ETA for solution for DMA problem for Arch Linux image & A64+ 2 GB boards?
#1
Bug 
hi all,

i am the owner of a Pine64 A64+ board with 2 GB RAM.

i got three more 64 GB MicroSD cards to load different OS's for the Pine64 and try them out. i went to load the Arch Linux image, but then saw the following warning message on the Pine64 wiki entry on software downloads — 

"This version of image is not suitable for PineA64 with 2GB Memory due to a bug involving DMA data transfer with the gigabit ethernet."

so... is there any ETA on when/how this might be fixed?
is it a firmware fix i'll need to down load and run on the A64+ board?
is it an update to ubuntu i'll need to run?
is it both?

please advise as soon as anyone knows on this. this is kind of a bummer for those of us who spent the extra $ on the larger capacity boards.

thanx in advance.

best,

—  faddah
     portland, oregon, u.s.a.
#2
Hi!


Actually I have installed Arch image on a board with 2GB RAM for about two weeks and I have not encountered any issue with gigabyte ethernet.
#3
Tongue 
(04-12-2016, 06:19 PM)piney Wrote: Hi!


Actually I have installed Arch image on a board with 2GB RAM for about two weeks and I have not encountered any issue with gigabyte ethernet.

hi piney (great handle, btw),

yeah, i just booted mine, seems ok thus far, but i'll put it through paces. but the quote i did from the wiki was rather prominent, just wondering if there is an ETA on the fix and if it is a board firmware fix, an ubuntu fix, a combo of that, or something else?

best,

—  faddah
     portland, oregon, u.s.a.
#4
(04-12-2016, 06:28 PM)faddah Wrote:
(04-12-2016, 06:19 PM)piney Wrote: Hi!


Actually I have installed Arch image on a board with 2GB RAM for about two weeks and I have not encountered any issue with gigabyte ethernet.


yeah, i just booted mine, seems ok thus far, but i'll put it through paces. but the quote i did from the wiki was rather prominent, just wondering if there is an ETA on the fix and if it is a board firmware fix, an ubuntu fix, a combo of that, or something else?
Hey faddah,

I believe the point piney was making is that the linux based distros do not have any major issues with ethernet, they have been addressed. So the ETA is in the past.

As for the fix I think I read it was a DMA issue which would lead me to believe a driver issue was the problem. 

Ran a speed test this morning. 

Code:
root@debianpine64:~# iperf -c 192.168.0.104 -t 60
------------------------------------------------------------
Client connecting to 192.168.0.104, TCP port 5001
TCP window size: 22.5 KByte (default)
------------------------------------------------------------
[  3] local 192.168.0.164 port 39854 connected with 192.168.0.104 port 5001
[ ID] Interval       Transfer     Bandwidth
[  3]  0.0-60.0 sec  2.90 GBytes   415 Mbits/sec
I cant complain about that.

Matter of fact this caused me to find that my media server was currently only connected at 100Mbit, so thanks for your question it made me find an issue on my own network LOL. 
#5
It was a function that returned a 32 bit offset instead of what should be a (now) 64 bit offset. It was in a driver that was originally written for a 32 bit allwinner processor. A one line change fixed it. The driver worked on 1Gb boards because the dram addresses could all fit in the low-order 32 bits of the offset.
#6
Question 
(04-14-2016, 09:20 PM)patrickhwood Wrote: It was a function that returned a 32 bit offset instead of what should be a (now) 64 bit offset. It was in a driver that was originally written for a 32 bit allwinner processor. A one line change fixed it.  The driver worked on 1Gb boards because the dram addresses could all fit in the low-order 32 bits of the offset.

@piney, @patrickhwood & @rahlquist,

ok, thank you for the updated info. so if the update has been done, it's in the past, and the 2 GB boards now work, shouldn't that warning about 2 GB boards be taken out of the wiki, or changed to say make sure you have the update? who maintains these changes to the wiki?

just asking so someone like me doesn't read that and ask the same question.

up-to-date, accurate docs are always best.

best,

—  faddah
     portland, oregon, u.s.a.
#7
No, that warning still applies to the older distributions that predate the fix.
#8
(04-16-2016, 11:07 PM)patrickhwood Wrote: No, that warning still applies to the older distributions that predate the fix.

@patrickhwood

then perhaps a more detailed warning? as in "use X version of the image if you have the 2 GB board, all earlier versions will fail."

as it reads now, it sounds like all version of image files will fail with the 2 GB boards, and will generate more support and forum questions like this one.

just trying to save all of you some time. just my suggestion.

best,

—  faddah
     portland, oregon, u.s.a.
#9
(04-16-2016, 11:22 PM)faddah Wrote: just trying to save all of you some time.

That's not what the Pine64 folks want. They want the forums full of redundant threads/questions and that wrong information is spread.

It took longsleep just a few days between the first reports of Ethernet problems with 2GB boards and finding the bug (untested Allwinner code as Patrick already explained -- the whole thing has nothing to do with DMA) and providing a fix. Since longsleep also cares about the people using his work he updated his own images and made the fix available for all OS images that rely on his basic work (in other words: all publicly available). So the Pine64 folks could simply update their Arch image (which is also the only Linux based that's affected by this specific bug!), remove the warning and add the instructions how to update OS images to a user oriented FAQ (not existing at the moment)

Unfortunately they don't care. They do not even provide a quickstart guide and countless users waste hours of their lives to get their boards booting.
#10
(04-17-2016, 07:15 AM)tkaiser Wrote:
(04-16-2016, 11:22 PM)faddah Wrote: just trying to save all of you some time.

That's not what the Pine64 folks want. They want the forums full of redundant threads/questions and that wrong information is spread.

etc., etc., ....


look, i see nothing to be gained by getting into a snark fest about perceived slights and bitterness over the condition of docs, boards, the Pine64 team, or this fledgling community. i think it's more important to support each other as a community and work together to do real solutions and, most importantly, document them in a manner everyone can access and understand.

for what it's worth, i think the Pine64 folk have done a good job — they got slammed unexpectedly with many times the amount of kickstarter support, boards and production than they thought they would get, and have been doing their best to fulfill that. yes, docs and such will be trailing — guess what? same was true at the inception of the arduino, the raspberry pi, the beagle board, all of them. boards were released, there were issues, the community found work-arounds and filed bugs and created docs and there were revisions, and things improved. i don't see Pine64 boards being any different than that process.

that said, can anyone please point me to who updates the wiki to see about getting this updated to more accurate info so others, like myself, don't keep asking the same question about something that is all ready fixed? or, if we're allowed to contribute/edit the wiki, could someone please point me to the correct process to be allowed to do that, and if there is any links about what constitues a valid Pine64 wiki entry, so i don't spend time writing something up, only to have it rejected for some formatting issue i am unaware of?

as i've said, i prefer to focus on helping with solutions where we all can benefit than just complain about what's not there yet.

thanks i advance for anyone who can help with my requests about the wiki stuff.

best,

—  faddah
     portland, oregon, u.s.a.


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