Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

openSUSE 10.3 Beta (1 &) 2 Report

Filed under

Another developmental release of the upcoming openSUSE 10.3 was released a few days ago with some improvements, some regressions, and some minor eye candy changes. I didn't test Beta 1 as it seemed to be released too soon after Alpha 7 (for me to cover), so I had to test Beta 2. I did download the approximate 550 MB delta file for it though, so I was ready for the 515 MB delta for Beta 2.

I decided to test this release on the HP Pavillion laptop I received for Christmas as I had overwritten 10.2 for a previous review and I missed having an openSUSE install on it. Another reason this seemed like the time was that developers wanted LCD brightness adjustment, suspend, and the Grub installation tested. Also, long story short, I had lost access to the Windows XP partition at some point and needed to restore it first. So, this was the perfect time to test their Grub installation.

The boot screen and splash haven't changed since Alpha 7, but there were a few tiny changes in the install routine. It now offers the option of setting up installation sources before parcing the rpm database. This would be handy for network or internet installs, but I was outta luck as my wireless ethernet chip requires the Windows drivers. Another new element I noticed that must have shown up either in Beta 1 or 2 was that the Release Notes are available during package installation accessed from a third tab. If you'll recall, the first tab is Slideshow and the second is Details. I think that's a great idea as that's when one really has the time and inclination to read them.

I had a bit of trouble during package selection. First of all the free space indicator didn't work, but I wasn't too worried as I was using a 10 GB partition. What did cause more trouble was when I clicked the checkbox to install XFCE. The busy cursor remained for quite a while and I walked away. When I returned, the install had aborted and the machine was sitting at the ascii 'something went wrong' screen. To verify, I tried again and sure enough the install aborts when I try to select XFCE for installation. Some other smaller choices seemed to take a bit longer than usual making me a bit nervous as well such as Laptop and Console Tools. But I was able to select them and some of the other usuals I like such as C/C++ Development and Linux Kernel Development. The aborted install is probably an improvement over my last install when I tried to select KDE4 for installation and the installer hung indefinitely.

Then finally came time to test the bootloader installation and functionality. During configuration it appeared that openSUSE saw and included three of the four other Linux installs and my one Windows install. The Linux installs included Freespire 2.0 that it identified by a generic label, Mepis 6.5 that it identified as Ubuntu, and Elive 1.0. The one it didn't seem to see was Slackware 11.0. Mepis and Freespire had its boot files in a centralized /boot partition that I told the installer about and Elive and Slackware were previously chainloaded. openSUSE would install its files onto this shared /boot partition.

After installation only Elive and Windows would boot out the distros offered in the plain white text on black Grub menu. Slack wasn't offered and the rest resulted in "file not found" errors, including the openSUSE I just installed. I wouldn't have been too surprized if Grub had had a few problems with my set up as it is confusing, but I was kinda shocked that it couldn't boot its own distro. Fortunately, I could boot Elive and from there I fixed the Grub menu.lst file. I'm not sure, but I think the problem was its using device names like /dev/disk/by-id/scsi-SATA_ST98823AS_5PK3C8ZJ-part6. When I changed them back to entries like /dev/sda6 all was well. In fact, I then had the slick graphical openSUSE Grub screen and splashes. So, anyway, it looks like more work is needed on Grub.

At the desktop I was quite tickled to see the new, if temporary, wallpaper being used. I don't presume to think the developers read my last report and changed it because of my being creeped-out, but it was still nice. The windecs are still blue, but those will probably at least get a color change to match.

On the KDE desktop we find a new icon labeled Online Help. This opens a browser to openSUSE's site with four categories linking to areas of help. These include online Documentation, Chat & Help (in the form of IRC), Mailing Lists (list of lists), and Discussion Forums. I think that's a nice addition and very well done. I was glad to see that, they just need to add the icon to the GNOME desktop now.


Speaking of Gnome, the Network Manager applet worked good and the Yast Control Center and corresponding modules have widgets to match other Gnome components. I'm not sure how long it's been like that as I don't use Gnome very much and I suppose I assumed its appearance would be the same as in KDE. Regardless of how long this little touch has been in place, it's worth a mention. Although I did get various gtk warnings when I shut the windows.


