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Mobile Users Beware: Linux Has Major Power Regression

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  • #16
    Yeah, there have been a few lm-sensors updates recently (3.2.0 in October last year, and 3.3.0 in march of this year). Has one been pulled in recently? That could be a possible explanation. (in addition to whatever driver changes may have occurred at about the same time)

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    • #17
      +1 to idea of more wakeups on newer Ubuntu, that was my first thought too. Haven't tried Natty on my old AMD laptop yet though.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by allquixotic View Post
        Ubuntu is a GNU/Linux distribution, it is not (merely) however a "linux distribution".
        Not according to GNU,

        http://www.gnu.org/distros/free-distros.html
        http://www.gnu.org/distros/common-distros.html

        Ubuntu GNU/Linux

        Ubuntu provides specific repositories of nonfree software, and Canonical expressly promotes and recommends nonfree software under the Ubuntu name in some of their distribution channels. Ubuntu offers the option to install only free packages, which means it also offers the option to install nonfree packages too. In addition, the version of Linux included in Ubuntu contains firmware blobs.
        Ubuntu's trademark policy prohibits commercial redistribution of exact copies of Ubuntu, denying an important freedom.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by Nobu View Post
          Yeah, there have been a few lm-sensors updates recently (3.2.0 in October last year, and 3.3.0 in march of this year). Has one been pulled in recently? That could be a possible explanation. (in addition to whatever driver changes may have occurred at about the same time)
          I looked into the commits for the temperature sensor parts and could not find anything that would affect my system (but I can't be 100% sure of course). Would have to be off by 2-3 degrees from 2.6.37 to 2.6.38 while the temps of the air coming out of the vent didn't change. So my 2.6.38 is most likely really burning through more power.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by deanjo View Post
            It boggles the mind how after so many years the rest of the world is still trying to catch up to OS X's power management. You would think in this day and age that it would be common knowledge how to do it properly and not be some black obelisk.
            It seems you have no clue of what the real world is about. All laptop manufacturer only care about making their product work on windows and for that they do tons of quirks in the driver instead of fixing their bios & acpi, so their driver endup with a tons of special tweak specific to one model and one model only.

            Apple does the same, they control the hardware and the software but most of the time they do a tons of quirk inside the operating system to improve how it works, i have seen some of the osx kernel and it's populated with special path for each specific hardware, it's a mess.

            Linux kernel on the other end try to do cleanly in a generic way, and on that front i am sure linux is a good contender. Of course in real world people have crap hardware with crap acpi and crappier bios, but there is just not enough resource to go after all the hardware out there and fine tune each of them.

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            • #21
              @Michael:

              Is it possible to use PTS to do an automated git bisect? The Timed Idle and OpenSSL have very few fluctuation, so maybe

              (median currentCommit) / (median 2.6.37) > 1.05 => git bisect bad

              If we are lucky, the problem is a single commit and we can sort out the issue.

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              • #22
                Originally posted by plgaming View Post
                @Michael:

                Is it possible to use PTS to do an automated git bisect? The Timed Idle and OpenSSL have very few fluctuation, so maybe

                (median currentCommit) / (median 2.6.37) > 1.05 => git bisect bad

                If we are lucky, the problem is a single commit and we can sort out the issue.
                Right, PTS can handle it but on the last page of the article I mention the current problems in doing so.
                Michael Larabel
                http://www.michaellarabel.com/

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by glisse View Post
                  It seems you have no clue of what the real world is about. All laptop manufacturer only care about making their product work on windows and for that they do tons of quirks in the driver instead of fixing their bios & acpi, so their driver endup with a tons of special tweak specific to one model and one model only.

                  Apple does the same, they control the hardware and the software but most of the time they do a tons of quirk inside the operating system to improve how it works, i have seen some of the osx kernel and it's populated with special path for each specific hardware, it's a mess.

                  Linux kernel on the other end try to do cleanly in a generic way, and on that front i am sure linux is a good contender. Of course in real world people have crap hardware with crap acpi and crappier bios, but there is just not enough resource to go after all the hardware out there and fine tune each of them.
                  A "mess" that works > "neat but non-functional". That my friend is what "the real world" is.

