Opensuse-12.3 Milestone 0 – a quick look

The first early release of 12.3 was announced a couple of days ago.  So I decided to give it a try.  Note that this is very early.  The released factory snapshot is going as milestone 0.  As of yet, there is no release schedule for further milestones.  The final release of 12.3 is still listed as March 2013, which is probably unrealistic.  The has yet to be adjusted to compensate in the delays with 12.2.

I downloaded the iso file for the KDE live media (both 32 bit and 64 bit).  I then wrote (“burned”) the 64 bit iso to a USB flash drive, using “dd_rescue”.  My intention was to test booting the live media, then possibly install if it looked solid.  Thus far, I have only tested the 64 bit version.

For the most part, it seems stable.  It is using KDE 4.9.1 and kernel 3.6.0-rc7-1-desktop.  These may well be updated to later versions before the final 2.3 release.


Running from the live media, the system did indeed seem stable.  So I decided to go ahead with an install.  The plan was to install to test partition, but keep 12.2 as my primary system on that computer.

For the most part, the install went well.  During the partitioning section of the installer, I tried importing partitioning.  However, that did not work.  It recognized the partitions for my 12.2 install, but failed to recognize the alternative install location that I had previously been using for 12.2 milestones.  So I had to click on “create partitioning” and then on “expert partitioning” to select the partitioning that I wanted.

The configured repos

I ran into a few oddities.

When I tried an online update, that listed several conflicts.  I chose to not install the conflicting software.  I could then see the list of updates.  They included an update of firefox to 15.0.  Since the system already came with firefox 15.0.1, that looked strange.  So I checked the list of repos before proceeding.

It turned out that the 12.2 repos were configured.  Clearly, that would never work.

To fix this, I went into Yast “Software Repositories”.  I selected a line, then clicked “edit”.  Then I changed “12.2” to “12.3” everywhere.  That worked for the main repos (oss and non-oss), and gave the usual warning that I am using factory repos.  However, it did not work for the update repos.  Apparently nothing exists with the names for the 12.3 updates.  So I just disabled those.

After that, I installed a couple of items that were not on the live media.  And the software manager went ahead and added around 240 additional packages to install.  That is probably all of what they would have liked to put on the KDE live system, if there were room.


Booting is a bit weird.  I still don’t understand what is happening.

During install, I asked that grub2 be installed in “/boot”, which is “/dev/sda6” on the system where I was installing.  And that seemed to go fine.  To boot, I then used a “chainloader” entry in the grub2 menu of my 12.2 system.  And that booted up 12.3 M0 without any problems.

So what’s weird?  When I dumped the boot sector to a file:

dd if=/dev/sda6 of=filename count=1

and then looked inside that file, it turned out that the file was filled with binary zeros.  It looks as if the boot sector was never written to “/dev/sda6”.  But, in that case, I am wondering how it is that I am managing to boot the system.

Still puzzled on this one.  I am probably missing something obvious.


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About Neil Rickert

Mathematician and computer scientist who dabbles in cognitive science.

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  1. Opensuse 12.3 Milestone 1 « Thoughts on computing - 2012/11/10

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