Ubuntu-gnome 17.04

I have already reviewed Ubuntu-17.04.  However, the Ubuntu folk (i.e. Canonical) had already announced that, starting with 18.04, they would switch their mainline version from the Unity desktop to the Gnome desktop.  So I decided to also test out the 17.04 version of Ubuntu with Gnome desktop.

I installed Ubuntu-gnome in an already existing encrypted LVM.  The machine that I used actually has two hard drives, with an encrypted LVM on each drive.  So this was a different LVM from the one that I used for the mainline Ubuntu (with unity).  Currently, both versions of Ubuntu are installed on that machine.

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Ubuntu 17.04 – a review

Ubuntu 17.04 was announced a few days ago.  I had already decided that I would install it, and do a little testing.  So, once I saw the announcement, I started a download.

Downloading

To download, I followed the links from the announcement to the download page.  From there, I selected the torrent download.  I was using the “vivaldi” browser, and it gave me several options with the torrent link.  I chose the option to open the file.  And that started the download with “ktorrent”.

I also downloaded “SHA256SUMS.desktop” and “SHA256SUMS.desktop.gpg”.  Next, I checked the gpg signature with

gpg --verify SHA256SUMS.desktop.gpg SHA256SUMS.desktop

which showed that I had a good download of the checksum file.  After the torrent download had completed, I checked its validity with

sha256sum -c SHA256SUMS.desktop

That reported that the downloaded iso file was ok.  It also reported that some files did not exist.  I ignored that.  It was just that the checksum file had checksums for other isos that I had not downloaded.

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Tumbleweed, Gnome and Wayland

Recently, openSUSE Tumbleweed updated Gnome to version 3.24.  So I decided to give it a test.  And I ran into some “problems”.  This post will discuss those problems.

Gnome under Wayland

My oldest Tumbleweed system was installed in November 2014.  And that’s where I first tested Gnome.  At the time, I was using “sddm” for logins.  Selecting “Gnome” on the login menu gave me a Gnome session running under X11.  This was as expected.  There was also a menu item for “Gnome-Wayland”.  Selecting that gave me Gnome running under Wayland for managing the graphics.

I later switched to using “gdm” as login manager.  And, with “gdm”, selecting “Gnome” gave me a Wayland session.

Next, I tried on my laptop.  Tumbleweed was installed there on March 14 this year.  I was already configured to use “gdm” for logins there.  But, try as I did, I was unable to get a Wayland session for Gnome.

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What’s up with Solus?

[Update: See update notes at the end of this post]

I still have Solus installed, although it is not something that I regularly use.  Check HERE for my report on installing.

Today, I booted into Solus.  And then I did a check for updates.  It showed several.  And one indicated a kernel update, but that was attached to a strange package name.

I applied the updates.  And then I checked to see what kernel version had been installed.  And there was no kernel there at all.  The kernel had  been deleted.  Fortunately, I had a backup copy of the kernel, so I copied that into place.  And then I rebooted.  And the system froze on the login window.  Perhaps all of the kernel modules had also been deleted, leaving a crippled system.

So it looks as if my Solus installation is now broken beyond repair.

I’m now wondering if this was a bad April fools joke.  Or was this an intrusion into the Solus site to generate a faulty update?

At this stage, I am puzzled and looking for more information.

UPDATE

It looks as if I misunderstood the situation.

Apparently Solus had changed its naming convention for kernels.  So I simply did not recognize that there was a kernel, since the new name was not even close to what I was looking for.

Tumbleweed install for March 2017

It has been a few months since I last tried installing Tumbleweed.  I wanted to install on my laptop, to test the latest version of NetworkManager.

Quick summary

The install went pretty well.  The most obvious problem was a black screen on the first boot of the newly installed system.  But that was not as bad as it sounds.  I’ll give more details below.  The install was for snapshot 20170314.

Downloading

As is my usual practice, I used “aria2c” to download the iso, and I used “wget” to download the sha256 checksum file.  Both were the 64-bit versions.

I downloaded both the DVD installer and the live rescue CD.

After downloading, I used

gpg --verify filename.sha256

to verify the gpg signature on the checksum file (where “filename” depends on whether this was for the live CD or the DVD installer.

I then used

sha256sum -c filename.sha256

to verify the checksum of the downloaded iso file.

