VectorLinux

Cooking up the Treats => Distro development => Topic started by: caitlyn on September 17, 2007, 02:40:39 pm

Title: VL-Hot + HAL in VL 5.9 == one big mess
Post by: caitlyn on September 17, 2007, 02:40:39 pm
VL 5.9 has HAL support installed by default.  It correctly pops up a desktop icon for each removable media volume.  Cool!  VL-Hot pops up two more of it's own.  Three icons per volume is a mess!  Either HAL needs to go or VL-Hot needs to go.  Joe1962 won't like my vote on which one...
Title: Re: VL-Hot + HAL in VL 5.9 == one big mess
Post by: uelsk8s on September 17, 2007, 03:04:17 pm
Caitlyn,
can you access your drives from the hal icons, Without vl-hot?

I dont think Joe would be against using hal instead of vl-hot, If hal worked reliably.

Uelsk8s
Title: Re: VL-Hot + HAL in VL 5.9 == one big mess
Post by: Joe1962 on September 17, 2007, 03:10:45 pm
Caitlyn: I've figured for some time that hal would replace vl-hot, though I was surprised both are active in 5.8 SOHO. I'll just have to figure out a way to safely nuke hal on my personal systems... ;D

BTW, how does the single hal icon in xfce handle unmount? The 2 vl-hot icons in xfce were necessary because it didn't support the context menu actions like KDE does.

I dont think Joe would be against using hal instead of vl-hot, If hal worked reliably.
Oh, but I am, I just refuse to force my preferences on others... ;)

FWIW, IMO and AFAIK, vl-hot is simpler, lighter and way more flexible and configurable than hal (and I have some new surprises cooking). Then again, I haven't looked closely at hal because of my natural aversion to YAPP (Yet Another Polling Process).
Title: Re: VL-Hot + HAL in VL 5.9 == one big mess
Post by: uelsk8s on September 17, 2007, 03:23:27 pm
hal will not mount or unmount any usb devices for me.
Quote
Unable to mount "DISK1S2":
A security policy in place prevents this sender from sending this message to this recipient, see message bus configuration file (rejected message had interface "org.freedesktop.Hal.Device.Volume" member "Mount" error name "(unset)" destination "org.freedesktop.Hal")

If I have vl-hot installed I can get to the usb drive through the hal Icon but it still refuses to umount

Title: Re: VL-Hot + HAL in VL 5.9 == one big mess
Post by: Dweeberkitty on September 17, 2007, 04:31:16 pm
hal will not mount or unmount any usb devices for me.
Quote
Unable to mount "DISK1S2":
A security policy in place prevents this sender from sending this message to this recipient, see message bus configuration file (rejected message had interface "org.freedesktop.Hal.Device.Volume" member "Mount" error name "(unset)" destination "org.freedesktop.Hal")

If I have vl-hot installed I can get to the usb drive through the hal Icon but it still refuses to umount



I have the same problem with unmounting usb drives. Accessing my usb drives from the hal icon works perfectly. It also shows up on the side of thunar where I can access it without trouble. The same goes for CD-ROM or DVD discs. I can access them fine and everything with HAL but I can also eject them from HAL. The problem with the usb drives may just be a VL or Xfce issue.

Personally I have to say that I like the way HAL works better than VL-Hot but I understand perfectly why some may not like it. (especially Joe1962  ;))

P.S. Mounting all kinds of drives works for me, just the unmount on usb drives doesn't.
Title: Re: VL-Hot + HAL in VL 5.9 == one big mess
Post by: easuter on September 17, 2007, 04:35:31 pm
Also HAL's policies are defined using XML configuration files (yay! very easy for the average user to configure).

VL-Hot-Config anyone? ;D

Seriously, for other things like CD auto-mounting there are already some apps (such as diskd) that can act as polling daemons.
So a user could chose which types of devices to automount.

A combination of VL-Hot + scripted diskd would probably accomplish the same that HAL does for the average user when it comes to removable media, and probably be a lot lighter on resources too.

