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Thread: Ubuntu 12.10 on Dell XPS 14 (UEFI + Intel Rapid Start Technology + Flashcache)

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
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    HOWTO Ubuntu 12.10 x64 Dell XPS 14 (UEFI + Intel Rapid Start Technology + Flashcache)

    First of all excuse my English...

    I bought a Dell XPS 14 which comes with Windows 7. I used Ubuntu as my primary operating system, so I setup it to take advantage of most of the hardware features that come with this laptop (UEFI boot, Intel Rapid Start Technology, Hard Drive SSD caching, Nvidia Accelerated graphics and 3 finger touchpad). I installed Windows in a 125GiB partition without SSD caching... I only used it for playing on weekends .

    Enable UEFI (https://help.ubuntu.com/community/UEFI)
    - Press F2 to enter setup
    - Go to Advance Tab
    -- SATA Operation: AHCI
    - Go to Boot Tab
    -- Add Boot Options: Auto
    -- Boot List Option: UEFI
    -- Load Legacy Option Rom: Disabled
    -- Secure Boot: Enabled
    -- Secure Boot Mode: Standard
    - Go to Exit Tab
    -- Exit Saving Changes

    Erase Intel Smart Response Technology RAID Metadata (http://en.community.dell.com/support....aspx#20147431 and http://askubuntu.com/questions/21267...rd-drives?rq=1)
    - Boot from Ubuntu 12.10x64 Live USB
    - Select “Try Ubuntu”
    - Open console
    - sudo dmraid -rE /dev/sda
    - sudo dmraid -rE /dev/sdb

    Partitioning SSD Drive (Enable Intel Rapid Start Technology) (http://blog.adios.tw/2012/10/funtoo-...pid-start.html)
    - Open Gparted
    -- Select /dev/sdb and create 5 partitions
    --- 250MiB fat32 boot → EFI partition, it must be at the beginning of the SSD disk and have the boot flag enabled.
    --- 20GiB ext4 → Root partition
    --- 87GiB unformated → this will be the flashcache partition for /home
    --- 4GiB linux-swap
    --- 8GiB unformated → this will be the Intel Rapid Start Partition

    - Install gdisk
    -- sudo gdisk /dev/sdb
    -- type ‘?’ and Enter to list commands
    -- type ‘p’ to print the partition table, identify the number of the 8GiB partition
    -- type ‘t’ to change a partition’s type code
    -- Enter the number of the 8GiB partition
    -- Enter D3BFE2DE-3DAF-11DF-BA40-E3A556D89593 as a Hex code or GUID

    -- type ‘w’ to save changes and exit

    Install Ubuntu
    - Installation type: Something else
    -- Set the 20GiB ext4 partition’s mount point to / and format it.
    - Device for boot loader installation: /dev/sdb ATA SAMSUNG SSD PM83 (128.0GB)

    - Finish the installation and reboot

    Full Upgrade the system and reboot

    Optional: Install Windows in the 512GiB disk.
    - In the Windows Installer select the 512GiB disk.
    - Create a new 125GiB partition. Windows complain about another partition it needs, said ok.
    For some reason Windows doesn't work with UEFI... To boot Windows you should enabled Legacy support in Setup -> Boot -> UEFI, press F12 on boot and select the 512GiB disk

    FlashCache for /home (http://www.gerrit-tamboer.net/using-...-ubuntu-12-04/
    Read https://github.com/facebook/flashcac...er/README-DKMS)
    - Compile Module
    -- sudo su
    -- cd
    -- git clone https://github.com/facebook/flashcache.git
    -- cd flashcache/
    -- make
    -- make install
    -- make -f Makefile.dkms boot_conf
    -- make install
    -- modprobe flashcache
    -- dmesg | tail
    - Setup partitions
    -- Use gparted to create the ext4 partition in the 512GiB disk

