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"Patrick McKnight" 02-05-2008 05:42 PM

request for some help with performance and sound
 
Greetings,

I am new to Edubuntu but not new to linux (using exclusively since 1996).** Recently, I installed Edubuntu in my research lab.* The install was a replacement for an Ubuntu (Dapper) setup with LTSP that was working OK but tended to crash a fair bit.* I thought an upgrade was in order so I moved ahead.* Perhaps my move was a bit in haste since many of the features that were working before no longer work.* Two features, in particular, are causing me headaches.* Can anyone out there offer some advice on the following?


1.* Video performance.* I have 5 clients hooked up to a Gb switch that goes directly to an exclusive NIC on my dual cpu, dual core server (8 GB of RAM, 80 GB SATA drive, no RAID).* The clients are all PXE thin clients with 512 MB of RAM and via chipsets (most likely they are EPIA boards in tiny cases, I just never looked inside).* The video performance on my thin clients is atrocious.* I feel like I have gone back to Windows 2.0 on a 286 - yes, that slow.* I literally see the screen painted before my eyes.* Running anything like VMware or Win4Lin is out of the question.* So I ask, what might be the hangup?


Network?* I figure the network connection is fine.*

Server?* The server CPU and RAM are fine but the disk is definitely slow.* That should not make a difference on one test client, or should it?*

Clients?* Not likely.* They ran just fine before.


Edubuntu setup?* Perhaps.* But I am not sure how to tune the performance.*

2.* Sound.* Sound does not work.* I know to enable sound I need to enable sound in the lts.conf file.* I have already done that.* Is there another step that I am missing?* Perhaps software that is not installed by default.* I tried everything.* From installing esound, pulseaudio, etc. to messing around with my asound.conf file.* The thin client just refuses to see any sound driver or daemon.*


Any help on either of these would be greatly appreciated.* I need to get these thin clients back up and running so my students can resume their work (for me).* Thanks greatly in advance for any pointers.*

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Richard Doyle 02-05-2008 06:13 PM

request for some help with performance and sound
 
On Tue, 2008-02-05 at 13:42 -0500, Patrick McKnight wrote:
> Greetings,
>
> I am new to Edubuntu but not new to linux (using exclusively since
> 1996). Recently, I installed Edubuntu in my research lab.
Which version?

> The install was a replacement for an Ubuntu (Dapper) setup with LTSP
> that was working OK but tended to crash a fair bit. I thought an
> upgrade was in order so I moved ahead. Perhaps my move was a bit in
> haste since many of the features that were working before no longer
> work. Two features, in particular, are causing me headaches. Can
> anyone out there offer some advice on the following?
>
> 1. Video performance. I have 5 clients hooked up to a Gb switch that
> goes directly to an exclusive NIC on my dual cpu, dual core server (8
> GB of RAM, 80 GB SATA drive, no RAID). The clients are all PXE thin
> clients with 512 MB of RAM and via chipsets (most likely they are EPIA
> boards in tiny cases, I just never looked inside). The video
> performance on my thin clients is atrocious. I feel like I have gone
> back to Windows 2.0 on a 286 - yes, that slow. I literally see the
> screen painted before my eyes. Running anything like VMware or
> Win4Lin is out of the question. So I ask, what might be the hangup?
>
> Network? I figure the network connection is fine.
>
> Server? The server CPU and RAM are fine but the disk is definitely
> slow. That should not make a difference on one test client, or should
> it?
>
> Clients? Not likely. They ran just fine before.
But aren't they using a different driver now, since you are using a
newer kernel?

Were you using the xorg driver for the via chipset in both cases?

>
> Edubuntu setup? Perhaps. But I am not sure how to tune the
> performance.
>
> 2. Sound. Sound does not work. I know to enable sound I need to
> enable sound in the lts.conf file. I have already done that. Is
> there another step that I am missing? Perhaps software that is not
> installed by default. I tried everything. From installing esound,
> pulseaudio, etc. to messing around with my asound.conf file. The thin
> client just refuses to see any sound driver or daemon.
>
> Any help on either of these would be greatly appreciated. I need to
> get these thin clients back up and running so my students can resume
> their work (for me). Thanks greatly in advance for any pointers.
>
> --
> Cheers,
>
> Patrick


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"Patrick McKnight" 02-05-2008 06:50 PM

request for some help with performance and sound
 
Richard,

Thanks for the quick reply and sorry about excluding relevant information.