Title: Re: VL-Hot + HAL in VL 5.9 == one big mess
Post by: Vxt on September 17, 2007, 04:38:56 pm
Natural aversion to YAPP ?

I soundly  second that -as a "sound" developer neccessity
You have the uneviable task of  making many release decisions

Like all vectelopers I have ever seen - listen carefully to all requests 
 
Then must endlessly "explain rationale"
If everything was decided by Polls - would -anythng  ever get accomplished ?
Title: Re: VL-Hot + HAL in VL 5.9 == one big mess
Post by: Joe1962 on September 17, 2007, 05:08:17 pm
If everything was decided by Polls - would -anythng  ever get accomplished ?
LOL, I didn't mean that kind of poll, but rather the fact that hal polls the hardware to notice when a CD is inserted, etc. In a recent, perhaps only slightly related, anecdote I was working at borderline distance to a WiFi AP and winders slowed down to crawl. A bit of detective work narrowed the culprit down to Intel's WiFi applet (whatever they actually call it), detecting the AP, trying to connect, then loosing it again. After unceremoniously killing it, I could get back to work again.


EDIT:
@easuter: Regarding CD/DVD drives, my personal preference is a nice icon/icons with click-to-mount, right-click to unmount, no autorun for me, thank you very much... ;D
Title: Re: VL-Hot + HAL in VL 5.9 == one big mess
Post by: Vxt on September 17, 2007, 06:19:40 pm
Heh,   I didn't mean to cast a  ;D Pall on feature polls,
~  you don't even think that way
But it did seem the.... topic header was an informal ermmm ?

But that's only me - if Caitlyn needs a Hal -she does have choices few other distros offer ?

As is well known,   I have an aversion to auto-anything
Impractical - may well be
I can only feebly justify _ who ever was motivated to  learn anything - when it all "just worked" ?

The fastest folder growth  on my system - is the invaluable bookmarks URLz
When I have difficulties (often) ~ You can  guess the resulting growth of   umm "Language resources" :P

To hall w/it all ? - personally speaking : I already have more H---s than anybody might ever wish to avoid
Title: Re: VL-Hot + HAL in VL 5.9 == one big mess
Post by: caitlyn on September 17, 2007, 07:04:41 pm
But that's only me - if Caitlyn needs a Hal -she does have choices few other distros offer ?

Hal does not unmount correctly under Xfce in VL 5.9.  It DOES unmount correctly in Wolvix 1.1.0 under Xfce 4.4.1.  We may need to ask Wolven what he's doing because it works.
Title: Re: VL-Hot + HAL in VL 5.9 == one big mess
Post by: Dweeberkitty on September 17, 2007, 09:19:23 pm
A combination of VL-Hot + scripted diskd would probably accomplish the same that HAL does for the average user when it comes to removable media, and probably be a lot lighter on resources too.

I, personally would prefer just HAL as it seems to make life much more simple than a combination of various programs and scripts when we could just have one thing, namely HAL, that did it all. With a VL-Hot + scripted diskd there is also more of a chance that something could go wrong because there are more variables involved. There is a downside to just HAL though and that might be the performance, we need to take a look and see exactly how much of the system's resources it actually uses. But...I'll leave that up to the developers to figure out. Just my vote though, HAL.

Also HAL's policies are defined using XML configuration files (yay! very easy for the average user to configure).

Yup, another reason why I would like HAL to stay in VL 5.9.

But that's only me - if Caitlyn needs a Hal -she does have choices few other distros offer ?

Hal does not unmount correctly under Xfce in VL 5.9.  It DOES unmount correctly in Wolvix 1.1.0 under Xfce 4.4.1.  We may need to ask Wolven what he's doing because it works.

Yeah, I figured that it was probably just a VL issue.
Title: Re: VL-Hot + HAL in VL 5.9 == one big mess
Post by: Vxt on September 17, 2007, 09:36:06 pm
Well  there you go now -If hal won't co-operate

Four  choices

~ Ask Wolven
~ Examine Wolvix script
~ Co-ordinate w/Joe &/or other prolific vectelopers
~ Rely on own resources

Me - I'm just a hard-core enthusiast
~ a Norwegian Blue

 ;) Pining for the Fiords ? (http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Linus_Torvalds)

Do you pine ?

