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 Post subject: Linux kernel
PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2013 10:29 am 
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Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2013 7:34 am
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Why antiX is not having the latest stable kernel?

Please let me know.


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 Post subject: Re: Linux kernel
PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2013 12:26 pm 
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Because it doesn't support some old hardware our users have eg old nvidia cards.

The latest kernels are available in the repo.

3.8.6 for 64 bit and 3.8.4 for 32 bit.

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 Post subject: Re: Linux kernel
PostPosted: Sun Apr 21, 2013 10:30 pm 
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Joined: Fri Apr 05, 2013 10:39 pm
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Btw. Is there a way to make a 2.6.x kernel run (at/on) antiX?


Yesterday I had an unpleasant "wakeup call". At one time I started two 'gwenview' image viewers on different directories. A few seconds later the HD access LEDS were full on and the PC became very slow. I managed to switch to text console where I was logged i as root and tried to run 'free' Then I got the message: "Fork: cannot allocate memory" or something in that sense. =8-U
I gave it a few minutes to calm down and tried again. The same.
Then I tried 'killall gwenview' with the same result.
Then I hit ctrl-alt-del, resulting in "init: cannot allocate memory, retrying", repeated about every other second.
Then I hit the reset button. That finally worked.

Merely out of desperation, I booted into the old OpenSUSE 11.1 from 2008. It started and ran fine and quick. I did a 'ps axuf' while being logged in into X11 as another user and noticed that the memory was much more loaded than it was under antiX - but the system stayed fast and responsive!!!

Then I realized that I had these lockups before I switched to antiX, on Vector Linux 7, too - and I also realized that I never had them on the older systems.

So, what's on? I blame the kernel. There is nothing else I can imagine. The kernel dev's have changed something, maybe in the memory management or in the scheduler or whatever and they obviously don't test their changes on AMD-Athlon/32 bit machines with 762 MB RAM or less.
So the question is: What is the oldest kernel I can use with the actual antiX?

For the time being, I will use the old openSUSE system, but it's lacking a few things and I cannot install new software on it, unless I compile it from source. That's not feasable in the long run. If nothing else works, I will try to upgrade the openSUSE-Kernel patch by path. I hope I don't need to.


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 Post subject: Re: Linux kernel
PostPosted: Sun Apr 21, 2013 11:43 pm 
I've got an orignal AMD-Athlon/32 bit machine with 762 MB RAM that's been running AntiX since version 12 came out with no problems at all. I've also got a AMD Duron running AntiX with a Liquorix Kernel and only 500 MB RAM. All the Kernels work; the only problem is caused by the lack of drivers for the old Nvidia graphics card..


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 Post subject: Re: Linux kernel
PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2013 12:14 am 
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Dschzz wrote:
What is the oldest kernel I can use with the actual antiX?
That is the wrong question to ask. As you have already noticed there are many problems when you try to use an out-dated version of the OS. That is just the tip of the iceberg.

A better question is: What boot parameters do I need to use for newer kernels to work on my hardware?

The problem is most likely related to your specific hardware. The first step is to Google for your computer's make and model number (or the make/model of you mobo if you built it yourself) along with the word "linux". Computer hardware has evolved drastically. If there is something needed to make Linux run on your older hardware that would slow down all the new systems then that feature is only enabled when you provide a specific boot parameter. This is the only sane approach to handling a vast spectrum of hardware systems.

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 Post subject: Re: Linux kernel
PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2013 1:46 am 
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Alanarchy wrote:
I've got an orignal AMD-Athlon/32 bit machine with 762 MB RAM .... All the Kernels work; the only problem is caused by the lack of drivers for the old Nvidia graphics card..
Argh. I thought I had it.

BitJam wrote:
Dschzz wrote:
What is the oldest kernel I can use with the actual antiX?
That is the wrong question to ask. As you have already noticed there are many problems when you try to use an out-dated version of the OS. That is just the tip of the iceberg.

Right, but it's the out-dated version that works. Flawlessly as long I as don't update anything.

BitJam wrote:
A better question is: What boot parameters do I need to use for newer kernels to work on my hardware?