I am using 7.10 (Gutsy) now.* The install is the AMD64 version on my server and I boot off a i386 image for my clients.



With respect to the drivers and kernel, yes, I suppose the via driver changed from the Dapper ltsp install to the Gutsy Edubuntu ltsp install.* I would not expect the driver to account for the extreme difference but perhaps that is the case.*



On Feb 5, 2008 2:13 PM, Richard Doyle <rdoyle@islandnetworks.com> wrote:



On Tue, 2008-02-05 at 13:42 -0500, Patrick McKnight wrote:
> Greetings,
>
> I am new to Edubuntu but not new to linux (using exclusively since
> 1996). * Recently, I installed Edubuntu in my research lab.


Which version?

> The install was a replacement for an Ubuntu (Dapper) setup with LTSP
> that was working OK but tended to crash a fair bit. *I thought an
> upgrade was in order so I moved ahead. *Perhaps my move was a bit in


> haste since many of the features that were working before no longer
> work. *Two features, in particular, are causing me headaches. *Can
> anyone out there offer some advice on the following?
>

> 1. *Video performance. *I have 5 clients hooked up to a Gb switch that

> goes directly to an exclusive NIC on my dual cpu, dual core server (8
> GB of RAM, 80 GB SATA drive, no RAID). *The clients are all PXE thin
> clients with 512 MB of RAM and via chipsets (most likely they are EPIA


> boards in tiny cases, I just never looked inside). *The video
> performance on my thin clients is atrocious. *I feel like I have gone
> back to Windows 2.0 on a 286 - yes, that slow. *I literally see the


> screen painted before my eyes. *Running anything like VMware or
> Win4Lin is out of the question. *So I ask, what might be the hangup?
>
> Network? *I figure the network connection is fine.
>


> Server? *The server CPU and RAM are fine but the disk is definitely
> slow. *That should not make a difference on one test client, or should
> it?
>
> Clients? *Not likely. *They ran just fine before.


But aren't they using a different driver now, since you are using a
newer kernel?

Were you using the xorg driver for the via chipset in both cases?

>
> Edubuntu setup? *Perhaps. *But I am not sure how to tune the


> performance.
>
> 2. *Sound. *Sound does not work. *I know to enable sound I need to
> enable sound in the lts.conf file. *I have already done that. *Is
> there another step that I am missing? *Perhaps software that is not


> installed by default. *I tried everything. *From installing esound,
> pulseaudio, etc. to messing around with my asound.conf file. *The thin
> client just refuses to see any sound driver or daemon.
>


> Any help on either of these would be greatly appreciated. *I need to
> get these thin clients back up and running so my students can resume
> their work (for me). *Thanks greatly in advance for any pointers.


>
> --
> Cheers,
>
> Patrick


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Patrick


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Richard Doyle 02-05-2008 07:11 PM

request for some help with performance and sound
 
On Tue, 2008-02-05 at 14:50 -0500, Patrick McKnight wrote:
> Richard,
>
> Thanks for the quick reply and sorry about excluding relevant
> information.
Were you using the default Via driver (the xorg version) in both
instances?
>
> I am using 7.10 (Gutsy) now. The install is the AMD64 version on my
> server and I boot off a i386 image for my clients.
Log into the system console on the client, as root, and inspect the Xorg
log (in our system it is named Xorg.6.log) for clues. See
>
> With respect to the drivers and kernel, yes, I suppose the via driver
> changed from the Dapper ltsp install to the Gutsy Edubuntu ltsp
> install. I would not expect the driver to account for the extreme
> difference but perhaps that is the case.
I agree, but only if you were using the xorg driver in both cases. The
xorg driver works, but performanace is poor. In my experience, the only
driver to provide decent performance is the proprietary version from
Via, and that only with the pre-gutsy version. We've reverted to Feisty
for this reason.




