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FreeBSD on Clevo (Haswell i7) laptop

romanaOne

Member

Thanks: 4
Messages: 52

#1
I'm trying out FreeBSD 10.1 on a Haswell i7 (intel HD4600 only video) system and I'm getting pretty frustrated. (It's some kind of Clevo laptop rebadged by System76 as "Kudu Professional," whatever that means.)

Is there some central repository of COMMON PROBLEMS and SOLUTIONS?
The handbook does not seem to address problems such as: grub/BSD boot loader troubles, power management (video brightness, hard drive spindown, suspend/reusme), automounting removable media, making fonts not look like hell, guessing what modules are called.....

Right now, I have Xorg working tolerably but I can not adjust brightness: acpi_something module loaded but xbrightness doesn't do anything. The brightness up/down (Fn+F8, Fn+F9) keys do not generate x events.

I installed mate with pkg. Not sure what to do with HAL/DBUS. Isn't there some simple way to get removable media to automount, without making changes to well-hidden text files I'll forget about?

I don't think there is video acceleration, even 2D, moving large windows looks kind of bad with some tearing.

UI fonts look fine but SOME fonts are not antialiased in Firefox. Not sure how to fix.

My Crucial M550 msata SSD runs VERY hot according to smartctl. It's a known problem with a workaround in Linux. In Linux, I can enable aggressive link power management using TLP and it rarely tops 50C. Is there something comparable to TLP in FreeBSD?
 

drhowarddrfine

Son of Beastie

Thanks: 821
Messages: 2,627

#2
There is no grub. Most of your problems and their solutions are on this board. Use the search or Google or, if those don't help (they should), just ask a question, one at a time.
 

romanaOne

Member

Thanks: 4
Messages: 52

#3
There is no grub. Most of your problems and their solutions are on this board. Use the search or Google or, if those don't help (they should), just ask a question, one at a time.
I understand that FreeBSD doesn't install grub/grub2. However, it is very likely to have to coexist with it in the wild when someone installs FreeBSD alongside Linux. That's why I thought playing nice with grub should be a FAQ. Anyway, I managed to solve that problem with boot0cfg(8).

People rave about how good FreeBSD documentation is. I'm not seeing that at all. Forums and Google is not good documentation.

Anyway, the docs problem is moot until there is good hardware support for Haswell, SATA ALPM, and BCM4322 Wifi. Yes, yes, one could use NDIS and the windows driver but that is hardly a clean solution. More messy hacking I'm gonna forget about and have to repeat.

FreeBSD is just not practical on this laptop yet with no WiFi, brightness control, sluggish Xorg, and my msata drive almost hot enough to boil water.
 
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scottro

Daemon

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Messages: 1,180

#4
I have a page about grub2, mostly written when Fedora first introduced it, which mentions booting with FreeBSD. I doubt there's a FAQ.
It seems like you figured it out, but my page is at http://srobb.net/grub2.html


Speaking REALLY generally, most FreeBSD development seems aimed at the server end, with fewer resources being devoted to desktop. The downside is what you're running into. The upside is that we don't run into various and sundry things that many sysadmin types consider drawbacks--one really minor and easily fixable example is that all RedHat based distributions automatically hide what is going on as the system boots as a default or, again using RH as an example, crippling of the textmode installation.
 

drhowarddrfine

Son of Beastie

Thanks: 821
Messages: 2,627

#5
I understand that FreeBSD doesn't install grub/grub2. However, it is very likely to have to coexist with it in the wild when someone installs FreeBSD alongside Linux.
Why would you think that? Does Linux do that for FreeBSD?
That's why I thought playing nice with grub should be a FAQ.
They're around in someone's blog somewhere for people who want to dual boot with that.
People rave about how good FreeBSD documentation is. I'm not seeing that at all.
You've never read the man pages, have you? They make Linux man pages look like a joke.
Anyway, the docs problem is moot until there is good hardware support for Haswell, SATA ALPM, and BCM4322 Wifi.
The problem with drivers is not that FreeBSD doesn't support them. It's that the device manufacturers don't supply them. Can't do anything about that. Talk to those people but, as far as hardware goes, I built my own workstation just a year ago using off-the-shelf components from nVidia, Gigabyte, Intel SandyBridge (which was new at the time) without any issues. That Linux has drivers for 10,000 video cards and FreeBSD only has 9764 doesn't seem to be a problem for anyone but Linux users who want to complain.
FreeBSD is just not practical on this laptop yet with no wifi, brightness control, sluggish Xorg, and my msata drive almost hot enough to boil water.
So you came here to tell us lies? You tell us you're clueless about FreeBSD and then claim you know everything about it? Fat chance. Let's see how quick this thread gets closed.
 

protocelt

Daemon

Thanks: 405
Messages: 1,253

#6
drhowarddrfine, slow down man. We can't expect to get any potential developer converts on board if we chase every one of them off with a stick every time one of them has a bad experience. Bad experiences are ok. Better to learn from them and improve things than ignore them and chase people off. ;)

romanaOne, you mentioned you didn't like the documentation. What about it didn't you like and do you have any ideas/opinions on how to improve it? Haswell graphics as mentioned already are not supported, but trust it is being worked on. As there is only a couple of developers working on it in their spare time it's just coming along slowly. The same can be said for wireless driver support. The FreeBSD project is much smaller than Linux so some things take a while to catch up. Hopefully if you've given up on trying out FreeBSD now, you'll give it another chance when your Laptop hardware is supported in the near future. Otherwise if you want to press ahead anyway and work through the problems, ask whatever questions you need to. Someone here will try to help if they can. Cheers :)
 

tobik@

Daemon
Developer

Thanks: 1,339
Messages: 1,909

#7
romanaOne What brings you to FreeBSD? Any specific requirements? Or just curious? In that case maybe try another BSD.

