This month in Manjaro (November 2021)

This is my periodic posts on whats going on in Manjaro land.

It's a small collection of notable changes, updates and community news in and for the Manjaro community.

As I am a Manjaro ARM developer, some of the information will probably be ARM-biased.

See this as a Manjaro Podcast, but in written form.

Week 1

Raspberry Pi Zero 2 released

The Raspberry Pi foundation announced that the successor to the popular Raspberry Pi Zero is now available and updated their kernel sources to include support for it. The Manjaro ARM team have, of course, made sure that the kernels and bootloader packages already support this new Raspberry Pi Zero 2 device.

MaTray connection issues

During this week, the helper application, MaTray, had some connection issues to it's News feed. This resulted in some notifications popping up pretty often, stating there was in error in retreiving news.

Week 2

Plasma Mobile ModemManager progress

The process to convert Plasma Mobile from using Ofono to use ModemManager has proved to take longer than first anticipated. Most of the stuff is done already, but the Plasma Dialer is still not ready, as it's not just being ported to ModemManager, but being re-architected completely. So until that's done and tested, we have patched the rest of Plasma Mobile to still use Ofono.

Progress on Quartz64

This week we also had some progress on Quartz64 support in our linux-rc kernel. Shortly after 5.16-rc1 was released, the first attempt of patches for the VOP2 driver was submitted to the kernel mailing list, which we had to patch into our kernel package of course. This now grants us HDMI video out and together with some more patches applied later, we now have HDMI out, GPU acceleration and even HDMI audio. We will of course update the patches when new versions get submitted.

Week 3

XWayland 21.1.3 not working right

The xorg-xwayland package was updated to 21.1.3 this week, but some quick minds, running wayland sessions on a daily basis, found that XWayland applications where not running like before. The issue was quickly tracked down to be this update to XWayland, so Manjaro have rolled back the xorg-xwayland package to 21.1.2 for the time being.

Week 4

Plasma Mobile ModemManager port update

Most of the Plasma Mobile applications and system has been ready for ModemManager for a while now. But the Dialer application is the last one still missing. The developer who took on this task, didn't realize how big a task he took on, when he decided to not only port it to ModemManager, but also re-architecture the whole telephony stack in the process. This resulted in many delays, but this week he decided, with the help of other developers, that it would be best to just implement the ModemManager port first and then add the other stuff afterwards. The hope is that the ModemManager port will be done for end of November so we could get Plasma Mobile Gear 21.11 release, but that deadline is approaching quickly now. So the ModemManager port is likely to make it's introduction in Plasma Mobile Gear 21.12 release at this point.

Big ICU 70.1 update

This week also saw an update to ICU, which is a package many other packages depends on and thus needs to be rebuilt against. Everything mostly went fine on the x64 side, but there was a couple of hickups on the ARM side, as Arch Linux ARM, was to quick to rebuild a few applications, before the ICU update was actually in. We are still rebuilding the ones we find.