Short bio: Computer Scientist, FOSS supporter (read more)
Tux Machines (TM)-specific
Alpha 5 in the OpenSUSE 10.3 developmental cycle was released several days ago and with it came a few surprises. As opposed to big changes in the installed system itself, the big news this release was the 1 CD install offerings.
In KDE and GNOME flavors, this release brought the single ~700MB install cdrom. I found them to be complete enough to get a stable desktop system. Not much development will be possible without further package installation, but downloading and installing the required and other desired packages through yast might be preferrable to downloading the usual 5 or 6 cds or the huge dvd.
The only quirk I saw with installation of the one cd installs was the offering of XGL in the patterns of package selection and then receiving a error when trying to "check" it. The error stated those packages weren't available. As XGL is a completely new entry, listed as "Desktop Effects" in the traditional install media, it leads me to think they are in the process of spliting those packages into small enough components to fit on the one cd installers.
Again, as with the last release, Instlux wasn't able to get very far into the install onto the Windows partition. In fact, it exited with the same exact "Cannot copy E:\boot\x86_64\loader\intrid to C:\openSUSE\initrd" error. Well, I guess it needs more work.
Another new development is the use of libata, which will name devices in the /dev/sdXx format. So I guess my earlier assumption wasn't really too misplaced afterall. Updating from a previous install is supposed to fix all the files necessary in order for this change to go virtually unnoticed by end users, or at least give them no problems. I attempted to test on two installs, one version 10.2 and the other 10.3 Alpha 3. With 10.2, the package selection summary had a warning stating that upgrading from 10.2 to 10.3 isn't compatible. Furthering attempts, I then got several unresolved and locked files conflicts. I had customized that install trying to fix fonts, enable multimedia playback, and such so we can't really put all the blame on OpenSUSE. My other install was pretty much default and that upgrade process didn't fair much better. After warning me that libata doesn't support partition numbers beyond 15, configuration was fairly textbook. Then it spent quite a bit of time working away upgrading without issue, but ultimately shot an error about not being able to create the initrd image. So alas, the only real success I had was with a fresh install.
KDE4 is slowly creeping into OpenSUSE. Some of the directories are filled out and contain quite a few libraries and supporting files. There are even a few KDE4 binaries present - mostly in the form of games. In fact Kmahjongg, Kreversi, Kmines, and Patience have made it into the menu. There are several other KDE4 apps that are not installed by default but are listed in package manager.
Some RPM versioning this release:
Some Changelog Highlights include:
- replace gaim-devel by pidgin-devel in buildreq
- add pidgin patch (diff from pidgin-otr-3.0.0)
- Enable CONFIG_REISERFS_CHECK.
- Update to 2.6.22-rc4-git3
- add 24dock hook to add to pm-utils sleep hooks on installation
- add support for Thinkpad X40 dock station
- figure out scsi hosts manually
- Fix pwc based webcams, eg Quickcams
- Fix toolbar setting changes don't persist
- Update to PowerTOP 1.6
- Use pidgin instead of gaim.
- update to 3.90.1.svn670093
- update to 1.6.3
- Security update to version 126.96.36.199
++++ Lots of package renames and splits to create smaller systems
Most annoying bugs:
Between the release of 1 CD installs and the appearance of KDE4, it's been a fairly exciting release this time. No apparent new eye candy yet, but updated desktops and applications abound. I did a lot of testing this time and found that the 1 CD installs work okay as well as fresh install of the traditional media, but the upgrade path is still a bit buggy as is the install-on-Windows. We can expect Alpha6 around Thu, Jul 19 and it will feature gcc 4.2.