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Thread: The Linux Power Problem Is Widespread, Hits Desktops Too

  1. #1
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    Default The Linux Power Problem Is Widespread, Hits Desktops Too

    Phoronix: The Linux Power Problem Is Widespread, Hits Desktops Too

    The major Linux power regression situation seems to only be getting worse at this point. Following the Mobile Users Beware: Linux Has Major Power Regression and The Tests Showing Ubuntu 11.04 On A Power Consumption Binge, a variety of feedback has come in. There's the usual FUD that it's "Moronix" benchmarks and the like, but the fact of the matter is it's a very real problem and it's about to bite Ubuntu 11.04 and other Linux distributions planning to ship with 2.6.38 kernel or later...

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=OTM2OQ

  2. #2
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    I'm running ubuntu 10.10 and mint 10.10 both with the 2.6.38-8 kernel. I'd be glad to run some tests and/or test out a different kernel.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by skeetre View Post
    I'm running ubuntu 10.10 and mint 10.10 both with the 2.6.38-8 kernel. I'd be glad to run some tests and/or test out a different kernel.
    On a battery-backed source or do you have a power meter?
    Did you encounter the regression already in moving from pre-2.6.38 to 2.6.38 in a measurable manner?

    I think the issue should affect most people, but due to limited time, mostly looking for people who are confident they are affected. Also knowing the architecture for when anyone reports a problem is useful.

  4. #4
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    I have a battery backup I can use, or I can use a laptop. I don't have a power meter though.

  5. #5
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    I just got back from vacation and opened my bedroom door with my computer sitting idle running 2.6.38.3 for a few days and a rush of hot air came out. My wakeups really aren't that bad though. Under 100/s in a quick check just now with X and a browser running. It's a pretty well overclocked i7 but runs with ondemand which appears to be functioning correctly. Idle temperatures have been higher than normal lately. No real indications as to why though.

  6. #6
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    NO kidding! My 3 core Phenom desktop was powering itself off every once in a while (Kubuntu 11.04). I opened it up and boy, was it hot! I took the opportunity to clean up the fans (the had lots of dust and lint), the ventilation grids on the box, etc. Reseated the CPU cooler. I am not really sure how much of this was related to the new kernel. It's running 10C cooler now.

    Anyways, the two first lines in powertop seem suspicious (and consistent with what Michael was saying)

    Code:
      42.2% (986.5)   [Rescheduling interrupts] <kernel IPI>
      19.0% (444.5)   [extra timer interrupt]
    I'll keep digging ...

  7. #7
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    Doesn't the .38 kernel have a new scheduler in it?

  8. #8
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    I'm sure it's the super duper 200-line "responsive patch"...

  9. #9

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    With 2.6.38 I experience major screen corruption. I regularly have to reboot into 2.6.37.
    I wonder if it may be due to my Intel chipset overheating.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by DebianAroundParis View Post
    With 2.6.38 I experience major screen corruption. I regularly have to reboot into 2.6.37.
    I wonder if it may be due to my Intel chipset overheating.
    If you're using the radeon driver (with "Intel chipset" I assume you mean the chipset, not the GPU), that's probably due to page flipping. It's bugged:

    http://bugs.freedesktop.org/show_bug.cgi?id=35697

    Putting the below in /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/gpu.conf stopped the crashes and corruption.

    Code:
    Section "Device"
    	Identifier "HD4870"
    	Driver "radeon"
    	Option "EnablePageFlip" "FALSE"
    EndSection

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