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I open this 'bug report' so we can keep track of the required changes for merging the cpufreq-plugin and the governor-plugin
Having only one cpufreq/governor plugin that supports multiple OSes
*** Bug 3909 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***
*** Bug 7372 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***
*** Bug 8667 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***
I wonder if this enhancement is still a good idea. Nowadays, handling power management stuff is supposed to be done by the kernel or some daemon or configuration manager like systemd, xfce4-settingsd or xfce4-power-manager. I guess not many users will want to or have a need to manually change this.
If anyone implements a good solution, I'll merge it. Otherwise I will only maintain this plugin and continue improving the functionality it has now and which it does best, that is displaying cpufreq info. Granted, what is a bit misleading at the moment is that the cpu info dialog suggests the user can change any settings. I'll try to fix this in some later version.
I'll leave this bug open for a while so people can comment and express their opinions, then close it in a few months from now.
It is possible to implement by using cpufreq-set util as dependency and asking for root password by showing system dialog
*** Bug 14561 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***
I really want to see the xfce4-cpufreq-plugin be capable of changing the governor on individual and all CPU cores/threads. Currently it just is a pulldown of the current, and available ones, but does not set it.
To me this is important as I game on XFCE4 and changing the governor helps tangibly in how shaders are compiled mid-game (Overwatch). But being able to switch the governor to something "quieter" means I can save power or keep it cooler other times.
I second Harald's comment, it makes more sense to use a daemon to automatically manage this, something like Feral's GameMode I guess. Another option is to use the ondemand governor.
If a user really wants to manually set the cpu governor, it's possible to craft a handy script such as https://www.thelinuxrain.com/articles/a-script-to-toggle-cpu-performance-governor and then bind it to a keyboard shortcut or a panel launcher.
I'm not against this feature, just don't have the time (and interest) to implement, but I'm willing to review and merge a patch right away.
The ondemand governor doesn't work as well as performance for certain forms of gaming. I want the ability to manually control this, not just have something automatically manage this for me. Why not both? Seriously, this isn't exactly something hard to do to set governor. So far it's just one command line to change it, but I have to change it every boot. I want a way to do it nicely with the GUI, and have it stay. Instead of CLI all the time. The easier we can make this for new users, the better.
"Crafting a script", is not newbie friendly, no matter how much you think otherwise. People are conclusively intimidated by the CLI, and if we think that's convenient, then we might as well just stop developing XFCE altogether. Because if that's the mindset, what's the point of XFCE?
Simply read again my comment #4. There is nothing more to say.
(In reply to bloodyiron from comment #9)
> The ondemand governor doesn't work as well as performance for certain forms
> of gaming.
> I want the ability to manually control this, not just have
> something automatically manage this for me. Why not both?
A very personal wish, hard to say it's the desire or necessity of most users.
> Seriously, this isn't exactly something hard to do to set governor.
No, it's not indeed, just cpufreq-plugin lacking a dedicated maintainer to add new features.
> So far it's just one command line to change it, but I have to change it every boot.
> I want a way to do it nicely with the GUI, and have it stay. Instead of CLI all the time.
> The easier we can make this for new users, the better.
I was nice enough to give you options instead of a plain/harsh "no, I'm not going to do that", one of them (panel launcher) is possible to use from GUI.
> "Crafting a script", is not newbie friendly, no matter how much you think
> otherwise. People are conclusively intimidated by the CLI,
I fail to understand how someone could be so intimidated by the CLI but at same time cares about choosing the CPU governor. Gamers should not need to worry about governors, they just want launch games and play with as more FPS as possible. I still believe it's the responsibility of distributions to provide niceties such as daemons or something like a "Turbo button" to handle this, not the DE.
> and if we think that's convenient, then we might as well just stop developing XFCE
> altogether. Because if that's the mindset, what's the point of XFCE?