I don't think it's the boot parameters. Excerpt from my menu.lst:

Quote:
# This locks up /runs out of memory:
title antiX-13B2, kernel 3.6.11-antix.1-486-smp
root (hd0,0)
kernel /boot/vmlinuz-3.6.11-antix.1-486-smp quiet xres=1280x1024 vga=795 lang=de_DE root=LABEL=50aAntiX-13b2 ro
initrd /boot/initrd.img-3.6.11-antix.1-486-smp

# this works fine:
title openSUSE 11.1 - 2.6.32.8-pae-ds -- NoSplash,NoResume (ID)
root (hd0,0)
kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.32.8-pae-ds root=LABEL=50a_oSUSE11.1-32 quiet showopts vga=0x31a
initrd /boot/initrd-2.6.32.8-pae-ds

At least I needed no boot parameter back then. But you have a point: There is the kernel configuration and the initrd.

Quote:
The problem is most likely related to your specific hardware. The first step is to Google for your computer's make and model number (or the make/model of you mobo if you built it yourself) along with the word "linux". Computer hardware has evolved drastically. If there is something needed to make Linux run on your older hardware that would slow down all the new systems then that feature is only enabled when you provide a specific boot parameter. This is the only sane approach to handling a vast spectrum of hardware systems.
It's a custom build with an Asrock K7something board... I'd need to take the PC apart for details... Hm...
Anyway, the difficulty is to decide about what to switch off when I don't know what it could be. Using a working configuration on a much newer kernel is known to not work, I already tried that in the past. Thus my idea to use a 2.6.x kernel, for I have a working configuration for 2.6.32.

Anyway, thank you very much, you gave me ideas :)


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 Post subject: Re: Linux kernel
PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2013 2:31 am 
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Dschzz wrote:
I don't think it's the boot parameters. Excerpt from my menu.lst:
What I meant was that you will need to add a boot parameter.
Quote:
It's a custom build with an Asrock K7something board... I'd need to take the PC apart for details...
No need to take it apart, just run:
Code:
inxi -M
Quote:
Anyway, the difficulty is to decide about what to switch off when I don't know what it could be.
Google should help once you find out the make/model of your mobo.

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 Post subject: Re: Linux kernel
PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2013 9:55 am 
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Joined: Fri Apr 05, 2013 10:39 pm
Posts: 5
BitJam wrote:
Dschzz wrote:
I don't think it's the boot parameters. Excerpt from my menu.lst:
What I meant was that you will need to add a boot parameter.

Quote:
It's a custom build with an Asrock K7something board... I'd need to take the PC apart for details...
No need to take it apart, just run:
Code:
inxi -M
Quote:
Anyway, the difficulty is to decide about what to switch off when I don't know what it could be.
Google should help once you find out the make/model of your mobo.

Quote:
$ inxi -M
Machine: Mobo: N/A model: K7NF2-RAID version: 1.00 Bios: American Megatrends version: P1.30 date: 07/31/2006
I know it's an Asrock.
Searching with StartPage for "Asrock K7NF2-RAID linux swapping" brought very few results, none related.
Searching "Asrock K7NF2-RAID linux boot" brought more results but so far I found none related to boot parameters/options.
Then "linux cannot allocate memory" - some seemingly related results. It looks like it can happen to bigger machines and some with 2.4.x kernels, too. So I need to investigate more. I still find it strange that the newer systems do it on my hardware while the older ones don't. Maybe I should try an actual openSUSE to get the kernel config, provided that it still works... But that must wait, I'm off to work now.


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 Post subject: Re: Linux kernel
PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2013 1:46 pm 
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The gwenview package is part of KDE and it has tons of library dependencies. Software size has been roughly scaling with Moore's law so the amount of memory needed by KDE has increased by roughly a factor of five since 2008. It is not surprising that you run out of memory running KDE apps on a system that has only 762 MB RAM.

The kernel and a simple window manager take up only about 100 Meg. When people run out of memory it is usually due to memory hungry application programs like KDE, Firefox, and LibreOffice.

If you use old software that is not maintained then you will be a sitting duck security-wise if you are connected to the internet. If you really want/need to run memory hungry applications then you are going to have to get more memory. There are plenty of things you can do with 762 MB RAM but running modern memory hungry programs is not one of them.

Edit: OTOH, I've seen a couple of posts where people ran out of memory with your board and fixed the problem by adjusting the AGP aperture size in the BIOS. Also, a couple of years ago, there was a bug with the nvidia drivers which chewed up a lot of memory. If you use nvidia drivers your could try switching to nouveau, or nv, or even vesa and see if your memory problems lessen.

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