Plasma 5.3 on opensuse Tumbleweed

After downloading the 20150515 snapshot of Tumbleweed, I tried an install late yesterday.  I finished up the tweaking and preliminary testing today.


The installation went quite smoothly.  As is my usual practice, I wrote the DVD installer iso to a USB flash drive, and installed with that.

The desktop selection page looked the same as ever.  It gave three choices (Gnome, KDE, Other), with the default being KDE.  That was a mild surprise.  I had guessed that they would change it to “Plasma 5″.  But, never mind, the KDE amounted to Plasma 5.

Later, on the software selection screens, there was a pattern for Plasma 5 and one for KDE.  Both were preselected, and were really there as parts of a Plasma 5 install.  I also selected Gnome, XFCE and LXDE, as is my usual practice.

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Plasma 5.3 has landed in Tumbleweed

Here’s the announcement:

I’ll have more to say when I have finished downloading, and have done an install of Tumbleweed with Plasma 5.

For the moment, I am still downloading the install DVD image.  I started downloading around 2 hours ago.  It says 14 hours remaining.

I probably started downloading too soon after seeing the announcements.  The mirrors had not yet been setup.  I’m using “aria2c” for a meta download.  The “.meta4″ file lists only one mirror.  If I had waited a little longer, I probably would have picked up more mirrors and a faster download.

But I’m not in a hurry.  I probably won’t find time to try an install until tomorrow.

[Note: the download took a little over 3 hours.  It speeded up considerably toward the end]

My install of Tumbleweed for May

I have been doing monthly installs, mostly to test for any install problems.  For the May install, I used the 20150508 snapshot, with the 64-bit DVD installer image written to a USB.

The indications are that Tumbleweed will soon be switching from KDE 4 to Plasma 5.  So I was waiting for that switch before doing this month’s install.  But they say that a watched pot never boils.  And likewise, it seems that a watched software project never matures.  So I decided to stop watching and just install what was there.

The target machine

My recent installs have been to an external drive that I connected to my laptop.  For this install, I instead chose to install directly to the internal hard drive of that laptop.  And maybe it’s just as well, for I ran into a problem that would not have shown up if installing to an external drive.  The installer messed up on the boot setup.

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Signing a kernel for secure-boot

I finally got around to signing a kernel.  That went pretty well.  So I thought that I would describe what I did.

This post presupposes a little knowledge of digital certificates.  If you are looking for a quick introduction, try my post on my other blog.


My test machine has opensuse Tumbleweed.  But it also has Mint 17.1 (updated from the Mint 17 that I installed).  UEFI booting has been working well with Tumbleweed.  But I installed Mint without secure-boot support, so I had to leave secure-boot disabled to boot it.

In more detail, I installed Mint in legacy MBR booting mode, because I did not want to clutter the UEFI name space.  That worked fine.  I could then UEFI boot it anyway, either with the generated grub menu for Tumbleweed or with a “configfile” command that I added to that menu.  But secure-boot did not work, because the installed Mint kernel was not signed by an accepted key (it was not signed at all, it seems).

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Reviewing kubuntu-15.04

I mainly wanted to try the recent kubuntu release, because it is using the new Plasma 5 as its desktop.  I downloaded the iso “kubuntu-15.04-desktop-amd64.iso” using “ktorrent”.  Supposedly, torrents check the validity of the download, but I rechecked the sha256 checksum to be sure.  It was fine.

I then copied to a USB flashdrive, using the “dd_rescue” command in opensuse.  That went well.  I later booted and tested as a live system, where it seemed to do okay.  But I wanted to run it after installing, for better testing.  So I did an install. Read More…

Cloning linux

As mentioned in my previous post, I had wanted to install Debian in a existing encrypted LVM on my hard drive.  But I was stymied by a lack of installer support.  So I installed on an external drive instead.

It occurred to me that I could just copy the installed system back to where I had originally wanted to install it.  So I did.  And it worked quite well.  In this post, I will describe the steps that I went through.


The first step was to boot into a linux system, but not one of the systems involved in the copying.  I could have done this by booting a live system on CD or USB.  However, I happened to have Tumbleweed installed in a separate partition on the same computer, so I just booted into that.

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Debian 8.0 “Jessie” — a review

I noticed a report on the release of Debian 8 at DistroWatch.  I’ve tried a number of linux distros in the past, but never Debian.  So I decided to give it a try.


The Debian site suggested the first DVD in their series.  So I downloaded “debian-8.0.0-amd64-DVD-1.iso”.  I normally prefer to use a meta-link for downloading.  But I could not find one for the Debian iso, so I used a torrent link instead.  Clicking on that link, my browser offered to use “ktorrent”.  And that worked out pretty well.  The download speed came close to the max that my ISP provides.  After the download was complete, “ktorrent” continued to upload to other torrent users.  The upload speed was never more than around 10% of my ISP upload max speed.

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Testing KaOS-2015.04

I saw the announcement of a new KaOS release (at Distrowatch), so I decided to give it a try.  What I liked, from the announcement, was that it came with Plasma 5.295, which is a release candidate for Plasma 5.3.  That’s newer than what is in opensuse Tumbleweed, so I wanted to try it out.


Downloading was straightforward enough.  I snagged the download link, and then used “wget”.  Download took around 30 minutes for a 1.5G iso file.  Sourceforge was a bit slow, but I had other things to do during the download, so not a problem.

I also checked the md5 hash, which showed I had a good download (I hope).  The md5 file was on the KaOS site rather than on sourceforge.  That’s good.  That makes it harder for a hacker to break into a site, add malware, then change the md5 file to match.

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Two versions of linux and UEFI

In my previous post, I described how I handle two or more versions of linux on the same box, where legacy/MBR booting is used.  In this post, I say a little about what I do with UEFI.

My partitioning decisions are similar to what I described in the previous post.  So I’ll discuss only booting here.  This will be a relatively short post.

The problem

The main problem, if we are discussing opensuse versions, is that opensuse wants to install so that you use either the “opensuse” or “opensuse-secureboot” UEFI name for booting.  So two or more installs want to use the same name, and that can cause problems.  You will end up booting the most recently installed.

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Two version of linux — my setup

In this post, I’ll describe what I do when I want two versions of linux.  Typically, one is for normal use and the other is for testing.  I noticed some confusion about how to do this in a recent thread at opensuse forums.  So I thought it might be of interest to describe what I am doing.

This is intended for information only.  Of course there are many different ways of handling this.  I am describing just one of them.

The particular computer is an older one that uses legacy (MBR) booting.  It was my main desktop, until around two years ago.  Now I mainly use it for testing and as a backup in case my main desktop fails.

I currently have both opensuse 13.1 and opensuse 13.2 installed.  I also have another partition for test installs.  Opensuse 13.2 is a 64-bit install, while opensuse 13.1 is a 32-bit install (actually the “linux for education” version. Read More…


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