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#1 Re: Desktop and Multimedia » Hard freeze on Cinnamon desktop » 2021-05-07 22:44:44

I sent the links to dropbox copies of those logs in private email. Did you get it?

#2 Re: Desktop and Multimedia » Hard freeze on Cinnamon desktop » 2021-04-27 19:17:34

Gack... I'd hate to have to go back to the old version. It's only getting patches until next summer, isn't it?

#3 Re: Desktop and Multimedia » Hard freeze on Cinnamon desktop » 2021-04-27 02:08:00

It happened again. Ctrl-Alt-Backspace and Ctrl-Alt-F1/F2/etc had no effect. This time, the pointer was moving across the desktop when it froze, too. Not on a menu. So my guess that something in the menuing system was the cause seems to be wrong. It's got to be deep in the video driver stack.

One thing that was different this time, thought, is that I had just downloaded updates and a couple of them were related to X. Dunno what the fixes were supposed to be. Maybe someone with better knowledge of where to look up recent patches can check on that. Since I had not rebooted/restarted X, that is probably a potential source of problems.

So, I did restart it after having to use the hard power switch, and fiddled with it a bit. Had also just installed Chromium, which does not complain about the missing keyring with Cinnamon, since the keyring is present. smile It was nice to use another open source browser for a bit.

Since this happened yesterday, I'm sure some of the logs will be archived and new ones started when I boot it again. Which logs shall I post to pastebin for an analysis?

#4 Re: Desktop and Multimedia » Hard freeze on Cinnamon desktop » 2021-04-07 23:23:34

Yes, I used the remove option rather than create the directory. No noticeable difference yet, but it took hours of continuous use for the bug to hit the first time. It might be something like the Windows problem that occurs when you Alt-tab between windows many, many, many times. (Like when copying things from a web browser to a local editor.) Eventually, the system gets confused and starts scrambling the windows. This has been a thing with MS Windows all the way back to 95/98 days when it was still a shell on MS-DOS. It might take another long session to see for sure if this fixes the problem.

I also tried removing the intel driver on a different laptop. Granted, this one hasn't had the bug, but I thought it might have better performance using the modesetting driver if that one is updated more often. Instead, it didn't even boot to the desktop! It stopped at the command prompt and I had to re-install the intel driver to get the desktop back. Here's the thing -- it is also using the i915 driver??? But the kernel driver is apparently not the same thing as the video driver. It's a Gateway laptop from ~2011, five years older than the HP. And it's running Devuan Ascii with XFCE. The modesetting driver apparently doesn't recognize the video subsystem.

00:02.0 VGA compatible controller: Intel Corporation 2nd Generation Core Processor Family Integrated Graphics Controller (rev 09)
    Subsystem: Acer Incorporated [ALI] 2nd Generation Core Processor Family Integrated Graphics Controller
    Kernel driver in use: i915
    Kernel modules: i915

Which logs shall I put on pastebin?

#5 Re: Desktop and Multimedia » Hard freeze on Cinnamon desktop » 2021-04-07 01:46:41

Yes, the driver listed is i915. Besides video, that Atom processor is acting as subsystem for most of the motherboard, PCI controller, audio, USB and various other functions seem to have been assigned to at least an Atom processor. I wonder how many there are and whether they are embedded in the CPU or the motherboard chip-set?

The logs aren't very large yet, since this is such a new system, but I really don't know what to look for. Grep for "Warning"? Or "Error"? Or something else?

#6 Re: Desktop and Multimedia » Hard freeze on Cinnamon desktop » 2021-04-05 22:50:50

There is no xorg.conf.d directory under X11, though at least the X11 directory exists! Have the workings of X changed in the latest release, or should I create that directory? I guess I could just go ahead and use the uninstall.

Yes, the video drivers seems to be the problem. When I saw something like this on a desktop with a nVidia-based video card using Devuan and XFCE a couple years ago, I gave up on Devuan and tried MX Linux. And it had the same problem... sad But when I installed the proprietary nVidia driver in MX, the problems went away. Now, this problem has something to do with Intel "HD Graphics" rather than an nVidia card, and the driver is apparently already the Intel driver? They published the source and Linux distros can just build it into their default config? So I'm at a loss how to 'fix' the problem this time. All I can do for now is try disabling the Intel part of X, I guess.

#7 Re: Hardware & System Configuration » Devuan and OpenVPN » 2021-04-05 19:19:12

OK, I can get the OpenVPN client to connect with "openvpn --config [filename]" where [filename] is the Windows config file with a little bit of editing to change the client key name. Gotta have different keys for different clients. smile It works, but I'm stuck with an open terminal window while it's running. How can I transfer the settings in the config file to a Network Manager profile that will just add a line in the Network Connections panel?

