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 Forum index » Advanced Topics » Puppy Derivatives
Know of a Puppy with a 4.7.x to 4.8.15 kernel?
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vtpup


Joined: 15 Oct 2008
Posts: 1289
Location: Republic of Vermont

PostPosted: Sat 23 Mar 2019, 15:41    Post subject:  Know of a Puppy with a 4.7.x to 4.8.15 kernel?  

Odd request, I know, but my daughter has an Acer R11 Chromebook, presently running GalliumOS 3, which never has worked satisfactorily to me.

While this machine will run many different Pups I've tried, it refuses to do so without an external USB keyboard and mouse. The internal keyboard and touchpad are inoperable under Puppy(s). That, of course defeats the purpose of a slim portable computer.

Apparently this issue has to do with its Braswell chipset and a kernel module called CONFIG_PINCTRL_CHERRYVIEW . From what I understand, that module worked in kernels 4.7.x to 4.8.15, and then stopped working.

Here are a few online references I've found so far to the problem:

https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=1426711

https://bugzilla.kernel.org/attachment.cgi?id=257117

https://www.reddit.com/r/GalliumOS/comments/8ikmd7/how_to_build_kernel_to_fix_keyboard_on_arch/

Sooooo, are there any puppies that use kernels in the (I hope) usable kernel range of 4.7.x to 4.8.15?

Thanks in advance!


Later edit: .......hmmmm varied reports on later kernel numbers.....

https://github.com/GalliumOS/galliumos-distro/issues/457

_________________
Acer Aspire 5349-2635 laptop Tahrpup.
Acer R11 Chromebook no pup
1999 Thinkpad 600e Lupu 528
Acer Iconia A1-830 tablet no pup
www.sredmond.com
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bigpup


Joined: 11 Oct 2009
Posts: 12332
Location: S.C. USA

PostPosted: Sat 23 Mar 2019, 18:36    Post subject:  

Just something to try.

You do not say what Puppies you have tried.

I have a HP Chromebook.

Bionicpup64 8.0 seems to work the best.

Touchpad and keyboard work.

Are you using the original bios or did you have to flash it with a hacked one?

My Chromebook uses the elan touchpad.
Some of the earlier Puppies I tried did not support it.
Some that did.
In xorg.conf
The touchpad input device settings were deactivated with the # symbol.
Removed the # symbol from the entries and the touchpad worked.

Last edited by bigpup on Sat 23 Mar 2019, 23:34; edited 2 times in total
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rockedge


Joined: 11 Apr 2012
Posts: 1129
Location: Connecticut, United States

PostPosted: Sat 23 Mar 2019, 18:43    Post subject:  

we could always complie a 4.8.15 kernel using the kernel-kit......

which type 32 or 64 bit? I am trying a compile kernel 4.7.10
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Terry H

Joined: 29 Mar 2009
Posts: 633
Location: The Heart of Muskoka, ON Canada

PostPosted: Sat 23 Mar 2019, 20:10    Post subject:  

There are 3 versions of huge-4.7.1 for i486 / i686 / x86_64 at:
http://archive.org/download/Puppy_Linux_Kernels

You could look at one of these and swap out the vmlinuz & zdrv in a puppy.
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Volhout

Joined: 28 Dec 2008
Posts: 547

PostPosted: Mon 25 Mar 2019, 04:30    Post subject: Gallium  

Hi vtpup,

What is the problem with gallium OS ? According their website the R11 is well supported....
Or don't you like XFCE ?

Last 10 years Intel played nasty games with the linux community. They developped silicon for some markets (tablets, phones) that needed to be cheap, but when these markets did not embrace the chips they only supported microsoft alternative.

That's why you see lots of cheap notebooks, chromebooks, silicon that does not adapt very well to linux.

Famous are:
N450 (accelerated video support) - I had one - broke down
N2600/2800 (accelerated video support) - I have one
N3060/3160 (audio support) - Sold this one
N3350 (audio support) - still have, but W10 on it, not even ARCH linux got this working (they typically lead the pack with support for new silicon).

But for all my intel chips the same formula: if you have something that works.....DON'T touch it (don't upgrade). There is no guarantee.

