Vortex box tweaks
The Vortexbox is a great product; just thought I would put in a few suggestions to make it better.
Sort out the audio device loading sequencing. Linux loads devices asynchronously; which basically means it's a race to get loaded first. As the Vortexbox is intel based and most people are only using one additional card, forcing the intel driver to be card 0 would seem the most sensible approach. I have (as per wvanbakel's suggestion) created a file /etc/modprobe.d/alsa-base.conf and added the line "slots=snd-hda-intel,snd-usb-audio" to it.
I would assume if the line simply read slots=snd-hda-intel this would make the base soundcard drive zero. Obviously a fancy scripted solution is possible but is not required for most users.
Power management. If you install powertop; yum install powertop, and run it. powertop you can see which processes and devices are hogging resources. There is reams of information on this, but basically if the processor is kept continually active you are wasting power. I found that apps that I don't use much; bliss, transmission and shell in a box were all moderate culprits. squeezeplay is dreadful in this respect (but that's another story)
I also found that none of the system devices are enabled for power saving.
I think this is something that is worth spending time on as we should all be doing our bit to save juice, and it will save customers a bit of money.
Interestingly if you use the vortexbox as a player you may get a sound improvement as less processes and devices running mean less rfi generated within the computer. So save money and get better sound.
The tune up/down of the vortexbox can easily be achieved by using ktune. ktune uses tuned and applies some pre-defined profiles which can be used to save power or boost performance. yum install tuned to get this
tuned-adm list will give you a list of profiles. I found on my atom box that "tuned-adm profile laptop-ac-powersave" seemed to help the most.
so I think tuned should be part of the vortex box distribution with a sensible power saving default.
Finally I would like to see an enhancement to the vortexbox gui that would enable the starting and stopping of additional services. For example I can pause bliss using the gui; but it is still running as a service in the background (hogging resources and using power).
It should be straightforward to scan the /etc/init.d folder and display buttons to start and stop services there. I might do it myself, but I wouldn't hold your breath...
Obviously it would be better if the additional software was better tuned to avoid continually using the cpu; but that is not a vortexbox issue.
I am keen on having the device order locked at boot.
There is no way to come up with a generic solution for the load order of audio cards. But as you pointed out it's very easy to fix this once you know what audio devices you have and when order you want them to load it.
I don't know anything about the power saving stuff your talking about. Maybe you could give us some more detail.
I would be very interested in a sensible (read simple) power management solution, preferable with some sort of control through the GUI. For instance with 3 radio-buttons for different profiles and a text-box for the desired idle-time.
Originally Posted by foxesden
The SrvrPowerCtrl plugin for LMS can do this but is somehow too complicated (for me), too many options and parameters.
I spent ages getting it right and finally deleted it again. But it keeps me bothering.
It looks like the method listed above is for two devices. What is a good way to lock three or more known devices?
Originally Posted by andrew
In terms of adding and locking more than two audio devices it would be a case of just adding it to the list e.g. "slots=snd-hda-intel,snd-usb-audio,yet-another-device" substituting in the the actual device name for the other device. The other approach is to put the values in the same file but like this:
options snd-hda-intel index=0
options snd-usb-audio index=1
options yet-another-device index=2
The problem comes if you have more than one audtio device with the same name...
There are several sources of more information on powersaving on Linux.
I started on http://www.lesswatts.org/index.php
then moved onto the fedora documentation for Fedora version 15 http://docs.fedoraproject.org/en-US/...ide/index.html the chapter on power saving using the powertop and tuned programs I mentioned earlier. This documentation was pretty straightforward and explained the whys as well as the hows.
they really are quite simple to use from the command line ( if you are comfortable logging into the vortexbox) and even if you don't tune the system it gives you a better insight into what is going on.
The general advice is that putting custom profiles together is time-consuming and probably not worth it for the average one off user, but for system vendors or for corporates it is worthwhile. You may for example be able to get the vortexbox down a few watts on standby and that has to be a good thing.
I can have a bash at putting some scripts together to make this simpler, but it won't be pretty.
If you want to throw something together that would be great.
I have put together a Vortexbox style web gui that allows the setting of back end tuned settings. I did this more quickly than I thought, thanks to the British weather.
Originally Posted by andrew
It assumes that you have tuned installed.
I am not a Linux dev. and have probably broken all the rules with regard to using the smarty templates and php scripts on the back end.
As this was a deliberate hack job I have left much of the original code in the scripts even though I am not using them.
Anyway my question is what is the best way to get this available to be tested out? I was thinking tarball but I need some advice in the best way to pull together the additional scripts and web work plus the master script and the sudoer rules that I have added.
Also what is the best place to post this stuff?
list of scripts and locations
I have managed to tar up the files how I wanted thanks to this post
Originally Posted by foxesden
so how do I best deliver them