Another item developers wanted tested was the new implementation of HAL's handling of devices, particularly removeable USB sticks. When inserting a USB stick in KDE a 'what to do' dialog opens and it will mount and allow read and write for the user, but no icon appears on the desktop. One can still umount graphically from the My Computer screen. Under Gnome it automagically mounts and opens a window in the main directory. I could read and write to it as desired as user. An icon appeared on the desktop and I could umount from its right-click menu. So, it's getting there.


Yet another area of interest for developers was suspend. In tests here I found suspend to ram inoperative. When attempted, a screensaver starts and I heard a telltale soundbyte to indicate that a window had popped open. The error said something about error 127 and the log stated 'machine unknown.' Suspend to disk worked much better. While the machine was being put to sleep, a cute splash appeared. It featured a backwards progressing progress bar with an image of a sleeping Tux. Upon waking the machine, we just get the standard openSUSE silent boot splash. So, in summation, suspend to disk works good while suspend to ram bombs out.

Also, the LCD dim/brightness function did operate as hoped. I could adjust it manually and the screen would dim automagically when removing the a/c power source and brighten upon replugging.

Problems with the online updater continue. I attempted to add an update source through Online Update Configuration in the Yast Control Center, but it only resulted in an error. I was able to add additional online repositories for the software manager.


Another continuing no-go was with the Windows installer. I'm still getting that same ole Cannot copy E:\boot\i386\loader\initrd to C:\opensuse\initrd error.

One new bug I experienced was trying to log out or switch user from Gnome. The window would open, but clicking the preferred option did nothing. I had to ctrl+alt+backspace out of Gnome. Similarly, this is the first release of openSUSE that would hang on shutdown.

Some Changelog Highlights this release include:

++++ banshee:

- Updated to version 0.13.1

++++ compiz:

- Update to compiz 0.5.4, which include proper KDE
configuration support and fixes to a number of upstream
bugs, including #258390.
- Track changes to compiz in gnome-xgl-settings and fix issue
that caused it to crash. (#296701)
- Move gconf plugin into compiz-gnome package.

++++ desktop-data-SuSE:

- update wallpaper again, this time it's green

++++ kdebase3-SuSE:

- remove "Support and Communication" greeter paragraph (#300773)
- don't run ktip on first session

++++ kpowersave:

- updated to current SVN HEAD v0.7.2_SVN20070820 (r3057):
- fixed/cleaned up brightness handling/code
- dimm brightness up if user get inactive in 750ms instead of

++++ kwin-decor-suse2:

- fix icon colors

++++ opensuse-manual_en:

- Update text files and images.

++++ opensuse-updater-gnome:

- refactored to use zypper for installation
- several UI improvements
- 0.4.0

++++ amarok:

- fix build on 10.0

++++ kdebase3:

- fix build on older distributions

++++ xorg-x11-server:

- disable AIGLX by default; without enabled Composite extension
(still problematic on many drivers) it's rather useless anyway
- updated xorg.conf manual page

++++ OpenOffice_org:

- updated to milestone oog680-m1 (another OOo-2.3.beta, close rc1)
- updated ooo-build to oog680-m1:

++++ php5:

- updated to version 5.2.4RC2

++++ kdebase4:

- update to 3.92.0.svn700775

++++ kdegames4:

- update to 3.92.0.svn697375

++++ openSUSE-release:

- Obsolete the gcc41 packages from the 10.2.

++++ release-notes:

- 10.3.5.

++++ hal:

- updated hal/hal-info to current git (20070816)
- removed upstream gone patches:
- hal_remove_sysfs_and_proc_helpers_v2.diff
- added new patches:
- hal-fix-computer_probing_v2.diff: fix detection if machine is
a laptop, but dmidecode return something other
- fixed bugs:
- b.n.c #300539: obsolete hal-gnome for > 10.2
- detect again pci.vendor_id

++++ kdebase3-SuSE:

- add "Online Help" desktop icon
- remove "Network Browsing" desktop icon
- let point SUSEgreeter point to IRC wiki page

++++ Full Changelog since Alpha 7

Some RPM Version Highlights are:

