Short bio: Computer Scientist, FOSS supporter (read more)
Tux Machines (TM)-specific
As you know openSUSE released the first beta in the 10.2 developmental cycle on the 26th and tuxmachines has been checking it out in preparation for our report. This feature and version freeze release came with quite a few annoying bugs, but most didn't apply to my testing. I did encounter a coupla problems of my own and little or no new eye candy was found. But how did the system perform overall?
The installer was the same as we've grown accustomed to basically. This release the installer went back to full screen (at least here) and something happened to the fonts. They seemed very jagged and faded out in places. That was weird. The only new feature I picked up on was the new types of installs. LVM appeared previously, but this release I noticed EVMS is now available (although there seems to be some bugs with this option). Reiserfs was still the default filesystem and reiser4 was still not available. One of the most annoying bugs concerns the installation of Grub. It will overwrite your MBR no matter what you choose in the configuration and I've seen reports that it won't even write it correctly rendering your system unbootable. I avoided this issue by choosing not to install a bootloader at all (which is my normal method anyway). But if you're gonna test this release, I'd suggest having a livecd handy. Most of my hardware was detected properly although, as stated earlier, I did have some minor issues.
I had no problems with X, but I had some sound issues. System sounds worked fine in both KDE and Gnome, but the sound in any of the multimedia applications just was not happening. I didn't dig around and try to discover why at this point. I was delighted to see KdeTV working wonderfully in Beta 1, except for the 'no sound' issue. Hopefully this problem won't be present in the later betas/rcs.
I've seen reports of usb not working correctly with this beta, but I had no problems with the few usb devices I use. My usb devices consist of a scanner, printer, webcam, and a removable usbkey. I did have to run the configuration wizard for the printer (either during install or after) and the scanner (after install), but they did function properly afterwards. My usbkey is recognized upon insertion and a dialog box opens in KDE asking if I'd like it to be opened in a filebrowsing window, as it should and always has. In addition, a listing for it appears in My Computer as well as showing different specifications depending upon its mount status.
When I started Beta 1 for the first time, my network connection was not working. Going through the settings in yast, and even changing them and restarting the network didn't bring it up. I was able to bring it up manually at the commandline. In subsequent boots however, it was available as desired. I left the option to use traditional ifup enabled during install and then changed it to openSUSE's newer Network Manager when re-configuring after the problems. So, I'm not sure if their ifup has issues, but using their Network Manager seems to bring it up at boot.
There was a new icon in the system tray for Online Updates. It seemed to duplicate the same functionality as the older Software Update icon and applet, but this newer applet seems more integrated with the new Software Manager. Clicking on 'configure update source' brings up the yast source configuration. There were no updates at this time so we weren't able to perform any further testing. Online Update through yast still brings up the Software Manager with a Patches option in the Filter drop down menu.
The Software Manager seemed to be functioning well here as far as tested. After the initial system install, a few packages were selected and installed from the DVD without issue. The categories in the Pattern windowpane continue to be refined, although XFCE was noticeably absent. This release we find our Pattern categories to be:
Most of the applications found in the menus opened and functioned as far as testing except the multimedia applications as previously stated. I could get no sound out of any of the music players or tv apps and the video players wouldn't play any of the commonly found video formats.
One of the 2D games complained it couldn't find any 3D support. I have an nvidia card and was using "nv" graphic drivers, so of course it was correct in stating none was present. However I still wondered why X-Moto that's described as a 2D Motocross Game wanted 3D support. If it requires 3D, perhaps the name description needs to be adjusted. If I were to run this install for much longer than a few days of testing, proprietary NVIDIA drivers would be installed.
Some of the version highlights this release include:
As stated, there didn't seem to be any new eye candy present, except the newer splash theme is finding its way into some of the applications. For example, The GIMP's new splash graphic. The pretty SUSE windec was missing this release. Instead we find Plastik set as default with no SUSE in the drop down choices at all. Does this mean openSUSE artists are working on and we might get a new SUSE windec in 10.2? As the wallpaper that has been in place the last several development releases isn't really too pretty, I'm thinking they are holding out and making us wait for the new 10.2 wallpaper as well. I bet it's going to match the new splash screens. ...maybe.
Mozilla Firefox appears to be the newly released version 2.0, although technically, it was a pre-release cvs version from Oct. 23. The new homepage of opensuse.org is a trendy looking list of available languages which leads one to a revamped Welcome Page.
Some changelog highlights include:
- Update to current CVS version of 2.0.
- Use www.opensuse.org as default home page for now
- fixed build with gcc (GCC) 4.1.2 20061018
- update to version 0.2 release candidate:
* support new Beagle backend for KNotes
* require a minimum of 3 chars for search
- update to 5.2.0RC6
- Update to 0.2.11:
- Improves search time performance
- Adds KNotes backend
- Adds KAddressbook backend
- disable the recent fixes of the byte code interpreter because
if breaks the rendering of "Luxi Mono"
- new upstream release 103
- update to 3.3.7:
* include CVE-2006-4811 patch
- updated ooo-build to version 220.127.116.11:
- Updated PPDs from the following manufacturers
to the newest available from LinuxPrinting.org:
HP, OCE, Sharp, Kyocera, Ricoh-family (Ricoh, Gestetner,
Infotec, Lanier, NRG, Savin), Brother, Oki,
but Epson cannot be updated because of non-free license.
- Added Toshiba PPDs (under GPL with additional permission).
- Update for modular X.
- updated to version 1.3.6
++++ Full Changelog
The List of Most Annoying Bugs this release are:
Well, that's about it this time. Seems most of the work was under the hood this time. Some things were broken, but some things from last time were fixed. Take a look at the changelog to see all the changes. There were too many bug fixes and version updates to count. Beta 2 is due out Thu, Nov 9; RC 1 is expected Thu, Nov 23; and final is scheduled for release Thu, Dec 7.