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Old 06-21-2011, 05:52 PM
Camaleón
 
Default Question about the new kernel with PAE (Wheezy) - Report

On Tue, 21 Jun 2011 18:22:48 +0100, Dom wrote:

> On 21/06/11 17:33, Camaleón wrote:
>> On Tue, 21 Jun 2011 12:16:02 -0400, Gilbert Sullivan wrote:

(...)

>>> Aptitude was nice to me.
>>
>> Yep, I also think so. But I wondered how "apt-get dist-upgrade" would
>> handle this sitution. I bet that it will report something similar to
>> aptitude... heck, I'm tempted to get the "I-know-it-won't-work"
>> suggested kernel update to see what happens O:-)
>
> I'll find that out what apt does tomorrow when I try to upgrade my main
> laptop which doesn't have pae support, and will report the results.

I'll give you some tips as I couldn't retain my self and performed the
dist-upgrade :-)

> I'm not too worried, as I know it won't remove the old kernel and I can
> reboot into that one and install the 486 version when it fails.
>
> Oddly, I installed the 486 version on a couple of identical 586 machines
> today. It worked fine on one and failed to boot on the other. I'm not
> planning to investigate those, though, as I build a custom targeted
> kernel for those low-spec machines.

Well, if you agree with the update, the pae kernel installs despite it
warns about it will not work (and when you boot with it, it fails as
expected). You can still boot with the old kernel (good job!).

So in the end you need to manually remove the pae kernel and install the
486, as Gilbert suggested.

I still think this should have been automagically done by the upgrade.
Why proceed with installing something that will not work and even set it
as the default boot option >:-P

Greetings,

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Camaleón


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Old 06-21-2011, 06:05 PM
Gilbert Sullivan
 
Default Question about the new kernel with PAE (Wheezy) - Report

On 06/21/2011 01:52 PM, Camaleón wrote:

Well, if you agree with the update, the pae kernel installs despite it
warns about it will not work (and when you boot with it, it fails as
expected). You can still boot with the old kernel (good job!).

So in the end you need to manually remove the pae kernel and install the
486, as Gilbert suggested.

I still think this should have been automagically done by the upgrade.
Why proceed with installing something that will not work and even set it
as the default boot option>:-P

Greetings,



They're just doing that to see if we're paying attention!

I had always assumed that the little sub-notebook's processor would have
supported PAE. If aptitude had taken upon itself just to switch me from
686 to 486, I probably would have thought that was odd, too. At least
the package manager did tell me exactly what I needed to do. That's a
good thing for a dummy like me.


8-)


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Old 06-21-2011, 06:13 PM
Sven Joachim
 
Default Question about the new kernel with PAE (Wheezy) - Report

On 2011-06-21 19:52 +0200, Camaleón wrote:

> Well, if you agree with the update, the pae kernel installs despite it
> warns about it will not work (and when you boot with it, it fails as
> expected). You can still boot with the old kernel (good job!).
>
> So in the end you need to manually remove the pae kernel and install the
> 486, as Gilbert suggested.
>
> I still think this should have been automagically done by the upgrade.

I guess it's a bit difficult, since the package management cannot know
that the kernel will not work with your CPU. The alternative of
downgrading to the -486 kernel for all former -686 users is not very
attractive either, since that means losing SMP support. This will
certainly be mentioned in the Wheezy release notes eventually.

> Why proceed with installing something that will not work and even set it
> as the default boot option >:-P

The installation has actually failed, leaving the -686-pae kernel
unconfigured, has it not? I think there is a problem with the
upgrade-grub script that generates menu entries for all kernels, whether
they work or not.

Sven


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Old 06-21-2011, 06:37 PM
Camaleón
 
Default Question about the new kernel with PAE (Wheezy) - Report

On Tue, 21 Jun 2011 20:13:06 +0200, Sven Joachim wrote:

> On 2011-06-21 19:52 +0200, Camaleón wrote:
>
>> Well, if you agree with the update, the pae kernel installs despite it
>> warns about it will not work (and when you boot with it, it fails as
>> expected). You can still boot with the old kernel (good job!).
>>
>> So in the end you need to manually remove the pae kernel and install
>> the 486, as Gilbert suggested.
>>
>> I still think this should have been automagically done by the upgrade.
>
> I guess it's a bit difficult, since the package management cannot know
> that the kernel will not work with your CPU.

Well, after I chose "yes, update" it downloaded the packages and it
presented the warning prompt, so it did know something about my processor
specs before proceeding with the install.

