OpenSUSE leap 15.2Alpha and kernel 5.3

I noticed a new release of Leap 15.2Alpha.  And, surprisingly, it comes with a 5.3 kernel — specifically kernel 5.3.0-rc5.  There’s a mailing list discussion of this on the factory mailing list.

It turns out that this was seen as a good way of testing some of the new features of the 5.3 kernel.  When Leap 15.2 is released (tentatively planned for May 2020), it is hard to guess whether it will have a 5.3 kernel or an older kernel.

For now, as a volunteer tester of Leap 15.2, I have not run into any problems with the new kernel.

Installing

This seemed like a good time for another install of Leap 15.2Alpha.  This time I installed into a KVM virtual machine with an existing encrypted LVM, and using UEFI booting.

To use the existing LVM, I provided the encryption key when prompted by the installer.  Then, at the partitioning stage, I chose to use the expert partitioner, starting with existing partitions (rather than with the proposed partitions).

At this point there was an option to import mount points.  I used that, so that I was using the same partition that I had previously used with Leap 15.1 on that virtual machine.

The install went well.  The installed system seems to be running well.  So there’s not actually much to say, except for the use of the 5.3 kernel.

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OpenSUSE Leap 15.2Alpha

I recently checked what I expect to be the download page for Leap 15.2.  I used the url http://download.opensuse.org/distribution/leap/15.2/iso/ which is almost the same as the url for the 15.1 download page — I just changed the “15.1” to “15.2”.  And it turned out that there was an iso there waiting to be downloaded and tested.

I have been noticing occasional messages on the email lists about preparations for 15.2, and that’s why I checked.  The iso has a date of July 29th, but the sha256 checksum file has a more recent date of Aug 09.

Downloading

I used “wget” to download the “.sha256” checksum file.  And then I used “aria2c” to download the iso itself.  I then verified the gpg signature on the checksum file, with

gpg --verify *6

after which I verified the checksum with

sha256sum -c *6

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Booting can sometimes be tricky

There was a recent thread at openSUSE forums, where an install failed due to a failure to install the bootloader.

I will discuss that, and similar problems, in this post.

Because this is related to partitioning, let’s first discuss partitions.

Partitioning

Here’s what the partition table looks like from a computer that was recently partitioned (with traditional BIOS partitioning): Read More…

Plasma vault

Around two months back, I experimented with kubuntu-19.04.  I’m not intending to post on that.  But, while testing, I noticed a padlock icon in the system tray.  It turned out to be the icon for Plasma Vault.

Checking, I found that Plasma Vault was available for openSUSE.  At that time, I was using Leap 15.0 and testing the pre-release version of Leap 15.1.  So I installed Plasma Vault in both, for testing.  And I also installed in openSUSE Tumbleweed.  As the name suggests, it is part of KDE Plasma 5.

Brief description

In brief, Plasma Vaults allows you to have a directory with encrypted files.  You see the files as plain text (unencrypted).  But what is actually stored on disk is encrypted.

The image above is a screenshot from clicking on that tray padlock.  It shows two vaults (directories).

Installing Plasma Vaults results in a directory “Vaults” under my home directory.  It was initially empty until I created some vaults.  You can see the option there, to create a new vault.

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OpenSUSE 15.1 is about to be released

It is close to release time for openSUSE 15.1.  My experience with testing pre-release versions has been pretty good.  I expect this to go well.  I’ve prepared a selection of screenshots as a guide to installing.

These screenshots were all taken on virtual machines (with KVM), because that makes it easier to take screenshots of an install.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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OpenSUSE Leap 15.1 — now a release candidate

When I recently updated my Leap 15.1 systems, the “Beta” disappeared from the version information in “/etc/os-release”.  That indicates that we are now seeing release candidates rather than beta versions.  The final release is expected to be in late May.

After noticing this, I download the DVD installer iso so that  I could try a clean install.  As usual, I used “aria2c” for the download.  And I also downloaded the sha256 checksum file.  The gpg signature on the checksum file validated that download, and then the checksum validated the iso download.

The install itself went well.  I mostly took the defaults.  I selected the KDE desktop (there isn’t a default choice there).  And this install was on a UEFI virtual machine (under KVM).

Using “btrfs”

As indicated, I took the defaults for most choices.  And, as a result, the installer used “btrfs”.  I have  normally avoided “btrfs”, and will probably revert to using “ext4”.

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A look at Solus 4.0

A few days ago, I saw the announcement of Solus 4.0.  Or, more accurately, I saw the listing at Distrowatch, and followed their link to the announcement.

I had been watching for this.  I’ve been noticing Solus for a while, and have previously reviewed earlier version.  But the future of Solus was in question.  Some time last year Ikey Doherty, the founder of Solus, walked away.  I’m inclined to say that he abandoned the project.  But others in the team picked it up, and managed to get some help from Doherty to set the project on a new footing.  If you do a web search for “Ikey Doherty” you will find some of the history of this.  But details of that history are beyond the scope of this blog.

So now that Solus 4.0 is out, it looks as if the team has been successful in reestablishing the project.  And, naturally, I decided to give it a test run.

Installing

To download, I went to the “Download” page (linked from the announcement).  There, I used the torrent downloader to retrieve the Budgie Desktop version.

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Testing KaOS-2019.02

KaOS-2019.02 was released recently, so I decided to test it.

I’ll note that I have tested it only in a KVM virtual machine.  I have previously tested earlier KaOS versions on real hardware.  But I logged into KaOS so infrequently, that I decided to only use a virtual machine install this time.

What is KaOS

KaOS is a rolling release, featuring the KDE (Plasma 5) desktop.  It usually keeps up with new releases from KDE.org.  The current release is using Plasma 5.15.2, KDE Frameworks 5.55.0 and QT 5.12.1.

In prior experience with earlier versions of KaOS, it often had the latest KDE release a day or two earlier than openSUSE Tumbleweed.

Installing

I downloaded the iso from the source-forge download site.  I verified the provided gpg signature to check the download.  I already had a copy of the signing key on my keyring, from earlier tests of KaOS.

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Status of this blog

Recently, I have been posting less often.

I’m actually still testing new releases and other distros.  But I’m not posting about it as often as before.

The spammers are still posting comment spam as often as previously.  So I have now configured comments to close 30 days after the post.  The reduces the opportunities for spammers.

OpenSUSE 15.1 Beta

OpenSUSE 15.1 is moving along steadily.  I have been testing most releases.  Sometimes I download the DVD installer for testing an install.  And, at other times, I just update my already installed systems.

During the alpha testing phase, I was mostly doing this in two differently configured KVM virtual machines.

The first Beta release was Build414.1, which was available Thursday last week.  I downloaded DVD installer for that, and wrote that to a USB drive.  I then installed on a virtual machine.  And later that same day, I installed on a real computer (a laptop).

Since that time, there have been two more releases — Build416.2 was available around two days ago.  And, today, Build417.2 came out.

Updating

My update procedure, at present, is to use

zypper dup

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