Fedora Test Day - Nouveau - Experience

Today i participated for the first time in a Fedora Test Day. Conveniently i had a few hours free today, so i decided to devote some time to making sure my nVidia chip will work well in the next Fedora release. The short answer, it does :)

The long answer, it does, but only after i had to jump through many hoops to find this out. Being the slightly environmentally conscious person i am, i decided to attempt to spare the life of a tree or two, and pull up a USB stick for testing. I would also gain the highly beneficial advantage of being able to store bookmarks on the USB key. This way, after rebooting, i could quickly call up the next test i would need to run. As a side point, i think it might be beneficial in the future, if images generated for Test Days would have a bookmark directly to the tests needed to be run. I think it might save a bit of time for people who are testing it on their only machine.

According to the instructions on the wiki, i installed an updated version of syslinux from rawhide in order to copy the image to USB. Following that, i ran the livecd-iso-to-disc tool which ran successfully. However, when i went to reboot the machine, the USB image could not load initrd, and the process failed. Apparently, i was not the only person who had that problem. Then i tried taking a few different steps.

First i tried to see if i could install livecd-tools from rawhide. Not only did it try to pull in the kitchen sink, but it was also missing dependencies. Yum could not even complete the operation, were i to let it.

Second i tried to recompile the f11 SRPM for f10 via mock. While it completed successfully, and the resulting livecd-iso-to-disc program could complete successfully, i still could not get the LiveUSB media to boot up.

Third, i tried setting up a rawhide VM. Since i used boot.iso which is essentially a netboot install, it took the better part of an hour to install. Also, after stripping out office utilities and other nonsense, i was told that there was not enough room to install Fedora in the default 4GB of space virt-manager uses. I hod to go back and tweak the install, and for a KVM instance, it was really slow as molasses. It certainly didn't give me the warm fuzzies inside, let alone visions of a pony prancing in a field. I'm assuming that the space needed not only included installing the OS plus working space to do so, but also the space needed to download the half gigabyte of packages. I'm wondering if this counts as a bona fide bug.

Finally, when the VM was ready, i installed the livecd-tools package and copied over the iso to the VM. Then i ran the tool, went and made dinner, went off to stammtisch and came back 4 hours later, and it was still running. All the virtualization in the world is not gonna help you when you're IO bound. At this point i broke down and burnt myself a damn CD. Somewhere out there, a family of trees is crying for their daddy or mommy. Here's where there is some pretty epic fail. I'm sure it's not a bug that the tools in Fedora 10 are not adequate for setting up a LiveUSB for Fedora 11. I'm sure there are always aspects to a kernel that the previous OS can never anticipate. Looking at the sheer number of people who participated in today's test day, i may be the only one here complaining, but for the love of $deity and all that is holy, is it so hard to make it possible to put Fedora 11 on a USB stick via Fedora 10?

Well after that, the tests went really well. I gave everything a good working through and it's always a pleasure to see Fedora getting better. Given the turnout, i think that the Test Day is so much of a success that the QA team is gonna be far too busy to even look at my ideas here.

It would be nice to put a sticker here saying "I participated in a Fedora Test Day", just like we do with elections.

3 flames:

Jeremy zei

The first thing which got filed saying that you can't make a live usb image for rawhide in F10 (I know you can't run livecd-creator, that's due to some known and unfortunate problems) got filed yesterday and since I'm mostly taking a few days off to relax during what passes as spring break for me, I haven't looked into it yet.

pfrields zei

Hm, weird. I'm running stock F10 + updates on my laptop, followed the directions to make a Live USB (installed the newer syslinux, then livecd-iso-to-disk with the usual options), and everything worked just fine. I'll be interested to hear what this turns out to be (bug? OE? freaky solar flares?).

Yankee zei

I'm guessing it was a freaky solar flare. In the end the tests got done though, and i got a good idea what not to do the next time. I was also hoping to draw more attention to Test Days by doing an Experience Report the way we do them for Ambassador events. I'm sure other people had similar issues.