My Tumbleweed install for December

I have not been doing monthly Tumbleweed installs for a while.  But this month I have done several, for various reasons.  I will report on the most interesting install.  Well, at least, the install that is most interesting to me.  I hope my readers find in interesting.

The basics

This was an install to an external hard drive.  It is a 250G Seagate hard drive, purchased back when that was a large size for external drives.  I originally used that drive for backups, but I am no longer using it for that purpose.

My aim was to have an external drive that I could use for maintenance tasks on other computers.  So I wanted it to be bootable on a computer with legacy BIOS booting.  But I also want it to be bootable on an EFI box.  And, given my recent experiments with 32-bit EFI, I figured that I should also make it bootable on 32-bit EFI.

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OpenSUSE Tumbleweed and 32-bit EFI

I recently described how I managed to install and run Leap 15.0 on a system with 32-bit EFI.  I decided to do some more experiments, and this time I tried with an install of Tumbleweed.

Most of my experiments with alternative methods of installing were failures.  So I finished up doing something similar to what I used in that earlier post.  I suggest reading that for the details.  I did make a couple of improvements.

Basic install

As before, I used “deepin” as a starter system, simply because that works out-of-the-box with 32-bit EFI.  I still needed to start by installing “deepin”.  And again, I really only needed the “/boot” from “deepin”.  But I had to make that 800M to keep the “deepin” installer happy.

The first improvement that I made was to make all of the needed additions to the boot menu at the beginning.  As before, I used “/etc/grub.d/40_custom” for that.  I did not have all of the needed information.  But by creating skeleton entries, I finished where I would only need to edit “/boot/grub/grub.cfg” for the final changes.  So, after that point, I only needed to retain the “/boot” partition from the “deepin” install.

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Deepin 15.8 — a brief review

In my previous post, I described how I used deepin to help me get openSUSE Leap 15.0 installed for 32-bit EFI booting.  So maybe I should briefly review deepin itself.

Background

Deepin comes to us from China.  It is apparently oriented particularly toward the needs of Chinese users.  However, it also works quite well for English speaking users.

I have actually tried deepin before.  I have deepin 15.5 installed on one of my computers.  But I never did get around to posting a review.  Version 15.8 looks similar to the 15.5 that I have installed.

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OpenSUSE Leap 15.0 and 32-bit EFI

Most desktop and laptop computers use a 64-bit processor, which also supports 32-bit instructions.  However, some computers, particularly some tablets, come with 32-bit processors that also support 64-bit instructions.  The Intel Atom processors are an example of such 32-bit processors.

The problem

The UEFI specifications require that the UEFI firmware be based on the native instruction set.  For most computers, that means UEFI booting will be 64-bit.  But for systems with 32-bit native processors such as the Intel Atom family, the firmware normally implements 32-bit UEFI.

Most linux systems only provide 64-bit UEFI support.  In particular, openSUSE only provides 64-bit UEFI support for installation.  OpenSUSE Tumbleweed does include 32-bit UEFI grub packages, but they are not part of the installer DVD.

If I want to install openSUSE Leap 15.0 on such a computer, then I will have to find ways of booting the installer.  And then, after installing, I will have to find ways of booting the installed system.

Looking around

I don’t actually have a computer with 32-bit EFI.   But I can setup a KVM virtual machine to use the 32-bit UEFI firmware.  I have actually been intending to try this for a while.  So I just got around to doing it.

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Tumbleweed 20181029 and openssh

[Update: this bug has now been fixed.  The fixed “openssh” package is in the update repo, so you should be able to install it right now.  Tests here show that openssh is now working as it should be.]

Be wary of the Tumbleweed update to snapshot 20181029.

I was warned of this by some posts to the factory mailing list.  So I updated my own Tumbleweed (in a VM), and ran into the same problems.

Briefly, this snapshop updates openssh from version 7.7p1 to version 7.8p1.

From the system running openssh-7.8p1, I am still able to use ssh to connect to a system using 7.7p1.  However, it does not work the other way.  I cannot connect from openssh-7.7p1 to openssh-7.8p1.  And I cannot even connect from openssh-7.8p1 to itself (as with “ssh localhost”).

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Leap 15.1 — an early look

I have  been seeing mentions of Leap 15.1.  What I mainly see are notes in the factory email list or in bug reports.  And they suggest that planning is already going on for Leap 15.1.

