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frugal technology, simple living and guerrilla large-appliance repair
Fri, 04 Mar 2011

Liquorix fatigue in Debian

The 2.6.37 kernel I got from Liquorix has made Debian Squeeze a nearly perfect distribution. The stock 2.6.32 kernel works great, except for sound, where plugging in my headphones doesn’t mute the speakers. This muting works with no configuration change in 2.6.37 from Liquorix.

I also finally have suspend/resume working for pretty much the first time ever in Linux, and I really like using it. The success of suspend/resume might be due to my installing the Debian nonfree firmware, which enabled DRI, which somehow factors into kernel mode setting. My understanding of the whole thing is a little vague, but what I do know is that suspend/resume works great, and this Debian Squeeze installation is running as well as anything I’ve ever used in the world of Linux and BSD.

However, there’s one thing. Liquorix tracks the kernel very closely, and as such there’s a new update every few days.

I expect that eventually 2.6.38 will surface from Liquorix, and — also eventually — there will be newer kernels in Debian Backports.

But for now I have a great working kernel, and I’m not so excited about it being on the bleeding edge, constantly changing and possibly introducing a regression that will erase some of my functionality gains.

As such, for now I’m “pounding out” the Liquorix entry in my sources.list. I have a good 2.6.37 kernel, and I want to stick with it.

This might not be the best thing from a security standpoint, but I think the risk is minimal.

I will keep an eye on things and un-pound the Liquorix line to get a newer kernel periodically. Just not weekly. (I’ve already used Synaptic to get rid of the many old 2.6.37 kernels that were clogging up my Grub boot list.)

With this change, I expect updates in general (meaning from Debian) to be fewer and farther between.

Comments from the FlatPress version of this post

istok Monday, March 7, 2011 - 15:21:20

how is your cpu load compared to .32 and what processor are we talking about?

why not use the .37 from sid? it’s not a rhetorical question i’m trying to figure out which is better myself.

steven Monday, March 7, 2011 - 18:04:20

I’m running an AMD Athlon II (dual core) at 2.1 GHz. Nothing out of the ordinary.

I am using the amd64 kernel. I haven’t done any benchmarking, but I really don’t notice any difference performance-wise between 2.6.37 from Liquorix and 2.6.32 from Debian.

When I started using Liquorix kernels, it was during the Squeeze freeze and before Squeeze went stable, so there were no new kernels in Sid at the time due to the freeze.

Now that Sid is freed up, I suppose I could use kernels from there, but I’m going to wait for newer kernels to arrive in Debian Backports and try that first.

slu Monday, March 7, 2011 - 19:30:14

I’ve never run a Liquorix kernel so I can’t speak to its performance or vagaries but as to suspend/resume, I have found that to be mostly a function of motherboard and bios settings. I am running two AMD dual core systems using Gigabyte and Zotac motherboards. I have multiple boot partitions on both systems with Linux Mint Debian Edition and Mythbuntu, with standard kernels. The Gigabyte mobo was happy with suspend/resume out of the box while the Zotac was not. A Biostar board that I pulled in favor of the Zotac would never do it regardless of ACPI setting. Changing the ACPI suspend type to “S3 STR” got the Zotac working just great. Suspend/Resume is a really major advance.

steven Monday, March 7, 2011 - 19:45:10

I think my success with suspend/resume has more to do with kernel mode setting and DRI (which I could only get working for my ATI video chip with the nonfree firmware package) than with 2.6.37 vs. 2.6.32. I’m pretty sure I have suspend/resume in both kernels now that I have DRI implemented.

Make no mistake, I barely understand KMS, DRI and ACPI.

Previously, I had suspend/resume working on a different laptop for maybe a week in Ubuntu until a kernel update killed it. I had it in 2.6.33 in Fedora, I seem to recall.

I agree - suspend/resume working is huge. I’ve had people tell me it’s not important because Linux boot times are so fast, but I don’t agree. I think working suspend/resume is something we all should have.

enteon Friday, March 18, 2011 - 11:57:20

Hi, I just installed Liquorix on Squeeze and now have not only a feelable (though not huge) performance increase (Thinkpad T60, so kind of old) but working hibernation without backporting uswsusp.

I also could remove the self-compiled PHC and finally have discard (TRIM) support for my SSD.

All in all a very positive experience. I only hope something won’t break in future releases which are said to come every few days.

To the difference between debian/vanilla and liquorix/zen: the later are very much hacked to the bones for desktop and multimedia while the former target a wide varity of systems and usages and are more conservative (BFS, Reiser4 …).

Steven Rosenberg Sunday, March 20, 2011 - 02:22:50

I recently switched the Liquorix repo back on to get 2.6.37.4-1. To keep up with what Liquorix is doing, look here: http://liquorix.net/sources/

Still no kernels in squeeze-backports, but a new 2.6.32 kernel moved to Squeeze “regular” today.