OpenSUSE Leap 15 — an early look

Work on Leap 15 is underway.  There was a short discussion on the factory mailing list, beginning HERE.

Two months after my last status update Leap 15 is almost rolling.  Following SLE 15 I’d like to aim for a release in April.

It is worth reading that whole message, and perhaps the other emails that follow it.  As the message indicates, there is now a download site for isos, in case you want to try Leap 15 for yourself.

I went to the openQA site to look at failures.  And they didn’t seem too bad.  So I downloaded an iso from there.  It was “openSUSE-Leap-15.0-DVD-x86_64-Build48.1-Media.iso”.

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Reviewing Ubuntu 17.10

Canonical recently made Ubuntu 17.10 available.  So I downloaded a copy to take a look.  This is the first Ubuntu release since they announced that Ubuntu would switch to the Gnome desktop instead of the Unity desktop that had been the default.  So we can take this as a first look at the new Gnome based Ubuntu.

Overall, I like it in a relative sort of way.  I do prefer it to the Unity desktop.  However, for my own use I will be sticking with openSUSE and KDE.

First looks

I’ll comment on installing below.  Let’s discuss the installed system.

On first glance, it looks similar to the Unity desktop.  There’s a panel on the left (called the “dock”), much as with Unity.  It is for “favorite” applications, etc.  It starts with “favorites” preselected by the Ubuntu team.  But you can add your won and you can remove applications that you don’t want.

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Surprises with Tumbleweed 20171022

I saw the announcement for Tumbleweed snapshot 20171022.  So I booted up Tumbleweed in the KVM virtual machine on my desktop.  And I ran “zypper dup” to apply the update.  I then rebooted.

Then came the surprise.  I had been using “lightdm” to login to the desktop.  But, after reboot, the login screen appeared to be from “gdm”.  I logged in, which took me to the KDE Plasma 5 desktop.  And, from there, I checked the displaymanager setting in “/etc/sysconfig”.  And that still said “lightdm”.  Hmm, something was up.

Update-alternatives

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Solus booting woes

Solus is a nicely themed linux distro.  I particularly liked the Budgie desktop, which comes from the Solus team.  Solus would not be my personal choice,  because I’m a command line type of person and Solus seems more oriented to people used to Windows.

While it would not be my preferred distro, it is still disappointing that Solus does not seem to handle booting well.  I’ve had Solus installed in an extra partition for some time now, and how it handles booting is an issue.  Perhaps I’ll report on the problems that I have seen in another post.  But, for now, I will just be describing my tests.

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Install Tumbleweed into existing VM

Last month, I created a Tumbleweed Virtual Machine (or VM), using KVM.  Yesterday’s project was to install into that existing VM.  I wanted a clean install, retaining “/home” but reformatting everything else.

Fortunately, that previous install was for UEFI booting.  I’m not sure how easy it would have been to do new install into the same BIOS based virtual machine.

Downloading

I started by downloading the DVD installer for Tumbleweed snapshot 20171007.  As usual, I downloaded the sha256 checksum file with “wget”, and I downloaded the iso itself using “aria2c”.

I then verified the gpg signature on the sha256 checksum file, using gpg.  Then I used “sha256sum -c” to verify the checksum of the download iso file.

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Installing virtualized Tumbleweed

It was time for another Tumbleweed install.

This time, I decided to use KVM and install Tumbleweed into a virtual machine.

Downloading

As is my usual practice, I went to the Tumbleweed download site.  There, I found the latest image for snapshot 20170913.  I downloaded the DVD iso image (64-bit version) using “aria2c”.  And I downloaded the sha256 checksum file using “wget”.

Next, I used “gpg” to verify the signature on the sha256 checksum file.  And then I used “sha256sum -c” to verify the checksum of the DVD iso file.

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Reviewing Akregator (again)

I previously reviewed “akregator” almost 5 years ago.  That was the “akregator” that came with KDE 4.  We now have a newer version that comes with KDE Plasma 5.  And it is significantly changed.  So that warrants a new review and a comparison.

I have been using the new “akregator” since the release of openSUSE 42.2 (November 2016), where it was a choice.  Now, with 42.3, only the plasma 5 version is available.  I am mainly using 42.3 on my desktop, though I also have Tumbleweed available and occasionally try “akregator” there.

Changes from KDE 4

The newer release of “akregator” is similar to the previous one.  But there are a few changes.

  • The change that confused me at first, was that I could not find the setting to view only unread articles or articles that are marked as important.  I eventually found that setting when I clicked on the icon in the search bar.  It does not work quite as well as in the KDE4 version, and I’ll comment on that below.
  • “Akregator” now used QtWebEngine for its browser interface.  That’s based on the engine from “chromium” and “chrome”.  It is more reliable than the previous browsing engine (based on “konqueror”.  But the downside is that it no longer shares cookies with “konqueror”.
  • It mishandles articles that are already old when received.  The old “akregator” also mishandled them.  But the new version mishandles them in a different way.

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Reviewing Mageia 6

The announcement for mageia 6 was made at around the time that openSUSE 42.3 was finalizing.  So I downloaded the iso, but I delayed any testing until after the final release of 42.3.

The announcement mentioned both live media and a classical install DVD.  I download the install DVD, which came in at just under 4G is size.  I also downloaded the sha512 checksum file, and its gpg signature.  I validated the signature, and then made sure that my downloaded iso file matched the checksum.

Installing

By the time that I was ready to start testing, I had already setup KVM.  So I first did a virtual install with KVM.  I later did a bare metal install (i.e. an install to a physical computer).

For the virtual install, I allocated a 20G virtual disk.  I used “virt-install” so that I could virtualize with UEFI without secure-boot (mageia does not support secure-boot).  I took the installer recommended defaults.  It set aside 300M for an EFI partition, 3G for a swap partition, and the remainder of the virtual disk for the root partition.  The installation went smoothly, with no surprises.  I chose the Plasma 5 desktop.  There were other desktops (such as Gnome) also available on that install iso.

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Fedora 26 — a review

Fedora 26 was released in July, so I’m a tad slow getting to review it.

I actually download the live KDE installer on the day of the release.  I wrote that iso to a USB flash drive, and booted into it on two different computers.  But I did not spend enough time with it to warrant a review back then.

More recently, I have been using Fedora as a practice system, as I try out using KVM.  So I have done several virtual installs (and deleted all but one).  So it is now time for a review.

Installing

My first install was on a virtual machine with MBR booting.  I gave it only a 10G virtual disk, which was probably too small.  I have used 20G for later installs.  I then installed using UEFI booting with secure-boot.  Later, I tried without secure-boot, mainly as a test of a KVM install that used UEFI without secure-boot.

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Creating a virtual machine

In my previous post, I explained how I setup KVM.  Today, I’ll describe creating virtual machines that run under KVM.

Creating with Yast

The easiest way to do this with openSUSE, is to use Yast.  Click on “Virtualization” and then on “Create virtual machines …”.

In the first step (step 1 of 5), you specify whether the source for the virtual machine is an iso file, a network install, a PXE network boot or an existing disk image.  For me, the iso file is the most suitable source.  On the second screen (step 2 of 5), I can browse for the iso file.

On the third screen, I can specify how much memory to use.  On my system, it defaults to 1G (or 1024M).  For my first install, I took that default.  Since that time, I have been upping it to 2G or 4G.  I can also specify how much CPU to assign.  I have 4-core machine.  This defaults to assigning 1 cpu.  I have been increasing that to 2 cpu.  For my first install, however, I left it at the default of 1 cpu.

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