Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

openSUSE 10.3 Alpha 6 Report

Filed under
Reviews
SUSE
-s

openSUSE 10.3 Alpha 6 appeared yesterday, the same day as the unveiling of the new openSUSE News portal. And that right after the big announcement that Andreas was handing over the reins of project manager to Coolo. I kinda expected Alpha 6 to be delayed by that latter news. It wasn't and it was a doozy too. The DVD deltaiso was over a one gig in size, so I was expecting some significant changes and improvements this time.

Testing Machine

Coincidently, the day that Alpha 6 was announced was the same day that I received a nice donation of a new (to me) server machine from a friend of tuxmachines. I was wanting to test it and I decided to kill two birds with one stone and install Alpha 6 on it. It consists of a Gigabyte GA-M51GM-S2G mobo, AMD Athlon 64 x2 4200+ cpu, two gig DDR2-667 RAM, on-board Marvell 88E1116 nic, and on-board Geforce 6100 graphics.

Install

The install routine was pretty much unchanged, except I did spot a new item in the package selection. KDE 4 Base System is now listed. openSUSE had done marvelously with the new machine through the other setup routines, but when I chose that KDE 4 Base System it just stopped responding. I left the office and the hour glass for over 15 minutes, but decided it wasn't going any further. I hit reset and decided not to pick KDE 4 this time. I chose the ususal KDE as main desktop, then GNOME at the package selection, as well as C/C++ and Kernel development. At the end of the install, the downloading of release notes was successful. Another new element of the install process was when I was given a short list of online repositories to choose from if I wished to configure then. The one that was pre-selected is the OSS Factory repo, but I was also offered the non-oss repo. I chose it and again the process stopped at the hour glass and no twinkling hard drive indicator. I waited for about 15 minutes before ctrl+F2'in to /sbin/reboot. I cancelled out of that step completely the second time.

System

Package management is one of the major areas of change this release. Developers have been working on it throughout but some big changes happened this past month. With the freeze up during installation configuration, I was left with no repositories. Attempting to set this up manually using the Online Update Configuration didn't finish either. It too just sat there appearing to have stopped responding. Another aspect of the new package management is the elimination of the needing to recache the database each start. However, mine still did, or something that looked like it. After reparsing, it gave me the message that only the installed packages would appear, so apparently it didn't even add the install DVD to the local cache. Also at this point the packages are no longer compatible with YUM or Smart. So, all in all, it is a bit broken this time.

Also upon boot my network card which worked during the install no longer worked. ...or rather, it just wasn't started. However, my connection would come right up when started manually.

No new eye candy (or any change in appearance) was seen this release. However, I believe we will see some next release as I read somewhere about some being added to the factory tree after the creation of Alpha 6.

KDE worked rather well, but GNOME is back on the critical list. Tomboy crashes repetitively at start and the panel never finishes loading. We have desktop icons, the Update applet, and time and date, but no menu or quick launchers.

I had trouble with KDE's mount of removable media as user too. I received the error "the option "flush" is not allowed." I also had trouble ssh'in into or out of Alpha 6, which was a first.

Many of my findings correspond with some of the Most Annoying Bugs:

  • Network setup is broken, needs some manual repair or rcnetwork restart

  • Public key for checking release-notes.rpm is unavailable
  • Registration is broken
  • GNOME is W.I.P.
  • Adding default repositories crashes installation

Some of the new version highlights include:

  • kernel-default-2.6.22-5

  • xorg-x11-7.2-96
  • gcc-4.2-9
  • kdebase3-3.5.7-32
  • qt3-3.3.8-49
  • gnome-desktop-2.19.4-3
  • gtk2-2.11.5-3
  • OpenOffice_org-2.2.99.211-5
  • MozillaFirefox-2.0.0.4-14
  • gimp-2.2.13-90
  • ndiswrapper-1.47-5
  • Full RPM List

Some Changelog Highlights are:

++++ compiz:

- Updated to latest git version (0.5.1_git_xxx) to make compiz compile against
new libwnck.
- New schema system.
- Moved gnome-xgl-info and gnome-xgl-switch back to main package
- gnome-xgl-info and gnome-xgl-switch reside in /usr/bin now.

++++ kdebase3:

- update from 3.5 branch to include bugfixes

++++ perl-Crypt-SSLeay:

- version update to 0.56

++++ wine:

- Upgraded to upstream 0.9.41

++++ glibc:

- Update to head of glibc-2.6 branch.

++++ flash-player:

- update to 9.0.48.0

++++ Full Changelog

All told this release is kinda broken, but it is an alpha. You have to break a few eggs to make a souffl'e, and hopefully it won't fall next release. This is the first release for which Coolo took responsibility, but he came along late in the game. Let's hang this one on Andreas. (jk) Actually, Coolo is said to have stated that this is the first alpha to feel like an alpha. Well, I don't know about that.

Network problems lead to rash judgement?

I think most of your criticisms, whilst valid, derive only from a failure to properly install and configure drivers for your network card (during the install process). Whilst this doesn't help yourself, I don't think this should lead us to write off this distro as 'broken'.

re: Network problems lead to rash judgement?

The network connection was barely mentioned alongside the other half dozen or so broken or malfunctioning systems. But it's an alpha, it's supposed to be broken. Big Grin

Give her (and us) a break

winchuff wrote:
I think most of your criticisms, whilst valid, derive only from a failure to properly install and configure drivers for your network card (during the install process).

In an alpha release, you'd expect for there to be some show-stopping bugs. "Network setup is broken" and "Adding default repositories crashes installation" are both enough to tell you that this is....an alpha release.

winchuff wrote:
I don't think this should lead us to write off this distro as 'broken'.

