Help for a linux newby

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Profile Bernie Vine
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Message 1970431 - Posted: 15 Dec 2018, 6:25:19 UTC

Due to a HDD fail on my number 2 machine, to get it working again quickly I installed Ubuntu 18.04.1 LTS on a spare HDD

https://setiathome.berkeley.edu/show_host_detail.php?hostid=8634470

Now there is lots of advice on how to crunch efficiently but is is spread across the forums and occasionally seem to contradict itself.

Currently SOG and sah seem to be on a par with windows for the GPU, CUDA60 is around 4 times longer.

As for the CPU, the time has increased from around 1.7 hours to 2.7 hours.

It looks like I am not getting any more CUDA 60 but can I make the GPU and CPU more efficient. (no special sauce required)

Any advice will be welcome

PS I did follow the "easy install guide" in a thread and I had it up and crunching in 50 minutes
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Message 1970437 - Posted: 15 Dec 2018, 7:01:50 UTC - in response to Message 1970431.  

If you are going to remain stock, then the schedulers will sort out the gpu apps eventually and settle on the SoG app. Same tunings would apply for the SoG app as in Windows.

Not sure why the cpu app is so much slower than in Windows. See that it is an AMD APU. Are you trying to crunch on the builtin graphics core along with processing on the cpu? That never works well.

Is the cpu running at the same clock speed it was under Windows? Same memory clock speed? I assume you kept everything the same as it was in Windows and just booted into a new Linux OS.
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Message 1970476 - Posted: 15 Dec 2018, 15:05:37 UTC - in response to Message 1970437.  

... See that it is an AMD APU. Are you trying to crunch on the builtin graphics core along with processing on the cpu? That never works well. ...

Just to add that the APU will steal memory bandwidth away from the CPU and so you can expect that to slow down any CPU tasks for s@h...

For a giggle, is it worth dedicating a discrete graphics card to the s@h crunching and use the APU only for your desktop? Or go headless?

An interesting question is whether you get more WUs running the CPU without any APU work or whether running the APU (with the slower CPU WUs) gives an overall boost?


Happy fast crunchin',
Martin
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Message 1970500 - Posted: 15 Dec 2018, 18:19:50 UTC

Well I never used the APU in Windows so not using it here.

Never even looked into how to use it.

Also I am only crunching on 50% CPU.

Over all it is fine as it is so I won't worry.
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Message 1970503 - Posted: 15 Dec 2018, 18:39:52 UTC - in response to Message 1970500.  

OK, if you are fine with the experience. But I would want to continue to investigate why such large change in cpu compute time on the two different platforms. We are talking about the same task types correct? You can't compare a BLC cpu task with a Arecibo VLAR task and expect them to compute in the same time. Did you ever pay attention to what your cpu core clocks were while crunching in Windows? Have you looked at what the cpu core clocks are in Linux while crunching? Are they the same? In case you haven't looked yet, you can open a Terminal session and use this command.

watch -n1 "cat /proc/cpuinfo | grep \"^[c]pu MHz\""

CTLR-C to end the polling and then type exit to exit the Terminal. Do the clocks look the same as they were in Windows?
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Message 1970555 - Posted: 15 Dec 2018, 23:04:47 UTC
Last modified: 15 Dec 2018, 23:06:29 UTC

Just a thought... Are you running with power saving enabled?...

To run s@h at full speed, you need to set the desktop/system power settings to run using 'performance' mode.


Happy fast crunchin'
Martin
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Message 1970561 - Posted: 15 Dec 2018, 23:26:21 UTC - in response to Message 1970555.  

Ah - the tortoise rides again. ;-)
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Message 1970628 - Posted: 16 Dec 2018, 7:40:49 UTC

We are talking about the same task types correct? You can't compare a BLC cpu task with a Arecibo VLAR task and expect them to compute in the same time.


