Pinetab Mobian optimization
#1
I am starting thread for tips about optimizing Mobian on the Pinetab. As built-in RAM is limited and the Pinetab seems to suffer significantly from it, I would like to find the settings that yields the best possible performance for running firefox, geary and other programs and apps.

Here are my current settings, which I think give some performance improvements although my Pinetab is quite laggy still at times and even freezes occassionally.

/etc/default/zramswap

Code:
PERCENT=100
#SIZE=512
PRIORITY=100
CORES=1


/etc/sysctl.conf

Code:
vm.vfs_cache_pressure=500
vm.swappiness=100
vm.dirty_background_ratio=1
vm.dirty_ratio=50

Please tell me if these settings are of any help to you or if you have other settings that makes the Pinetab faster and more responsive.

Here are some memory stats with the above settings:

After a fresh reboot:

Code:
~$ free -h
              total        used        free      shared  buff/cache  available
Mem:          1,9Gi      795Mi      443Mi        56Mi      690Mi      938Mi
Swap:        1,9Gi          0B      1,9Gi

With firefox running:

Code:
~$ free -h
              total        used        free      shared  buff/cache  available
Mem:          1,9Gi      1,3Gi        63Mi      161Mi      551Mi      319Mi
Swap:        1,9Gi        16Mi      1,9Gi

With firefox and geary running:

Code:
~$ free -h
              total        used        free      shared  buff/cache  available
Mem:          1,9Gi      1,3Gi        66Mi      180Mi      542Mi      294Mi
Swap:        1,9Gi      330Mi      1,6Gi
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#2
I also have freezes and system crashes, mostly in firefox. I used swap, than zram with no success. Looks like it's even worse with the latest firefox update. I haven't find the reason so far, but it does not look like it's RAM related, but I am not experienced enough to tell.
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#3
I've found that the more disk logging you do, the worse it gets with an SD card. I'm looking forward to being able to throw an M.2 in there so the bottleneck isn't the disk.

Checkout links like this and experiment: https://stackoverflow.com/questions/1735...le-all-log

One thing you should also do is checkout `top` whilst running these things. I'm working on my own window manager and found that some window decorations real bog down the CPU, causing a lagging feeling and making the PineTab seem unresponsive.
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#4
(11-28-2020, 12:48 PM)barray Wrote: I've found that the more disk logging you do, the worse it gets with an SD card. I'm looking forward to being able to throw an M.2 in there so the bottleneck isn't the disk.

Checkout links like this and experiment: https://stackoverflow.com/questions/1735...le-all-log

One thing you should also do is checkout `top` whilst running these things. I'm working on my own window manager and found that some window decorations real bog down the CPU, causing a lagging feeling and making the PineTab seem unresponsive.

Does your observation about disk logging also apply when running the OS from the internal eMMC?

rsyslog is not used in Mobian on the Pinetab.

Code:
$ sudo service rsyslog stop

Failed to stop rsyslog.service: Unit rsyslog.service not loaded.
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#5
@tomoqv Barely used the internal eMMC, but I imagine to some respect it does still apply.

Also it's possible it's using something else for logging, I think you would have to look up what Mobian uses. If you've got stuff in /var/log/ then you're most likely logging something.
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#6
(11-30-2020, 07:14 PM)barray Wrote: @tomoqv Barely used the internal eMMC, but I imagine to some respect it does still apply.

Also it's possible it's using something else for logging, I think you would have to look up what Mobian uses. If you've got stuff in /var/log/ then you're most likely logging something.

These are the contents of /var/log:
Code:
/var/log$ ls
alternatives.log  bootstrap.log  dpkg.log        gdm3    private    Xorg.1.log.old
apt              btmp          faillog        journal  wtmp
boot.log          chrony        fontconfig.log  lastlog  Xorg.1.log
I don't know enough about logging in linux to determine if there is anything I can turn off.

Pinetab in general, and Pinetab with Mobian in particular, unfortunately seem to be very small communities, so development when it comes to perfomance is unlikely to make major strides anytime soon...

I was hoping Pinetab could be a replacement to my aging BQ Aquaris 10 FHD with UBPorts, but the latter with only 1 GB RAM is running circles around Pinetab atm. Sadly, UBPorts is not very functional on the Pinetab.
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#7
> I don't know enough about logging in linux to determine if there is anything I can turn off.

Could probably turn off the Xorg log, but really you should run `ls -lah` - any large logs could point towards a problem.

> Pinetab in general, and Pinetab with Mobian in particular, unfortunately seem to be very small communities, so development when it comes to perfomance is unlikely to make major strides anytime soon...

I've been working on a performant window manager for the PineTab and it works, but I need way more time to work on it. Currently I can get some good performance though, compiling is quite reasonable. I can run Firefox fine, I run out of RAM before I run out of performance.

> Sadly, UBPorts is not very functional on the Pinetab.

Yeah... They are a small team and they seem to just keep jumping from fire to fire, never really putting any fires out. Their big motivation with such devices is actually get more developer help - but I think for the most part it's just added to frustration for them.
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#8
I have not used ubports for very long on the pinetab, but it was not snappier than mobian imho. So where is the bottleneck? Ram, cpu, os or something else?
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#9
(12-01-2020, 04:57 PM)guenther Wrote: I have not used ubports for very long on the pinetab, but it was not snappier than mobian imho.
I am not saying UBPorts on the Pinetab is snappier than Mobian, but my old BQ tab with UBPorts definitely is. Given the 4-5 year old hardware and less RAM, I would expect the Pinetab to have better performance than BQ.

Quote:So where is the bottleneck? Ram, cpu, os or something else?

That is what I would like to find out and also if there are any settings that could make the Pinetab faster than "unbearably slow". In some cases, it seems to work relatively well, but most of the time it is very sluggish when booting up, using Firefox, opening new apps, etc. I have tried the Epiphany browser too, but it doesn't seem much faster than firefox unfortunately.

I also have the problem that it often freezes and needs a reboot after charging. It also freezes quite often, maybe when running out of RAM.
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#10
This thread is a little old but I just put Mobian on my PineTab and thought to give the changes in tomoqv's initial comment a try. Unfortunately it rendered my PineTab almost unusable. Programs like King's Cross opened ok but other, heavier, programs like Firefox took about 5 minutes to open. This is on the 20201215 release and I assume it had some tweaks that are not compatible with tomoqv's changes that would have done on an earlier release. FWIW the 1215 release has been fairly responsive so far and I haven't had any hangs or unexpected shutdowns, but it's still the first day.
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