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Linux Kernel Suffering Power Management Regression?

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the year-of-linux-on-the-coppertop dept.

Bug 186

An anonymous reader writes "It appears that there's a big power management regression in the Linux kernel for the 2.6.38 and 2.6.39 development releases, including the kernel to ship with Ubuntu 11.04 next week. It's reportedly causing a 10~30% increase in power consumption on many laptop computers."

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186 comments

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Only Power Users will notice (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35910714)

I think this is something that only Power Users will notice. It's not something important for the common user.

Re:Only Power Users will notice (0)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 3 years ago | (#35910792)

I think this is something that only Power Users will notice. It's not something important for the common user.

I think a lot of people would notice if their laptop suddenly got a third less battery life.

Re:Only Power Users will notice (5, Insightful)

drb226 (1938360) | more than 3 years ago | (#35910828)

I think this is something that only Power Users will notice. It's not something important for the common user.

I think a lot of people would notice if their laptop suddenly got a third less battery life.

Excuse me sir, I believe your pun detector is broken.

Re:Only Power Users will notice (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35911188)

He might not have the capacity to appreciate such humor.

Re:Only Power Users will notice (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 3 years ago | (#35911368)

He might not have the capacity to appreciate such humor.

No, the GP is right. The battery in my pun detector was dead.

Re:Only Power Users will notice (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35911428)

your continued resistance to puns is growing alarming

Re:Only Power Users will notice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35911582)

It's the current trend, don't you know?

Re:Only Power Users will notice (1)

element-o.p. (939033) | more than 3 years ago | (#35911726)

Ohm my ${DIETY}...this thread is getting very, VERY painful.

Re:Only Power Users will notice (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 3 years ago | (#35912294)

I might suggest your not clipping them to your nipples.

Re:Only Power Users will notice (2)

proverbialcow (177020) | more than 3 years ago | (#35911446)

Must be running the 2.6.38 or 2.6.39 kernel.

Re:Only Power Users will notice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35911886)

Hmmm... You must be a power user.

Don't worry! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35911436)

It's open source. All the programmers will get together and exam the code and fix it! That's the power of open source - it's just like the million monkeys, you just have to keep waiting until the monkeys happen to get it right. Maybe this wouldn't be a problem if they weren't obsessed with changing the damn thing so frequently.

Re:Don't worry! (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35911692)

Well said. If they spent more time masturbating they'd have the most secure operating system.

Re:Don't worry! (1)

mcdmgsmith7475 (2003138) | more than 3 years ago | (#35912476)

I completely agree. It WILL be fixed in a Jiffy!

Re:Don't worry! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35912564)

Aggressive updating & enhancing. Funny, I thought the open market was supposed to perpetuate the better-faster-cheaper ethic. It's almost as if the spirit of competition is only alive and well outside of the commercial market. Personally, I can cope with a few inefficiencies from release to release, with output and proficiency like the kernel devs flex.

Re:Only Power Users will notice (1)

colinrichardday (768814) | more than 3 years ago | (#35911566)

Perhaps something was impeding his understanding?

Re:Only Power Users will notice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35912840)

He's an angry basement nerd? Probably yes.

Re:Only Power Users will notice (1)

mcdmgsmith7475 (2003138) | more than 3 years ago | (#35912504)

Excuse me sir, I believe your pun detector is broken.

Geek alert! Geek alert! Geek alert!

Re:Only Power Users will notice (1)

xtracto (837672) | more than 3 years ago | (#35913062)

I think a lot of people would notice if their laptop suddenly got a third less battery life.

Not trying to troll but for me Linux has always used drained battery faster than alternative OS. I do not know what is the reason or the problem but from previous Linux versions I always got around 20% less time in Linux than in the other OS. (I remember about 5 years ago there even was a problem that Linux was writing a lot to the HDD and that caused battery train problems).

Re:Only Power Users will notice (1)

pahles (701275) | more than 3 years ago | (#35910824)

Which insensitive sod has modded parent down?

Re:Only Power Users will notice (1)

The End Of Days (1243248) | more than 3 years ago | (#35910902)

Actually I would guess it was an overly sensitive sod.

