Difference between revisions of "Low Power Workstation"

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== Low Power Workstations ==
== Low Power Workstations ==
*Motherboard: Via Epia SN18000G
*Processor:  1.8GHz VIA C7® Processor
*RAM:        2gb
*Storage:    Compact Flash
*Case:        VoomPC Automotive Mini-ITX Case
*OS:          Ubuntu 8.04 (with gnome)
*Chipset:    VIA CN896 North Bridge
              VIA VT8251 South Bridge
*Audio:      VIA VT1708A High Defination Audio Codec
*Jumpers for power switch are second two in from the right on the back row, with the rows of jumpers away from you
*Press F11 during POST to select boot device
*http://www.tkarena.com/forums/archive/index.php/f-20.html VIA EPIA (Mini-ITX, Nano-ITX, Pico-ITX) Arena
*Sound: http://radagast.bglug.ca/epia/epia_howto/x331.html
*BIOS updates at: http://www.via.com.tw/en/products/mainboards/downloads.jsp?motherboard_id=550
==To Do==
* Network user profiles
*Boot on PS/2 mouse and USB keyboard
*Solder power LED on prototype
===*Check on:===
*User/global config files for Ekiga to avoid sound device being set to "Default" on first run
== Ubuntu 8.10 ===
===Custom Stuff===
* FUZZY XORG AFTER INSTALL: set driver to 'vesa' OR compile openchrome 902 (901 is the only provided version). Obtain DRM by compiling from git source.
* BUZZING -> Mute line device for recording.
* Knowplex and Ekiga don't play nice together unless /etc/asound.conf is added so that dmix works
* Sample /etc/asound.conf
  pcm.snd_card {
        type hw
        card 0
pcm.dmixer {
        type dmix
        ipc_key 1024
        slave.pcm "snd_card"
        slave {
                period_size 256
                buffer_size 2048
                rate 44100
pcm.dsnooper {
        type dsnoop
        ipc_key 2048
        slave.pcm "snd_card"
        slave {
                period_size 256
buffer_size 2048
                rate 44100
pcm.duplex {
        type asym
        playback.pcm "dmixer"
        capture.pcm "dsnooper"
pcm.!default {
        type plug
        slave.pcm "duplex"
buffer_size 2048
                rate 44100
*install build-essential for most common stuff needed to build
==== Compiling a custom kernel ====
[http://eagle.bsd.st/~andrew/epia- Here's a kernel config file for 2.6.25-7] - use 'make oldconfig' to make it work with newer kernels.
Compile the new kernel by doing:
make-kpkg -initrd --revision=FSepia001 kernel_image modules_image
The revision can be whatever string you want. Use dpkg -i to install the resulting .deb file. You can also build kernel_headers if you wish (it takes a long time though).
I wanted the ALSA release candidate, so I didn't build alsa support in the kernel. Instead I [http://www.alsa-project.org/main/index.php/Download downloaded] the release candidate tarball, did
./configure --with-cards=hda-intel --with-card-options=hda-codec-via,hda-generic,hda-power-save
sudo make install
Note that you should be running the new kernel when you do this. Load the new modules by doing
modprobe snd-hda-intel
The module should load correctly on bootup from now on.
=== Ubuntu Desktop Fails to Start ===
See: [https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/gnome-keyring/+bug/218434 This bug report]
The problem is that gnome-keyring-daemon segfaults on startup (apparently related to flash based storage?).
* edit etc/pam.d/gdm as root
* remove all references to gnome_keyring
* save file and restart GDM
=== Power Saving Tips ===
Build a kernel with dynticks enabled and use powertop. Some recommendations from powertop:
Suggestion: increase the VM dirty writeback time from 5.00 to 15 seconds with:
  echo 1500 > /proc/sys/vm/dirty_writeback_centisecs
== FreeBSD 7.0 ==
=== Custom Settings ===
==== Ports Settings ====
CFLAGS+= -march=i686 -msse3
==== Load kernel modules ====
==== Disable line-In whine on snd_hda module load ====
^^ excellent sound tweaking info (2-18-2009)
==== Bootup settings ====
vol 85:85 pcm 75:75 line 0:0 mic 0:0 cd 75:75 rec 75:75 =rec mic
==Power Consumption Tuning==
*Consumes 2watts when plugged in and off
*PWM2 fan in BIOS controls cpu fan after boot
*PWM1 fan in BIOS seems to control fan before/during boot
*http://www.heatsink-guide.com/  awesome cooling info
*http://free-electrons.com/community/videos/conferences/ Embedded Linux Conference Videos
=Latest Hardware=
=Latest Hardware=
Test SFLphone -- http://bd.zenbsd.net:8080/~jontow/sflphone/
for dependencies: sudo apt-get install libcommoncpp2-1.6-0 libcommoncpp2-dev
                libccrtp1-1.6-1 libgnutls-dev zlib1g-dev libgcrypt11-dev
                libgpg-error-dev libtasn1-3-dev liblog4c3

