Sheesh, it’s been a while since I blogged anything again. I’m going to try and do at least 1-2 posts a week moving forward.
So, whats been happening in the rawhide world? Lets look back on this last month:
2018-11-23 (today): dbus-broker switched to being the default dbus (A f29 change that didn’t make it and is planned for f30 now). Unfortunately, this broke anaconda as it launches it’s own bus and didn’t have the right package installed to do that anymore. This meant that everything that well… installed did not work. Adamw quickly submitted a PR and new fixed build and another rawhide is running now.
2018-11-22: dnf maintainers were updating the dnf stack of things and happened to be in the middle of that when rawhide compose started, this meant that everything had broken buildroots and failed to compose. As a reminder, rawhide composes start at 05:15 UTC every day. Please avoid breaking things right before that.
2018-11-21: finished (incomplete)
2018-11-20: finished (incomplete)
2018-11-19: finished (incomplete)
2018-11-18: finished (incomplete)
2018-11-17: finished (incomplete)
2018-11-16 and 2018-11-15: The 14th compose got stuck, so the 15th never happened.
2018-11-14: A change in an ostree file meant that pungi didn’t properly emit a fedmsg so the ostree could be signed. So, it got stuck there waiting. A fix was attempted, but (my mistake) not applied correctly (I didn’t update pungi on the composer after I built a patched one).
2018-11-13: failed due to libreoffice deps being broken and the workstation live thus not building.
2018-11-12: finished (incomplete)
2018-11-11: finished (incomplete)
2018-11:10: finished (incomplete)
2018-11-09: finished (incomplete)
2018-11-08: failed due to pungi-gather segfaults. This has proven very difficult to track down. In case it was memory related (and because we had more memory handy) I increased the rawhide composers memory by a ton. It seems to avoid the issue now at least since we haven’t seen this since this day.
2018-11-07: failed due to pungi-gather segfaults.
2018-11-06: failed due to pungi-gather segfaults.
2018-11-05: finished (incomplete)
2018-11-04: failed due to broken kde deps
2018-11-03: failed due to two issues: 1) aarch64 had a issue with networking that caused the aarch64 cloud image to fail and 2) there was a weird issue with python3 and anaconda.
2018-11-02: failed (see 11-03)
2018-11:01: failed (see 11-03)
Most of the more anoying failures would have been blocked if we had gating in place (no broken deps would have crept in and if we tried a base image with anaconda/python/etc we would have found the breakage there eariler). I sure hope we can get that in place someday. 🙂
Greetings everyone! Lets take a look at notable things from the rawhide trail in the last week:
We had 2 DOOMED composes and 5 FINISHED_INCOMPLETE
The DOOMED ones failed because of broken deps in gnome-contacts (making the Workstation live media fail to compose). This was actually fixed very quickly (just needed a rebuild), but for some reason got stuck in the signing queue, so it still wasn’t fixed when we thought it was.
Some folks have been having problems with the dbus->dbus-broker change. Do make sure that dbus-broker is enabled to start on boot if you run into strange boot issues.
There’s a good deal of high level talk about pushing the f31 release out next year to allow for more tooling and possibly longer lifecycles on the devel list. Do read and contribute if you have thoughts on the matter. I’d definitely like to see us improve things, but so far most of the discussion has been very high level and handywavy. Can’t wait to get into details.
Otherwise its been a pretty typical week, between 2018-11-23 and 2018-11-30:
zchunk repodata should be in place as of todays compose. Feedback on how much repodata you need to download now or any other issues with it would be good to get fixed up before we branch f30 off of rawhide. Ideally people will be download a LOT less repodata now.
AdamW setup the openqa reports that go to the devel and test list to also note what tests would be gating and if we were gating what would we have hit. This is grep prep work for the gating landing, so we can fix those tests/issues and start with a GO.
Not directly rawhide, but related: bugzilla was updated finally to bugzilla5. Overall things went fine, but there’s a few issues: bodhi is having trouble updating bugs sometimes, and things that use libreport (anaconda and abrt) are no longer just sending 1 email on new bugs, but an email for every attachment. These issues are being worked on.
