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Fun with vNext LTSC (Windows Server 2022)

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#1 seeteeyou


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Posted 05 November 2020 - 02:02 PM

First of all, feel free take a look at the 2nd link of my signature (20XXX vNext LTSC) to get a better idea about this.



Here's a little bit of background of this thread

Believe me Emile has tried every flavor of Linux under the sun, but none of them compares with a stripped Win LTSC
The Windows kernel became a lot better about 2 years ago, driven by Xbox gaming performance needs I suspect


2) The noise signature of OS has a huge influence over the sound that comes out from the system. Windows LTSC is the clear leader in Emile's testing, and the gap between the latest from Microsoft and the different flavors of Linux can only be expected to increase in the future. When Microsoft delivers a better kernal and scheduler, Emile for sure will build an updated OS from these new components. So the OS is absolutely future obsolescence proof for many years to come




Basically I've been keeping an eye on Windows Server 2022 after I saw this on Twitter

The current preview release of #Windows Server vNEXT LTSC only uses nearly 10 GB storage after installation, nice!

Microsoft readies next version of Windows Server LTSC for latter half of 2021


More about the differences between Long-Term Servicing Channel and Semi-Annual Channel here:
Windows Server servicing channels: LTSC and SAC


Since I already joined the Windows Insider Program before, I downloaded a copy of the latest Preview Build 20251 as follows

Announcing Windows Server Preview Build 20251



Then I extracted install.wim from the ISO afterwards

Details for image : C:\ISO\sources\install.wim

Index : 1
Name : Windows Server 2019 Standard
Description : (Recommended) This option omits most of the Windows graphical environment. Manage with a command prompt and PowerShell, or remotely with Windows Admin Center or other tools.
Size : 7,926,801,806 bytes

Index : 2
Name : Windows Server 2019 Standard (Desktop Experience)
Description : This option installs the full Windows graphical environment, consuming extra drive space. It can be useful if you want to use the Windows desktop or have an app that requires it.
Size : 13,942,115,648 bytes

I also checked the registry of Index #1 (Server Core) and found 2023 packages, while Index #2 (Desktop Experience) actually got 2899 packages.




Here's the deal, just wondering if there were anyone who might be interested in working on a stripped-down version of Windows Server 2022 by any chance?


I created some spreadsheets on Google Sheets and a list of packages could be found over there, let's work together to figure out what specific packages could be removed without breaking JPLAY / MinorityClean etc.


Please check my signature (20XXX vNext LTSC) and let me know if there were any questions, thanks!

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#2 seeteeyou


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Posted 05 November 2020 - 02:18 PM

  • How do we extract a list of packages?

It's found in the registry, we could simply check the file \Windows\System32\Config\SOFTWARE and then go to the key [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Component Based Servicing\Packages] afterwards.


There's an "ISO" spreadsheet from the 2nd link of my signature (20XXX vNext LTSC) and all instructions could be found there.


I already extracted 1\Windows\System32\Config\SOFTWARE (Server Core = 2023 packages) and 2\Windows\System32\Config\SOFTWARE (Desktop Experience = 2899 packages) from the ISO before creating two more spreadsheets (Packages_2023 / Packages_2899) accordingly.


We could easily find many packages that aren't very useful for a music server at all, there's no need for keeping anything related to Hyper-V since we wouldn't think about running any VMs for obvious reasons.


Now the trick is plowing right through the entire list (2000+ for Server Core and close to 3000 for Desktop Experience) of packages while making sure that the entire operating system is still running properly without any stability issues whatsoever.




Here's the catch, not all packages are visible to the DISM.exe command since there's a flag called "Visibility" for every single package. Therefore both DISM and PowerShell couldn't help us to remove them at all


Add or Remove Packages Offline Using DISM







Now what? Thankfully someone created this "install_wim_tweak.exe" tool a long time ago and it's still working for Windows 10 etc.





