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crocket
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 18, 2019 8:47 am    Post subject: I really need an ARM build machine for gentoo. Reply with quote

I'd like to build an affordable ARM desktop machine with at least 16GB RAM.

Cross-compilation doesn't work for many packages. Building in qemu-aarch64 chroot often breaks.

Without such a machine, I may replace Raspberry Pi with something like LattePanda.
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erm67
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 18, 2019 9:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Destop is not easy you probably want gpu support, and a fast GPU supported by an opensource driver like panfrost ....

Look for a chromebook:

https://www.zdnet.com/article/all-chromebooks-will-also-be-linux-laptops-going-forward/
They also promised mainline kernel for all new chromebooks, but you know sometimes they lie .....
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 18, 2019 10:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Laptops are not great as build machines. I don't think chromebooks are designed for dissipating CPU heat or long-term repair. I don't need a fast GPU for web surfing and watching videos.
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 19, 2019 7:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There was LeMaker Cello based on AMD Opteron A1100 Series SoC.
It is not on sale anymore.
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 19, 2019 9:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You could also switch to binary distro ;-)

I am still satisfied of gentoo on my Odroid N2 server with 4G DDR4 ram@1340Mhz + swap over iscsi and an SSD connected over UAS, and I don't quite understand why you need more ram just to build stuff, it is not a real time activity and even if the swap is 10 times slower than the ram it gets it's job done eventually. Watching all the emerge messages will put a big strain on your eyes and is probably useless anyway .... not to mention that it might even slow down the compilation, without crosscompilation hell it is also easier everything that works on amd64 was fixed by upstream to run on arm64, really, I emerge in background and reboot or use 'lsof | grep "(deleted)"' to restart services that needs it. Apart for the occasion hiccup with lto I had no problems lately.


I don't know your budget but with maybe 70$ an inexpensive S905X2 box with 4G ram, 4 cores@2Ghz 1 gbit eth and 1 usb3 port could be a good overnight build server, using zram, swap over iscsi, and maybe an ssd:
https://www.amazon.com/Amlogic-Bluetooth-Touchpad-Wireless-Keyboard/dp/B07KV78P5K/ref=sr_1_5?keywords=h96+max+plus+amlogic+1000m&qid=1576745411&sr=8-5
I am not totally sure wether it is well supported by mainline already but it will for sure soon.

With a bit more $ you can get something a little faster.

Amlogic has recently authorized the linux dev to release the amlogic h264 h265 mpeg hw decoding firmware for the m2m v4l2 driver into linux-firmware package, probably it will be in kernel 5.5. that is good for a plex server :-)
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Last edited by erm67 on Thu Dec 19, 2019 9:14 am; edited 1 time in total
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crocket
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 19, 2019 9:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Today, I fried my Raspberry Pi 3 B+ by

  • Measuring AC voltage difference between protective earth and GND GPIO pin
  • Measuring AC voltage difference between protective earth and nearby GPIO pins

At this point, I'm quite tired of upgrading a single board computer. I would either stop using single board computers or buy Odroid N2 for VPN, wake-on-lan server, and sending remote ssh commands.
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 19, 2019 9:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Apparently Amlogic has fixed the problem with the onboard usb3 hub on the odroid N2 and now works perfectly with mainline.


Anyway the best price/quality aarch64 boards today are either Amlogic or Rockchip

A rockpi maybe?

https://wiki.radxa.com/Rockpi4

https://wiki.radxa.com/News/2019/12/introduce-rockpi-sata-hat
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crocket
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 19, 2019 9:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not going to use single board computers as NAS. They don't have ECC RAM.
I value ECC RAM a lot.

If I buy a single board computer again, it may be either Rock Pi 4B or Odroid N2. Since Odroid N2 supports mainline linux already, it would be my choice.
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 19, 2019 11:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

crocket wrote:
I'm not going to use single board computers as NAS. They don't have ECC RAM.
I value ECC RAM a lot.

If I buy a single board computer again, it may be either Rock Pi 4B or Odroid N2. Since Odroid N2 supports mainline linux already, it would be my choice.


My helios4has 2GB ECC RAM ;) I compiles and run Gentoo very well and fast enough.
helios64 is coming soon ;)
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crocket
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 19, 2019 11:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

xaviermiller wrote:
My helios4has 2GB ECC RAM ;) I compiles and run Gentoo very well and fast enough.


2GB RAM is not enough to compile gcc. You are going to need swap over SSD or iSCSI.
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erm67
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 19, 2019 12:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

crocket wrote:
xaviermiller wrote:
My helios4has 2GB ECC RAM ;) I compiles and run Gentoo very well and fast enough.


2GB RAM is not enough to compile gcc. You are going to need swap over SSD or iSCSI.

It is a NAS with 4 sata ports :-)

What's wrong with swap if you compile overnight, without crosscompile masochism it works without interruptions ...

BTW there is no need to keep stuff in RAM indefinitely, like the ARC of ZFS does, on a home nas that, probably, only has 1 or 2 gigabit interfaces and has disks that are faster than such interfaces. Drop page caches on the NAS frequently so that data is always read from disk if you are scared abot random page flips in RAM.
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crocket
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 19, 2019 12:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

erm67 wrote:
on a home nas that, probably, only has 1 or 2 gigabit interfaces and has disks that are faster than such interfaces.