#8 Re: Desktop and Multimedia » Hard freeze on Cinnamon desktop » 2021-04-05 19:16:31

I'll have to try Ctrl-Alt-F1 if it happens again. I hadn't heard of that hot-key combination. I think it was Ctrl-Alt-Backspace that forces a desktop environment to quit? I didn't think to try that at the time, but will remember it next time along with Ctrl-Alt-F1....

#9 Re: Desktop and Multimedia » Hard freeze on Cinnamon desktop » 2021-04-05 19:13:19

lspci -k | grep -iA2 'vga\|display\|3d'

00:02.0 VGA compatible controller: Intel Corporation Atom Processor Z36xxx/Z37xxx Series Graphics & Display (rev 0e)
    Subsystem: Hewlett-Packard Company Atom Processor Z36xxx/Z37xxx Series Graphics & Display

Apparently the Atom architecture has been embedded in certain Pentium lines to serve as video controller...

aptitude search microcode
i A amd64-microcode                 - Processor microcode firmware for AMD CPUs
i A intel-microcode                 - Processor microcode firmware for Intel CPU
p   microcode.ctl                   - Intel IA32/IA64 CPU Microcode Utility

Now why would both AMD and Intel microcode be installed?

Also, how would I go about removing the xserver-xorg-video-intel part of X?
And how would I put it BACK if that turns out to be worse?

#10 Desktop and Multimedia » Hard freeze on Cinnamon desktop » 2021-04-05 00:29:17

Replies: 20

Well, I had thought the problem was with XFCE, but now I'm seeing the exact same problem I had on other systems running Ascii and XFCE, but this time with a newly installed Beowulf with Cinnamon on an HP 15-f272wm. When clicking on a menu, something goes off the rails and freezes the desktop solid. It's not predictable, the system might work for hours with no apparent problems. But when it hits, it's permanent. There is no option but the hard power switch. When Gkrellm was visible on the other systems at the moment of freezing, I could see the process/thread count skyrocket. So there is something running out of control, probably in the menuing system, when this happens. In this case my running Gkrellm was covered so I can't say for certain. But now I know it's not just XFCE. It's apparently deeper in the system than the desktop.

This is more than just a bit frustrating. Windows 10 will soon (within 2 years) be the only thing available in the 'consumer' field, and it is not usable. If Linux is going to become buggy as hell, I'm either going to have to run obsolete and dangerously vulnerable versions of Windows, or I'm going to be unable to use computers.

#11 Re: Hardware & System Configuration » Devuan and OpenVPN » 2021-04-05 00:19:19

But sometimes the GUI helps you figure out what is going on when you don't understand what you are doing. The wiki only tells you how to run it manually, and suggests you use the GUI without explaining how to do that. Presumably, most of us want to run a VPN without having to have an open terminal on the taskbar all the time, so you would think they would be more verbose explaining about the Network Manager route.

Anyway,  I finally realized that Network Manager creates a VPN connection like any other, by 'adding' with the "+" button. There isn't an obvious 'VPN' addition to the main window, only further down in the menus. The names in the GUI don't fully correspond to the names in the  text config, so I had to guess about some things. But even after finishing an OpenVPN connection and clicking 'save' there still isn't a config file in the openvpn directory, so I still don't know where the data is and cannot yet fix any mistakes directly. So the GUI wasn't much help this time. sad Since I'm getting tired and annoyed today, I guess I'll have to work on it some more tomorrow.

#12 Hardware & System Configuration » Devuan and OpenVPN » 2021-04-04 21:16:45

Replies: 3

In a push to finally "get some things done" that I've been wanting to do for ages, I recently created a 'private VPN' in the AWS cloud using OpenVPN according to this tutorial. I did get it working, and it's now usable with my Windows desktop system. The directions explain how to install the Windows version of the OpenVPN client, but not the Linux version. Since I also recently converted a laptop from Windows to Linux (per my post in the Installation forum), I'd like to get that also able to use this personal VPN. Installing OpenVPN, Network-Manager-OpenVPN, and Network-Manager-OpenVPN-Gnome as the Debian Wiki suggests, I can't find anything to configure. There is a blank directly in /etc now, and no hint how to proceed. Can someone tell me how you configure the OpenVPN client in a Devuan Beowulf install running Cinnamon?

#13 Re: Installation » Devuan and Secure Boot » 2021-04-04 21:00:15

The system is an HP 15-f272wm, just about 5 years old. I got it second-hand, didn't actually buy it myself. It's got a 4-core Pentium N3540 CPU and an Atom Z36xxx GPU. I didn't even know it had a GPU until I installed Devuan with Cinnamon and the System Info panel told me. smile It was originally 4 GB of RAM, but I upgraded it to 8 GB trying to improve the performance of Wind'ohs.