Title: Re: VL-Hot + HAL in VL 5.9 == one big mess
Post by: The Headacher on September 17, 2007, 11:38:54 pm
I haven't tried any of the new Pseudo's yet due to massive computer trouble, but that doesn't stop me from having an opinion ;D.

I would really dislike to see the Hell-Demon eating cpu I need for gaming, making music or editing video's (also, it's unlikely I'll be hotplugging much when doing so). It would be pretty neat if it could be turned off like most other services in VASM. I'll disable it for sure, one way or another.

I don't want anything to automount my cd's / dvd's. If I want to mount something easily from the desktop I could just add one of them "Link to Device"s to my desktop in kde. All I'd have to do is rightclick and select "Mount".

Quote
Also HAL's policies are defined using XML configuration files (yay! very easy for the average user to configure).
You're joking, right? is editing XML files considered user friendly now?????
Title: Re: VL-Hot + HAL in VL 5.9 == one big mess
Post by: stoichyu on September 18, 2007, 12:16:17 am
I wonder why they couldn't make a non-polling version of HAL, like vl-hot. Anyway, I think the problem in VL for mount/unmount in xfce is dbus. AFAIK, our dbus config is borked, to some extent. I use dbus commands for pidgin, so I know. I think the problem is that we run the dbus daemon twice, during xinit and at the login shell. I think it should be started during system init to avoid this problem.
Title: Re: VL-Hot + HAL in VL 5.9 == one big mess
Post by: Joe1962 on September 18, 2007, 12:24:21 am
Quote
Also HAL's policies are defined using XML configuration files (yay! very easy for the average user to configure).
You're joking, right? is editing XML files considered user friendly now?????
Hehe, I really think easuter was being sarcastic and meaning just the opposite, but he was taking too literally.

I wonder why they couldn't make a non-polling version of HAL, like vl-hot.
Because you really need to poll CDs if you want to automount them, otherwise you'd never know one was put in the drive. Floppy drives had this "disk change line" but I guess they forgot to add one when CD drives were designed... ::)
Title: Re: VL-Hot + HAL in VL 5.9 == one big mess
Post by: uelsk8s on September 18, 2007, 06:14:06 am
The Hal, and Dbus in the Pseudo releases came straight from slack.
We will look into what is causing them to not function correctly.
Our plan at this point is to include them with an easy option to turn them on/off
On new systems hal shouldnt be a problem but it slows some older ones down
Title: Re: VL-Hot + HAL in VL 5.9 == one big mess
Post by: M0E-lnx on September 18, 2007, 06:22:44 am
On new systems hal shouldnt be a problem but it slows some older ones down

I can confirm that... The difference is mostly RAM usage. My laptop now reports > 35% RAM usage even when just idling.
Did not happen before hal was running (I noticed this ever since I installed Gnome in 5.8 SOHO, and even now in Pseudo 1.7, it's the same)

I haven't noticed any performance lag at all, no difference on CPU usage, just ram.
Title: Re: VL-Hot + HAL in VL 5.9 == one big mess
Post by: stoichyu on September 18, 2007, 07:32:31 am
Ok, I found a fix for the xfce mount/unmount problem, make a file /etc/dbus-1/system.d/xfce.conf
Quote
<!DOCTYPE busconfig PUBLIC
 "-//freedesktop//DTD D-BUS Bus Configuration 1.0//EN"
 "http://www.freedesktop.org/standards/dbus/1.0/busconfig.dtd">
<busconfig>

  <policy context="default">
    <allow receive_interface="org.freedesktop.Hal.Device"
           receive_sender="org.xfce.FileManager"/>
  </policy>

</busconfig>

I'm not exactly sure why xfce didn't do that already for us, but that gives Thunar permission to contact hal to mount/unmount devices. However, caitlyn was right in saying that vl-hot + hal is a mess. Since vl-hot mounts the device, hal assumes that you mounted it yourself so you can't unmount it through hal.
Title: Re: VL-Hot + HAL in VL 5.9 == one big mess
Post by: Freston on September 18, 2007, 08:00:03 am
I don't want to interfere in your policies (or maybe I do  ;) ), but the lack of HAL is one of the things like about this distro. I think I killed vl-hot too, for that matter.

