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Kernel Bug Means Linux Power Usage Remains High

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the wrong-kind-of-power-user dept.

Intel 179

An anonymous reader writes "The significant Linux kernel power regression reported back in April, which ended up being attributed to PCI-E Active State Power Management, is still not resolved even as Ubuntu 11.10 and Fedora 16 approach. Until Linux is able to handle ASPM in a manner more like Windows or the device drivers explicitly set the ASPM flag, users of many modern laptops need to use the "pcie_aspm=force" option to regain much of their battery life. At least a power bug affecting newer Intel hardware with the "energy performance bias" feature has been fixed. There's more information in this LaunchPad bug report and in the latest power consumption testing."

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179 comments

You mean Moronix, right? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37645058)

Phoronix? More like Moronix, amirite?

Re:You mean Moronix, right? (4, Insightful)

CajunArson (465943) | more than 2 years ago | (#37645098)

Phoronix has issues because the guy running it likes to oversensationalize and hyperbolize to get traffic and ad revenue... which is to say it's exactly like Slashdot with the difference being that Phoronix actually does some useful work and there are valuable facts that Phoronix discovers.

The (multiple) kernel power bugs are a very real problem affecting a large number of Linux users and Phoronix helped to shine a light on the issue and at least get the word out about work-arounds. I don't hang on everything that Phoronix publishes, but dismissing it just shows that you want to remain wilfully ignorant about real issues surrounding Linux so that you can appear 'l33t' to your friends.

Re:You mean Moronix, right? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37645174)

Don't read this... it is a curse...

In 2003, a little boy named Cody was walking down the sidewalk and going to the store. Suddenly, he was transported to a large dark alley. His clothes weren't transported with him! He heard evil laughter and whispers from all around him. He began running to look for an exit whilst thinking about the two entities that were chasing him. Then, to his horror, he tripped and fell face-first on the ground and could no longer move a single cheek!

He then felt two entities jump on both of his bootyasscheeks. Then, his vision was transported elsewhere and he found himself staring at his own body as if he was looking at himself through a security camera. The two entities were toys! He saw the toys get ready to jump up his butt after saying, "Reaaaaady?" However, just before they could jump into his bootyass, a strange figure appeared in the darkness and said, "Wait! Use this!"

The toys replied, "Whaaaaaat dooooooes iiiiiiit dooooooo?" The strange man said, "Iiiiiiiiiit puuuuuuuts iiiiiit uuuuuup hiiiiiis buuuuuuuuuuuuuuuutt!" Then, a strange machine appeared out of nowhere, moved its arm, and dropped a counterfeit US quarter into Cody's bootyass! It inflicted tremendous amounts of tickle upon his bootyass, and it sounded like a quarter going down a slot machine!

Now that you have read this (even a single word of it), the strange man will use his machine to insert counterfeit US quarters into your bootyass (thereby inflicting ridiculous amounts of tickle upon it)! To prevent this from happening, post this curse as a comment three times.

Re:You mean Moronix, right? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37645224)

Phoronix testing of video devices has been very helpful to me. The state of Intel and AMD video drivers is analysed in enough detail to make good decisions about hardware for embedded systems. I've found high correlation between my own test results and those of Phoronix.

Re:You mean Moronix, right? (2)

PixetaledPikachu (1007305) | more than 2 years ago | (#37645318)

+1. I've been sticking with Maverick on my Vaio E, since Natty actually slashed half of my battery life, even when forcing ASPM

Re:You mean Moronix, right? (1)

ToasterMonkey (467067) | more than 2 years ago | (#37645362)

Phoronix has issues because the guy running it likes to oversensationalize and hyperbolize to get traffic and ad revenue... which is to say it's exactly like Slashdot with the difference being that Phoronix actually does some useful work and there are valuable facts that Phoronix discovers.

The (multiple) kernel power bugs are a very real problem affecting a large number of Linux users and Phoronix helped to shine a light on the issue and at least get the word out about work-arounds. I don't hang on everything that Phoronix publishes, but dismissing it just shows that you want to remain wilfully ignorant about real issues surrounding Linux so that you can appear 'l33t' to your friends.

Welcome to New Media, same as the Old Media.

Re:You mean Moronix, right? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37645684)

but dismissing it just shows that you want to remain wilfully ignorant

Or it could mean that the town folk are a bit tired of running out to see no wolf [wikipedia.org]. Phoronix may be on to something with the power issues but the signal to noise ratio is very low. Every article is stretched out to 10 pages full of full page advertisements, contains 90+ links to other Phoronix articles (as if that somehow makes each article more credible), and their forms are overrun with clueless trolls.