    - Setup FlashCache
    -- Use blkid to get the UUID of the ext4 partition created in the 512GiB disk
    -- flashcache_create -p back home_cached /dev/sdb5 /dev/disk/by-uuid/1945c203-efb5-4429-923f-XXXXXXXXXXXX (this is my UUID, you should use yours!)
    - Mount /home using FlashCache device
    -- Ctrl + Alt + F1
    -- Login and grant root privileges
    -- sudo su
    -- cd /home
    -- rm -fr * (Here you are deleting all the stuff in /home, If you have something relevant here you should backup it!!)
    -- mount /dev/mapper/home_cached /home (Now /home is using flashcache)
    -- cd /home
    -- mkdir [USERNAME] (Change USERNAME for your local user)
    -- chown [USERNAME]:[USERNAME] [USERNAME] (Setting owner)
    - Adjust /etc/fstab
    Code:
    # /etc/fstab: static file system information.
    #
    # Use 'blkid' to print the universally unique identifier for a
    # device; this may be used with UUID= as a more robust way to name devices
    # that works even if disks are added and removed. See fstab(5).
    #
    # <file system> <mount point>   <type>  <options>       <dump>  <pass>
    # / was on /dev/sdb4 during installation
    UUID=95f30149-9310-49a3-b56b-1b8340052f96 /               ext4    noatime,nodiratime,discard,errors=remount-ro 0       1
    # /boot/efi was on /dev/sdb1 during installation
    UUID=AFEA-98E5  /boot/efi       vfat    defaults        0       1
    # swap was on /dev/sdb3 during installation
    #UUID=b1b33f9f-a401-46a9-bcac-d9f5fe183551 none            swap    sw              0       0
    /dev/mapper/cryptswap1 none swap sw 0 0
    # Flashcache home_cached
    /dev/mapper/home_cached    /home    ext4    noatime,nodiratime,discard 0 0
    - Reboot

    Bumblebee for Nvidia GeForce GT 630M (Look at http://bumblebee-project.org/install.html#Ubuntu and https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Bumblebee#Installation to learn about optirun command)
    Code:
    sudo add-apt-repository ppa:bumblebee/stable
    sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntu-x-swat/x-updates
    sudo apt-get update
    sudo apt-get install bumblebee bumblebee-nvidia linux-headers-generic
    reboot
    Touchpad
    Enable 2-fingers right click and 3-fingers middle click (http://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.php?f=49&t=108113)
    - Stop the gnome settings daemon from overriding existing settings
    Code:
    gsettings set org.gnome.settings-daemon.plugins.mouse active false
    - Set new setting in X.org: Change /usr/share/X11/xorg.conf.d/50-synaptics.conf with:
    Code:
     
    # Example xorg.conf.d snippet that assigns the touchpad driver
    # to all touchpads. See xorg.conf.d(5) for more information on
    # InputClass.
    # DO NOT EDIT THIS FILE, your distribution will likely overwrite
    # it when updating. Copy (and rename) this file into
    # /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d first.
    # Additional options may be added in the form of
    #   Option "OptionName" "value"
    #
    Section "InputClass"
            Identifier "touchpad catchall"
            Driver "synaptics"
            MatchIsTouchpad "on"
    # This option is recommend on all Linux systems using evdev, but cannot be
    # enabled by default. See the following link for details:
    # http://who-t.blogspot.com/2010/11/how-to-ignore-configuration-errors.html
              MatchDevicePath "/dev/input/event*"
        Option "TapButton1" "1"
        Option "TapButton2" "3"
           Option "TapButton3" "2"
           Option "HorizTwoFingerScroll" "on"
           Option "VertTwoFingerScroll" "on"
    EndSection
    
    
    Section "InputClass"
            Identifier "touchpad ignore duplicates"
            MatchIsTouchpad "on"
            MatchOS "Linux"
            MatchDevicePath "/dev/input/mouse*"
            Option "Ignore" "on"
    EndSection
    