But why go on? Why not "download, prepare the install, detect CPU
capabilities, stop and ask the user to a) install 486 kernel, b) don't do
anything or c) proceed anyway?

Yes, yes, I know. I am asking for too much ;-)

But just out of curiosity, what's the raw logic behind the routine that
decided to install a PAE kernel instead another one? Why the installer
took such option? :-?

> The alternative of downgrading to the -486 kernel for all former -686
> users is not very attractive either, since that means losing SMP
> support. This will certainly be mentioned in the Wheezy release notes
> eventually.

I can enable PAE/NX for the VM but never liked the PAE kernels. And only
have one processor available so SMP on/off wouldn't be noticed, right?

>> Why proceed with installing something that will not work and even set
>> it as the default boot option >:-P
>
> The installation has actually failed, leaving the -686-pae kernel
> unconfigured, has it not?

Yep. But I spent time, bandwith and hard disk space (that is a very
scarce resource in my small 8 GiB VM) in the process :-PP

> I think there is a problem with the
> upgrade-grub script that generates menu entries for all kernels, whether
> they work or not.

I understand the last installed kernel goes first, that seems pretty
logical, regardless it works or not, this cannot be foreseen by GRUB,
that will try to boot whatever it finds.

Greetings,

--
Camaleón


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Old 06-21-2011, 06:55 PM
Camaleón
 
Default Question about the new kernel with PAE (Wheezy) - Report

On Tue, 21 Jun 2011 14:05:04 -0400, Gilbert Sullivan wrote:

> On 06/21/2011 01:52 PM, Camaleón wrote:

>> So in the end you need to manually remove the pae kernel and install
>> the 486, as Gilbert suggested.
>>
>> I still think this should have been automagically done by the upgrade.
>> Why proceed with installing something that will not work and even set
>> it as the default boot option>:-P
>>
>>
> They're just doing that to see if we're paying attention!

X-)

> I had always assumed that the little sub-notebook's processor would have
> supported PAE. If aptitude had taken upon itself just to switch me from
> 686 to 486, I probably would have thought that was odd, too. At least
> the package manager did tell me exactly what I needed to do. That's a
> good thing for a dummy like me.
>
> 8-)

Yes, I agree.

The package manager warned us and the most important, IMO, it is
configured _by default_ to keep the old kernel. This can sound irrelevant
but this option is no the default in many other distributions that are
usually well-known as more "user-friendly".

Greetings,

--
Camaleón


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Old 06-21-2011, 07:06 PM
Sven Joachim
 
Default Question about the new kernel with PAE (Wheezy) - Report

On 2011-06-21 20:37 +0200, Camaleón wrote:

> On Tue, 21 Jun 2011 20:13:06 +0200, Sven Joachim wrote:
>
>> On 2011-06-21 19:52 +0200, Camaleón wrote:
>>
>>> Well, if you agree with the update, the pae kernel installs despite it
>>> warns about it will not work (and when you boot with it, it fails as
>>> expected). You can still boot with the old kernel (good job!).
>>>
>>> So in the end you need to manually remove the pae kernel and install
>>> the 486, as Gilbert suggested.
>>>
>>> I still think this should have been automagically done by the upgrade.
>>
>> I guess it's a bit difficult, since the package management cannot know
>> that the kernel will not work with your CPU.
>
> Well, after I chose "yes, update" it downloaded the packages and it
> presented the warning prompt, so it did know something about my processor
> specs before proceeding with the install.

That's a maintainer script of the package (probably the preinst
script). It is not feasible to do this in apt.

> But why go on? Why not "download, prepare the install, detect CPU
> capabilities, stop and ask the user to a) install 486 kernel, b) don't do
> anything or c) proceed anyway?
>
> Yes, yes, I know. I am asking for too much ;-)

Indeed. By the time the preinst script runs it is technically
impossible to do a), so b) and c) are the only options, and _you_ are
responsible for the consequences of proceeding.

> But just out of curiosity, what's the raw logic behind the routine that
> decided to install a PAE kernel instead another one? Why the installer
> took such option? :-?

It didn't. The old -686 kernels from squeeze and earlier do not support
or need PAE.

>> The alternative of downgrading to the -486 kernel for all former -686
>> users is not very attractive either, since that means losing SMP
>> support. This will certainly be mentioned in the Wheezy release notes
>> eventually.
>
> I can enable PAE/NX for the VM but never liked the PAE kernels. And only
> have one processor available so SMP on/off wouldn't be noticed, right?