Right, but I don't like wearing HDDs for that purpose. A while ago, I burnt an SSD to death by running stress test on it multiple times.
By the way, 1Gbps is 125MB/s. I think that's as fast as HDD.
I would use swap over iSCSI over RAM to avoid wearing storage devices.
But, to access more RAM, I would have to leave my desktop computer with noisy fans on.

erm67 wrote:
Drop page caches on the NAS frequently so that data is always read from disk if you are scared abot random page flips in RAM.


What is page flip?
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 19, 2019 1:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

crocket wrote:
xaviermiller wrote:
My helios4has 2GB ECC RAM ;) I compiles and run Gentoo very well and fast enough.


2GB RAM is not enough to compile gcc. You are going to need swap over SSD or iSCSI.


it compiles fine without swapping on its SSD (no tmpfs for it)
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erm67
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 19, 2019 3:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

without lto 2g is probably enough


You remind me of a guy that spent lots of money buying several GB of ECC RAM for his ZFS NAS only to discover that it took hours to cleanly flush the ZFS ARC cache before shutdown and his UPS could only power the NAS for 10 minutes ;-) Power outages were a lot more frequent where he lived than random bit flips in RAM caused by cosmic rays .....

I remember it took a couple of days to cleanly shut down a large ZFS based SAN appliance in a data center where I worked 15 years ago, don't know why people accept to run a nas without a proper UPS but agrees to spend lots of money on ECC ram.
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 20, 2019 12:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

  • What about GHC? I may wait for hardkernel to release a single board computer with 16GB RAM for chromium and 8GB RAM for GHC. I want at least one self-sufficient ARM build machine.
  • Is 4GB RAM enough for building everything on a server on which no package doesn't require more RAM for compilation than gcc?
  • It takes only seconds to flush ZFS ARC on my machine during shutdown, and power outages are rare in my region. Unplanned power outage only happened once in my lifetime. Other power outages were done for building maintenance.
  • It all costs money. My current problems are mostly financial rather than technical. More money buys ECC NAS, UPS, etc, ... I shall work harder.
  • What is a ZFS-based SAN appliance? Can you give me an overview?
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 20, 2019 9:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

crocket wrote:
[list][*] What about GHC? I may wait for hardkernel to release a single board computer with 16GB RAM for chromium and 8GB RAM for GHC. I want at least one self-sufficient ARM build machine.
[*] Is 4GB RAM enough for building everything on a server on which no package doesn't require more RAM for compilation than gcc?


I no longer use pleroma and as a consequence ghc, it did not compile with graphite/lto but it took hours to bootstrap or update it, I don't remember if it was a swap problem however. I also use a very small tmpfs:
Code:
tmpfs                                           /tmp                    tmpfs           size=128M,noatime       0 0

Are you sure that your high RAM usage is due to the compilatrion itself of by tmpfs?

ZFS appliance
https://docs.oracle.com/cd/E37831_01/html/E52872/ch1.html#scrolltoc

It takes time to write back on disk stuff that was written on the ARC and not flushed at the time of shutdow, in theory if you have 32G ARC there could be 32GB of unflushed writes in it that needs to be written on disk, disks were also a lot slower in the past but even today write 32GB of stuff scattered through the disks like ZFS does takes a lot more time than a few seconds. If you are a single user, doesn't write too much on the disk and turn on and off your computer every few hours it is very fast but you probably also don't need all that RAM cache, if it wasn't that ZFS accesses the disks in a very inefficient way also for reading of course.

The n2 is out of stock ATM, it will take years until arm boards with 16G appears, the next ones will probably have 6G or 8G
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crocket
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 20, 2019 10:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

erm67 wrote:
Are you sure that your high RAM usage is due to the compilatrion itself of by tmpfs?

erm67 wrote:
The n2 is out of stock ATM, it will take years until arm boards with 16G appears, the next ones will probably have 6G or 8G

According to Portage TMPDIR on tmpfs - Gentoo Wiki, 8GB RAM seems to be the bare minimum for a self-sufficient gentoo server.
16GB is desired for full self-sufficiency as an ARM desktop machine. I will wait for 8GB or 16GB.
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 20, 2019 10:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

so you need the ram for tmpfs, not for compilation, that statistics refer to amd64 however and probably to a time when ssd were expensive .... there was a thread some time ago of people that were emerging on the ssd and survived :-)

Maybe if you ask neddy can bootstrap a ghc binary and keep it in his binary repository :-) It bootstrapped cleanly one year ago.
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 20, 2019 11:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ccache can shorten compile time in some cases https://ccache.dev/
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 21, 2019 4:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If I mounted tmpfs only on /tmp, would 4GB RAM be enough to compile even chromium without swap?
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 21, 2019 9:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I use tmpfs for portage on all my machines, even and old AMD64 with 2GB.

Some big packages as gcc, webkit, ... need to be compiled out of tmpfs. You can configure it by package with package.env
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 21, 2019 10:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

xaviermiller wrote:
I use tmpfs for portage on all my machines, even and old AMD64 with 2GB.

Some big packages as gcc, webkit, ... need to be compiled out of tmpfs. You can configure it by package with package.env


Does your machine with 2GB RAM compile every package including gcc and webkit without swap?
What about chromium, the biggest package?
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 21, 2019 9:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't use chromium, but it compiles qtwebengine with swap (in about 24 hours). You need to set your MAKEOPTS related to the RAM (-j3 or less for that machine).
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 22, 2019 7:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Should 4GB RAM be sufficient to compile almost every package without swap?
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 22, 2019 8:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would look into cross compiling:

Code:

 [1] aarch64-unknown-linux-gnueabi-9.2.0 *


Either way I think it is a bit of work.
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