Should I use a rolling distro?

submitted by HumanPerson edited

Currently, I use Debian on my server. I have an Intel Arc GPU that I use for transcoding, however hardware encoding doesn't work. I am able to get a slight performance benefit from decoding, but encoding would be much better. I have an A750 in my desktop (not server), and was able to get hardware acceleration working, but only with openSUSE Tumbleweed with the stable kernel (6.9.4). While I would love to have encoding, (I am limited on upload speed and av1 encoding isn't practical on the CPU for multiple streams), I doubt it would be stable using a rolling distro and non-standard kernel. Has anyone else tried anything like this? Are there any arc + jellyfin users out there who know any way to make this work, or any openSUSE self-hosters could vouch for its stability? I am willing to try almost any distro (except ubuntu) to make this work.

Edit: fixed. There was some firmware I needed to work on debian. I will link and such in a bit when I have time.

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15 Comments

muhyb

You can use Debian Testing.

N0x0n , edited

One downside of debian testing is you don't get security patches when the package is freezed under testing.

Rather use sid, but comes with it's own share of troubles !

Edit: I'm currently on Manjaro, wich is somehow a "semi-rolling" release based on arch. It takes a few weeks before it hits the stable branch. But while I love it as daily drive, don't know if I would recommend it as server.

Servers need to be stable, that's why I use debian stable on my server.

Maybe give fedora server a try? Which is more uptodate than debian and maybe more stable as a server OS than a rolling release !

HumanPerson [OP]

I believe that I've tried that. I currently use the backports kernel anyway.

Nilz , edited

Which kernel do you use on Debian? IIRC support for Intel Arc was added in 6.0 or higher. I am using Proxmox (based on Debian) and I had to upgrade from 5.15 to 6.2 kernel to get hardware decoding to work. Have you checked the Jellyfin manual? It's pretty elaborate on how to get Intel QSV working.

zorro , edited

I ran sid for 6 years without issue. You might like it :)

EDIT: I only switched after my employer mandated an Ubuntu flavor

slacktoid

You can use slackware current

deltapi

Serious question - does Slackware offer any special features that make it more attractive?

I stopped using Slackware back when Corel Linux released, and when CL died I switched to Debian and never looked back.

slacktoid

I find building packages from source to be easier cause thats their preferred method for third party software.

i treat it as a stable base that i can build on top of.

deltapi

Sounds like they've stayed much the same.

There was a time when I enjoyed that kind of effort. Now I have a job in I.T. and a toddler that I want to spend my free time with. When I use my personal/private computer, I just want my software to work and I want to be able to keep it patched with minimal effort.

In a way I'm glad Slackware has kept to the original ideals. I enjoyed using it from the 3 series through 7 at least. I remember people getting their knickers in a twist when he jumped version numbers. In those days I had a custom kernel that I wove patches into. Big O scheduler, usb support, agpart support, some other stuff I can't remember. I remember wanting low latency because MP3s skipped otherwise.

It was fun, but back then hacking on Linux kernel patches and building things from source was my hobby. I remember loading Linux into a powermac 4400 because I could, and I used it as my always-on IRC machine.

Ahhh Slackware.

slacktoid

Oh yeah you dont need to do all that anymore. Most things work easy. I find that better cause i dont want to run anything outdated or unpatched in my local network. The stable base helps with that. My issue is when i need someone else to compile new version of software to create a package. I find that method on debian and ubuntu to be tedious.

i think of slackware as a distro that gives you the tools to build your own distro. Every slackware user seems to have their own unique workflows which is a double edged sword.

also yeah sometimes you wanna spend time with people i feel that. Congrats on the toddler!

monkeyman512

I am running an Arc A40 on an Ubuntu VM for Plex. They only problem I have is VM not booting after it is restarted. Restarting the host fixes the issue.

https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/support/articles/000091844/graphics.html

HumanPerson [OP]

How did you manage to get an A40?

monkeyman512

Someone I know organized a group buy and bought a box of them.

faethon

Use of hardware enablement package kernel might help here? It is called linux-generic-hwe or something like that. It will install a much newer kernel with more support for newer hardware.

themelm , edited

Are you saying that it does work with open suse tumbleweed with the stock kernel?

I havent run opensuse much as a server but am always looking at it and Arch.

Probably going to switch to Arch eventually because the arch wiki is just the best docs I've found.

If you're not relying on say a closed source driver that needs to compile for each kernel update you should have no issues there.

If you set up btrfs snapshots to run on updates then you could always just roll back if there's a bad one. That's how my arch laptop is set up.

Personally wouldn't use Debian testing over arch or tumbleweed though. I think there's something to be said for being on the same packages as the maintaners and not a testing version.