Poking around in the BIOS again, I find there is a setting specifically for secure boot, which I had disabled. But it still wouldn't boot until I enabled legacy support, so I guess I chose MBR when I installed. The menus can be confusing, and I just wanted to get it running something else. Win 10 is a nightmare, spending more time 'updating' itself than I spend actually using the system. And most of the time I had spent using the system was struggling with Win 10 settings and quirks. I also enabled virtualization, which is disabled by default for some reason and I kept seeing error messages about kvm being disabled by BIOS at every boot.

Since everything 'just works' now I am reluctant to re-install just to get the UEFI/GPT. Are there any huge advantages to it? If I need to re-install at some future point, I'll remember to deliberately try GPT.

All I am wondering now is how to get OpenVPN working, so I will post a new thread in the system config forum about that.

#14 Installation » Devuan and Secure Boot » 2021-04-03 23:16:58

Replies: 4

After literally years of trying to accommodate a Windows 10 install on a second hand laptop, I finally took the plunge and purged the beast, replacing it with Devuan Beowulf. In order to do that, I had to enable 'legacy' booting, as it would not recognize anything but its originally imprinted Win 10 otherwise. So now I've got a system new enough to have UEFI, but still booting from a disk using ancient MBR.

Now I am wondering, as I tweak my new and actually usable laptop, do Debian/Devuan  have 'keys' to be allowed to use this 'secure boot' feature? Or does it have to always be disabled to install Linux on a system that has it? Is it possible to use UEFI/GFT without secure boot? Would I have to dig further into the BIOS and figure out how to remove the existing keys to allow that?

#15 Re: Installation » I just installed Devuan 3.1.0 Beowulf and it's cool » 2021-03-15 02:08:48

Merely disabling wicd with this handy utility -- glad I chose sysv for my init system! smile -- does not work. I get error messages about the GUI not working until the daemon is restarted. So I just used 'aptitude remove wicd'. Bluetooth is OK with being disabled this way.

Googling around, I learned that putting "acpi_enforce_resources=lax" on my GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT= line allows more sensors to be seen. The sensor actually named cpu fan is still not showing any data, but six others are now visible to Gkrellm and three of them show actual live data. Now if I could just figure out which is which... smile

#16 Re: Desktop and Multimedia » [SOLVED] Nvidia error at boot » 2021-03-15 02:03:48

After installing the proprietary driver in beowulf 3.1 I've got this same thing again. But once again the actual video performance seems to be fine. It still seems to me like something involved in the install process is not being removed properly.

#17 Re: Installation » I just installed Devuan 3.1.0 Beowulf and it's cool » 2021-03-13 03:12:30

Hey, I just installed 3.1 yesterday from the devuan_beowulf_3.1.0_amd64-desktop.iso rather than a net install. Since it's so new, there isn't much to download to be up-to-date. smile But since this has kicked off a discussion of new install issues, I'll post here.

Over-all the install was very smooth, which is indeed 'cool'... Most things 'just work', but there were some glitches. Current gripes:

* multiple desktops on the same system:
Since I have been avoiding KDE and Gnome like the plague since their respective 4.x bloat disasters, I wanted to see what MATE and Cinnamon were like. XFCE is my favorite desktop right now, so I like that it is default in Devuan. But if KDE and Gnome can go insane, who knows if XFCE might also? Though I haven't had time to experiment with them yet, I'm still configuring XFCE to my preferred state, I noticed something odd after installing all three. Some of the component accessories, like gnome terminal and the Pluma editor, have 'bled through' into my XFCE install, popping up by default instead of the XFCE equivalents. Shouldn't the elements of the different desktop systems be kept together, and separate from each other, by default? Seems kinda sloppy to have these parts appearing in XFCE.

* Network manager and WICD and Bluetooth?

This is a desktop with no bluetooth or Wifi devices attached. Why would I get WICD and Bluetooth just automatically added to my system? I'm considering uninstalling them, but am a bit concerned that there might be some sort of tangled dependency that pulled them in. So these do more than just service external devices that I do not have?

* sensors and gkrellm
This is always a problem with every new install. Some of the hardware sensors work, some do not. Even after running sensors-detect. I've got all the temp sensors working, even the HD with the hddtemp daemon. But the fan sensors do not work, and they did work in ascii. But it's now been so long that I don't recall what I did, if anything special, to get the fan sensors working. Weirdly, the entries for both the cpu and gpu fan are there in the fan sector, but if I check them there is no readout. So something is 'partially' working in that it thinks there are sensors but can't read them.

