I’m getting closer to the guts of my system as I pursue that annoying mouse lag problem. Thus far, installing cpufreqd and trying to set the governor were only vaguely successful.
A pure, server installation of Ubuntu doesn’t set my speedstep module, which is what I’ve learned thus far. The lag is weak at first, and after a couple of hours becomes steadily worse. That’s when the eth0 and printk messages start showing up in the kernel log.
I can insert the speedstep-smi module and lag becomes apocalyptic — it hangs the keyboard and skips every second and a half. cpufreq error messages start to rack up in the kernel log in quick successsion.
Adding cpufreq_userspace or cpufreq_ondemand don’t seem to improve things. I can (sometimes) overwrite the scaling_governor file, deep inside /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpu0/cpufreq, or set one of the other frequency files, but it doesn’t seem to help.
So all that’s counterproductive. If I go on to install cpufreqd and cpufrequtils, and then set the performance governor, I get manageable lag, like when I start. So the net effect of all that is nil.
My big question at this point is, do I need to restart to catch the effects of a change to those deep files, or should they take hold immediately? Seems like if it’s been modprobe’d, it’s working. But I have little expereince with those issues.
Installing powernowd doesn’t seem to do anything at all, and cpudyn is likewise fruitless. I think both of those are intended for newer processors, though.
I’ve read in a couple of places that this particular CPU (a Pentium III mobile) should use the speedstep-ich module, not the smi one. However, I can’t insert it; I get failure messages when I try.
It’s all very interesting for a couple of reasons. First, rebooting sometimes carries the lag over, but hard shutdowns will sometimes erase the issue. That’s not exactly definitive (hence the double-sometimes), but it’s a noticeable phenomenon.
Second, whatever was ailing my full Xubuntu installation doesn’t seem to be an issue now. At the same time, the governor trick doesn’t seem to have solved anything for me … or at least not as dramatically as when in Xubuntu.
I think I shall troubleshoot this a while longer. I usually have a fairly low tolerance for hardware issues; if it doesn’t work, I’m keen on disassembly and resale. But for now, this one intrigues me. And I like this laptop.
And I have to admit I’m learning a lot. And a special tip of the hat goes to the Arch linux wiki, which was instructive in this episode.