I don't blame people from baulking at the mention of Phoronix you just can't tell if it's just another stunt. You'll have to forgive some of us who aren't into fact checking Phoronix. Sure Phoronix is sometimes right but so is fucking 4chan. You can call me "willfully ignorant" for not trying to differentiate the bullshit from those two sources but I consider it a better use of my time to just stick to more reputable sources that don't try to trick me into clicking something.

Re:You mean Moronix, right? (1)

DarwinSurvivor (1752106) | more than 2 years ago | (#37645798)

Honest question here. Do you know of any other, reputable, sites people can use to see which video cards work best with linux, which SSD's actually deliver on speed, etc? I've long used phronix simply because it was all I knew about, but would love to have some other sites to at least compare notes with.

Year of the Linux Desktop (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37645064)

After this fix, it's coming soon!

Phoronix? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37645088)

LOL, we are still believing shit that Phoronix posts? How's that Steam for Linux release coming along, eh?

Re:Phoronix? (1)

RMingin (985478) | more than 2 years ago | (#37645316)

Yeah, I'm still a little bitter that that issue came to nothing in the end. It certainly did look like parts of a Linux-native Steam GUI.

Re:Phoronix? (1)

Zeroedout (2036220) | more than 2 years ago | (#37645666)

It really did, and he claims it's still in the works... I'm quite bitter as well but he seems confident in his source (no pun intended). It makes sense that it took longer than Valve intended, I just hope it didn't get cancelled.

Re:Phoronix? (1)

RMingin (985478) | more than 2 years ago | (#37645708)

The fact of the OSX Steam release gives me hope (if they'll do OSX, they've done most of the work, go after Linux too), but the counter-fact that nothing has been released or announced, despite most of the work being done, takes that hope away again.

Wine still works, though.

Re:Phoronix? (1)

jonwil (467024) | more than 2 years ago | (#37645702)

I think there IS a Steam for Linux, at least inside Valve.
It may be that they are still working on it with plans for a future release.
It may be that its only a test and not actually intended for release. It may be that it was intended for release but was canceled for some reason.

Blizzard for example at one point had a Linux client for World of Warcraft. But the "powers that be" vetoed the release because then they would need to maintain that release and release Linux patches concurrently with Mac and Windows patches which would require more development staff and/or patch delays whilst they finished the Linux work.

Finally! (3)

jaymzter (452402) | more than 2 years ago | (#37645114)

Seems like its been so long since relevant technical submissions were made to /. I remember being able to learn so many interesting OS tricks from poster's comments to articles and hearing about new software.

Now it's mostly just crap about who pissed on who's patents...

Re:Finally! (1)

Aighearach (97333) | more than 2 years ago | (#37645142)

Did you think the Grand Taco left for no reason?

Re:Finally! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37645266)

Don't read this... it is a curse...

In 2002, a little boy named Jerry was walking down the sidewalk. Then, he spotted a large, spooky-looking house with a foggy graveyard in the backyard. He decided to climb over the fence and go into the graveyard.

However, this soon proved to be a mistake. Soon after he entered the graveyard, all of his clothes vanished and he could no longer move a single cheek! Suddenly, he was somehow looking at the back of himself as if he was looking through a security camera. He could see his bootyass from this position.

That's when Jerry noticed that his cheeks were covered in graveyard fog. They were completely white! Then, Jerry noticed that a lick mark appeared on his left cheek, accompanied by the following sound: "alim tsk tsk!" It sounded almost like a whisper. Then more of the lick marks started appearing! The invisible entity slurping his cheeks shifted between his left and right cheek and got closer to his bootyasscheekcrack with each slurp! Finally, the lick marks reached his bootyasscheekcrack, and he felt something fly into his bootyasscheekcrackhole.

That's when it happened. Jerry's bootyass became something else entirely. It became nothing more than a rumblehouse bootyass! Something began bouncing around inside of his bootyass and using his bootyass as a bouncehouse! It inflicted extreme amounts of tickle upon his bootyass!

Now that you have read this (even a single word of it), the same invisible entity will aloomper your cheeks and then use your bootyass as a bouncehouse (thereby inflicting extreme amounts of tickle upon it)! To prevent this from happening, post this curse as a comment three times.

Re:Finally! (1)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 2 years ago | (#37645486)

It's the classic "Rock Star" Syndrome. Does Rob call it quits and gracefully exit at his peak, or does he do what Metallica and the Red Hot Chili Peppers do and continue to release album after album of stale, auto-tuned gibberish? I think he lost an idealogical battle with his corporate overlords and said, "fuck it."

Or perhaps he wasn't spending enough time with the family and his wife found comfort with the African-American mailman.

