Liquorix on ARM
kharvey152
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Joined: 02 Jan 2023
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I've been using the lqx kernel on my old Zenbook for a while now and it's made a huge difference in usability, so a huge thank you for this project! Can the lqx patches benefit an ARM system in any way? If not all of it then what pieces might pose some benefit? Specifically for me it would be the Pinephone - I've been tinkering and looking for ways to reduce latency.
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damentz
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Joined: 09 Sep 2008
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There's a lot of reasons I may never make a kernel for any ARM systems.

1. Performant ARM systems typically follow the big.LITTLE CPU architecture. PDS doesn't have proper compatibility to schedule tasks correctly on the right cores. Maybe a user space daemon will arrive that does that for us so the kernel doesn't have to worry.

2. Performant ARM systems typically also need an optimized kernel for each one. This is very evident in the Android phone market, it makes it unfeasible to make "good" generic kernels that "just work". You can see here just from LineageOS that they have to maintain ancient kernels for older Qualcomm SoCS: lineageos.org/Changelog-27/. A lot of it is all the binary blobs required to activate all features of the SoC.

3. Non performant ARM systems, like PinePhone and PineBooks, are not performant enough for daily use. I bought my own PineBook Pro and attempted to tweak the Manjaro kernel to get better performance, but the GPU is underpowered and the Mesa situation is awful. Maybe one day it will get better but we're probably 5 years away. My PineBook Pro was sold to a friend who was more interested than me, so I don't have the hardware anymore to maintain and test. Here's the github repo I was experimenting with if you want to see: github.com/damentz/linux-lowlatency-aarch64. None of the changes I made mattered because the PineBook Pro couldn't even render a KDE desktop at 1080p at 60fps in the first place.

4. Kernel development will be costly since I'll need to use cloud resources to build and test efficiently. I'm already imagining a small ephemeral cluster in AWS using Graviton instances, not excited to pay that bill. Just for reference, it takes a 5950x about 6 minutes to build a kernel for Liquorix today. It took a PineBook Pro over 120 minutes, or 2 hours. Having a powerful local ARM system is important for fast feedback when testing and working through build failures.

There's some other reasons. Personally I'm just not ready to dedicate all that time to a device I won't use when there's superior alternatives with x86 at the moment.
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kharvey152
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Joined: 02 Jan 2023
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Thanks for answering so thoroughly. The juice doesn't seem to be worth the squeeze, though I am wondering if the same fragmentation problems with the optimized kernels would apply to RISC-V SoCs. Not that there are an abundance of options to work with there.

From my experience with the Pinephone I'm guessing that the Pinephone Pro might be just barely enough power for a tolerable experience. To say that the PP is underpowered is a serious understatement. I'm in the rather unenviable position of needing it to be my daily driver atm, hence my question.

lowlatency-aarch64 link appears to be broken.
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