Librebooting my Desktop

15 respostas [Última entrada]
hate29
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Joined: 04/10/2021

Now that my laptop is Libre and my desktop pc broke down (old 3770K cpu age) I'm looking for options to free my Desktop.

I need power mostly to video editing and encoding the final result. My old broke down pc did this well enough.

Either way. There aren't many options to desktop as most libreboot computers are laptops. Same for osboot and coreboot. I'm considering one of the Asus server boards but wouldn't want to have Nvidia GPU. And that is what one needs, if I'm correct?

I'm also little confused that thinkpenguin sells desktops with Intel 11th generation? I guess those don't have libreboot etc? And if not I could just use a Ryzen board with some CPU that my friend is offering me.

Those old desktops that support libreboot are maybe too slow for my needs. I don't know really. I had one back in the good old days but that was so long ago.

Also don't waste money as I don't renew my hardware so often. This desktop last 10+ years. Of course I could get a new MoBo for it..

So I'm asking what is the best libre/speed solution in long run?

jxself
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Joined: 09/13/2010

"So I'm asking what is the best libre/speed solution in long run?"

If you need a lot of CPU power then, within the confines to having free boot firmware, you have exactly 2 choices. No more and no less. They are:

#1 - Asus KGPE-D16. The board has two physical CPU sockets so if you max it out with 2 x 16 core CPUs for a total of 32 cores from the AMD Opteron 6200 series (aka Interlagos) then that's the fastest you'll get:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_AMD_Opteron_microprocessors#Opteron_6200-series_%22Interlagos%22_(32_nm)

Then install maybe the max of 256GB of RAM, unless you're okay with less. Either way, hopefully 32 CPU cores and 256GB of RAM is enough for you. I can usually find these boards for around $150. Then add in CPU, RAM, case, power supply, etc.

Please know that installing libreboot on this machine requires an external programmer. Or buying a chip with libreboot already installed and then swapping out the chip. Unless you buy one with libreboot already installed but those are also more expensive. There are sellers on eBay that sell on the chip if you're comfortable to remove the old one and install the new one. Also, there is information on https://ryf.fsf.org to buy a board with libreboot already installed.

After that initial hurdle, any future updates can be done with software - It's just the initial hurdle.

#2 - Talos II - https://www.raptorcs.com/TALOSII/ This is more powerful but also much more expensive. You could buy multiple of the Asus KGPE-D16 for less than the cost of 1 Talos II board + CPU. Also, Trisquel doesn't support the ppc64el architecture just yet. My understanding is that's due in Trisquel 11. So really if you want something that will run Trisquel (today) then you really only have one option (the Asus KGPE-D16) at least until Trisquel 11 is out.

Magic Banana

I am a member!

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Joined: 07/24/2010

My understanding is that's due in Trisquel 11.

I am pretty sure Quidam announced that at LibrePlanet.

Vikings_thum
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Joined: 04/04/2017

Since we're talking about the D16 the ASUS KCMA-D8 is also worth mentioning, KGPE-D16s little sibling.
In any case the D16 and D8 can be power hogs compared to modern systems, so choose a CPU that is a bit more efficient if you can (EE for the D8, HE for the D16 - those can be very hard to find) or the next energy bill will be a surprise if you don't know what you're getting into.

Just keep in mind that while those old AMD boards won't require magic/proprietary CPU microcode updates for stable operation (at least for the Opteron 4200/6200 series the errata is pretty short), you should still use them. Otherwise you'd introduce unwanted attack vectors (i.e. Spectre/Meldown). A problem/dilemma you won't have with a POWER9 system like the Talos II (https://wiki.raptorcs.com/wiki/Microcode).

Generally, comparing the D16 with a Talos II doesn't make *that* much sense; Talos II is much more modern computer where free software hasn't been just an afterthough, it *only* runs free software and there are zero exceptions to my knowledge, you'll have schematics and they're still being made today. What's more you'd support a small manufacturer (Raptor Computing Systems) that has FLOSS as their business model and a long track record of doing so (same company ported the D16/D8 to coreboot by the way!). If that isn't a company worth supporting (if you can afford) I don't know what is.