I hate auto-mount. I don't understand vl-hot yet. And I'm working on a bashscript to suit my mounting needs. One that fires up my bluetooth mouse as well :D

Do as you think is best, as long as it's easy to turn off.
Title: Re: VL-Hot + HAL in VL 5.9 == one big mess
Post by: stoichyu on September 18, 2007, 08:55:00 am
I just found out that you can disable hal. As root, run "/etc/rc.d/rc.hald stop" or if you're lazy "killall hald" and if you want to make it permanent "chmod -x /etc/rc.d/rc.hald". xfce doesn't really require hal, even if it was built with hal enabled. vl-hot also shouldn't be hard to disable, for those who prefer hal. ;)
Title: Re: VL-Hot + HAL in VL 5.9 == one big mess
Post by: caitlyn on September 18, 2007, 09:02:32 am
Stoichyu:  Thanks for the script to fix HAL to allow communications.  Yep, that works.

I have no doubt that either HAL or VL-Hot can be disabled easily.  The point I'm making, which seems to be getting lost, is that one or the other should be disabled by default when VL is booted up.  Having both running is truly awful.  Pick one for the default config.

Having both on the iso or installed is fine.  Create a script run from VASM to toggle between HAL and VL-Hot and you'd have the best of both worlds.

Re: performance.  VL SOHO 5.8.6rc2 with HAL is really fast on my five year old Toshiba laptop (1GB Celeron, 512MB RAM) but RAM usage is definitely up.  I notice this when I'm running KDE, which is a resource hog to begin with, and then add one or more resource (especially RAM) intensive apps like Firefox and OpenOffice.  Then the system begins to drag a bit.  It's still usable, but it's noticeable. 

I really think the ideal would be a user choice with HAL as the default.
Title: Re: VL-Hot + HAL in VL 5.9 == one big mess
Post by: Joe1962 on September 18, 2007, 09:46:05 am
Disabling vl-hot is indeed easy. It is not a daemon, all that is required is disabling the respective udev rules (/etc/udev/rules.d/10-vl-hot.rules). Just rename it to 10-vl-hot.rules.disabled, for example. Renaming it back activates it.
Title: Re: VL-Hot + HAL in VL 5.9 == one big mess
Post by: newt on September 18, 2007, 10:23:47 am
If I understand the HAL vs VL-Hot issue correctly it's _mainly_ an issue of having a hardware-polling service running at all times or not using up memory and cpu resources; functionality of the hardware devices is also at hand.  If this is "the bulk of it" then I would prefer to stick to the exisiting VL-Hot enabled, HAL disabled scenario.  I find that VL58Standard does a great job of automounting my flash and CD drives without effort.  The umounting can occasionally be troublesome on the flash drive but certainly not always.  It usually just takes waiting a few minutes for the system to release the flash drive.  The less constant-polling features VL has running the faster VL will feel to people, and S-P-E-E-D is VL's thing.  In nearly every review of VL, the speed of the OS is mentioned and highly praised (old and new hardware alike).  In fact I often times read about how great the speed of VL is on peoples old hardware and those people are amazed that the devs can make this distro as responsive as it is (i.e. FAST!!!).  I have no doubt that our "speed" notariety is attributed to the collective system resource savings brought on by all those little things like VL-Hot instead of HAL.

My choice: VL-Hot by default with a simple VASM toggle to switch between VL-Hot and HAL (as cait mentioned).
Title: Re: VL-Hot + HAL in VL 5.9 == one big mess
Post by: Joe1962 on September 18, 2007, 10:53:34 am
The umounting can occasionally be troublesome on the flash drive but certainly not always.  It usually just takes waiting a few minutes for the system to release the flash drive.
That's when the filesystem is writing out cached data to the flash drive. You can select non-cached writes in vl-hot-config to get instant unmounting, but then writing to the flash drive becomes as slow as in Windows (if not slower).

