Opensuse Leap 42.1 Milestone 1 is available

I saw the announcement this morning

so naturally, I began my download of the iso.  Currently there are only a DVD installer and a NET installer available.  This might change for later milestones.  Note, also, that this is 64-bit only.  There is no 32-bit version, and that probably won’t change.

Downloading and installing

I used “aria2c” to download the DVD installer iso, which came in at around 3G in size.  The download went smoothly enough.  I then copied that to a usb raw device with “dd_rescue”.

Next, I booted the USB.  This was on a UEFI box, with secure-boot enabled.  It booted into the installer without difficulty.

The installer itself looked familiar.  It is similar to what I have been using for recent installs.  For partitioning, I selected “create partitioning” followed by “custom partitioning”.  There, I specified the partitions that I wanted to use.

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Milestones will soon be here

In an earlier post, I mentioned a change of direction for opensuse.  The rolling releases (Tumbleweed) will continue.  And the stable releases will be more closely tied to suse enterprise releases.


The name “Leap” has been chosen for the stable series, to suggest that it will advance by leaps rather than incrementally (as with Tumbleweed).  And the first Leap version will be numbered 42.1.

There has been a lot of discussion on the factory mailing list and the project mailing list.  You can browse those via the opensuse mailing list archive.

Yesterday’s discussion suggested that the first milestone (pre-release test version) will be available soon.  This morning, there was an announcement that the milestone will be available real soon now.

When the milestone is released, I expect to download, install and test.  And some readers of this blog might also want to get involved.

Tumbleweed install for July

After a hiatus due to updating to gcc5, a Tumbleweed snapshot (20150630) was released yesterday.  And it was nicely timed for my monthly test install.

I installed to an external drive connected to my laptop.  The install went very well.  There was only one glitch, and that was my fault.  I failed to check the box “HW clock is set to UTC”, so the time was a bit messed up.  That’s fixed now, and the newly installed system works well.  I have only tested Plasma 5.

This may be my shortest install post.

Openmandriva – a brief review

I had only recently reviewed Mageia5, when I noticed an announcement for OpenMandriva 2014.2.  So I was mistaken that Mageia was what was left of Mandrake/Mandriva.  OpenMandriva is another fork that continues.

I have tested only from the live media.  I did not do a full install to a hard drive.  So this is a more limited review than I gave for Mageia5.


Downloading was not a pleasant experience.  I downloaded from sourceforge, using the rekonq browser.  Unfortunately, sourceforge makes it difficult to download other than with a browser.  There was no torrent mentioned in the announcement, and it was difficult to find a direct link where I could use a tool such as “wget”.  The iso was around 1.8G in size.  My download was around 95% complete, when I saw a notification that the connection had been lost.  If I had been using “wget” then I could have asked it to resume, continuing where it left off.  But, with the browser download, I had to start over.  It did download successfully the second time.

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Tumbleweed is rolling again

Opensuse Tumbleweed has been static since the 20150612 snapshot.  But today the 20150630 snapshot was released.  We are moving again.

As previously reported, the hold up was the switch to gcc5 and the need to recompile almost everything.  Be prepared for a large update.

On my main Tumbleweed install, the update installed 4437 packages.  That’s because I have Plasma5, Gnome, XFCE and LXDE desktops, and I also have latex installed.

The update when smoothly enough and after reboot the system continued to run well with the updates in place.

Reviewing Mageia 5

A week ago, I saw an announcement for Mageia 5, and I decided to take a closer look.  My first look at Mandrake linux was around 1999, where I installed it for a brief test.  It was later renamed to “Mandriva” to avoid trademark conflicts.  And Mageia was forked from Mandriva.  Recently, Mandriva appears to have closed down, leaving Mageia as what remains from the earlier Mandrake.

Mandrake was originally based on RedHat linux, but Mandriva later diversified that.  And linux has changed a lot since my earlier 1999 test install.


I initially downloaded “Mageia-5-LiveDVD-KDE4-x86_64-DVD.iso”.  That was actually an accident.  I had intended to download the DVD installer, but did not look closely at the name.  I had instead downloaded the live KDE iso.  I’ll note that this can be used for installing, though I later downloaded “Mageia-5-x86_64-DVD.iso” and used that for my test install.

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Directions for opensuse

An announcement today hinted at the future direction of opensuse.  There’s a tentative release date of around November 2.  The planned release is code-named “42”, though that is unlikely to be the final name.  One suggestion has been “opensuse Oak” to suggest something more stable than “opensuse Tumbleweed”.

There has been extensive discussion on mailing lists.  I have not attempted to read all of the related mails, and I don’t automatically receive any of them.

In short, it will be a long term support release.  The core of the release will be derive from SLE (the enterprise release of SuSE), supplemented by software that has been tested in Tumbleweed.  The tentative plan, going forward, will be for “42” stable releases and Tumbleweed rolling releases.

My own plans are uncertain.  I will be testing milestones for the “42” releases, as they become available.  And I’ll also continue to test Tumbleweed snapshots.  But I don’t know which I will be mainly using on my main desktop.  That’s a decision for the future.

Tumbleweed — what’s the holdup

It has been around 10 days since the last update to opensuse Tumbleweed.  That would have been snapshot 20150612.  This is a brief note to explain the delays.

The Tumbleweed team are in the process of switching over to using gcc 5 as their compiler.  This is an update from the earlier gcc 4.x.  So now they want to recompile the complete opensuse distribution using gcc 5.

Apparently this is mostly done.  But there are a few packages that are still not compiling properly with gcc 5.  So this take time for people to look at the error messages and make whatever changes are needed.

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Generic boot code

The expression “generic boot code” simply refers to boot code that is not specific to a particular operating system.

Newer computers are moving toward UEFI booting, but there are still many computers that use BIOS based MBR booting.  And I still have some of those computers.  Booting of such a computer starts with boot code in the MBR (or main boot record).  And typically, that is generic boot code.

MBR booting

First a quick rundown on how MBR booting typically works.

The MBR is the first physical sector on the hard drive.  When you power on the computer, the BIOS loads that sector into memory at a standard location, and then jumps to that memory location (starts running instructions from there).  Normally a properly initialized MBR will have 0xaa55 as the last 16 bits (that’s hexadecimal).  This is a boot flag and indicates that the disk is bootable.  The BIOS usually checks for this flag before it jumps to the boot code that it has loaded from the MBR.

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Cloud computing

I thought these three posts on cloud computing were worth reading:

For myself, I’m not doing much cloud computing at present.  This blog would count as being in the cloud.  And I guess most of my email is in the cloud.  But that’s it.  And the issue is, as those posts suggest, trust.


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