Dummy HDMI adapters

A nice adapter that has both input and output is this which i got from AliExpress (Photos at the bottom)

This 4K dummy adapter seems to support all resolutions up to 60Hz refresh rate, with the exception of 4K which works at a maximum of 30Hz (Probably due to signal attenuation)

There are many uses for this dummy adapter, one of them is “Sunshine and moonlight remote desktop”, another is using your GPU for processing while you are away (Nvidia won’t allow it if you don’t have a monitor connected and switched on), and most importantly TO ME, My video switch since I use multiple machines on the same monitor.

What this adapter is in reality is an eeprom chip that has the EDID data of a monitor with a very high refresh rate (120 hz), namely a fictitious monitor named AOC 28E850, If you want to make sure that this works with your monitor, it needs to be flashed with your monitor’s EDID.

If your monitor supports 4K at 60hz, you need to keep everything in that copy, and remove the 4K.60Hz from the list

If you want the modified file that originated from my LG 27UL550 and was modified to remove the 60Hz from the list of supported configurations, meaning I removed the 60 FPS from the 4K DTD, then here it is, just download it and flash it (Flashing instructions below) I also changed the monitor’s name just in case some systems might cache it’s details…

The steps

1- Find out the port on your graphics card that your monitor is connected to

2- Copy the EDID data from your monitor

3- Edit the data to remove the 4K/60 fps
4- Burn the data onto the adapter

To do that, there are many tools, one thing to note is that edid-rw did not work using my laptop which has a 9400mx, but worked just fine using an old PC i have with a “GT218 [GeForce 210]”, the error on the laptop reads

sudo ./edid-rw 5
Traceback (most recent call last):
File “./edid-rw”, line 131, in
File “./edid-rw”, line 119, in main
edid = [dev.read(i) for i in range(EDID_HDR)]
File “./edid-rw”, line 46, in read
return self.smb.read_byte_data(EDID_ADDR, n)
IOError: [Errno 110] Connection timed out

edid-rw tool: https://github.com/bulletmark/edid-rw
wxedid tool: install from debian repo

I personally used the tools above to read/write/edit, but if you have access to a windows machine, AW-EDID should be the best tool for editing….
Analog Way EDID editor: https://www.analogway.com/apac/products/software-tools/aw-edid-editor/

So, let’s get down to that voodoo business !

1- There seems to be a very cool python script (tool) called edid-rw, let us install it’s prerequisites

sudo apt-get install python3-smbus edid-decode git

Now, you have python, let us download the tool, you can do that with the download button on github, I would rather just

git clone https://github.com/bulletmark/edid-rw
cd edid-rw

To begin with, you may need to run the following command to see what monitors are connected where, In my case, the monitor I want to copy (LG 4K 60FPS) is #5

xrandr --query

If this does not help, try the numbers and read the output to see which entry corresponds to the screen you want
sudo ./edid-rw 5 | edid-decode

Now that we have it, we can edit it with one of the software mentioned above, and dump it back on the dongle (The port number does not change, so put your number there and dump the data onto it)

udo ./edid-rw -w 5 < ~/edited_lgedid.bin

Text from the original page of the item

Support hot plug, plug and play
Support virtual display, when the display is powered off or the display cable is hot-plugged, It can achieve no video signal loss, no screen change, no windows running, no order disorder;
Support up to 10.8Gbps video bandwidth; It has power-off memory function, power-off/restart display sequence is not chaotic, and the set mode is not lost.
Supports for AMD multi-screen image card splicing extended split-screen mode, eyefinity wide-area multi-screen splicing mode (pulling the monitor cable when it is powered on has no effect on the display of the screen TV wall, and pulling the line will only cause the screen of the dropped line to be black, and other screens will not move)
Support Nvidia image card multi-screen output, the screen sequence is not chaotic after restart

Connect typ:HDMI
Application scope: Display with HDMI interface
Product name :HDMI lock screen treasure
Max Resolution : 2560 x 1440@60HZ / 3840 x 2160@60HZ
Material:Aluminum alloy

Package Contents:
6 x HDMI2.0 Virtual Adapter

The aluminum sleeve appears to be fully cosmetic, At least this is my impression as the plastic inside seems very hard, so it is unlikely that the aluminum is providing any support, and obviously is not functioning as any form of heat sink

Sunshine and moonlight

VNC and RDP are great and all, and for so many purposes, they are the goto solution for remoting into a machine.

Now, another solution which is great (And much better if you have the bandwidth) is to broadcast your screen video and do all the work on the server rather than the client

The solution used to be nvidia’s game stream, which was abandoned by nvidia, the new solution based on nvidia would be the sunshine (Server) and moonlight client

The sunshine+moonlight duo work on almost every platform I need, Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Even LG TVs running web OS… in short, it is a more universal solution. You can even create a virtual non existent monitor under linux and stream that to a different device !

So, let us start with the server (Sunshine)

Installing sunshine on debian is very easy as a .deb installation file is provided, sunshine is not yet in the debian repositories, but if i understand the license correctly, it can be some time in the future

Now, go to the sunshine website, and download the deb file., in my case, I visit this webpage, and download the sunshine-debian-bookworm-amd64.deb file

Now, from the command prompt, su (to run as root), then cd to the directory where your deb file resides, then “sudo apt install ./sunshine-debian-bookworm-amd64.deb”, We should now have the server running and waiting to be opened in the web browser, Now, on the command line , type “sunshine”

Point a web browser to https://localhost:47990/, ignore the problem with self signed certificates, and set your username and password

Now, your debian computer is running a sunshine server, go to any other machine where you want to install the client (moonlight) from here , and connect to your server by its IP address.

You are done !

GPU PCIe passthrough on KVM

Before you start

This may look like a long post at first, but in reality, it is but a few commands, the rest is output and small simple explanations, so don’t be discouraged by the length, it is really neither complicated nor lengthy.

Yet, you do need to check the hardware requirements before you get your hands dirty, you will find them in the “Minimum hardware requirements” section of this post

Continue reading “GPU PCIe passthrough on KVM”

Alliance ProMotion 6410

One little problem about modern VGA cards is HEAT, they consume over 30W on IDLE, those 30 watts are going into the case, so i looked into my old computers, and found a computer that dates back to 1995-1996, I pulled out the VGA card from it, and installed it on a modern I3 computer for testing pending the installation on an I7 with 64GB of ram and what have you.

On ebay, you can find such PCI cards for around $10, Cirrus Logic, SIS, ATI, OR S3, they should all work, if the promotion card works, those should work too.

Now i ran the Debian Jessie installer, the installation went fine, when rebooting, the system boots with the PCI card, but then switches to the embedded graphics system (Comes with the I3 CPU), the BIOS does not allow me to disable that, so, rather than looking for a solution, I will test the adapter on an I7 (Does not come with built in VGA).

I have a good feeling that it will work right away, here is some information about my 20 year old graphics card (Will post some photos too when i plug it out)

    Made by: Alliance
    Codename: ProMotion 6410
    Bus: PCI
    Memory Size: 1MB
    Max Memory Size: 4MB
    Memory Type: FPM
    Year: 1995
    Card Type: VGA
    Made in: USA
    Owned by: Palcal
    Outputs: 15 pin D-sub
    Power consumption (W): 1.5
    Video Acceleration: MPEG-1 (VCD)
    Core: 64bit
    Memory Bandwidth (MB/s): 213
    Sold by: miro
    Press info: Freelibrary

You can find