EDIT: In non-cached mode, the life of the flash drive can also be reduced due to excessive wear of the FAT area. I'd noticed that my old 256MB pendrive has lasted for many years, while those of my coleagues (even the exact same model) tend to die at an early age. I recently found an article with a technical explanation for this.
Title: Re: VL-Hot + HAL in VL 5.9 == one big mess
Post by: newt on September 18, 2007, 11:32:03 am
Thanks for the explanation of why the umounting of my flash drive is occasionally slow.  Now that I know the reason it makes me feel better :D - i.e. it's by design.  From the way you describe it, I think I'll stick with the default cache method to avoid slow writes and reduced flash drive life.  Thanks for all you (and ALL devs) do for VL!!
Cheers! :beer:
Title: Re: VL-Hot + HAL in VL 5.9 == one big mess
Post by: Dweeberkitty on September 18, 2007, 03:26:38 pm
My choice: VL-Hot by default with a simple VASM toggle to switch between VL-Hot and HAL (as cait mentioned).

I really like that idea! The ability to chose between one or the other sounds great! Everybody's happy!  :D
Title: Re: VL-Hot + HAL in VL 5.9 == one big mess
Post by: Dweeberkitty on September 18, 2007, 03:45:37 pm
With HAL in SOHO, we can use the OpenSuse KIO Slave sysinfo:/ which is actually kind of nice:

(http://www.kde-apps.org/CONTENT/content-pre1/58704-1.png)

Here's the link for it: http://www.kde-apps.org/index.php?xsortmode=high&page=0&xcontentmode=37

It seems to be much more useful, dynamic, and user friendly than media:/ I don't know, it's just a thought.
Title: Re: VL-Hot + HAL in VL 5.9 == one big mess
Post by: easuter on September 20, 2007, 03:45:17 am
Dweeberkitty, VL 5.9 already has a hardware profiler called "hardinfo". You can find it in the System menu.
It provides a lot more info than the above mentioned tool, and even provides CPU benchamarking using gzip, blowfish and other algorithms.

Its not as polished, but its very fast and well organized.
Title: Re: VL-Hot + HAL in VL 5.9 == one big mess
Post by: exeterdad on September 20, 2007, 08:33:20 am
That is VERY nice! (hardinfo)
Title: Re: VL-Hot + HAL in VL 5.9 == one big mess
Post by: wcs on September 20, 2007, 09:52:58 am
If possible, the idea of switching between hal and vl-hot sounds great. It's all about choice...

If not, my vote goes for vl-hot. It seems more in line with vl's speed on low RAM computers. And using the xfce mount applet or a desktop launcher to (un)mount cd's and usb stuff seems very functional to me.

What exactly does one miss by not having HAL? So far, the only absence I noted in the xfce4-no-hal package (in 5.8 standard) is that the mounted cd's and usb pendrives do not show up in Thunar.

Title: Re: VL-Hot + HAL in VL 5.9 == one big mess
Post by: Joe1962 on September 20, 2007, 10:27:03 am
Not intending to bash hal further, but I was just checking out Intel's LessWatts.org site (http://www.lesswatts.org) and they refer to hal... ;)
Quote
hal cdrom polling
One component of the hal daemon (hal is a core component of the various desktop environments and deals with all sorts of hardware interaction) is the part where it polls the cdrom drive regularly (as often as once every 2 seconds!) to see if the user has inserted a CD. This is used, for example, to automatically open a new window with a file browser for the CD.

Such regular polling will keep the hardware awake somewhat; the amount of power consumed depends on the exact type of CDROM drive. It also depends on the presence of the ALPM feature.

If you rarely or never insert CDs (for example because the machine in question is a server 3000 miles away), you can save some power by stopping this polling.

Current versions of hal have a special command for this:

hal-disable-polling --device /dev/scd0

Note that this obviously means that you will not get a popup window if you insert a CD after all. To enable this polling again, you can use the following command:

hal-disable-polling --device /dev/scd0 --enable-polling

Newer SATA based CDROM drives have the capability to notify the machine when a CD gets inserted, making polling not needed. Both the kernel and hal are currently undergoing development to detect and support this capability, so that no polling is needed at any time for these devices.

That last bit is very interesting to me, I will be looking into it and, if possible, add support for that in vl-hot.
Title: Re: VL-Hot + HAL in VL 5.9 == one big mess
Post by: easuter on September 20, 2007, 11:06:52 am
Quote
That last bit is very interesting to me, I will be looking into it and, if possible, add support for that in vl-hot.

Yes! Someone was thinking when designing those drives.
But even older drives could have this capability if manufacturers added that to the firmware?... :-X
Title: Re: VL-Hot + HAL in VL 5.9 == one big mess
Post by: caitlyn on September 20, 2007, 03:15:50 pm
What exactly does one miss by not having HAL? So far, the only absence I noted in the xfce4-no-hal package (in 5.8 standard) is that the mounted cd's and usb pendrives do not show up in Thunar.

You miss Xfce entirely.  HAL is a hard dependency in Xfce 4.4.1.  I think we can safely assume it will be in future versions as well.  If you find a way to compile the current Xfce without HAL I'm sure the developers would love to hear about it.
Title: Re: VL-Hot + HAL in VL 5.9 == one big mess
Post by: Vxt on September 20, 2007, 04:35:36 pm
I don't use Xfce4
According to the Thunar tarball

http://www.ca-us.xfce.org/archive/xfce-4.4.1/fat_tarballs/
Plse note the  IF statement:

Quote
Volume Management
 IF  Thunar was installed with support for HAL and the thunar-volman package is also installed, you can enable the integrated volume manager. See the section called “Management of Removable Drives and Media” for details about this

AFAIK The file Mgr itself is not mandatory to an Xfce4 install

Seems all are modularised ?

http://www.xfce.org/documentation/4.2/userguide/xfce4-components
Title: Re: VL-Hot + HAL in VL 5.9 == one big mess
Post by: rbistolfi on September 20, 2007, 04:45:08 pm
You miss Xfce entirely.  HAL is a hard dependency in Xfce 4.4.1.  I think we can safely assume it will be in future versions as well.  If you find a way to compile the current Xfce without HAL I'm sure the developers would love to hear about it.

I think joe1962 already did it.

http://vectorlinux.osuosl.org/veclinux-5.8/fixes/xfce-4.4.0-no-hal-i586-4vl58.tlz
Title: Re: VL-Hot + HAL in VL 5.9 == one big mess
Post by: Joe1962 on September 20, 2007, 04:52:04 pm
You miss Xfce entirely.  HAL is a hard dependency in Xfce 4.4.1.  I think we can safely assume it will be in future versions as well.  If you find a way to compile the current Xfce without HAL I'm sure the developers would love to hear about it.

I think joe1962 already did it.

http://vectorlinux.osuosl.org/veclinux-5.8/fixes/xfce-4.4.0-no-hal-i586-4vl58.tlz
Actually, I only asked for it, Vec built it.
Title: Re: VL-Hot + HAL in VL 5.9 == one big mess
Post by: rbistolfi on September 20, 2007, 05:10:04 pm
You miss Xfce entirely.  HAL is a hard dependency in Xfce 4.4.1.  I think we can safely assume it will be in future versions as well.  If you find a way to compile the current Xfce without HAL I'm sure the developers would love to hear about it.

I think joe1962 already did it.

http://vectorlinux.osuosl.org/veclinux-5.8/fixes/xfce-4.4.0-no-hal-i586-4vl58.tlz
Actually, I only asked for it, Vec built it.

Well, thanks to Vec then. About the topic, I think there is nothing to discuss anymore, since the option for disabling hal/enabling hal will be there. So if this is about personal preference now, thanks joe for vl-hot ;)
IM_very_very_very_HO, since we use VL because it is rational and logical in the resources administration, it should stay like that. Daemons are not good in general, all but udevd, httpd and ifplugd, may be -ifconfig is just an 8 letters word  ;)- and less daemons are always better.