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openSUSE 10.2 Beta 2 Report

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The countdown continues on the road to 10.2 with the latest release of beta 2 on the 10th. This release didn't bring too many surprises, but things seem to be shaping up nicely. In light of all the negative publicity of Novell's recent announcement, I imagine the pressure is bearing down on the openSUSE infantry to release a banner system. I wish them luck and I think they are on the right path.

My download came in at about dial-up speed this time, but it was my fault for clicking on the first link available in the announcement instead of searching my bookmarked list of mirrors. Despite the trickle of data, it wasn't too long before my dvd deltaiso had completed downloading as it was less than 300mb this time. The applydeltaiso process went very smoothly and I burned the iso to disk using growisofs -Z /dev/dvd=openSUSE-10.2-Beta2-DVD-i386.iso

The install was very much the same as encountered last release. The interactive install window is still full-screen here and although I believe they were a bit improved, the fonts were still a bit off-kilter. When setting up partitions, the installation filesystem will default to ext3 for newly created partitions or partitions previously of ext2 or ext3 while it will default to reiser if a previous reiser filesystem is detected. XFCE is still not listed in the Package Pattern selection screen, but is available, as are several other lighter window managers. One must utilize the Search function if they are desired.

After install and first boot into KDE, I was greated by a crash screen for KPowersaver. This really only happened the one time. Perhaps there are a few little bugs or timing issues with the newly rewritten powermanagement. Before I could close it, another screen popped up stating it had found a "raw usb device" and asked did I want to configure it. My scanner was then detected and the yast scanner configuration opened so I might set it up. I thought that was nice, however, my scanner ended up not working at all in Beta 2. But for some good news, my sound was back in all its glory. Amarok blared to life and I can't remember when Beethoven's Ode to Freedom sounded so good. I had sound in the tv apps as well, but I couldn't test the movie players as they didn't have any decoders available to play any movie files on hand - including mpegs.

The next oppps was the internet connection didn't work this release again using the traditional start method. I purposely left it on this option during install to see if it was still broken/inoperative and indeed it was. The network comes up immediately after changing to the new Network Manager and comes up automagically at boot thereafter. Perhaps that choice should be removed from the process.

The Suse2 Theme is back this release, and it appears a bit updated. The buttons function indicators are now in white and the windec is a bit trimmer perhaps. The inactive window buttons are a much more pronounced as well. So, despite Mandriva's attractive new make-over, we may not get a whole new SUSE theme this version afterall.


I didn't note any significant changes in the software manager and it worked really well installing packages from the install dvd. The online update configuration bombs out with its execution of the request for manual intervention. When one clicks 'continue,' an error pop up appears stating there is an "XML Parsing Error." The Patterns list remains mostly unchanged except for a couple of new items, some other items being rearranged, and the removal of YAST Development. It nows appears:

  • Base Technologies

    • openSUSE Base System

    • Novell AppArmor
    • Console Tools
    • Laptop
    • YaST System Administration
    • Package Management
    • ZENworks Linux Management
  • Graphical Environments
    • Gnome Desktop Environment

    • Gnome Base System
    • KDE Desktop Environment
    • KDE Base System
    • X Window System
    • Fonts
  • Desktop Functions
    • Graphics
    • Games
    • Remote Desktop
    • XML and LaTeX Editing Tools
  • Server Functions
    • File Server

    • Print Server
    • Misc. Server
    • Network Administration
    • Mail and News Server
    • Web and LAMP Server
    • Internet Gateway
    • DHCP and DNS Server
    • Directory Server (LDAP)
    • Xen Virtual Machine Host Server
  • Proprietary Software
    • Java Environment

    • Misc. Proprietary Source Package
  • Development
    • Basis Development
    • KDE Development
    • GNOME Development
    • Integrated Development Environments
    • C/C++ Development
    • RPM Build Environment
    • Linux Kernel Development
    • Web Development
    • Perl Development
    • QT 4 Development
    • Python Development

Some of the version highlights this release include:

  • kernel-

  • xorg-x11-7.2-14
  • kdebase3-3.5.5-42
  • gnome-desktop-2.16.1-18
  • qt3-3.3.7-7

  • gtk2-2.10.6-6
  • gcc-4.1.3-24
  • python-2.5-14
  • OpenOffice_org-2.0.4-26 (also available natively in 64-bit for x86-64 as well)
  • MozillaFirefox-2.0-11
  • gimp-2.2.13-19
  • gaim-1.5.0-77
  • frozen-bubble-2.0.0-8
  • wine-0.9.24-6
  • Full RPMList this release.