But back on-topic: The "just works" attitude of Windows is bullshit. You have to use a CD or download drivers to use any peripheral with Windows. Now it is Linux that "just works." Power-draw-related complaints are some of the lamest in the computing world. What good is saving power with Windows if its only sane use is playing cutting-edge video games? Are you really cheap enough to bitch that a Linux desktop costs you 5 more cents a year than a comparable Windows one? Is power draw such a concern that you're willing to drop your *Nix or *BSD farm to go Windows? If not, then shut the fuck up.

Re:Finally! (4, Insightful)

cadeon (977561) | more than 2 years ago | (#37645234)

Unfortunately, that's what the majority of the news is these days.

Years ago, a kernel regression that didn't result in a lockup or massive data corruption would have been borderline slow-news-day material. Today, software quality as a whole has increased, and there's not as much of that (or as many groundbreaking new features) going on. There's still some interesting stuff going on in the mobile world, but PCs and Servers have largely been figured out for the time being. At least compared to what it was a while back.

As much as I'd like to jump on this "Blame slashdot, slashdot sucks now" bandwagon, they're just reporting what's happening, IMHO.

And if they aren't reporting what you think is newsworthy, blame yourself for not submitting 'real' stories and/or not drinking from the firehose.

Re:Finally! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37646094)

Software quality has increased? Is that why you have to rush to install service packs before your machine gets pwned?

Re:Finally! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37646612)

Your observations confirm that (malware) software quality has definitely increased.

Re:Finally! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37646602)

Uh that's the point. If we wanted that sort of news we can get those from other sites.
Back then we could get the technical submissions on /. and the other news from other sites.

Re:Finally! (3, Insightful)

djlowe (41723) | more than 2 years ago | (#37645282)

Now it's mostly just crap about who pissed on who's patents

Well, that's marginally better than the copyright wars that reigned here not so long ago... or the global warming debate... or... what was before that? I forget.

I imagine, however, that those generated more revenue. Patent battles among corporations are pretty much a battle among giants, and most of us here are just nerdly peons, fairly removed from such. They're gonna do whatever they want, work it out in the end, and the rest of us will get shat upon, one way or another.

From here in the "cheap seats"? Shit is shit, regardless of who is dumping it on you, or so it seems to me.

Cynically,

dj

Re:Finally! (1)

ultranova (717540) | more than 2 years ago | (#37645784)

Well, that's marginally better than the copyright wars that reigned here not so long ago... or the global warming debate... or... what was before that? I forget.

Religion, specifically Intelligent Design. Which typically degenerated into a poo-flinging contest even faster than those two since neither side knew neither theology nor science (or at least the people who made the most noise didn't).

My theory is that these topics get posted cyclically to keep people from getting bored. It's not unlike crop rotation, with technical articles being the equivalent of letting the field lay fallow so it may regain its strength for the next round of pageview trolling topics.

Re:Finally! (0)

RoLi (141856) | more than 2 years ago | (#37646454)

Isn't the "global warming will turn Earth into a second Venus" - belief also a kind of religion?

I mean, hey I sure can believe that we may have a few a little-warmer-than-usual years, but if the "Hockeystick" were true, Denmark and Florida should be diving-resorts by now.

Re:Finally! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37645888)

And this "story" is "mostly just crap about" someone going "Whaaaaahh! Linux is not like Windows! But I'm too retarded to think different! Please wipe my drool!"

PROTIP: Unless you actually paid those developers for your pretty open-source OS, and they agreed to work on your requests, how about you STFU and fix it yourself? You're not entitled to anything. If they want, they can write something just for themselves. Even if it's completely useless to you.

</rant>

Some people are waaaaayyy to egocentric.
How about you contribute something too? If you don't have the skills, the equivalent is to calculate the average number of hours a developer puts into your favorite project, multiply it by 20-100€ depending on how complex the work is, and ask a developer if he's willing to work on your wishes for that amount of money. :)

There's nothing wrong with Phoronix... (0, Flamebait)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 2 years ago | (#37645122)

... that a good unexplained fire and a stabbing wouldn't fix.

It is not something that can be resolved... (5, Informative)

kvvbassboy (2010962) | more than 2 years ago | (#37645124)

It's a problem with the BIOS manufacturers, and the BIOS incorrectly reporting its ASPM capability. When an OEM installs Windows on a laptop, it can correctly tune these settings. But for a fresh install of Linux that YOU performed, a database of every motherboard + BIOS combination needs to be maintained in the open to set the force PCIE ASPM flag. If set wrongly, when the BIOS doesn't support it, it could lead to locking which is far more serious.

There are other solutions to effectively manage power in Linux, like Jupiter [jupiterapplet.org].

For more (and better) information, see the following links: About the Kernel 3.0 "Power Regression" Myth [fewt.com] and PCIe, power management, and problematic BIOSes [lwn.net]

Re:It is not something that can be resolved... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37645186)

Yeah, yeah, it's always everyone else's fault except the Linux kernel itself.

