Release notes/11.3.0

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Contents

Purpose

This new OLPC software release adds several new features and significant bug fixes. XO-1 and XO-1.5 are fully supported as usual.

Additionally, this release adds support for the new XO-1.75 laptop. For this laptop (in prototype stages at time of release, not yet available as a final model), this release acts as a verification of release processes and infrastructure, but does not represent the quality of software that will be shipped to deployments. Please see the XO-1.75 known issues section for further information on the areas that need work. OLPC plans to publish an incremental software release addressing these limitations before the XO-1.75 enters mass production.

Sugar collaboration has improved since the 11.2.0 release, however some issues are still present. OLPC will continue working on these issues for future releases.

New features

Sugar-0.94

Sugar-0.94 is included in the release. This updated version includes various improvements such as more powerful View Source functionality, and easier file exchange between the Journal and the regular filesystem.

One notable change is that the Keep button has been removed from activities. Many users mistook this with Save, but actually Sugar saves all your work for you - you do not have to tell it do so. The now-removed Keep button's functionality could be better described as duplicate; those who used it with the intention of saving would actually end up with two copies of their work.

Another noticeable improvement is that the full-screen launching animation for activities has been optimised and is now much less resource hungry than before. In 11.2.0 on XO-1 you may have seen that this launching animation failed to appear or pulse at all; it now comes up without fail and pulses very smoothly, despite the underlying system being very busy loading the activity in question.

More information is available in the Sugar 0.94 release notes.

Activities

  • Many activities were reviewed by the Design Team to make the user interface more consistent.
  • The Portfolio activity has been added to the default set of activities shipped by OLPC. This activity automatically creates a slide show from Journal entries that have been 'starred'.
  • Browse now supports tabs.
  • Get Books was improved to provide easier access to book catalogues and classic books.
  • Distance can now be used with different units, and new units of measure can be defined by the user.

XO-1.75 support

A great deal of engineering effort has gone into the production of the hardware and software of OLPC's new XO-1.75 laptop. This new laptop model may look and feel the same as previous XOs, but represents a radical change internally: an ARM processor is now used (similar to those found in common mobile phones and tablets). The processor is now included on the same chip as the rest of the core system functionality, taking the definition of System-on-Chip to a new level.

The XO-1.75 also adds accelerometer hardware, presenting many new opportunities for user interaction with the laptop. For example, see Bert Freudenberg's example of how tilting of the laptop can be used to control a ball's motion in Etoys. Other activities that take advantage of the accelerometer include Turtle Blocks and Fraction Bounce, a game for exploring fractions.

The XO-1.75 also adds light sensor hardware.

Many thanks to all OLPC, Sugar and Fedora community members who have helped with development and testing of this new laptop and its software.

Bug fixes

A number of bugs were fixed during this development cycle. The more significant ones include:

  • The neighborhood view correctly shows the name of the activity being shared (e.g. "Today's homework discussion") rather than only the name of the activity program (e.g. "Chat") (ticket #10676).
  • The Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V Copy/Paste keyboard shortcuts were broken in Paint, TurtleArt and Terminal in 11.2.0. This has now been partially fixed (ticket #10930) but is still faulty in Turtle Art.
  • The laptop will now inhibit its auto-suspend functionality while scanning for networks or establishing a connection to a network; this was causing connections to fail (ticket #10366).
  • Pressing both mouse buttons at the same time now results in a "middle click" once again (ticket #5835).
  • Developer tools such as screen and minicom no longer have problems starting after a reboot (ticket #11078).
  • In 11.2.0, the the XO-1.5 keyboard was sometimes unresponsive upon boot into Open Firmware (only affecting developers who use the Ok prompt). This problem has now been solved (ticket #11021).
  • XO-1 stateless mounts now take effect once again (ticket #11120). This fixes the efficient pristine olpc-update mode, and avoids an issue where SSH host keys are regenerated upon upgrade to the previous release (11.2.0).
  • The mouse cursor on the Sugar "Name:" screen on 11.2.0 showed an incorrect mouse cursor (ticket #10712); this has been fixed.
  • In previous releases, keyboard autorepeat (e.g. the holding of the 'a' which would produce 'aaaaaa' in this mode) was disabled, as it was deemed to be inappropriate for our userbase of first-time computer users. In 11.2.0, autorepeat was unintentionally enabled. It is now disabled again for 11.3.0 (ticket #11175).
  • Collaboration: there have been several bug fixes to collaboration not only regression fixes:
    • Do not cache the buddy palette in friends tray (SL #3108)
    • FileTransfer: handle cancellation cleanly (ticket #11065)
    • Invitations: remove item from tray after using the join/decline palette options (SL #3089)
    • Joining shared activity: set title for activity palette in frame (SL #3109)

Installation

Installation is distinct from update. If you have user data on the laptop that you wish to preserve, you may want to follow the Update instructions, below.

