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Messages - pocock

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Thanks for this feedback

obs-studio is one of the things I want to run myself, so I would probably look at that first

Debian buildd says it already compiles on ppc64el on both sid and buster:

Does it run or are there bugs on ppc64el?  Are those bugs in the Debian BTS?  If so, it would be really helpful to tag them as described in the opening post on this topic.

I'm planning to get one of the next generation of AMD Radeon cards, described in this other thread, one of the reasons for that is I would like to try their VCN hardware encoding for video streaming.  Unfortunately, according to that article, the AV1 support may not appear in these cards and may only arrive in 2021.  Various news articles have appeared suggesting AMD will release the Navi 2 cards between September and December.

General CPU Discussion / v2 CPU availability?
« on: July 29, 2020, 11:25:49 am »

I notice that Raptor is only offering the 4 core and 8 core version of the v2 (stepping DD2.3) chips.  The 22 core chip is only available in v1.

Is there any reason for this?

I decided to order the 8 core v2 CPUs with the intention that I will use them on a dual-CPU board until the 22 core v2.3 CPU is available.  Then I could move the 8 core CPUs onto Talos II Lite boards and upgrade to 22 core v2.3 chips on my primary workstation.


Are you able to access the Debian VM through a text console, for example, by starting at a different run level or using the CTRL-ALT-F3 keystroke in the VM?

If that doesn't work, I would suggest asking for help through the Debian IRC channels, somebody can help you with that step-by-step

I've had some discussions with other developers about the POWER9 platform and one observation I've made is that people are looking at a choice between Talos II Lite or Blackbird.  Many don't need a dual CPU system and can't afford the full Talos II.

To iron out bugs in software, it is really vital to have a critical mass of developers using the platform and I suspect most of them are going to use either Talos II Lite or Blackbird.  When they narrow their choice down to those products, the next thing that comes to mind is: what should they put in the PCIe slots to get best use out of their workstation?

The wiki contains a large list of compatible products but what I'm really thinking about here is making a shortlist of five to ten really interesting products and putting them on the comparison page

Here is a summary of the problem:
  • most people will want to put a GPU in the x16 slot - some GPUs, like the Radeon Pro W5700 throw in a USB-C socket or some other bonus which is really useful on a system like this with limited expansion slots
  • with the x8 slot, most people will probably want a card that can give them some combination of SSDs (U.2 NVMe), legacy SATA disks and hopefully some other ports like OCuLink or ethernet on the same board as a bonus.  Can anybody comment on which boards are optimal in this scenario?

Some other permutations come to mind: for example, people who don't do a lot of graphics may be happy with a GPU in the x8 slot and use the x16 slot for OCuLink.  Hopefully we will also see some external OCuLink GPUs in the future but none seem to be available right now.

Feel free to add comments here or at the bottom of this wiki page


That tells me that Debian is using Wayland.  You can disable Wayland in Debian so that it uses Xorg, like the Centos host.  There are lots of pages with information about how to do that

Please give feedback if this solves the problem for you, it is most likely a Wayland problem and not a PPC problem.

Even as a desktop user, there is always a display server in your system

It is really useful to find out, for example, if it is X or Wayland:

You can run this command in Fedora and each VM:


You can get more information in each system by looking at the output of

$ xdpyinfo

In the Debian system, you can look at this file and search for errors:


Any line with WW is a warning and EE is an error

Here is an example error from that file:

[    98.019] (EE) Failed to load module "glx" (loader failed, 0)

The more details you share from that file, the easier it is to help you.

I suspect the problem you have is not a problem with the ppc64el architecture, it could be something related to X or Wayland and you might want to ask in the Debian IRC channels to see if anybody can help troubleshoot.

If you connect to the Debian VM with SSH, how is the performance of the command line?

Can you try to use X forwarding over SSH to see how one of the apps in the Debian VM behaves when its window is on the Fedora host X display?

Have you checked journalctl and the X server log in the Debian VM?

Which X server process in each case (Fedora host, CentOS and Debian)?

When you write "slower", do you mean the GUI is slow but applications are running at expected speed?  Or the applications actually run slowly when you do something with no visual output, e.g. zipping a large file is the same speed in every VM and host?

Applications and Porting / Re: (some times) no audio on Firefox
« on: July 23, 2020, 01:06:15 pm »
The problem you describe is not an issue with the OpenPOWER platform or RCS in particular, it is the same with Zoom on x86.

You can find specific details here although this bug report is about another topic:

It would be interesting to know if the problem goes away with the latest version of Firefox

This also appears to be part of Zoom's business strategy, trying to coerce people to use their app or download their binary plugin.

Many academic institutions around the world have special requirements for the storage of confidential human subject research data.

For example, a private company like Facebook can profile their users and there is little control on that.  But when a team in a university conducts a study on the same human subjects, they have to go to their Institutional Review Board (IRB) for approval.

Each time they start a new study, they have to approach the IRB and submit a plan.  The IRB can ask about their data storage and processing strategy.

This appears to be a use case where legislation introduced decades before modern spyware forces them to look for best practice.  With each new generation of technologies like Intel ME, the OpenPOWER and similar platforms become more compelling for this type of user.

Has anybody already tried to pitch these solutions in that environment?

General OpenPOWER Discussion / hosting requirements and strategies
« on: July 21, 2020, 11:38:18 am »

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?

I wanted to make this world a little bit easier for other developers to buy in, so I'm making some contributions on the wiki, feedback or enhancements would also be welcome.

In particular, comparing different wiki pages during purchasing can be frustrating, so I've combined key facts in a single table on a single page but please feel free to correct it if you feel anything is not quite right there.

Blackbird / using bigger CPUs with some cores disabled on Blackbird?
« on: July 20, 2020, 06:50:51 am »

I started a separate thread about disabling cores in the CPUs in a Talos II

It occurred to me that disabling cores could be a way to reduce CPU power consumption on Blackbird, for example, if you have an 18 core CPU (which is not supported) and you use the operating system to disable 4 cores, leaving just 14 cores, does the power consumption fall within the supported range for the motherboard?

This is probably not a good way to design a new system but if somebody has a spare CPU and they want to temporarily use it in a Blackbird, maybe this would be a useful hack that will reduce the risk of unexpected behavior.


There are different marketing possibilities around Europe.  Each country is different.

For example, in Switzerland, people have high salaries and would not feel stressed about the price of these products.  If somebody does a few Blackbird demos at small events and hackerspaces, a few more users will probably come on board quite quickly.

Somewhere like Ireland is very different: in Ireland, the country is cold, even in summer.  Some buyers in hot countries may hesitate to buy a powerful workstation because it will heat up their home but in Ireland, people would see that as a benefit and it will not lead to hesitation at the time of purchase.

General OpenPOWER Discussion / forum sections for different regions?
« on: July 13, 2020, 01:05:59 pm »

Are there enough users here to have sections in the forum for specific regions and/or countries?

For example, advertising local events where OpenPOWER solutions will be on display or simply helping users find each other at local hackerspaces.

Applications and Porting / Re: availability for porting work
« on: July 08, 2020, 02:24:33 pm »
It is an interesting suggestion.  The JIT is only for performance or it is also necessary for some functionality that is currently unavailable in Firefox on POWER9?

Somebody else recently commented about Firefox using too much CPU, I suggested experimenting with cgroups to constrain the Firefox process as a workaround until it is fully optimized.  Here is a script I developed for that purpose, there are other permutations available elsewhere:

I actually developed that for making it more sane on my x86 laptop, it is not just for POWER9

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