FYI - it's also included here (Windows-20200115\install_wim_tweak\install_wim_tweak.exe)



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#3 seeteeyou


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Posted 05 November 2020 - 02:20 PM

NSudo : Run Programs with Full Privileges in Windows
How to Run a Program as SYSTEM (LocalSystem) Account in Windows
How to Run Programs as TrustedInstaller to Write to Certain Registry Keys or Files
set "cbs=HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Component Based Servicing\Packages"
set "pkg=Package_for_KB4537759~31bf3856ad364e35~amd64~~"
reg add "%cbs%\%pkg%\Owners" /v %pkg% /t REG_DWORD /d 0x20070 /f
dism /online /norestart /remove-package /packagename:%pkg%
NSudoLC -U:T -P:E -UseCurrentConsole -Wait DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /AnalyzeComponentStore

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#4 seeteeyou


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Posted 05 November 2020 - 02:22 PM

  • Could adding a (fanless) GPU be beneficial?


"C:\Program Files (x86)\NVIDIA Corporation\Nsight Visual Studio Edition 5.2\Monitor\Common\Nvda.Launcher.exe" "C:\JPLAY\jplay.exe"
"C:\Program Files (x86)\NVIDIA Corporation\Nsight Visual Studio Edition 5.2\Monitor\Common\Nvda.Launcher.exe" "C:\JPLAY\JPLAYSettings.exe"
"C:\Program Files (x86)\NVIDIA Corporation\Nsight Visual Studio Edition 5.2\Monitor\Common\Nvda.Launcher.exe" "C:\JPLAY\JPLAYStreamer.exe"



The result is that while two powerful graphic cards are burning to "death" at high temperature, which only water-cooling system can remedy it, but the sound improvement is stunning compared to the sound with GPU's single-precision setting at HQplayer's CUDA offloads ticked. Some of these players also report that by using Process Lasso together altering the CPU's setting, the SQ will be improved further.


CUDA Installation Guide for Microsoft Windows




NVIDIA Nsight Visual Studio Edition







#5 seeteeyou


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Posted 05 November 2020 - 02:24 PM

  • Exploring the possibilities of dual Xeon



"Well RAM is a topic on its own, to start with, the 2 cpu’s are split into domains (NUMA / SNC), so you really have 2 x 6 dimms, 6 for each CPU, they are not shared. Music services have their own cpu/dimms and the OS has its own cpu/dims. So its sort of a core and endpoint into a single machine going beyond just core allocations for individual processes. These Ram modules are a custom order type, similar to the Apacer types popular in the Jplay forums, but taking it just a bit further. They do create less noise and draw less current then other offerings. If more dimms reduce performance, it typically means your power supply is negatively impacted by the increased current draw. As occupying more memory channels increases bandwidth and reduces wait states, you do get better individual process performance."  "What you really want to do is reduce your hardware active processing times as much as possible. The net effect is much like a class A amplifier, you have a higher baseline power consumption, but power draw does not vary much, and this is very good for a more “natural/relaxed” sound. I hope this makes sense But you do need a power supply which is very comfortable supplying the load. You really want the least possible variation in load, and higher cpu power / bandwidth systems are better at that with very low load music playback processes."


As for the Extreme being a core and endpoint in a single chassis, this was interesting for me as well.  You basically have 2 CPUs with each CPU having its own dedicated RAM bank (24GB each) and so there is a genuine distribution of tasks between 2 machines just like dual Pink Faun 2.16Xs



The Extreme hit all the key attributes that I was looking for: massive number of Xeon cores to distribute and isolate workload (while only using a vanishingly small part of system capacity during music playback), dual CPU motherboard to better isolate music processes and threads from other OS processes and threads (the ultimate in network-bridged servers, if you will), a staggering amount of PCIe storage to keep all music content local and as logically “close” to the CPU as possible, clean and massively stable power, passive cooling (fanless) even with all that power, an obsessive level of attention to RF and mechanical vibration control, fast low latency memory with affinity to different CPUs (even more isolation), a highly tweakable base OS (Windows) that has been pre-tweaked to maximize audio performance, and a person and company behind it all with an obsession to build the best possible digital audio server for the best possible audio playback, and to continually evolve it going forward.


SuperMicro X8DTL-iF, LGA 1366, with 2 x Xeon E5606, 12GB & I/O Shield, ATX Board



SuperMicro X8DT6-a-IS018 Motherboard 2x Intel Xeon E5603 1.60GHz 6x 2GB PC310600


#6 Bobo



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Posted 17 November 2020 - 03:59 AM

was wondering, does anyone have a copy of the stripped down OS used on the Taiko Audio gear, or maybe a list/script of the tweaks done ?

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