My favorite customizations (for laptop)

Fedora Workstation 31 on my Dell XPS 13 (9380) with HiDPI touchscreen is fantastic. Yes.

However, in the last few months I gathered a list of points which make the experience of Fedora (and Linux) on this laptop even more fantastic and I want to share them:

  1. Close the lid and continue where you stopped. Without hibernate the laptop runs out of battery when keeping the lid closed for several days.

In order to make this happen I had to tackle a few points:

a) Install Fedora with a huge swap partition. I used 1.5 times my RAM equals 24 GB. Of course, this swap partition is most of the time unused, but needed for hibernate.

b) Switch off kernel lock-down with sudo mokutil --disable-validation [1] two allow hibernate. I feel safer not disabling SecureBoot in the UEFI.

c) Manually edit etc/systemd/logind.conf to activate suspend-then-hibernate upon HandleLidSwitch [2]. I prefer suspend-then-hibernate over hibernate because if closing the lid for short time the laptop is awake immediately.

It would be great to a) have a swap file instead of a swap partition to safe precious space on SSD, which b) works for hibernate with kernel lock-down enabled. Lastly, the HandleLidSwitch should default to suspend-then-hibernate.

  1. Get rid of 5 sec delay in grub2 upon dual-boot

I disabled the grub boot menu by changing the waiting time to 0 [3]. I can boot into my Windows by using the UEFI capabilities. I do not need the grub2 boot-menu.

  1. Enable codecs in Firefox to watch e.g. Youtube videos

I followed this guide [4]. Potentially this could be made easier with a suggested install in Gnome Software (like Chrome and Steam).

  1. Support for fractional scaling

I enabled the still experimental feature [5] in Fedora Workstation 32 Beta, but fractional scaling is only offered between 100 % and 200 % in 25 % steps. For my 13 inch HiDPI screen 225 % might be ideal.

  1. Allow automatic updates

An easy switch in Gnome Software to download updates automatically and install upon next boot would be awesome. At the moment I am doing this manually. I do not like to use dnf-automatic [6] as I am worried that I either by chance close the lid while updates are being installed or that I run into some weird behaviour as some service needs a re-start.

As said in the beginning, I am really happy with Fedora on my laptop, but I felt it makes sense to make the community aware of some points which further improve the experience.

Kind regards, wurstsemmel

Links:

https://share.mailbox.org/ajax/share/07683ca90f49b54e7e09b65f49b547c199908a4aeeccf7a8/1/8/MzY/MzYvOA

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HI @wurstsemmel, welcome to the Ask.fedora community.

The ideas you are listing seem to be an improvement to your desktop experience considering your personal preferences and requirements.

To be very honest with you, I think they are more a customization of the desktop that suit your (and maybe others) use case than a general improvement.

Here is my personal opinion:

I wouldn’t want this - I am happy with suspend-to-RAM (standby), and my computer probably boots faster than resuming from hibernation. In any case, Fedora is fast-rolling and requires a reboot every few days due to kernel updates. Moreover, I wouldn’t want to waste precious SSD space (24G unused swap).

What seems unncessary to you may be important to others (how would legacy BIOS users boot their 2nd OS? How do you boot an older kernel without boot menu?). I think it is easy enough to set the timer to 0 if desired.

Not sure what you did since you weren’t allowed to paste more links (maybe use https://paste.opensuse.org/ to paste links without expiration) .

https://blogs.gnome.org/hughsie/2018/08/08/gnome-software-and-automatic-updates/, this hasn’t landed??

Thumbs up - so maybe you can paste more links in the near future… Please don’t feel discouraged, you can always file an issue or a bug report and request a feature with the developers - that’s common procedure.

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I want to make a general note: the workstation or any other deliverable will not suit everyone. The idea is to have a product with sane defaults that would suit most people. Users that want different configurations will always need to tweak their settings. This, however, does not mean that the defaults should be changed :slight_smile:

For issues that you think do deserve to be defaults, please file bugs. Putting them on forums doesn’t do much. We’ll either agree or disagree, but we’re not the developers, and we cannot discuss them in detail. For things like fractional scaling, you must file bugs upstream with GNOME. Fedora is downstream, we take what Gnome produces and provide it to users.

I’ll only comment on this. Most videos on youtube use HTML5. For proprietary codecs, I want to remind everyone that “Freedom” is Fedora’s first foundation. We don’t just want to make operating systems, we want to make Free/Open Source software based operating systems. As much as possible, we encourage users to use FOSS. In spite of that, Gnome-Software now includes third party repositories that make the installation of Nvidia and other proprietary software easier. If that’s not enough, we literally have a quick-doc on installing multimedia-codecs (also listed in the posts in the #start-here category—you should have a look if you haven’t had chance yet).

https://docs.fedoraproject.org/en-US/project/

https://docs.fedoraproject.org/en-US/quick-docs/assembly_installing-plugins-for-playing-movies-and-music/

https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Workstation/Third_Party_Software_Repositories

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Dear @florian, Dear @FranciscoD,

thank you for your fast replies. I will change the title to better acknowledge that these are my favorite customizations which might help other users as well. I will use the paste option to complete the list of the links.

  1. Allow automatic updates

It is restricted to automatic updates of flatpaks.

  1. Codecs in Firefox

@FranciscoD, thank you for pointing to the resources describing how to install the codecs.

Point 1 is to big for me. You can have a look to this E-Mail thread which shows that suspend-then-hibernate was almost implemented for Fedora Workstation 29.

Point 2 and 3 I am unsure how to proceed.

Point 4 -> There is a merge request on Gnome Gitlab.

Point 5 again is a big point, which I think comes over time anyway. See also this common bug in Fedora Workstation 32.

Have a good weekend!

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