Re:Only Power Users will notice (1, Offtopic)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 3 years ago | (#35910912)

Which insensitive sod has modded parent down?

That's insensitive CLOD , you insensitive twit.

Re:Only Power Users will notice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35911048)

That's insensitive TWAT, you insensitive dirk.

Re:Only Power Users will notice (0)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 3 years ago | (#35912376)

That's insensitive TWAT, you insensitive dirk

That's insensitive TEA-BEGGING COCK SUCKER , you inane drone.

Re:Only Power Users will notice (1)

kvvbassboy (2010962) | more than 3 years ago | (#35910986)

I guess it's someone suffering a major regression in his sense of humor.

Re:Only Power Users will notice (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35910906)

mod parent up, funny

Re:Only Power Users will notice (1)

asdf7890 (1518587) | more than 3 years ago | (#35910918)

Assuming the 18% extra power consumption they found when the machine was idling is representative of what many users will see, than I expect non-power users will notice. If you have a laptop with only two hours of battery life (a netbook from a year or two ago like the AA1 with its standard battery for instance, or many fullsize laptops from a bit earlier) that is a full 21 minutes reduced run time on battery (36 minutes if you count the top, 30%, figure). People using their portable device on a long commute or other journey may well notice a difference, especially if they've not had chance to make sure it is fully charged before leaving.

Re:Only Power Users will notice (3, Informative)

asdf7890 (1518587) | more than 3 years ago | (#35911088)

And I've just noticed the pun. Somebody mod me "too slow on the uptake".

Re:Only Power Users will notice (0, Flamebait)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 3 years ago | (#35911820)

I'll probably get flamed for daring to say this, but what the hell: why in the world would you want to run Linux on a laptop? Now on a desktop, sure I can see that. There are many flavors of Linux that use less resources, and most importantly the parts are getting pretty bog standard now on desktops. I mean it is all Realtek or Intel or ATI or Nvidia chips, and that is pretty much it.

But laptops are where desktops were 20+ years ago, a big mess of proprietary suckage, where you can't even tell by looking at the model number, because you can get three identical model numbered Dell laptops and find three complete different chipsets, sometimes even completely different vendors! Hell it is a bug fucking mess, and the only reason Windows will run on the damned things is the fact the OEMs go out of their way to write drivers for it. With Linux unless you are buying enterprise gear all you are gonna get from them is the finger most times, or if you are lucky a single driver tied to a VERY specific kernel that if you are lucky and the moon is right will work kinda sorta but not quite.

So I don't see why Linux devs kill themselves to write and try to work on such a fucked up platform, especially if the OEMs are gonna make such a big mess of things with all the proprietary chipsets and funky firmware. Better to tell them to piss up a rope if they won't hand out the specs and code and just stick with ARM, where it looks like the future is gonna be anyway. So why do it? You are wasting very limited resources chasing a design that is here today, replaced by something completely different later today. Just seems like such a waste when the good money will be in embedded and clusters anyway.

Linux on laptop (2, Informative)

fnj (64210) | more than 3 years ago | (#35911968)

Why would anyone want to run linux on a laptop? Well, I run linux on my laptop. At first I had it set up to dual boot, but after months of not using the Windows partition I canned it and have never missed it. During the period I had both operating systems set up, I could compare them. Windows (Vista as installed at the factory) was dog slow and buggy (and before you poke fun at Vista, XP was just as bad on other laptops as received). Linux was snappy, remarkably stable, and supported the hardware very well with the exception of the oddball fingerprint reader which was a crappy idea anyway. It is a Lenovo X301 with SSD. If you stay away from Dell crap, 95% of laptops are pretty routine for linux. Even a lot of Dells are fine, but too many of them have oddball crap that is problematic.

I have successfully installed and run various linux distros on a Compaq/HP X1000, an HP2133 mini, a Samsung X460, and the Lenovo, as well as maybe a couple of dozen desktops, including pretty-much-black-box Shuttles and Aopen minis, as well as oddball home-builts, over the last 10 years or so. Things have gotten a lot better over the last several years in terms of video and wireless support. Hardware support is so good currently that it is far better than Windows, where you have to track down drivers for every piece of hardware on your own.