Re:It is not something that can be resolved... (2)

ThatsMyNick (2004126) | more than 2 years ago | (#37645300)

No, not always. But in this case it *IS* someone else's fault.
Credit where credit is due, and fault where fault is due.

absolutely....buggy BIOS's are the problem (1)

Chirs (87576) | more than 2 years ago | (#37645200)

If the BIOS reports ASPM it'll be used. If it doesn't, then Linux can't assume that it works.

Re:absolutely....buggy BIOS's are the problem (2)

kvvbassboy (2010962) | more than 2 years ago | (#37645214)

Yes, but apparently a lot of the time the BIOS doesn't report ASPM even if it does support. You are right in that Linux can't assume anything, but OEMs are aware of it.

Re:absolutely....buggy BIOS's are the problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37646332)

MS has been looking ways to prevent using linux with PC's. Is this "feature" intentioned?
And now MS is designing new secure bios which will lock out most of linux distributions?

Re:absolutely....buggy BIOS's are the problem (2, Insightful)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#37645336)

And this sort of thing really ought to be used to slap MS upside the head for behaving irresponsibly. Years back when ACPI was first coming out and a significant number of motherboard models were shipped with a broken DSDT that would only function with Windows. The company creating the firmware didn't care and MS had the money to work around the problem leaving Windows the only platform that would work correctly.

MS could have solved the problem by refusing to implement work arounds, but opted to go out of its way to work around broken implementations rather than force the devs to program the DSDT correctly.

acpi_osi="Windows 2006" ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37645390)

And this sort of thing really ought to be used to slap MS upside the head for behaving irresponsibly. Years back when ACPI was first coming out and a significant number of motherboard models were shipped with a broken DSDT that would only function with Windows. The company creating the firmware didn't care and MS had the money to work around the problem leaving Windows the only platform that would work correctly.

MS could have solved the problem by refusing to implement work arounds, but opted to go out of its way to work around broken implementations rather than force the devs to program the DSDT correctly.

I thought setting acpi_osi="Windows 2006" and such took care of most problems. (And Linux set the value as "Windows 2001" by default.)

Re:acpi_osi="Windows 2006" ? (2)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#37645842)

No, that only worked in cases where the Windows DSDT was standards compliant, much of the time even that didn't. I've done that in the past and it doesn't guarantee you any improvement as MS wasn't validating the DSDT against the official Intel implementation that everybody else had access to.

Nice, that some jackass with mod points felt the need to mod me down without bothering to understand the issue though.

Re:absolutely....buggy BIOS's are the problem (1, Funny)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 2 years ago | (#37645458)

And this sort of thing really ought to be used to slap MS upside the head for behaving irresponsibly.

Wow, I knew someone would find a way to blame Microsoft for this... but so early in the thread - well done! Hey, there's a little girl missing in the Los Angeles area - could you find a way to blame Microsoft for her disappearance as well?

It's like the "Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon" game, but for Linux fanboys!

Re:absolutely....buggy BIOS's are the problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37645652)

I sort of agree with the gp. HOWEVER, MS is never going to do things like that. They take backwards compatibility and compatibility *very* seriously. They go out of their way to make their software work on every x86 box out there... They are not going to worry about others or the health of the whole eco system. They are going to make it work on the largest amount of systems out there. They actually take a much more relaxed attitude than linux does about it. It is 'just make it work' dont worry if it is 'correct'. As the guy who just dropped 50k on a rack of machines is not going to care about 'correct' he wants it to 'just work'.

Re:absolutely....buggy BIOS's are the problem (2)

mabhatter654 (561290) | more than 2 years ago | (#37645790)

Um.. The "Halloween Documents"?

That was a series of leaked emails from 1999-ish where Microsoft had discussed that hardware was "too standard" so actually encouraged this as a way for OEMs that sell finished systems to look better... And to spike the budding Open Source as well.

Intel happily chipped in because the pushed specs like USB where every device can be super cheap... And controlled by the CPU... all those $39 printers, winmodems, GMA900, etc all sucked up CPU so Intel could sell more... And all those devices that used to be independant now were tied to windows.

The net effect was that all the device makers were spending time making the cheapest devices, and driver writers were spending all their time fighting windows.. And everybody else's drivers. It was simply impractical to support anything else.

Re:absolutely....buggy BIOS's are the problem (3, Informative)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#37645854)

It's pretty well established that the ACPI implementation that MS was using with Win XP was non-standard. The one that folks had access to wouldn't compile the DSDTs that were coming with a lot of the computers because they were buggy and non-standard. MS had the advantage of controlling the only validation program that mattered and could hard code into their OS the bits necessary to work with the most common bugs.

Unfortunately for Linux, *BSD and everybody else, those coders didn't have access to that information and had to go to a huge amount of work to rewrite the DSDT and load that so that it would work as the standard specify.

