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

OnePlus 2: A Big Android Phone for Relatively Little Money

The new model looks to be an improvement over its predecessor in nearly every way. “We started this company because we didn’t think any Android phones on the market were good enough,” OnePlus director and co-founder Carl Pei said. “We still think that’s the case, and we learned a lot from the OnePlus 1. The OnePlus 2 not only flagship worthy, but something that will remain cutting edge next year as well.” Read more

Mozilla and Linux

  • How is Firefox OS Different from Android, iOS, Windows Phone and Ubuntu Touch
    firefox-os-phone-firefox-os-phone-While choosing a new mobile phone to buy, you must consider all different available options. Earlier I’ve written about the differences between Ubuntu Touch, Android OS, and Windows Phone. Today I’m going to add another contender in the list – the Firefox OS – and I’ll discuss how is Firefox OS different from others.
  • Firefox 42 Nightly Is Now Built In GTK+3
    Firefox Nightly for Linux has been compiled with GTK+3 and the stable version of Firefox 42 may be the first one to be released with GTK+3.
  • Mozilla Toys with Crowdsourcing Ideas for its Browser and Tools
    Can your ideas make one of the most popular Internet browsers better? Mozilla is considering the possibility. The company is launching a testing initiative next month that will let Firefox users try out possible changes to the browser. The project is called "Idea Town" and basically seeks to crowdsource ideas for browser- and web-centric new concepts.

KDE and Akademy

  • KWallet5 can be auto-unlocked during login again
    I've just pushed a patch to KWallet5 allowing you to have your wallet unlocked automagically during login. This patch was originally done by Alex Fiestas for KWallet4, so all credits and free beers go to him; I've merely just forward-ported it.
  • Major update in cauldron
    Now that cauldron is open, the kde team has updated KF5 to 5.12.0, Plasma to 5.3.2 and Kde Applications to 15.04.3.
  • KDE's Plasma Mobile Not Giving Proper Credit to Ubuntu Touch, Says Developer
    KDE developers have announced that they are working on a new project called Plasma Mobile. From what the developers are saying, it's running on Wayland, and it's capable on running Ubuntu apps. One of the problems is that at least one of the Ubuntu developers has noticed that even if the project is based on Ubuntu for phones, credit is not given.
  • Plasma Mobile SDK
    When approaching this issue I had been thinking about the issue for a while. I had mainly 2 problems: I was rather frustrated with previous Linux-based systems so far and the one I liked didn’t really scale for us.
  • KDE Applications Versioning
    A common problem for many applications contained in the KDE Applications releases are non-incremented version numbers. Often the maintainer forgets to update the version number of the application, like I did it for Kate since the first KF5 based release.
  • Licensing of KDE Code
    Akademy, the yearly KDE conference is alive and kicking. During the last days we were discussing again about potential KDE licensing issues (for instance code that is licensed under GPLv2, but not GPLv3). That’s why KDE is maintaining a relicense checker script, that every KDE contributor should enter herself/himself.
  • Akademy Day 1
  • Akademy Day 2
    The second day at Akademy started off with 10 or so hours of sleep!, which was much needed for basic functions (really happy I don’t have to drive here). The hotel (Rialta) had great breakfast with coffee, OJ, bread with meat and cheeses, yogurt, cereal all the basics that makeup a great day!
  • Akademy Talks Day 2
  • Akademy Day 3 the start of BoFs, meetings and workshops

Mr. Robot TV Show Now Uses BackTrack Linux's Successor, Kali Linux for Hacking

I wrote an interesting editorial a while ago related to the Mr. Robot TV show that runs on the USA Network channel every Wednesday, starring Rami Malek as a computer hacker that goes by the name of Elliot. Read more