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0.65 Impressions - Qemu Athlon 64 X2 3800+ @2.30GHz * 2

 
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EdG



Joined: 20 Dec 2007
Posts: 116

PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2008 10:51 am    Post subject: 0.65 Impressions - Qemu Athlon 64 X2 3800+ @2.30GHz * 2 Reply with quote

Well i got Qemu to boot Syllable - clearly you have to use the MBR of the Qemu disk which must be non-standard or it just cannot boot partitions unless theres something non standard in Syllable's boot sector but its just GRUB so thats not really possible.

Anyway my thoughts are refreshing the screen is a tiny bit slow - you can see when windows are moved that it is refreshing, although its still very responsive and in no way laggy, so i put this down to the fact that Qemu is running Syllable and using the vesa or whatever video driver that uses and Syllable is only picking up one of the CPU cores so Qemu is probably only using one cpu - guess its not multithreaded or only able to show one to guest OS's.

I'm posting this from ABrowse which seems responsive but i wish i could double click the address box to highlight the whole text so i can replace it like on other systems, that may be a limitation of the appserver, i'm not sure. Also again i'm assuming the video driver is mostly to blame for this but you can see the text box refreshing as i type this - not too bad on this system because everything is fast. Also i miss being able to use a shortcut key to create a new tab in my browser, when i get developers delgiht installed i'll be happy to try out some of the GUI features and maybe its not so hard to add shortcuts.

The new network panel is very nice although it does seem to ignore comments in the hosts file (if that's how syllable records hosts, i'm not sure but there's an entry in the list starting with a #. Also it doesn't seem to understand tab characters or whatever is coming out as []. That may again be the appserver, i don't know.

System specs:
AMD Athlon 64 X2 (3800+ @2.30GHz * 2) Socket 940/AM2
Hypertransport bus 2000MT/s
1500MB DDR2 SDRAM @667MHz Dual Channel
Seagate Baracuda and U series disks - 80GB and 4GB
Nvidia Geforce 7100 GS 128MB (Turbocache 512MB)
Asus TV-FM Tuner card - Philips SA7134 Chip
17" TFT Monitor - 1280x1024

I am very pleased to say the resolution change feature works very nicely in Syllable even with Qemu, so that fulscreen looks sharp. Even going out of fullscreen Qemu scales it nicely.

I can't wait to try Syllable without Qemu, just means a bit of reorganising my drives. I'm not sure i want to try with the 4GB Seagate disk because that is only ATA 66 or something and can be a bit slow - its also 5400 RPM whereas the 80GB is 133/7200RPM and is much more responsive.

Qemu is set to PC 64 bit - x86 64 but i don't know if Syllable is aware that the machine is 64 bit or not or even cares. Qemu feels like the machine itself which is nice because on my laptop it was always pretty rubbish - but Fedora installs the accellerator and qemu launcher meaning its all setup for you. I don't know if AMD Live! helps performance - i think its just for branding but it is an option in my BIOS and i think its on. I have no idea if the CPU is using its virtualisation features - this depends i guess on if QEMU and Fedora 8 support them. I guess what i want to try is to run Fedora 8 on top of Syllable and see things the other way round, but that might not be feasable.
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EdG



Joined: 20 Dec 2007
Posts: 116

PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2008 12:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

After i posted above ABrowse died, must be a bug but it was when phpBB attempted to refresh the page, links stopped working and it froze. The state listed for ABrowse threads - presumably its one process multiple threads so it forks parts - some of them was Sleep, and a couple global_mutex, i don't think any were Ready - which they are as i write this, "ABrowse", "registrar_man", "webcore_loade" are 'Ready'.

I'm not sure its those that were asleep because other parts of the view started misbehaving and my terminal stopped responding to input. But killing one of the sleeping threads appeared to wake something else up.. i had to kill the rest of abrowse to get rid of it though. I don't know if only one thread is killed at a time and if you have to kill all threads one by one to stop a process. My mouse is misbehaving slightly at the moment, i believe thats just an issue in QEMU after Fedora's screensaver cut in. The mouse and keyboard threads appear to be waiting or one is in the Sleep state well the sleeping one is input_thread the rest are in their own wait states.

The appserver thread which i think died was abrowse_wnd because it was in the sleep state according to system information whereas it looks like it is supposed to be constantly in the Ready state unless waiting for something else to happen. This could just be because something in QEMU got tied up but since nothing else in Sylable slowed down and the terminal stayed active for a long while i think QEMU is not the issue nor Fedora.

Also my num keys don't work but i've just realised thats because Numlock is on in the X Server on Fedora but not in Syllable Very Happy yup that seems true. This is a HID USB keyboard i'm using and i think the mouse is the same, they have little or no concept of what PS2 is which may explain why my Home, End and Insert keys aren't working or that is likely just QEMU perhaps, i'll try later. Mouse is connected through the keyboard via only USB. I don't have a PS2 keyboard to test with but this keyboard has been known to sometimes do strange things like output a key endlessly if somthing goes wrong in driver or somewhere.... I'm probably just thinking too much.

