Running Mageia on Tuxedo computers... Very Nice!

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Running Mageia on Tuxedo computers... Very Nice!

Postby Can80 » Nov 17th, '21, 19:49

Hi everyone!
My recent search for renewing my computers at work, with customizable machines, landed me in Germany at Tuxedo Computers. There, I got myself a brand new TUXEDO CORE One AMD-Ryzen-Series v10 + Micro-ATX desktop and a TUXEDO Aura 15 - Gen1 notebook, customized for my needs and liking, and both coming with the company's own Tuxedo_OS (Ubuntu Budgie) installed.
My original plan was to give that OS a fair try. However the fact that I had already decided from the get go that its days were be numbered, I could hardly give it a fair appreciation. So the trial period ended up lasting about fifteen minutes. I purged poor Tuxedo_OS and replaced it with Mageia : Cauldron on the desktop; 8 Stable on the notebook.

I am pleased to say that I ran into ZERO issue in both cases. The Tuxedo team choose the parts and build their computers to be compatible with any flavour of Linux and it is true. Mageia runs great on both machines, which are well built. The only thing though, is that by choosing Mageia, I choose to do without the Tuxedo Control Center, which looks like a fine little tool for monitoring and adjusting the performance of the notebook (https://www.tuxedocomputers.com/en/TUXE ... ter.tuxedo).
I assume that Mageia's own tools are good enough to get the performance I need, but I wonder if I would gain something in performance or longevity if I managed to have the TCC to run on Mageia (I don't have the know-how for making it happen but I don't see how this wouldn't be doable; the packages are available).

What is your opinion? Anybody with an experience with running Mageia on a Tuxedo computer?
Any thought on the TCC, or know of tools available in Mageia that could be fine substitutes?

Regrads!
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Re: Running Mageia on Tuxedo computers... Very Nice!

Postby jiml8 » Nov 18th, '21, 10:50

I have no knowledge of tuxedo computers, but looking over their website, it looks like they are building custom computers using industry standard parts, and tuning those systems, then providing their own control panel (which, actually, looks very cool.)

Well, I do the same thing. I build my own systems, and I tweak them to optimize them for linux. So, I seriously doubt that my machines are any different than Tuxedo machines, except that I don't have their control panel (though I might look into it...it looks very convenient).

I run Mageia on my workstation, and I do a lot of monitoring of my systems, and I use several different tools to do the monitoring simply because I don't have a "single pane of glass" that will do it and I have not been interested in undertaking the effort of writing one. I use psensor, gkrellm, the nvidia monitoring utility, and the standard KDE system monitor (sysguard) to do my basic monitoring. I also have a console window open running "sudo journalctl -fax" to watch logging as it happens. I also do a lot of monitoring of my network, using a variety of tools to do that. The single pane of glass that this control panel provides would be really nice, but running KDE Plasma, I can have many desktops (I have 20 configured) and I dedicate one of those desktops to the monitoring tools, and another one to the console with the journalctl running..

The current generation of my workstation, by the way, is running on a Ryzen 5800X, so I am using the same basic technology that you are using.

As for whether this control panel will run on Mageia; I am inclined to bet against it though it probably could be adapted without a lot of effort. Tuxedo says they support Ubuntu and Opensuse. Well, Ubuntu is a debian-descendant, while Opensuse is a Redhat-descendant (RPM) as is Mageia. So this control panel isn't completely divergent from how Mageia does things. Opensuse, though, is sort of off by itself in how it does a lot of things. This isn't a criticism; I generally like it, but it is substantially different from Mageia and something that runs on Opensuse probably won't run on Mageia without changes.
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Re: Running Mageia on Tuxedo computers... Very Nice!

Postby marast78 » Nov 18th, '21, 17:04

SUSE is Slackware-based, originally.
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Re: Running Mageia on Tuxedo computers... Very Nice!

Postby papoteur » Nov 18th, '21, 18:17

Hello,
Tuxedo Control Center seems to uses information from /sys/ thus given by the kernel. Thus, it should be standard in Mageia.
The techno is nodejs, thus it is quite difficult to package according to Mageia standards.
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Re: Running Mageia on Tuxedo computers... Very Nice!

Postby Can80 » Nov 18th, '21, 20:00

jiml8 wrote:Well, I do the same thing. I build my own systems, and I tweak them to optimize them for linux. So, I seriously doubt that my machines are any different than Tuxedo machines, except that I don't have their control panel (though I might look into it...it looks very convenient).