Volhout
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vtpup


Joined: 15 Oct 2008
Posts: 1289
Location: Republic of Vermont

PostPosted: Mon 25 Mar 2019, 09:36    Post subject:  

Thank you all for replying, I do truly appreciate it.

Bigpup, I've tried EasyOS 1.0.14, XenialPup64, BionicPup8, and Fatdog64 800 series. The best so far was Fatdog. It supported the touchscreen and touchpad out of the box. Only the keyboard was non-operational. I think Fatdog is the puppy that I should concentrate on.

What follows here is the best description I can put together at this point of the WHY of this specific keyboard issue: (It's taken a lot of research to figure this out. As Volhout says, it involves specific Intel chipset on several types of Chromebook) the Braswell set.)

The problem seems to be in the Google ROM firmware which hard codes irqs for the keyboard. Normally these irqs should be able to be reassigned under Linux but if they are, the keyboard stops working.

To accomodate Braswell chips, there is a kernel module called pinctrl_cherryview. This kernel module is necessary to work with the Acer R11's Google firmware. But over time this module has been compiled differently, at different kernel releases and by different Linux distros (Arch, GalliumOS, Ubuntu).

Sometimes this module has included a patch which works around that non-standard firmware irq assignment, and sometimes not. This has caused a string of odd user bug reports, at varying kernel and kernel upgrade levels, and has been very confusing for me to track down, or understand. I think this description above is the clearest I can come up with, or have seen, so far online.

A commented Arch patch to the pinctrl_cherryview module's code which does solve the issue is shown here:

https://bugzilla.kernel.org/attachment.cgi?id=255427&action=diff
This is as far as I've got in my understanding in trying to solve this issue.

@Rockedge, I'm running the 64 bit version of Fatdog on the chromebook presently, mainly because it has the most compatibility so far, out of the box -- touchpad and screenpad both work. Only the keyboard doesn't. Thanks greatly for the offer -- that would be ideal. The main thing needed would be to include pinctrl_cherryview as built-in rather than as a module. And to have the right pinctrl-cherryview, with patch.

I have never been able (so far) to modprobe pinctrl_cherryview in on a running system, and have the keyboard work. But I'm still not sure which version of it includes the patch.

@TerryH that is a possibility -- I have to learn how to do that. It doesn't seem difficult, just haven't tried it yet. But I will.

@Volhout, thanks for writing, and I agree and understand with a lot you say. But GalliumOS on this particular Chromebook is very frustrating for me to work with for a number of reasons, that I don't want to go into here. I do agree that chipmakers make life hard for us in Linux -- they always have. Think of all the early wireless card problems we had to wade through.

I believe Puppy can successfully be run on these Braswell chromebooks, and faster, more efficiently, and with more user options than GalliumOS, admirable as that effort is.

Why bother? It's the same reason I stopped using Ubuntu 11 years ago and started down the puppy road. This OS fits me. The way I think. The way I work. It is efficient. In fact it's brilliant.

_________________
Acer Aspire 5349-2635 laptop Tahrpup.
Acer R11 Chromebook no pup
1999 Thinkpad 600e Lupu 528
Acer Iconia A1-830 tablet no pup
www.sredmond.com
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mikeslr


Joined: 16 Jun 2008
Posts: 3209
Location: 500 seconds from Sol

PostPosted: Mon 25 Mar 2019, 19:42    Post subject:  

As Terry H posted, there are three versions of the 4.7.1 kernel here, https://archive.org/download/Puppy_Linux_Kernels. I downloaded the one named "hugh-4.7.1-PuPpyi686.tar.bz2 Right-Clicked it and used UExtract to extract it. In the extraction folder were two files, one named vmlinuz-4.7.1-PuPpyi686 and the other named Kernel-modules.sfs-PuPpyi686. Both the date of the compilation (2017) and the appearance of the vmlinuz suggest it can be used with any Puppy published no later than Tahrpup (about 2014). That includes any Slacko based on Slackware 14.1, 14.2 and Sailor Enceladus' Slacko 5.7.1, Xenialpup, dpup-stretch, and bionicpup.