Having said that, my nephew has no trouble at all wiping the OEM Windows off of his laptops, one after the other, and installing his own fresh retail copies of Windows. He claims it performs much better without the bundled crap. I don't have the patience for that myself, and can't divine why anyone would WANT to run Windows, anyway.

I do think you miss the point when you claim that it is a waste of "resources" for linux to go to a lot of work to support a myriad of hardware. The resources you speak of are open source software engineers who are basically in it for the love of the challenge. Most of them are not interested in working on boring apps, anyway, and the non-hardware-related kernel proper has plenty of manpower working on it. The part of the kernel that is not hardware related doesn't even need a lot of manpower. Those are guys with vary special knowledge. The development resources available to linux are basically unlimited. Yes, the software engineers paid by corporations to work on linux make important contributions, including hardware support, but a lot of guys, particularly in hardware support, are independent geniuses on their own time. A lot of pieces of hardware owe their linux support to these individuals donating their time as a sideline because they relish the work, and individually are interested enough in some particular piece of hardware for their own use to figure it out.

Re:Linux on laptop (1, Interesting)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 3 years ago | (#35912394)

Oh I'm not saying you can't do it, it just seems like a hell of a lot of work for very little gain. Personally I wouldn't wish Windows Vista on my worst enemy (although win 7 is quite nice, as is XP without the crapware) but the problem is unless you are an uber geek laptops are a mess and frankly the odds they'll even get 40% of them running stable is a big question mark.

Plus this is probably THE absolute WORST time in history to be working on the things, as we are talking a HUGE fundamental shift in the way they are designed is going on right NOW this very second. Within less than a year CPU+GPU will be replaced by APU which means that unless you are running old crap its back to the drawing board. Oh and it'll be even MORE of a PITA, thanks to the APUs containing proprietary code for HDMI so that will all have to be reverse engineered.

I'm just saying unless someone can bitch slap Linus "Plans? We don't need no steenkin plans! [kerneltrap.org] " Torvalds so he'll stop going Goatse on the kernel things will be hard enough without trying to hit a moving target with a live bumblebee, which is what laptops are in the current state. A wise engineer took one look at the guts of one and said "designed for the dump" and he is right, inside the things are a mess. and as I said you can't even buy by model number and be sure it will work, thanks to them playing chipset roulette with anything and everything.

I just don't see how some guy in his basement, I don't care if he is frickin Einstein, is supposed to keep up with Torvalds AND all the new chipsets AND all the proprietary firmware AND the hardware roulette AND the constant breakage every time the distro gets a bug up their ass to change something fundamental. If you just wanted to say "if you run it on this it is strictly for hobbyist fun" I'd agree with you, but with so many FOSS evangelists saying "Linux is ready to go!" using it on laptops will just turn more people off.

So if you can make it go more power to you, but I tried it on four bog standard laptops that came through the shop and frankly i spent more time trying to get the damned hardware to work than I did using the damned things. In the end it was simply easier to reinstall Windows than deal with the BS, and I have a feeling until things settle down on the laptop front like they have on desktop most folks are gonna have the same experience. At least with Windows you have drivers for all the hardware, and no spending hours on forums looking for CLI fixes.

Oh and FYI you don't actually have to track down drivers anymore, Windows Update takes care of that for you. I've even had it find the funky USB TV Tuner drivers which frankly I never thought I'd see the day. I'm still waiting for Linux to have a "find me a damned driver!" button, like has been in windows for ages. Is it really so much to ask for?

Re:Linux on laptop (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35912566)

He's trollin'. If you're using a reasonably usability-oriented distro (e.g. Fedora, Ubuntu, Mint), you'll have virtually no issues. I've got a Toshiba Satellite lappy from 2010 dual-booting Win 7 (since I've already paid for the license) and a Linux partition I've tried a few distros on (Ubuntu, Fedora, Arch and Debian in that order for at least 6 months each). The only one that was even a little bit difficult to get up and running with was Arch, but that's really by design. [archlinux.org]

Windows 7 on the other hand (while certainly a step up from Vista) has given me some real grief the few times I was had to use it for work. Now admittedly, this has not been a matter of hardware drivers (on both Linux and windows my video and wireless drivers had no problems). Rather, its a matter of going back to Windows after experiencing Linux and realising how much it sucked. Software you install can just stop working on you one day, every other program seems to want to gobble up resources with its own updater application, and I'm really genuinely irritated by the lack of any good terminal emulator. I want to encode some video with mencoder? The program runs fine, but using CMD to get at it is a royal pain.

