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Messages - pocock

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Talos II / Re: Using the ╬╝PCIe 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

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?


Quattro 400 web page

Has anybody tried it?

It is not really fast enough for somebody who wants the newest SSDs like the Samsung Pro 980, each of those can do 7GB/s.

For previous generation SSDs operating up to 4GB/s this looks like an interesting HBA for software RAID, Btrfs or ZFS in a x8 slot.

Talos II / Re: Using the ╬╝PCIe connector (J10108)
« on: October 17, 2021, 05:29:37 am »
The manual suggests it is 4 lanes (PCIe 4.0 x4)

The errata states it is an Oculink SFF-8621 physical connector but it is not completely wired for Oculink

Nonetheless, do the PCIe lanes work sufficiently for an SFF-8621 to U.2 NVMe cable?

Here is an example of the cable CBL-SAST-0956 from Supermicro

The cable is not very expensive, I might simply buy one to try it.

General Discussion / Re: Samsung PRO 980 1TB NVMe is working flawlessly
« on: October 17, 2021, 05:18:45 am » is also the OEM version, Samsung PM9A1, equivalent to the Pro 980 but at OEM price (cheaper)[/url]

In terms of performance and the previous comment about using dedicated slots for each of these drives, here are some details:

- the fastest sequential read from these new Samsung devices is 7000 MB/s

- a PCIe 4.0 (Gen4) slot, with one lane (x1) carries 2GB/s

- the Talos II motherboard has a mysterious x4 micro PCIe connector, it appears to be x4 lanes, that could carry 4 * 2GB/s = 8GB/s for one of these SSDs or two of the previous generation SSDs without congestion

- the PCIe 4.0 slots, x8 can carry 8 * 2GB/s = 16 GB/s, that is enough for two of these new Samsung devices + some spare capacity for legacy SATA all running simultaneously on a single Tri-mode HBA

- the PCIe 4.0 slots, x16 can carry 16 * 2GB/s = 32 GB/s, that is enough for four of these new Samsung devices + some spare capacity for legacy SATA all running simultaneously on a single Tri-mode HBA

For people building workstations based on Blackbird or Talos II Lite it is probably desirable and feasible to have an x8 HBA for SSDs and use the x16 for a GPU


OWC Shuttle - four SSDs, 3.5"

OWC Shuttle - one SSD, 2.5"

ZD Net pictures

The model that takes four SSDs may be more interesting for Talos II and Blackbird users

It is part of OWC's set of products for Thunderbolt but it says you can use the Shuttle by itself in any workstation that has U.2 support from a HBA.

Being more verbose, the full system comprises three parts: OWC's external Thunderbolt-to-PCIe case, an SSD carrier module, like a miniature backplane that goes in the case and finally, the Shuttle module itself.  This full system would not be relevant for Talos II / Blackbird as they don't have Thunderbolt ports, nonetheless, the Shuttle by itself may be interesting.

It is not clear how the four M.2 SSDs are combined into a single U.2 port: is this bifurcation, is there some kind of switch chipset or is there something else in the U.2 standard that allows multiple devices to be combined into a single U.2 port?

It says that they support PCIe 4.0 but it is not clear if they support the newest high speed PCIe 4.0 SSDs.


Official site

Specifications in PDF

This is a controller for multiple SSDs.  It uses a switch, not bifurcation.  As noted elsewhere, bifurcation is not really supported on Talos II

The specifications and price look interesting for workstation builds where you want to combine 2, 3 or 4 SSDs for a simple RAID-1 mirror with the Linux md RAID, btrfs or ZFS.

The benefit of buying this type of card is that only one PCIe slot is consumed for multiple SSDs.  On the systems with only two slots (Talos II Lite and Blackbird) that is an important consideration.

Specifications in PDF give a lot of detail about support for backplanes, it is not clear if you can simply connect the ports directly to U.2 SSDs using the right cable.

The M.2 SSDs can be mounted in U.2/M.2 carriers.

Has anybody tried it?

The wiki has a lot of details about how to install firmware but I couldn't see instructions about how to check the currently running firmware version.

Furthermore, Raptor appear to be using "System Package" version numbers to represent some mix of individual packages that have their own distinct version numbers.  For example, the Talos II v2.00 isn't OpenBMC 2.00.  I feel this list would look better as a table showing the Raptor version in one column and other relevant versions in extra columns.  For example, a column for OpenBMC, another for Linux kernel, etc.

Then if you log in and look at the uname output you can take the kernel version and try to deduce which System Package from Raptor you are running.


Can you please send the output of this command and your contact details in an email?

Code: [Select]
$ cat /proc/cpuinfo  | tail -12

It shows some more CPU and motherboard details

Please send me an email with your contact details, you can find my contact details here

Operating Systems and Porting / Re: [NEWS] Debian 11 is out
« on: September 10, 2021, 04:50:11 pm »

When I bought my Talos II, I did a fresh install of buster

As mentioned elsewhere, I rebuilt my kernel for a 4k page size and created Btrfs filesystems with 4k

I recently made a dist-upgrade to bullseye, Debian 11.  As part of the upgrade, I rebooted into the 4k kernel from buster so I could continue accessing my Btrfs filesystem

Then I built a 4k version of the 5.10 kernel package from bullseye.  Rebooting into that and the system runs fine.  I pushed my kernel here:

After a week or so I had a crash, I'm not sure if that is the bullseye kernel or if it is just what I was doing at that moment in time.  I've been doing some development with GStreamer and VAAPI for the AMD Radeon cards and that has also produced some crashes so I'm not sure if this is because of bullseye or the testing that I'm doing with the GPU.

GNOME appears to be slightly faster when switching workspaces compared to buster.


Did you change the settings to disable Wayland and use regular Xorg?

That is what I'm using (Debian 10) and it is working well

General OpenPOWER Discussion / Re: News?
« on: July 01, 2021, 06:07:29 pm »
That's a handy little comparison chart.

Thanks for this feedback

The integrated audio on the Blackbird is weak on lows and bass, and the mic input needs to be turned all the way up seemingly.

I'm using the Soundblaster X-Fi USB device

Output:   Talos II -> USB cable -> X-Fi -> S/PDIF (fibre optic, digital) -> Harmon Kardon AV system -> B&W DM604

Input: Rode lapel mic -> TRRS / 3.5mm converter -> 1/4" converter -> X-FI -> USB -> Talos II

It is working really well

For digital output to S/PDIF you don't need expensive hardware, any USB-to-S/PDIF device is satisfactory

Output is easy, but for microphone input, every component is significant.

Does anybody know about support for Firefox WebAssembly (WASM) on ppc64le?

Some web sites like Zoom don't work without it.

Since March, it looks like Jitsi Meet may require WebAssembly too

Is WASM available in any recent version of Firefox?  Can it be enabled if I rebuild Firefox from source?


The download here is working for me, this is a newer version in beta:

I'm using it with the autotools and C++ plugins.

Even on VoidLinux the package is listed as unavailable. So I guess, it's a bigger issue.

You can still download it directly from the Eclipse site using the link I provided above.

It does not work for me too.

Which Linux and Java version?

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