Our customers let us know about problems running Webconverger on the new hardware of:
- Dell Optiplex 7450s
Issues were LAN networking and video issues. This is a typical symptom of a new Intel hardware generation, namely the 7th generation. We have been a little fortunate that customers generally run our operating system on older hardware, somewhat reducing these sorts of issues. Recently Intel announced 8th generation.
Unfortunately each new hardware generation requires new drivers. I wish it didn't, but Intel's drivers do not seem to be always forward compatible. In the Linux ecosystem, this means an updated kernel and often Xorg drivers to support the new PC generation.
In Debian on which Webconverger is based, to get the latest kernel, you need to often do an entire distribution upgrade. Since Debian releases are typically frozen four years apart, it can be quite a challenging upgrade path!
We don't start from scratch, like re-installing a fresh copy of Windows. The reason why is that we are keen to keep the differences down using our git maintained rootfs. Though over time the position might become untenable. We've endeavoured to seamlessly support upgrades for our customer base, but the problem is... it's often a crazy amount of work. Tedious work that is manual and requiring a lot of test hardware. Worse is... work that often goes completely unnoticed!
The transition from Debian 8 (Jessie) to Debian 9 (Stretch) was an enormously stressful for me and I am thankful Matthijs Kooijman did such a great job. I laboriously ran as many tests as I could...
On 2017-09-06 I merged the 25805 file changes and I haven't had any negative feedback so far... However the now leader of Debian project has noticed I have broken reproducible builds. I will fix it or again contract someone to do it, since I am super busy.
To conclude, we have now taken many users through three major versions of Debian. I'm celebrating this release, the one you don't notice.