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Messages - pocock

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1
Talos II / Re: Installing the system on a Samsung 980 Pro SSD 1TB
« on: June 25, 2022, 04:01:11 am »

I have the following setup

2x PM9A1 (the OEM version of the 980 Pro)

2× IB-PCI208-HS - Icy Box PCIe 4.0

Linux with btrfs RAID1

I use the Debian stable kernel rebuilt for the 4k page size as described in other discussions in this forum
5.10.0-8-powerpc64le-4k


I purchased the SSDs in October 2021

The system has currently been running 177 days without reboot

2
General OpenPOWER Discussion / Re: News?
« on: June 12, 2022, 06:47:45 am »

Raptor has made the motherboards to a high standard and most people seem to agree they will last a long time, hopefully long enough for RISC V to appear on our desktops too.



If you look at that comment, there is nothing in it to suggest an open RISC V will arrive imminently.  In fact, given that nobody is holding their breath for open RISC V, the comment could be seen as deliberately optimistic about Talos II boards running for years to come due to their quality.


we would advise against switching to blob-filled, proprietary platforms just to "hit back" at IBM.

There was nothing in the post to suggest people "hit back" at IBM

It is just a reality check, that is all.  We can see the way people started building Alma Linux and other continuations of CentOS.  That is not to "hit back" at Red Hat or IBM, they are building that because they need it and it was the right thing to do.

Given the communities are not so big, these situations do lead to people duplicating effort (e.g. Rocky Linux) and other inefficiencies that may have been avoidable.  Rather than having 3 or 4 forks of CentOS, developers doing exactly the same thing in parallel, it would be interesting if some of that developer effort went to POWER9 porting.

Speaking as a developer, I fully respect the right of any developer, whether it is a lone volunteer or a giant company like IBM to change their direction.  It then raises the question about how other people work around that.

For example, do you see the IBM POWER9 chips continuing to be available in sufficient quantities for the Raptor ecosystem?

Do you see any other manufacturer coming along with a 100% open chip to continue from POWER9?

The best way to keep things open in the short term, when also looking at long-term effects, would be to simply standardize the open software ecosystem on the POWER9 ISA vs. the POWER10 ISA.

Could you define that?  For example, which key software products need to commit to that statement?  In practice, how many of the developers on that part of the open source ecosystem are employed by IBM / Red Hat and could that take them down a POWER10 path?

...typing this from a Talos II workstation with Debian and Ungoogled Chromium installed

Does this mean the Chromium libs are now available for building other things?  If so, I might have another look at some projects that were pending for me to port.

3
General OpenPOWER Discussion / Re: News?
« on: June 11, 2022, 04:49:41 pm »
I think some of this is out of Raptor's control

There is widespread discussion elsewhere about IBM wrecking things in Red Hat, CentOS and Fedora, POWER10 not being 100% open and Google has been wrecking things in Debian.  Coincidentally, IBM and Google are the two key players in OpenPOWER.  I don't want to gripe about it, only to express what it may mean for everybody who already bought in to this platform.

They had an OpenPOWER room at FOSDEM, they accepted my talk and then they canceled it, this is incredibly nasty stuff.  We go to FOSDEM every year as volunteers.  It was online this year, the Google people don't have to look the volunteers in the eye because it is all remote so they brought this dirty behavior into FOSDEM.

On a platform like POWER where there are not so many developers to begin with you can't do stuff like that.  If people see one volunteer being hurt then ten other volunteers will avoid the platform.  People don't care who is right or wrong, when they get the feeling of conflict, they decide to give it a pass or come back and look again in 12 months.  That makes it much harder for Raptor to sell to volunteer developers.

Debian has started spending a lot of money on a lawsuit recently.  I don't want to hijack this thread with details of the lawsuit, you can download the dossier if you really want to, the only thing I want to emphasize is that 17 developers resigned.  15 of those developers were removed from the keyring on 7 June.  Most of them will probably not make any statement about their resignation, most people don't like to take sides but there is a cause and effect: when conflict starts, some people quit.

This is all out of Raptor's control of course but it is a risk to the platform.

Personally, having contributed to patching packages for POWER9, I'm optimistic that lessons learnt from porting work on this platform will be easily transposed to ARM64 and RISC V.  Raptor has made the motherboards to a high standard and most people seem to agree they will last a long time, hopefully long enough for RISC V to appear on our desktops too.


4
There are some hints about multi-seat setups in other topics in the forum

Multi-seat can make the workstations more viable because the cost is shared between two or three users.

I had some discussions about this with a few people.  Most people are satisfied that POWER9 provides enough compute capacity but there were some practical concerns

The type of user who would benefit from this setup is typically a developer, system administrator or IT support worker who already works in Linux

By their nature, this type of user would like to tweak the system, for example, installing some kernel module, installing some non-standard version of some development header files or whatever.

What level of isolation can be achieved between users in such scenarios?

For example, using virtualization, people can have their own kernels and separate GPU ports.

Using LXC and cgroups, people can have their own root filesystem but they share a kernel

Has anybody tested these possibilities with POWER / Linux workstations or even on x86?

I found some links about the topic for some of the distributions that people are using

Hardware passthrough in LXC or running a desktop in a cgroup

two X servers one graphics card

Debian - Multi Seat

Fedora - Multi Seat

Arch - Multi Seat

FreeBSD - Multi Seat

5
The PCIe capabilities of these cards make them a very good match for Talos II at a hardware level so it is sad that nothing happened.

I suspect AMD would tell us that it is easier for us to buy their Ryzen processors and they might not make the effort on these drivers for non-x86 users

IBM, who make both the POWER9 and own Red Hat recently wasted a lot of money on an attempted reverse-domain-name-hijacking.  If they stopped giving the money to lawyers and gave it to real developers then some of us would probably spend the time to fix the GPU drivers.