XO-1.75

Note: Open Firmware Q2D05 is the last firmware version that supports 11.3.0 on XO-1.75, unless the olpc.fth file is modified to add false to use-fdt? before starting the kernel.

How to install signed build 883 of release 11.3.0 on XO-1.75.

The build is installed to the internal microSD device. You will need a USB drive or Secure Digital card of at least 1 GB capacity, but only for the duration of the installation.

ALL USER DATA WILL BE ERASED FROM THE LAPTOP!

  • Prepare the USB or SD drive:
    • Download os883.zd4, see How to Download,
    • Save the file to the top directory of the drive,
    • Download os883.zd4.zsp.fs.zip,
    • Save the file to the top directory of the same drive,
    • Rename the file to fs.zip, (removing the os883.zd4.zsp part of the name),
    • Check that the drive contains at least the two files fs.zip and os883.zd4.
  • Prepare the laptop:
    • Make a copy of any data you wish to keep,
    • Check the battery is inserted and locked,
    • Check that the power cord is in place and the battery indicator is green,
    • Turn off the laptop, unless it is already off,
    • Insert the USB drive into any USB port on the laptop,
  • Start installing:
    • Hold down all four game keys above the power button,
    • Turn on the laptop,
    • Wait for the message Release the game keys to continue,
    • Release the game keys.

Installation progress will be displayed. Green colour will fill grey blocks. It will take about five minutes. Once finished, the laptop will reboot automatically. You may remove the USB or SD drive during or after the reboot.

The USB or SD drive can be used on other laptops.

If you see a message Boot failed then either:

  • the USB or SD drive has not been properly prepared, or;
  • the firmware is out of date and should be updated (see Firmware).

The above instructions assume that you are installing onto a 4 GB internal eMMC. For the 8 GB version, use the os883.zd8 and os883.zd8.zsp.fs.zip files.

If you have many laptops of different sizes, check out How to avoid downloading multiple sizes of a build, which applies equally to XO-1.75.

XO-1.5

How to install signed build 883 of release 11.3.0 on XO-1.5.

The build is installed to the internal microSD device. You will need a USB drive or Secure Digital card of at least 1 GB capacity, but only for the duration of the installation.

ALL USER DATA WILL BE ERASED FROM THE LAPTOP!

  • Prepare the USB or SD drive:
    • Download os883.zd4, see How to Download,
    • Save the file to the top directory of the drive,
    • Download os883.zd4.zsp.fs.zip,
    • Save the file to the top directory of the same drive,
    • Rename the file to fs.zip, (removing the os883.zd4.zsp part of the name),
    • Check that the drive contains at least the two files fs.zip and os883.zd4.
  • Prepare the laptop:
    • Make a copy of any data you wish to keep,
    • Check the battery is inserted and locked,
    • Check that the power cord is in place and the battery indicator is green,
    • Turn off the laptop, unless it is already off,
    • Insert the USB drive into any USB port on the laptop,
  • Start installing:
    • Hold down all four game keys above the power button,
    • Turn on the laptop,
    • Wait for the message Release the game keys to continue,
    • Release the game keys.

Installation progress will be displayed. Green colour will fill grey blocks. It will take about ten minutes. Once finished, the laptop will reboot automatically. You may remove the USB or SD drive during or after the reboot.

The USB or SD drive can be used on other laptops.

If you see a message Boot failed then either:

  • the USB or SD drive has not been properly prepared, or;
  • the firmware is out of date and should be updated (see Firmware).

The above instructions assume that you are installing onto a 4 GB internal microSD card. For the 2 GB version, use the os883.zd2 file, and for the 8 GB version, use the os883.zd8 file. The downloads are roughly the same size.

