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Revision as of 15:29, 28 March 2012 by Ajax (talk | contribs) ("how" to test)

Fedora Test Days
Gnome Shell Software Rendering

Date 2012-03-29
Time all day

IRC #fedora-test-day (webirc)

Mailing list

Can't make the date?
If you come to this page before or after the test day is completed, your testing is still valuable, and you can use the information on this page to test, file any bugs you find at GNOME Bugzilla, and add your results to the results section. If this page is more than a month old when you arrive here, please check the current schedule and see if a similar but more recent Test Day is planned or has already happened.

What to test?

This week brings a second instalment of Fedora Test Day targeting GNOME 3. This time we will focus on software rendering providing a full GNOME session purely by means of the CPU. Nowadays with most of personal computers capable of hardware 3D acceleration this might seem unnecessary. But let's not forget a whole lot of us who have capable but yet unsupported hardware and get stuck with the Fallback mode.

And this is not the only case. In addition to computers with obsolete graphics there are VM hypervisors like KVM or VirtualBox that don't support full 3D yet. Fedora can also run on many kinds of less usual devices like tablets or netbooks that don't have free(or even proprietary) drivers ready. Fortunately modern CPUs are in principle powerful enough to run gnome-shell and full GNOME 3 desktop without 3D support only via software rendering. Thus the purpose of software rendering is to unify desktop experience for both accelerated and non-accelerated machines.

Simply said, our goal is to make sure that no matter what hardware you are running your Fedora on, you will always get the user experience you are entitled to - a full GNOME desktop.

Do you have an older PC? Netbook? Or do you like to play with the latest of the latest in VM, where it won't "break" your computer? Even if not, please help us test the gnome-shell software rendering by following few test cases and catching a few bugs - after all, as always with Fedora, you'll be doing that for yourself :-)

Who's available

The following cast of characters will be available for testing, workarounds, bug fixes, and general discussion ...

Prerequisite for Test Day

Also helpful, if you have or can get them:

  • Additional displays (monitors, TVs...)

How to test?

Well, start Gnome and see if you get the shell. The more relevant question is "what to test".

What we're most interested in is older and obscure hardware cases. It's expected that not all of these will come up with the shell by default. The interesting thing is whether they can be coaxed into doing so; how; and how to make them perform reasonably. Some scenarios we need better coverage for are:

  • Old x86 hardware, in particular CPUs that don't support SSE2 (AMD Geode and pre-Athlon-64, Intel pre-Pentium-4, etc)
  • Non-x86 hardware. ARM, PowerPC, etc. This is obviously harder to come by.
  • Non-KVM virtualization
  • Older video cards from big-three vendors: Intel 8xx, Radeon pre-R300, NVIDIA pre-GeForce-6.

Testing older video cards may require creating and editing xorg.conf, or moving the DRI drivers for those cards out of the way to force fallback to llvmpipe.

Of lesser interest, but still worth checking, is whether GPUs already on the hardware blacklist work with their native driver instead. This can be checked by commenting out the appropriate entry from /usr/share/gnome-session/hardware-compatibility and logging out and back in to Gnome.

Live image

Please check the SHA256SUM is correct before booting!

You may download a non-destructive pre-Fedora 17 live image for your architecture. Tips on using a live image are available at FedoraLiveCD.

Architecture SHA256SUM
x86_64 d68290a1f723b907a0b6f58e60af9ef1899d8c1c7bf34bce29e2e9a1b2a1c5a7
i686 862b7e48e6f9c6bff7bb429d230f6c71437e153b06af97407ab2bbeabe2d5d55

Post-live image updates
If you are using the live image, please run this commands in terminal: su -c 'yum update' . Please logout and login again before you start testing.

Using the live image is the easiest way to participate in testing for most people, but alternatively you can:

Update your machine to Fedora 17

If you are already running or want to try the pre-release of Fedora 17, install Fedora 17 Alpha and then update to the latest packages.

Perform testing

Please perform as many of the test cases listed as you have the time and the resources to complete, and fill out your results in the table below. You do not need a Fedora account to fill in the table.


If you are unable to run a full GNOME 3 session either through HW or SW rendering and fallback mode kicks in you won't be able to run gnome-shell. In this case, please, don't hesitate to ask on IRC as there might be a way we can help you start a regular session.

Regular tests

Will be updated on Wednesday 2012-03-28.

Unplanned testing

As well as running the formal test cases, you can help simply by running gnome-shell and reporting any problems you come across in the course of your typical usage, even if this does not match up with any of the test cases. If you are unsure to what any discovered problem relates, please check in #fedora-test-day before you file a bug.

Test Results

If you have problems with any of the tests, try and report a bug. Bugs clearly related to GNOME Shell and it's rendering should be reported to GNOME Bugzilla. Bugs that are clearly issues in Fedora GNOME integration should be reported to Fedora Bugzilla. If you are unsure, please report into Fedora Bugzilla or ask on #fedora-test-day or #fedora-qa. You will need an account to report bugs, but creating one is easy, and we will help you do this if you ask in IRC.

If you are not sure of the appropriate component (usually mesa for SW rendering), please check in IRC before filing, there are many possibilities. If you are unsure about exactly how to file the report or what other information to include, just ask on IRC and we will help you.

Once you have completed the tests, add your results to the Results table below, following the example results from the first line as a template. The first column should be your name with a link to your User page in the Wiki if you have one, and the second should be a link to the Smolt profile of the system you tested. If you are running Fedora in VM, please, at least state the name of VM hypervisor(kvm/VirtualBox...). However uploading Smolt profile is useful even for VMs. For each test case, use the result template to describe your result, following the examples in the Sample user row.

User Smolt Profile Installation Gnome tweak tool Online management Removal Unplanned References
Sample User HW
Pass pass
Warning warn
Fail fail
Pass pass
  1. Test pass, but also encountered RHBZ #54321
  2. GNOME #123456
User Smolt Profile Installation Gnome tweak tool Online management Removal Unplanned References