Bug 306401 - gnome-power-manager sets "bogus" ondemand tunables when on AC
gnome-power-manager sets "bogus" ondemand tunables when on AC
Product: Fedora
Classification: Fedora
Component: gnome-power-manager (Show other bugs)
All Linux
low Severity low
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Assigned To: David Zeuthen
Fedora Extras Quality Assurance
Depends On:
Blocks: F8Target 309171 418441
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Reported: 2007-09-26 01:15 EDT by Arjan van de Ven
Modified: 2013-03-05 22:52 EST (History)
5 users (show)

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Fixed In Version:
Doc Type: Bug Fix
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Last Closed: 2009-02-26 02:54:27 EST
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RHEL 7.3 requirements from Atomic Host:
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Description Arjan van de Ven 2007-09-26 01:15:46 EDT
Description of problem:

g-p-m sets the /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpuX/cpufreq/ondemand/up_threshold value
to 31 when on AC. This is not a good value (the default 80 is a LOT better for
any scenario); in fact it is extremely questionable that g-p-m even touches this
value at all!

I would like to request that g-p-m, when on AC, at least uses 80 or higher for
this value; it's also a good question to find out why 31 was used in the first
place... if there was no good reason (or there was a reason that no longer is
valid) I would like to request that g-p-m just leaves this value alone.
Comment 1 Arjan van de Ven 2007-09-26 01:24:32 EDT
(just as background; in principle the ondemand governer will go to max frequency
if the current application is running into a performance boundary at the current
frequency. As such the theoretical value for up_threshold is 100. However to
allow a little bit slack due to measurement errors (until 2.6.23, the cpu usage
was not super accurate), a 20% slack value was used, so up_threshold was set to
80. up_threshold was a debug knob for ondemand developers, and it was never
intended nor imagined to be a user tunable; the value "31" surely makes no
sense, there isn't ever going to be a 69% measurement error, nor does it make
sense to have a different value for AC and DC; the measurement error isn't going
to depend on being on AC or DC unless you have a kernel which has a different
internal tick rate for AC versus DC, and Linux never had that)
Comment 2 David Zeuthen 2007-09-26 11:04:36 EDT
Richard, why? Thanks.
Comment 3 Richard Hughes 2007-09-26 14:49:57 EDT
Well, the consensus at the time was to tweak the performance for battery and ac
states as this would affect the latency. I was told to use 85% for AC and 25%
for battery. g-p-m sets the performance through HAL, so if 85% isn't mapped
correctly, it's probably a hal addon bug. 
Comment 4 Arjan van de Ven 2007-09-26 15:15:34 EDT
ok what ends up happening is not that the performance is tweaked, but that the 
measurement error slack is tweaked.

Note: With ondemand, there really is no need to tweak any performance at all. 
Maybe the hal code should just not do anything.

(With userspace governer.. different story obviously)

In addition; I think it's a fundamental mistake to tune AC-vs-battery, because 
that implies that power consumption is not important for the AC case, which is 
absolutely incorrect (just ask any datacenter sysadmin)....

So.. is this a hal bug because it tunes some random different meaning sysfs 
tunable (heck, since it tries to tune anything at all) or is there a more 
fundamental issue around what to do in general here.
Comment 5 Richard Hughes 2007-09-26 15:32:13 EDT
Sure, I'm with you on the saving power on AC thing. I was told this would affect
latency - i.e. a snappier system on AC than battery. Is this incorrect? This
sounds like a HAL bug, but I'm wondering if g-p-m shouldn't just leave cpufreq
alone completely.
Comment 6 Arjan van de Ven 2007-09-26 15:41:02 EDT
What ends up being set in the end doesn't really impact latency. 
(if one wanted to tweak latency then other values should have been tweaked, 
not this one). Ondemand is very agressive anyway already in ramping speed up 
when needed anyway, realistically it doesn't require any tuning at all.

I agree with the notion that g-p-m should leave cpufreq alone, at least 
normally. I can see a point where a user gets to see a knob that says "get me 
maximum performance no matter what", which would just switch governer (but 
then again, ondemand does a pretty good job of going to full speed when needed 
anyway)... but other than that... ondemand (and any other cpufreq policy) 
should "Just Work" without handholding or tuning.
Comment 7 Arjan van de Ven 2007-09-26 15:44:12 EDT
(at this point, while BZ still says gpm, I'm not clear if it's a hal thing, or 
a gpm thing, or miscommunication between both; since all interested folks are 
on this bug anyway that's no big deal)
Comment 8 Matthias Clasen 2007-09-27 13:50:32 EDT
Should Fedora bugs be on the Intel5.2Features tracker ?
Comment 9 Geoff Gustafson 2007-09-28 15:39:14 EDT
Not really, but it will help me not lose this until we have a RHEL5 issue
submitted, if that's okay.
Comment 10 Matthias Clasen 2007-10-04 23:20:07 EDT
Richard, David, which one is it ? gpm bug or hal bug ? and can we fix it ?
Comment 11 Tim Burke 2007-10-26 14:36:41 EDT
Cloned bug #354641 for tracking on RHEL5.
Comment 12 Richard Hughes 2007-11-02 14:49:41 EDT
mclasen: it's both. It's a HAL bug because it's setting the wrong tunable, and a
gnome-power-manager bug because it probably should just leave the policy to
ondemand no matter what the user says.

I'm really tempted to rip out the CPU freq stuff from g-p-m trunk.
Comment 13 David Zeuthen 2007-11-02 15:09:27 EDT
Yeah. I'm thinking just disabling the power management stuff from the hal builds
too. Should be as simple as configuring the sources using --without-cpufreq.
Arjan, would this work for you?
Comment 14 Arjan van de Ven 2007-11-02 15:24:03 EDT
It's basically the right thing; it sounds nice in theory for all to bother 
with this stuff, in practice it doesn't work well because there really 
isn't/shouldn't be anything to tune in the first place.

Comment 18 Bug Zapper 2008-05-13 23:16:46 EDT
Changing version to '9' as part of upcoming Fedora 9 GA.
More information and reason for this action is here:
Comment 19 Richard Hughes 2008-07-27 06:16:23 EDT
g-p-m doesn't touch any of the cpufreq stuff anymore upstream.
Comment 20 lexual 2009-02-25 23:17:35 EST
Can this be closed now?

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