On OpenBSD Haswell graphics should work, suspend/resume might work and they mention GRUB in their FAQ ;)
UI fonts look fine but SOME fonts are not antialiased in Firefox. Not sure how to fix.
At least this we can easily fix:
Code:
# cd /usr/local/etc/fonts/conf.d
# ln -s ../conf.avail/70-no-bitmaps.conf
Not sure what to do with HAL/DBUS.
Enable them with sysrc hald_enable=YES dbus_enable=YES
 

drhowarddrfine

Son of Beastie

Thanks: 821
Messages: 2,627

#9
drhowarddrfine, slow down man. We can't expect to get any potential developer converts on board if we chase every one of them off with a stick every time one of them has a bad experience.
Having a bad experience while trying to learn is one thing. He was OK with me until the last few sentences. If you want to learn something new, you don't bad mouth everything in the process to those he wants to help him. In this case, he sounds like a jealous Linux'er who can't figure things out.
 

CurlyTheStooge

Member

Thanks: 12
Messages: 78

#10
Having a bad experience while trying to learn is one thing. He was OK with me until the last few sentences. If you want to learn something new, you don't bad mouth everything in the process to those he wants to help him. In this case, he sounds like a jealous Linux'er who can't figure things out.
And the fact that you still didn't even try to address any of his issue unlike scottro and tobik, doesn't give you any right to call the OP a jealous "Linux" user. Its quite the opposite with you okay.

Regards.
 

junovitch@

Daemon
Developer

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Messages: 1,773

#11
Everything in life has pros and cons and FreeBSD is no exception to this. The answer to to address it with constructive criticism toward making things better. Let's do that. If there is any more personal comments in this thread not related to the OP's technical issues then I will close it.
 

romanaOne

Member

Thanks: 4
Messages: 52

#12
The handbook covers lots of easy things like how to write a USB stick, burn a CD, and walks you through the mostly self-explanatory menus of bsdinstall. I guess what I really want is a troubleshooting reference manual, instead of having people answer the same questions over and over in forums. The handbook isn't terrible, it's just not very in-depth.

Well, Linux documentation is not great either; it's just that a whole load more people are using it. This can be a problem too, since I have never yet found a USEFUL answer in Ubuntu Forums. Gentoo Forums, otoh, are very helpful.

My main problem is my msata SSD overheating. It hovers around 70-80C while idle! (In Linux, TLP fixes this problem by somehow forcing the drive to sleep whenever possible. )

So I searched the FreeBSD man page on ATA. In there, I found some device hints that are supposed to set the SATA power management:

Code:
hint.ata.X.pm_level
controls SATA interface Power Management for the specified channel, allowing some power sav-
ings at the cost of additional command latency. Possible values:

0 Interface Power Management is disabled. This is the default value.
1 The device is allowed to initiate a PM state change; the host is passive.
2 The host initiates a PARTIAL PM state transition every time a port becomes idle.
3 host initiates SLUMBER PM state transition every time port becomes idle.
dmesg reports that the drive is on AHCI channel 4.

I put
Code:
hint.ata.4.pm_level="3"
in device.hints. Rebooted and the drive is still overheating as reported by smartctl. Tried putting it in loader.conf(), no difference. The drive is definitely idle; it is not even mounted.

btw, this would be a brilliant man page if it worked.

I'm booting FreeBSD from a hard drive in a CD caddy. The drive was previously used for Linux experimentation, which is why there was some grub stuff left over in the MBR. Clobbered that with boot0cfg(8) and I'm booting fine now.

I have been meaning to look into BSD for a while because I'm getting sick of having all sorts of weird stuff preinstalled on Linux. It might be less work in the long run to start with almost nothing than try to weed Ubuntu.
 
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wblock@

Administrator
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Developer

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#14
FreeBSD started before forums existed, and many of the developers still do not venture into the forums. This is slowly changing, but for now, very technical questions like this are best asked in the mailing lists. I'm not sure which list to suggest, possibly freebsd-hackers.
 

romanaOne

Member

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Messages: 52

#16
Look at ahci(4). Try setting hint.ahcich.4.pm_level=3.
OMG, that is probably it. Doh! ACHI, not ATA. Will test it out as soon as I get home.

Having a bad experience while trying to learn is one thing. He was OK with me until the last few sentences. If you want to learn something new, you don't bad mouth everything in the process to those he wants to help him. In this case, he sounds like a jealous Linux'er who can't figure things out.

...

They're around in someone's blog somewhere for people who want to dual boot with that.
Chasing a bunch of abandoned old blogs, mostly from the noughties is not my idea of fun. (Reading a big paper manual is much more fun. Like Running Linux used to be in the 90s...) I hardly think saying FreeBSD doesn't work well on a particular newish laptop or complaining about scattered documentation constitutes terribly bad bad mouthing.

Actually, Linux/Mac man pages are such a joke I had wrongly assumed all man pages were bad. Or just for entertainment purposes. I started reading FreeBSD man pages as a last resort. That must be what people mean by good documentation. Sorry drhowarddrfine, that toasty SSD really put me in a bad mood.
 

romanaOne

Member

Thanks: 4
Messages: 52

#17
Look at ahci(4). Try setting hint.ahcich.4.pm_level=3.
That was it. The SSD is down to 40-50C. Just in case anyone else has this problem, I am using Crucial M550 512GB msata with the latest (last?) firmware MUO2. Searching around the interwebs, it appears that this drive runs at max. speed by default on many platforms and gets very hot.
 
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