Trying to install lucid beta on a SCSI box, attempt 2

Thomas Orgis thomas-forum at orgis.org
Mon Apr 12 00:01:27 BST 2010


Well... I am continuing this discussion with myself. Perhaps someone is interested to read it in the archive.

I spent another evening with the machine... and I am nearly there... But. Well. Let's go on.

1. The ubuntu studio kernel based on 2.6.31 doesn't work together with ubuntu 10.04 .
That is my observation. Going from kernel 2.6.32 to 2.6.31 seems to break things... like the network manager. I installed an own RT kernel based on vanilla 2.6.33.2-rt13, starting with the standard ubuntu kernel config (no staging drivers, fixing CPU to Opteron/Athlon64) and with that, the system basically works:
I got network manager running, also using my 3G USB modem, I got decent latency with JACK. But I got a very serious showstopper issue that also the stock ubuntu kernel has. More on that at the end, so I don't forget the other stuff.
Important point here: The ubuntu studio kernel version is not a good idea for lucid!

2. The issue with root timeout on SCSI is known: https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/mountall/+bug/278176
It might be a kernel issue with specific SCSI hardware and the driver built as module (I never had issues with this SCSI controller in the past, but I did use kernels with the driver built-in, usually). Replacing the controller with a single-channel one avoids the issue.

3. Audacity is still itchy when routing stuff to JACK via .asoundrc.
This is known... it'll crash unless one moves the .asoundrc away, selects direct JACK output in audacity so that it does not try ALSA again.

4. The ubuntu studio plymouth theme is confusing... that outlined logo text getting filled with bright color looks too much like a progress bar, which it is not.
I wondered if the system is shutting down correctly, when the screen goes blank just after filling about the first letter.


Now... back to serious stuff: The system is still not usable as it is, because the graphics is broken. I can take the irritating flicker on bootup (stops a while after the desktop came up) ... although the KMS hotness has supposed to _reduce_ flicker. But what I cannot take: After some undetermined time of usage, the video driver dies. Hard.
Screen goes black, does not even drop to a plain terminal. So Xorg not just crashes, it looks like the driver/vidoe chip itself gets hung (oh, what dreaded memories of my attempts to get stable video with a i945GMA laptop... only worse!).
This is a Foxconn mainboard with X1200 (RS690) integrated graphics. I see that fglrx as alternative driver is out of question since apparently, this Athlon64 X2 5000+ sytem is already too old to be bothered with.
I'll try if the nomodeset kernel parameter makes any difference... or ponder if I really should try to go to the plain VESA driver (which would hurt the dreaded youtube videos, I guess -- 3D effects aren't that important, but 2D acceleration would be nice...).

As this is the exact same behaviour with the stock ubuntu kernel (not sure if it happens with the studio kernel), I even made a report using apport about this... selecting "Xorg freeze" or similar from the menu it pops up when started manually... I wonder where that report ends up and how people are supposed to contact me for feedback. At least it was sent to launchpad. *shrug*
Shall I try to report this again?

I am very wary about this... again, Xorg being a showstopper for fun on a machine. I already have a year of history trying to get the i945GMA system to a stable state without freezes every odd day ... without success. I just cannot take that same route with the studio box, too. There aren't really any options for other integrated graphics... so I'd need to go for a cheap PCIe card. But is there something rock-stable that has proper 2D acceleration? With Xorg, I fear not.
VESA may be last resort...


Alrighty then,

Thomas.



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