  • OpenOffice_org-

  • MozillaFirefox-
  • SDL-1.2.12-11
  • alsa-1.0.14-24
  • amarok-1.4.7-9
  • apache2-2.2.4-54
  • cairo-1.4.10-15
  • chkrootkit-0.47-42
  • cmake-2.4.7-8
  • compiz-0.5.4-2
  • cups-1.2.12-9
  • gcc-4.2-18
  • gimp-2.2.17-15
  • glibc-2.6.1-7
  • gnome-desktop-2.19.6-10
  • gtk2-2.11.6-13
  • hal-0.5.9_git20070816-2
  • kdebase3-3.5.7-55
  • kdebase4-3.92.0.svn700775-3
  • kernel-default-
  • make-3.81-59
  • mysql-5.0.45-8
  • ndiswrapper-1.47-16
  • perl-5.8.8-70
  • php5-5.2.4RC2-2
  • python-2.5.1-27
  • qt3-3.3.8-60
  • rpm-4.4.2-132
  • udev-114-6
  • xorg-x11-7.2-117
  • Full RPM List

The Most Annoying Bugs this release are:

* Logout: GNOME logout and shutdown don't work (Bug #302316) (Disable assistive technologies to work around it)
* Sax2: Configuration issues on Intel-based GFX-cards (Bug #270846) (A fixed sax2 package will be released via the 10.3 update repository. Watch out for details on
* Patterns of remote repositories won't show up in UI (Bug #302385)
* libzypp: rpm signature verification broken (Bug #302379)
* Signature verification of Release Notes fails
* libzypp: Broken calculation of installing RPM size (Bug #293039)
* libzypp: can't skip broken packages (skip => abort) (Bug #297001)
* ConsoleKit fails on update (Bug #302148)
* Registration / Adding of Update Repositories fails (Bug #302152)
* Flash/nspluginviewer blocks Konqueror and takes 100% CPU (Bug #294385)
* Win keys are hard binded to GNOME menu (Bug 217044)
* Intel wifi card support: iwl3945-ucode and iwl4965-ucode packages aren't installed automatically. Make sure to install them manually, in order to enable your Intel wireless cards.
* HAL/NetworkManager detects the WLAN/killswitch state incorrect. Therefore WLAN with Intel WLAN don't work (Bug #303834)

So once again we have some new insights to where the developers are headed and again they have to sort through lots of bugs to get there. I have no doubts the Grub issues will be fixed pronto, but I'm starting to worry a bit about the updater and the windows installer. But all in all it's shaping up quite nicely and there's still some of time left on the path to the best openSUSE yet.

The remaining roadmap:

- Thu, Sep 6: openSUSE 10.3 Beta3 release
- Thu, Sep 20: openSUSE 10.3 Release Candidate 1 release
- Thu, Sep 27: openSUSE 10.3 Goldmaster release (internal)
- Thu, Oct 4: openSUSE 10.3 public release

I have more screenshots in the gallery and my previous coverage can be found here.


Good review..but oddly enough I didn't experience alot of the problems you did. For me, all of the boot entries in grub worked fine (although I only had SuSE and Kubuntu. The new updater worked fine for me as well..and so did adding repos. I actually added a handful and installed mp3 support and a few other programs. The shutdown didn't freeze for me either. Beta 2 has been pretty stable for me thus far.

re: issues

That's good news.

But the updater is different than the software manager. I could add repos through the "Software Repositories" - I added two factory repos. But the "Online Update Configuration" is what's still broken - at least in tests here.

I don't know what to think about the grub thing. It was bound to be a mess here with all the different setups and then having Windows overwrite the mbr just prior to installing openSUSE...

Oh that makes sense. Yes,

Oh that makes sense. Yes, that part IS broken, you're right.

aside from that it seems to be looking good. Still some bugs as you pointed out..but if they can zap most of them, I'm thinking 10.3 is going to be pretty nice Smile.

