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Linux 4.20 Fixing Bug Where Plugging In A MacBook Pro Leads To Excessive CPU Usage

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  • Linux 4.20 Fixing Bug Where Plugging In A MacBook Pro Leads To Excessive CPU Usage

    Phoronix: Linux 4.20 Fixing Bug Where Plugging In A MacBook Pro Leads To Excessive CPU Usage

    The upcoming Linux kernel that will be at either version 4.20 or 5.0 is going to fix a kernel issue that dates back at least a year where plugging-in or even unplugging recent Apple MacBook Pro laptops will lead to excessive CPU resources being consumed... Basically, the charging/uncharging event change for these recent MBP laptops was causing issues within the kernel -- adding to the list of problems Linux faces trying to run on recent Apple hardware...

    http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pag...Change-CPU-Use

  • #2
    Genuine question as I've never owned Apple hardware, is there any point in running Linux on a Mac? Could you not get comparable hardware for less money elsewhere? Or is there something about the Macbooks that elevates them above other manufacturers hardware if money is no object?

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    • #3
      Originally posted by kaprikawn View Post
      Genuine question as I've never owned Apple hardware, is there any point in running Linux on a Mac? Could you not get comparable hardware for less money elsewhere? Or is there something about the Macbooks that elevates them above other manufacturers hardware if money is no object?
      +-2 years ago I got a macbookpro13,1 (ie the 2015 model) when the new model (with touchbar) was already out. Main reason being I do purely development and (IT) infrastructure related work, so I want the best possible CPU and the largest amount of memory possible and have no need at all for a GPU. Since I'm running Linux having no dGPU becomes even more important because of the still not-perfect support for integrate + dGPU. This also depends on the laptop of course, but a lot of times plugging in an external display forcibly enables the dGPU. Pretty much all vendors that allow you to customize a machine tie the higher-end CPUs to a GPU.
      The macbook pro 2015 you can/could customize with the highest end CPU whilst still just using the intel GPU, perfect for me I haven't been able to find a machine that allows you to do that to this day. AFAIK the HP Zbook Studio allows some CPU customization without getting a dGPU, but not for the high-end CPUs.

      Apart from that I was looking for a machine around the macbook pro 2015's size/form-factor (don't want something that's significantly larger/heavier, don't need something that's thinner) and I like it's build quality/the aluminium body, the HiPDPI screen and it has a good touchpad (even though libinput still sucks from a usability perspective) and the keyboard is decent/good enough. Main thing I would've liked to change was no/less glossy display and 32GB of memory. In an ideal world it would also have had 2x NVME drives so I can run them as a mirror using ZFS.

      Btw I'm starting to look at a replacement for this laptop and haven't been able to find a new/current machine for these criteria + 6/8 core CPU and 32GB. Apart from the HP Zbook Studio it seems like there's no laptop available that offers high-end performance without a dGPU.
      Last edited by aaahaaap; 10-08-2018, 05:00 PM.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by aaahaaap View Post
        [...]
        I want the best possible CPU
        [...]
        it has a good touchpad (even though libinput still sucks from a usability perspective)
        [...]
        In an ideal world it would also have had 2x NVME drives so I can run them as a mirror using ZFS.
        Just my two cents on this: I've heard that Apple hardware tends to run into thermal throttling extremely quickly, thus leading to not-so-great performance (maybe even inferior to a lower-specced model). Did you find this to be an issue (although that could be more true of the more recent models).

        Mmm... Libinput has been pretty good for me, but it just lacks precision at low speed, as it jumps a couple pixels at a time when I try to pixel-perfect click something, despite my only slightly moving my fingers (I have to move a lot and hope to offset the cursor by the right amount so that I'm sure to be able to click what I want).

        Regarding RAID1, especially on nvme, I would tend to think that's useless as having one memory fail means that there is a huge probability to see the other failing as well (think about cell wear, or spilling coffee/physical destruction), although having different models/production runs in the same computer would tend to make it slightly less of a concern. Thus, I would prefer an offline (or even off-site) backup, and use the extra space granted by the second drive.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by kaprikawn View Post
          Genuine question as I've never owned Apple hardware, is there any point in running Linux on a Mac? Could you not get comparable hardware for less money elsewhere? Or is there something about the Macbooks that elevates them above other manufacturers hardware if money is no object?
          No, there is no point anymore, there was when they where PowerPC; now they are overprized lifestyle objects, with glossy screens, few ports, outdated silicon, no user servicable parts, and Apple locking the system down more and more (t2 security chip) etc, and even before they were hiding hardware from OtherOS, e.g. Intel GPU on dual GPU systems: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OLIVqCFLv5Y PS: oh and yes, they thermal throttle, always have been since the Intel transition, ..! :-/

