Testing KaOS 2015.08

I saw a Distrowatch announcement of a new release of KaOS, so decided to give it a try.  From there, I followed the link to the release announcement.

My previous experience with KaOS was in April, where it failed to install.  This time, I had a better experience.

KaOS is a rolling KDE based distro.  It is using plasma 5.  The new version came with a beta release of plasma 5, so gives me an early look of what I can soon expect to see in opensuse Tumbleweed.  The downloaded system uses a release-candidate for Plasma 5.4.


I check the torrent link, but that seemed to be for an earlier release.  My understanding is that torrent downloads are provided by users, and I probably looked before they had set it up for the new release.

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My Tumbleweed install for August

I’ve been doing an install of the month, in order to test Tumbleweed installation.  For August, I installed in an alternate partition on my main desktop system.

The Tumbleweed install media have been broken for the last two weeks.  If used from a USB flash drive, the installer cannot be booted in UEFI mode.  Apparently it can still be booted with UEFI if it is actually burned to a DVD.  However, I prefer to install with a USB, so I decided to give it a try in spite of the problems.  I had actually wanted to test whether a UEFI install can be done when the install media is not UEFI bootable.  So this was a good time to test that.


I downloaded the install DVD iso for the 20150802 snapshot.  As usual, I used “aria2c” to download.  That went well.  I also used “wget” to download the file containing the sha256 checksum.  I verified the gpg signature on that checksum file.  Then I compared the checksum in that file with the checksum that I could compute from the downloaded iso.  And all was fine.

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Linux rescues

It’s been several years since I last described a linux rescue in my earlier post “Rescuing Susie“.  And, by now, that’s a little outdated.  In today’s post, I’ll go over the basic principles of rescuing a linux system.

I’ll be describing what works with opensuse.  But I have also used this method with Ubuntu and with Debian.

Simple fixes

Simple problems can often be fixed by booting any live linux media.  Typically, you boot the live system, then open a root shell.  From there, you can mount a partition and use a text editor to adjust configuration files.

Sometimes it is possible to use an alternative method of booting into your system.  For example, I dealt with a recent problem by booting another linux system also installed on my disk.  I then modified the boot menu of that bootable system so that I could use it to boot into the system being repaired.  That’s always easier than a full rescue. Read More…

Leap 42.1 after one week

In my previous post, I described my experience in downloading and installing opensuse Leap 42.1 Milestone 1.  That was a week ago.  I’ve booted Leap every day since then.  So it’s time to add to my previous report.

Overall, Leap 42.1 appears to run well.  I have seen relatively few bug reports, and not too  many problems mentioned on the forum.  I take that as a good sign.

That booting problem

In my prior post, I did mention that Leap would not boot.  And I described a workaround that I used to get past that.  I have since reported that problem as bug 939411.  It turns out that this is essentially the same problem as I had previously reported for Tumbleweed, as bug 911319.  Apparently the fix for that had not been backported to the SuSE enterprise system on which Leap is based.

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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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