1. Wake on Lan Not Working With Realtek R8168 Card

    December 20, 2009

    After messing around with different kernels on Debian Lenny, I noticed that my system did no longer respond to WOL packets. The system is using an on-board Realtek R8168 chip which supports wake on lan.

    After searching and reading i found the problem. The system is using an r8168 chip, but the driver that is loaded by Linux is the r8169 driver. If the r8168 driver is loaded, as it should be, then WOL is working again.

    See also this information.

    The trick is to blacklist the r8169 module. To do so, edit the /etc/moprobe.d/blacklist file and add a line reading 'blacklist r8169'

    To make this permanent, issue the following commands as root or with sudo:

    depmod -a

    mkinitramfs -o /boot/initrd.img-$(uname -r) $(uname -r)

    After a reboot, wake on lan should be working again.

  2. How to Build an Energy Efficient Computer for Home Use

    September 19, 2009

    In short:

    1. Buy whatever you fucking want.

    2. Turn the fucking thing off when you're not using it.

    Long:

    People are spending a lot of time building an energy efficient home computer, that can act as an HTPC, NAS, or whatever. It must consume as little power as possible, because it it will be on 24/7.

    Why the fuck do you want to leave a system on 24/7 at home?

    Unless you're unemployed you will be at work most of the time. And during that time, this machine is doing absolutely nothing.

    There may only be one system that stays on 24/7 and that is your router, either some embedded router thingy or something based on a low-power PC, but that's about it. Turn every thing else off.

    A machine that does 200 Watt idle that is only turned on when necessary will be more energy efficient than your specially build 40 watt NAS or whatever it is that is running 24/7. Nothing can beat a system that is turned off.

    If you need a system, just use wake-on-lan or WOL to turn the damn thing on. It will be ready in about 2 or 3 minutes and then you can do whatever you want.

    Fine if you leave a system on that is downloading some stuff during the night or day, but after the download has finished, turn the damn thing off.

    If you're honest with yourself and really think about it, there is no need to keep a system on for 24/7. I know you may come up with excuses, but remember that you still can use your router for that.

    By the way, if you're searching for a really energy efficient computer, buy a Mac Mini. Although quite expensive if you ask me, the're doing 30 watt in idle and almost nothing when sleeping. And if a mac is asleep, it can be woken with WOL and is up in seconds. They make an excelent download server.

    [EDIT]

    There is also the option of S3 or S4 under Linux: suspend to ram or disk. However, your mileage may vary. If it works for you your system will be down and up in seconds. However, my experience is that it very much depends on your hardware if this will work. My Highpoint cards do not seem to like it, my array does not awake and the screen of the system stays blank.

    If it works, it is a faster solution than just to turn the system off and on with WOL. My experience is that is seems not that robust.

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