Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

openSUSE 10.2 Alpha 3 Report

Filed under
Reviews
SUSE
-s

Well, openSUSE 10.2 Alpha 3 is in our midst and Tuxmachines is here to keep you posted. This release we tested both an upgrade and a fresh install. We found this to be a very interesting release to say the least. It's an alpha to be sure to say the most.

Ok, let's expand on the most. My first interest was in the upgrade procedure - would it complete and provide an equal system to a fresh install? Then one has to decide to update from outside the system through the installer or from within the system with yast2 software manager (system update). Since I had had some questions from users concerning the update feature, I decided to test that method. So from my alpha2 install I defined my new alpha 3 repository and let the system update. The online update didn't show any updates until about 1/2 way through the update through the software manager. The software manager found over 300 packages to update and afterwards, the online update still found 13 more. After all the updates installed with no errors and a reboot, I discovered that didn't work out real well. X wouldn't start at all and yast2 at the commandline seg faulted. There had been some dependency issues and I was asked how to handle them. I used my best judgement, but perhaps this could have contributed to the failure. I decided not to waste much more time here and to test a fresh install.

There were some changes in the installer. I'd forgotten to check the most annoying bugs list before testing, but the graphical installer was working. You might recall my mentioning the new boot screen last report, and it is still that close-up photo of a lizard. The first new element spotted was at the license agreement screen. On the "you know this is beta and we aren't responsible yadda yadda" screen, the new naming convention is apparent. This release was officially tagged as openSUSE 10.1.1 Alpha 3.

There were the now familiar Validation Check Failure errors when the setup system began to start. It also complained about No Checksum Found for every setup file it loaded. Checking "don't show this screen again" checkbox didn't have the desire effect and I had to agree to each and file individually. Thank goodness it was only about a dozen or so of them. I hoped this wouldn't happen on each and every package we were going to install.

The software package selection section has changed this release. Instead of the previous selections categories, we now have "patterns." Similar in nature, but extremely slimmed down, this might make the install a faster process, but it results in a much smaller system. You can still go into the time-consuming Package Groups to choose all your favorites and must-haves such as the kernel-source, but by default we now see a scaled-down setup similar to the following:

  • Base Technologies

    • openSUSE Base System

    • Novell AppArmor
  • Graphical Environments
    • Gnome Desktop Environment

    • KDE Desktop Environment
    • X Window System
  • Primary Functions
    • Graphics (contains only gimp)

    • Gnome Graphics (ex.: eog and f-spot)
    • KDE Graphics (ex.: gimp, kdegraphics-kamera, and gwenview)
    • Print Server (ex.: cups and samba)
    • DHCP and DNS Server
  • Development
    • Basis Development (ex.: gcc, cvs, automake, and ncurses)

    • C/C++ Development (ex.: electricfence, boost, and ltrace)

This yielded a system size less than half of my past SUSE Linux installs. Looking on the good side, it does combat the accusation of being "bloated." This step finished par for the course and we were soon ready for the final configurations.

Hostname, root password, and network configurations are as we remember. Testing the network connection returned a success while the online update setup failed. Next came Users, clean-up, and Release Notes. The Release Notes contained no information.

Backing up to the bootloader configuration for a minute, I had someone ask about auto-detection of other Linux system by the installer. You can about surmize the Linux systems installed on my machine by taking a look at the original content list. I have 22 different various Linux and BSD-clone installs including SLED 10r3 and a couple of older SUSE installs on hdb. The openSUSE bootloader configuration detected four of them. It found Kate OS 3.0b1 which it identified as Debian, Kate OS 3.0 which it identified as Ubuntu, DreamLinux 2.0 which it called Ubuntu, and PCLOS .93a which it called Linux. I don't usually let new systems install a bootloader, and as such makes little difference to me. I just thought this was a bit interesting and worth mentioning. It's possible that the DreamLinux kernel could identify itself as Ubuntu, but I doubt very seriously that the Kate OS developers base anything on Debian or Ubuntu.

Next was the final hardware configuration. This step has either changed some or was having problems. I was used to a long list of hardware to adjust or accept including things such as graphics, tv card, and sound, but this time it only detected and offered my printer and sound. Finishing up the install it started the installed system and X.