Re:Linux on laptop (1)

ifiwereasculptor (1870574) | more than 3 years ago | (#35912736)

He's trollin'. If you're using a reasonably usability-oriented distro (e.g. Fedora, Ubuntu, Mint), you'll have virtually no issues.

True. Debian runs on mine like a champ from the get-go, wireless and all. The only thing that troubles me is Intel's video driver. They just can't or won't write decent drivers for Linux, so performance takes a hit.

Re:Linux on laptop (1)

ladoga (931420) | more than 3 years ago | (#35913060)

Debian has been running so well on my 6 year old Thinkpad X41 that I haven't even considered buying a new laptop. I'll probably use it as long as the hardware lasts, be it another 4 or 6 years. After upgrading to SSD and aligning the partitions correctly to erase byte size it boots up to desktop (Fluxbox) in 7 seconds and basically everything that doesn't require heavy calculation from the CPU happens instantly. In practice it's much faster in all CPU non-heavy actions than any Windows laptop I've ever used (I know SSD has most to do with this). It's also ecological to buy stuff that lasts and not replace computers every another year.

I've been repairing windows laptops lately (mostly Windows 7, some Vista) and my feeling is that almost without exception they are laggier and slower than what I'm used to. Even if these things have quadrupled amount of RAM compared to my old laptop, it really doesn't show in any meaningful way. Windows Vista and 7 seem to use atleast one gigabyte of RAM in order to just keep running as there is so much useless bloat loaded at any given time. Also many of these Windows 7 laptops seem to have audio issues on high CPU load. Even after fresh install audio will stutter when the machine is under heavy load (Ie. calculating primes).

So why would I make a jump from provenly trouble free Linux on this laptop to Windows 7? Would it not be slow to run Windows 7 on 6 year old laptop with 1.5GB of RAM? Would the SSD be as fast using windows filesystems? Would the suspend and hibernate actions work correctly and as fast as they do in Linux (suspends in one second, resumes in one)? Why would I use Windows 7 as I even don't know how to use it's user interface (how to move and resize windows without grabbing window borders with mouse?). How about most of CLI tools that make my life easier? Would I be able to use most of my favorite software on windows? (On Cygwin maybe, but why the trouble?)

Re:Linux on laptop (1)

ladoga (931420) | more than 3 years ago | (#35913098)

The only thing that troubles me is Intel's video driver. They just can't or won't write decent drivers for Linux, so performance takes a hit.

Intel drivers used to work great just few years back. IIRC it was a major rewrite of Xorg and introducing KMS that has caused the regression and the need for rewriting much of the driver code. (anyone who knows better please correct me). I think worst of that is already behind and the drivers are improving even for my old i915 chip. Some font or other rendering artifacts still appear now and then, but the performance seems to have improved lately (it was really pathetic few months ago, even glxgears was stuttering)

Re:Linux on laptop (1)

Anthony Mouse (1927662) | more than 3 years ago | (#35912710)

Yeah, Windows XP. That's why half the time I install it on a machine made after 2002, it doesn't have (among other things) the NIC driver, which means no Windows Update. Solution? Boot Ubuntu LiveCD and download it from the internet -- works every time.

Re:Linux on laptop (2)

fnj (64210) | more than 3 years ago | (#35912878)

That is a most interesting link. I pretty much agree with Linus on everything. You want formal design, you get hurd. Or rather you DON'T get hurd. Not in our lifetime (mine anyways). You follow Linus' evolving ideas and methodology and you get an excellent working product which evolves better and better.

