Opensuse 13.1 RC1 is available for testing

RC1 (release candidate 1) was available on the download site yesterday.  In this post, I shall give my impressions.

As is my usual practice, I downloaded the isos, and wrote them to USBs for testing.  My main focus was on the install problems that we had seen with the earlier Beta1 release.  Sad to say, some of those problems are still there.

Booting a live KDE system

My first test was to boot a 64-bit live KDE system.  That went pretty well.  I was pleased to see that the problems with Beta1 and some of the milestones have been corrected.  In particular, “/boot” had the kernels needed for installing.  While I have not tried installing from the live KDE image, it looks as if that would go well.

I also tried booting that live USB on my UEFI box.  The results there were not so happy.  The boot stalled just after the message about loading kernel.  I had to power down the box and try again.  I disabled secure-boot for my second try, and then it booted just fine.  It looks as if the problems reported as bug 841426 have not yet been resolved.

I later tried with the 32-bit live KDE image, again written to a USB.  Unfortunately, this self-destructed.  Apparently, bug 841392 is still a problem with RC1.  After boot, the spare space on the USB is supposed to be allocated to a hybrid partition where changes on the running live KDE can be saved.  But, instead, the entire USB is formatted into a hybrid filesystem, overwriting the operating system.


I have only done one install.  This was a 64-bit install on an older Dell Dimension computer.  The install itself proceeded pretty well.  With Beta1, the install progress was not displayed.  That is corrected in RC1, so I could see the number of remaining packages count down.

My install was into an encrypted LVM.  I chose “btrfs” for the root file system.  The LVM volume I am using for root is 40G, so should have enough space to accomodate “btrfs”.

The first real problem that I had with the install was on the first boot.  I was prompted for the passphrase for the encrypted LVM.  I typed that in, but apparently the booting system was not able to read it.  So my boot hung at that point.

This was not a surprise.  I knew of the problem, which is being discussed in bug 839071.  About the last thing that I had seen in that bug discussion, was a submission request to correct the problem.  But that came one day before RC1 was released.  So it was no surprise that the bug was still there.  At least, I knew a workaround.  I had to boot the system (as with a live KDE), and mount its partitions.  I then had to edit “/etc/sysconfig/kernel” and add “ohci_pci” to the list of modules to be included in the “initrd”.  Then, in rescue mode (i.e. with “chroot”) I had to rebuild the “initrd”.  That done, I was now able to boot the system and complete the final stages of install.

The running system

Once installed, things have gone pretty well.  There are three problems that I noticed:

  • All times were given in UTC, rather than in the configured local time zone.  The file “/etc/localtime” was a bad symlink — a symbolic link to a non-existent file.  Once I corrected that, by making it a symlink to the correct timezone file under “/usr/share/zoneinfo”, the time started being reported correctly.  This problem has been reported as bug 845530.
  • I logged into XFCE, but could not logout.  I had to use CTRL-ALT-Backspace (twice) to exit XFCE.  I’m mainly a KDE user, so I won’t be doing much about that.  There is a bug report, but I did not record the number.
  • The grub2 boot menu did not have an entry for booting 13.1Beta1, which is also installed on the same computer.  It seems that “os-prober” is not finding it.  This is reported as bug 845589.

So that’s my experience for now.  I may try a 32bit install later today.  I did originally plan to install on my main desktop system, so I could have more testing time.  But that’s a UEFI box, so with the UEFI problems still there, I am undecided on whether to proceed with that install.



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About Neil Rickert

Mathematician and computer scientist who dabbles in cognitive science.

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