Also, nice ad hominem you've got there, I am not a Linux fanboy,

Re:absolutely....buggy BIOS's are the problem (1)

Lehk228 (705449) | more than 2 years ago | (#37646064)

seems to me that such features could be set up using a function probing tool that tested the function of each command and logged it so they system could know what does work, what does not work, and what crashes the system, submit results back to t he repository and linux will have a more complete and accurate database than windows has (include information on lower value probabilistic errors rather than just does/does not work, warn the user when yea this model is supposed to work but there is a 1/2000 chance each time it is called of crashing instead of working.

Re:It is not something that can be resolved... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37645292)

It's a problem with the BIOS manufacturers, and the BIOS incorrectly reporting its ASPM capability. When an OEM installs Windows on a laptop, it can correctly tune these settings. But for a fresh install of Linux that YOU performed, a database of every motherboard + BIOS combination needs to be maintained in the open to set the force PCIE ASPM flag. If set wrongly, when the BIOS doesn't support it, it could lead to locking which is far more serious.

There are other solutions to effectively manage power in Linux, like Jupiter [jupiterapplet.org].

For more (and better) information, see the following links: About the Kernel 3.0 "Power Regression" Myth [fewt.com] and PCIe, power management, and problematic BIOSes [lwn.net]

If its a BIOS problem, why does it not affect Windows OS running on the same PC (with the same BIOS)?

Re:It is not something that can be resolved... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37645384)

It's a secret M$ plot to sabotage Linux. Duuuh.

Re:It is not something that can be resolved... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37645446)

They have different drivers. Additionally, there are other settings that can override the auto-detection in windows that can be set by the manufacturer.

Re:It is not something that can be resolved... (1)

NoSig (1919688) | more than 2 years ago | (#37645342)

How about on first boot on a new motherboard, Linux tries to set PCIE on, then runs tests that are going to result in the locking you mentioned if PCIE isn't actually available. Is that possible?

Re:It is not something that can be resolved... (0, Flamebait)

billcopc (196330) | more than 2 years ago | (#37645398)

Just because it's possible doesn't mean the zealots actually care about even trying. It's so much cooler to play the blame game, rather than focus on what's actually important: making things work!

The net result is that someone else has to implement the hackish-yet-perfectly-acceptable fix. Kernel devs could tackle it, but they won't, so someone else will. That someone else is often Redhat or Ubuntu, which means the fixes don't travel back upstream.

Even though it's the BIOS makers' fault, as an end user, I don't care. If the driver devs have an easy way to fix it, they should, because it will take months if not years to convince the OEMs to fix the problem at the source - if at all, because nobody gives a fuck about the 1% of us who use Linux on desktop and laptop machines.

Re:It is not something that can be resolved... (2, Interesting)

Microlith (54737) | more than 2 years ago | (#37645590)

Just because it's possible doesn't mean the zealots actually care about even trying. It's so much cooler to play the blame game, rather than focus on what's actually important: making things work!

I like how you come out of the gate with an insult, and expect people to fix things for you.

PROTIP: Kernel devs would rather play it safe than risk causing data loss.

That someone else is often Redhat or Ubuntu, which means the fixes don't travel back upstream.

No, it's unlikely they will either. I doubt they want to start randomly crashing people's machines.

Even though it's the BIOS makers' fault, as an end user, I don't care.

You should. You're aware of what's going on, so you should blame the people responsible.

Re:It is not something that can be resolved... (1)

DarwinSurvivor (1752106) | more than 2 years ago | (#37645922)

That would be like if the company that made your engine created a bug where piston 3 would miss-fire ever 8th stroke, and then YOU demanding that the ECU programmers test for the bug when you start the car and not fire the 3rd piston each 8th revolution.

Re:It is not something that can be resolved... (1)

mabhatter654 (561290) | more than 2 years ago | (#37645810)

Sure... Then Linux takes 20 minutes to boot.

The problem is that things like the ACPI are by chipset, and manufacturer, model and firmware rev. PCI vendor and ID strings aren't enough to just make a table to check at start... Let alone all the hardware interactions in an end user machine.

Even trying to look up the settings on websites that track this stuff for some random PC you didn't build yourself is an hours long daunting task... And Big Box stuff often never makes those lists.

Re:It is not something that can be resolved... (0, Troll)

dbialac (320955) | more than 2 years ago | (#37645396)

This is the kind of thing that makes linux a poor choice on the desktop. While the fix is correct from a technical perspective, it fails the "Grandma Test". If you're incredibly technical, no problem. Grandma, however, isn't going to know and understand how to enable ASPM via grub.conf. Her response is probably going to be, "Why are there worms in my computer?" A better route would be to develop a test to detect the error condition on the install of the OS, then save the configuration accordingly.