Here's where things got real interesting. I have to draw the parallel between some of the "bugs" found in openSUSE as also found in Mandriva 2007 Beta 1. Many if not all of the same X bugs I complained about in my article on Mandriva were also found in openSUSE 10.2 alpha 3. The ugly fonts were present in both, sluggish performance under vesa, and excessive cpu usage wer found in both. openSUSE added limited screen resolution and no nv support. I say no nv support because although I edited my xorg.conf file by hand to make the change to nv, my changes were ignored. I couldn't try to configure X by yast as I was stuck in this "we need to install xorg-x11-server-glx" loop. I suspect this is all related to using Xorg 7.1.1 (7.1.99.2). I did a quick check for Xorg bugs relating to these issues, but all I found were nvidia proprietary driver listings. I might do a more thorough search later. As slow as Xorg moves, I fear continuing problems throughout the 10.2 lifespan for nvidia card users. Hopefully it's just one or two specific chipsets.

    

The next issue cropped up when I wanted to take screenshots of the new wallpaper. This release brings a lovely variation on the blue wispy wallpapers we've seen in (open)SUSE lately. Did I mention the new KDE starting splash? This too is new this release. It's a really nice royal blue background with the a new openSUSE logo.


There was no ksnapshot in the menu. Knowing I had a scaled-down install, my first instinct was to fire-up yast2 and look for missing KDE packages. But whoops, my root password wouldn't work - several times. I found I could sudo /sbin/yast2 and get the ascii version, but not until after sudo passwd and discovering my password rememberance wasn't the problem.

The graphical yast2 would start from the commandline as well. The software manager in Yast itself seems to be functioning pretty good this release. I couldn't find a scanner config under Hardware and discovered I had to install Yast-scanner. Come on, really. That should not be one of the "extras." However, after install of said package, scanner detection and operation was as desired.

        

In attempting to test Gnome, I found no option for it in the login manager. Using console login, it could be started from the command prompt. Upon start I got two errors. One was "There was an error starting the GNOME Settings Daemon" and "Power Manager did not start." But otherwise we find Gnome 2.12.2 with the signature customized SUSE Gnome menu system.

        

On the desktop we discover that the Firefox icon is inoperative. Trying to start Firefox at the commandline we find out that it's seg faulting.

Some RPM version highlights this release include:

  • OpenOffice_org-2.0.3-3

  • MozillaFirefox-1.5.0.6-2
  • xorg-x11-7.1-11
  • kdebase3-3.5.4-3
  • gnome-desktop-2.12.2-26
  • kernel-source-2.6.18_rc4-2
  • gcc-4.1.3-3
  • Full RPMList


Some Changelog highlights can include:

++++ bitstream-vera:

- install into /usr/share/fonts/truetype

++++ xorg-x11-Xvnc:

- created package

++++ coreutils:

- Move sux to %{_bindir}.

++++ dejavu:

- BuildRequires: xorg-x11-devel is necessary to detect Xorg X11R7.

++++ filesystem:

- Add /usr/share/fonts and remove /usr/X11R6/lib/X11/fonts

++++ kernel-default:

- patches.fixes/kbuild-fix-external-module: kbuild fixes for
2.6.18.
- rpm/kernel-source.spec.in: don't remove include/config/*
for building external modules.
- Update kdb patches.

++++ xorg-x11-driver-video:

- updated i810/intel driver to release 1.6.3

++++ Crystalcursors:

- fix for Xorg 7.1 (move to /usr/share/icons)

++++ gimp:

- Changed branding to SuSE Linux 10.2.

++++ gnome2-SuSE:

- Updated to SuSE Linux 10.2 branding.

++++ kdebase3-SuSE:

- artwork update for openSUSE 10.2

++++ hal:

- disables following patches for STABLE/SL10.2Alpha3, they cause a
segmenatation fault in the STABLE tree:
- hal-performance-properties2.diff
- hal-performance-properties_fix_compiler_warnings.diff
- disabled SLE10 specific patch for DBUS

++++ Full Changelog since Alpha 2.