Comment viewing options

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

More in Tux Machines

Leftovers: OSS and Sharing

  • Google’s Open Source Report Card Highlights Game-Changing Contributions
    Ask people about Google’s relationship to open source, and many of them will point to Android and Chrome OS — both very successful operating systems and both based on Linux. Android, in particular, remains one of the biggest home runs in open source history. But, as Josh Simmons from Google’s Open Source Programs Office will tell you, Google also contributes a slew of useful open source tools and programs to the community each year. Now, Google has issued its very first “Open Source Report Card,” as announced by Simmons on the Google Open Source Blog. "We're sharing our first Open Source Report Card, highlighting our most popular projects, sharing a few statistics and detailing some of the projects we've released in 2016. We've open sourced over 20 million lines of code to date and you can find a listing of some of our best known project releases on our website," said Simmons.
  • Nino Vranešič: Open Source Advocate and Mozilla Rep in Slovenia
    “My name is Nino Vranešič and I am connecting IT and Society,” is what Nino says about himself on LinkedIn. The video is a little hard to understand in places due to language differences and (we think) a slow or low-bandwidth connection between the U.S.-based Zoom servers and Eastern Europe, a problem that crops up now and then in video conversation and VOIP phone calls with people in that part of the world, no matter what service you choose. But Vranešič is worth a little extra effort to hear, because it’s great to learn that open source is being used in lots of government agencies, not only in Slovenia but all over Europe. And aside from this, Vranešič himself is a tres cool dude who is an ardent open source volunteer (“Mozilla Rep” is an unpaid volunteer position), and I hope I have a chance to meet him F2F next time he comes to a conference in Florida — and maybe you’ll have a chance to meet him if he comes to a conference near you.
  • MySQL and database programming for beginners
    Dave Stokes has been using MySQL for more than 15 years and has served as its community manager since 2010. At All Things Open this year, he'll give a talk about database programming for newbies with MySQL. In this interview, he previews his talk and shares a few helpful resources, required skills, and common problems MySQL beginners run into.
  • Nadella's trust talk is just so much hot air
    Microsoft chief executive Satya Nadella appears to have an incredibly short memory. Else he would be the last person who talks about trust being the most pressing issue in tech in our times. Over the last year, we have been treated to a variety of cheap tricks by Microsoft, attempting to hoodwink Windows users left, right and centre in order to get them to upgrade to Windows 10. After that, talking about trust sounds odd. Very odd. Microsoft does not have the best reputation among tech companies. It is known for predatory practices, for being convicted as a monopolist, and in recent times has been trying to cultivate a softer image as a company that is not as rapacious as it once was. That has, in large measure, come about as its influence and rank in the world of computing have both slipped, with other companies like Apple, Facebook and Google coming to dominate.
  • If you wish, you may rebuild all dports to use non-base SSL library of your choice
  • DragonFlyBSD Continues LibreSSL Push, OpenSSL To Be Dropped
    DragonFlyBSD is now defaulting to LibreSSL throughout its operating system stack and is planning to completely remove OpenSSL in the near future. Last month DragonFlyBSD began using LibreSSL by default while that effort has continued. OpenSSL is no longer being built by default and in about one month's time the OpenSSL support will be completely stripped from the DragonFly tree.
  • Ranking the Web With Radical Transparency
    Ranking every URL on the web in a transparent and reproducible way is a core concept of the Common Search project, says Sylvain Zimmer, who will be speaking at the upcoming Apache: Big Data Europe conference in Seville, Spain. The web has become a critical resource for humanity, and search engines are its arbiters, Zimmer says. However, the only search engines currently available are for-profit entities, so the Common Search project is creating a nonprofit engine that is open, transparent, and independent. We spoke with Zimmer, who founded Jamendo, dotConferences, and Common Search, to learn more about why nonprofit search engines are important, why Apache Spark is such a great match for the job, and some of the challenges the project faces.
  • A look inside the 'blinky flashy' world of wearables and open hardware
    While looking at the this year's All Things Open event schedule, a talk on wearables and open hardware caught my eye: The world of the blinky flashy. Naturally, I dug deeper to learn what it was all about.
  • Why Perl is not use for new development , most of time use for maintenance and support projects ?
    There has been a tendency amongst some companies to play a “wait and see” attitude towards Perl, but the Perl market appears to have stabilized in the past couple of years and more companies appear to be returning to Perl. As one of our clients explained to me when I asked why they chose Perl “We’re tired of being bitten by hype.”

