Author Topic: Rough edges and how I work around them (or not)  (Read 322 times)

Borley

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Rough edges and how I work around them (or not)
« on: January 04, 2020, 05:23:03 pm »
This post is for documentation purposes and is not meant as a criticism of POWER or Raptor, rather, it is a place for me to think openly regarding my POWER9/Blackbird exerience so far. What is listed here may or may not necessarily be a POWER or Raptor board issue as I have yet to determine the root cause of several items. I welcome any suggestions or even fixes that you may have found in your own situations. The new platform has already forced me to learn quite a bit and hopefully this can be of use to somebody other than myself.


When rebooting sometimes restarts without onboard audio available
   complete reboot removing power from the board is required to rectify this situation

System stutter with any I/O activity on the main drive (could be the PCIe-NVMe adapter?)
   major I/O on the main drive (copying many large files to) makes the system nearly unusable
Harddrive SMART reports an unsafe shutdown for every shutdown
 This has not technically been an issue yet, I am just gambling that it won't blow up in my face - does the platform need to issue some kind of shutdown signal to the drive?

Unavailable dependencies needed for packages that would otherwise be installable:
   mozc - that's okay anthy works just as well
   anki - one single python package is not built for ppc
   openshot - one single python package is not built for ppc. none of the other video editors will actually load any video content (missing codec? I'm too dumb to figure this out)

VLC playback   
VLC sometimes remains "running" after closing out - cannot even kill it from terminal (kill PID) it *only* closes through system monitor when this occurs
VLC unable to stream online video content, "cannot decode h264" (even though local h264 files run fine (another codec issue?)

Random lockups - unable to determine the cause yet, running clamav-daemon in on-access scanning mode does seem to trigger it when nautilus begins thumbnailing new media in a directory being opened for the first time - disabled for now
   also occured once when cycling through 漢字 within anthy

Misc missing software;
   obs-studio
   0ad
   openmorrowind
   dolphin-emu
   mupen64plus

ffmpeg botches gif creation when using palattes - standard (ugly) gif creation with ffmpeg is fine however
   same exact config + script works okay on x86

Startup always selects another enP1s0... ethernet port for which there is no profile, must manually select the true port (might just be a GNOME bug?)

artha must be launched twice before it actually opens
 Trivial issue - very unlikely to be a fault of POWER/Blackbird

Large images in GIMP are much slower to work with despite having a dedicated add in GPU (a weaker GPU on x86 was fine in comparison)
Just need to be more patient with the program/use smaller images
« Last Edit: April 21, 2020, 07:27:21 pm by Borley »

ClassicHasClass

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Re: Rough edges and how I work around them (or not)
« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2020, 06:27:29 pm »
Quote
When rebooting sometimes restarts without onboard audio available

I haven't observed the lack of onboard audio on reboots, but I usually don't reboot my Blackbird much when it's on. On the other hand, I still occasionally have situations where it won't put video up on HDMI, or at least my home projector won't see it.

Quote
VLC sometimes remains "running" after closing out

This is not specific to the Blackbird; I've seen this on the Talos. I haven't figured out why this occurs. A killall -9 will nuke it.

Alternatively, go to the settings and uncheck Allow only one instance. This doesn't solve the problem but it makes it much less annoying, and you can clean up the corpses later.

Quote
Large images in GIMP are much slower to work with

I haven't been happy with GIMP on any platform. I use Krita or azpainter.

Some of your other issues sound more software-motivated, but I think that PCIe-NVMe bridge might be a little rickety.

MauryG5

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Re: Rough edges and how I work around them (or not)
« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2020, 04:00:28 am »
The problem of the video that is sometimes missing on HDMI I mentioned this to Raptor myself a while ago, I am aware of the problem and are working to resolve it. When the BMC firmware update is released, the problem will be resolved, we just have to wait for it to come out ... I also often have this problem because in the evening I disconnect the computer from the power supply to avoid power surges or similar things.

q66

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Re: Rough edges and how I work around them (or not)
« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2020, 04:35:28 pm »
System stutter with any I/O activity on the main drive (could be the PCIe-NVMe adapter?)
   major I/O on the main drive (copying many large files to) makes the system nearly unusable

Sounds like an un-TRIMed drive, run fstrim on its mountpoint once in a while...

Unavailable dependencies needed for packages that would otherwise be installable:
   mozc - that's okay anthy works just as well
   anki - one single python package is not built for ppc
   openshot - one single python package is not built for ppc. none of the other video editors will actually load any video content (missing codec? I'm too dumb to figure this out)

Have your distro build them, we're building all of those in Void and they seem just fine (on little endian anyway, on big endian mozc does not build)

VLC playback   
VLC sometimes remains "running" after closing out - cannot even kill it from terminal (kill PID) it *only* closes through system monitor when this occurs
VLC unable to stream online video content, "cannot decode h264" (even though local h264 files run fine (another codec issue?)

Use mpv? :P

Misc missing software;
   obs-studio
   0ad
   openmorrowind
   dolphin-emu
   mupen64plus

All of these except mupen64plus build/work on ppc64le nowadays, dolphin-emu does not have a JIT though so it's slow. 0ad needs some patches (available on Raptor wiki), the others don't really need anything.


« Last Edit: January 05, 2020, 04:42:27 pm by q66 »

Borley

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Re: Rough edges and how I work around them (or not)
« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2020, 09:44:38 pm »
-snip-

For the longest time, I was under the impression that my distro enables trim by default. Checking systemctl reveals that it is not even running. Looks like I have a project to do!

I also tried out MPV and I like how minimalist it is but didn't explore it enough to find streaming or subtitling features. Maybe it is time for a revisit.

ClassicHasClass

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Re: Rough edges and how I work around them (or not)
« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2020, 11:55:06 pm »
Are you on Fedora? fstrim.timer will become default in F32 (hopefully).

FlyingBlackbird

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Re: Rough edges and how I work around them (or not)
« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2020, 06:15:44 pm »
-snip-
For the longest time, I was under the impression that my distro enables trim by default. Checking systemctl reveals that it is not even running. Looks like I have a project to do!

There is a bug in SSD trimming (discard) with NVMe SSDs in the kernel until version 5.4:

[FIXED in stable kernels 4.19 and 5.4] https://bugzilla.kernel.org/show_bug.cgi?id=202665 IOMMU related errors when performing discard on some NVMe devices (mainly NVMe SSDs). Current workaround is booting with the kernel parameter "'iommu=soft'', see the https://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/torvalds/linux.git/commit/?id=530436c45ef2e446c12538a400e465929a0b3ade patch

I am currently using Fedora Server 31 with Kernel 5.4.13-201.fc31.ppc64le and cannot observe NVMe problems or crashes anymore like with Ubuntu Server 19.10 and Kernel 5.1.x (but I have to do more tests for that).

ClassicHasClass

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Re: Rough edges and how I work around them (or not)
« Reply #7 on: January 30, 2020, 11:51:40 pm »
For certain devices. This machine is fine with a 5.3 kernel (haven't got around to updating it yet), and the Samsung NVMe SSDs Raptor ships appear to be unaffected.