Grandma is also not going to be knowledge about the other ins and outs of kernel tuning her system that are discussed in the linked to article. A mechanism needs to be in place to adjust these settings when the user changes what power source their computer is using. This is a standard feature on both Mac and Windows. As most linux development is primarily focused on servers, fixing this type of thing unfortunately isn't likely to happen. I used to use linux on the desktop, then when OSX came out because I didn't have to do these kinds of adjustments. When I started my current job, I tried out Ubuntu because it was supposed to have resolved this kind of thing. Better (until Unity, WTF were they thinking?), but "it just works" remains illusive. I've now left linux on the desktop twice, and I'm technically proficient. Why do you think Grandma wants to use Windows?

Re:It is not something that can be resolved... (1)

dbialac (320955) | more than 2 years ago | (#37645424)

> I used to use linux on the desktop, then when OSX came out because I didn't have to do these kinds of adjustments.
I used to use linux on the desktop, then when OSX came out I switched because I didn't have to do these kinds of adjustments.

Re:It is not something that can be resolved... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37645816)

I wonder which is that: "you can't be aware about you need these kinds of adjustments" or "you can't have these kinds of adjustments"

Re:It is not something that can be resolved... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37645464)

Why do you think Grandma wants to use Windows?

Of the two grandmas I know, one uses Linux (a relatively frequent user), one Windows (occasionally). Both because the person they're most likely to ask in case of problems use those systems as well, and both didn't set up their systems themselves.

Why bother? (5, Insightful)

msobkow (48369) | more than 2 years ago | (#37645548)

The marginal performance improvements you get by tweaking kernel settings will not make one whit of difference to the average user unless there is a glaring performance issue like the power drain currently being discussed.

Grandma isn't going to install Linux on her laptop -- you are. And as the technically knowledgeable person, you should be doing any such tweaking. Other systems have the benefit of the OEM doing the tweaking and tuning, but it does get done by somebody. Don't blame Linux for not doing something automagically that other systems don't do, either.

"...most linux development is primarily focused on servers..."

I don't believe that's true. While server tweaks get the press, there is a lot of effort put into the desktop experience as well. You're just far more likely to hear about kernel tweaks that are useful for desktop performance from the "real time systems" people.

Re:Why bother? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37645984)

Grandma isn't going to install Linux on her laptop -- you are. And as the technically knowledgeable person, you should be doing any such tweaking.

yeah coz we've got all the time in the world to learn/remember this stuff ontop of all the other stuff we're trying to keep up with.

Re:Why bother? (2)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 2 years ago | (#37646180)

No, but if you love your grandma, then you prioritize her over some other stuff...

Re:Why bother? (1)

Urkki (668283) | more than 2 years ago | (#37646550)

No, but if you love your grandma, then you prioritize her over some other stuff...

Yes, prioritise spending time with your grandma over troubleshooting her Linux installation... Be responsible, don't install Linux!

Re:Why bother? (1)

jhol13 (1087781) | more than 2 years ago | (#37646284)

Well, Linux then clearly does not pass "nerd" test either. Or perhaps I am not nerd enough. Anyway I do not even know most of the "tweaking" parameters, and I could not care less. I just want it to work.

Re:Why bother? (1)

maztuhblastah (745586) | more than 2 years ago | (#37646368)

Well, Linux then clearly does not pass "nerd" test either. Or perhaps I am not nerd enough. Anyway I do not even know most of the "tweaking" parameters, and I could not care less. I just want it to work.

Fair enough.

So go get yourself a new laptop, replace the drive and install Windows.

Ah, ah, ah. No. Don't install those drivers or that update from the OEM's site! That's a tweak. We're trying to be fair here. No tweaking. Just the OS.

Ok, so now that you've got it installed, you might be wondering why power management isn't as good and why some of the hardware doesn't work the way it used to.

Now you know my frustration with Windows. I don't know most of the "tweaking" parameters, and I could not care less. I just want it to work.

Re:Why bother? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37646518)

If you have a year old bit of hardware any modern version of Windows will grab almost all of the drivers or tweaks as you say for you off the internet or disk automaticly. No 'tweaking' needed.

Re:Why bother? (1)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 2 years ago | (#37646288)

Grandma isn't going to install Linux on her laptop -- you are. .

Grandparents are incapable of installing anything which isn't an adware-ridden mess.

Its actually quite amazing that they can't set up anyhting else.

Re:It is not something that can be resolved... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37645654)

Which part of "It's a problem with the BIOS manufacturers, and the BIOS incorrectly reporting its ASPM capability." didn't you understand?

Re:It is not something that can be resolved... (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 2 years ago | (#37645676)

Oh give me a break. When Vista first came out all sorts of people were noticing battery life decreased substantially. Linux is hardly alone in the "WTF is causing that" department.