I decided to look at the download area.  I used the link that I have for the Leap 15.0 download area, but I changed the “.0” to “.1”.  And that found a download page.  And, on that page, was the link to download the DVD installer for Build271.4.

So I downloaded.  I first downloaded the “sha256” checksum file, using “wget” for that download.  Then I verified the “gpg” signature on that checksum file.  Next, I downloaded the DVD iso file, using “aria2c”.  And, when that download was complete, I use the “sha256sum” command to verify its checksum.

Installing

I decided to go ahead and try a test install.  My plan was to install to a virtual machine under KVM, using the downloaded “iso” file as a virtual DVD.  I went with legacy bios booting for the VM.  The installer booted up without difficulty.

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GeckoLinux – a review

A few days ago, I noticed (at DistroWatch.com) that there was a new release of GeckoLinux.  So I decided to download it and give it trial run.

GeckoLinux is based on openSUSE.  The new release feature openSUSE Leap 15.0, which is the latest stable release from openSUSE.  GeckoLinux also has rolling versions, based on openSUSE Tumbleweed.

The home page of GeckoLinux lists the various versions available.  Since I mainly use KDE, I decided to go with the KDE Plasma 5 version of GeckoLinux.  So I downloaded the image “GeckoLinux_STATIC_Plasma.x86_64-150.180607.0.iso” to use for my test install.  I checked the sha1 checksum, which showed my download to be good.

Booting

In the past, I have usually written the downloaded iso to a USB, and then booted from that USB flash drive.  However, for this version, I decided to test only in a KVM virtual machine.  And, for that, I can use the iso file as a virtual DVD for the virtual machine.

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OpenSUSE Leap 15.0 is out

Leap 15.0 was released at around 1200 UTC today, which is around 7am at my local time (Chicago time).

There appears to have been a problem with the bit torrent seeding.  I hope that was fixed.  For my own download, I used aria2c, which uses the meta4 link.

The main download page for Leap 15.0 has the DVD installer iso and the NET installer iso.  There is an additional download page for live media which is KDE live, Gnome live and a live rescue image.

My downloads

Today, I downloaded the DVD installer.  And I then did a final test install.  This went perfectly.  I also downloaded the live KDE media, and booted that as a virtual DVD on a KVM virtual machine.  That booted up nicely.  However, the live download page has updated since my download.

My laptop is already running 15.0.  And 15.0 is already installed on my main desktop, but in a different partition.  I’m continuing to run 42.3 for another day or two before I switch over.  My main desktop is also a file server for the home network, so I have to do the changeover at a time when it won’t disrupt anything.

A good launch

It looks as if Leap 15.0 has had a good launch.  I am hearing very few problems reported at the openSUSE forums.  Actually, a number of users started running 15.0 during the testing phase.

I’m expecting this to be a very good release.

Preparing for Leap 15.0

OpenSUSE Leap 15.0 is expected to be released on Friday May 25th.  That’s just a few days away.  I have already posted two guides to different aspects of installing:

So here’s one more post before the release.  I will fill in some of the gaps left by the other guides.

Some quick notes

First some notes.  If you have already been testing pre-release versions of openSUSE 15.0, then now would be a good time to run

zypper dup

from a root command line.  This should bring your system to the final release version.  After that, you should update the usual way with “zypper up” or with the desktop update applet, or with Yast online update.

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Leap 15.0 — the partitioner

It is expected that Leap 15.0 will be released by the end of this month (May 2018).  At present, I have Build 241.1 installed for testing.  It is considered to be a release candidate.

The biggest installer change from earlier openSUSE releases is with the partitioner.  So that’s what I’ll be discussing in this post.

I’ll note that the new partitioner is also being used if you install Tumbleweed.  And, after installing Leap 15.0, you will also be able to access the partitioner via Yast, for making changes to your disks.

And one additional note about the installer.  Before now, I have been reporting a problem with installing into an existing encrypted LVM.  The problem was that the installer failed to create “/etc/crypttab”.  That has now been corrected.  So installing into an existing encrypted LVM should be relatively straightforward.

Starting the install

My previous post was on booting the installer.  And there, I showed the possible boot screens for legacy booting or UEFI booting.  Now let’s look at what we will see after booting the installer.

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