All your arguments until here were valid and I sympathize with your option, but this childish one is pitiful. You seem to not understand open source projects. This is one, like many others, is 100% developed by volunteers in their precious and limited spare time, this is not a product you buy for hundreds or even thousands of dollars, that you call support and whine about your "I want"s that are not fulfilled.
I will not comment any further until someone provide a patch.
1 - https://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=article&item=linux415-ryzen-cpufreq
"Gamers should not need to worry about governors"
There are games that actually have frame drops if they don't switch to a Performance governor.
Since when did changes made require the majority to care about such things?
And I've been contributing to Open Source projects in my own way for years now. Primarily implementing and advocating for them. I bridge the gap between the user that has no voice, and the developers such as those reading this thread. To point out what others care about, but lack the knowledge or means to express that.
Yes there's some drama in what I just said, but that's because I'm trying to point out that the value in this change is greater than most would think. I'm trying to get ahead of the situation for those that (do/want to) game on Linux.
I know this is your choice to add, or someone else to add. I'm trying to point out how not only trivial it is to implement something that simply changes the governor, but that it actually has tangible gains for users.
Do with this as you will. Make the change, or don't, that's up to you, as always. I have no way of forcing you to do it. I just hope I can convince you, or someone else, to make the change, because it is needed.
I am not intimidated by CLI, but I still find it cumbersome to switch governors via CLI rather than from a panel plugin, which is visually associated with cpu management.
And even for ordinary 'power users', it's not uncommon to know what is a 'CPU performance regime' although not knowing enough CLI to change it. GUI is self-explanatory, CLI isn't.
Arguably, this plugin by itself may not be the best place to 'change' the cpu governor, as there may be more appropriate places, such as the xfce4-power-manager, but even so, xfce4-cpufreq-plugin governor interface may be implemented as an interface to those.
After all, in another well-known operating system, a power user may change the cpu scaling regime since version 95 using a GUI.
Saying that, I'm not implying that anyone should be obliged to implement my opinion. I'm just commenting. If I have time, I'll try to craft a patch for this.
(And as a future note for myself: at present (2019), different power management drivers use different syscalls and different userspace utilities to change frequencies and governors. In particular, intel-pstate driver uses the utility called pstate-cpufreq, and doesn't support (or I didn't manage to find) acpi governors. )
I vote to keep it a simple reporting tool and remove the governor selection option in lieu of a simple live summary.
Keep in mind there are better ways to control clock and that functionality should be DE agnostic.
Also, on many core systems significantly more powerful than a typical gaming rig the interface becomes very clumsy, guilty of TMI, and lacking the associated properties of pinning and affinity that's not mentioned. Those last two would be needed to make it useful when you have more than two sockets, each with more cores than most games require. So start a bounty for xfce-cpumanager-plugin.
It is pretty trivial to make a button to trigger an echo into the values you choose to change.
I think this is an interesting discussion.
I agree that some games especially wine/dxvk enjoy better performance when the governor is set to performance.
The way I manage my system, I have created a desktop launcher called "performance mode" that will launch a script to boost power level, memory clock of my gpu, and performance mode of my cpu.
Then, another launcher called "powersaving mode" that launches a script to revert all settings to automatic.
I believe this is the best way to handle it for a power user. But, I also understand that not everyone that uses linux is willing or capable to do that. so, how about a compromise?
I found out that the MATE desktop has an applet that we can add to the panel. The applet is called "CPU Frequency Scaling Monitor". It is maintained by the MATE developers. It allows to quickly glance at the CPU frequency and usage, and by clicking on it, it is very easy to switch the governor. I tried this on both AMD CPU and Intel CPU, and the available options appear automatically in the menu.
Would it be a good option to adopt this applet in XFCE?
(In reply to Mauro Gaspari from comment #15)
> Would it be a good option to adopt this applet in XFCE?
"MATE CPUFreq Applet is a CPU Frequency Scaling Monitor for MATE Panel."
Unless someone ports it to Xfce Panel, "adopting" (whatever it means) it is not an option.
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