All I can say about the guy in the basement is, yeah, there are lots of them, and yes, they keep up fine with Linus' ways and the difficulties you mention. I can't explain to you how this all works, because I'm not completely up to understanding it, let alone doing it, but it clearly does work, and I don't see any push whatsoever to fork linux for the purpose of freezing interfaces that do not have to be frozen. I mean, hey, the proof is in the pudding. There aren't many people who would argue Windows on the technical merits is better for servers than linux.

I believe the time is not long when the same will hold true on the desktop and the laptop.

It's not clear to me what fundamental difference APUs will mean, if by APU you mean the integration of the CPU and GPU on the same package or even same die. It's still a CPU and a GPU. OK, the interconnect is different, but there's nothing that says it automatically means the two pieces will be radically different than they are now.

"Your mileage" will always vary. All I can say is that I have to wrestle with linux less than I had to wrestle with Windows back when I actually cared about it and had to use it.

Linux doesn't need the "Find Driver" button (which NEVER ONCE worked for me in XP or Vista), because it already has an unimaginably rich set of drivers included right in the distro. I will readily admit I make my hardware purchase decisions based on what is likely or certain to be supported, in the sense that I always shy away from crappy off-brand network and wireless adapters. If you stick with Intel in those particular areas, you're in good shape. Having said that, I've been forced to violate that rule at times, and results in those cases have been getting steadily better in recent years, not worse.

Re:Linux on laptop (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 3 years ago | (#35913004)

Oh I'm not saying you can't do it, it just seems like a hell of a lot of work for very little gain.

Like... putting the CD in the drive, booting up and selecting 'install'?

I know there are problems with recent Nvidia chips which require undocumented hacks due to their video switching between the integrated crap and the Nvidia GPU, but when I installed Ubuntu on my Toshiba last year it all just worked.

Re:Only Power Users will notice (1)

Vairon (17314) | more than 3 years ago | (#35912444)

Maybe 5-10 years ago there were problems running Linux on some laptops but now a days it generally just works. I've run openSUSE and SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop on several Dell (Inspiron and Latitude), one IBM (Lenova) laptop and one Toshiba laptop with minimal or no trouble. A very long time ago (8+ years) I had a Dell Inspiron laptop which had issues with its internal wireless card but I just popped in a PCMCIA wireless card with Linux support until the internal wireless card was supported.

Re:Only Power Users will notice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35912786)

vista came on this laptop. there are NO xp drivers. but Ubuntu works like a champ right out of the gate. i made a xp vm, for office 2007 for school, inside virtualbox so it is mostly out of the way. there at the end i was typing (slowly) where the letters were 30-45 sec behind in word.

Re:Only Power Users will notice (3, Informative)

Anthony Mouse (1927662) | more than 3 years ago | (#35912990)

vista came on this laptop. there are NO xp drivers.

There are actually entire lines of computers that came with Vista but were too slow to actually run either it or Windows 7 properly, and at the same time are too new for anyone to have made XP drivers. Like half the computers sold with Vista before 2009 or so.

Never had any problems running Ubuntu on them though.

Re:Only Power Users will notice (1)

johnsnails (1715452) | more than 3 years ago | (#35910954)

why is this modded troll and not funny?

Re:Only Power Users will notice (1)

beelsebob (529313) | more than 3 years ago | (#35911022)

Quite the reverse in fact. Power users care about how much CPU power they can use. Common users care that they can get to $city on the train without their laptop running out of battery.

I agree, common users do not use Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35911730)

EOM

Re:Only Power Users will notice (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 3 years ago | (#35912090)

power or common really doesn't matter, as a common user of a craptop that has to be plugged to the wall anyway, I wouldn't notice.

Linus Torvalds and regression? (1)

kvvbassboy (2010962) | more than 3 years ago | (#35910738)

I am probably being extremely naive, but isn't Linus very much against any kind of regression in a major release? If I remember right, some important guy left the project over an argument concerning regression in the package he was maintaining.

Re:Linus Torvalds and regression? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35910764)

Yes, that's true. But in all fairness it has happened to other systems as well. Bill Gates didn't like regression and some guy left because of an argument concerning some type of regression.

Re:Linus Torvalds and regression? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35910790)

Yes, that's true. But in all fairness it has happened to other systems as well. Bill Gates didn't like regression and some guy left because of an argument concerning some type of regression.