Well, it was time to check out the Most Annoying Bugs list to see if there was any mention of a workaround for the X issue among others. It came as no real surprize to find most of my issues listed. The most annoying bug list contains:

  • YaST does not allow X11 configuration since it asks for non-existant xorg-x11-server-glx Bug #198250. Note: I could run X11 nevertheless and logged into both KDE and GNOME
  • zen-updater always shows patterns to update Bug #198379
  • f-spot does not work Bug #198377
  • gnome-wm does not handle X11R7 Bug #197093
  • Firefox does not start Bug #197928
  • Registration fails with an internal server error Bug #198381
  • applications using python-gtk are broken, e.g. smart-gui Bug #198391
  • kde su does not accept correct password Bug #198408
  • Most kernel module packages are not build against the new 2.6.18rc4 kernel. If you need them, I advise to wait for their update. The Xen packages are not adjusted either.
  • The change of branding (from "SUSE Linux 10.1" to "openSUSE 10.2") is not complete.
  • X Server fails to start with error message "could not open default font 'fixed'", because SaX2 writes wrong font path entries into /etc/X11/xorg.conf. Replace /usr/lib/X11/fonts with /usr/share/fonts/ as workaround. Bug #198653


I didn't check f-spot, and I don't mess with zen. I didn't get the "X server fails due to fixed font" problem with the fresh install, but perhaps this was the issue with the upgrade. Everything else on the list was spot-on.

I think the biggest issue is with this Xorg version. If developers insist upon using it, there are going to be a lot of unhappy users. I've experienced issues to a smaller degree with a couple of other distros as well using later 7.1 versions. I'm all for bleeding edge and don't mind minor breakage here and there, but the X server is one thing that needs to function fairly properly. I'm afraid like with Mandriva, this issue just spoils the whole experience and labels this release as not download-worthy. I'm not sure what other graphic chipset will have a problem, but nvidia is definitely one of them.

