Updating 13.1Beta1

You have perhaps heard the story of the guy who drove his car into the auto repair shop.  There, they jacked up the gas cap, and replaced everything below it.

That just about how things appeared when I decided to run updates on one of my 13.1 Beta1 installations.  I used the command

zypper up

to do the updating.  And “zypper” reported that there were 2647 updates to apply.  Or, in more detail, 2547 updates and 80 new packages.  I said “yes”, and the updating proceeded.  But that update must have replaced just about everything.

That number is perhaps a tad misleading.  What had happened, was that new 13.1 repos had been created, instead of the temporary factory repos at the time I installed.  This was in preparation for the final release of 13.1 next month.  So just about everything was recompiled, but in most cases probably not changed.

There were some significant changes in the updates.  The new kernel is version 3.11.2-1.g420e19b, with the previous kernel 3.11.1-1.g1383321 retained.  KDE has now been updated to release 4.11.2.  There are undoubtedly other changes, though I have not carefully checked.  The system, once updated, continued to be stable.  Note that a few days earlier, updating would have produced an unstable system, but that problem had been corrected by the time that I updated.

The update process

The updating itself was not completely smooth.  After almost 2000 packages had been downloaded, there was an error message that a particular rpm was not found.  I’m not sure what happened – perhaps the repo was being updated as I was using it, or perhaps this was a bad mirror.  I chose “retry” which again failed (as expected).  So I aborted, and restarted.

The nice thing about zypper, is that it won’t download a package that has already been downloaded.  So my second install attempt downloaded 600 or so packages (I was not watching closely), and then decided that it had everything and proceeded to install them.  The installing went well.  I followed the advice to reboot.

The one glitch noticed was that there was no network after the first reboot, though

systemctl restart network.service

brought it up.  I did not have that problem on subsequent reboots.

The updater applet

While discussing updates, I’ll comment on the updater applet.  This is the little tray applet that notifies a user when there are updates available.  It is installed as part of the “apper” package.

The interesting thing here, is that “apper” was not installed at all.  So I did not have an updater applet.  That surprised me.  The updater applet was there when running from a live KDE image.

I went to “Yast” software management to install “apper”.  And that’s where I discovered the problem.  Apparently, in 13.1, “apper” conflicts with “packagekit-gnome”.  What’s most surprising, is that the gnome applet was given preference, even though my install had made KDE my primary desktop (with Gnome also installed).

I told “Yast” software management to go ahead and remove the Gnome applet and install apper.  I’ll eventually disable apper in my user KDE settings, because I prefer to use “Yast” online update and/or “zypper”.  But I’m actually glad to have remove the Gnome applet.  I only rarely use Gnome, and prefer not to be interrupted with messages about updates when I am using it.



About Neil Rickert

Retired mathematician and computer scientist who dabbles in cognitive science.

3 responses to “Updating 13.1Beta1”

  1. jas88 says :

    Last week, I fired up a PC which hadn’t been used for several years; the Windows XP updates actually exceeded the size of the Windows XP installation media by a significant margin. Presumably replacing the same component multiple times over, to account for that size.


    • Neil Rickert says :

      Excellent example. However, 13.1Beta1 is only a few weeks old, so perhaps not a good comparison.

      I deleted my last XP a few days go, to make space for a larger “/boot” partition when I install the final release of 13.1.


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