Re:It is not something that can be resolved... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37645752)

Finally, Linux has caught up with Vista, now on to Win 7

Get a better grandma (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37645764)

Some people have a grandma with a PhD in Engineering, who probably designed parts of that laptop. The problem isn't with Linux, it's with your grandma.

Re:It is not something that can be resolved... (2)

whoever57 (658626) | more than 2 years ago | (#37646080)

This is the kind of thing that makes linux a poor choice on the desktop. While the fix is correct from a technical perspective, it fails the "Grandma Test". If you're incredibly technical, no problem. Grandma, however, isn't going to know and understand how to enable ASPM via grub.conf. Her response is probably going to be, "Why are there worms in my computer?" A better route would be to develop a test to detect the error condition on the install of the OS, then save the configuration accordingly.

The problem has its roots in the fact that very, very few people actually install Windows. I recently installed a non-OEM (bare Microsoft disk) copy of Windows 7 on a PC and guess what? It was very unstable. Crashed at least once per day. So, I tracked down the vendor's drivers and installed the chipset driver. Now it is stable.

If Grandma installed her own copy of Windows, this kind of problem would be fixed very quickly.

Re:It is not something that can be resolved... (1)

jaymz666 (34050) | more than 2 years ago | (#37646142)

Good luck determining all the windows drivers you need to install when rebuilding a laptop from bare drive and wanting to avoid all the bloatware that the manufacturer wants to put on it. Depending on the model number you may have one chipset, or another, depending on what options you choose for the wireless devices.

It's no small task at all.

Re:It is not something that can be resolved... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37646144)

Well if Grandma can afford a new Windows every 3 years on her same speed, doing the same tasks computer, then good for her. But, it's free, people!

Grandma Test?? (1)

jampola (1994582) | more than 2 years ago | (#37646292)

Firstly, your logic is with the assumption that Granny uses a laptop. My Dad uses Linux on his Desktop (he has a Laptop also). He is not technically proficient like you claim to be. He has no idea what ASPM or GRUB is. Dad used to use Windows but he could not understand why one day he had some count down box mysteriously appear on his screen (blaster) or why he needs to apply patches or service packs that also seemly make his screen blue. He also had no idea why he needed to pay to upgrade his anti-virus just because he upgraded his OS. My Dad gets aggravated quite easily because he likes that he can turn on his computer and it works. I spent a month talking him around to giving Linux a shot. This was 4 years ago and he is still running the same Debian install on the same PC. Not bad for someone who is not only a Grand Pa but also 70 years old! You're saying that because of some power bug in the Kernel makes the OS fail your "Grandma Test" is a stupid logic and it is broken. Can you honestly say that with all the problems that Windows has had over the years make it Grandma Friendly?? I am not hatting on Windows, just your stupid Logic.

Re:Grandma Test?? (1)

jampola (1994582) | more than 2 years ago | (#37646330)

Also worth noting for jokes sake that after installing Debian for him, he asked "Do I need these CD's?" pointing at a pile of driver CD's that came with the computer and I responded "No Dad, the drivers are compiled into the Kernel" to which he responded "So the same guy who makes the chicken also makes Linux?..." Moral of the story is that Dad jokes rule!

Re:It is not something that can be resolved... (1)

Burpmaster (598437) | more than 2 years ago | (#37646362)

This is the kind of thing that makes linux a poor choice on the desktop.

No, it's the sort of thing that makes changing out the stock OS a poor choice on the desktop.

Re:It is not something that can be resolved... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37646512)

I think you should not underestimate my grandmother

Jupiter... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37646428)

Careful! It's Mono!

malice and incompetence (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37645152)

The really annoying thing here is that the huge power regression bug affecting a lot of hardware (everything with a PCI Express bus) was marked as fixed when an unrelated bug only affecting a tiny amount of hardware (the very newest Intel processors) was fixed. It's almost like Canonical is attempting to shove this under the rug, but it's probably just incompetence. Either way, this sort of thing is all too common with Open Source software, and it has to stop. It's driving people away.

Intel? (2)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 2 years ago | (#37645202)

Why use Intel icon when it's a Linux issue?

Re:Intel? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37645344)

It's a motherboard issue. BIOS supports ASPM but doesn't advertise it => Linux doesn't try using hardware that isn't there => power usage goes up => Linux gets blamed. Fucking Microsoft.