* gkrellweather
This is not fixed in beowulf. The script now works, so they have at least updated that for the new location of the NOAA weather data. But the default location of that script in the config file is still wrong. I had to edit and change "/usr/local/share/gkrellm/GrabWeather" to "/usr/share/gkrellm/GrabWeather" and will have to do that again if I ever change the config because it will still write that wrong location when it re-writes the file. Why couldn't someone fix this very simple thing?

* stubby
One of my major motivations for upgrading to beowulf was that stubby was finally available by default and I could just install DNS-over-TLS cleanly and quickly. It seems to work, but I don't know how to verify that. How do you test that your system is using TLS to connect to the DNS providers?

Since I'm just getting started, there will probably be more discoveries. But these are the current outstanding issues.

#18 Re: ARM Builds » Is a Devuan build for the new Apple M1 chip possible? » 2021-02-19 18:54:16

Such intense Apple hate... Are they really any worse than Intel? It was sheer accident that IBM created a generic enough machine in their first PC that it could be cloned and actual competition became possible in the computer market. Apple has been much more careful, but still has not been able to totally control their hardware. We've had 'Boot Camp' for the Intel-based MACs since about a year after they appeared. I would hope and expect that something similar will be available for their ARM-based machines soon. It might be Android and Linux rather than Windows, but there will be fully functional OSes for these machines other than Apple's proprietary walled-garden.

#19 Re: News & Announcements » Devuan Beowulf 3.1.0 point release » 2021-02-19 18:47:32

Where is the torrent for this? When I try to find a torrent for Devuan Beowulf I can only find the old one for 3.0, not this current one.

#20 ARM Builds » Is a Devuan build for the new Apple M1 chip possible? » 2020-11-19 00:31:03

Replies: 25

All reports are that the performance of the hardware is great. And there are many advantages to finally getting away from the x86 instruction set. But... Apple is just like Microsoft and Google, or maybe worse, in trying to control and watch everything that users of their OS do. So, I'm wondering if this "proprietary" architecture poses some kind of legal or technical obstacles to a Linux distro? Or will someone be compiling Devuan for the M1 architecture soon?

#21 Re: Desktop and Multimedia » How can VLC media player download only the audio of a video stream? » 2020-06-19 01:45:45

OK, I listened to another video from twitch successfully, meaning it download only the audio. But then I tried a different video on a different day and it downloaded the video, too. I can't find why it works like I want at some times and not at others! There has got to be a setting somewhere....

#22 Re: Hardware & System Configuration » Backlight control problem » 2020-06-12 20:07:31

I just recently had this same struggle on a couple of older laptops. They use the Intel CPU video driver, not a third-party GPU, so this may not apply to your system. But here's the thread that I started:

#23 Desktop and Multimedia » How can VLC media player download only the audio of a video stream? » 2020-06-11 20:04:21

Replies: 2

Last week I used VLC to listen to a stream from Twitch. I did not download the video portion, and this is important to note: did not download the video portion. Only the audio. I could see that because I use GKrellm on my systems and I could see that this stream was very low bandwidth. There was no fancy tinkering involved. I got the URL of the stream with a browser and copied it into the stream prompt on VLC.

When I tried to do the same thing a few days later, it insisted on downloading the video as well. I couldn't find any setting to prevent this. I could disable displaying the video, but it was still downloaded. Now I am annoyed. I don't have a very fast connection and I want only the audio part of the stream. Why would it work fine once, and then not work anymore? There are no settings I can find, but VLC has so many settings I suppose something could be there and I don't even see it.

Does anyone know what the setting might be to only download the audio of a stream? Or is this possibly an abstruse thing that I would have to sign up on the VLC forums to get help with? smile

#24 Re: Hardware & System Configuration » Fan control on laptops » 2020-05-06 21:56:55

Installing hwinfo, I got a complete dump of detectable characteristics for this laptop. There is one thing that has the characters "fan" associated with it:

02: None 00.0: 10107 System
  [Created at sys.63]
  Unique ID: rdCR.n_7QNeEnh23
  Hardware Class: system
  Model: "System"
  Formfactor: "laptop"
  Driver Info #0:
    Driver Status: thermal,fan are not active
    Driver Activation Cmd: "modprobe thermal; modprobe fan"
  Config Status: cfg=new, avail=yes, need=no, active=unknown

Is this hardware info that might be useful for determining how to actually detect and control the fan? It is it just a status report on the kernel module that would manage the fan if it could be found?

#25 Re: Hardware & System Configuration » Backlight control on laptops » 2020-05-04 19:27:16

Hrm, both of these laptops are much newer than 2007. They date from 2011-2012 or so. By that standard, they should work with the DDX driver. But they don't. It still sounds like there is a config problem at a very deep  level. They have not accounted for laptops properly.

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