linux

Ubuntu's settings won't open after setting CPU to 'performance'

Recently I was doing some benchmarking on my Ubuntu 22.04 PC, and as part of that benchmarking, I tried setting the CPU performance profile to performance. In the old days, this was not an issue, but it seems that modern Ubuntu only 'knows' about balanced and power-saver. Apparently performance is forbidden these days!

$ powerprofilesctl list
* balanced:
    Driver:     placeholder

  power-saver:
    Driver:     placeholder

The problem was, I had set the profile to performance:

$ powerprofilesctl set performance

But suddenly the 'Settings' GUI app would no longer open (at least not after I had opened it and clicked into the 'power' section). A reboot didn't work, and even reinstalling control center (sudo apt-get install --reinstall gnome-control-center) didn't help!

When I tried opening the settings GUI from the command line, I got the following critical error:

Resetting IPMI and upgrading BIOS on a Supermicro motherboard under FreeBSD (or not)

That title is awfully specific.

ASPEED SoC on Supermicro Motherboard powering IPMI

But I was building a new FreeBSD server with a used SuperMicro motherboard with IPMI. The default password was changed from ADMIN (or maybe it's a new enough board that it's a random password), and when I was booted into FreeBSD, I wanted to reset the IPMI settings so I could be sure I was starting fresh.

ipmitool that came with my FreeBSD install doesn't seem to be able to reset IPMI to factory defaults, so I tried running ipmicfg from Supermicro's website (which is annoying to download—you have to fill out a form and a Captcha for the privilege).

Using LibreELEC like a pro—management via SSH

For a recent project, I needed to install LibreELEC/Kodi on a Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 with built-in eMMC storage.

Because it's inconvenient to be swapping the Pi around from the embedded display I was using it in to my preferred carrier board I use for flashing Pis and interacting with their filesystems, I wanted to manage my LibreELEC install over SSH.

It seems like whatever documentation the LibreELEC Wiki used to have for remote SSH access is missing, and all I could find were vague references to enabling SSH during a GUI setup wizard. I don't remember seeing that.

But after many, many searches, I surmised it was possible to enable SSH by adding ssh to the end of the line in the system's cmdline.txt file, and rebooting. So I pulled the Pi, used usbboot to mount the fat32 volume on my Mac, and opened cmdline.txt and added ssh. Then I popped the Pi back in the embedded display, and started it up.

Sure enough, I could now SSH in:

External graphics cards work on the Raspberry Pi

AMD Radeon HD 7450 Graphics card with Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4

In October 2020, after Raspberry Pi introduced the Compute Module 4, I started out on a journey to get an external graphics card working on the Pi.

At the time, it'd been over a decade since the last time I'd built a PC, and I had a lot to learn about PCI Express, the state of graphics card drivers in Linux, and PCI Express support on various ARM SoCs.

Using a reverse-NFS mount to access Docker container's data from macOS

For years, Mac users have dealt with slow filesystem performance for Docker volumes when using Docker for Mac. This is because the virtualized filesystem, which used osxfs for a while and will soon be upgraded to use VirtioFS.

But if you need to do large operations on huge codebases inside a shared directory, even using NFS to share from the Mac into Docker is a lot slower than running a native Docker volume or just using files inside the container's own filesystem.

macOS Disk Utility APFS Case Insensitive filesystem

Installing the Asahi Linux Alpha on my M1 Mac mini

After upgrading my main workstation to a Mac Studio, I decided to break tradition.

Usually, I sell off my old workstation to offset the cost of the new one. But just last week, Asahi Linux announced their first alpha release.

Asahi Linux MacBook Pro

If you haven't heard of Asahi, it's a Linux distribution based on Arch Linux that aims to bring a polished Linux experience on Apple Silicon Macs (all the current M1 Macs, and any new Apple Silicon Macs that come in the future).

Mac Studio is 4x more efficient than my new AMD PC

Last month, I built an all-AMD PC to try out Linux Gaming with Steam and Proton, and so I'd have a faster native Linux build machine for my various compilation tasks.

This month, Apple introduced the Mac Studio, and as a now full-time video producer, it was a no-brainer for me to upgrade from an M1 Mac mini.

Mac Studio M1 Max Hero

My Mac Studio arrived Friday, and over the weekend, I spent some time benchmarking it against not only my M1 mini, but also my new AMD Ryzen 5 5600x PC build.

My Mac Studio's specs: