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Old 24th June 2008
nico_h nico_h is offline
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Default Newbies questions about FreeBSD + Music & e17 !

Hi everyone !

Well I'm still using linux and not completely satisfied with it (lots of crashes and new bugs appear that weren't there before). I want to give a try to FreeBSD as it seems to match what I'm looking for. (I've read throughout this excellent presentation :
http://www.over-yonder.net/~fullermd/rants/bsd4linux/ )

So I think maybe I can give FreeBSD a try. Looks more stable, better organized etc.

I have found all software I usually need in the ports so that's fine.

But I still have some questions :
1°) In the documentation I've seen something about preemption in the kernel (default option) but I haven't found anything about real time. In linux, it's possible to install a real time kernel what's useful to make music. Is it possible in FreeBSD (I guess in this case I have to compile a kernel) ?
2°) I guess it shouldn't be a problem to install e17 from CVS...
3°) The documentation of FreeBSD let me feel it is really really complicated to install and run FreeBSD : is it *that* complicated ? (about hardware identification for example : as long as my hardware is conventionnal, do I really need to get a list of it before starting the installation ?). I know I'm coming from the Linux world and well, there are differences in the commands but is it that difficult to learn ?? I mean, I already have a quite good idea about what a shell is etc. etc. And I expect there are differences, that's no surprise for me.

Alright, these are all newbies questions I couldn't figure out the answers in the doc (if there are in the doc, could you give me a hint about where ?)

Thanks for any help & for putting me at rest !


Nicolas
PS if there are any english errors it's because I'm french

PPS I've found there's no alsa in FreeBSD : isn't it a problem to make music ? Does anyone here use FreeBSD to make music ? (recording, mixing, mastering etc.)

Last edited by nico_h; 24th June 2008 at 08:19 PM. Reason: added PPS
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Old 25th June 2008
Nirbo Nirbo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nico_h View Post
Hi everyone !

Well I'm still using linux and not completely satisfied with it (lots of crashes and new bugs appear that weren't there before). I want to give a try to FreeBSD as it seems to match what I'm looking for. (I've read throughout this excellent presentation :
http://www.over-yonder.net/~fullermd/rants/bsd4linux/ )
This resource is rather old, but I've always liked it

Quote:
Originally Posted by nico_h View Post
1°) In the documentation I've seen something about preemption in the kernel (default option) but I haven't found anything about real time. In linux, it's possible to install a real time kernel what's useful to make music. Is it possible in FreeBSD (I guess in this case I have to compile a kernel) ?
I think what you are talking about here is KLM, or Kernel Loadable Modules. This is indeed possible. In the case of sound, a very good article was written by phoenix on BSDForums, and I think one was written in this forum's HOW-TO section by someone else

The gist of KLMs in FreeBSD is kldload/kldunload/kldstat. Read the man pages or google, and it'll still be way easier to understand than if I tried to help with it
Quote:
Originally Posted by nico_h View Post
2°) I guess it shouldn't be a problem to install e17 from CVS...
I wouldn't. CVS installing is a pain when you have the ports tree that is so much better! Point-in-fact: http://www.freshports.org/x11-wm/enlightenment-devel/

There already exists a development port of Enlightenment. IIRC, this negates the need to install from CVS (although you probably still could if you so desired.)
Quote:
Originally Posted by nico_h View Post
3°) The documentation of FreeBSD let me feel it is really really complicated to install and run FreeBSD : is it *that* complicated ? (about hardware identification for example : as long as my hardware is conventionnal, do I really need to get a list of it before starting the installation ?). I know I'm coming from the Linux world and well, there are differences in the commands but is it that difficult to learn ?? I mean, I already have a quite good idea about what a shell is etc. etc. And I expect there are differences, that's no surprise for me.
It is not as complicated as it may seem. It could be, if you really wanted it to be but, in most cases, your hardware is probably supported. And really, the best way to learn is to jump right in and try out your first install.
Quote:
Originally Posted by nico_h View Post
Alright, these are all newbies questions I couldn't figure out the answers in the doc (if there are in the doc, could you give me a hint about where ?)

Thanks for any help & for putting me at rest !


Nicolas
FreeBSD.org has the FreeBSD handbook, and links to a lot of good documentation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nico_h View Post
PS if there are any english errors it's because I'm french

PPS I've found there's no alsa in FreeBSD : isn't it a problem to make music ? Does anyone here use FreeBSD to make music ? (recording, mixing, mastering etc.)
Your English is way better than my French

I don't personally do any music production, but if all else fails, you could run the programs you were using through the linux-compat layer. But I'd suggest checking out http://www.freshports.org which is a pretty awesome resource for seeing what is in the ports tree.
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Old 25th June 2008
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In regards to the real time thing, I doubt it is a FreeBSD design goal to offer a real time operating system.


At the command line level, things are some what different -- just check your GNU'isms at the door and all will be fine (for example, how gnu ls/grep handle colours) and Linux kernel specifics also of course (i.e. FreeBSD == kldload, not insmod or w/e).


Aside from a few aliases, I've never had a problem switching between different BSD and GNU userlands.
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Old 25th June 2008
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A few main points I always have for newbies:
The handbook is your friend.
Learn to love the ports system; it is extremely powerful and versatile. You can do:
Code:
cd /usr/ports/x11/xorg
make install clean
and wait for it to compile (the upside is that you can specify your own make options and have an optimized build, the downside is the waiting), or you can just install a pre-compiled binary via:
Code:
pkg_add -r xorg
Easy!
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Old 25th June 2008
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I'm a Linux user myself, just testing the BSD waters, so to speak.

Thusfar I'm very impressed. The ports system is indeed very easy. And the pkg_* commands are easy and fast.

I do recommend that you look for hardware compatibility though. Not everything that ran under Linux runs under BSD (and vice versa). My old 450mhz machine boots in less then one and a halve minute, and has wireless internet out of the box. But my new machine spits out errors like there is no tomorrow, boots in the same one and a halve minute, and has no internet whatsoever. Not wired, not wireless, and there are no modules for the set of hardware I have. I can get sound working quite easily on this box, which in turn is a pain in Linux. So it's 1:1 I guess or 2:1 for BSD if we consider how my old machine screams.


Differences in commands? Yeah. 'lspci' now is 'scanpci' for example. Both wired and wireless interfaces can be commanded by 'ifconfig'. And I didn't know 'dhclient' but that proved quite useful
But many things I've found where similar enough. I believe there are no more runlevels, that sort of things. X works the same as far as I can tell. ssh does the same.

The install was quite easy, although it left me with, I believe, fvwm as the only GUI. Nothing a pkg_add xfce4 couldn't fix. I must say that I did encounter a lot of small obstacles that I would not have gotten over so easily if it wasn't for my other machine so I could read the handbook. Most of my new found wisdom comes from that source.

PS. Pardon my English, I'm Dutch
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Old 25th June 2008
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There are actually two run levels, single user and multi user mode.

Which is quite a bit more consistent !!! lol.
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Old 25th June 2008
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Quote:
PPS I've found there's no alsa in FreeBSD : isn't it a problem to make music ? Does anyone here use FreeBSD to make music ? (recording, mixing, mastering etc.)
audio/csound works for me ... Maybe there are also other applications ... I don't know.
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Old 25th June 2008
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OSS is a better sound system than ALSA, and does more things right than ALSA ever could. I don't see where the issue with audio would come from.
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Old 26th June 2008
nico_h nico_h is offline
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Hi everyone and thanks for your so many answers written so quickly !

The main point is to get the internet easily, indeed, so I can check the handbook. I hope most of the hardware will work out of the box ! Haven't found anything about any "real time option" of the kernel so far...

Last edited by nico_h; 26th June 2008 at 05:13 AM. Reason: first was incomplete
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Old 26th June 2008
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I'd have to know what "real time kernel" actually means. It sounds like something I'd read in a 4-colour-glossy.

Hm wikipedia has something to say. Check out the various shcduler tunings. Make sure PREEMPTION is on, for instance, and use the new SCHED_ULE, not SCHED_4BSD. There are probably a number of other options that can reduce latency at the cost of overall performance. You cannot, however, turn BSD into a true [wiki]real-time operating system[/wiki]. I strongly suspect that you cannot make linux into one either, despite the kernel option.
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Old 26th June 2008
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i don't know if linux can be turned into a rt os but a rt kernel is available in the repos of ubuntu, for example.

well i know it's "just" a patch. and if they just make the kernel preemptive, then the solution on FreeBSD is to compile a kernel myself with preemption. i've read something about preemption in the handbook, so. i'll try that.

thanks for these hints !
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Old 26th June 2008
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There are embeded aplications wich use patched FreeBSD kernel which acts as real time kernel.

FreeBSD have preemption by default already enabled in 7.0

Additionaly you can buid kernel with FULL_PREEMPTION:

Code:
# SMP Debugging Options:
#
# PREEMPTION allows the threads that are in the kernel to be preempted
#         by higher priority threads.  It helps with interactivity and
#         allows interrupt threads to run sooner rather than waiting.
#         WARNING! Only tested on amd64 and i386.
# FULL_PREEMPTION instructs the kernel to preempt non-realtime kernel
#         threads.  Its sole use is to expose race conditions and other
#         bugs during development.  Enabling this option will reduce
#         performance and increase the frequency of kernel panics by
#         design.  If you aren't sure that you need it then you don't.
#         Relies on the PREEMPTION option.  DON'T TURN THIS ON.
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Old 26th June 2008
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Thank you so much !! I think I've read something like that somewhere (in the handbook ?) but I can't find the page again !

Moreover, the default option might be already sufficient to make music : that would be good news !

So, first installation try begins right now !!
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Old 27th June 2008
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Well I was quite in a hurry but met unsolvable problems, at least without internet, it was really difficult to find any information !

1°) Internet didn't work but the problem came most probably from my box (routeur). Moreover, when running linux, once the box runs right, I also have to put a kind of patch to let it work properly (editing /etc/sysctl.conf and adding a line like ipv4_rmem = 4096 etc.). Without it, I can ping everything and firefox sometimes reaches google but none of the results is reachable. Very weird. I had to do that on this computer for 2 linux distros (ubuntu & faunos which is an arch linux derivative). I hope this won't appear in FreeBSD (since I'm not sure the same patch would work).

2°) The mouse didn't work ! It's an USB mouse and the handbook says "Does this system have a PS/2, serial, or bus mouse?

[ Yes ] No

Select [ Yes ] for a PS/2, serial or bus mouse, or [ No ] for a USB mouse and press Enter." I did choose "No" but even though, it didn't work. I've found lots of informations on the internet about USB mouse and FreeBSD but some are probably outdated and I don't really which ones (although I guess everything related to XF86Config is outdated, isn't it ? I burned FreeBSD 7.0) ; and some others are not really old but tell different or weird things (like in rc.conf : moused_enable="NO" and moused_port="/dev/ums0" : does it make sense at all to shut the moused down and tell him what's the port to use ??). Anyway, once I reinstall FreeBSD, I know I'll have to check /etc/rc.conf On another hand, I wonder if I'm just unlucky with the mouse, because only a few people seem to have USB mouse problems with FreeBSD 7.0. Someone else tells to stop moused (moused_*_enable="NO" + killall moused) and then run xorgconfig.

3°) Without any internet connection and without disc2 and disc3 I couldn't install kde for instance and was left with twm without internet and without mouse which was not too much for me !

So I think I'll try a dual boot linux/FreeBSD. I wanted to avoid it because my disk space is not very large and because I don't like it and it forces me to check all this grub stuff but well. I hope I'll manage to bring it to work.

Another thing I thought about just after pressing "Yes I'm sure FreeBSD can delete everything on my laptop" was that all my backup is done on an external disk which contains ext3 partitions ! I hope they will work as well.

Last problem I noticed : there was a lot of ACPI error messages during the startup. Even though, I didn't notice any consequence while twm was running. So. I hope there won't be neither because the documentation about this problem is not really easy to understand.

And... as a music user I would like to use the VST plugins in Ardour. Maybe not everyone knows what it is, so, ardour is a music software (to record stuff, mix and so on) and a commercial society (Steinberg) gives plugins for an equivalent software running under windows. But there's a way enabling these VST plugins in ardour as well, at least under linux, but it's not really easy to do ! I wonder if it is possible under FreeBSD and how (haven't found any hint about that in the internet) !

Alright, so, the second try begins soon !
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Old 27th June 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nico_h View Post
1DEG) Internet didn't work but the problem came most probably from my box (routeur).
If you post more usefull information like: your ethernet card, dhclient output, router configuration, /etc/resolv.conf output ....
I could help you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nico_h
2DEG) The mouse didn't work !
USB Mouse should work after you rebooted FreeBSD with moused_enable="YES" in /etc/rc.conf
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Old 28th June 2008
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Hi again !


I'm sorry I couldn't post more information since I had to reinstall linux to get to the internet again and couldn't get the FreeBSD error messages neither.

Anyway :

- I managed to install Linux & FreeBSD in dual boot so it's more practical now to get to FreeBSD, try something, come back here etc.
If that could be of interest to anyone reading this post later, I first installed Linux (ubuntu studio 8.04). grub was installed as well during the installation. Then I installed FreeBSD, asking to leave the MBR untouched. Then in Linux, edited /boot/grub/menu.lst and added the lines (with tabs instead of spaces) :
title FreeBSD
root (hd0, 3, a)
kernel /boot/loader
the (hd0, 3, a) means :
3 = the 4th partition (4th slice on FreeBSD ?)
hd0 = on the 1st hard disk,
a = partition a (where / is mounted in FreeBSD)
- DHCP works properly (the messages disappear quickly but once logged in I can ping 192.168.1.1 and google.fr and some other websites + I can browse the internet with Firefox in KDE)
- I also had to add usbd_enabled="YES" to /etc/rc.conf to get the mouse working. Now it works and that's great !!
- I also managed to start kde (that was not so simple, I didn't understand first that to start KDE I had to start x using KDE as windows manager and that startkde didn't "embed" startx ; I also thought first that .xinitrc was only to get KDE started automatically at login ; well now the next step is to find how to get KDE started automatically at login but I don't ask any question about it now, I remember I've read something yesterday about kdm in the handbook so I'll read that again and if I don't manage to bring it to work, I'll come back here)

Now there are some other problems :

1°) I don't know how to deal with the acpi error messages during the boot. I tried to find information on the internet but I haven't found anything relevant for my problem. I don't know if booting FreeBSD with acpi disabled is enough (then I don't get the error messages of course but maybe there are undesirable consequences ?)

2°) There is an error message before login and I must ctrl-c it twice to get to the login. It comes obviously from sendmail and it's something about "My unqualified hostname". On the internet, I've found a zillion pages telling that I should check if the name of my machine (which is tezcatlipoca) is defined in the /etc/hosts file. So I checked and found that it wasn't ! OK, so I added the line but still, it didn't work. Actually, I don't know which IP address should match the name, maybe that's the problem. All websites tell that the line should be like "IP_address name name.domain.com" but I just have no idea what name.domain.com can be and I'm not so sure that tezcatlipoca is right as "name". I also found that the second mention (name.domain.com) can be omitted. Anyway I looked in the /etc/hosts of linux and found a line "127.0.1.1 tezcatlipoca" just under the classical "127.0.0.1 localhost". So I tried it in FreeBSD, it didn't work. I tried with the IP address of the computer (given by DHCP : 192.168.1.2) but it didn't work neither. (This second solution doesn't look good to me because I'm travelling sometimes and different boxes offer different default addresses, at home it's 192.168.1.2 but at other places it's 192.168.1.11 or more so if I use this solution, I must change the /etc/hosts file content everytime I get another IP address, isn't it ??). Another hint : someone wrote that it would be wise to ensure that /etc/hosts is used in name resolution. But I don't know how to do that. Finally I also wonder why sendmail is there because I don't need any mail server. But well, maybe it's needed by some other programm.

3°) Very minor problem : in twm, the keyboard is in qwerty again ! But I guess it's related to any config file and I intend to use KDE or if i can install it right, enlightenment. The keyboard seems OK in KDE.

Alright, that's enough for today, I spent some hours trying things, booting and rebooting...

And I tell quite a lot of things !! Sorry about that ! I'm quite happy to manage bringing my FreeBSD to work step by step...

Next steps I have to explore : [I do not ask any question about these steps for now]
- getting kdm to start automatically
- the sound card
- reading (mounting ?) my external USB hard drive which is formatted in ext3 (nothing happened when I plugged it in)

Have a nice day !
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Old 28th June 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nico_h View Post
1°) I don't know how to deal with the acpi error messages during the boot. I tried to find information on the internet but I haven't found anything relevant for my problem. I don't know if booting FreeBSD with acpi disabled is enough (then I don't get the error messages of course but maybe there are undesirable consequences ?)
Unfortunately FreeBSD doesnt support acpi very well.

Quote:
2°) There is an error message before login and I must ctrl-c it twice to get to the login. It comes obviously from sendmail and it's something about "My unqualified hostname". On the internet, I've found a zillion pages telling that I should check if the name of my machine (which is tezcatlipoca) is defined in the /etc/hosts file. So I checked and found that it wasn't ! OK, so I added the line but still, it didn't work. Actually, I don't know which IP address should match the name, maybe that's the problem. All websites tell that the line should be like "IP_address name name.domain.com" but I just have no idea what name.domain.com can be and I'm not so sure that tezcatlipoca is right as "name". I also found that the second mention (name.domain.com) can be omitted. Anyway I looked in the /etc/hosts of linux and found a line "127.0.1.1 tezcatlipoca" just under the classical "127.0.0.1 localhost". So I tried it in FreeBSD, it didn't work. I tried with the IP address of the computer (given by DHCP : 192.168.1.2) but it didn't work neither. (This second solution doesn't look good to me because I'm travelling sometimes and different boxes offer different default addresses, at home it's 192.168.1.2 but at other places it's 192.168.1.11 or more so if I use this solution, I must change the /etc/hosts file content everytime I get another IP address, isn't it ??). Another hint : someone wrote that it would be wise to ensure that /etc/hosts is used in name resolution. But I don't know how to do that. Finally I also wonder why sendmail is there because I don't need any mail server. But well, maybe it's needed by some other programm.
Sorry for not reading thoroughly since its quite lengthly. Nevertheless, if you encounter the "unqualified hostname" issue, a quick way to fix is to put a similar entry in the /etc/rc.conf file:

hostname="machine.localnet"

Quote:
Next steps I have to explore : [I do not ask any question about these steps for now]
Cheer for the attitude
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Old 28th June 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nico_h View Post
1DEG) I don't know how to deal with the acpi error messages during the boot. I tried to find information on the internet but I haven't found anything relevant for my problem. I don't know if booting FreeBSD with acpi disabled is enough (then I don't get the error messages of course but maybe there are undesirable consequences ?)
If you post "acpi error messages" replies/posts could become much more usefull ...
ACPI is required for SMP, cpu power menagment and other less important stuff for older CPUs, for new one IMHO correctly functioning ACPI is must have.
FreeBSD have very well ACPI support, but it doesnt support every vendor XYQWZ acpi "implementation".
Quote:
Originally Posted by nico_h
3DEG) Very minor problem : in twm, the keyboard is in qwerty again ! But I guess it's related to any config file and I intend to use KDE or if i can install it right, enlightenment. The keyboard seems OK in KDE.
Keyboard can be configured in xorg.conf and in multiple other ways .............
Quote:
Originally Posted by nico_h
Have a nice day !
Thanks, Have a nice day!
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Old 29th June 2008
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Default thanks !

the fix for the sendmail error did work ! thanks a lot !

kde is actually in qwerty instead of azerty what is right now not very practical so I wont write much... [nevertheless i dont ask any questions about the keyboard because i think i know how to fix it].

the acpi error messages are :
ACPI Exception (evregion-0529): AE_NO_HARDWARE_RESPONSE, Returned by Handler for [EmbeddedControl] [20070320]
ACPI Error (psparse-0626): Method parse/execution failed [\\_SB_.PCI0.LPCB.EC0_.BAT0._STA] (Node 0xc3ff4cc0), AE_NO_HARDWARE_RESPONSE

more details here :


Code:
$ dmesg
Copyright (c) 1992-2008 The FreeBSD Project.
Copyright (c) 1979, 1980, 1983, 1986, 1988, 1989, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994
        The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.
FreeBSD is a registered trademark of The FreeBSD Foundation.
FreeBSD 7.0-RELEASE #0: Sun Feb 24 19:59:52 UTC 2008
    root@logan.cse.buffalo.edu:/usr/obj/usr/src/sys/GENERIC
Timecounter "i8254" frequency 1193182 Hz quality 0
CPU: Intel(R) Celeron(R) M processor         1.50GHz (1496.40-MHz 686-class CPU)
  Origin = "GenuineIntel"  Id = 0x6d8  Stepping = 8
  Features=0xafe9fbff<FPU,VME,DE,PSE,TSC,MSR,PAE,MCE,CX8,APIC,SEP,MTRR,PGE,MCA,CMOV,PAT,CLFLUSH,DTS,ACPI,MMX,FXSR,SSE,SSE2,SS,TM,PBE>
  AMD Features=0x100000<NX>
real memory  = 1064173568 (1014 MB)
avail memory = 1027764224 (980 MB)
ACPI APIC Table: <INTEL  ALVISO  >
ioapic0: Changing APIC ID to 1
ioapic0 <Version 2.0> irqs 0-23 on motherboard
kbd1 at kbdmux0
ath_hal: 0.9.20.3 (AR5210, AR5211, AR5212, RF5111, RF5112, RF2413, RF5413)
hptrr: HPT RocketRAID controller driver v1.1 (Feb 24 2008 19:59:27)
acpi0: <PTLTD   RSDT> on motherboard
acpi0: [ITHREAD]
acpi0: Power Button (fixed)
Timecounter "ACPI-fast" frequency 3579545 Hz quality 1000
acpi_timer0: <24-bit timer at 3.579545MHz> port 0x1008-0x100b on acpi0
acpi_ec0: <Embedded Controller: GPE 0x17> port 0x62,0x66 on acpi0
cpu0: <ACPI CPU> on acpi0
p4tcc0: <CPU Frequency Thermal Control> on cpu0
acpi_lid0: <Control Method Lid Switch> on acpi0
acpi_button0: <Sleep Button> on acpi0
pcib0: <ACPI Host-PCI bridge> port 0xcf8-0xcff on acpi0
pci0: <ACPI PCI bus> on pcib0
vgapci0: <VGA-compatible display> port 0x1800-0x1807 mem 0xb0080000-0xb00fffff,0xc0000000-0xcfffffff,0xb0000000-0xb003ffff irq 16 at device 2.0 on pci0
agp0: <Intel 82915GM (915GM GMCH) SVGA controller> on vgapci0
agp0: detected 7932k stolen memory
agp0: aperture size is 256M
vgapci1: <VGA-compatible display> at device 2.1 on pci0
uhci0: <Intel 82801FB/FR/FW/FRW (ICH6) USB controller USB-A> port 0x1820-0x183f irq 23 at device 29.0 on pci0
uhci0: [GIANT-LOCKED]
uhci0: [ITHREAD]
usb0: <Intel 82801FB/FR/FW/FRW (ICH6) USB controller USB-A> on uhci0
usb0: USB revision 1.0
uhub0: <Intel UHCI root hub, class 9/0, rev 1.00/1.00, addr 1> on usb0
uhub0: 2 ports with 2 removable, self powered
uhci1: <Intel 82801FB/FR/FW/FRW (ICH6) USB controller USB-B> port 0x1840-0x185f irq 17 at device 29.1 on pci0
uhci1: [GIANT-LOCKED]
uhci1: [ITHREAD]
usb1: <Intel 82801FB/FR/FW/FRW (ICH6) USB controller USB-B> on uhci1
usb1: USB revision 1.0
uhub1: <Intel UHCI root hub, class 9/0, rev 1.00/1.00, addr 1> on usb1
uhub1: 2 ports with 2 removable, self powered
uhci2: <Intel 82801FB/FR/FW/FRW (ICH6) USB controller USB-C> port 0x1860-0x187f irq 18 at device 29.2 on pci0
uhci2: [GIANT-LOCKED]
uhci2: [ITHREAD]
usb2: <Intel 82801FB/FR/FW/FRW (ICH6) USB controller USB-C> on uhci2
usb2: USB revision 1.0
uhub2: <Intel UHCI root hub, class 9/0, rev 1.00/1.00, addr 1> on usb2
uhub2: 2 ports with 2 removable, self powered
uhci3: <Intel 82801FB/FR/FW/FRW (ICH6) USB controller USB-D> port 0x1880-0x189f irq 19 at device 29.3 on pci0
uhci3: [GIANT-LOCKED]
uhci3: [ITHREAD]
usb3: <Intel 82801FB/FR/FW/FRW (ICH6) USB controller USB-D> on uhci3
usb3: USB revision 1.0
uhub3: <Intel UHCI root hub, class 9/0, rev 1.00/1.00, addr 1> on usb3
uhub3: 2 ports with 2 removable, self powered
ehci0: <Intel 82801FB (ICH6) USB 2.0 controller> mem 0xb0040000-0xb00403ff irq 23 at device 29.7 on pci0
ehci0: [GIANT-LOCKED]
ehci0: [ITHREAD]
usb4: EHCI version 1.0
usb4: companion controllers, 2 ports each: usb0 usb1 usb2 usb3
usb4: <Intel 82801FB (ICH6) USB 2.0 controller> on ehci0
usb4: USB revision 2.0
uhub4: <Intel EHCI root hub, class 9/0, rev 2.00/1.00, addr 1> on usb4
uhub4: 8 ports with 8 removable, self powered
pcib1: <ACPI PCI-PCI bridge> at device 30.0 on pci0
pci6: <ACPI PCI bus> on pcib1
ath0: <Atheros 5212> mem 0xb0100000-0xb010ffff irq 21 at device 5.0 on pci6
ath0: [ITHREAD]
ath0: using obsoleted if_watchdog interface
ath0: Ethernet address: 00:16:ce:01:e3:4e
ath0: mac 7.8 phy 4.5 radio 5.6
rl0: <RealTek 8139 10/100BaseTX> port 0x3000-0x30ff mem 0xb0110000-0xb01100ff irq 20 at device 7.0 on pci6
miibus0: <MII bus> on rl0
rlphy0: <RealTek internal media interface> PHY 0 on miibus0
rlphy0:  10baseT, 10baseT-FDX, 100baseTX, 100baseTX-FDX, auto
rl0: Ethernet address: 00:0a:e4:ef:f3:fb
rl0: [ITHREAD]
cbb0: <ENE CB1410 PCI-CardBus Bridge> at device 9.0 on pci6
cardbus0: <CardBus bus> on cbb0
pccard0: <16-bit PCCard bus> on cbb0
cbb0: [ITHREAD]
pci0: <multimedia, audio> at device 30.2 (no driver attached)
pci0: <simple comms, generic modem> at device 30.3 (no driver attached)
isab0: <PCI-ISA bridge> at device 31.0 on pci0
isa0: <ISA bus> on isab0
atapci0: <Intel ICH6 UDMA100 controller> port 0x1f0-0x1f7,0x3f6,0x170-0x177,0x376,0x1810-0x181f irq 16 at device 31.1 on pci0
ata0: <ATA channel 0> on atapci0
ata0: [ITHREAD]
ata1: <ATA channel 1> on atapci0
ata1: [ITHREAD]
pci0: <serial bus, SMBus> at device 31.3 (no driver attached)
acpi_tz0: <Thermal Zone> on acpi0
acpi_tz1: <Thermal Zone> on acpi0
atkbdc0: <Keyboard controller (i8042)> port 0x60,0x64 irq 1 on acpi0
atkbd0: <AT Keyboard> irq 1 on atkbdc0
kbd0 at atkbd0
atkbd0: [GIANT-LOCKED]
atkbd0: [ITHREAD]
psm0: <PS/2 Mouse> irq 12 on atkbdc0
psm0: [GIANT-LOCKED]
psm0: [ITHREAD]
psm0: model Generic PS/2 mouse, device ID 0
acpi_ec0: EcRead: failed waiting to get data
ACPI Exception (evregion-0529): AE_NO_HARDWARE_RESPONSE, Returned by Handler for [EmbeddedControl] [20070320]
ACPI Error (psparse-0626): Method parse/execution failed [\\_SB_.PCI0.LPCB.EC0_.BAT0._STA] (Node 0xc3ff4cc0), AE_NO_HARDWARE_RESPONSE
ACPI Error (uteval-0309): Method execution failed [\\_SB_.PCI0.LPCB.EC0_.BAT0._STA] (Node 0xc3ff4cc0), AE_NO_HARDWARE_RESPONSE
acpi_ec0: EcRead: failed waiting to get data
ACPI Exception (evregion-0529): AE_NO_HARDWARE_RESPONSE, Returned by Handler for [EmbeddedControl] [20070320]
ACPI Error (psparse-0626): Method parse/execution failed [\\_SB_.PCI0.LPCB.EC0_.BAT0._STA] (Node 0xc3ff4cc0), AE_NO_HARDWARE_RESPONSE
ACPI Error (uteval-0309): Method execution failed [\\_SB_.PCI0.LPCB.EC0_.BAT0._STA] (Node 0xc3ff4cc0), AE_NO_HARDWARE_RESPONSE
acpi_ec0: EcRead: failed waiting to get data
ACPI Exception (evregion-0529): AE_NO_HARDWARE_RESPONSE, Returned by Handler for [EmbeddedControl] [20070320]
ACPI Error (psparse-0626): Method parse/execution failed [\\_SB_.PCI0.LPCB.EC0_.BAT0._STA] (Node 0xc3ff4cc0), AE_NO_HARDWARE_RESPONSE
ACPI Error (uteval-0309): Method execution failed [\\_SB_.PCI0.LPCB.EC0_.BAT0._STA] (Node 0xc3ff4cc0), AE_NO_HARDWARE_RESPONSE
acpi_ec0: EcRead: failed waiting to get data
ACPI Exception (evregion-0529): AE_NO_HARDWARE_RESPONSE, Returned by Handler for [EmbeddedControl] [20070320]
ACPI Error (psparse-0626): Method parse/execution failed [\\_SB_.PCI0.LPCB.EC0_.BAT0._STA] (Node 0xc3ff4cc0), AE_NO_HARDWARE_RESPONSE
ACPI Error (uteval-0309): Method execution failed [\\_SB_.PCI0.LPCB.EC0_.BAT0._STA] (Node 0xc3ff4cc0), AE_NO_HARDWARE_RESPONSE
acpi_ec0: EcRead: failed waiting to get data
ACPI Exception (evregion-0529): AE_NO_HARDWARE_RESPONSE, Returned by Handler for [EmbeddedControl] [20070320]
ACPI Error (psparse-0626): Method parse/execution failed [\\_SB_.PCI0.LPCB.EC0_.BAT0._STA] (Node 0xc3ff4cc0), AE_NO_HARDWARE_RESPONSE
ACPI Error (uteval-0309): Method execution failed [\\_SB_.PCI0.LPCB.EC0_.BAT0._STA] (Node 0xc3ff4cc0), AE_NO_HARDWARE_RESPONSE
acpi_ec0: EcRead: failed waiting to get data
ACPI Exception (evregion-0529): AE_NO_HARDWARE_RESPONSE, Returned by Handler for [EmbeddedControl] [20070320]
ACPI Error (psparse-0626): Method parse/execution failed [\\_SB_.PCI0.LPCB.EC0_.BAT0._STA] (Node 0xc3ff4cc0), AE_NO_HARDWARE_RESPONSE
ACPI Error (uteval-0309): Method execution failed [\\_SB_.PCI0.LPCB.EC0_.BAT0._STA] (Node 0xc3ff4cc0), AE_NO_HARDWARE_RESPONSE
acpi_ec0: EcRead: failed waiting to get data
ACPI Exception (evregion-0529): AE_NO_HARDWARE_RESPONSE, Returned by Handler for [EmbeddedControl] [20070320]
ACPI Error (psparse-0626): Method parse/execution failed [\\_SB_.PCI0.LPCB.EC0_.BAT0._STA] (Node 0xc3ff4cc0), AE_NO_HARDWARE_RESPONSE
ACPI Error (uteval-0309): Method execution failed [\\_SB_.PCI0.LPCB.EC0_.BAT0._STA] (Node 0xc3ff4cc0), AE_NO_HARDWARE_RESPONSE
acpi_ec0: EcRead: failed waiting to get data
ACPI Exception (evregion-0529): AE_NO_HARDWARE_RESPONSE, Returned by Handler for [EmbeddedControl] [20070320]
ACPI Error (psparse-0626): Method parse/execution failed [\\_SB_.PCI0.LPCB.EC0_.BAT0._STA] (Node 0xc3ff4cc0), AE_NO_HARDWARE_RESPONSE
ACPI Error (uteval-0309): Method execution failed [\\_SB_.PCI0.LPCB.EC0_.BAT0._STA] (Node 0xc3ff4cc0), AE_NO_HARDWARE_RESPONSE
acpi_ec0: EcRead: failed waiting to get data
ACPI Exception (evregion-0529): AE_NO_HARDWARE_RESPONSE, Returned by Handler for [EmbeddedControl] [20070320]
ACPI Error (psparse-0626): Method parse/execution failed [\\_SB_.PCI0.LPCB.EC0_.BAT0._STA] (Node 0xc3ff4cc0), AE_NO_HARDWARE_RESPONSE
ACPI Error (uteval-0309): Method execution failed [\\_SB_.PCI0.LPCB.EC0_.BAT0._STA] (Node 0xc3ff4cc0), AE_NO_HARDWARE_RESPONSE
acpi_ec0: EcRead: failed waiting to get data
ACPI Exception (evregion-0529): AE_NO_HARDWARE_RESPONSE, Returned by Handler for [EmbeddedControl] [20070320]
ACPI Error (psparse-0626): Method parse/execution failed [\\_SB_.PCI0.LPCB.EC0_.BAT0._STA] (Node 0xc3ff4cc0), AE_NO_HARDWARE_RESPONSE
ACPI Error (uteval-0309): Method execution failed [\\_SB_.PCI0.LPCB.EC0_.BAT0._STA] (Node 0xc3ff4cc0), AE_NO_HARDWARE_RESPONSE
acpi_ec0: EcRead: failed waiting to get data
ACPI Exception (evregion-0529): AE_NO_HARDWARE_RESPONSE, Returned by Handler for [EmbeddedControl] [20070320]
ACPI Error (psparse-0626): Method parse/execution failed [\\_SB_.PCI0.LPCB.EC0_.BAT0._STA] (Node 0xc3ff4cc0), AE_NO_HARDWARE_RESPONSE
ACPI Error (uteval-0309): Method execution failed [\\_SB_.PCI0.LPCB.EC0_.BAT0._STA] (Node 0xc3ff4cc0), AE_NO_HARDWARE_RESPONSE
acpi_ec0: EcRead: failed waiting to get data
ACPI Exception (evregion-0529): AE_NO_HARDWARE_RESPONSE, Returned by Handler for [EmbeddedControl] [20070320]
ACPI Error (psparse-0626): Method parse/execution failed [\\_SB_.PCI0.LPCB.EC0_.BAT0._STA] (Node 0xc3ff4cc0), AE_NO_HARDWARE_RESPONSE
ACPI Error (uteval-0309): Method execution failed [\\_SB_.PCI0.LPCB.EC0_.BAT0._STA] (Node 0xc3ff4cc0), AE_NO_HARDWARE_RESPONSE
battery0: <ACPI Control Method Battery> on acpi0
acpi_ec0: EcRead: failed waiting to get data
ACPI Exception (evregion-0529): AE_NO_HARDWARE_RESPONSE, Returned by Handler for [EmbeddedControl] [20070320]
ACPI Error (psparse-0626): Method parse/execution failed [\\_SB_.PCI0.LPCB.EC0_.BAT0._STA] (Node 0xc3ff4cc0), AE_NO_HARDWARE_RESPONSE
ACPI Error (uteval-0309): Method execution failed [\\_SB_.PCI0.LPCB.EC0_.BAT0._STA] (Node 0xc3ff4cc0), AE_NO_HARDWARE_RESPONSE
acpi_acad0: <AC Adapter> on acpi0
pmtimer0 on isa0
orm0: <ISA Option ROMs> at iomem 0xcf800-0xd07ff,0xdc000-0xdffff,0xe0000-0xe3fff pnpid ORM0000 on isa0
ppc0: parallel port not found.
sc0: <System console> at flags 0x100 on isa0
sc0: VGA <16 virtual consoles, flags=0x300>
sio0: configured irq 4 not in bitmap of probed irqs 0
sio0: port may not be enabled
sio0: configured irq 4 not in bitmap of probed irqs 0
sio0: port may not be enabled
sio0 at port 0x3f8-0x3ff irq 4 flags 0x10 on isa0
sio0: type 8250 or not responding
sio0: [FILTER]
sio1: configured irq 3 not in bitmap of probed irqs 0
sio1: port may not be enabled
vga0: <Generic ISA VGA> at port 0x3c0-0x3df iomem 0xa0000-0xbffff on isa0
ums0: <Logitech USB-PS/2 Optical Mouse, class 0/0, rev 2.00/20.00, addr 2> on uhub0
ums0: 4 buttons and Z dir.
Timecounter "TSC" frequency 1496399722 Hz quality 800
Timecounters tick every 1.000 msec
hptrr: no controller detected.
ad0: 57231MB <HTS421260H9AT00 HA2OA70G> at ata0-master UDMA100
acd0: DVDR <HL-DT-ST DVD-RW GWA-4082N/CP03> at ata0-slave UDMA33
Trying to mount root from ufs:/dev/ad0s4a
drm0: <Intel i915GM> on vgapci0
info: [drm] AGP at 0xc0000000 256MB
info: [drm] Initialized i915 1.5.0 20060119
drm0: [ITHREAD]
$
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who told you that you need Windows to update that BIOS? I just grabbed the bios update from http://support.acer-euro.com/drivers...k/as_3610.html (first link in a google search), and the BIOS updating script, although needlessly overcomplicated, claims to work in DOS. That said, there is not much in the updates - 1.08 changed the logo and the way the logo was shown, 1.09 rolls back 1.08 and just changed the logo.

As for acpi juggling: I'll leave that for someone else. I have never done much of that myself.
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