If you have laptops of different sizes, check out How to avoid downloading multiple sizes of a build for a set of XO-1.5 where the microSD or SD card size varies.

XO-1

How to install signed build 883 of release 11.3.0 on XO-1.

The build is installed to the internal NAND flash device. You will need a USB drive or Secure Digital card of at least 1 GB capacity, but only for the duration of the installation.

ALL USER DATA WILL BE ERASED FROM THE LAPTOP!

  • Prepare the USB or SD drive:
    • Download os883.img, see How to Download,
    • Save the file to the top directory of the drive,
    • Download os883.img.fs.zip,
    • Save the file to the top directory of the same drive,
    • Rename the file to fs.zip, (removing the os883.img part of the name),
    • Check that the drive contains at least the two files fs.zip and os883.img.
  • Prepare the laptop:
    • Make a copy of any data you wish to keep,
    • Check the battery is inserted and locked,
    • Check that the power cord is in place and the battery indicator is green,
    • Turn off the laptop, unless it is already off,
    • Insert the USB drive into any USB port on the laptop,
  • Start installing:
    • Hold down all four game keys above the power button,
    • Turn on the laptop,
    • Wait for the message Release the game keys to continue,
    • Release the game keys.

Installation progress will be displayed. Green colour will fill yellow blocks. It will take about five minutes. Once finished, the laptop will reboot automatically. You may remove the USB or SD drive during or after the reboot.

The USB or SD drive can be used on other laptops.

If you see a message Boot failed then either:

  • the USB or SD drive has not been properly prepared, or;
  • the firmware is out of date and should be updated (see Firmware).

There are no other build sizes for XO-1.

Update

You may wish to update from a previous version of the operating system. This method preserves most user data, the Sugar Journal and installed Sugar Activities, but does not preserve certain operating system customizations such as additional packages.

(Update is distinct from install. If you have followed the install procedures above, then you need not follow this section.)

Preparation

To prepare for an operating system update:

  • remove as much saved content as you no longer need,
  • remove any large activities you no longer need (in the Home view, erase them),
  • remove any large collections (library content) you no longer need, and;
  • use Software update to ensure the Terminal activity is the latest available version.

Follow the instructions in one of the subsections below, according to which method and laptop model you are using.

Simple Online Update

  • establish an internet connection from the laptop (if you plan to do online update),
  • start the laptop normally,
  • start the Terminal Activity, and depending on the laptop model type:

XO-1.75

sudo olpc-update official_xo1.75-883

XO-1.5

sudo olpc-update official_xo1.5-883

XO-1

sudo olpc-update 883

See Simple Online Update for more detail about the method.

Simple Offline Update

sudo olpc-update --usb

See Simple Offline Update for more detail about the method.

After the Update

  • Sugar will attempt to update its Activities -- you should be online for the Activity Updater to complete.

Known problems

This section lists significant known issues that we hope to solve in future releases.

If deployments have solid plans and schedules to deploy 11.2.0 but feel blocked by some of these issues in particular, they are encouraged to get in contact with OLPC far in advance of the installation date. OLPC may be able to produce a limited scope point-release fixing highlighted issues.

Sugar

  • When pressing the volume hotkeys (F11/F12), the volume levels are changed accordingly, but the icon in the Sugar frame does not show the change - ticket #9913.
  • The option to disable wireless networking in the Sugar Settings dialog no longer results in removal of power from the wifi hardware (ticket #10913) and does not disable XO-1 mesh functionality.
  • Copying an item from an external device to the journal may result in the copied item incorrectly appearing at the bottom of the list of Journal items (instead of at the top), the item appear at the correct position after 5 seconds (ticket #10905).
  • Browse no longer reports that it is running on an XO, which may affect the behaviour of certain sites which attempt to display an XO-optimized version (ticket #10921). The title of the webpage is not always displayed correctly (ticket #10751). Scrolling with the arrow keys and game keys does not work as expected (ticket #10514) and the activity will display pages with the wrong scaling settings if started when the screen is in a rotated mode (ticket #10566).
  • Etoys sound recording may freeze or record low-quality audio (ticket #9724, ticket #9527). When collaborating, items may fail to be transferred (ticket #10744), and chat messages may fail to display the sender icon (ticket #10745).
  • Record does not correctly pause itself when it is left running but is no longer the active activity. Multiple instances of Record will not always work correctly when run simultaneously (ticket #10659).
  • The Moon activity fails to launch if the system date is wildly incorrect (SL#3223).
  • When upgrading activities using the Software Update functionality, activity icons may be duplicated in the home screen until reboot (ticket #11373).

