System Image, stable vs sid, WiFi recent disconnects

currently the system image is based in trixie/sid, which is suboptimal from a security and stability standpoint. there are stable images present on reform.debian.net which work great apparently, only thing missing I detected immediately, was the missing WiFi functionality. But then, my exprience with WiFi with the trixie/sid image is not very stable, as there a many disconnects, slow throughput and console errors like “get regdmn for EU failed” and “target uses HTT version 3.60; hosts uses 3.28”
is there a roadmap regarding a move to stable in the near future?
is there a solution for the wifi driver issues?

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Please note, that it was only two days ago that I managed to make the machinery work again with help from users in the reform IRC channel. So these images did not receive much testing and it would not surprise me if you find bugs. If you do, please report them.

No, the MNT repositories and system images will not move to stable.

The driver needs to be backported to bookworm: ezurio-qcacld-2.0-dkms - Debian Package Tracker

Do you want to help?

alright, but long-term this is the right direction to move to.
I will likely boot up the system again with the stable image from SD and see if I can find something else than the missing Wi-Fi functionality.
Where could/should I report any of those bugs?

How is the security implication handled, as the packages in sid are not under scrutiny of the Debian security team, if I recall correctly.
Is there a specific reason or will this change, when there current unstable (trixie) will be declared stable?

I am interested in helping, but not sure if I would be able to.
For now I use the unstable system image.
All the mentioned errors and frequent disconnects were observed there.

I guess to me. Either via Mail (josch@debian.org) or via IRC or by opening an issue (see the bottom of the reform.d.n pages). If at some point, more than just me are maintaining this, I’ll think about a better way of doing bug reports.

Yes, the focus of the security team are the stable releases. But the maintainer of affected packages will be in the loop and I cannot remember an issue being found without a corresponding upload to unstable. But yes, I would agree that it is less reliable than stable in terms of tracking CVEs. In case you care about any specific vulnerability, you can look up its status in the various suites on security-tracker.debian.org for example here one of the most recent fun bugs:
CVE-2024-6387 As you can see, it also shows you the status in unstable.

Yes, there is a specific reason: Time. MNT is a very, very small company with less than a handful of people working on things full-time. I have no idea how @minute is able to do the hours that they work per day (you get a rough idea of the amount of work they do if you start hanging out on the IRC channel where they are very active). I hope that Lukas is not doing too much and keeps enough care to not be burned out at some point. Been there done that. But the amount of content that Lukas and their team churnes out is insane. I mean, they already had sway as a desktop. They didn’t have to add wayfire on top. Why add the reform setup wizard if users can just run adduser themselves? Why add tuigreet? Why care about gstreamer and mesa working without glitches? And these are just some examples from the software side of things because we are talking about the software on the MNT Reform. I do not even want to get started on the hardware. Or on the documentation. You know what, let me actually bring up the documentation. They didn’t need to write a complete handbook for the Reform. And then they did. They didn’t need to write a revised second version. They didn’t need to do a completely new handbook for the Pocket Reform. 135 pages of documentation for the Pocket. People would’ve bought the device without it, right? Right now they are working on the Reform Next and you know, they don’t need to write documentation and publish images and stuff for a project that is not even officially announced yet and then you get nine pages of pressing the page-down key of this: Reform / reform-next · GitLab Show me any hard and software company of comparable size that gives you this much quality and extra goodies.

But then the day only has that many hours and in the end we want MNT to also do hardware and not just software and documentation (and user support, and hardware assembly, and logistics, and finances/taxes and…), so instead of targeting both Debian stable and unstable you have to decide: do you develop for stable or for unstable? The answer is pretty clear: it has to be unstable because your hardware will not work on stable. At the time before bookworm, when the imx8mq was the main platform for the MNT Reform, we needed to build our own gstreamer plugins to play hardware accelerated video. For a long time we even built ffmpeg. Or we built built xwayland and fontconfig. All with patches so that things would work. And this is while already using unstable. Then bookworm gets released and all packages are finally new enough for the imx8mq. But then the a311d banana pi became a thing. The version of mesa in bookworm is too old for the a311d. What do you do now? The hardware in a Reform is already very slow in comparison. If we would stick to what is in Debian stable, MNT would not be able to get new CPU boards up and running.

Lastly, consider this: if we as a community have the option of creating free hardware or free software, for which do you think would you find more people with the right skills? Would you not agree that we have far more people who are skilled in software development than those who can actually design a piece of hardware? And if that is so, is the very little time that Lukas and their team has not much better spent on doing hardware? I mean, they already do software. Clearly they could do more, but should they? Should they do less in terms of the user support they give or write less documentation? In my opinion: let MNT create great hardware and let us help with the software. If I can put my free-time into maintaining Debian Bookworm on reform.debian.net and as a result Lukas has more time to sink into creating the Reform Next or the RK3588 board, then I gladly do exactly that.

What do you think?

Personally I think first contributions are easiest for problems you observe and care about. If you cannot fix those themselves, ask others and see if you can come up with a solution and (if it’s a software issue) then prepare a patch or merge request.

You might want to bring that up in its own dedicated thread instead of overloading this thread with two very different topics. :slight_smile:

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I’m really hoping to be able to do something to help the community once I get my Pocket Reform. Not sure what exactly yet…

Sorry, I hope my post did not make anybody feel guilty. That was not my intention. I do what I do because I have fun doing it and I hope that everybody else in this community can do the same, be it just using their Reform or reporting bugs, or submitting patches or just writing friendly messages to people here. I hope everybody can have a good time here. :slight_smile:

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I can see how the post may come across as aggressive but in my opinion, it’s mainly dripping with fan-kid-ism. Like someone seeing their hero with glitter in their eyes :slight_smile:

I think it would be nice that reform work nicely under debian stable. On the other hand, reform is upstream and upstream go in cid then flow down into unstable then stable if I understand things correctly. And in this framing, I think it should be volunteer work that manage the stable channel for reform. And I would be happy to help once I get more hardware than a keyboard.

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Quite the opposite, I think your post was inspirational. :slightly_smiling_face:

Oh yes, the glitter and fan-kid-ism is really strong here! :grin:

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No guilt read in your post! Thanks for that. I already knew MNT was tiny and run by crazy-dedicated folk, who BY FAR I prefer to support than a Dell or (ugh) HP. No contest there. I do hope they avoid burnout, or schedule it for in between projects, lol. And take time off to enjoy. It’s obviously deserved.

All of the problems I’ve had have been small and fixable. No complaints!

As Bob Pease (revered greybeard master semi designer for National Seminconductor) said, “may all your problems be middle-sized, so that you can find them and fix them.”

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Alright, I see your point, then I would like to dedicate this thread to the WiFi issue, as it seems to affect multiple people currently.
I saw that there was an update of the qcacld2 driver, which at least solved the errors in the system log, but the signal strength is still not good und recent disconnects occur.
I checked with 5 different devices lying next to the Pocket Reform and any one of them had more than 10 dBm better RSSI while using the same band on the AP. Another device in the next room even had the same RSSI. So there seems to be a real problem with reception. I saw that the Wi-Fi antenna sits on the standby-switch and trrs-jack board. Maybe there is intereference or another cause, which prevents good reception.