Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

openSUSE 10.3 Beta (1 &) 2 Report

Filed under
Reviews
SUSE
-s

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
1500ms

++++ 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-2.3.0.0.1-4

  • MozillaFirefox-2.0.0.5-18
  • 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-2.6.22.3-7
  • 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 openSUSE-factory@openSUSE.org)
* 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.







issues

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

Events: Fedora at CLT 2019, LF's Open Networking Summit and Cloud Foundry Summit on Serverless, Knative, Microservices

  • Fedora will be at CLT 2019
    The Fedora Project will be at the Chemnitzer Linux Tage 2019. So far, Robert Scheck and I will make it happen. As we pretty much did it for the last 10 years.
  • The Linux Foundation Announces the 2019 Open Networking Summit North America Speaking Schedule
    The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization enabling mass innovation through open source, has announced the keynote speakers and session line-up for Open Networking Summit North America (ONS), taking place April 3-5 in San Jose, Calif. The full lineup of sessions can be viewed here, and features speakers from AT&T, China Mobile, Ericsson, Google, Huawei, Intel, KPMG, Nokia, Red Hat, Target, and more. “The Open Networking Summit is a chance to bring together the entire open networking community – from telco providers to cloud providers – to share best practices and discuss how we can work together to advance networking technology,” said Arpit Joshipura, General Manager, Networking, Edge & IoT, the Linux Foundation. “Gathering the industry’s foremost innovators and technologists, ONS is a must-attend event for collaboration and knowledge sharing.”
  • 6 Must-Attend Talks at Cloud Foundry Summit on Serverless, Knative, Microservices
    That’s a lot of technical content, so make sure to also get your ideal ratio of business impact content and check out the User Stories track.

Graphics: TuxClocker and VK_EXT_depth_clip_enable

  • TuxClocker: Another GPU Overclocking GUI For Linux
    Adding to the list of third-party GPU overclocking utilities for Linux is TuxClocker, a Qt5-based user-interface currently with support for NVIDIA graphics cards and experimental support for AMD GPUs.  TuxClocker is a Qt5 overclocking tool that supports adjusting not only the memory/core frequencies but also the power limit, fan speed, and other tunables based upon the GPU/driver in use. There is also graph monitors to show the power and temperature limit, where supported, among other features.  TuxClocker offers similar functionality to other third-party, open-source Linux GPU overclocking software though where as most utilities focus just on NVIDIA or AMD hardware, TuxClocker is pursuing both. Currently their stable release supports just NVIDIA GPUs but the development code has AMD Radeon support in the works.
  • Intel Wires VK_EXT_depth_clip_enable Into Their Vulkan Driver, Helping DXVK
    Intel's open-source ANV Vulkan driver now supports the VK_EXT_depth_clip_enable that was designed in part to help the DXVK project for mapping Direct3D atop of the Vulkan API.

Programming Leftovers

  • Packaging PyQt5 apps with fbs
    fbs is a cross-platform PyQt5 packaging system which supports building desktop applications for Windows, Mac and Linux (Ubuntu, Fedora and Arch). Built on top of PyInstaller it wraps some of the rough edges and defines a standard project structure which allows the build process to be entirely automated. The included resource API is particularly useful, simplifying the handling of external data files, images or third-party libraries — a common pain point when bundling apps.
  • Infrastructure monitoring: Defense against surprise downtime
    There are a number of tools available that can build a viable and strong monitoring system. The only decision to make is which to use; your answer lies in what you want to achieve with monitoring as well as various financial and business factors you must consider. While some monitoring tools are proprietary, many open source tools, either unmanaged or community-managed software, will do the job even better than the closed source options. In this article, I will focus on open source tools and how to use them to create a strong monitoring architecture.
  • GSlice considerations and possible improvements
    The paper Mesh: Compacting Memory Management for C/C++ Applications is about moving memory allocations for compaction, even though the memory pointers are exposed. The idea is to merge allocation blocks from different pages that are not overlapping at page offsets, and then letting multiple virtual page pointers point to the same physical page. Some have asked about the applicability to the GSlice allocator.
  • plprofiler – Getting a Handy Tool for Profiling Your PL/pgSQL Code
  • Reading and Writing Files in Python (Guide)
  • Today is a Good Day to Learn Python

Security Leftovers

  • Wi-Fi ‘Hiding’ Inside USB Cable: A New Security Threat On The Rise?
    Today, the world has become heavily reliant on computers owing to the various advantages they offer. It has thus become imperative that we, as users, remain updated about the various threats that can compromise the security of our data and privacy. A recent report published by Hackaday details a new threat that might just compromise the integrity of devices. At first glance, the O.MG cable (Offensive MG Kit) looks like any other USB cable available in the market. It is what lurks within that is a cause for concern.
  • WiFi Hides Inside a USB Cable [Ed: There are far worse things, like USB devices that send a high-voltage payload to burn your whole motherboard. Do not use/insert untrusted devices from dodgy people.]
  • The Insights into Linux Security You May Be Surprised About
    Linux has a strong reputation for being the most secure operating system on the market. It’s been like that for many years, and it doesn’t seem like Windows or macOS are going to overtake it anytime soon. And while the operating system’s reputation is well-deserved, it can also be harmless experienced users. The problem is that some seem to put too much trust in the capabilities of Linux by default. As a result, they often don’t pay enough attention to the manual aspect of their security. Linux can help you automate your workflow to a large extent, but it still requires a manual touch to keep things going well. This is even truer when it comes to security.
  • One Identity Bolsters Unix Security with New Release of Authentication Services
    Unix systems (including Linux and Mac OS), by their very nature, have distinct challenges when it comes to security and administration. Because native Unix-based systems are not linked to one another, each server or OS instance requires its own source of authentication and authorization.
  • Book Review – Linux Basics for Hackers
    With countless job openings and growth with no end in sight, InfoSec is the place to be. Many pose the question, “Where do I start?” Over his years of training hackers and eventual security experts across a wide array of industries and occupations, the author ascertains that one of the biggest hurdles that many up-and-coming professional hackers face is the lack of a foundational knowledge or experience with Linux. In an effort to help new practitioners grow, he made the decision to pen a basic ‘How To’ manual, of sorts, to introduce foundational concepts, commands and tricks in order to provide instruction to ease their transition into the world of Linux. Out of this effort, “Linux Basics for Hackers” was born.
  • Security updates for Wednesday