Bug in xorg-server and random thoughts…

Zach recently wrote a post about an issue he’s had with fresh installs of x11-base/xorg-server and the Intel driver. The bug was already filed and Michał Gorny (our next recruit!) had already provided a patch.

However, it took more than 2 weeks to get this fixed, and that’s what I want to talk about today:

  • Lack of time from current team members. We’re all busy with Real Life ™, my job keeps me busy, Tómaš – when not busy having his skull reconstructed – is also busy with his job, and Chi-Tahn is busy with university. Help, in any form, is always welcome!
  • The bug was filed more than 2 weeks ago but was not assigned to the x11 team. We weren’t even CCed on it! It just didn’t show up on my bug queue and that’s partly why I kept forgetting to fix it. Bug triaging is vital for Gentoo, help is needed there as well.

So that’s it for those semi-random thoughts, it gave me a reason to blog about something…

Call For Testers: Xorg 1.7 going stable

It’s been a while since we last stabilized a new version of Xorg, so we’re calling for stable testers again.

Please head over to bug #308521, grab the latest stabilization list and append it to /etc/portage/package.keywords. Then run emerge -DuNa world to upgrade your system. You’ll have a brand new Xorg version.

Intel users may have to use a newer kernel from ~arch.

Any help will be greatly appreciated.

Update: Please don’t comment on the linked bug if you have issues. File another bug report, do point out that you’re testing out Xorg 1.7 and we’ll help you out as best as we can.

Attention all stable users

Tomáš (scarabeus) and I decided it was time to do another round of stabilizations.

Back in September when we stabilized xorg-server 1.6, upstream was in the process of releasing Xorg 7.5 (which includes xorg-server 1.7, are you still following?). So at that time, we decided to still go ahead with 1.6 and include the bits of 1.7 that were available and compatible.

Now that 7.5 has been fully released, we’re doing another mass stabilization… but without xorg-server 1.7. While the server itself is very stable, a few drivers still aren’t compatible with it. So we’re not going to stabilize it now. So we’re just stabilizing utilities and a few drivers, nothing major.

So yet again, I’m requesting help from stable users:

  1. go to the stabilization bug,
  2. grab the latest stabilization list and copy it to /etc/portage/package.keywords,
  3. update your system with emerge -DuNa world.

As always, bugs should be filed in bugzilla, not in the comments.

Xorg-server 1.7 in ~arch

It’s out there now, available in ~arch. Like always, you’ll need to rebuild your drivers, just look-up the command given by the server’s ebuild (use eread if you’ve lost the output).

This release took a little longer to unmask not because of the server (it’s a nice change). It’s because a lot of headers were moved around from library packages to proto packages and vice versa. The ABI of X libraries has not changed, but I’m pretty sure there will be compile errors in some packages.

If that’s the case, please file bugs in bugzilla.

Thanks for reading this public service announcement.

Edit: There will not be a package.keywords list for stable users. Xorg-server 1.7 is intended for ~arch users only, at this moment. And all bugs from stable users will be closed INVALID. We will start creating lists when we want to stabilize it.

Help neeeded to stabilize libxcb 1.4 and xorg-server 1.6

Here we go again. This time, we’re going for the double sweepstakes as we’re trying to stabilize both libxcb 1.4 and xorg-server 1.6!

For once, the server upgrade shouldn’t be too hard and the server upgrade guide is remarkably slim. There’s been no change in input, nor HAL, nor just about anything else for most users.

Only Intel users might have a few surprises with DRI2 and UXA. But at this point, they should be good surprises 🙂

However, the libxcb upgrade is going to cause more troubles for some users. If you are/were using x11-libs/libX11 with USE="xcb", then you might have to rebuild lots of packages. This is why we’ve taken such a long time to unmask and stabilize libxcb 1.4. But now, we’ve worked hard to write a proper libxcb upgrade guide, which users are definitely going to want to read.

I would say the libxcb guide is more important than the xorg-server upgrade guide.

Anyhow, right now, I calling out for help among our stable users. If you’ve always wanted to contribute to Gentoo but didn’t know how, here’s your chance.

  1. Grab the stabilization list from bug #282290
  2. Append it to your /etc/portage/package.keywords
  3. run : emerge -DuNa world like always to update

Again, don’t forget to read both upgrade guides before running the update, just so you don’t start panicking when portage is unable to continue the upgrade.

As always, you’re more than welcome to CC yourself in the stabilization tracker, but please DO NOT COMMENT IN THE TRACKER if you have issues, you’ll just annoy everyone there. Just file a new bug and we’ll look at it.

Don’t forget that most X maintainers lurk in #gentoo-desktop on FreeNode if you have any questions.

That’s all for today

Help needed to stabilize xorg-server 1.5.3 and friends

It has indeed been quite a while since I’ve written anything here, but I’ll try to keep it both short and focused. Longer rants on other topics should follow once I have some more time.

So what’s going on in the X/Gentoo land, you ask?

Well, we’re aiming to stabilize xorg-server 1.5.3 and a whole batch of other stuff Real Soon Now ™.

Why is this a big deal?

Because X is pretty much central when it comes to the desktop. While we can’t risk breaking it too often, we can’t afford staying with the current situation for stable users. Xorg 1.3 is old, unsupported, has unfixable bugs and it smells like that piece of meat in the back of your fridge.

But Xorg 1.5 doesn’t do {feature X} or support {hardware Y}!!!

I know, and it’s a tough call. We’ve been putting off the stabilization of newer Xorg servers precisely because of that. But now, we’re in a situation where newer versions fix more bugs and support more hardware. Yes, some people will be pissed off and I’m not exactly thrilled about pissing users off. But we have to move on.

Can’t you wait for Xorg 1.6 then?

No, because there are more users waiting for 1.5 than users who will benefit from 1.6. And by going to newer drivers now, we can help spot issues faster and get more bugs fixed for newer releases. With each new X release, the server handles less and less hardware details directly, leaving the kernel and X drivers do all the dirty work. Once we stabilize 1.5, going to 1.6 should be much easier than older upgrades.

Alright, you win, how can I help?

That’s the spirit! I strongly urge as many stable users as possible to try this because, Xorg 1.5.3 will go stable one way or another. The sooner you test it, the sooner you can adapt.

  1. Go to the stabilization bug,
  2. Fetch the stabilization list “x11.stable.list” and append it to /etc/portage/package.keywords
  3. run emerge -DuNav world
  4. Just to be safe, run emerge $(qlist -C -I x11-drivers/) -1av to rebuild your X drivers (portage may have updated things in the wrong order, better safe than sorry)

Once all this is done, you should have a brand new Xorg on your machine. Here’s a quick list of things you should look out for :

  • HAL support now actually works but may conflict with your xorg.conf, it can be easily solved though.
  • the Intel driver is no longer called i810, but intel. You’ll need to update your xorg.conf, otherwise X won’t start.
  • the open-source ATI driver xf86-video-ati now only supports Radeon chipsets. Rage Pro owners will have to use xf86-video-mach64 or xf86-video-r128 instead.
  • Please don’t comment on the stabilization bug if you have issues. Either come talk to us on #gentoo-desktop or file bugs in our trusty Bugzilla

Please help us move away from Xorg 1.3 and into the present with Xorg 1.5. We’ll take care of the future (aka 1.6) when this is done. 🙂


Edit: added bullet on Radeon support
Edit 2: added –one-shot to the emerge command