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Messages - SiteAdmin

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Operating Systems and Porting / Re: kernel config: page size 4k vs 64k
« on: February 04, 2021, 10:56:44 pm »
Hi, I was not discussing privacy concerns. Actually I'm quite happy with my Blackbird and the community here, which is very supportive of new and less tech savvy users like myself. Also, it performs quite well for my needs from a desktop. I agree with MauryG5 and ClassicHasClass that it's pointless to compare performance.

I appreciate very much the work you guys do at Raptor developing open hardware and wish you continued sucess.


No problem.  We're glad to hear you're happy with your Blackbird, and of course are always interested in where we do fall a bit short in real-world performance (and how to improve said shortcomings with software optimizations)!

Operating Systems and Porting / Re: kernel config: page size 4k vs 64k
« on: February 04, 2021, 12:32:11 pm »
Maybe Power9 is a better fit for HPC or TB HANA in memory DBs but not as a Desktop alternative, not taking into account the difficulty to find software for the architecture.

That's a bit of a stretch, don't you think?  Those Intel cores (and similar AMD ones) come with a mandatory signed binary blob on a secondary CPU that has full access to all your data.  In the worst case, you could simply be computing faster for an adversary by selecting the Intel solution.

Given the lack of those blobs is one of POWER's main reasons to be used on desktop, a more appropriate comparison for the specific purpose of determining POWER's usability as a desktop computer would be against other silicon that is also blob-free -- older Intel parts (Core Duo timeframe), or blob-free ARM devices (e.g. Rockchip).

If you want the fastest possible desktop with no regard for security, owner control, or privacy, then the simple fact is the latest AMD devices running Windows are your best bet.  For many of us, and especially here at Raptor, that represents such a large risk that we'd rather go back to pen and paper...

...much like the Justice Department just did here in the US, actually, after the SolarWinds proprietary / signed malware problems. ;D

Talos II / Re: Advice for installing OS via BMC?
« on: February 03, 2021, 03:16:07 am »
I'm new to Raptor systems, and I have been granted remote access to a Talos II machine. I need to install the OS, but haven't been successful. So far, I tried the Ubuntu 20.10 PPC64LE and Debian PPC64LE full CD installer over the virtual media, and from the serial connection, I can see the kernel crashes.  I have been able to get to the menus in the serial connection for the Debian network installer, but I don't know the network settings. Is it ok to reuse the BMC IP? Is it a safe assumption that the BMC shares the first Ethernet connection port? Next I'm trying Void Linux to see if that's an improvement.

Can you copy / paste the crash messages here so we can take a look?  We should be able to resolve the problem rapidly once we know what you're seeing.

Thank you!

Firmware / Re: Error Cloning Firmware Git Repo
« on: December 12, 2020, 04:50:10 pm »
Looks like LetsEncrypt updated their intermediate certificates, and the server hosting our GIT repos needed that certificate updated.  The intermediate certificate expiry seems to have primarily impacted a handful of command-line tools that require a full certificate chain to be served from the host server.

Operating Systems and Porting / Re: [NEWS] Linux kernel 5.8 is out!
« on: August 03, 2020, 11:22:12 pm »
Can you elaborate on this? Has IBM introduced proprietary/vendor-signed components to POWER10 firmware?

Nothing is signed, but IBM has failed to release required firmware components as open source software.  We can't go much further into details other than to say we're working the problem, but until it is resolved we will not be able to manufacture a POWER10 system, nor would we recommend usage of the POWER10 processor.

There's another area where IBM made a very poor choice, but that will become more obvious once IBM releases more data on their own systems using the POWER10 device.  That issue is also being worked by Raptor.

Operating Systems and Porting / Re: [NEWS] Linux kernel 5.8 is out!
« on: August 03, 2020, 07:08:38 pm »
We just wanted to re-post this from a comment we added to Talospace:

There will probably be some exciting announcements for POWER hardware late this year / early next. Not POWER10 yet (IBM made some very poor choices regarding POWER10 that currently block our products and that we continue to work to resolve) but POWER overall is looking quite healthy for the future. For now, POWER9 is definitely the best way to go to get an open, owner-controlled, powerful system with long term support and tons of distro choices!

