotten off track here and I believe your statement,
"So maybe as a collective we need to move to 2-3 distros that take us under consideration for the future.", may be key to put your train back on the rails.

It's been at least a year since I have installed a fresh Mint PPC 11, however the updates keep coming. Right now I'm using the 4.2.0-rc4 kernel on both of my Mint installs with no problems. I do not have the latest and greatest graphics cards so don't seem to need System.d to boot the X1000.

Will the X1000 boot and run on a newest graphics card without systemd?

Which distros would you suggest?
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Re: A Year of Testing - From 14.04 to 16.04

Postby Srtest » Sun Nov 15, 2015 5:08 am

mechanic wrote:Srtesr

I think we have gotten off track here and I believe your statement,
"So maybe as a collective we need to move to 2-3 distros that take us under consideration for the future.", may be key to put your train back on the rails.

It's been at least a year since I have installed a fresh Mint PPC 11, however the updates keep coming. Right now I'm using the 4.2.0-rc4 kernel on both of my Mint installs with no problems. I do not have the latest and greatest graphics cards so don't seem to need System.d to boot the X1000.

Will the X1000 boot and run on a newest graphics card without systemd?

Which distros would you suggest?


Actually I have been focusing solely on Ubuntu and its flavours while learning from other distros. As I said, my temporary conclusions are based on something that has to do with the treatment of Power platforms both declaratively and consequentially, and what it takes to get stuff working and performing in a satisfactory manner. Evidently this isn't about the latest graphic specifications and more about the constant workarounds required which can mean that the collective attention needs to be focused and less spread-out.

I'm pretty sure other disros aren't a garden of roses and yet my impression is that they are different than Ubuntu as far as the reasons expressed above.

When I install a new ssd I plan to switch my sole Lubuntu to both openSUSE with its full 64 bit and another base distro I haven't yet decided on which could be the latest Debian.
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Re: A Year of Testing - From 14.04 to 16.04

Postby mechanic » Sun Nov 15, 2015 6:22 pm

As you know Debian is pretty much bleeding edge until each of their distros reaches a certain maturity.
I tried OpenSUSE but found that getting some things configured was problematic and not the kind of distro I would advise a Linux newbie to mess with. The same with Ubuntu.

IMO if you would like to bring more people into Linux ppc then a first distro should be simple to install, use, upgrade, and almost rock stable. I do see people on forums trying their best to get a working Linux up and running and wonder how many just give up quietly and move along. I do remember the bad Ole days when it was necessary to setup Mode lines just to get a terminal working that would fit a monitor screen and if you screwed the pooch trying to get that done it meant doing a re-install. So, an early success can do a lot for someone new to Linux.

I would therefore suggest Mintppc as a prospect for distribution through Amiga outlets.

If we can get more people working on kernel building and bug fixing and streamlining then we all prosper, but first it has to work. Later, at their own discretion and when ready they can add another distro that may take more fiddling for desired results but now have at least a basic understanding and more fimiliarity with some of the inner workings of Linux in general.

Pick a distro, pick a kernel, keep to simple to install, use, and stable, and I will be happy to 'get into it'. :D
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Re: A Year of Testing - From 14.04 to 16.04

Postby Srtest » Sun Nov 15, 2015 9:35 pm

While Debian is supposedly bleeding edge, it always tries to push it on all available platforms, when at the same time the Ubuntu guys try their best to close out new developments and push away anything that isn't x86/x64. I'm not against Ubuntu as a distro it is just that not all distros of Linux are born equally as far as we are concerned.

My dad uses the same Mint on his pc and it seems quite ok much like the Ubuntu I purchased from Amgaikit was ok until newer developments started to impact AOS and the entire scene here, so naturally things changed and the all around good distro with almost no tinkering needed when I first came here and got the X1000 was Lubuntu 14.04 which also received support officially and unofficially.

If there is something the old Amiga taught me is that what considered easy to use and simple has to do with the willingness to learn a few basic things about the os and the most popular os in the world does the exact opposite and prevent you from learning anything so in the end people are divided to geeks who spend time around technical aspects and everybody else that calls technicians to install their stagnant os and eventually switch to smartphones and such. I've found out that a net installation that goes smoothly is both very simple and easy to test with different distros and GUIs much like a cd-based one.

Well, what you consider "the other distro" that you tinker with is simply for me the one you can install on the X1000 only after previouslly installing another before it :-)
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