In an ideal world, people would use more of those POWER9 systems instead of using platforms that are a) an obvious dead-end and b) 'a bit' long in the tooth. This would decrease cost because of economies of scale. Vikings will continue to offer both, so people with a smaller budget will have the best and the next best option :-)

prospero
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Joined: 05/20/2022

"Generally, comparing the D16 with a Talos II doesn't make *that* much sense"

Generally, yes, but it certainly does make much sense for Trisquel users, at least until Trisquel 11 is out. That new possibility has been long awaited and is going to be great and, as you say, will be the best option to "evacuate the Titanic":

https://jxself.org/titanic.shtml

hate29
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Joined: 04/10/2021

Talos II is nice but maybe too much. That older Asus server board is enough for me. Don't need so much ram. At least for starters. That can be added later if needed.

That just means I had to use my old Geforce 760. Hopefully there will be libre GPU someday in future.

PublicLewdness
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Joined: 03/15/2020

"Talos II is nice but maybe too much. That older Asus server board is enough for me. Don't need so much ram. At least for starters. That can be added later if needed.

That just means I had to use my old Geforce 760. Hopefully there will be libre GPU someday in future."

Technoethical sells the server board with CPU and RAM as a combo:

https://tehnoetic.com/tet-d16

as well as a complete system:

https://tehnoetic.com/desktops/tet-d16ws

As for a libre GPU for the future I think sadly SOC's are the best path with RISC-V and certain ARM chips getting there although not perfect. Intel is coming out with a discrete GPU soon so hopefully it is FSF friendly like their onboard GPU's are. AMD and Nvidia don't care enough.

Avron
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Joined: 08/18/2020

Technoethical never delivered an order I made in August last year and never replied to me when I contacted them.

Vikings now sells complete systems too: https://store.vikings.net/en/VKGS-WORK-D16
I haven't order that one from them, but I ordered several equipments from them and there was no problem to contact them and receive what I ordered.

Vikings_thum
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Joined: 04/04/2017

It will be interesting to see what Dasharo will be able to accomplish with their next release for the D16 planned for late May 2022. Perhaps this will be wind into the sails of the D16.
There are some additional features, such as TPM and vboot support. I'm glad someone is doing this since coreboot dropped it.

https://blog.3mdeb.com/2022/2022-02-03-kgpe_d16_status/
https://docs.dasharo.com/variants/asus_kgpe_d16/releases/

prospero
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Joined: 05/20/2022

"Technoethical never delivered an order I made in August last year and never replied to me when I contacted them."

There has been an update about that situation, in case you missed it:

https://trisquel.info/en/forum/technoethical-no-laptop-no-refund#comment-165748

Avron
Desconectado
Joined: 08/18/2020

I had noticed it already and I tried to contact Technoethical again. No success so far.

prospero
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Joined: 05/20/2022

The laptops seem to be currently out of stock, but the D16 boards and desktops are flagged as "in stock". So your own situation may be not be relevant here. Let us hope you will get a reply without Piriponzolo having to call people names and complain to the fsf.

I for one am not going to be impressed by anyone who is ready to hijack forum threads and to blindly up-vote any criticism of their competitor for the sake of selling their own stuff. Unfortunately, they all seem to be doing it in turn. One exception is RaptorCS:

https://www.raptorcs.com/content/base/products.html

Cyberhawk

I am a translator!

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Joined: 07/27/2010

Many nvidia GPUs do run with nouveau, which makes them suitable for 3D acceleration.

I'm using a nvidia GPU on my desktop as well, it's not librebooted though

PublicLewdness
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Joined: 03/15/2020

"Many nvidia GPUs do run with nouveau, which makes them suitable for 3D acceleration.

I'm using a nvidia GPU on my desktop as well, it's not librebooted though"

I can echo this. I have the Nvidia GT 730; GTX 760; and GTX 780 Ti and all work with Nouveau.

hate29
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Joined: 04/10/2021

Thanks for all posts.

I'm planning to build my own rig though I will need somebody to libre my future board. Maybe I just find one at Ebay or somewhere. But other components I will buy and build by myself. The one that Vikings are selling gives me quite good guide to what to buy.

Apparently Intel's new GPU will be much alike AMD but now at least some parts of NVIDIA are open.

https://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=article&item=nvidia-open-kernel&num=1

Cyberhawk

I am a translator!

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Joined: 07/27/2010

>> I'm planning to build my own rig though I will need somebody to libre my future board.

This store I have used to full satisfaction in the past: https://store.vikings.net/en/

They will sell you librebooted hardware (desktop or laptop), full PCs or motherboards, and they offer librebooting your hardware as a service.