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          • #6
            Originally posted by [email protected] View Post
            Just my two cents on this: I've heard that Apple hardware tends to run into thermal throttling extremely quickly, thus leading to not-so-great performance (maybe even inferior to a lower-specced model). Did you find this to be an issue (although that could be more true of the more recent models).
            I haven't really run into serious throttling issues with the 2015 model, though it does throttle a little over extended compilations on all cores, especially when in a warm environment. In the end there's only so much one can handle with a relatively thin chassis, it's no 25/30mm thick machine The 2016 model is actually a bit slower over longer periods because of throttling (even after the fix they did). Last time I compared with colleagues in practice it was slightly faster than the same year XPS 15/precision.
            Note this might be in part because there's less heat to get rid of because I don't have a dGPU.
            Btw I do notice it runs hotter on Linux that it did on MacOS, still not really sure what's causing that apart from the obvious lack of support for GPU acceleration for video in browsers.

            Originally posted by [email protected] View Post
            Mmm... Libinput has been pretty good for me, but it just lacks precision at low speed, as it jumps a couple pixels at a time when I try to pixel-perfect click something, despite my only slightly moving my fingers (I have to move a lot and hope to offset the cursor by the right amount so that I'm sure to be able to click what I want).
            I've had some issues with not able to adjust the speed of mouse movement and scrolling to my liking, but my main issue with it is the lack of kinetic scrolling which I learned I use a lot the moment it wasn't available :P So I'm back to using synaptics for now.

            Originally posted by [email protected] View Post
            Regarding RAID1, especially on nvme, I would tend to think that's useless as having one memory fail means that there is a huge probability to see the other failing as well (think about cell wear, or spilling coffee/physical destruction), although having different models/production runs in the same computer would tend to make it slightly less of a concern. Thus, I would prefer an offline (or even off-site) backup, and use the extra space granted by the second drive.
            I do both, mirroring is no replacement for backups Like you mentioned just buying different types or different batches of the same storage device tends might help a bit with offsetting the individual drive's bathtub curve regarding failures. I mean it's been working fine 3 machines for me so far with just a single SSD, so it's just some extra safety + there are also some read performance improvements when running them in a mirror.
            Last edited by aaahaaap; 10-08-2018, 01:29 PM.

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            • #7
              Libinput is not in the same level of fine tuning as the Synaptics driver, on my T430. It is so good, spited and polished to perfection, that I immediately noticed something was wrong. That is the reason I had given up on Wayland for now.

              Apple has being very aggressive on the unfriendliness of hardware repair. It came to the point where not only the SSD is soldered on the board, but they removed a connector that allowed you to get to the data on the SSD if the motherboard died. That alone is big red flag to anyone with valuable data on a computer. Yes, there is backups, but not everyone does it every 5 minutes or have access to the cloud all the time. Not to mention the impossibility of cheap upgrades of storage.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by [email protected] View Post
                Mmm... Libinput has been pretty good for me, but it just lacks precision at low speed, as it jumps a couple pixels at a time when I try to pixel-perfect click something, despite my only slightly moving my fingers (I have to move a lot and hope to offset the cursor by the right amount so that I'm sure to be able to click what I want).
                How long ago was that problem? AFAIK at some point libinput applied hysteresis algo by default, which could probably lead to what you describe. But this was different since at least 1.10.x.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by kaprikawn View Post
                  Genuine question as I've never owned Apple hardware, is there any point in running Linux on a Mac? Could you not get comparable hardware for less money elsewhere? Or is there something about the Macbooks that elevates them above other manufacturers hardware if money is no object?
                  It is usually already having a Mac, for Mac purposes, and then also installing Linux, for Linux purposes. I bet there isn't a single being on the planet, who buys a Mac fresh, wipes MacOS and installs Linux clean. You need more brain cells for simple operation, like breathing.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by rene View Post
                    No, there is no point anymore, there was when they where PowerPC; now they are overprized lifestyle objects, with glossy screens, few ports, outdated silicon, no user servicable parts, and Apple locking the system down more and more (t2 security chip) etc, and even before they were hiding hardware from OtherOS, e.g. Intel GPU on dual GPU systems: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OLIVqCFLv5Y PS: oh and yes, they thermal throttle, always have been since the Intel transition, ..! :-/
                    Locking the hardware down ain't always "bad" though. I am considering getting Apple iPhone, purely because it allows secure phone locking and even more important, FaceTime, which has no similar secure encrypted call alternative in Android (or any other) ecosystem. The FaceTime as technical solution is pretty fucking secure, unless you are paranoid about Apple itself being a middle-man (which does not bother me)

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