Stuff happens.

The real test is seeing what people do AFTER "stuff happens".

Re:Linus Torvalds and regression? (2)

DirePickle (796986) | more than 3 years ago | (#35910816)

I don't know--this seems really common with the last dozen kernel releases or so. Power regressions, file system regressions, graphics speed regressions, blah blah blah. With every new kernel release Phoronix reports some serious regressions in various subsystems.

Re:Linus Torvalds and regression? (4, Interesting)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#35910900)

Ever notice it is only Phoronix reporting that?
When did steam come to linux again?

Sorry, but I want to see this backed up another source before I just go believing it.

Re:Linus Torvalds and regression? (5, Interesting)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 3 years ago | (#35911122)

Ever notice it is only Phoronix reporting that?

Do you know of any other organization with a large automated regression testing system for linux kernels? That's not just me being snarky, its a serious question - who else beside phoronix is doing this sort of wide-scale testing on a constant basis?

Re:Linus Torvalds and regression? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35911434)

And reporting it... anyway.

Re:Linus Torvalds and regression? (0)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 3 years ago | (#35912026)

Well Microsoft has one for Windows so someone must have one for Linux judging by how many people on /. insist that Linux is better in every way than Windows and that the Linux dev/testing process is miles ahead of the Microsoft one.

Re:Linus Torvalds and regression? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35912312)

Well Microsoft has one for Windows

Really? MS does nightly regression testing?

Re:Linus Torvalds and regression? (1)

macshit (157376) | more than 3 years ago | (#35912690)

Do you know of any other organization with a large automated regression testing system for linux kernels? That's not just me being snarky, its a serious question - who else beside phoronix is doing this sort of wide-scale testing on a constant basis?

I can't answer your question, but Phoronix's testing and benchmarking is notoriously bad, and anything you see there needs to be taken with a gigantic nugget of salt. At best, it's a hint to look around and see if you can find any similar result from a more reputable source.

Re:Linus Torvalds and regression? (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35911184)

Ever notice it is only Phoronix reporting that?
When did steam come to linux again?

Wine 0.9.6x, as I recall...

Re:Linus Torvalds and regression? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35911490)

I run my recently upgraded desktop (Core i5-2500K) through a power meter and it is very easy to notice - Ubuntu 10.10 (kernel 2.6.35) idles at about 30W, while 11.04 (2.6.38) goes up to 35W. That's about 20% more.

Re:Linus Torvalds and regression? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35911554)

That's about 20% more.

No. (35-30)/30 = 5/30 = 1/6 =~ 16.7%.

Re:Linus Torvalds and regression? (1)

Puff_Of_Hot_Air (995689) | more than 3 years ago | (#35911682)

That's about 20% more.

No. (35-30)/30 = 5/30 = 1/6 =~ 16.7%.

Or roughly; 20%

Re:Linus Torvalds and regression? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35912970)

That's about 20% more.

No. (35-30)/30 = 5/30 = 1/6 =~ 16.7%.

Or roughly; 20%

Or approximate 22.5%

Re:Linus Torvalds and regression? (4, Informative)

Kjella (173770) | more than 3 years ago | (#35911004)

Well, what Linus is focused on is breaking user code - if it worked in a released kernel, you will not break it in any future kernel. I don't think there's any strict rule that performance must always be better or power consumption lower. Particularly if you're not doing something "right" and have to add additional checks/locks/synchronization for corner cases that can slow you down, they generally value correctness over performance. That's the case in many of Phoronix' sensationalist news, a development release is very fast but when you make it work 'right' the performance is no longer that impressive. That stuff will happen as close to the bleeding edge as most of the things they report on are. Of course, they do find real regressions too but it's easy to get the wrong impression...

Re:Linus Torvalds and regression? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35911092)

I'm on .38 on multiple computers and I'm not seeing these issues, perhaps it's a configuration error on their end (assuming they compile the kernel themsleves for testing) or a configuration error on whatever distribution they test with?