Yes. Installing the -486 kernel is certainly your best option.

Sven


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Old 06-22-2011, 04:44 AM
Dom
 
Default Question about the new kernel with PAE (Wheezy) - Report

On 21/06/11 18:52, Camaleón wrote:

On Tue, 21 Jun 2011 18:22:48 +0100, Dom wrote:



I'll find that out what apt does tomorrow when I try to upgrade my main
laptop which doesn't have pae support, and will report the results.


I'll give you some tips as I couldn't retain my self and performed the
dist-upgrade :-)


I'm not too worried, as I know it won't remove the old kernel and I can
reboot into that one and install the 486 version when it fails.



Well, if you agree with the update, the pae kernel installs despite it
warns about it will not work (and when you boot with it, it fails as
expected). You can still boot with the old kernel (good job!).


Now here's the thing. I did the install, got the warning from the
meta-package (linux-image-2.6-686), and the kernel installed - as you said.


I then rebooted and... it works fine.

System details are:

dom@oz:~$ uname -r
2.6.39-2-686-pae
dom@oz:~$ cat /proc/cpuinfo
processor : 0
vendor_id : GenuineIntel
cpu family : 6
model : 9
model name : Intel(R) Pentium(R) M processor 1600MHz
(...)
flags : fpu vme de pse tsc msr mce cx8 sep mtrr pge mca cmov clflush
dts acpi mmx fxsr sse sse2 tm pbe up bts est tm2


No "pae" flag, as you can see.


So in the end you need to manually remove the pae kernel and install the
486, as Gilbert suggested.


I think I'll leave it there for now and upgrade manually when a new
kernel revision is released.



I still think this should have been automagically done by the upgrade.
Why proceed with installing something that will not work and even set it
as the default boot option>:-P


apt/aptitude are just satisfying the dependencies of the meta-package,
the one that fails with the warning. Possible the same code could be put
into the actual kernel package, but that would mean re-writing the
kernel package too, just for a (supposedly) one-off event.


What we need here is some sort of "dynamic depends", where the package
generates a suitable dependency based on criteria at install time. I
can, however, see many reasons why that would be a bad idea.


--
Dom


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Old 06-22-2011, 07:16 AM
Alberto Luaces
 
Default Question about the new kernel with PAE (Wheezy) - Report

Dom writes:

> Now here's the thing. I did the install, got the warning from the
> meta-package (linux-image-2.6-686), and the kernel installed - as you
> said.
>
> I then rebooted and... it works fine.

It happened to me too!

--
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Old 06-22-2011, 11:10 AM
Camaleón
 
Default Question about the new kernel with PAE (Wheezy) - Report

On Wed, 22 Jun 2011 09:16:02 +0200, Alberto Luaces wrote:

> Dom writes:
>
>> Now here's the thing. I did the install, got the warning from the
>> meta-package (linux-image-2.6-686), and the kernel installed - as you
>> said.
>>
>> I then rebooted and... it works fine.
>
> It happened to me too!

Wow! You both must be the smartest of the classroom :-)

Now seriously, how can be that?

I know there were a set of Pentium M processors models that had enabled
PAE/NX but if that's the case, cpuinfo should expose both flags ("pae"
and "nx"), which is not the case.

Greetings,

--
Camaleón


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Old 06-22-2011, 11:21 AM
Camaleón
 
Default Question about the new kernel with PAE (Wheezy) - Report

On Tue, 21 Jun 2011 21:06:33 +0200, Sven Joachim wrote:

(...)

>> But just out of curiosity, what's the raw logic behind the routine that
>> decided to install a PAE kernel instead another one? Why the installer
>> took such option? :-?
>
> It didn't.

Well, it did.

The following NEW packages will be installed:
linux-image-2.6.39-2-686-pae (2.6.39-2)
linux-image-686-pae (2.6.39+35.1)
(...)
The following packages will be upgraded:
(...)
linux-image-686 (2.6.38+34 => 2.6.39+35.1)

It decided to install the PAE kernel instead the 486 (non-PAE). Why? As I
hadn't installed a "linux-image-2.6-686-pae" previously I'd expected a
non-PAE update, and given that "-686" was not available, "-486" seemed
the most suitable selection.

> The old -686 kernels from squeeze and earlier do not support
> or need PAE.

Yes, and that's why I wonder why the update routine decided to go the PAE
way :-)

Greetings,

--
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