Environmentalist

andoluca

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what could be done to reduce energy consumption, data usage in bsd?

Because the "very computationally expensive" = data = energy = CO2

I'm already preparing another post for this purpose: "vanilla FreeBSD"
 

Elazar

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Arm based CPUs need less energy. Unplug or power down hardware components that you don't need. Turn off your pc.
 

ekvz

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Hunting bears by throwing stones at them does only use the energy of the berries you ate to accumulate the strength to pick up said stones.

Edit: OK, i feel somewhat bad about the sarcasm but seriously: Using less (or at least more power efficient - captain obvious strikes again, i know...) technology is likely your best bet if you want to save energy. Besides you can't really equal energy to CO2 unless all your energy is generated by coal plants or something like that.
 

kpedersen

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For a while I was told that me reusing my old stuff was actually less energy efficient than disposing of it and buying new (i.e more efficient hardware. etc).

However it turns out that my old kit would just be shipped off to other countries and they would end up using the inefficient hardware instead. Sure their electricity costs are likely lower but cheap costs doesn't mean less coal is being burned.

Its a hard one because the "best" solution for the environment is very weak thin clients connecting to a large central server farm where efficiency due to large numbers can be attained. However... I refuse to do that until those server farms are not run by criminals ;).

My solution is to ship off all my old shite to my cousins living in Danmark where a higher percentage of energy is from wind power. Yes, they keep asking me not to and telling me they don't want any more of my old crap... But I just ignore them. Saving the planet is all about making a compromise! XD
 

ekvz

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For a while I was told that me reusing my old stuff was actually less energy efficient than disposing of it and buying new (i.e more efficient hardware. etc).
Usually that's really the case but from what i remember when looking into the energy consumption of some of my vintage devices the really old (like P2 and older old) stuff sometimes wasn't even that bad. Sure the the energy/computation power ratio is still abysmal but if they do the job it actually seemed to be way way better than letting some P4 run idle for 90%.

However it turns out that my old kit would just be shipped off to other countries and they would end up using the inefficient hardware instead. Sure their electricity costs are likely lower but cheap costs doesn't mean less coal is being burned.
Exactly. The whole thing is way more complex than what's obvious on first glance. It's just not as simple as we-all-make-sure-to-turn-off-the-light and the overall conditions suddenly start improving. It's somewhat sad but actually most of us could seriously go back to hunting bears with stones and pollution levels would still be rising because we are really just a tiny dent in the global scale.

Its a hard one because the "best" solution for the environment is very weak thin clients connecting to a large central server farm where efficiency due to large numbers can be attained. However... I refuse to do that until those server farms are not run by criminals ;).
This. Very much this.

My solution is to ship off all my old shite to my cousins living in Danmark where a higher percentage of energy is from wind power. Yes, they keep asking me not to and telling me they don't want any more of my old crap... But I just ignore them. Saving the planet is all about making a compromise! XD
Seems reasonable. Some European/Scandinavian countries seem to be really big into green energy so why not put it to use? Those reduction efforts are paid for a good part by people that might not be in the best position to pay anyways. I think letting them have something in return at least is only fair ;)

Edit One more mostly obvious thing that hasn't been mentioned yet is how SSDs use less power than old fashioned rust spinners. I guess getting a shiny new SSD (to fight pollution of course!) is something noone is going to complain about. I wonder if it really pays off in the long run though. I don't know if the (i think?) lower life expectation of SSDs and the materials they are made from might not sooner or later outperform the energy saved on operating them.
 

kpedersen

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I think letting them have something in return at least is only fair ;)
Heh exactly. They keep the world green and in return I keep their house full with technological history. I keep telling them this but sometimes I feel they are being unreasonable XD
 

phalange

Active Member

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For sure there's a trade-off in buying new and presumably more efficient hardware and the reality that most cast-off hardware goes to a landfill. My guess is

(1) sane power settings
(2) with a desktop, replace just the power supply with one more efficient
(3) shut it off when you're not using it

I think getting the screen off will save vastly more power than tweaks to the OS, but perhaps others have more insight into it.
 

