Opensuse 12.3 Beta1 after three days

I have been using Beta1 for around three days now, and I have been trying to do as much of my computing as possible on a 12.3 Beta1 test system.  Overall, I am very happy with this beta release.  I have installed on three different machines, and it is looking good on all of them.  This is intended to complement my earlier post on beta1.

A quick overview

I installed KDE, Gnome, XFCE and LXDE.  I have not yet logged into LXDE, but I have experimented a little with Gnome and XFCE, and I have spent a lot of time with KDE.

  • The kernel is 3.7.1-1;
  • KDE is using version 44.9.97, which is release candidate 2 for 4.10;
  • Gnome is at version 3.6.2
  • XFCE is at version 4.10 (the same as in opensuse 12.2)
  • LibreOffice is at version 3.6.3.

Some of these might change by the final release.

Crypto

Two of my installs have been to a LUKS encrypted LVM.  The other install use LUKS encrypted “/home” and swap.  The installs went well.

I have not had any problems with crypto.  Well, okay, I’ll take that back.  On the second boot of the system with encrypted home and swap, I had to provide the encryption key twice.  I then ran “mkinitrd”, and that problem has not repeated.

Ecryptfs

At last, ecryptfs seems to run flawlessly.  I have not needed to tweak the PAM settings, and the automatic PAM mounting of the ecryptfs private directory has occurred properly every time.  This only works for password logins, of course.  If you are planning to use ecryptfs, then do not configure automatic login.

The warts

Let me start with the problems, though I think most of those will go away by the time of the final 12.3 release.

Bluetooth

I already mentioned that bluetooth does not work.  This turns out to be a very minor problem.  The bluetooth service was not being started.  It is discussed in the report for bug 796671, where the commands to start the service are  mentioned.  I expect the problem to be gone by the final release.

Screen locking in KDE

At present, it appears that the screensaver in KDE will always lock the screen after a timeout.  This is a KDE problem, rather than an opensuse problem.  I cannot guess whether it will be solved for the final release.

Grub2 woes

The generated grub2 menu fails to boot other linux installations on the same computer.  Forum posts indicate that a bug report has been filed.  I expect this to be resolved by the time of the final release.  In my case, I prefer to chain-load other linux installs, and that works.

GDM problems

There have been reports at opensuse forums, that one cannot logout of Gnome, then log back in.  I am using KDM, and am not seeing the problem.  The forum posts indicate that the bug has been reported.  I expect a fix by the time of the final release.

Configuring NFS

I mentioned a problem in my earlier post.  I see this as mainly cosmetic, since everything works in spite of the error message.  I expect it to be resolved by the time of the final release.

Synaptiks

Now that I have bluetooth working, I see that synaptiks is confused by my bluetooth mouse.  If the bluetooth mouse is active, I am unable to open the configuration screen for synaptiks.  This is a KDE problem, rather than an opensuse problem.  The same problem occurs with opensuse 12.2, though it all worked fine with opensuse 12.1.

I actually prefer my Logitech m325 mouse to my Targus bluetooth mouse, so this problem does not greatly inconvenience me.  I do not know whether it affects every bluetooth mouse, or only the Targus.

What I like

The most positive for me, is that konqueror has not crashed at all.  I have tried it on pages that have crashed konqueror with opensuse 12.2, and the konqueror for 12.3 has been completely stable.

I rather like the default desktop screen.  It is a blackish screen with a growing green sprig, and the opensuse lizard is on that sprig.

On the machine where I am typing this post, the nouveau driver works a lot better than in prior releases.  In particular, I can log into Gnome 3 without problems,  Under opensuse 12.2 on this system, the Gnome 3 screen was badly broken up until I forced fallback mode.  However, I do have one remaining problem with nouveau.  Sometimes, if the display switches off, then when it switches back on the mouse pointer has disappeared and I have to reboot to get it back.  My workaround is to configure KDE power settings to never switch off the display.  And that’s why I would like a screen saver that does not lock.

On my older system, with ATI graphics, Gnome 3 does force fallback mode.  With some earlier versions, it would crash on login so I needed a command line way of forcing fallback.  KDE seems to startup okay with desktop effects on that system, something that didn’t work properly with the earlier 12.3 Milestone 2.

Other changes

The KDM login screen has changed.  I’m not sure that I like the changes.  The list of users is now cramped and requires a scroll bar.  I am hoping for improvement by the time of the 12.3 final release.

Note that the KDM bug, where sometimes a character typed into the password field is lost – that bug is still there.

Summary

It is looking as if opensuse 12.3 will be another high quality release.

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About Neil Rickert

Retired mathematician and computer scientist who dabbles in cognitive science.

2 responses to “Opensuse 12.3 Beta1 after three days”

  1. William Visser says :

    Dear Neil,

    Thank you for another clear and inspiring view on Opensuse.

    I’m looking forward to installing Opensuse 12.3 final release.

    I would like to ask you a question about networkmanager in Opensuse with KDE. I uninstalled kwallet because like keepassX more. But in networkmanager, when I choose to store connection secrets encrypted I wonder if that is really happening in my case. Can you explain to me where and how connection secrets are stored if chosen for the option of ‘secure storage (encrypted)’ when there’s no kwallet?

    Thank you very much in advance,

    Warm regards,

    William

    Like

    • Neil Rickert says :

      I have never used keepassX, so I really don’t know what happens. I guess it depends on how well keepass manages to integrate itself into KDE.

      I tried disabling kwallet for a test user account.

      When I then went into NetworkManager connection settings, it defaulted to saving the network key in an unencrypted file. I tried setting it to the option to save in encrypted storage, and that generated an error message. I could, however, change it to never save the key (prompt each time).

      So it looks as if NetworkManager (at least on 12.3) won’t allow encrypted saving if kwallet is disabled. Or, may keepass integrates itself so well, that the NetworkManager applet knows to use that.

      I guess you will have to experiment when you have 12.3 installed.

      Like

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