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#1 2006-04-20 14:32:37

elahav
Member
From: Ottawa, ON
Registered: 2005-04-18
Posts: 90

Should I install Arch64 on my laptop?

I am an enthusiastic ArchLinux user. Having used multuiple Linux distros since RedHat 5.0, I have finally settled for Arch a year and a half ago and I love it.
Recently I purchased a laptop with a 64bit AMD Turion processor. I wasn't sure as to the status of Arch64, so I looked for other 64bit distros. After some failures with Ubuntu and Suse I settled for FC5. I managed to get everything working on my laptop (including wireless, suspend to RAM, sound, etc.). However, coming back from the wonderful world of Arch, I find FC a real pain in the neck (package management, awful RedHat patches, system configuration, delayed updates, etc.)

So, should I give Arch64 a shot? My concerns boil down to two questions:
1. Has anybody successfully installed Arch64 on an AMD Turion laptop (by successfully, I mean that the system is stable, wireless and suspend to RAM are working, etc.).
2. How active is Arch64 compared with Arch? Is the full range of Arch packages available for Arch64 (obviously, except for proprietary stuff without 64bit support)? Do updates get released as frequently?

Thanks,
Elad

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#2 2006-04-20 14:43:03

Dusty
Schwag Merchant
From: Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada
Registered: 2004-01-18
Posts: 5,986
Website

Re: Should I install Arch64 on my laptop?

Try Arch64. If you don't like it as much as FC 5, then install Arch32. I don't notice a lot of difference between running normal arch and Arch64 on my system, but Arch32 is faster than Ubuntu64.

Dusty

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#3 2006-04-20 15:06:01

elahav
Member
From: Ottawa, ON
Registered: 2005-04-18
Posts: 90

Re: Should I install Arch64 on my laptop?

Hmm... I didn't know I could use 32bit Arch. Does it mean that the processor is only working in 32bit-compatible mode? I'm not that familiar with the x86-64 architecture, so I'm not sure what the implications of using a 32bit distro are.

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#4 2006-04-20 16:33:17

Dusty
Schwag Merchant
From: Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada
Registered: 2004-01-18
Posts: 5,986
Website

Re: Should I install Arch64 on my laptop?

yeah, it runs in 32-bit emulation mode. 64-bit processor is completely backwards compatible. You don't get to use the 64-bit extensions in Arch, but the chances are you won't really notice it. There's been a lot of discussion on the board about how important 64 bit really is. Most people seem to think that its really only good for large numbers that don't fit in a 32-bit word, which doesn't really happen that often unless you're crunching proteins or cracking encryption or something like that. But I don't actually know enough about how processors work to know if this is true.

Dusty

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#5 2006-04-21 08:56:07

pobudz
Member
From: scottsdale, az
Registered: 2005-05-03
Posts: 35
Website

Re: Should I install Arch64 on my laptop?

i tried slamd64... sucks balls

as soon as i saw the 04-2006 release of arch64 guess what I through on my laptop? haha

the only things not working (that Im aware of) are the card reader and broadcom wireless (which is mainly due to udev at the moment)


If its out there, I'll sniff it

http://www.wifiscan.net/

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#6 2006-04-21 13:41:04

notz
Member
From: Graz, Austria
Registered: 2005-04-05
Posts: 22

Re: Should I install Arch64 on my laptop?

elahav wrote:

1. Has anybody successfully installed Arch64 on an AMD Turion laptop (by successfully, I mean that the system is stable, wireless and suspend to RAM are working, etc.).

i run arch64 since about 4 months on my turion notebook without any problems. also suspend to ram and wlan (ndiswrapper) is working well.

elahav wrote:

2. How active is Arch64 compared with Arch? Is the full range of Arch packages available for Arch64 (obviously, except for proprietary stuff without 64bit support)? Do updates get released as frequently?

most packages are up2date. take a look on this list:
http://notz.homelinux.com/arch64_todo.html


arch64 user - www.arch64.org

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#7 2006-04-21 13:47:54

Moo-Crumpus
Member
From: Hessen / Germany
Registered: 2003-12-01
Posts: 1,444

Re: Should I install Arch64 on my laptop?

Dusty wrote:

yeah, it runs in 32-bit emulation mode. 64-bit processor is completely backwards compatible. You don't get to use the 64-bit extensions in Arch, but the chances are you won't really notice it. There's been a lot of discussion on the board about how important 64 bit really is. Most people seem to think that its really only good for large numbers that don't fit in a 32-bit word, which doesn't really happen that often unless you're crunching proteins or cracking encryption or something like that. But I don't actually know enough about how processors work to know if this is true.