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"Patrick McKnight" 02-05-2008 07:42 PM

request for some help with performance and sound
 
Ah, good catch.* I am not sure about the driver (I cannot check it right now because I am not in my lab).* If I specify the via driver in the lts.conf file, I suspect it is using the stock xorg driver.* Is that true?* If so, I think this might be the problem.* By the way, my server video performance is horrible as well.* Perhaps that is the common thread.* Is there a way to stick with the Gutsy install but use the via driver from previous versions?* I know xorg is quite finicky about driver compatibility but perhaps the versions are not so different in driver specs.


Thanks for the questions.* They are leading me at least in a direction to figure out the source of my problem.

On Feb 5, 2008 3:11 PM, Richard Doyle <rdoyle@islandnetworks.com> wrote:


On Tue, 2008-02-05 at 14:50 -0500, Patrick McKnight wrote:
> Richard,

>
> Thanks for the quick reply and sorry about excluding relevant
> information.
Were you using the default Via driver (the xorg version) in both
instances?
>
> I am using 7.10 (Gutsy) now. *The install is the AMD64 version on my

> server and I boot off a i386 image for my clients.
Log into the system console on the client, as root, and inspect the Xorg
log (in our system it is named Xorg.6.log) for clues. See

>
> With respect to the drivers and kernel, yes, I suppose the via driver
> changed from the Dapper ltsp install to the Gutsy Edubuntu ltsp
> install. *I would not expect the driver to account for the extreme

> difference but perhaps that is the case.
I agree, but only if you were using the xorg driver in both cases. The
xorg driver works, but performanace is poor. In my experience, the only
driver to provide decent performance is the proprietary version from

Via, and that only with the pre-gutsy version. We've reverted to Feisty
for this reason.




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Patrick


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Richard Doyle 02-05-2008 08:23 PM

request for some help with performance and sound
 
On Tue, 2008-02-05 at 15:42 -0500, Patrick McKnight wrote:
> Ah, good catch. I am not sure about the driver (I cannot check it
> right now because I am not in my lab). If I specify the via driver in
> the lts.conf file, I suspect it is using the stock xorg driver. Is
> that true?
Yes.

> If so, I think this might be the problem. By the way, my server video
> performance is horrible as well. Perhaps that is the common thread.
Sounds likely.

> Is there a way to stick with the Gutsy install but use the via driver
> from previous versions? I know xorg is quite finicky about driver
> compatibility but perhaps the versions are not so different in driver
> specs.
As far as I know, your xorg drivers need to match your kernel, and each
version uses a new kernel, so...

With Feisty, we're using a driver compiled from source and the via
binary, as described at:

http://www.viaarena.com/Driver/via%20linux%20unichrome%20kernel%20driver%20source %20code%20installation%20guide%20v0%5B1%5D.83.gz

Unfortunately, there isn't anything comparable for Gutsy, and the
openchrome, xorg, and unichrome open source drivers gave unacceptable
performance, or at least I ran out of time to find a way to make any of
them work.


>
> Thanks for the questions. They are leading me at least in a direction
> to figure out the source of my problem.
>
> On Feb 5, 2008 3:11 PM, Richard Doyle <rdoyle@islandnetworks.com>
> wrote:
>
> On Tue, 2008-02-05 at 14:50 -0500, Patrick McKnight wrote:
> > Richard,
> >
> > Thanks for the quick reply and sorry about excluding
> relevant
> > information.
>
> Were you using the default Via driver (the xorg version) in
> both
> instances?
> >
> > I am using 7.10 (Gutsy) now. The install is the AMD64
> version on my
> > server and I boot off a i386 image for my clients.
>
> Log into the system console on the client, as root, and
> inspect the Xorg
> log (in our system it is named Xorg.6.log) for clues. See
> >
> > With respect to the drivers and kernel, yes, I suppose the
> via driver
> > changed from the Dapper ltsp install to the Gutsy Edubuntu
> ltsp
> > install. I would not expect the driver to account for the
> extreme
> > difference but perhaps that is the case.
>
> I agree, but only if you were using the xorg driver in both
> cases. The
> xorg driver works, but performanace is poor. In my experience,
> the only
> driver to provide decent performance is the proprietary
> version from
> Via, and that only with the pre-gutsy version. We've reverted
> to Feisty
> for this reason.
>
>
>
>
> --
>
> edubuntu-users mailing list
> edubuntu-users@lists.ubuntu.com
> Modify settings or unsubscribe at:
> https://lists.ubuntu.com/mailman/listinfo/edubuntu-users
>
>
> --
> Cheers,
>
> Patrick
>