6
There is one bug open against kernel 5.10.x, if anybody can try the card with a newer kernel like 5.15.x that would be helpful

7
Has anybody tried any of these cards with a recent kernel?

Does the kernel command line option mentioned on the wiki here make any difference?

Code: [Select]
amdgpu.aspm=0

8
I wouldn't care. Because the maintainers of Fedora (sharkcz is on this forum) are aware of the problem. If they don't feel the need to offer 4K kernels, so be it...

That's the blessing of open source, you can choose whatever you like.

Given the POWER eco-system is smaller compared to the overall eco-system, the choices are not so wide and the POWER development teams in each distribution are relatively limited in what they can do

The commit below doesn't credit people who spent time identifying the root cause of the problem, that is not a blessing at all.  It verges on plagiarism.

And it seems the problem is fixed?
Commit 5234de6c797565815ece9321b1dfe2e6732b5090
https://cdn.kernel.org/pub/linux/kernel/v5.x/ChangeLog-5.10.101

9

There is an update on the Fedora situation today

A legal panel has declared that rogue elements of Fedora committed harassment and abuse, this is what is effectively slowing down my work to help Fedora users on POWER

Here is my blog about it

Here is the verdict from the panel

It is interesting to note that when people immersed in the open source space make accusations of harassment, they are usually very biased and swayed by conflicts of interest and personal relationships.

The verdict on Fedora was made by an outside observer so it is more credible than a code of conduct.

10
Operating Systems and Porting / Re: [NEWS] Debian 11 is out
« on: November 29, 2021, 03:51:26 pm »

The person who wrote the character assassination claims that I am "purporting to be a Debian Developer"

If you look at his own Debian Developer profile, it says he is a non-uploading developer and he never created one package:

https://qa.debian.org/developer.php?login=donald@debian.org

https://nm.debian.org/person/donald/

I started programming microprocessors when I was about 10 years old and before Debian existed. They can not prevent me from creating and publishing Debian packages.  All they are doing is stopping other people like you from using them in the most convenient manner.  In other words, they are not hurting me, they are simply sabotaging Debian.

This rogue behavior deters other people from creating packages too.  If somebody spends a weekend creating a package, nobody is going to pay them for it but if they are unlucky they will be subject to defamation.  So there is no upside but there is a very big downside.  These vendettas stop people, especially women, from doing voluntary work in any free software project.  Everybody loses in situations like this.

11
Operating Systems and Porting / Re: [NEWS] Debian 11 is out
« on: November 18, 2021, 03:47:27 pm »
I'm not afraid to share those links but I prefer not to because if we look at that then we also need to look at the links about Debian Developers, Ubuntu employees, GSoC mentors and a Debian Project Leader having inappropriate interactions with the young female interns from developing countries.  I chose not to post any of that here.

The link about me does not contain any links to evidence.  It is pure defamation.

The real question is this: why would Donald Norwood write such a post about a volunteer?  Or to put that question in other words: if the attack on me is nonsense (a smokescreen), what are the real flaws in the Debian structure that they are trying to avoid discussion about?

12
Operating Systems and Porting / Re: [NEWS] Debian 11 is out
« on: November 18, 2021, 01:09:41 pm »
I received quite a few messages about Debian recently.

I won't go into the details.  As a professional, I simply want to focus on what this means for people who invested in the OpenPOWER platform.

There are not so many people doing OpenPOWER development for Debian.  The current politics will prevent important technical work and patches.

For example, my patch for the 4k page size can very easily be integrated into the official Debian releases.  I designed the patch to follow Debian's kernel packaging structure.  Unfortunately, in a period when I lost two family members, I experienced some extraordinary rudeness from the more difficult people in the Debian ecosystem.  I feel that they put politics ahead of the users, people like you.

From my perspective, if anybody wants to discuss the technical merits of the work I do as a Debian Developer, I remain happy to have those discussions and simply publish my packages using more reliable repositories and Gitlab.

After all, the Debian Social Contract, point 4 asserts "Our priorities are our users and free software".  Anybody who comes here to help users and provide them with solutions, such as the 4k patch for the Debian kernel packages and the installer ISO based on that patch, is free to call themselves a Debian Developer.

13
Any work on this topic in Fedora has now been undermined by the politics that is gripping large free software organizations.  This initiative is completely frozen and I can't say when it would resume.

During the Fedora 35 release cycle, many Red Hat employees joined the attacks on Dr Richard Stallman.  I wrote a blog about the human rights issues involved in these online mobs and subsequently received a number of malicious communications that undermine my voluntary work as a Fedora developer.

I would not expect Raptor to be keen on taking sides in these issues, after all, they made a big effort to attain the FSF RYF certification but the OpenPOWER hardware is coming from Red Hat's parent, IBM.  On that basis, I won't say a lot more about this but I feel that people who invested in this platform have a right to know that politics is getting ahead of important development issues.

14
Talos II / Re: Using the μPCIe connector (J10108)
« on: October 17, 2021, 06:20:27 am »
I notice the micro PCIe socket is right under one of the PCIe cards.  This means it may be better to use a cable with right angle (RA) connector like this:

Supermicro CBL-SAST-0955

15
General Discussion / Areca Tri-mode HBA NVMe / SAS / SATA controllers
« on: October 17, 2021, 05:41:43 am »

Online store / catalog

These are not cheap but they look like interesting HBAs for people who have a lot of disks and want to link them all into their workstation or server through a single x16 slot.

Has anybody tried any of them?

How do they compare to other brands offering a Tri-mode solution?

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