Obviously, openSUSE as a distro isn't broken. Nobody said that. This alpha release, however, is. That's why it's....an alpha release.

re: openSUSE 10.3 Alpha 6 Report

I've tried it too, i thought i might as well give the new one cd installation a try while i'm at it... (big mistake)

i'm a gnome lover, so i chose the gnome 2.19 CD despite the W.I.P warning that coolo gave us, i just have to learn the hard way, if i wasn't like that, life would be too easy for me to handle. what i found was that THE WHOLE FREAKIN SYSTEM IS BROKEN, you can't add repos with the new zypper (if you used yast it will hang, and if you used zypper CL it will JUST not work) and, of course, no sound, no control center or gnome-main-menu (SUSE menu) for gnome, half of the applets are not working, gdm is broken, blah, blah, blah...

the only thing i did get working was 'smart' - after manually downloading and installing it from the factory repo, i thought maybe i could fix the system by updating faulty packages and installing the missing dependencies, but no, that would have been too easy (and we don't want that)

so i gave up..

i know it's an alpha and all, but as far as i know it's supposed to be the last one, i mean the former alphas were far more stable than this, we're supposed to be heading forward, not falling down on our asses, or am i making a big fuss about nothing? i don't know, i just can't let myself be more assed about it, i just installed the new compiz-fusion along with the new screenlets-0.8, and i just wanna say "MACs, watch out!" Tongue

re: SUSE 10.3 ALPHA 6

You'd a thunk that by now - almost everyone would understand WHAT ALPHA MEANS?

Apparently not.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

More in Tux Machines

Google, IBM and Microsoft

  • Five Common Chromebook Myths Debunked
    When Chromebooks first came out in 2011, they were basically just low-spec laptops that could access web apps – fine for students maybe, but not to be regarded as serious computers. While they’ve become more popular (the low cost, simplicity, and dependability appeal to businesses and education systems), as of 2018 Chromebooks still haven’t managed to become widely accepted as a Windows/Apple/Linux alternative. That may be about to change. The humble Chromebook has gotten a lot of upgrades, so let’s get ourselves up to speed on some things that just aren’t true anymore. [...] The 2011 Chrome OS was pretty bare-bones, but it’s gone to the opposite extreme since then. Not only is it steadily blurring the line between Chrome and Android, it can now install and run some Windows programs as well, at the same time as a Chrome and an Android app, if you like. And hey, while you’re at it, why not open a Linux app as well? You can already install Linux on a Chromebook if you want, but one of the next versions of Chrome OS is going to include a Linux virtual machine accessible right from your desktop (which is already possible, just not built-in and user-friendly). In sum, Chrome OS has gone from barely being an operating system to one that can run apps from four other OSes at the same time.
  • Like “IBM’s Work During the Holocaust”: Inside Microsoft, Growing Outrage Over a Contract with ICE
  • Ubuntu Podcast from the UK LoCo: S11E15 – Fifteen Minutes - Ubuntu Podcast
    ...Microsoft getting into hot water over their work with US Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Plus we round up the community news.

KDE on Android: CI, CD & SDK

I guess we all agree that one of the biggest stoppers to get a contribution out is the ability to get the system ready to start working on the contribution. Today I want to talk a bit about generating Android binaries from our machine. In the KDE Edu sprint we had the blatant realisation that it’s very frustrating to keep pushing the project while not being swift at delivering fresh packages of our applications in different systems. We looked into windows, flatpak, snap and, personally, I looked into Android once again. Nowadays, KDE developers develop the applications on their systems and then create the binaries on their systems as well. Usually it’s a team effort where possibly just one person in the team will be familiar with Android and have the development combo in place: Android SDK, Android NDK, Qt binaries and often several KDE Frameworks precompiled. Not fun and a fairly complex premise. Read more Also:

today's howtos

Linux Kernel and Security: LVM2, Containers, AMD

  • LVM2 Begins Work On Major Changes To Logical Volume Management
    LVM2 as the user-space tools for Logical Volume Management (LVM) on Linux is in the process of going through a big re-work.
  • Containers and Cloud Security
    The idea behind this blog post is to take a new look at how cloud security is measured and what its impact is on the various actors in the cloud ecosystem. From the measurement point of view, we look at the vertical stack: all code that is traversed to provide a service all the way from input web request to database update to output response potentially contains bugs; the bug density is variable for the different components but the more code you traverse the higher your chance of exposure to exploitable vulnerabilities. We’ll call this the Vertical Attack Profile (VAP) of the stack. However, even this axis is too narrow because the primary actors are the cloud tenant and the cloud service provider (CSP). In an IaaS cloud, part of the vertical profile belongs to the tenant (The guest kernel, guest OS and application) and part (the hypervisor and host OS) belong to the CSP. However, the CSP vertical has the additional problem that any exploit in this piece of the stack can be used to jump into either the host itself or any of the other tenant virtual machines running on the host. We’ll call this exploit causing a failure of containment the Horizontal Attack Profile (HAP). We should also note that any Horizontal Security failure is a potentially business destroying event for the CSP, so they care deeply about preventing them. Conversely any exploit occurring in the VAP owned by the Tenant can be seen by the CSP as a tenant only problem and one which the Tenant is responsible for locating and fixing. We correlate size of profile with attack risk, so the large the profile the greater the probability of being exploited.
  • Canonical Releases AMD Microcode Updates for All Ubuntu Users to Fix Spectre V2
    Canonical released a microcode update for all Ubuntu users with AMD processors to address the well-known Spectre security vulnerability. The Spectre microprocessor side-channel vulnerabilities were publicly disclosed earlier this year and discovered to affect billions of devices made in the past two decades. Unearthed by Jann Horn of Google Project Zero, the second variant (CVE-2017-5715) of the Spectre vulnerability is described as a branch target injection attack.