Dusty

Reminds me of the debates of pro / contra 16 Bit to 32 Bit. On the long run, 32 Bit will dissapear.


Frumpus addict
[mu'.krum.pus], [frum.pus]

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#8 2006-04-21 14:53:48

elahav
Member
From: Ottawa, ON
Registered: 2005-04-18
Posts: 90

Re: Should I install Arch64 on my laptop?

Basic installation went fine. I managed to set up a working user environment in a couple of hours. (I needed to recompile kdelibs due to a crash in all applications requiring the Kate part.)

Wireless is not working for me yet. I use the same kernel module (bcm43xx) that worked well in FC5, only now I had to compile it myself for Arch's stock kernel. The module loads and the card is detected (the LED lights up) but iwlist scan has no results and I can't connect to any network.

I'm not sure where to begin with regarding ACPI (to get suspend-to-RAM, CPU throttling, etc.). I installed acpid, which seems to be running, but I don't know how to proceed from there (FC5 had most of this set up, I just needed to tweak some scripts). I wanted to use powersave, which is supposed to facilitate power-related tasks but it doesn't work (the daemon won't load).

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#9 2006-04-21 16:28:30

notz
Member
From: Graz, Austria
Registered: 2005-04-05
Posts: 22

Re: Should I install Arch64 on my laptop?

cpu throttling:
for amd's you need to load powernow-k8 & cpufreq_ondemand kernel modules

suspend to ram:
depends on your bios and acpi implementation. if all is standard linux conform, it will work without problems. otherwize you have to tweak kernel params (perhaps noapic helps) or fix your dsdt. take also a look to the hibernate-script in aur.


arch64 user - www.arch64.org

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#10 2006-04-21 16:37:32

elahav
Member
From: Ottawa, ON
Registered: 2005-04-18
Posts: 90

Re: Should I install Arch64 on my laptop?

More progress:
1. Wireless works fine with ndiswrapper. I don't know why the open source driver doesn't work. On FC5 it was the other way round (ndiswrapper didn't work, open source driver did).
2. The powernow-k8 module was indeed not loaded. Things look better now and I believe that I even have suspend-to-RAM using KDE's Control Centre configuration (again, this did not work on FC5 and I used a different approach there).

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#11 2006-04-22 11:47:38

elahav
Member
From: Ottawa, ON
Registered: 2005-04-18
Posts: 90

Re: Should I install Arch64 on my laptop?

I may have declared success a bit too early...
1. ndiswrapper now displays the same behaviour it did in FC5. iwlist finds networks, but they are all listed with quality 0/100 and I cannot set the ESSID of my own network (and hence cannot log in).
2. The laptop "makes sounds" of suspending to RAM when the lid is closed, but I'm not convinced that it really turns off everything. In /var/log/messages.log I get a constant stream of the following messages:

Apr 22 07:43:26 tull logger: ACPI action undefined: BAT1
Apr 22 07:43:26 tull logger: ACPI group/action undefined: processor / CPU0
Apr 22 07:43:27 tull logger: ACPI group/action undefined: processor / CPU0
Apr 22 07:43:29 tull logger: ACPI group/action undefined: processor / CPU0
Apr 22 07:43:31 tull logger: ACPI group/action undefined: processor / CPU0
Apr 22 07:43:33 tull logger: ACPI group/action undefined: processor / CPU0
Apr 22 07:43:35 tull logger: ACPI group/action undefined: processor / CPU0
Apr 22 07:43:36 tull logger: ACPI group/action undefined: processor / CPU0

There's nothing about ACPI S3 sleep/wakeup events.

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#12 2006-04-23 03:06:22

elahav
Member
From: Ottawa, ON
Registered: 2005-04-18
Posts: 90

Re: Should I install Arch64 on my laptop?

1. A quick look through the ndiswrapper FAQ solved all wireless problems. It turns out that Windows drivers do not support link quality (hence the 0/100) and that the key should be explicitly set to open/restricted before the ESSID is attached.
2. The processor ACPI event that I see in the log results from performance changes. Should this event be generated frequently (I get it every ~5 seconds)? The other type of log entry, BAT1, seems to be referring to the only battery in the laptop. I think that the handler.sh script may require some adjustments.

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