Basically, POWER10 is an academic curiosity at the moment due to some really bad management-level decisions at IBM.  It's not unrecoverable, but we do want to set expectations of POWER9 remaining the highest performing POWER product for the 2021 / early 2022 timeframe.  If, and this is a fairly large "if", anyone else besides IBM ships a POWER10 system in that timeframe, the reasoning behind our decision should become quite clear.

The best way to help owner controlled computing at the moment is to keep buying and using POWER9.  The other announcements we have (which are not IBM dependent) should be very exciting, but POWER9 will remain king in terms of raw performance for now.

TLDR: POWER10 is not off the table by any means; we have every intention of creating a POWER10 product line, but there are complex negotiations in play to reach the point where those POWER10 products will be up to our high open firmware / open systems standards.  Such negotiations always take time, hence the delays, though COVID19 has stretched them out several times longer than normal such that public product announcements are now being affected.  Buying from another vendor in the interim, even if one exists, will not help and you definitely won't like what you actually get in the end from another vendor in comparison to the normal Raptor standards.

General OpenPOWER Discussion / Re: News?
« on: July 31, 2020, 03:52:38 pm »
Indeed, our Twitter feed is the main place we tend to post minor updates or news articles.  That said with the COVID19 situation we've been a bit less active with the global community overall; our intent is that once things return to more normal we'll be able to ramp up our social media and marketing again.

We miss you all at the face to face conferences; those were excellent venues for more niche product lines like ours and we have yet to find a viable substitute.  Here's hoping 2021 will bring back the more decentralized physical events (i.e. supplant the Google/Amazon/Microsoft/Intel/AMD-dominated online events) and we'll get you see you in person with some of the technologies we're working on for 2021 / 2022!

Side note: Condor was in fact cancelled due to COVID19.  We didn't want to have to do that, but economic concerns regarding launching a brand new product into a soft market with limited IBM support won out in the end.  We're focusing our efforts on other open, owner controlled, ppc64le technologies, so stay tuned!  8)


Can anybody comment on ideas or case studies for hosting with the Talos II platform?

For example:

What type of workloads is it most suitable for, or how would you build a Talos II-based rack mount system for different types of workloads?

Many hosting companies sell space by full rack, half rack, quarter rack (approximately) - how would you fit out one of these spaces if you had a pure Talos II strategy, even using the platform for firewall and BGP perhaps?

The largest vendors can provide next day and sometimes same day replacement parts, worldwide.  How would you approximate this with RCS products?  One idea that comes to mind: keeping one or two "community" servers in each rack for developers to log in and run tests, running Jenkins (a.k.a. travis-ci for POWER9) on the understanding that these servers can be scavanged on short notice to resolve production outages.

Is there any interest in hosting here in Switzerland right now?

This is an interesting discussion, thank you for starting it!

A couple of points we'd like to make:

1.) Our sister companies have been running racks of POWER servers for many years now, including Raptor Engineering and Integricloud.  The latter is US based but offers VPS and bare metal options; the reliability data for those machines has come back as very, very good.

2.) We can do custom (paid) support contracts for things like overnight replacement parts.   We just don't get that many organizations that feel they require it, so it's normally negotiated on a one-off basis.  Our suspicion is that many organizations try to keep spare parts on hand so as to avoid ending up in an emergency call out / parts acquisition scenario, but we don't have hard data to validate that.

We're aware of the port 2200 regression.  It's not something we had officially supported before (thus was not tested prior to release), but since it seems to be popular we're fixing it up and making it an official feature.

The patch re-enabling it is here:

At some point in the future we will likely post built 2.01 beta BMC images with a few tweaks including this patch.

Condor / Re: Technical features
« on: February 18, 2020, 06:31:56 pm »
We have a general policy not to announce final design specifications until we are ready to launch the product for ordering.  Like many other corporations, we were affected by the global impacts of COVID-19 on various supply chains, and this product is currently delayed.