Some Changelog Highlights this time are:

++++ openSUSE-release:

- Beta2

++++ kernel-default:

- update

++++ sax2:

- fixed 3D support for Radeon R300 cards

++++ OpenOffice_org:

- updated ooo-build to version
* serious problems with condensed text portions printing
* missing borders VBA range implementation

++++ amarok:

- update magnatune handling from SVN

++++ kdebase3:

- only show "you're running out of disk space" dialog once
- mount USB devices again to find out if they are cameras
- mount devices on startup too
- switch kickoff to style based theming
- improve error message upon media:/ errors
- add patch for drop shadows in kickoff
- fix drag & drop print with utf-8 name
- fix systray flicker

++++ hal:

- added pmtools to Requires (need dmidecode)
- added patches:
- hal-add-alsa_hw-specific_devices.diff: to show hardware specific sound devices in HAL
- added patch:
- hal-fix-dbus_error_is_set.diff: since dbus_error_is_set(NULL) crash the library, added fix and check if error == NULL
- added patch:
- hal-fix-cpufreq-add-capability.diff: With new D-Bus package, you must not call dbus_error_is_set(NULL)

++++ suseRegister:

- fix force registration

++++ yast2-scanner:

- V 2.14.6
- Improved when the the info regarding outdated hpoj pops up. Moved it from the ActivateBackend function directly into the SelectModelDialog which avoids that the user must go "Back" to the SelectModelDialog to select the up-to-date hpaio driver.
- Added a help text regarding the most often reported problem regarding scanner setup (a driver is set up but no scanner is recognized by the driver).

++++ php5:

- updated to 5.2.0 final

++++ kerry:

- update to final version 0.2

++++ kpowersave:

- release new version 0.7.0:
- changes:
- depends no longer on powersave, use now only DBUS/HAL
- known issues/bugs:
- scheme switching does not work (also not on AC events)
- currently no reaction if battery reach a warning state or is emptry !!!
- complete brightness support untested
- lock screen (on lidclose/suspend) untested

++++ xorg-x11-server:

- updated to snapshot of xserver-1.2-branch (soon to be released as X.Org 7.2RC2)

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

- updated rendition driver to release 1.2.3
* Build fix for systems with instead of (X.Org Bug #7707)
- updated intel modesetting driver (git_2006-11-06)

++++ Full Changelog since b1 this release.

The Most Annoying Bug List this release includes:

  • registration may incorrectly require to run a browser (but misses package for that) Bug #219354
  • After installation, grub waits for keypress at the menu screen and does not use the graphical menu Bug #219409
  • suseplugger crashes directly Bug #219356
  • syslog-ng is not starting if AppArmor is running Bug #219583
  • suspend to disk does not resume but boot directly. Wait for updated suspend packages. Bug #219629
  • enabling the external output with sax2 or during installation will make the login screen unusabe. Bug #219772
  • it is not possible to log in to the rescue system as each login attempt results in just another login prompt. Bug #219112

As you can see, the list of Most Annoying Bugs is a bit sparce and the items listed aren't major show-stoppers. Although my experience wasn't perfect, the problems encountered were minimal. Most applications and configurations performed as desired. The updated windec is a slight improvement and I'm still looking for a new wallpaper. I doubt that dull gray-blue will be it. All in all, I think it's shaping up nicely. As of now, they are still on track to release RC1 on Thu, Nov 23; go gold on Thu, Nov 30; and release to the public on Thu, Dec 7.

Report on Beta 1.

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today's howtos

Games Chronicon, BROKE PROTOCOL, Internet Archive

  • 2D action RPG 'Chronicon' to arrive on Linux with the next big update
    The colourful action RPG Chronicon [Steam, Official Site] should arrive on Linux with the next big update, the developer has said.
  • BROKE PROTOCOL is like a low-poly GTA Online and it's coming to Linux
    BROKE PROTOCOL [Steam], a low-poly open-world action game that's a little like GTA Online and it's coming to Linux.
  • The Internet Archive Just Uploaded a Bunch of Playable, Classic Handheld Games
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  • Internet Archive emulator brings dozens of handheld games back from obscurity
    Over the weekend, the Internet Archive announced it was offering a new series of emulators. This time, they’re designed to mimic one of gaming’s most obscure artifacts — handheld games. When I say a “handheld game,” I don’t mean the Game Boy or the PSP — those are handheld consoles. These are single-game handheld or tabletop devices that look and feel more like toys. The collection includes the very old, mostly-forgotten games sold in mini-handhelds from the 80s onward.

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LibrePlanet free software conference celebrates 10th anniversary, this weekend at MIT, March 24-25

This weekend, the Free Software Foundation (FSF) and the Student Information Processing Board (SIPB) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) present the tenth annual LibrePlanet free software conference in Cambridge, March 24-25, 2018, at MIT. LibrePlanet is an annual conference for people who care about their digital freedoms, bringing together software developers, policy experts, activists, and computer users to learn skills, share accomplishments, and tackle challenges facing the free software movement. LibrePlanet 2018 will feature sessions for all ages and experience levels. LibrePlanet's tenth anniversary theme is "Freedom Embedded." Embedded systems are everywhere, in cars, digital watches, traffic lights, and even within our bodies. We've come to expect that proprietary software's sinister aspects are embedded in software, digital devices, and our lives, too: we expect that our phones monitor our activity and share that data with big companies, that governments enforce digital restrictions management (DRM), and that even our activity on social Web sites is out of our control. This year's talks and workshops will explore how to defend user freedom in a society reliant on embedded systems. Read more Also: FSF Blogs: Friday Free Software Directory IRC meetup time: March 23rd starting at 12:00 p.m. EDT/16:00 UTC