Workarounds for common F18 bugs

Posted by Amit Shah on January 09, 2013

I've been using the Fedora 18 pre-release for a couple of months now, and am generally happy with how it works.  I filed quite a few bugs, some got resolved, some not.  Here's a list of things that don't work as they used to in the past, with workarounds so they may help others:

  • Bug 878619 - Laptop always suspends on lid close, regardless of g-s-t policy: I used to set the action on laptop lid close to lock the screen by default, instead of putting it in the suspend state.  I used to use the function keys or menu item to suspend earlier.  However, with GNOME 3.6 in F18, the 'suspend' menu item has gone away, replaced by 'Power Off'.  The developers have now removed the dconf settings to tweak the action of lid close (via gnome-tweak-tool or dconf-editor).  As described in GNOME Bug 687277, this setting can be tweaked by adding a systemd inhibitor:
    systemd-inhibit --what=handle-lid-switch \
                    --who=me \
                    --why=because \
                    --mode=block /bin/sh
  • Bug 887218 - 0.5.0-1 regression: 147e:2016 Upek fingerprint reader no longer works: fprintd may not remember the older registered fingerprints, re-registering them is a workaround.
  • Bug 878412 - Cannot assign shortcuts to switch to workspaces 5+: I use keyboard shortcuts (Ctrl+F<n>) to switch workspaces.  Till F16, I could assign shortcuts to as many workspaces as are currently in use.  Curiously, with F18, shortcuts can only be assigned to workspaces 1 through 4.  This was a major productivity blocker for me, and an ugly workaround is to create a shell script that switches workspaces via window manager commands: install 'wmctrl', and create custom shortcuts to switch workspaces by invoking 'wmctrl -s <workspace-1>'.  wmctrl counts workspaces from 0, so to switch to workspace 5, invoke 'wmctrl -s 4'.
  • Bug 878736 - Desktop not shown after unlocking screensaver: This one is due to some focus-stealing apps and gnome-shell's new screensaver not working together.  I use workrave, an app that helps me keep my eyesight and wrists in relatively good shape.  Other people have complained even SDL windows (games, qemu VMs, etc.) interact badly with the new screensaver.  For my workaround, I've set workrave to not capture focus for now.
  • Bug 878981 - "Alt + Mouse click in a window + mouse move" doesn't move windows anymore: The modifier key is now changed to the 'Super' key, so Super + mouse click + mouse move works in a similar way to how using the Alt key worked earlier.  I'm still lacking the window resize modifier that KDE offers (modifier key + right-click+mouse move)
  • Bug 878428 - __git_ps1 not found: I've discussed this earlier.

Other than these, a couple of bugs that affect running F18 in virtual machines:

  • Bug 864567 - display garbled in KVM VMs on opening windows: Using any other display driver for the guest other than cirrus works fine.
  • Bug 810040 - F17/F18 xen/kvm/vmware/hyperv guest with no USB: gnome-shell fails to start if fprintd is present: I mentioned this earlier as well: remove fprintd in the VM, or add '-usb' to the qemu command line.