ralphbsz

Son of Beastie

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Its a hard one because the "best" solution for the environment is very weak thin clients connecting to a large central server farm where efficiency due to large numbers can be attained.
For computation and storage/IO, that is the correct answer. That's because both the CPUs and disk drives in very large server farms are more efficient. Why? Two reasons. By sharing many workloads, they are kept continuously busy, so they don't have the power inefficiency of being idle. Second: for amateurishly built servers and individual desktop clients, about half the energy is wasted for cooling and power consumption (for every Watt that CPU or disk uses, you need nearly a second Watt to remove the heat, or to convert the power from the wall outlet into the various DC voltages the chips and disk use. In contrast, the big data centers typically have that overhead at 10-20%, so they are nearly twice as power efficient (1.2 compared to 2). Cooling and power conversion is a giant science, with research conferences, magazines (I get "electronics cooling" in the mail), and the big cloud companies have literally staff of hundreds working on optimizing that.

The other thing to do is to use an energy-efficient desktop machine. For laptops, that's actually pretty easy to measure: Given the same battery capacity (which is usually given pretty much by physical size of the case), use the one that has the longest battery life. The best way to reduce the power consumption of a laptop is to make all engineering decisions in a coordinated fashion. So use a laptop where hardware, OS and user-level software have all been designed by a single company, with the goal if increasing battery life. Don't piece together components from different sources.
 

mjollnir

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what could be done to reduce energy consumption, data usage in bsd? [...]
I use the wisdom from the wiki, dpms(4) ( ServerArguments=dpms -nolisten tcp in sddm.conf(5)) & aggressive settings for powerd(8): sysrc powerd_flags="-a adp -n adp -i 70 -r 95" to scale the frequency down quickly, although I learned that the C-states switching saves much more energy than frequency scaling ( sysrc economy_cx_lowest="Cmax", same for performance_cx_lowest). Also note sysutils/gstopd & suspend to disk aka hibernation; when reasonable, I suspend my laptop, then after another 15 minutes it suspends to disk.
[...] Its a hard one because the "best" solution for the environment is very weak thin clients connecting to a large central server farm where efficiency due to large numbers can be attained. However... I refuse to do that until those server farms are not run by criminals .
Well, you're doing already: whenever you use the internet... IIRC the vast majority of energy consumption of computers is through network equipment & internet server farms/plants. Compared to today's servers, even advanced gamer PCs are thin clients. Yesterday, a friend told me he's configuring a server with 3 TB of RAM... 🤪 (not in the whole rack, but in a single 2" enclosure). Just try to guess how much energy a simple search via one of the usual internet search engines consumes.
My solution is to ship off all my old shite to my cousins living in Danmark where a higher percentage of energy is from wind power. Yes, they keep asking me not to and telling me they don't want any more of my old crap... But I just ignore them. Saving the planet is all about making a compromise! XD
It's not gentleman-like to ignore your cousin's wish... + the energy used by shipment... Their local garbage disposal service should charge you a fee. Please keep in mind that electronic waste is hazardous waste. You'd better donate it to a local computer recycle/reuse organisation or company.
 

sidetone

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It seems an SSD harddisk for root and custom non-user partitions/directories uses way less power than a traditional harddisk. /, /var and /usr are used often. Using a traditional harddisk for home and /usr/local has negligible consequence.

I realize then, that my old hardisk may have been bad. It always shut down my computer, even after I heard a car go by, or heard a vacuum cleaner nearby be turned on. The vacuum and computer using up a lot of power tripping the circuit breaker makes sense. The car going by, maybe a coincidence, as if electrical interference, caused something that was either faulty or power intense to make my computer lose power and reboot.

Another one is to get a motherboard of the most efficient family with its CPU's when the old motherboard goes bad. If the CPU on an older motherboard is 32 bit, upgrade that to a compatible 64 bit on that same board. AMD's IIRC Ryzen is more powerful and less power consuming than previous Intels and other AMD hardware. Previous AMDs were less efficient than Intels. I don't know if Intel has recently surpassed AMD. Make that motherboard last, by cleaning out dust, and upgrade the CPU as needed.