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                  • #24
                    This is a real issue. I doubt that some silly PTS config or faulty default resulted in consistently higher power usage across the board on a variety of testing platforms. A true bisect of the kernel should be done to find the commit at fault. The problem is that no one cares on the dev team!

                    I have a suspicion that this event highlights the dearth of varied testing that the kernel is subject to. Developers are users with pretty homogeneous usage patterns. Remember Ted Tso's incident with ext4 a few years back? Ext4 was deleting data like crazy on reboots and it turns out no one in the development community bothered to test that case because none of them *ever* had to do a hard reset for any reason.

                    The problem with responsiveness under HD activity that Con Kolivas brought up a few years ago was never fixed until 2.6.38. No one would even admit to having that problem because they all ran 16+ core machines with multiple hard drives and SSDs that RAID away any perceptible performance problem. I remember accusatory "show me the data" statements from devs when users around the world all confirmed the problem. Kernel development is more geared towards enterprise applications today because that's who pays developers and that's where money is made from linux.

                    Historically, power consumption has always been a problem with the linux kernel. Developers either aren't in tune with user demands (probably because they sit at desktops all day long or buy extra extended batteries to use with their Thinkpads, which are the only notebook any one of them would even consider) or just don't think of it as high priority (again, reflecting the enterprise slant of development efforts).

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Michael View Post
                      Right, PTS can handle it but on the last page of the article I mention the current problems in doing so.
                      https://twitter.com/#!/michaellarabe...59835757522945

                      That was fast! I hope will be found with ease.

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by deanjo View Post
                        A "mess" that works > "neat but non-functional". That my friend is what "the real world" is.
                        Call me back when OSX works on the hardware I own. Until then, "neat but non-functional" is a lot better than "won't work at all". Which is crap, actually, given how many servers out there run linux.

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Originally posted by Givrix View Post
                          I think power consumption is not obtained from hardware but calculated by ACPI. It's rather simple mathematics, but it could be the algorithm has been changed in between.
                          If you could try a full battery emptying between, let's say 2.6.37 and 2.6.38 we could be sure about the reported consumption.
                          +1 to this.

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by crumja View Post
                            This is a real issue. I doubt that some silly PTS config or faulty default resulted in consistently higher power usage across the board on a variety of testing platforms. A true bisect of the kernel should be done to find the commit at fault. The problem is that no one cares on the dev team!

                            I have a suspicion that this event highlights the dearth of varied testing that the kernel is subject to. Developers are users with pretty homogeneous usage patterns. Remember Ted Tso's incident with ext4 a few years back? Ext4 was deleting data like crazy on reboots and it turns out no one in the development community bothered to test that case because none of them *ever* had to do a hard reset for any reason.

                            The problem with responsiveness under HD activity that Con Kolivas brought up a few years ago was never fixed until 2.6.38. No one would even admit to having that problem because they all ran 16+ core machines with multiple hard drives and SSDs that RAID away any perceptible performance problem. I remember accusatory "show me the data" statements from devs when users around the world all confirmed the problem. Kernel development is more geared towards enterprise applications today because that's who pays developers and that's where money is made from linux.

                            Historically, power consumption has always been a problem with the linux kernel. Developers either aren't in tune with user demands (probably because they sit at desktops all day long or buy extra extended batteries to use with their Thinkpads, which are the only notebook any one of them would even consider) or just don't think of it as high priority (again, reflecting the enterprise slant of development efforts).
                            Thats nearly as good a generalisation as the one about only clueless idiots post on forums...

                            Dave.

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Originally posted by deanjo View Post
                              It boggles the mind how after so many years the rest of the world is still trying to catch up to OS X's power management. You would think in this day and age that it would be common knowledge how to do it properly and not be some black obelisk.
                              At first we need to know if this test was done right. Btw. it doesn't seem Android has some power management problems, so I wonder if os x does pm better.

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Originally posted by airlied View Post
                                Thats nearly as good a generalisation as the one about only clueless idiots post on forums...

                                Dave.
                                It's not even worth to quoting such idiocy.

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