The last 3 CPU tasks displayed for the Windows machine were BLC

Here is one still showing

http://setiathome.berkeley.edu/result.php?resultid=7142213674

compare it to one just completed.

http://setiathome.berkeley.edu/result.php?resultid=7236203127

1 hr 41 minutes to 2 hour 41 minutes

As to power settings, as it was a gaming machine I had the BIOS set for "high power" I did not change it for Linux.

If this is the case it seems a shame and might tempt me to re-install Windows which I prefer.

Interesting side note, I installed Unbutu 18.04 on a much older machine that I use to access the internet while playing games, it has trouble running Win 10

Well it has a lot more trouble running Ubuntu, it went from "slow" to almost unusable, just running Firefox on 3 or 4 tabs.

Better when I installed Chrome, but slower than the same in Windows. I thought that Linux was better for older machines as it had less overheads.
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Message 1970634 - Posted: 16 Dec 2018, 8:20:10 UTC - in response to Message 1970628.  

Are you using your 970 for the display or your board?

My little HP slim desktop with an i5-4590 and 4GB on Ubuntu 16 is unbearable to use without a video card in it.
With a R7-240 in it, it is a zippy little devil. I don't even have to use the card as a display, I still use the onboard VGA output, but the BIOS auto configured it to use the R7 as the 'boot' BIOS output.

Possibly similar to your situation and just need to use the 970 as a display device?
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Message 1970639 - Posted: 16 Dec 2018, 8:55:27 UTC

I never try to use the on board graphics, always use the GPU as the display.
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Message 1970641 - Posted: 16 Dec 2018, 9:20:01 UTC - in response to Message 1970628.  

As to power settings, as it was a gaming machine I had the BIOS set for "high power" I did not change it for Linux.
It's not the BIOS that's causing this, it's a fairly simple setting in Linux.

In the tortoise thread, Toby eventually gave us the answers in message 725163.

That was 10 years ago, but it's worth testing to see if they still apply.
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Message 1970649 - Posted: 16 Dec 2018, 10:26:11 UTC - in response to Message 1970641.  
Last modified: 16 Dec 2018, 10:30:19 UTC

As to power settings, as it was a gaming machine I had the BIOS set for "high power" I did not change it for Linux.
It's not the BIOS that's causing this, it's a fairly simple setting in Linux.

In the tortoise thread, Toby eventually gave us the answers in message 725163.

That was 10 years ago, but it's worth testing to see if they still apply.

OK I ran the cat /proc/cpuinfo command and got 3 cores around :

cpu MHz : 2504.884

and one at

cpu MHz : 1576.246

As I am only running 50% CPU I assume that is right. However I will try setting the "performance" option and see if it makes a difference

Edit:
Seems sudo cpufreq-selector -g performance is a "command not found" on Ununtu 18.04.
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Message 1970650 - Posted: 16 Dec 2018, 10:30:41 UTC

Well, they have played around a lot since 10 years ago with the cpu frequency governor. Just about everything mentioned in that post is null and void now. With 18.04 and the 4.15 kernel the power plan default is power-saving because it is targeted at laptops. It is supposed to detect when the there is a load and switch to an on-demand power profile. It does not seem to be doing that in your case. Or you can explicitly set the power governor to performance.

Did you ever run that command line I posted to show what your actual core freqs are under load?
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Message 1970652 - Posted: 16 Dec 2018, 10:34:38 UTC

You could start with this page. https://askubuntu.com/questions/929884/how-to-set-performance-instead-of-powersave-as-default
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Message 1970655 - Posted: 16 Dec 2018, 10:45:27 UTC

Yes the

watch -n1 "cat /proc/cpuinfo | grep \"^[c]pu MHz\""

Shows three CPU cores at around 2.5 Ghz which is correct and one CPU core fluctuating as I would expect.

I already looked at the "how to page" but to be quite honest I do not intend to get into that. I just want a machine to crunch quietly in the background.