And More Security Leftovers

  • The NyaDrop Trojan for Linux-running IoT Devices
  • Flaw resides in BTB helps bypass ASLR
  • Thoughts on the BTB Paper
    Though the attack might have some merits with regards to KASLR, the attack on ASLR is completely debunked. The authors of the paper didn't release any supporting code or steps for independent analysis and verification. The results, therefore, cannot be trusted until the authors fully open source their work and the work is validated by trusted and independent third parties.
  • Spreading the DDoS Disease and Selling the Cure
    Earlier this month a hacker released the source code for Mirai, a malware strain that was used to launch a historically large 620 Gbps denial-of-service attack against this site in September. That attack came in apparent retribution for a story here which directly preceded the arrest of two Israeli men for allegedly running an online attack for hire service called vDOS. Turns out, the site where the Mirai source code was leaked had some very interesting things in common with the place vDOS called home.

Blockchain and FOSS

Ubuntu Leftovers

  • Celebrating 12 years of Ubuntu
    Founder Mark Shuttleworth announced the first public release of Ubuntu – version 4.10, or “Warty Warthog” – on Oct. 20, 2004. The idea behind what would become the most recognizable and widely used Linux distributions ever was simple – create a Linux operating system that anybody could use. Here’s a look back at Ubuntu’s history.
  • Happy 12th Birthday, Ubuntu!
    Yup, it’s twelve years to the day since Mark Shuttleworth sat down to tap out the first Ubuntu release announcement and herald in an era of “Linux for human beings”.
  • A Slice of Ubuntu
    The de facto standard for Raspberry Pi operating systems is Raspbian–a Debian based distribution specifically for the diminutive computer. Of course, you have multiple choices and there might not be one best choice for every situation. It did catch our eye, however, that the RaspEX project released a workable Ubunutu 16.10 release for the Raspberry Pi 2 and 3. RaspEX is a full Linux Desktop system with LXDE (a lightweight desktop environment) and many other useful programs. Firefox, Samba, and VNC4Server are present. You can use the Ubuntu repositories to install anything else you want. The system uses kernel 4.4.21. You can see a review of a much older version of RaspEX in the video below.
  • Download Ubuntu Yakkety Yak 16.10 wallpaper
    The Yakkety Yak 16.10 is released and now you can download the new wallpaper by clicking here. It’s the latest part of the set for the Ubuntu 2016 releases following Xenial Xerus. You can read about our wallpaper visual design process here.
  • Live kernel patching from Canonical now available for Ubuntu 16.04 LTS
    We are delighted to announce the availability of a new service for Ubuntu which any user can enable on their current installations – the Canonical Livepatch Service. This new live kernel patching service can be used on any Ubuntu 16.04 LTS system (using the generic Linux 4.4 kernel) to minimise unplanned downtime and maintain the highest levels of security.
  • How to enable free 'Canonical Livepatch Service' for Linux kernel live-patching on Ubuntu
    Linux 4.0 introduced a wonderful feature for those that need insane up-time -- the ability to patch the kernel without rebooting the machine. While this is vital for servers, it can be beneficial to workstation users too. Believe it or not, some home users covet long up-time simply for fun -- bragging rights, and such. If you are an Ubuntu 16.04 LTS user (with generic Linux kernel 4.4) and you want to take advantage of this exciting feature, I have good news -- it is now conveniently available for free! Unfortunately, this all-new Canonical Livepatch Service does have a catch -- it is limited to three machines per user. Of course, home users can register as many email addresses as they want, so it is easy to get more if needed. Businesses can pay for additional machines through Ubuntu Advantage. Want to give it a go? Read on. "Since the release of the Linux 4.0 kernel about 18 months ago, users have been able to patch and update their kernel packages without rebooting. However, until now, no other Linux distribution has offered this feature for free to their users. That changes today with the release of the Canonical Livepatch Service", says Tom Callway, Director of Cloud Marketing, Canonical.
  • KernelCare Is Another Alternative To Canonical's Ubuntu Live Kernel Patching
    Earlier this week Canonical announced their Kernel Livepatching Service for Ubuntu 16.04 LTS users. Canonical's service is free for under three systems while another alternative for Ubuntu Linux users interested in a commercial service is CloudLinux's KernelCare. The folks from CloudLinux wrote in to remind us of their kernel patching solution, which they've been offering since 2014 and believe is a superior solution to Canonical's service. KernelCare isn't limited to just Ubuntu 16.04 but also works with Ubuntu 14.04 and other distributions such as CentOS/RHEL, Debian, and other enterprise Linux distributions.