Re:Intel? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37646008)

Fuck. I should've logged in to post that. Delicious karma ;_;

blah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37645352)

Tell this to my busted PC, thx alot

solutions: (1)

Gravis Zero (934156) | more than 2 years ago | (#37645582)

- replace BIOS (perhaps demand that the manufacturer update it)
- create a large (online) database of MBs (best identified by a list of hardware) that support ASPM and check it upon installation

Re:solutions: (1)

DarwinSurvivor (1752106) | more than 2 years ago | (#37645940)

One of the HUGE advantages of linux (and other *nix derivatives) is the ability to seamlessly move the OS from one machine to another without having to make ANY changes. The only exception is moving from nvidia to ati video cards (or vise-versa), but the OS will still boot. These "check at install time" fixes are very dangerous to that huge feature. You guys are actually demanding a software fix to a firmware bug. Absolutely unbelievable...

Re:solutions: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37646038)

One of the HUGE advantages of linux (and other *nix derivatives) is the ability to seamlessly move the OS from one machine to another without having to make ANY changes.

Since when? I've tried this and it has never worked.

You guys are actually demanding a software fix to a firmware bug. Absolutely unbelievable...

As opposed to a non-software fix to a firmware bug? Isn't firmware software? And yes most people just want this to work rather than this stupid blame game. Gee, imagine that, huh?

Re:solutions: (1)

Urkki (668283) | more than 2 years ago | (#37646256)

I think affected users are demanding a fix for a bug. They won't much care what the fix is or where the bug is, they just want their po... email on the go.

Solution to your "move from one machine to another" thing would be to tie certain settings to certain hardware signature. If signature changes, revert settings to safe values at boot. It would be a very useful thing to have overall, until the happy day comes when there are no hardware or firmware or software bugs in the world.

Also, apparently there is a software fix to this particular issue: replace the OS with something which works with the hardware ;)

If They Don't Fix it I am Switching (1)

Quantum_Infinity (2038086) | more than 2 years ago | (#37645642)

They have been playing the blame game. Seriously though, I don't care whether it's an upstream issue or a downstream issue, 30% increase in power consumption is pretty big issue no matter what the reason. That's the reason why I am still on Ubuntu 10.10 and haven't upgraded. If they don't fix this before the support window runs out for 10.10 I am switching to something else (maybe even Windows). I use laptop on my battery all the time (in the bathroom, at the library, coffee shop etc.). A 30% reduction in battery life would seriously affect me.

Re:If They Don't Fix it I am Switching (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37645682)

And the problem with using pcie_aspm=force" is what exactly?

Re:If They Don't Fix it I am Switching (1)

Quantum_Infinity (2038086) | more than 2 years ago | (#37645786)

Even though I have used Linux for several years now and am capable of using 'pcie_aspm=force' to get around the issue, I just don't like having to tweak to get around an issue that I expect should not be there in the first place. Tweaking to improve your desktop experience is one thing but tweaking to get around a kernel issue, Linux is too mature now to expect the user to do it.

Re:If They Don't Fix it I am Switching (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37645958)

I hear what you're saying and I agree that it's far less than ideal to expect users to have to do things like this (fingers crossed that this can be fixed properly), most would have no idea that this option exists or even how to use it. Having said that you know about the workaround and how to apply it, is it really worth switching out an OS for something that you yourself can easily work around?

Re:If They Don't Fix it I am Switching (1)

ttong (2459466) | more than 2 years ago | (#37645960)

Would you install your vendors driver CD on a fresh windows installation?

Until (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37645942)

Until Linux is able to handle ASPM in a manner more like Windows

Translated: "Until Linux can catch up with Windows..."

A phrase that will make many a head explode, for sure.

Never noticed any problems... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37646204)

I never noticed any problems. When the processor is under load, the fans spin up, and when it becomes less busy, they slow down. I run an old Core I7-920 (but not on a laptop). Everything has been working fine.

Linux, userland power manager or Ubuntu? (1)

aglider (2435074) | more than 2 years ago | (#37646500)

Is the bug in Linux kernel? Then you won't ket any fix from Ubuntu!
Is the bug in the userland power manager? Then don't blame the kernel and don't expect any news from Ubuntu!
Is the bug in the Ubuntu packaging? Blame Ubuntu.
So the question is: where the bug actually is?

Re:Linux, userland power manager or Ubuntu? (1)

indeterminator (1829904) | more than 2 years ago | (#37646568)

So the question is: where the bug actually is?

In the motherboard BIOS. But for some reason, no one here is demanding an update from mobo vendors... why?

ACPI is a disaster (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37646690)

This is another example of why ACPI is COMPLETE CRAP. ACPI is absolutely the most disgusting piece of IT Technology ever designed and implemented.

ACPI is a badly designed solution to a problem that shouldn't exist.
Power Management should be controlled by communicating only with the PCI(e) devices (PCI Configuration Space), not the deranged and inevitably badly written BIOS.
ACPI is used to control the power button on x86 PCs. How completely stupid and over-engineered. Why not simply extend the keyboard controller (8042) or create a standardised PCI bus device?

I can only pray that ARM computers do NOT implement ACPI.

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