The rough edges of opensuse 12.3 RC1

Yesterday, I decided to switch my main desktop to 12.3 RC1, so as to give me more experience with it.  That make 4 installs of RC1 overall.  And I ran into a few small problems.  I was able to work around all of them, but this does suggest some rough edges.  I’m hoping that these will be mostly worked out by the time of the final release.

The ordinary user experience remains pretty good, so most people won’t run into serious problems.  However, if you are setting up some network services, perhaps as part of a home network, you might bump into a few difficulties.

Sysvinit phase-out

With opensuse 12.3, the remaining vestiges of sysvinit are being phased out, and the move to systemd is being completed.  And the rough points that I have found are probably all related to this changeover.  This mostly has to do with setting up services.

Network setup

I’ve already mentioned that during the final configuration stages after the first reboot, there were some network problems.  That happened again with the install on my desktop.  As happened in an earlier desktop install, the network test (where it attempts to download a file) failed.  This time, I decided to look at the logs.  They said that it failed because the network was controlled by NetworkManager.

This was surely a bogus message.  As before, I had turned off automatic configuration, so I had to go through the network configuration steps.  Those nowhere mentioned that NetworkManager was in use.  By contrast, it was very clear on my laptop, that NetworkManager was configured.  So something is amiss with that log message.

In any case, everything else went fine, including the online update as part of the final configuration.

Looking at the network right now, with the system up and running, I see:

% ps -ef | grep -i network
root       827     1  0 15:42 ?        00:00:00 /usr/sbin/NetworkManager --no-daemon
rickert   8990  1722  0 20:25 pts/2    00:00:00 grep -i network

So NetworkManager is in use somewhere, even though this computer is configured for “ifup” mode.  It looks as NetworkManager is handling the “ifup” mode, to replace the older sysvinit scripts.  And that might be what confused the network test during final configuration.

I have not yet reported this as a bug, though I probably will (unless it has already been reported).

Setting up Samba

I later configured samba services, to allow access to some shared files by Windows boxes on the home network.  For that, I went into the Samba server settings in Yast.  This was similar to what I had previously done with version 12.2.

The surprise came when I later rebooted.  After the reboot, there were no samba services running.  I do not recall this happing with 12.2.

The solution was simple enough.  I started Yast, and went to System –> Run Level Services.  And there, I enabled the “smb” and “nmb” services.  I had expected them to be automatically enabled with the configuration of Samba services.

I don’t think I have rebooted again since enabling those services.  So I’ll be checking closely after the next boot.

I have not reported this as a bug.  I’m not sure whether it counts as a bug, or as a change in procedures.

Setting up sendmail

I’m an old time sendmail user, so I typically install sendmail rather than postfix to handle email.  I started by building a suitable “” file, using a definition file that I have used in previous releases.  That part went fine.

I then went to setup the server with Yast “Mail Services”.  Since I wanted sendmail to listen on external ports, I went to the advanced section.  And  there, I received an error message that “postfix” is not installed.  This has not happened in previous version of opensuse.

Undaunted, I tried

systemctl restart sendmail.service

which did restart the server to use the new configuration.  But it was only listening on localhost.

Next, I did some looking around, and I worked out that I needed to set “SMTPD_LISTEN_REMOTE” to “yes” in “/etc/sysconfig/mail”.  I again started Yast, and went to the “/etc/sysconfig” settings.  The appropriate setting was in “Network” –> “Mail” –> “General”.

I made the change.  After making the change, there was an error message that “postfix” is not installed.

I again used “systemctl” to restart sendmail, and now sendmail was listening on the public IP address.  And this has held up after a reboot.

These problems have been reported as Bug 802996, though perhaps I need to add a comment to that bug report about the change to SMTPD_LISTEN_REMOTE.

Setting up apcupsd

I had installed “apcupsd” to manage my APC UPS box.  As with previous versions of opensuse, I then proceeded to configure it in “/etc/apcupsd/apcupsd.conf”.  Then I opened Yast for run level services.  However, there was no entry for apcupsd.  Apparently, this now has to be started with “systemctl” at the command line.

To add to these difficulties, the service file used by “systemd” expects the “apcupsd” daemon to be installed in “/sbin”.  However, it is actually installed in “/usr/sbin”.  I added a symlink to work around this problem.

I have reported this as Bug 801312.

Setting up NFS services

I also setup an NFS service.  And this one worked fine.  There were no problems at all with it.

I hope the experience for most folk is equally problem free.


About Neil Rickert

Retired mathematician and computer scientist who dabbles in cognitive science.

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