I still remember the Woody and Sarge release cycles and I am so happy that Debian nowadays has a somewhat stable release cycle.
Today it is here: Debian 10 a.k.a. Buster! Congratulations Debian team for another great release, your work is more than appreciated.
Next to lots of updated software, the biggest change undoubtedly is that Debian is finally able to do secure boot. Also, when using the Gnome Desktop, the default display manager will be Wayland instead of Xorg.
You can find the full release announcement on the Debian website.
By now there is a new firmware package available from Debian, no more manual intervention is needed.
If you depend on Wifi for your connectivity and the Wifi disconnects all the time it can get really irritating. After 3 days of intense searching I finally came across this post in the Arch Linux forums which describes exactly what to do so the disconnects finally stop. Ironically again Arch, maybe I should try that distribution for a change
All in all I am still super happy with the XPS 13, great performance, great screen, great battery life. After solving the disconnects I can easily live with software rendering (for the time being) and I think even the Wifi power settings can be turned on again.
Just to summarize the steps to get the disconnects solved:
/lib/firmware/ath10k/QCA6174and delete the whole directory.
/lib/firmware/ath10k/(I used softlinks).
lshw -c Networkif the latest firmware is loaded.
As Buster is still young I assume this will be long solved until it will be released.
I got myself a new challenge: a brand new Dell XPS 13 9370 (2018 model) Developer Edition (non-touch). I really love this notebook, thus far I have not found one single point of criticism (I am not a webcam user ).
It comes pre-installed with Ubuntu and even after just booting it and using it for about 10 minutes I remembered why I don't like Ubuntu. So I quickly prepared a Debian Stretch installer stick with non-free firmware. The notebook is very thin and has no USB A ports anymore, let alone a RJ45 connector for LAN. So to install you depend on Wifi and for that the non-free firmware is really needed.
However, somehow the Stretch installer didn't like the firmware, not even the updated one. It was looking for a 3.0/firmware-5.bin whereas there are only 3.0/firmware-4.bin and 3.0/firmware-6.bin files available. And because I wanted to start using this great piece of hardware as soon as possible I became lazy and just used the Buster installer which works fine.
Points of attention so far (the rest is working perfectly):
As said, everything else works fine and I am really happy. Ironically, the Arch Linux Wiki pages for the 9360 and 9370 were more helpful than the Debian Wiki pages As soon as I solved my problems I might make an account and edit the Debian Wiki page for the 9370.
Updates on this notebook and Debian will surely follow!
For news from the previous years please have a look at the News archive.