Hi jiml8!
Thank you for sharing your take on this! I agree that your hardware is quite similar to mine, without being identical. As far as monitoring goes, I was already quite certain that there were already excellent tools in the Mageia arsenal (thanks for telling me the ones you are using, and for the screen-cap!), even though they might not be in a sleek all-in-one setup presentation like TCC.
The control part is what interests me the most. TCC has options like 'CPU settings' and 'Tuxedo fan control'. I'm wondering whether they are just common Linux apps only presented with eye candy, or it's more complex than that.

jiml8 wrote:As for whether this control panel will run on Mageia; I am inclined to bet against it though it probably could be adapted without a lot of effort. Tuxedo says they support Ubuntu and Opensuse. Well, Ubuntu is a debian-descendant, while Opensuse is a Redhat-descendant (RPM) as is Mageia. So this control panel isn't completely divergent from how Mageia does things. Opensuse, though, is sort of off by itself in how it does a lot of things. This isn't a criticism; I generally like it, but it is substantially different from Mageia and something that runs on Opensuse probably won't run on Mageia without changes.

It's the "could be adapted without a lot of effort" part that I will be interested to look into. The fact that they have packaged it to run on OpenSuse sound looks to me like it can can be tweaked to run on Mageia, although I'm aware that those are two quite different rpm-based environments.
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Re: Running Mageia on Tuxedo computers... Very Nice!

Postby Can80 » Nov 18th, '21, 20:02

papoteur wrote:The techno is nodejs, thus it is quite difficult to package according to Mageia standards.

Hi papoteur!
May I ask why is that?
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Re: Running Mageia on Tuxedo computers... Very Nice!

Postby jiml8 » Nov 18th, '21, 20:30

Can80 wrote:The control part is what interests me the most. TCC has options like 'CPU settings' and 'Tuxedo fan control'. I'm wondering whether they are just common Linux apps only presented with eye candy, or it's more complex than that.


Presuming your motherboard supports software control of fans (it probably, though not certainly, does), then there is fancontrol which is a command line app. I don't really use it; my current workstation is a recent upgrade and the predecessor motherboard didn't support fan control from Linux. I am still gradually reconfiguring to take advantage of the new mobo, and fan control is something I am looking at. Presently, I have a stand-alone fan controller in my workstation. When I get around to it, I will probably move the fans off of that controller and onto the mobo; it will handle 4 more fans than it currently has, and that will handle my needs.

My processor heat sink fans (Noctua NH-D15), and a fan that is apparently cooling the southbridge on the mobo, are connected on the mobo and are automatically controlled in response to system temperatures, but my case fans are all on that external controller. At this point in time, I have found the automatic fan control of the heat sink fans to be more than adequate, even when I run big compiles that take 100% of the processor for half an hour. I have not found it necessary to speed the case fans from their current very low setting to handle the load from such a big compile. This being the case, moving the case fans to mobo control has had a very low priority.

As for cpu control, I personally don't see a need to do that in any of the cases that I work with. You could, however, set pretty much anything you want in /sys/devices/system/cpu. There is a command line tool, cpupower, that will allow you to monitor threads and set frequencies and frequency ranges. I have played with it in the past, and it works. Or, it worked in the past; I have not tried it on the 5800X.
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Re: Running Mageia on Tuxedo computers... Very Nice!

Postby papoteur » Nov 19th, '21, 10:35

Can80 wrote:
papoteur wrote:The techno is nodejs, thus it is quite difficult to package according to Mageia standards.

Hi papoteur!
May I ask why is that?

Hi,
Mageia standard is to have reproducible build of software we deliver. Thus we should have all chunks already stored when doing the build.
Nodejs and other similar technologies are using a lot of small libraries which are downloaded at build time, which can change according to when the build is done, this is not reproducible.
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Re: Running Mageia on Tuxedo computers... Very Nice!

Postby Can80 » Nov 19th, '21, 18:48

jiml8 wrote:Presuming your motherboard supports software control of fans (it probably, though not certainly, does), then there is fancontrol which is a command line app...
...
As for cpu control, I personally don't see a need to do that in any of the cases that I work with. You could, however, set pretty much anything you want in /sys/devices/system/cpu. There is a command line tool, cpupower, that will allow you to monitor threads and set frequencies and frequency ranges. I have played with it in the past, and it works. Or, it worked in the past; I have not tried it on the 5800X.

Yes, you are making me realize that the very first thing I need to do is to get to know my machines better. Then I'll have a more informed idea of what the actual arsenal of tools can do. I take good note of all those that you have mentioned here already.

I seek above all reliability and longevity. I'm not a gamer nor a programmer and my new machines have more power than I will probably ever require. That's why I seek to optimise the important parameters in order to get the performance I need while preventing anything from burning out too quickly. Having a number of bad experiences with machines that died too soon has made me a bit paranoid, I must admit. Especially with laptops.

Thank you for your insights! :D
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Re: Running Mageia on Tuxedo computers... Very Nice!