User Zone / Re: petitboot error: PHB#0005[0:5]: PHB Freeze/Fence detected !
« on: February 18, 2020, 06:30:36 pm »
You won't get any Emails or acknowledgement beyond the RMA number and shipping address you received when you created the RMA on the Web site.

Send the defective product back according to those instructions, and we'll send out a replacement unit.  As far as export goes, unfortunately that is not an area we can offer advice in aside from noting that many countries have a process where you can record the outgoing shipment of a defective product so as to avoid paying VAT on the (marked as) replacement  / repaired unit.

User Zone / Re: petitboot error: PHB#0005[0:5]: PHB Freeze/Fence detected !
« on: February 07, 2020, 06:10:08 pm »
Code: [Select]
PHB Freeze/Fence detected !
This is an unhappy planar; the ASpeed VGA controller is not functioning correctly.  Try carefully removing the system from your case and powering on in a static-free environment (not on an antistatic mat as they are conductive).  If the problem persists you will need to submit an RMA request via the "My Account" link at

Blackbird / Re: Regular users issues
« on: January 28, 2020, 06:55:08 pm »
There is no "Blackbird 2" planned for POWER9
The Blackbird™ Secure Desktop has a Blackbird™ II uATX mainboard. Version II of the mainboard is only available in that bundle.

Sorry to disappoint you all, but that was in fact a copypasta problem.  Somehow part of the copy for Talos II ended up in there without being properly scrubbed of the spurious "II".  It should now be fixed.  :-[

Blackbird / Re: Regular users issues
« on: January 12, 2020, 11:09:20 pm »
So, as I understand it we've answered some of these questions before, but probably would be a good idea to get the answers in a more public space. :)

Firmware updates are a known hassle.  We're working with IBM on a better update mechanism, but it's not our top priority at the moment.

Boot time is also something we try to improve, in conjunction with IBM and the overall community.  Progress is slowly being made there; it's all software/firmware, so you don't have to worry about any hardware changes required to improve boot speed.

We're waiting on the Broadcom firmware still; my understanding is there's one bit of setup that isn't fully understood yet, but once that's figured out we can switch over

Graphical installers are available and work.  Fedora just enabled workstation builds, see for info.  Adelie has a workstation installer too:

Firefox is really the largest project to have a somewhat embarrassing lack of full support (specifically, the JIT).  Google has also continually refused to merge our POWER patches, though due to Chromium's popularity the POWER support has been reliably maintained anyway out of tree and in Ungoogled form as well, see (and huge thanks to the maintainer for doing this!)

Yes, the HDMI fix is still required.  We don't have a kernel patch yet.

Regarding Glamor, that's a software problem.  There is no "Blackbird 2" planned for POWER9, and POWER10 is still a significant distance away.

So far as I know Vikings will be launching our products soon-ish.  I don't have exact timing, you could always write them and ask.  ;)

Does this answer your questions?

User Zone / Re: Fedora Linux Thread
« on: December 16, 2019, 10:23:34 am »
Excuetce but I don't understand what you're referring to specifically! I have only said and asked to have information on how to install VLC as I was not able to find it and then I wrote that I wanted to understand how to make everything work better with Bluray, I do not think I have altered anything, I only use ORIGINAL software for DVDs and Bluray so if you think I'm asking for information for non-original material to play you're wrong and very pure! Reproducing original material can be done in any place, both home reader and computer reader, so I repeat I don't understand what your problem is sincerely ... If there is something that has translated badly then it is another matter, using the translator of Google doesn't always come out exactly as you write it, but I don't see it myself ...

Most likely this got lost in translation.

In the US there is conflicting law, one law states that you are not even allowed to decrypt original media for playback if it was encrypted (e.g. commercial BluRay).  Due to that law (the DMCA), we cannot allow discussion of how to break encryption (even for interoperability / playback of original media) on these forums.

If you are playing unencrypted BluRay data disks (e.g. mkv data from a camera, etc.) of course that discussion is not a problem here.

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