We have been working away at getting epel8 ready (short status: we have builds and are building fedpkg and bodhi and all the other tools maintainers need to deal with packages and hope to have some composes next week), and I would like to introduce a new thing we are trying with epel8: The epel8-playground.
epel8-playground is another branch for all epel8 packages. By default when a package is setup for epel8 both branches are made, and when maintainers do builds in the epel8 branch, fedpkg will build for _both_ epel8 and epel8-playground. epel8 will use the bodhi updates system with an updates-testing and stable repo. epel8-playground will compose every night and use only one repo.
The idea here is that maintainers can (if they choose) modify the package.cfg file in the epel8 branch to only build for epel8, and then use the epel8-playground branch (and it’s sperate repos/builds):
To test out some new version of the package that might not be stable yet.
To test out some new packaging of the package
To test a major version change of the package that they want to land at the next epel8 minor release.
To build a package that will never be stable enough for epel8, but still could be useful to some.
At minor RHEL releases (ie, 8.1, 8.2) people can pull in big changes from playground to the main epel8 packages. Since people will be upgrading and paying more attention than usual anyhow at those points, it’s a great chance to do that change, but also you want to make sure it’s panned out, so you can test before hand in playground.
We hope that this feature will be useful to some folks. Do let us know on the epel-devel list or in our next EPEL sig meeting!
First a bit of background before we get into reviewing. I’ve used a laptop as my primary computer for 20+ years, and since I do things on-line most of my waking life, this means I spend a lot of time in front of my laptop typing or reading away. So, it’s pretty important to me that my laptop works well, is nice to use and is under support in case anything happens.
For the last 3.5 years or so, my laptop has been a Lenovo Yoga 920. It’s been a great laptop and I have enjoyed using it. Unfortunately, it’s support is going to be up in a few months and I really don’t like my primary laptop to be out of support. In the last 3.5 years, Lenovo has: replaced the LCD panel when it fell off a table and broke, Replaced the motherboard when a sound connector became loose, replaced the keyboard when it became mushy, and most recently replaced the battery because it started to swell up. So, warentee is pretty important to me.
I was starting to worry that none of the current crop of laptops would really be any better than my 3.5+ year old yoga 920, but dell managed to announce their xps 13 9300 and it had some better stats, so I decided I would jump to it and see how things went. One kind of anoying thing was that dell announced the new laptop in January, but the model with the good specs I wanted wasn’t available to order until April, and the “developer” edition still isn’t available with the high end specs (I got the normal windows one).
On to specs. My old yoga 920:
512GB nvme ‘disk’
13.9″ 3840×2160 display
2 usb-c ports, 1 usb-2 port
intel i7 8th gen cpu (8 “threads”)
intel UHD graphics
The new dell xps 13 9300:
2TB nvme ‘disk’
13.3″ 3840×2400 display
2 usb-c ports
intel i7 10th gen cpu (8 “threads”)
intel Iris plus graphics
So, you can see, the specs are all a little bit better (except for number of usb ports). Ordering on dells site was fine, and it took almost exactly 2 weeks from order to arrival, which isn’t too bad overall. Unboxing was fine. I don’t really understand why people spend a lot of time talking about that, you only do it once. 🙂
In order to install linux, you have to go into the firmware (power on and hit f2) and set the disk interface to AHCI from intel raid. Doing so will of course make windows unbootable, but in my case I had no reason to keep windows around so I just wiped it out. If you need to preserve windows, you may want to look at how to boot it in safe mode so it can boot with AHCI or come up with some other solution. I switched that and then booted the latest Fedora 32 RC that I had already laying around. Wiping windows and installing went fine with no issues. After booting up on the install, I then upgraded to to rawhide with ‘dnf -y install fedora-repos-rawhide; dnf -y –releasever 33 –disablerepo=\* –enablerepo=rawhide distro-sync’. No problems with that either and a quick reboot later I was on rawhide. A check in gnome-software and I see a firmware update ready to go. Applied and the laptop rebooted, updated firmware and rebooted back to rawhide. Everything went very smoothly and the upgrade lookd great (progress bar, explained what it was doing, etc). Next was a copy of /home from my old laptop and then I could switch over to using the new dell day to day.
