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#1 2021-11-03 01:13:33

Micronaut
Member
Registered: 2019-07-04
Posts: 132  

Beowulf on two laptops

The problems with Ascii were frustrating, but the release of the next iteration of Devuan pushed me to at least not fall too far behind. smile So I have re-installed, not upgraded, Devuan 3.1 on my two laptops that were still running 2.1/Ascii. The system partitions were formatted and the new version freshly installed, but the /home directory was kept intact. This seems to have worked well over-all. I got everything I could think to test working on the Gateway system. Settings for accessories like Gkrellm were preserved. Even the brightness controls that don't work by default were operational when I followed the steps I got from an article on how to fix it. But the other laptop -- an Acer Aspire 5733Z -- has a couple of annoying problems. The brightness controls do not work, for one thing. They were working with Ascii after following these same steps.

The steps were:

* cp 10-backlight.conf /usr/share/X11/xorg.conf.d/10-backlight.conf
(a config file)
* install xbacklight
* edit /etc/default/grub
  add "acpi_backlight=vendor" to GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT
* run "update-grub" to make it active
* add "handle-brightness-keys" under xfce4-power-manager
   make it boolean and set it true

The last step is actually done automatically by installing xbacklight anyway. The gateway system uses function keys for the backlight adjustment while the Acer uses arrow keys. Could that have something to do with it? Some other possible reasons I can think of for the difference is that the Acer is using XFCE while the Gateway is using Cinnamon. And I deliberately changed the display manager on the Acer from the default slim, which I have learned from reading here has not been updated in many years, for lightdm. There are no other apparent bugs so I'm not inclined to change it back yet.

The Acer has one other odd problem. While booting it will stop for a loooong time. It seems like a full minute. The message is:
ifup: waiting for lock on /run/network/ifstate.eth0
It finally realizes the interface is already configured and continues. But why does it take so long to realize that?

Last edited by Micronaut (2021-11-03 01:14:50)

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#2 2021-11-03 17:38:26

Micronaut
Member
Registered: 2019-07-04
Posts: 132  

Re: Beowulf on two laptops

A bit of searching turned up a thread on this forum about the eth0 problem:

ifup wait at boot

As I suspected, it was a simple error in a config file. The fix given works on my system, too. But, I installed Beowulf with the same installer on both laptops. Weird that this only cropped up on one of them. Computers are apparently not as 'consistent' and 'reliable' as we have come to assume. Too much complexity, I guess.

No progress on the backlight keys, but there is a nice little utility in the repositories called brightnessctl. It can find and change the screen backlight brightness, but it's a manual command-line only thing.

Trying to get the keys to work, so far I have tried two different config files in /usr/share/X11/xorg.conf.d/

10-backlight.conf

Section "Device" 

	Identifier "Intel"

	Driver "intel"

#	Option "AccelMethod" "uxa"

EndSection

20-intel.conf

Section "Device"

	Identifier "card0"

	Driver "intel"

	Option "Backlight" "intel_backlight"

	BusID "PCI:0:2:0"

EndSection

Is capitalization important in these sorts of files? Any other nitpicky typographic problems possible?

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#3 2021-11-03 17:55:06

Head_on_a_Stick
Member
From: London
Registered: 2019-03-24
Posts: 1,877  
Website

Re: Beowulf on two laptops

xbacklight only works if you're using the Intel DDX driver but Devuan beowulf will default to the modesetting driver for Intel graphics cards. You can force the Intel driver to make xbacklight work but it's more buggy than modesetting.

I use a udev rule to change the brightness file to be owned by the video group and allow that group to alter the level:

# /etc/udev/rules.d/00-backlight.rules
ACTION=="add", KERNEL=="intel_backlight", SUBSYSTEM=="backlight", RUN+="/bin/chgrp video /sys/class/backlight/intel_backlight/brightness", RUN+="/bin/chmod g+w /sys/class/backlight/intel_backlight/brightness"

And then use keybinds to call scripts to alter the levels; this one is called dimmer (I have an AMD system, your backlight directory will be called intel_backlight, or so):

#!/bin/sh
file=/sys/class/backlight/amdgpu_bl0/brightness
read -r level < $file
printf %s\\n $((level-5)) > $file

The brighter command is the same but with a plus instead of a minus. The value of the level step can be determined by checking the max_brightness file. I should probably make a generalised script to both raise and lower brightness in 1/10 increments for any system but I just can't be bothered.

EDIT:

Micronaut wrote:

so far I have tried two different config files in /usr/share/X11/xorg.conf.d/

X does not look there, see man xorg.conf for details.

EDIT2: simplified udev rule.

Last edited by Head_on_a_Stick (2021-11-06 11:00:16)


antifa ftw!

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#4 2021-11-03 18:30:00

Ogis1975
Member
Registered: 2017-04-21
Posts: 216  
Website

Re: Beowulf on two laptops

Micronaut wrote:

The Acer has one other odd problem. While booting it will stop for a loooong time. It seems like a full minute. The message is:
ifup: waiting for lock on /run/network/ifstate.eth0
It finally realizes the interface is already configured and continues. But why does it take so long to realize that?

It is fixed in Devuan 4.


MyLiveMatter

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#5 2021-11-05 22:36:59

Micronaut
Member
Registered: 2019-07-04
Posts: 132  

Re: Beowulf on two laptops

Well, your scripts look to have the same functionality as the brightnessctl command, but without the report on current settings ability. So unless I can get the keys working, this is good enough.

If /usr/share/X11/xorg.conf.d/ is not the right place to put config files, I'd like to know which of the numerous alternatives is the right place in Debian/Devuan? There are other config files in this directory on my beowulf laptop systems. The config for the touchpad, for example.

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#6 2021-11-06 09:08:20

Head_on_a_Stick
Member
From: London
Registered: 2019-03-24
Posts: 1,877  
Website

Re: Beowulf on two laptops

Micronaut wrote:

If /usr/share/X11/xorg.conf.d/ is not the right place to put config files, I'd like to know which of the numerous alternatives is the right place in Debian/Devuan?

I wrote:

see man xorg.conf for details

I'm not retyping it here for you tongue

EDIT: to give you a clue it's in the DESCRIPTION section.

Last edited by Head_on_a_Stick (2021-11-06 09:09:01)


antifa ftw!

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#7 2021-11-09 02:22:24

Micronaut
Member
Registered: 2019-07-04
Posts: 132  

Re: Beowulf on two laptops

I don't see how you'd have to 'retype' the whole thing. All I'm wondering is which exact directory is used by Debian/Devuan. I put the config files in etc/X11 just to see if that would make a difference and it didn't seem to change anything. At least brightnessctl works. smile

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#8 2021-11-09 08:09:32

Head_on_a_Stick
Member
From: London
Registered: 2019-03-24
Posts: 1,877  
Website

Re: Beowulf on two laptops

Micronaut wrote:

I don't see how you'd have to 'retype' the whole thing.

And I'm not prepared to list all ten possible locations here when you could just open the man page. If it helps I use fragment files under /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/.

Micronaut wrote:

I put the config files in etc/X11 just to see if that would make a difference and it didn't seem to change anything.

What did you name these configuration files? Did you check the X.Org log? It clearly states which configuration files have been read for that session.


antifa ftw!

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