Postby Can80 » Nov 19th, '21, 18:51

papoteur wrote:Hi,
Mageia standard is to have reproducible build of software we deliver. Thus we should have all chunks already stored when doing the build.
Nodejs and other similar technologies are using a lot of small libraries which are downloaded at build time, which can change according to when the build is done, this is not reproducible.

OK, now I understand better.
it's great to get to exchange with knowledgeable people.
Thank you!
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Re: Running Mageia on Tuxedo computers... Very Nice!

Postby jiml8 » Nov 19th, '21, 22:43

Can80 wrote:Yes, you are making me realize that the very first thing I need to do is to get to know my machines better. Then I'll have a more informed idea of what the actual arsenal of tools can do. I take good note of all those that you have mentioned here already.

I seek above all reliability and longevity. I'm not a gamer nor a programmer and my new machines have more power than I will probably ever require. That's why I seek to optimise the important parameters in order to get the performance I need while preventing anything from burning out too quickly. Having a number of bad experiences with machines that died too soon has made me a bit paranoid, I must admit. Especially with laptops.

Thank you for your insights! :D


Well, you should certainly avoid overclocking. Underclocking would be OK but is probably not necessary. For myself, my workstation is 23 years old. Every component in it has been replaced, usually several times, but it has a continuous history for 23 years. In that 23 year history I have reloaded the operating system exactly one time, and that was years ago when I moved from a 32 bit Mandriva system to a 64 bit Mageia system - which I did a couple of years after my big upgrade of 11 years ago, which took me from 32 bit hardware to 64 bit hardware.

My latest round of updates was earlier this year, and was the biggest upgrade made in 11 years. I replaced an 8 year old mobo, a 4 year old processor, and 8 year old DDR3 memory with the new mobo, processor, and 128GB of DDR4 memory, and a new processor heatsink.

Now, this upgrade was motivated by a motherboard failure, but I was working on the mobo at the time replacing the processor heatsink (the old one had failed after 11 years) which had me replacing the mounting plate located on the back of the mobo, and I got careless and in a hurry, and damaged the board. Given that I had been having some capacity problems with my 32GB system anyway and was starting to contemplate an upgrade, I decided it was time and did it rather than put effort into trying to repair the mobo (but I put the mobo, CPU, and memory in the closet; I will look at it again when I have time).

My point is that, given that you have a system built out of standard components, you can keep it running forever, just replacing a piece at a time, as necessary. Also, as your needs change, you can add or delete components as needed to make the system be just what you want it to be, rather than running out and buying a new computer and starting over.

You can also do this with your laptop. I seriously doubt Tuxedo built that laptop; they put it together starting with a laptop "barebones" kit, and then populated the bare system with the components you wanted. This means that you can probably buy every replacement part required for that laptop, so it also should last for a very long time. I built my laptop just that way, and it is now 7 years old, performs completely satisfactorily, and I can get parts should I need them.

So, going with a custom builder was a great idea if you don't feel competent to do it yourself, and it leaves you in a really good place going forward. Those machines will never die, if you don't want them to, and you will be able to retain a continuous history for decades. In this digital era, think of what that will mean for family photos and so forth.

After my daughter got married, I sent her husband some audio recordings she had made back in the mid '90s (and they have resided on my workstation ever since that time) where she was playing that she was a DJ on a radio station. She was embarrassed; he was greatly amused, and has carefully preserved his copies of them.

Personally, I believe that a custom build is the only way to go. It doesn't cost anymore than a prebuild that you would buy in a store, and gives flexibility and durability that cannot be touched by a prebuilt.

The only caution I will give you is this (and it may come up, in a few years): never, ever buy a cheap power supply. Always go with the highest rated supplies. I don't mean the highest-power power supplies, but the best rated by those who rate such things in terms of performance, efficiency, safety, noise, and durability. The one place on the system where you should never cut corners is on the power supply, because it is the one component that - if it fails and is not properly designed - can destroy every other component in the system.

As an example, see this (which is pretty much current events): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aACtT_rzToI
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Re: Running Mageia on Tuxedo computers... Very Nice!

Postby Can80 » Nov 23rd, '21, 18:53

jiml8 wrote:So, going with a custom builder was a great idea if you don't feel competent to do it yourself, and it leaves you in a really good place going forward. Those machines will never die, if you don't want them to, and you will be able to retain a continuous history for decades. In this digital era, think of what that will mean for family photos and so forth.

The only caution I will give you is this (and it may come up, in a few years): never, ever buy a cheap power supply. Always go with the highest rated supplies. I don't mean the highest-power power supplies, but the best rated by those who rate such things in terms of performance, efficiency, safety, noise, and durability. The one place on the system where you should never cut corners is on the power supply, because it is the one component that - if it fails and is not properly designed - can destroy every other component in the system.