Using dual RAM in the correct slots, to make use of maximum bus width.

Using RAM filesystems for building ports and the kernel. Using that with harddisk space to make up for anything that potentially surpasses available RAM.

Another thing, is removing bloat that usually comes with ports that are based on Linuxisms. A lot of that has been done, but it gets more difficult to find as time goes on.

Then, I kept having to rebuild ports, and the build process broke down after over 14 HOURS for ports that needed GCC. Eventually, I made a temporary Makefile, saving the original, to make this port use LLVM/CLANG instead of GCC. This and other ports that needed GCC at that time built in 5 MINUTES without error by changing the dependency to the compiler in base. For comparison, LLVM/CLANG takes 4 hours to build. For GCC, it was pulling in operating systems of dependencies, like ALSA, every single sound system, graphics system. I mentioned this to the port maintainers, and they fixed GCC to compile in a reasonable amount of time. Linuxisms are a colossal waste of time and energy. There's still a similar flaw today in Ports that use GECKO to rebuild the latest LLVM/CLANG, even when there's no vulnerabilities. All it needs for a few ports needing GECKO and for video drivers is the build utils to be upgraded, not the entire LLVM/CLANG.

Custom building a kernel is another one, but probably minor. Rebuilding the world isn't necessary, which is more trouble than it's worth.
 

kpedersen

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So use a laptop where hardware, OS and user-level software have all been designed by a single company, with the goal if increasing battery life.
I highly recommend Apple for that. They will make sure to run your CPU at an artificially low clock for free ;)

https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy...phone-settlement-will-give-you-a-whopping-25/

You are right though. I do sometimes cringe at some gaming machines with a mish mash of randomly sourced parts. Though I guess those enthusiasts almost get a kick out of using up as much energy as possible. The more neon lights the better!

You'd better donate it to a local computer recycle/reuse organisation or company.
As mentioned I don't trust they will dispose of it. They will end up selling it to some guy in a foreign country where he will use it and consume the same amount of energy as if I just kept using it myself :(.
I suppose I could purposely smash the components but I never have been one to enjoy dismantling LEGO. Every bone in my body just wants to keep on finding a use for it, even if that apparently is wasteful.
 

mjollnir

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Does suspend-to-disk work for you? How??
Like I documented in the howto mentioned above. I manually suspend to RAM ( zzz or via GUI), wait 15 minutes (UEFI/BIOS knob [0min...1h?]), then it suspends to disk via UEFI/BIOS methods (no OS involved). On battery, suspend is configured to happen automagically :cool:
 

mjollnir

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As mentioned I don't trust they will dispose of it. They will end up selling it to some guy in a foreign country where he will use it and consume the same amount of energy as if I just kept using it myself :(.
I suppose I could purposely smash the components but I never have been one to enjoy dismantling LEGO. Every bone in my body just wants to keep on finding a use for it, even if that apparently is wasteful.
If it's not too old, usually they will refurbish it (or tinker 4 from 5 old) & sell it in a country where they can get the best price. E.g. ReUse-Computer.org (german). IIRC, it is forbidden to send non-working electronic hardware outside of the EU; it must be declared as electronic waste and then strict rules apply. But I don't believe that is monitored/controled; our old stuff still goes to western Africa to let the modern slaves recycle the copper, gold, rare earth elements etc.
 

olli@

Aspiring Daemon
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FreeBSD users already save power, compared to Linux users. At least this has been my observation:

Most of the Linux users that I know have configured some cool 3D screen saver (probably x11/xlockmore with OpenGL modes) that don’t really “save” the screen. Conversely, most FreeBSD users (including myself) seem to prefer to use the DPMS screen saver that switches the screen off after <n> minutes of inactivity. I think this is even the Xorg default setting.

I have no idea why.
 

ekvz

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If it's not too old, usually they will refurbish it (or tinker 4 from 5 old) & sell it in a country where they can get the best price. E.g. ReUse-Computer.org (german). IIRC, it is forbidden to send non-working electronic hardware outside of the EU; it must be declared as electronic waste and then strict rules apply. But I don't believe that is monitored/controled; our old stuff still goes to western Africa to let the modern slaves recycle the copper, gold, rare earth elements etc.
Yes, i also think controls on the waste exports are probably rather lax. It would be naive to think that not at least a part of those huge piles of electronics garbage came from Europe. Shipping the waste to Africa instead of recycling/dumping locally is just a way to lucrative business to be stopped by some law saying "that's bad; don't do it" unless there is a lot of enforcement behind it.