10.2 Alpha 2 Report.


More in Tux Machines

Leftovers: Ubuntu and Derivatives

Android Leftovers

Leftovers: OSS

  • Rise of Open Cloud Architecture and Over-the-Top (OTT) Network Services
  • Amazon’s Giving Away the AI Behind Its Product Recommendations
    Amazon has become the latest tech giant that’s giving away some of its most sophisticated technology. Today the company unveiled DSSTNE (pronounced “destiny”), an open source artificial intelligence framework that the company developed to power its product recommendation system. Now any company, researcher, or curious tinkerer can use it for their own AI applications.
  • Genode OS Framework release 16.05
    The current release marks the most profound API revision in the project's history. The new API is designed to reinforce the best practices for implementing Genode components. It is the result of countless experiments and the practical experiences made while developing over hundred genuine components during the past ten years.
  • Old projects and the free-software community
    The Community Leadership Summit (CLS) is an annual event for community managers, developer evangelists, people who work on public-facing forums, and those with a general interest in engagement or community development for free-software projects. The 2016 edition was held in Austin, Texas the weekend before OSCON. Several sessions at CLS 2016 dealt with the differences exhibited between old and new free-software projects where community management is concerned. One of those tackled the problem of how to foster community around an older software project, which poses a distinct set of challenges.
  • Thunderbird powered by SoftMaker
    Thunderbird, powered by SoftMaker, is a custom version of the popular email client featuring enhancements that come all in the form of extensions. [...] SoftMaker, a company best known for its SoftMaker Office suite, announced recently that it plans to include the Thunderbird email client into the 2016 version of the office suite.
  • The Document Liberation Project: What we do
    The Document Liberation Project: empowering creators to free their data from proprietary formats.
  • EMC Releases UniK Software for Cloud and IoT App Deployments
  • Microsoft Research Awards Demonstrate Commitment to Open Source [Ed: Microsoft openwashing and claims to be about research rather than cheating, bribery, witch-hunting etc.]
  • The open-source generation gap
    OSI General Manager Patrick Masson was one of the session's attendees, and he pushed back on that last point. There is too much "open-washing" these days, he said, but it does not come from the OSI. There is still only one Open Source Definition; the dilution of the term comes from others who use "open" to describe organizations, workflows, processes, and other things unrelated to software licensing. "We have open hardware and open data, but also 'open cola' and 'open beer.' That blurs over an important distinction. Not everything fits." [...] Among the other points raised during the session, attendees noted that it was important that the community distinguish between minting new project contributors and minting new free-software activists, and that it was important for projects to put a check on flamewar-style debates—particularly those that focus on dismissing certain technologies. It is easy for experienced developers to become attached to a language or framework, but there will always be new languages and projects popping up that are the entry points for new coders. Project members deriding language Y because it is not language X may only serve to tell newcomers that they are not welcome.
  • A discussion on combining CDDL and GPL code
    Within the context of an event dedicated to discussing free and open-source software (FOSS) legalities, such as the Free Software Legal & Licensing Workshop (LLW), the topic of conflicting licenses was bound to come up. The decision by Canonical to start shipping the ZFS filesystem with its Ubuntu server distribution back in February led to a discussion at LLW about distributing the kernel combined with ZFS. Discussions at LLW are held under the Chatham House Rule, which means that names and affiliations of participants are only available for those who have agreed to be identified. This year's LLW was held in Barcelona, April 13-15.
  • Mobile Age: using mobility and open data to include senior citizens in open government
    Helping older European people to be part of the open government process and encouraging their access to civic participation through mobility are the main goals of the Mobile Age project, launched last February.
  • All European scientific articles to be freely accessible by 2020
    And, according to the new Innovation Principle, new European legislation must take account of its impact on innovation. These are the main outcomes of the meeting of the Competitiveness Council in Brussels on 27 May.
  • Council of the European Union calls for full open access to scientific research by 2020
    A few weeks ago we wrote about how the European Union is pushing ahead its support for open access to EU-funded scientific research and data. Today at the meeting of the Council of the European Union, the Council reinforced the commitment to making all scientific articles and data openly accessible and reusable by 2020.
  • Hackaday Prize Entry: An Interface For The Headless Linux System
    Connecting a headless Raspberry Pi to a wireless network can be quite a paradoxical situation. To connect it to the network, you need to open an SSH connection to configure the wireless port. But to do so, you need a network connection in the first place. Of course, you can still get command-line access using a USB-to-UART adapter or the Pi’s ethernet port – if present – but [Arsenijs] worked out a much more convenient solution for his Hackaday Prize entry: The pyLCI Linux Control Interface.
  • RepRap, Open Source and 3DPrinting
    The RepRap project started in 2005 by Adrian Bowyer – “Mister RepRap”, when the patent about this technology expired. 3DPrintings isn’t a new technology, history dates that the first model of stereolithography printing emerged in 1984. The main idea around RepRap projects is to produce 3DPrinters that can auto-replicate most of the parts itself. And in 2006, the RepRap 0.2 successfully printed the first part of itself and in 2008, the first 3d model was printed by an end-user. Currently, the printer more replicated and customized of the 67 printers that are listed on RepRap website, is the Prusa Mendel, the model created by Josef Průša, that was disponibility to the public in 2011 and had a lot of development since.
  • Here is a web interface for switching on your light
    Like I mentioned in a previous post, I wanted to try out a more hackable wifi plug. I got a Kankun “smart” plug. Like the other one I have the software is horrible. The good news is that they left SSH enabled on it.
  • LeMaker Guitar review
    Anyone who has worked with the Compute Module will find the LeMaker Guitar immediately familiar. The system-on-chip processor, an Actions S500, sits alongside 1GB of memory, a combined audio and power management unit, and 8GB of NAND flash storage on an over-sized small-outline DIMM (SODIMM) form factor circuit board. This board then connects to a baseboard, supplied with the Guitar, which provides more accessible connectivity than the SODIMM’s 204 electrical contacts.
  • Open Source Vs Personal Life — Should GitHub Remove Contribution Graph?
    Should GitHub remove contribution graph from the personal profile of the contributors or the developers? This step might be taken for the personal well-being of the developers. Open source is good but personal life cannot be ignored either.

Leftovers: BSD