There's a kernel-changing application floating around. But changing kernels manually is simple. Just cut off the designation from the vmlinuz file so that it only is named vmlinuz, and rename the kernel modules file to be a zdrv corresponding to the name of the puppy_version.sfs. For example, the zdrv.sfs which corresponds to puppy_stretch_7.5.sfs is zdrv_stretch_7.5.sfs. Substitute these renamed files for the originals which came in the ISO. [If starting with an LxPup.ISO, you may need to download and place a "renamed" fdrv.sfs].

You'll be pleased to note that you can also download a corresponding kernel_sources.sfs from archive.org.

Edit: Out of curiosity, I performed the above kernel substitution on Slacko 5.7.2 Community Edition, available here, http://murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?p=1018293#1018293 and am posting from it now. But, if you want what may be a simpler solution, unable to remember what Section this post was on I plugged "4.7.1" into a Puppy Custom Search and discovered this post by Exton, an Lx-xenialpup using that kernel with an indication that a devx was also available. http://murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?p=919409#919409
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vtpup


Joined: 15 Oct 2008
Posts: 1289
Location: Republic of Vermont

PostPosted: Mon 25 Mar 2019, 22:35    Post subject:  

Thanks greatly Mikeslr, I'm downloading Exton's 32 bit puppex-xenial now.

I did try some kernel switching today, in Fatdog64, and in Bionic Pup. Still working on it now. No success with the keyboard yet.

I did try also stock Ubuntu 18.10 on the Acer Chromebook, and it ran out of the box -- keyboard worked great! I was shocked to see it type something after all the failures.

So the thought is now (assuming the 4.7 kernel doesn't do it) to try to use its late kernel in BionicPup, if possible. Something around 4.18.x

I'm just getting a little bleary eyed, doing all these tests by now.......
I will sure breathe a sigh of relief if I see ANY puppy accept the keyboard.

_________________
Acer Aspire 5349-2635 laptop Tahrpup.
Acer R11 Chromebook no pup
1999 Thinkpad 600e Lupu 528
Acer Iconia A1-830 tablet no pup
www.sredmond.com
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bigpup


Joined: 11 Oct 2009
Posts: 12332
Location: S.C. USA

PostPosted: Tue 26 Mar 2019, 09:33    Post subject:  

Have you seen this web site?
https://mrchromebox.tech/

Maybe something here could help you.

On my HP Chromebook, I used the RW_LEGACY firmware so I could boot Puppy.

Nothing here may help your problem, but who knows Idea

_________________
The things they do not tell you, are usually the clue to solving the problem.
When I was a kid I wanted to be older.... This is not what I expected Shocked
YaPI(any iso installer) http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=107601
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vtpup


Joined: 15 Oct 2008
Posts: 1289
Location: Republic of Vermont

PostPosted: Tue 26 Mar 2019, 12:58    Post subject:  

Hey Bigpup, thanks kindly!

Yes sir I have seen the site, and did the legacy boot thing quite awhile ago so I could run GalliumOS 3 on the Chromebook via chrx. I could boot puppies, but, same problem, input devices (keyboard, and or, touchpad, touchscreen) wouldn't all work.

Then I tried removing the security screw, and doing the full Mr Chromebox ROM replacement, wiping out ChromeOS altogether and reformatting the drive. No real change. I can load lots of functioning puppies, but need USB keyboard at the least to run them.

btw full current Ubuntu 18.10 DOES now run on this system with keyboard working. So a late kernel can work, but it needs pinctrl_cherryview built-in, (not added later as a module). Ubuntu builds that module in.

GOOD NEWS: I do think we have a solution for at least one pup derivative: Fatdog64. Kirk wrote that he would be recompiling the kernel next week and would add the above suggested module as a built-in. I'm very hopeful that will cure the Braswell chipset keyboard problem for Fatdog64. Fingers crossed......!

_________________
Acer Aspire 5349-2635 laptop Tahrpup.
Acer R11 Chromebook no pup
1999 Thinkpad 600e Lupu 528
Acer Iconia A1-830 tablet no pup
www.sredmond.com
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