November 12th, 2010
A couple of days back I decided a week was plenty long enough to be running a boring, stable OS like Fedora 14 on my desktop and decided to upgrade it to Rawhide instead. I’ve never gone to Rawhide this early in a Fedora cycle before (though I used to run Cooker permanently when I ran Mandriva), so it’s been an interesting ride. I’ve spent the last couple of days poking at various little issues and fixing some small things. Now I’ve got a pretty usable system going, at least for my purposes.
Before I could upgrade at all, I patched xchat-gnome to build against libnotify 0.7 and sent the patch upstream. Don’t be too impressed; it’s not exactly a complicated patch. There’s quite a lot of apps that haven’t been patched and rebuilt against libnotify 0.7 yet in Rawhide, but xchat-gnome was the only one I actually need.
When I first upgraded, the desktop wouldn’t start. This was pretty easy to track down to GNOME Shell not running (at least with my particular graphics card), whereas it had in F14. So I poked it over to use old-school metacity instead and my desktop came back. Most stuff was working, but gedit was broken; Dan Williams kindly came up with a fix for that one. I also noticed that Firefox Sync, which as I mentioned recently I’ve come to rely on quite a lot, wasn’t working in the Firefox 4 Beta 6 build Rawhide currently has; I tracked this down to a couple of issues that are known upstream and will go away when we have Beta 7 in Rawhide (which would have been today except the maintainer obviously sent the build through and went home, but they forgot a change to the file list and the build failed). Yesterday, Evolution started misbehaving; the top-right hand pane wouldn’t render correctly. Matthew Barnes found the fix for that, and we’ll get it with the next GTK+ build; for now I just built myself a patched GTK+.
One that proved pretty tricky was sound not working. I figured this was due to PulseAudio not being able to detect any cards via udev, and with help from Harald and Lennart, determined that udev wasn’t providing the correct information on sound cards when queried; eventually I managed to figure out this was because of a permissions problem, /dev/.udev and /dev/.udev/db were not readable by regular users. I couldn’t figure out why, but Harald worked out that it was dracut’s fault; it was creating /dev/.udev/rules.d using mkdir -p, which resulted in /dev/.udev being created with the wrong umask. Subtle. So we got that one fixed this morning.
Even with Pulse working, the volume control panel applet wasn’t coming up; this was a bug in its code, which was somewhat complicated by the fact that with the release of GNOME 2.91.2, which is still getting pushed out to Rawhide, it moved from gnome-media to control-center. Today a set of updates to control-center, gnome-media and libgnome-media-profiles showed up which sort this out. I noticed that the sound preferences module of control-center was failing, though, and pulled an upstream patch to fix that.
So now I have a pretty functional Rawhide desktop going; it does everything I need, though I wish I could get GNOME Shell running already – I came to rather like it in F14 and I’d like to see how it looks now. (It’s kind of nice to have my weather applet and stock ticker back, though.) The remaining issues aside from the Shell thing are smaller. An odd one is that any running gnome-terminal instances will suddenly crash some time after login, after which I can’t run it again until I reboot; I can use Terminal just fine, though, so that’s not a problem really. Startup is much slower than it ought to be with systemd; Harald is looking at that (a lot of it seems to be time spent in udev). Evo still has some rendering issues. In general, though, it’s working pretty nicely for a pre-Alpha.
I thought it’d be cool to get the nightlies building again, so I did a bit of work on that today; the packages that are listed in the logs as breaking the desktop compose lately are pino and deja-dup, so I fixed and rebuilt those; we’ll see how the next attempt to build a nightly goes, I guess.
It’s fun to spend a bit of time on super-bleeding edge stuff once in a while. =)