I think this is even the Xorg default setting.
It is. I am to lazy to configure anything and DPMS always works.
 

mjollnir

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[...] Conversely, most FreeBSD users (including myself) seem to prefer to use the DPMS screen saver that switches the screen off after <n> minutes of inactivity. I think this is even the Xorg default setting. I have no idea why.
Maybe, but it does not work without the kernel module: grep -i dpms /var/log/Xorg.0.log{,.old} | less
Code:
/var/log/Xorg.0.log:[    39.466] (II) intel(0): No DPMS capabilities specified
/var/log/Xorg.0.log:[    39.639] (**) intel(0): DPMS enabled
/var/log/Xorg.0.log:[    39.688] (II) Initializing extension DPMS
And nothing in Xorg.0.log.old, when I did not have the dpms(4) kernel module loaded explicitely via sysrc kld_list+=" dpms"
 

drhowarddrfine

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As an individual user on a laptop, you are not using enough power to make a dent in the universe. The article states a laptop at full speed is using around 40W of power. A 20% decrease in that is 8Watts and I'm betting you couldn't achieve that without sacrifice.
 

ralphbsz

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Bingo. Doing things like turning the screen saver off or recompiling the kernel or removing "Linux bloat" will make exactly no difference in practice. If one spent the time that's needed for that simply standing up and turning one light off, it would save more energy.

I also have a real problem with the term "Linux bloat". What OS are all the big servers running? Linux. That applies to most commercial computing (where Windows has a minor market share among servers), 100% to supercomputers, and to the big internet companies (the FAANG). Those people are very fastidious about reducing energy usage, in particular supercomputers (where energy usage and cooling is now limiting how much computing can get done), and the big internet companies (for whom energy is a huge cost factor, perhaps the single biggest one). If you think that Linux means bloat means waste of energy, that makes no sense, given that the people who really study and care about energy usage of computers mostly use Linux.

One thing I find disturbing about this forum is the number of religious extremists, who seem to be mostly spouting nonsensical statements that reflect their irrational hatred for other OSes. Not a good basis for making technical decisions on.
 

phalange

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As an individual user on a laptop, you are not using enough power to make a dent in the universe. The article states a laptop at full speed is using around 40W of power. A 20% decrease in that is 8Watts and I'm betting you couldn't achieve that without sacrifice.
That's true but collectively such tweaks can add up. 200 million laptops shipped in 2020; shave even 1% power off all of them and you've got measurable results.
And who knows, maybe in 2021 FreeBSD will hit 200 million users?
 

shkhln

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One thing I find disturbing about this forum is the number of religious extremists, who seem to be mostly spouting nonsensical statements that reflect their irrational hatred for other OSes.
Are you implying there are places devoid of the usual circlejerk? On the Internet? With normal people?

Not a good basis for making technical decisions on.
Indeed. That's why this is a decision-free forum :)
 

20-100-2fe

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One thing I find disturbing about this forum is the number of religious extremists, who seem to be mostly spouting nonsensical statements that reflect their irrational hatred for other OSes. Not a good basis for making technical decisions on.
Not only on this forum.
The "FreeBSD community" appears to be a gang of old friends who just don't want their habits to be disturbed and use most of their energy to explain newcomers how wrong they are.
That's what made me give up using FreeBSD: with such a mindset, hope is not permitted for FreeBSD to evolve in a sensible way.
 

hruodr

Aspiring Daemon

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I built my desktop with pieces that I carefully selected to turn down the consume, the heat, the
need of ventilators and the noise.

Of course the CPU and motherboard plays a big role, but also the power supply plays a big role.
I use in the desktop laptops 2.5'' discs, but for backups 3,5''.

Of course, other solution is to use water cooling and do not care on consume.
 
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