I’ve only run into 3 linux related issues so far, and one of those is now solved:
I wasn’t able to get bluetooth headsets ‘headset’ profile to work. I have 3 bluetooth headsets here and they were all doing it. a2dp worked fine, but ‘headset’ would appear to switch the profile, but no sound would come out or input. I looked around on this one for a while until I noticed:
Copying that ddc file in and all my headsets started working in headset mode. 🙂 The Fedora linux-firmware package has an update with that fix in it now in rawhide/testing for stable branches.
Finally there’s a fingerprint reader on the power button, but there’s no linux driver (yet). Dell has promised that there would be something later this year (I guess they are leaning on the vendor). I sure hope it’s upstreamed / usable on Fedora and not just some binary only Ubuntu driver/application. 🙁
So, overall so far I am pretty happy with it. In the happy list:
The screen is lovely! Its smaller than the one in the yoga and higher resolution. I find myself switching between 150% and 175% in gnome scaling, it’s a bit easier when my eyes are tired at the lower resolution, but it’s really nice to have more things on screen at the higher.
Firmware updates with no windows! fwupd is awesome. I had to keep a windows install on my yoga for firmware updates. It’s really nice to not have to do that now.
The keyboard is pretty large and easy to type on. It might take a small adjustment time to get used to, but it’s not a bad keyboard at all. It’s actually a bit bigger than the yoga one since it goes almost from edge to edge.
It’s fast! Things are quite zippy with the 10th gen cpu and better intel graphics.
The wireless seems quite nice and fast. The yoga came with a really crappy atheros wireless card that I had to replace with an intel. This dell just has a good card out of the box. It’s a “Killer(R) Wi-Fi 6 AX1650i 160MHz Wireless Network Adapter (201NGW)”
Battery life seems ok. I ran it for about 3-4 hours on battery doing normal stuff (ssh sessions, reading news feeds, irc, etc) and it dropped down about 1/2, so 6-8 hours actually doing work seems not too bad considering the 4k display. The estimates did jump around a lot while I was using it, so I took the ‘real world’ measurement to mean more than whatever estimates it came up with.
There is a micro-sd card reader on the left side. It seems to work just fine out of the box. I am not sure what I would use it for normally, but I suppose its a little bit of extra storage and perhaps some use making cards to boot arm devices or something.
Advantage yoga (or at least things that seem better in yoga land):
The dell xps 13 is a regular laptop, not a 2-in-1/convertable like my yoga was. To be fair however, I almost never used this on the yoga. It’s gigantic and unwieldy as a tablet. I did from time to time tilt the screen way back, which perhaps I will miss a little. I do wish the xps did tilt back more than 45 degrees or so.
Also related to 2-in-1 vs regular, the yoga had sensors so it could rotate the display if you rotated the laptop. The xps doesn’t have those. You can however do it manually, and I didn’t really rotate the yoga much anyhow, so no big loss there.
The “home” and “end” keys are on f11/f12 on the dell. This is going to take some getting used to, as the yoga sanely had them on the right and left arrow keys. This made sense to me since the up and down arrows are up and down a page. Perhaps I can remap those.
There doesn’t seem to be any way to monitor the fans. They aren’t too anoying, but sometimes I wonder if they are on or not and it’s hard to tell.
There’s a nice light at the front of the laptop where you open it to indicate when it’s charging. It also can blink to show various hardware faults (no idea what that looks like yet, thank goodness). The light goes completely off when it’s fully charged, white when it’s charging and battery level is about 5% and amber if the battery is down to 5%.
I don’t have any thunderbolt-3 devices, but 2 usb-c docks I have seem to work fine (ethernet, various display adapters, usb, etc).
The intel “i7 10th gen” sticker is easy to remove. 🙂 Does anyone who uses their laptop at all keep those around?
Finally there’s a few minor ways dell could improve things (IMHO):
home and end should be on the Fn right/left arrows. 🙂
more usb-c/thunderbolt 3 ports. Even one more would have been nice.
A way to get fan speeds would be nice.
A brightness level even lower than the minimum one they offer would be nice. (For dark rooms, etc)
So, to sum up: I hope this will be a nice, reliable laptop for me to run for the next 3-4 years. 🙂