If Ubuntu slows down my CPU well until I have the time to rebuild the Windows HDD I will just have to accept it.
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Message 1970823 - Posted: 17 Dec 2018, 20:16:12 UTC - in response to Message 1970655.  
Last modified: 17 Dec 2018, 20:18:59 UTC

Yes the

watch -n1 "cat /proc/cpuinfo | grep \"^[c]pu MHz\""

Shows three CPU cores at around 2.5 Ghz which is correct and one CPU core fluctuating as I would expect.

... If Ubuntu slows down my CPU well until I have the time...

The Ubuntu forums have your answer:

Setting to High Performance

There's two very good solutions given there:

  1. One using commands (as root or "sudo") on the commandline to directly tweak the running kernel;
  2. Or better, do the install of "indicator-cpufreq" to tweak however you like from the desktop notifications panel.



Note that s@h tries to be kindly and runs at minimum disturbance which also means by default for most Linux distros, running at minimum power...

(Reminds me, we really need an option in Boinc for the user to easily be able to set the run priority of Boinc...)


Happy cool crunchin',
Martin


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Message 1970831 - Posted: 17 Dec 2018, 21:20:13 UTC - in response to Message 1970561.  
Last modified: 17 Dec 2018, 21:21:43 UTC

Ah - the tortoise rides again. ;-)

Would be interesting to do some profiling under Linux vs Windows to see from where exactly such noticeable slow down comes.
Quite possible it's not OS overhead still but some inefficient implementation of C to machine codes inside compiler.
Just as I saw in Windows's VC2010 where it expanded hand optimized part of intrinsics with store/load to memory (!!!!) sequence between operations with SSE registers (of course intrinsincs are nested and don't imply any memory operations at all, whole sequence should be kept in registers)...
Even single such case in inner loop of one of searches can result in very noticeable slowdown....
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Message 1970836 - Posted: 17 Dec 2018, 22:04:58 UTC
Last modified: 17 Dec 2018, 22:05:22 UTC

The Ubuntu forums have your answer:

Setting to High Performance

There's two very good solutions given there:

* One using commands (as root or "sudo") on the commandline to directly tweak the running kernel;
* Or better, do the install of "indicator-cpufreq" to tweak however you like from the desktop notifications panel.


Yes I had already see that 3 year old post, when I tried the command it says "performance powersave not found."

When I installed the "incicator-cpufreq" it crashed within a minute.

I do not think anything I have found applies to Ubuntu 10.04.1 LTS

It really isn't that important, I wasn't expecting much from Linux, it is just a stopgap till the new year when I will have the time to rebuild the machine back to windows 10 .
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Message 1970843 - Posted: 17 Dec 2018, 23:25:49 UTC - in response to Message 1970823.  

We do have external tools to change the run priority for both Windows and Linux. When I ran Windows, ProcessLasso was my favorite utility. For Linux we have the nice command along with the schedtool app which I use to raise both cpu and gpu tasks to what I want over BOINC's defaults.
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Message 1970853 - Posted: 18 Dec 2018, 1:03:59 UTC - in response to Message 1970831.  
Last modified: 18 Dec 2018, 1:16:18 UTC

Ah - the tortoise rides again. ;-)

Would be interesting to do some profiling under Linux vs Windows to see from where exactly such noticeable slow down comes...

By 'eck! That's some blast from the past that was long forgotten!! :-)

From a quick giggle: So that old thread is yet another example of the unexpectedness of Boinc running at a low (nice) priority and 'powersave' kicking in to reduce the CPU clock frequency to save power.

All very good for laptops to reduce unneeded heating and to save battery power.

Not so good if you're wanting maximum performance for Boinc!

And as was noted back then as is the case now, there is no performance loss or 'slowdown' when the Linux 'performance' CPU governor is used/enabled. (And it is now Linux all the way for the top machines ;-) )

(Whoosh!... So I was on the old Mandriva distro + KDE desktop back then! See the old power instructions for KDE...)


Moving forwards a decade and at the moment I'm on a custom Gentoo distro + Xfce desktop. Simply, the Boinc systems here have "Performance" set in the kernel as the default governor for CPU frequency. Never needed to look or check there since...


Happy fast crunchin',
Martin
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