Thursday, October 18, 2012

Ubuntu Thin Client Alpha Release & Updates

There are times when working on thin client updates that you feel like pounding your head on the table, and then with a steady work approach you start to see that a lot of items are being crossed off your pad of paper.  We have two thin client models (HP 5725 and 5745) and it takes some testing and tuning to get the same operating system to work on both.  I can't even imagine the cost and struggle of those that have to load operating systems on dissimilar PC hardware with 10s or 100s of different models.  Once I get these two working, we're done.

I was able to get an alpha release into the hands of a few people on the 5725s and they are testing.  SSH tunnels are stable and working to the GNOME desktop.  The screensavers are running on the local hardware and locking a screen from GNOME signals the thin client to lock it remotely.  I have pulseaudio working and stable on both models and set to reasonable sound levels on reboot.

I'm working on two issues right now:  Timing and Xorg drivers.  The two models have similar hardware in terms of speed, but the 5745 is slightly faster.  So there are services and sleep statements needed at boot to ensure that everything is timing the right way.  A timer on one model might need an extra second on the other.  I was more used to the older "S" style init scripts that kind of dropped in order.  I'm tinkering with learning the new "emit" signals and getting the timing right.  But it's coming together. 

The 5745 models is using an Intel chipset for video and the 5725 is ATI.  And there are nuances to each video card.  The Intel drivers are working and seem stable.  I'm having some font artifact problems with the ATI driver when AccelMethod is set to EXA instead of XAA.  So I have been looking for PPA packages to install to fix this issue.  The ATI drivers also seem to have some issues of video deadlock with working mouse when Google Earth is started.  I know I read a technical journal about that issue and will get it fixed and working.

Hopefully by next week, I'll be able to get these builds out to a wider audience for testing and see how it goes. Overall, a very productive week.

Other Projects:

Normal support questions and issues, regular meetings, installed and tested Firefox 16.0.1 and Java 1.6.37 and put them into production.  Sadly no Acrobat Reader updates for many many months; Adobe there are lots of us on Linux!


Ernst Sjöstrand said...

The ATI problem sounds like this:

Michel Dänzer 2012-04-04 02:26:07 UTC

BTW, these problems seem mostly triggered by Cairo now extensively using solid pictures instead of 1x1 repeated pictures. If someone wants to work on adding support for solid pictures to the drivers, that should avoid most if not all these problems and as a bonus give better performance.

Alex Deucher 2012-04-13 13:58:57 UTC

Created attachment 59943 [details] [review]

Comment 99 Alex Deucher 2012-04-13 13:59:28 UTC

Created attachment 59944 [details] [review]

Comment 100 Alex Deucher 2012-04-13 13:59:56 UTC

Created attachment 59945 [details] [review]

Comment 101 Alex Deucher 2012-04-13 14:00:21 UTC

Created attachment 59946 [details] [review]

Ernst Sjöstrand 2012-04-28 14:17:18 UTC

The fix seems stable and solves the problem fully for me.

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