Re:Linus Torvalds and regression? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35911804)

MOD UP -
article has NO mention of the toolchain and build settings used to build - which would have a HUGE impact on the efficiency
of the code (and therefore power consumption)

further - similar differences in userland would have the same impact.

blaming the kernel could be premature here

Re:Linus Torvalds and regression? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35911980)

Sorry, I don't mod AC's up.

Re:Linus Torvalds and regression? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35912890)

Yes, a 38 police special will do a dandy job on any computer!

Re:Linus Torvalds and regression? (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 3 years ago | (#35912982)

Yes, a 38 police special will do a dandy job on any computer!

Not true. I remember about ten years ago someone talking about a demo they saw of a fault-tolerant computer where the salesman emptied a .45 automatic into the computer while it was running and it continued working happily despite the damage.

Re:Linus Torvalds and regression? (1)

aztracker1 (702135) | more than 3 years ago | (#35912790)

Heh, the last ubuntu I ran as my host OS was 10.04 iirc, and it had the intel gfx regression (couldn't even muster the massive overhead of frozen bubble or youtube...

Re:Linus Torvalds and regression? (4, Interesting)

asdf7890 (1518587) | more than 3 years ago | (#35910852)

This is presumably not an intentional regression though, more likely just some new/updated code that is causing the CPU to be more busy when the machine is effectively idle than it was previously. It isn't like someone said "hey, Linus, do you mind if I make the kernel eat more power?"!

Re:Linus Torvalds and regression? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35911456)

Pah! Why on earth would a kernel be doing more work? That means they're doing something more inefficiently, that's a regression. However, the kernel is now a pissing contest between vendors and he who get get their shit in for their employer is the name of the game. Regression tests aren't a concern, neither is pissing off everyone else that doesn't use shitty feature X that's causing it.

Re:Linus Torvalds and regression? (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 3 years ago | (#35911776)

Perhaps it is that Wayland nonsense eating up more CPU cycles and using less of the GPU.

Re:Linus Torvalds and regression? (1)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 3 years ago | (#35912780)

Wayland is only in the repositories; it isn't part of the default install yet.

Re:Linus Torvalds and regression? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35911500)

I have noticed that since using the 2.6.38 kernel my hard drive power saving feature seemed broken. It was continuously trying to park the hd arm when idle and the next millisecond boot it up again. Issuing the command sudo /sbin/hdparm -B 254 /dev/sda seemed to work.

Re:Linus Torvalds and regression? (2)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 3 years ago | (#35911518)

One would expect that there is some sort of automated performance regression suite that is run regularly (say, daily) to catch offending commits.

Re:Linus Torvalds and regression? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35911306)

They don't use laptops, they spend all day in the basement.

uh-oh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35910746)

I think Microsoft has a patent on this. Not power management, I mean regressions. Like Vista or Windows 98 or Windows ME.

Re:uh-oh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35910788)

Or DOS 4.0 and DOS 6.21, you damn newb.

Re:uh-oh (1)

shentino (1139071) | more than 3 years ago | (#35910832)

With MS's track record I think they're their own prior art.

moronix. again. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35910870)

nothing to see here, move along

Magic "200 line" scheduling fix? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35910904)

Due to the inclusion of the magical "200 line" scheduling fix?

Re:Magic "200 line" scheduling fix? (2)

19thNervousBreakdown (768619) | more than 3 years ago | (#35912018)

Yes, it's probably due to that one thing you heard about.

"anonymous reader" (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35910956)

way to blow any cred whatsoever

Re:"anonymous reader" (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35911226)

you're an anonymous reader.

Re:"anonymous reader" (1)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 3 years ago | (#35911842)

No, he is Anonymous Coward. It is not clear if he reads anything (other the two words that he quoted, of course).

Re:"anonymous reader" (1)

kenshin33 (1694322) | more than 3 years ago | (#35912544)

that makes him a reader (he did the act of reading at least for 2 words).

Moronix test suite (4, Interesting)

Sene (1794986) | more than 3 years ago | (#35911028)

Would be handy if the suite (or the user) would actually produce graphs with different enough colors to make sense which line is which...

Re:Moronix test suite (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 3 years ago | (#35912696)

Would be handy if the suite (or the user) would actually produce graphs with different enough colors to make sense which line is which...

Different colors require too much power.
   