After download, I wrote both isos to USB devices.  My typical command for this is

dd_rescue filename.iso /dev/sdd

where “/dev/sdd” is the device where the USB shows up.  I used a 4G USB device for the live rescue CD, and an 8G USB for the DVD installer.

I then booted the live rescue CD on two systems.  It booted up without any difficulty.  On the first boot, a hybrid partition was created, where any changes made can be saved to disk. Read More…

KaOS notes

While reviewing KaOS in a recent post, I indicated that I expected to add some comments in another post.  Here are those comments.

I’ll first note I am primarily an openSUSE user, so my experience with KaOS is rather less than that with openSUSE.

Software notes

The KaOS software selection is different from that of openSUSE.  For example, it uses Calligra for office software, instead of LibreOffice (used by openSUSE).  I should add that LibreOffice is in the repo, so I could install that if I preferred.  And, for that matter, if I add the KDE-extras repo for opensuse, I’m pretty sure that I can install Calligra.

I did experiment with Calligra on a spread sheet.  It seemed to work pretty well.  But I don’t actually use a spreadsheet very often, so this is not a thorough test.

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KaOS-2017.01 — a review

I have previously reported on KaOS, in 2015.  I have actually kept it installed since August 2015.  When I saw the announcement for 2017.01, I decided that it was time for a re-install.  I’ll note that I could have just updated the already installed version, but it seemed like time for a fresh start.

What is KaOS?

KaOS is a rolling distribution, based on KDE.

I am a KDE user, with openSUSE Leap (currently at 42.2).  But I also keep openSUSE Tumbleweed installed for looking at what will be coming up.  And I’m using KaOS as an alternative view of what is going to be showing up in the future.

I have not used KaOS extensively, except for occasion testing and occasional updating.  I’m expecting to continue that practice with the new install.

Downloading

I downloaded from the download site listed on the announcement.  I then checked the md5sum for the download.  There did not appear to be a gpg signature that I could check.

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Booting solus-2017.01.01

As mentioned in my previous post, here is my separate post on booting Solus.

What’s wrong with the installation defaults for booting?

Probably nothing, at least for most users.  But they do not suit my needs.

The main issue, for me, is that I have several linux systems installed.  So I don’t want Solus to take control of the booting.  I would prefer to have an entry added to my openSUSE boot menu.

Do I even need a bootloader?

You probably do.  The grub configuration (as with “grub2-mkconfig” in openSUSE) can find other linux systems and add menu items for them.  But that configuration process looks at the boot menus for the other linux systems, to decide how to boot them.

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Solus-2017.01.01 — a review

I saw the announcement of the new Solus release on Distrowatch.  So I decided that it was time to take another look at Solus.

Downloading

I used the available torrent to download “Solus-2017.01.01.0-Budgie.iso”.  I then separately downloaded the sha256 checksum file, because that was not part of the torrent download.  And I noticed a file “Solus-2017.01.01.0-Budgie.sha256sum.sign” which looked as if it might be a gpg signature for the checksum.  So I downloaded that, too.

Unfortunately, I could not find the gpg key that I would need to check the signature.  So I had to just trust the checksum.  Just before composing this post, I did another search for the gpg key, and finally came up with a link.  So I added that to my keyring, and was finally able to verify the checksum file.  The needed key still does not appear to be on the public keyservers.  But at least I could find it with a google search.

Installing

To install, I wrote the iso file to a USB flash drive, with

# dd_rescue Solus-2017.01.01.0-Budgie.iso /dev/sdd

(note that “/dev/sdd” is the device usually used by a USB flash drive on my main desktop).

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Geckolinux-422 — a review

Geckolinux is a distro that is based on opensuse.  The maintainer uses the handle sb56637 (at least at sourceforge).  He use the suse studio site to build his releases.  His releases version amount to opensuse that is configured to his liking.  The releases are iso files for a live session, and can be installed.

In the move to the Leap series, opensuse no longer provides live versions (except for Tumbleweed).  So I have occasionally recommended geckolinux to people looking for a live version that they can test.

I saw the announcement of the 422.161213 release, via a link at Distrowatch.  I proceeded to download the bare bones version.  I was not fully satisfied with the result, so I tried the XFCE version.  I wasn’t happy with that either.  Yesterday, I rechecked the site, and I see that there is now a more recent 422.161228 release.

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