ABrowse is nice now, i can see room for improvement but it works well. Simple Burn looks really nice too... i don't know how it compares to gnomebaker though.

I didn't want this to be a long post but i've just found a bug in the Appearance panel. Clicking default does next to nothing, it cannot find the default colour scheme, seems i should have saved it before changing it, does anyone know what the default for Application was - default colour?

A couple of other things i'd like to note down are that the Appserver takes a serrious performance hit when anything starts freezing or having problems, maybe the print setup or appareance code isn't threaded well or the file manager but CPU usage is full now that something has frozen, possibly bbecause the print setup couldn't find my CD because it didn't mount it itself or notice that it wasn't mounted and possibly because i didn't select a printer model at first and it allowed me to although gave a CUPS error.

Could just be the SMB support - i print to a windows XP machine. Either way i'd suggest more checking in the printer tool (i know its fairly new) and for the appserver to be better behaved when things start going wrong, perhaps it can do something about processes that freeze or at least free up the cpu from tasks that are effectively dead, it says something when a 2.3GHz machine crawls to a halt just because a window froze i think.

heh the more i use syllable the more intrigued i get about how it works Smile
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Vanders
The Knights of Syllable


Joined: 14 Sep 2007
Posts: 849

PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2008 1:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm glad you got Syllable to work. Let me cover a few points you raised:

[quote]clearly you have to use the MBR of the Qemu disk which must be non-standard or it just cannot boot partitions[/quote]

In the way you are using it, Qemu emulates a complete machine I.e. it emulates certain hardware and virtualizes the CPU. Just like real hardware, you must have a boot loader of some kind installed on the MBR: that is the only place the BIOS looks when the machine is booted. So you must either install GRUB to the MBR, or install GRUB to the partition and install some other boot loader in the MBR.

[quote]Anyway my thoughts are refreshing the screen is a tiny bit slow[/quote]

Yes, that is partly because the video hardware must be emulated and partly because Syllable relies on the VESA driver under Qemu. Qemu can emulate a simple Cirus Logic video chipset but Syllable does not have a driver.

[quote]Syllable is only picking up one of the CPU cores so Qemu is probably only using one cpu - guess its not multithreaded or only able to show one to guest OS's.[/quote]

Provided Qemu has been built with multiple CPU support enabled, it can easily emulate an SMP system. In fact, you can emulate more CPUs than you have on the host system, Check the Qemu documentation for more information.

[quote]I can't wait to try Syllable without Qemu, just means a bit of reorganising my drives. I'm not sure i want to try with the 4GB Seagate disk because that is only ATA 66 or something and can be a bit slow - its also 5400 RPM whereas the 80GB is 133/7200RPM and is much more responsive.[/quote]

An ATA66 5400 RPM hard drive will still be much, much faster than running under Qemu. If you can get that drive onto an ATA channel on it's own it shouldn't be a problem.

[quote]Qemu is set to PC 64 bit - x86 64 but i don't know if Syllable is aware that the machine is 64 bit or not or even cares.[/quote]

Nope. Syllable will simply run in IA32 (32bit) mode, which is perfectly valid on an x86-64 machine.
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EdG



Joined: 20 Dec 2007
Posts: 116

PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2008 2:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I see, so a standard DOS MBR must be written to the RAW QEMU img file / QEMU disk MBR if it is to boot from a partition like a PC with windows would (as far as i'm aware PCs use a standard DOS MBR and boot windows if it is the active/boot partition) which is why you can chainload windows from GRUB.

The reason i thought that disk might be slow was because of trying Linux on the machine - admittedly i think i'd filled all the memory and swap. It has OpenBSD on ATM.

I still feel a bit lost when it comes to Syllable but Developer's Delight seems such a cool development environment that i think i wouldn't mind missing some things and the GUI works well. When it comes to an Operating System i need tools to control it, that is why i love Fedora because it gives you all the settings tools you need in a simple way and i kindof feel the same about Syllable, i like simplicity but i don't like being left with nothing or else it doesn't feel like the computer is a tool anymore or a virtual desk.

I'll look into QEMU with multiple CPUs. Also if i find things freeze or are buggy is that likely to be QEMU or more to do with Syllable?
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Vanders
The Knights of Syllable


Joined: 14 Sep 2007
Posts: 849

PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2008 2:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="EdG"]I see, so a standard DOS MBR must be written to the RAW QEMU img file / QEMU disk MBR if it is to boot from a partition[/quote]

Yes. Qemu just sees "a disk" and the BIOS in Qemu is a real BIOS and will treat the emulated disk like a real machine would.

[quote]I'll look into QEMU with multiple CPUs. Also if i find things freeze or are buggy is that likely to be QEMU or more to do with Syllable?[/quote]

We're aware that ABrowse can occasionally lock up (it's a complex beast) but other software crashes are probably worth reporting. General "slowness" is just a symptom of using Syllable on a virtual machine or the VESA graphics I'm afraid.
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