Playing with EDID and rawhide

Photo: Modesetting problems with 2.6.37-rc1 and the i915 driver.

So there was an innocuous patch to i915 EDID code (in the intel_lvds setup code) that introduced cacheing of the EDID data, but in the process stopped reading panel data correctly on boot, which would result in all kinds of weird modesetting problems on these Intel parts. Like my ASUS Eee PC 1015PEM, where the screen was moved down an inch or so such that there was blank space at the top and the bottom inch of the screen was “missing”. You can see a photo above (and my upstream posting had a video). A lot of bisecting over the weekend tracked this down, and I very much enjoyed working briefly with the excellent Chris Wilson to test fixes. It should be that 2.6.37-rc1+the posted fix on LKML works well on various random panels again, such as this netbook.

Meanwhile, I’ve been actually using rawhide on the netbook, in the spirit of dogfooding (which is why I bought that netbook – to have a controlled and safe environment for playing with unstable software). It’s been tough though. A small list of the many issues currently includes: Lots of the conversion from GNOME2 to GNOME3 is hitting me. I’m unable to run rhythmbox (hasn’t worked in ages), the volume control applet won’t start, and ABRT frequently generates traces that are unusable (so I removed ABRT). Also, the screensaver won’t ever exit (without killing gnome-screensaver on the command line), and recently my sound stopped working completely. I fixed the latter by completely removing pulseaudio from the system (and filing several bugs – including one to have gnome-bluetooth not depend on PA). But it’s not all bad. The desktop mostly works, the browser has been fine, and evolution is able to send email now that the annoying “crash on sending mail” bug has gone away for me.

Nonetheless, at this point, my “exclude” yum configuration grows larger daily. The system is, at this point, usable for poking and playing around with experimental kernels, but I simply could not use rawhide on a daily basis as my main desktop environment, without a lot of deep meditative breathing. In my own personal opinion (of which all of this is personal opinion), the lack of any stability in rawhide is counter-productive. Sure, yea, it means you can shove anything you like in the distribution. But it also means you can shove anything you like into the distribution. I know there is a updates testing staging area, but part of me pines for the old days of Debian testing, where you knew you’d get cutting edge stuff, but you’d also know it had baked for a week or two first. I personally would like a direct equivalent in the rawhide space, which isn’t the same as the branching we have now. I like the branching, and I think it’s a far better system, but I’d also like a two-stage rawhide. And a pony, let’s not forget about the pony before people think I don’t realize how not trivial this stuff can be to implement.

UPDATE: I tried a combination of pulseaudio and gnome-shell. This results in sound, but the mixer in gnome-shell doesn’t control the PA output (just slides up and down with no effect), sound settings crashes, contol center won’t start, etc. I suspect I will go back to GNOME2 again tomorrow with PA removed again.

UPDATE2: Yup. Removed PA again and went back to GNOME2.


One Response to “Playing with EDID and rawhide”

  1. “and filing several bugs – including one to have gnome-bluetooth not depend on PA”

    not going to happen. everyone’s aware of the consequences of that, but without it, Bluetooth audio won’t work OOTB and it’s not at all obvious to the user how to make it work. It’s been filed and closed multiple times, IIRC.

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