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"Patrick McKnight" 02-05-2008 11:45 PM

request for some help with performance and sound
 
Richard,

Thanks for your help.* I intend to tackle the video problem tomorrow morning.* It seems that the driver might be the issue.*

On Feb 5, 2008 4:23 PM, Richard Doyle <rdoyle@islandnetworks.com> wrote:


On Tue, 2008-02-05 at 15:42 -0500, Patrick McKnight wrote:
> Ah, good catch. *I am not sure about the driver (I cannot check it

> right now because I am not in my lab). *If I specify the via driver in
> the lts.conf file, I suspect it is using the stock xorg driver. *Is
> that true?
Yes.

> If so, I think this might be the problem. *By the way, my server video

> performance is horrible as well. *Perhaps that is the common thread.
Sounds likely.

> Is there a way to stick with the Gutsy install but use the via driver
> from previous versions? *I know xorg is quite finicky about driver

> compatibility but perhaps the versions are not so different in driver
> specs.
As far as I know, your xorg drivers need to match your kernel, and each
version uses a new kernel, so...

With Feisty, we're using a driver compiled from source and the via

binary, as described at:

http://www.viaarena.com/Driver/via%20linux%20unichrome%20kernel%20driver%20source %20code%20installation%20guide%20v0%5B1%5D.83.gz


Unfortunately, there isn't anything comparable for Gutsy, and the
openchrome, xorg, and unichrome open source drivers gave unacceptable
performance, or at least I ran out of time to find a way to make any of

them work.


>
> Thanks for the questions. *They are leading me at least in a direction
> to figure out the source of my problem.
>
> On Feb 5, 2008 3:11 PM, Richard Doyle <rdoyle@islandnetworks.com>

> wrote:
>
> * * * * On Tue, 2008-02-05 at 14:50 -0500, Patrick McKnight wrote:
> * * * * > Richard,
> * * * * >
> * * * * > Thanks for the quick reply and sorry about excluding

> * * * * relevant
> * * * * > information.
>
> * * * * Were you using the default Via driver (the xorg version) in
> * * * * both
> * * * * instances?
> * * * * >
> * * * * > I am using 7.10 (Gutsy) now. *The install is the AMD64

> * * * * version on my
> * * * * > server and I boot off a i386 image for my clients.
>
> * * * * Log into the system console on the client, as root, and
> * * * * inspect the Xorg
> * * * * log (in our system it is named Xorg.6.log) for clues. See

> * * * * >
> * * * * > With respect to the drivers and kernel, yes, I suppose the
> * * * * via driver
> * * * * > changed from the Dapper ltsp install to the Gutsy Edubuntu
> * * * * ltsp

> * * * * > install. *I would not expect the driver to account for the
> * * * * extreme
> * * * * > difference but perhaps that is the case.
>
> * * * * I agree, but only if you were using the xorg driver in both

> * * * * cases. The
> * * * * xorg driver works, but performanace is poor. In my experience,
> * * * * the only
> * * * * driver to provide decent performance is the proprietary
> * * * * version from

> * * * * Via, and that only with the pre-gutsy version. We've reverted
> * * * * to Feisty
> * * * * for this reason.
>
>
>
>
> * * * * --
>
> * * * * edubuntu-users mailing list