    
    # This option enables the bottom right corner to be a right button on
    # non-synaptics clickpads.
    # This option is only interpreted by clickpads.
    Section "InputClass"
            Identifier "Default clickpad buttons"
            MatchDriver "synaptics"
            Option "SoftButtonAreas" "50% 0 82% 0 0 0 0 0"
    EndSection
    
    
    # This option disables software buttons on Apple touchpads.
    # This option is only interpreted by clickpads.
    Section "InputClass"
            Identifier "Disable clickpad buttons on Apple touchpads"
            MatchProduct "Apple|bcm5974"
            MatchDriver "synaptics"
            Option "SoftButtonAreas" "0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0"
    EndSection
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by vargax; April 12th, 2013 at 02:46 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
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    Re: Ubuntu 12.10 on Dell XPS 14 (UEFI + Intel Rapid Start Technology + Flashcache)

    Hey, great post, but what about the results of this setup? Did you notice an appreciable improvement? Is there some known issue? Did intel rapid start technology work?, Can the system hibernate and suspend without issues?

    I'm about to buy a dell inspiror ultrabook 14z and I would like to test a similar setup.

    Thanks!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
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    23

    Re: Ubuntu 12.10 on Dell XPS 14 (UEFI + Intel Rapid Start Technology + Flashcache)

    Hi... My system works pretty well... the first time I updated my kernel I have to recompile Flash-cache, but after that I have not issues even after kernel updates.
    The rapid start technology works pretty well, the system go to sleep and after 2 hours it turned off automatically (you can adjust this in BIOS). After that it takes around 30 seconds to wake up.
    The SSD drive make the system really fast (I had a Vostro 1220 before I can see the difference). I haven't update the howto but I think you can setup /home directly on the 512GB disk and then build the flash cache partition.
    I am really happy with my system and Ubuntu!!

  4. #4
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    Apr 2013
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    Re: Ubuntu 12.10 on Dell XPS 14 (UEFI + Intel Rapid Start Technology + Flashcache)

    Hi Vargax, Thanks alot for this guide. I too own a Dell XPS 14 but mine is 32GBSSD/500GBHDD model.
    I've got everything working except flashcache
    I'm a ubuntu beginner using xubuntu 12.10 and i'm stuck at the flashcache setup

    I've compiled flashcache but when I tried to flashcache_create it just shows me a usage display as if I typed wrongly.
    I'm using sdb5 as my flashcache partition. I attach my setup in gparted and the problem in terminal with flashcache_create

    sdb.jpgsda.jpgflashcache.jpg

    Please help thanks Vargax!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
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    23

    Re: Ubuntu 12.10 on Dell XPS 14 (UEFI + Intel Rapid Start Technology + Flashcache)

    Try:
    Code:
    flashcache_create -p back home_cached /dev/sdb5 /dev/disk/by-uuid/f32XXXXXXXXXXXX
    Apparently '-p' now is a required parameter... I have adjusted that in the HowTo...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
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    Re: Ubuntu 12.10 on Dell XPS 14 (UEFI + Intel Rapid Start Technology + Flashcache)

    Hi Vargax,
    Thanks for the response, the command works.
    However for me my /home was mounted (sda1) and home_cached failed with a resource busy error.

    flashcache_create -p back home_cached /dev/sdb5 /dev/disk/by-uuid/f32cef2a-e421-479f-92ce-7bf19cf19c25
    cachedev home_cached, ssd_devname /dev/sdb5, disk_devname /dev/disk/by-uuid/f32cef2a-e421-479f-92ce-7bf19cf19c25 cache mode WRITE_BACK
    block_size 8, md_block_size 8, cache_size 0
    Flashcache metadata will use 30MB of your 7864MB main memory
    device-mapper: reload ioctl on home_cached failed: Device or resource busy
    Command failed
    echo 0 976771072 flashcache /dev/disk/by-uuid/f32cef2a-e421-479f-92ce-7bf19cf19c25 /dev/sdb5 home_cached 1 2 8 0 139766825746944 8 | dmsetup create home_cached failed

