laptops and custom kernels

Kernels, Network, and Services configuration
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appye
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laptops and custom kernels

#1 Post by appye »

Hello, my wife got a new laptop. Audio and wifi do not function on the (5.10x) kernel that comes with Bullseye (netinst with firmware). All seems to work fine with the current (5.11x) "edge" kernel in Mint/Ubuntu.

I have been playing with Liquorix and Xanmod kernels. Both work fine with the laptop and everything works. I like that they are shipped via their own repositories and are actively developed. Playing with them on my older laptop, however, I see that CPU frequency seems to hang out at about 2500mhz and never gets any lower. This can't be good for battery life. With the Buster 4.19 kernel, frequency drops down to 600-800mhz on the same laptop once things start to idle. I did notice that both kernels talk about performance at the expense of battery life on their front pages. Is there a way to adjust this (cpu scheduler?) on either of these kernels (a config file, say?) without having to recompile things?

Are there any (laptop appropriate) kernel options for Debian that aren't so performance oriented? I would like them to come from a repository so they can be updated with apt.

I have discovered some options, but they require manual compilation and whatnot. While I have experience doing this, I am not really interested. Also, most discussions I see talk about performance and gaming fps, etc. She does not care at all about this, she just wants her sound and wifi to work, and I want to be able to update her kernel with apt.

Thanks for your time.

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sunrat
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Re: laptops and custom kernels

#2 Post by sunrat »

appye wrote: 2021-08-03 01:14I have been playing with Liquorix and Xanmod kernels. Both work fine with the laptop and everything works. I like that they are shipped via their own repositories and are actively developed. Playing with them on my older laptop, however, I see that CPU frequency seems to hang out at about 2500mhz and never gets any lower. This can't be good for battery life. With the Buster 4.19 kernel, frequency drops down to 600-800mhz on the same laptop once things start to idle. I did notice that both kernels talk about performance at the expense of battery life on their front pages. Is there a way to adjust this (cpu scheduler?) on either of these kernels (a config file, say?) without having to recompile things?
I use Liquorix kernel for audio production. For normal desktop purposes the default Debian kernel should be fine. Liquorix has a kernel config to default to performance cpu governor. You can change this on the fly. Install the package linux-cpupower and run this (as root or sudo) to change to ondemand governor:

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cpupower frequency-set -g ondemand
I actually made 2 scripts to change to either performance or ondemand with a sudo rule to run without password and links to the scripts with custom icons on the desktop.

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#!/bin/bash
/usr/bin/sudo cpupower frequency-set -g ondemand

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#!/bin/bash
/usr/bin/sudo cpupower frequency-set -g performance
Entry in sudoers file:

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#Allow user to execute cpupower without password
user   ALL=(root) NOPASSWD: /usr/bin/cpupower
Replace "user" with your username. You could also create or use a group for that purpose.

Audio, and more often wifi, not working are common problems in Debian due to its policy of not shipping with non-free software. Look up DFSG. There are usually simple fixes available but you need to post info about what the actual hardware is to even start to get help. The easiest way to find the required info is to install inxi and post the output of

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inxi -Fxz
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Those who have lost data
...and those who have not lost data YET ”
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appye
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Re: laptops and custom kernels

#3 Post by appye »

LOL! Ondemand. That was it. I kept trying to use powersave, but neither of those kernels support that I guess.

Now, what about choice between the two kernels? Any experience as to which one is more stable? I see that people generally say that xanmod is the higher performance one, but if one is more stable than the other, in terms of every day reliability or new versions causing weird issues ...

I do have to choose one at least for now. I might go back to a Debian kernel if

The only thing I have noticed so far is an odd message on liquorix that I see on the screen when resuming from hibernation, between 30% and 40% ...

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PM: Image loading progress:   0%
PM: Image loading progress:  20%
PM: Image loading progress:  30%
random: crng init done
PM: Image loading progress:  40%
PM: Image loading progress:  50%
PM: Image loading progress:  60%
PM: Image loading progress:  70%
PM: Image loading progress:  80%
PM: Image loading progress:  90%
PM: Image loading progress: 100%
I don't know what that is, but it hasn't seemed to affect anything though. At least on my older computer. I have not tried it on the new one yet. With Debian stable or xanmod, I don't get that ...

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Re: laptops and custom kernels

#4 Post by sunrat »

appye wrote: 2021-08-03 22:50 LOL! Ondemand. That was it. I kept trying to use powersave, but neither of those kernels support that I guess.
You can query which cpu governors are supported with

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cpupower frequency-info
Now, what about choice between the two kernels? Any experience as to which one is more stable? I see that people generally say that xanmod is the higher performance one, but if one is more stable than the other, in terms of every day reliability or new versions causing weird issues ...
For audio production I found Liquorix to be better than Xanmod.
I do have to choose one at least for now. I might go back to a Debian kernel if
If you're just using it for normal desktop tasks, that would be best IMO. I like Liquorix but for tasks other than audio production for me at least there is no perceivable difference from the Debian default kernel.
The only thing I have noticed so far is an odd message on liquorix that I see on the screen when resuming from hibernation, between 30% and 40% ...

Code: Select all

PM: Image loading progress:   0%
...
PM: Image loading progress: 100%
I don't know what that is, but it hasn't seemed to affect anything though. At least on my older computer. I have not tried it on the new one yet. With Debian stable or xanmod, I don't get that ...
I don't use hibernation but I'm guessing that is info messages showing reloading of the saved state image from disk. The other kernels probably just hide those same messages.
“ computer users can be divided into 2 categories:
Those who have lost data
...and those who have not lost data YET ”
Remember to BACKUP!

appye
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Re: laptops and custom kernels

#5 Post by appye »

Thanks for the info! As to what kernel to choose, I will be going with liquorix. It doesn't seem to be quite so bleeding edge (a good thing) as xanmod, at least it looks that way at first glance with xanmod on 5.13 and liquorix still going with 5.12. Also, xanmod only supports performance and powersave governors, and even with powersave it does not seem to be doing anything to downclock all that much ... liquorix does not list powersave, but it seems to work pretty well with ondemand.

I am also playing with tlp. That's a new one on me...

Thanks again for your insight.

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