> * * * * edubuntu-users@lists.ubuntu.com
> * * * * Modify settings or unsubscribe at:
> * * * * https://lists.ubuntu.com/mailman/listinfo/edubuntu-users

>
>
> --
> Cheers,
>
> Patrick
>


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Patrick
------------------------------------------
Patrick E. McKnight, Ph.D.
Department of Psychology
George Mason University
MSN 3F5, 4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030-4444

703-993-8292 (office)
703-993-1359 (fax)
pmcknigh@gmu.edu
http://mres.gmu.edu
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Asmo Koskinen 02-06-2008 06:08 AM

request for some help with performance and sound
 
Patrick McKnight kirjoitti:
> Thanks for your help. I intend to tackle the video problem tomorrow
> morning. It seems that the driver might be the issue.
>

I really do not know if this helps anything on LTSP5, but here is one
newer compiled via driver for LTSP 4.2. We use it on Ubuntu 6.06/LTSP
4.2 with the HP t5135 on the one school. I did not compiled it, friend
of mine did. He got a page in finnish for that driver/t5330:

http://www.antarktis.fi/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=91&Itemi d=42

Driver is not on that page, but I got it here:

http://www.arkki.info/howto/LTSP-2-servers/via_drv.so

My lts.conf (LTSP 4.2) for that driver:

http://www.arkki.info/howto/Wiki/LTSP-Mantykangas/lts.conf-master.txt
http://wiki.ubuntu-fi.org/Ubuntu_6.06_LTSP42 (in finnish, sorry)


I have tested little Ubuntu 7.10/LTSP5 with HP t5135 (via-based) and did
not find anything really bad:
http://wiki.ubuntu-fi.org/Ubuntu_7.10_LTSP5 (in finnish, sorry)


I have found that if you got good client (PC) by hardware for LTSP5 and
use Windows DHCP-server, you do not need lts.conf and dhcpd.conf. There
is literally nothing to do - LTSP5 just works. We use that kind of
combination on my office, where is lots of XP-machines. We use this one
(PC) as thin client:

http://marc.info/?l=ltsp-discuss&m=119453643600375&w=2


Best Regards Asmo Koskinen.

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"Patrick McKnight" 02-07-2008 10:25 AM

request for some help with performance and sound
 
Asmo,

I will give it a shot.*

BTW, my server has an ATI card and the drivers for that are horrible as well.* It might be that my server/client setup is just not well suited for the latest version of xorg.* Darn!


On Feb 6, 2008 2:08 AM, Asmo Koskinen <asmo.koskinen@arkki.info> wrote:

Patrick McKnight kirjoitti:
> Thanks for your help. *I intend to tackle the video problem tomorrow
> morning. *It seems that the driver might be the issue.
>

I really do not know if this helps anything on LTSP5, but here is one

newer compiled via driver for LTSP 4.2. We use it on Ubuntu 6.06/LTSP
4.2 with the HP t5135 on the one school. I did not compiled it, friend
of mine did. He got *a page in finnish for that driver/t5330:

http://www.antarktis.fi/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=91&Itemi d=42


Driver is not on that page, but I got it here:

http://www.arkki.info/howto/LTSP-2-servers/via_drv.so

My lts.conf (LTSP 4.2) for that driver:


http://www.arkki.info/howto/Wiki/LTSP-Mantykangas/lts.conf-master.txt
http://wiki.ubuntu-fi.org/Ubuntu_6.06_LTSP42 (in finnish, sorry)



I have tested little Ubuntu 7.10/LTSP5 with HP t5135 (via-based) and did
not find anything really bad:
http://wiki.ubuntu-fi.org/Ubuntu_7.10_LTSP5 (in finnish, sorry)



I have found that if you got good client (PC) by hardware for LTSP5 and
use Windows DHCP-server, you do not need lts.conf and dhcpd.conf. There
is literally nothing to do - LTSP5 just works. We use that kind of

combination on my office, where is lots of XP-machines. We use this one
(PC) as thin client:

http://marc.info/?l=ltsp-discuss&m=119453643600375&w=2



Best Regards Asmo Koskinen.


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