OpenSUSE 13.2 was released a week ago. As with the recent Fedora update, the latest release of openSUSE took a year to develop instead of the standard six months as the organization retooled its development practices.
SUSE Linux has now been around for over 20 years, and it’s still going strong. As usual, the latest release serves as a foundation for developing Novell’s SUSE Linux Enterprise and brings some significant new improvements. So let’s dive right in!
Because this is a UEFI Firmware system, the first step is to wrestle with with BIOS and UEFI configuration. Every OEM is different in this area, and sometimes even different models from the same OEM are different. The critical questions are:
How to UEFI boot from a USB stick
How to (optionally) disable UEFI Secure Boot
How to (optionally) enable Legacy Boot (MBR)
Will changes to the UEFI boot configuration be retained
I know from experience with previous Acer systems that there are two things you have to do in the BIOS to prepare for Linux installation. FIrst, you have to change the "F12 Boot Menu" option to 'Enable', so that that you can press F12 during startup and get to the Boot Select menu.
Second, if you want/need to change the UEFI boot settings, you will first have to set a "Supervisor Password" in the BIOS configuration. Once the password is set, you can disable Secure Boot and/or enable Legacy Boot as necessary.
After the installation process completed, and before I rebooted, I checked the UEFI boot configuration (efibootmgr -v). It was correct, with "opensuse-secureboot" defined and first in the boot sequence list. But then I rebooted and... it booted Windows. ARRRRGGGHHHH! NO! Acer doesn't do this kind of garbage, HP/Compaq does! I have two or three other Acer laptops around here, and the boot configuration is perfectly stable on them!
I rebooted and used F12 to get Boot Select, then selected openSuSE from there, and it came up ok. Then I checked the boot configuration again. Sure enough, the boot order had been changed back to have Windows Boot Manager first. Swine...
I rebooted again, and this time went into BIOS setup (F2). On the 'Boot' page, there is a 'Boot priority order' list, and "Windows Boot Manager" was right at the top of that list. There was nothing about "openSuSE" in the list, but there was a strange new entry for "HDD: WDE WD5000LPVX-22VOTTO", which is absolutely as clear as mud... I didn't recall seeing that entry when I was in the Boot menu the first time. I moved that item to the top of the priority list, crossed my fingers and rebooted.
Back in February SUSE unveiled a new means of live Linux kernel patching, kGraft, compared to the existing Ksplice. One month later, Red Hat unveiled their own solution that happened to be under development at the same time, Kpatch. Since both of them have been out, both have pursued mainline interests but neither one accepted upstream yet. Now a new live kernel patching solution is out that tries to take the best of both worlds.
This is the first release after the change in the openSUSE development mode, with a much shorter stabilization phase thanks to the extensive testing done in a daily basis in the rolling distribution used now as a base for openSUSE stable releases. The perfect balance between innovation and stability with the great level of freedom of choice that openSUSE users are used to.
It's Halloween week, and the big names in Linux are determined not to disappoint the trick-or-treaters. No less than three mainline distributions have released new versions this week, led by perennially-loved-and-hated crowd favourite Ubuntu.
Ubuntu 14.10, better-known by its nom de womb "Utopic Unicorn", hit the streets last Thursday. It appears to be a mostly update release, with more of the release announcement's ink devoted to parent-company Canonical's "Canonical Distribution of Ubuntu Openstack" than to Utopic's "latest and greatest open source technologies". Among those, the v3.16 kernel has been included, as well as updated versions of GTK, Qt, Firefox, LibreOffice, Juju, Docker, MAAS, and of course, Unity. Full details can be found in the official release notes.
Since version 11 came out, there have been three updates - what SUSE calls service packs - in June 2010, February 2012 and January 2013.
One major change is the introduction of systemd as the default init system. However, SUSE has chosen not to include journald, the new system logging method.
Matthias Eckermann, senior product manager at SUSE, told iTWire in response to a query: "We have done a thorough review of all INIT systems about three years ago. Despite the negative sentiment in the open source community, our evaluation back then has shown that systemd is the most promising approach going forward.
After more than five years of development, SUSE on Monday rolled out SUSE Linux Enterprise 12, a brand-new version of the enterprise-class edition of its popular Linux platform. Built for reliability, scalability and security, the new release is designed to help companies efficiently deploy and manage highly available IT services in physical, virtual or cloud infrastructures.
SUSE Linux Enterprise 12 serves as the foundation for all SUSE data center operating systems and extensions. New operating systems and software extensions based on it include SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for x86_64, IBM Power Systems and IBM System z; SUSE Linux Enterprise High Availability Extension and Geo Clustering for SUSE Linux Enterprise High Availability Extension; SUSE Linux Enterprise Virtual Machine Driver Pack; and SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop and SUSE Linux Enterprise Workstation Extension.
As a long-time openSUSE I wondered about the future of Factory and Tumbleweed when the project announced Factory’s evolution as an independent rolling release of the distribution.
Tumbleweed maintainer and the lead Linux kernel developer Greg Kroah-Hartman was not very positive about the future of Tumbleweed, which was considered to be a ‘kind-of’ rolling release version.
Back then Ludwig Nussel of openSUSE told me, “The new Factory is not here to replace Tumbleweed. Both rolling distributions accomplish different goals. The Tumbleweed initiative provides rolling updates of selected packages (~10% of the packages in Factory) on top of the most recent openSUSE released version. Tumbleweed therefore always has openSUSE releases as base. Factory on the other hand is a full rolling distribution where all packages, even core ones are continuously updated and rebuilt.”
“With the release of openSUSE 13.2 due in November, we realised this was a perfect opportunity to merge our two openSUSE rolling-releases together so users of Tumbleweed can benefit from the developments to our Factory development process over the last few years,” said Richard Brown, Chairman of openSUSE board. “The combined feedback and contributions from our combined Tumbleweed and Factory users should help keep openSUSE rolling forward even faster, while offering our users the latest and greatest applications on a stable rolling release.”