Revision as of 15:10, 31 August 2010

Low Power Workstations

Latest Hardware


4gb SATA flash module has been copied to fshellsrv /home/dertow/shuttle.iso using:

dd if=/dev/sda | ssh dertow@fshellsrv "dd of=/home/dertow/shuttle.iso"

then to copy this to new flash module:

boot workstation using usb "livecd"

ssh dertow@fshellsrv "dd if=/home/dertow/shuttle.iso" | dd of=/dev/sda

Using separate real disk as Virtualbox storage

sudo VBoxManage internalcommands createrawvmdk -filename ~/lpwinstall.vmdk -rawdisk /dev/sdb ^^ only works with non OSE version of VirtualBox


Ubuntu 9.04 -> LDAP users have no sound

I have run into a condition where LDAP users lost ability to access the sound card. System->Preferences->Sound showed "Not Connected" after the sound card.

To resolve this, a file named 40-permissions.rules was created and placed in the /etc/udev/rules.d directory.

40-permissions.rules contains:



Ubuntu 9.10 settings

NFS mount on boot: add nobootwait option to fstab entry

XFCE Settings

XFCE config directory is /etc/xdg

To make xfce-mixer settings static for all users, xfce4-mixer.xml was created by configuring mixer for one user. This file was then placed in the global config directory for XFCE in the following subdirectory: /etc/xdg/xfce4/xfconf/xfce-perchannel-xml

Dual monitors: Get output from 'xrandr' command

xrandr --output <RIGHT> --right-of <LEFT>

Mixer Settings

Sound card: HDA Intel (ALSA Mixer) Playback Controls:

PCM: 100%
Front: 100%
Mic: 90%
Mic Boost: 60% <-- Without this, the other end of the call reports "quiet and crackly" sound


capture: 40% (with red dot)
digital: 40% (with red dot)


Headphone: checked


Input source: mic

Twinkle Audio Settings

Ringtone, Speaker, and Mic most likely need to be set to "ALSA:default : Default device"

libasound2 will need to be installed in order for software audio mixing to work in ALSA. (actually it just makes it so you don't have to set it up manually) File:Example.jpg

Power Consumption

-1w consumption when off (no peripherals) - connected directly to power outlet --0.56 power factor

-2w consumption when off (kb, mouse, monitor, ethernet connected) - connected directly to power outlet --0.41 power factor

While booting, max power usage reached was 32w for only a moment. Machine consumes 26w whether idle or running numerous applications. While installing packages, consumption was 27w.

Power Consumption With Monitor

-1w consumption when off (kb, mouse, monitor, ethernet connected) and connected to surge protector with switch off.

-3w consumption with power strip on but monitor and computer switched off.

-3w consumption with monitor and power strip on but computer switched off.

-When booting with monitor and computer through kill-a-watt meter, max usage showed 55w during boot. Idle at login screen they are consuming 49w with a power factor of 0.65

Global XFCE/XUbuntu Icons and User Settings

Basically I wanted a kiosk type setup, but xfce4's kiosk mode SUCKS.

To get global icons the easiest way was to install "Sabayon" which allows you to create profiles for groups of users, and then start up an x session within your x session which you can then customize and save. When the users in the created profile login, they will have the desktop settings created.

A new version of sabayon has been released that is not nearly as bug-filled as previous versions. You can find this here: https://edge.launchpad.net/~sbalneav/+archive/ppa