    Could you advise how i should proceed?
    Thanks

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
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    23

    Re: Ubuntu 12.10 on Dell XPS 14 (UEFI + Intel Rapid Start Technology + Flashcache)

    You have to umount /home before proceeded... The easy way is set a new password for root, then login as root and umount /home. Try this:
    Code:
    # Ctrl + Alt + F1
    # Login with your username
    # Become root
    sudo su
    # set a password for root
    passwd
    exit
    exit
    # Login as root. Use root as username and the password you just set
    # Stop Lightdm
    service lightdm stop
    # Now you can umount /home
    umount /home
    # and build the flashcache partition
    flashcache_create -p back home_cached /dev/sdb5 /dev/disk/by-uuid/f32cef2a-e421-479f-92ce-7bf19cf19c25

  8. #8
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    Apr 2013
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    Re: Ubuntu 12.10 on Dell XPS 14 (UEFI + Intel Rapid Start Technology + Flashcache)

    Hi vargax, thanks man it all worked out.

    Just note for others (I'm using Xubuntu12.10)
    1) if umount /home still don't work. Login to root at the startup before going into terminal (Ctrl-Alt-F1)
    2) Edit fstab (Must be root to save over) for me e.g. sudo leafpad /etc/fstab
    3) Add only these 2 lines to fstab:
    # Flashcache home_cached
    /dev/mapper/home_cached /home ext4 noatime,nodiratime,discard 0 0


    Vargax anyway to test flashcache is working?
    Also noticed in your fstab you disabled normal swap and map it to cryptswap, how does encrypting swap affect the performance if any?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
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    23

    Re: Ubuntu 12.10 on Dell XPS 14 (UEFI + Intel Rapid Start Technology + Flashcache)

    Hi rockroll,

    I think Cryptswap is default in the Ubuntu installation... I didn't change it... Encrypting is computationally expensive so I guess it should be some kind of performance penalty...

    To check if flashcache is working try this:
    Code:
    $ sudo dmsetup status
    cryptswap1: 0 8385930 crypt 
    home_cached: 0 731009072 flashcache stats: 
    	reads(947283), writes(1888126)
    	read hits(913273), read hit percent(96)
    	write hits(1701567) write hit percent(90)
    	dirty write hits(433491) dirty write hit percent(22)
    	replacement(29593), write replacement(148878)
    	write invalidates(0), read invalidates(1)
    	pending enqueues(2641), pending inval(2641)
    	metadata dirties(1451994), metadata cleans(1450185)
    	metadata batch(2655134) metadata ssd writes(247045)
    	cleanings(1450185) fallow cleanings(49775)
    	no room(4) front merge(1261551) back merge(113954)
    	disk reads(34019), disk writes(1452829) ssd reads(2363458) ssd writes(2166538)
    	uncached reads(2), uncached writes(2644), uncached IO requeue(0)
    	disk read errors(0), disk write errors(0) ssd read errors(0) ssd write errors(0)
    	uncached sequential reads(0), uncached sequential writes(0)
    	pid_adds(0), pid_dels(0), pid_drops(0) pid_expiry(0)

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
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    4

    Re: Ubuntu 12.10 on Dell XPS 14 (UEFI + Intel Rapid Start Technology + Flashcache)

    Hi vargax, I've an inspiron 14z ultrabook with 32 GB SSD + 500 GB HDD, this model came with windows 8, I've already installed ubuntu and I've partitioned the SSD disk following this guide. I wonder what's the benefit of intel rapid start technology?, how does it work? setting this GUID for the partition is the only requirement? I'd like to know what do you know about that, and what do you think about if is better doing that or using that partition to mount the root / (exept for /home, and /var, and perhaps /opt)??

    Thanks in advance.

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