The Battle for HDMI?

I’m getting a lot of grief… or rather Ubuntu is getting an awful amount of grief from a normal Ubuntu user who is used to his laptop computer with HDMI automatically switching video and audio from the laptop screen/speakers to the television.

This of course doesn’t work in Ubuntu 11.10 and it hurts when I here things like “It’s not user friendly” and “why doesn’t it work, it should bloody work” and “I plug it in and Ubuntu fails”. This is very frustrating, I don’t want Ubuntu’s motto to be “To get your computer working, restart it into Windows” as that’s just shit. I’ve had to create a script to poll the status and do what it needs to work. I’m debating putting this in a ppa and answering the 40 or so hdmi askubuntu questions.

What’s difficult about Ubuntu advocacy overall is that it’s like fighting a war, a constant and ill equipped war where we have to fight an monstrous company with an army of minions, a horde of cash and worse of all, massive public support. And all the weapons we’re given blow up in our faces because the people behind the lines can’t or won’t test them before shipping them.

*sigh* I’m going to need an extra dose of coolaid at the next advocates anonymous meeting.

10 Responses to “The Battle for HDMI?”

  1. sorinica says:

    the next ubuntu version will feature the “stable” unity. it will look very nice, but you won’t be able find a terminal to run your script. we *will* switch to windows…

  2. Daeng Bo says:

    I feel your pain. Ubuntu keeps adding more stuff into the basic system, and it’s getting in the way of proper testing.

  3. kklimonda says:

    Yeah, that’s been pretty much how I’ve been feeling since Microsoft has released Windows 7. I’ve come to the conclusion that we’ll never be able to catch up with the “latest and greatest” technology – this release it’s HDMI detection (on my desktop to get audio over HDMI I have to choose the right connector from the list of descriptive names like “HDMI #1″, “HDMI #2″ etc), before it’s been NVIDIA Optimus (not that it works properly yet), soon we’ll be switching to wayland or someone will come up with some new hardware.. [1] As long as hardware companies don’t care about Ubuntu/Linux it’s always going to be like that.

    [1] for example http://www.logitech.com/en-us/349/6072 barely works, with kernel 3.2 we’ll get proper drivers but not user-land tools to pair devices

  4. Jeff says:

    My experience is that automatic HDMI video output switching Just Works. At least in Fedora with Intel drivers (tested on F15, haven’t tested earlier but I remember ubuntu also working like that a while ago).

    Now, for audio, there’s https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/pulseaudio/+bug/472697 which leads to the patch upstream that has been integrated in pulseaudio 1.0

  5. doctormo says:

    Jeff – I think this Intel GPU driver has a uevent bug, and that’s why it doesn’t instantly switch. running xrandr or the display properties is enough to fix it, you don’t even need to do anything in the settings. As for the audio, that also would need to the uevent in any case and I see from the patch set that it was included in oneiric.

  6. Marcos says:

    Clear and real. Ubuntu should be more easy and intuitive.
    I always have problems installing Flash codec (for Firefox) or music codecs… (by example) :(
    Best regards and good point!

  7. Kushal says:

    I am an avid fan of Ubuntu and even though I’m not switching away from it, I too sometimes get frustrated with some of the things the “upgrades” end up breaking on my system. E.g., my AOC monitor would work perfectly with Maverick. I plugged it in, the computer detected the new display, allowed me to configure it, and then it just worked. All I had to do was plug in the monitor and the new resolution and display settings would take effect. Then I upgraded to Natty, and that support just broke. I upgraded to Oneiric later and that didn’t make things better either. In fact, with the switch to LightDM, it became even worse, because now no one knows how to use Xrandr to permanently apply custom resolution settings. As a result, now I have a small “resolution-fix.sh” script that I have to always run in order to tell Xrandr that the new resolution for the VGA monitor is 1360×768! Why do things that seem to work perfectly get broken this way?

    Either way, I’ve asked this question on launchpad.net to no avail. Fortunately, 12.04 is set to come with greater dual monitor support; so I’m hoping this issue will be resolved.

  8. doctormo says:

    Marcos – Install the ubuntu restricted extras package, there is nothing else needed for flash.

  9. Marcos says:

    @doctormo: Yes, but the ‘normal’ way for a ‘normal’ user it’s the request from Firefox ;) I think it’s the default spanish repositories, but a ‘normal’ user must think/know about it? ;)

  10. doctormo says:

    @Marcos – This is a problem with Mozilla, they support Linux horribly.