Slow news day (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35911186)

So slashdot releases bug reports as stories these days?

I mean, if at least the bug report was interesting and had some analysis for those of us that like programming related topics...but the article says it still knows nothing about the cause. How boring. Why this is news? There are probably lots of regressions in the Linux kernel each month, as in every large software project. At least wait until they fix it, so we can have a decent history.

Overheating probs (2)

blockhouse (42351) | more than 3 years ago | (#35911228)

Well, that would explain a great deal why my Dell laptop has been overheating and shutting off without warning since that last kernel build. It's shut off three times today and I haven't even done any intensive computing.

Methinks I need a new box.

Re:Overheating probs (4, Insightful)

bmo (77928) | more than 3 years ago | (#35911336)

>you think you need a new machine

Either that or open it up and blow out the dust.

Works wonders for overheating, dontchaknow.

Cheap/easy fixes first. Always.

--
BMO

Re:Overheating probs (2)

CynicTheHedgehog (261139) | more than 3 years ago | (#35911394)

Exactly. I had a Latitude D830 whose CPU was running at a more or less constant 212-218F and was virtually unresponsive. After blasting some canned air into the vent on the sides and back it started working like new.

I talked to the help desk guys about it and it's a pretty common occurrence with Dell laptops. Seems like a major design flaw to me.

Re:Overheating probs (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 3 years ago | (#35911784)

> CPU was running at a more or less constant 212-218F

I have machines with fans either dead or completely removed that don't run that hot.

Re:Overheating probs (1)

CynicTheHedgehog (261139) | more than 3 years ago | (#35912574)

It's what the system monitor reported. I usually run VirtualBox with Windows, NetBeans, JBoss, and run maven builds constantly, so it was pretty busy. I burned my finger when I touched the vent to feel how hot the air was.

Power Management Recession (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35911304)

oh, god! throw money at it, with haste!

Choice (1)

marcas1 (36966) | more than 3 years ago | (#35911380)

Some of us need power for our computing clusters; some of us need battery capacity for their laptop
I didn't compile a kernel for a while,
but last time I lost myself in menu-config and I saw I could build Linux kernel for a high consuming datacenter or for my laptop
It is a legitimate choice to compile Linux kernel to enhance calculus or to save my battery on my laptop
is it really Linux kernel that increase power consuming or is main stream Ubuntu with Gnome Applets burning Watts for nothing ?

On my apple laptop I quit energy-vorous applications like Google Earth, and lower down contrast to get more left battery time. And it works
I would hate that the seismic cluster of my Institute get less cylcles but if power is a constraint (think about japan crisis) I know I could fix my Linux kernel to be more energy-saving. And I am quite confident I could get the better ratio.
On my laptop I've to choose the best distro. Who could help me?

   

It's just that runtime power management... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35911612)

... needs to be enabled manually it seems:
for i in `find /sys/devices -path "*/power/control"` ; do echo auto > $i ; done;

Well... here's a confirmed recent bug. (2)

masterwit (1800118) | more than 3 years ago | (#35911674)

Power consumption raised significantly in natty [launchpad.net]
this is the actual confirmed (4-13) bug report on the Launchpad at least a particular instance.

Personally I do not run the extra baggage of Ubuntu on my mobile linux device. (netbook)

When did they start putting unconfirmed or untested bug reports on Slashdot? Sure TFA says much to warrant further investigation... but not to have people like me get curious. (Just my opinion)

Re:Well... here's a confirmed recent bug. (1)

masterwit (1800118) | more than 3 years ago | (#35911680)

I may be referring to the wrong distro, oops.

Re:Well... here's a confirmed recent bug. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35911952)

Well you are a Slashdot subscriber, no one's really expecting you to be capable of getting your facts straight.

Assumptions... (1)

WaffleMonster (969671) | more than 3 years ago | (#35912716)

At least run powertop and compare the output of lspci -vv for each kernel.

FreeBSD (1)

dave87656 (1179347) | more than 3 years ago | (#35913080)

A little off-topic, perhaps, but how are some of the other *nix's doing in this respect, such as FreeBSD? Is FreeBSD even valid option for a laptop or a netbook?

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