23 years!!!
OK, I'm looking for longevity and I can definitely go for that! And your laptop being 7 years-old and running is what I also want for my own (that would change from "I got another piece of junk that died after only 3-4 years!"). I agree with you that custom build is the preferable way to go. I have for my say that the more you can do yourself, the better. That was also one of the reasons that convinced me to go with Tuxedo: if a part goes wrong, I will probably be able to find a replacement easily enough and not have to ship the machines back to Germany to have them fixed. I never felt competent enough to play on the hardware too much, though. But now I have a couple of older machines that I won't mind experimenting with, when I get enough free time.

I can't thank you enough for sharing so generously your experience and your advice! :D

If you don't mind me asking, what made you stick with Mandriva/Mageia for all those years?
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Re: Running Mageia on Tuxedo computers... Very Nice!

Postby jiml8 » Nov 24th, '21, 17:44

Can80 wrote:If you don't mind me asking, what made you stick with Mandriva/Mageia for all those years?

Back in the late '80s and '90s, I did development work on the Amiga. I also wrote a few magazine articles for Amiga publications, and I owned several Amiga computers. Well, Commodore died, and by 1997 I was forced to migrate away from my beloved Amigas; they were dead, could not be upgraded, and no longer would do my job.

I wanted to move to unix, but couldn't afford it. So, I tried slackware linux. It was hugely challenging for me; I did not know the environment at all, and building it was a major exercise. And when it was built, it just wasn't usable...too immature. And as for supportable??? OMG!

So, lacking a choice, I built the first iteration of this workstation, and put Windows NT on it. I never liked Windows, and I hated NT for a variety of reasons. The only thing positive I could say about NT was that it wasn't Windows 95 or 98.

After about a year, I decided I wanted to try linux again. So I went to a computer store and browsed the linux choices; Redhat, Mandrake, SUSE, one or two others. A bit of research suggested I wanted either Redhat or Mandrake, and I picked Mandrake 7.2 (in a retail package). I purchased a new hard drive for it, and installed it on my system in a dual-boot configuration with Windows NT. I played with it, and found it to be adequate. Rough around the edges, and lacking in software, but adequate for many things. I could not, at that time, use it for my work; the software didn't exist. So, I would boot into NT for work, then boot into Mandrake for play and for browsing.

Another year passed, I did a couple of updates to Mandrake, and now it was much better. KDE2 had become KDE3 and was much smoother. Everything worked better. So, I purchased Vmware Workstation Release 3, converted my Windows NT installation to a virtual machine, deleted the dual-boot setup, and was booting Linux with NT running as a VM (still using all the data on its hard drive) for work.

Since that time, I have always booted linux. I stuck with Mandrake because it was satisfactory, I have work to do, and distro-hopping gets in the way of work. When Mandriva died, I stayed with Mandriva 10.2 32 bit for a couple of years because I knew I had a reload coming, which is a lot of effort for me because my system had by that time become a rather large and complex linux system, and I just didn't want to do it.

When I finally did do it, I had 64 bit hardware in place, I had to do it because Mandriva 10.2 was too old and things were starting to break, and it was past time. I went to Mageia as the logical successor to Mandriva because it was probably the easiest migration. In fact, reloading 64 bit then getting my entire system running took several days. I had it booting and into my home environment in just a few hours, but all my customizations and servers and so forth...it was days. I am sure it would have been much more difficult to switch distros.

Since then I have found Mageia to be generally quite stable and mature. So why switch? I have work to do.

As I write this, in my Mageia host, I have Windows 10 64 bit running as a VM. I also have FreeBSD 8.4 running as a VM. I have Linux Mint 19, Linux Mint 20, and OpenSUSE 15.2 all running as VMs. I have a Mageia 7 VM running that I have customized to support some work we are doing for Nvidia, all running in Vmware Workstation 16.

I can still load and run that NT VM, though it complains now because it doesn't find its hard drive partitions other than its C drive (I virtualized those about 10 years ago, and they are available to my Windows 2000 VM which I still use occasionally).

So, I can (and do) distro-hop to my heart's content; I just fire them up in VMs and go.

This workstation is configured as a router, and has 3 ethernet connections. On one of the LANs, I presently have an x86-64 single board computer running our software product, and on the other LAN, I have a small ARM-based single board computer running the same product.

Mageia works generally quite well this way. I won't say I have not had trouble; the default Mageia installs are for desktop computers and tend to be highly automated - and this automation gets in my way quite a bit. But, generally, I am able to turn it off and configure the system the way I need it to be. So the built in Mageia tools are generally quite nice, the system is reliable and flexible, and it handles anything I throw at it - and I throw some pretty serious stuff at it sometimes. Why would I switch?
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