opensuse 12.3 RC2 – first looks

Release candidate 2 for opensuse 12.3 came out today.  I have already installed on one system, and am currently installing on a second system.  This is the last pre-release version that we are likely to see.  The final release is supposed to be less than two weeks away.

My first impressions are that this release has fixed some of the problems from RC1, and is generally looking good.

Changes since RC1

Here are the most notable changes that I have seen:

  • the kernel is now at 3.7.9;
  • firefox is now at version 19.0;
  • “ifup” network mode is really “ifup” and not disguised NetworkManager;
  • UEFI support (64 bit version only) is greatly improved.

My first install was on my primary desktop.  I am currently using that to compose this blog post.  The install itself went smoothly.  The network tests and online update, during the final stages of install, went well.  However, the network did not function that until I restarted it.

UEFI support

I have not yet attempted to install on my UEFI system.  However, I did boot the installer, just to make sure that there is no obvious difficulty.  I am using USB disks to install.  The biggest change is that UEFI booting from the install USB works without any special trickery.  The 64bit ISO files now have a gpt partition structure on them, so that when copied to a USB they are recognized directly for UEFI boot.

If you plan to do this, then do not run isohybrid on the iso file (for the 64 bit version).  Running isohyrbid will damage the UEFI boot structure.  The DVD image, installed on a USB, can be booted on both a newer UEFI system and an older MBR/BIOS booting system, so there is no need to run isohybrid.  However, it might still be needed on 32 bit systems (not tested).

I copied the DVD image to USB using the “dd_rescue” command.  Copying with “dd” should also work.

Another UEFI change, is that the live KDE image can now boot in UEFI mode.  I presume that is also true of the live Gnome image, but I have not tested that.

According to the release notes, secure boot can now be turned on in a UEFI system.  I won’t be able to test that until I have installed on my UEFI box.

Live images are now for USB only

The live images are too large for a CD.  This is a deliberate decision go to using USB for booting live images in future.  The change is partly because it is becoming difficult to fit a live image on a CD.  And it is partly due to the increased use of computers where there is no CD drive so a USB must be used.


Opensuse 12.3 RC2 is looking good.  The final 12.3 release is not far away.



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About Neil Rickert

Mathematician and computer scientist who dabbles in cognitive science.

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  1. Opensuse 12.3 is now available | Thoughts on computing - 2013/03/13

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