Sugar collaboration

The following issues are all believed to be regressions over OLPC OS 10.1.3.

  • When the initiator of a shared activity leaves the activity, the icon of the shared activity will disappear from the neighborhood view of other participants (ticket #10674).
  • When collaborating over a jabber server, names of other users may be displayed as their account hashes (e.g. c72019147aed6de8731769a126c2931a8a9ecfeb) rather than their name (ticket #10750).
  • If a user changes his name, the new name is not reliably communicated to his peers (ticket #10749).
  • The friends tray in the Sugar frame is incorrect for the initiator of a shared activity; it will not show other users who have joined (ticket #10801)
  • When collaborating over a jabber server, information regarding who has joined and left an activity is not displayed reliably (ticket #11075)
  • If a user is invited to an activity but does not have that activity installed, a confusing grey circle is displayed where the invitation would normally be (ticket #10821).
  • Upon accepting a private invitation via the frame, if the frame is left open during activity launch then the invitation will not disappear as it should (ticket #11073).
  • The olpc-xos diagnostic tool for developers no longer shows the users connected to the jabber server (ticket #10677).
  • When inviting another learner to an activity the frame does only show ourself, this is true for both members of the session ticket #11074

Input

  • F5 and F6 are bound to Search and Frame on all laptops, when these mappings should ideally only apply to XO High-School laptops where these icons are printed on the keys (ticket #10534)
  • Some mousepads support tap to click. This has been intentionally disabled but the disabling is unreliable on AVC/Sentelic touchpads (ticket #11365).

Power management

Automatic power management is enabled on XO-1.5 by default, and can be optionally enabled on XO-1 via the Sugar Settings dialog. When enabled, the following bugs are present:

  • On XO-1, wireless network connectivity may disappear while the system is sleeping (ticket #10232)
  • On XO-1, touchpad may seem slow to respond as the system wakes (ticket #10233)
  • XO-1.5 may fail to be woken up by network traffic directed at it (ticket #9960)
  • XO-1.5 wireless may fail and be automatically reset during system resume. This will cause a momentary interruption of connectivity, and could result in the XO-1.5 connecting to a different network after the reset.
  • The laptop may only sleep for short periods of time due to being woken up by unrelated/uninteresting multicast network traffic.
  • The mouse will occasionally be excessively jumpy for a few seconds after system wakeup, before it gets automatically recalibrated (ticket #10967).
  • If put into a state where the system is suspended and cannot be woken up with the power button, typing on the keyboard while in suspended state may result in a misbehaving keyboard when the system resumes (ticket #11223).

OS update

  • After updating the system using olpc-update, the following boot takes a bit longer than usual while some disk space is recovered. If Ctrl+Alt+F1 is pressed during this operation, the system will halt with an error message (ticket #11371). Power cycling the system will cause the process to continue from where it left off and boot successfully.

XO-1.75

  • Sound does not work correctly in many activities (ticket #11296).
  • There is no suspend/resume support yet.
  • There is slight mouse cursor visual corruption in Sugar, and the mouse cursor in GNOME appears odd, but is otherwise functional.
  • Screen rotation works, but video performance is noticably degraded in the rotated modes, and some activities misbehave after the screen has been rotated (ticket #11344).
  • The mouse is sometimes unusable on boot (ticket #11363).
  • Boot occasionally hangs at an early point in the startup animation (ticket #11357).

XO-1.5

  • The microphone recording level is believed to be too low in comparison to XO-1 (ticket #10903).

XO-1

  • The system may hang (in some cases intermittently, in some cases every time) when a USBVGA adapter is attached during boot (ticket #10568).
  • Unfortunately, the base filesystem has grown in this release to the point where it is not possible to upgrade from a freshly-installed 10.1.3 OS to 11.2.0. This is due to temporary disk space requirements during the upgrade process. The update preparation steps are therefore essential, so that enough disk space is available.
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