Opensuse 13.1 after one week

It is now a little more than a week since 13.1 was released.  There are things that one only notices with sustained use.  So, here, I’ll mention some of what I have been noticing since switching my main desktop over to 13.1.

Konqueror

This one is really good news.  Konqueror has been running continuously for over three days, with nary a problem.  Previously, it was likely to crash after 12 hours or less, and sometimes it would crash when minimized.  It looks as if a long standing bug has finally been fixed.

Normally, I close and reopen the browser once per day, as a way of deleting session cookies (and thus reducing tracking).  But I’ve kept it open to see how long it lasts.  I will close it shortly after posting this.

Full Disclosure — I am posting this with firefox.  I still prefer firefox for normal browsing, but have been using konqueror or rekonq for most blog reading (in association with akregator).  I’ll shortly switch to rekonq, so I can test whether it is also proving to be rock solid.

Akregator

I have also had akregator running for over three days.  And, thus far, it has been quite reliable.  In particular, it has not messed up on its count of unread articles.  This looks promising, though I’m inclined to say it is too early to say that the problem is solved.

Previously, an icon for akregator showed up in the tray.  With 13.1, it only shows up in the tray when there are unread articles.  If I click the little triangle to show hidden tray entries, I can find it there.  However, I like to see it in the tray.  So I used the tray settings to make the akregator tray icon permanently visible.  And that seems to be working.

Volume control

Whenever I login, the volume control shows at 66%.  There is no memory of previous settings.  This is a minor annoyance, but not a great concern.

Ibus panel

There’s a “Ibus panel” in the tray for setting the input method.  I’m doubting that I will ever need this, so I could probably uninstall.  I did use the tray settings, to make it always hidden.  But it does not seem to work when hidden — that is, no menu is brought up by clicking or right clicking.  So switched back to “auto” mode which, in the case of “ibus”, seems to be the same as “alway visible”.

User manager

There’s an instance of “systemd” running as me, with the option “–user”, and this seems to be referred to as a user manager.  I’m not quite sure what it does.  However, it does interfere with “ecryptfs” (see below).

Ecryptfs

After install, and after adding “ecrypts-utils”, my ecryptfs private directory was not being mounted on login.  I fixed that with

# pam-config -a --ecryptfs

However, now it is not being unmounted at logout, and this seems to be associated with that systemd user manager.  I tried

# pam-config -d --systemd

which turns off the startup of the system user manager.  And then ecryptfs starts behaving properly (unmounting at logout).  If I do not disable the user manager in that way, but instead shut it down with

systemctl --user exit

as a KDE shutdown command, then the user manager is shutdown, but ecryptfs still fails to unmount the private directory.  This is currently being discussed in bug 849870.

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About Neil Rickert

Mathematician and computer scientist who dabbles in cognitive science.

5 responses to “Opensuse 13.1 after one week”

  1. Drazenko Djuricic says :

    When I use your method (” “) then the NetworkManager won’t work anymore in KDE. Dito for authentication dialogues that require “root” priviledges. Instead I use a workaround via “cron” and I have added this line to root’s crontab:

    */1 * * * * /sbin/umount.ecryptfs /home/myusernamehere > /dev/null 2>&1

    This job executes once every minute. If I am still logged in then my home directory is “busy” and won’t unmount. If I am logged out then this job will unmount it, even though “systemd” may still be running. As it isn’t running from my home directory it won’t stop the unmounting. Once the home directory is unmounted “systemd” will terminate too.

    Kind regards,

    DJ.

    Like

    • Neil Rickert says :

      Note to readers — this is about the problem with the ecryptfs directory being unmounted on logout. I think I may need a full post on that.

      I did not try my “solution” on my laptop, so I haven’t noted the “NetworkManager” problem. However, I did already notice that “Apper” stopped working properly. And, when I experimented with “lightdm”, I could not do system shutdowns.

      It seems that the “systemd” user manager is doing some important stuff that previously was handled in other ways. In particular, it seems to be involved in communication with “polkitd” for approving some actions.

      I put systemd back in the pam configuration, and am doing other experimenting. There seems to be a bug here.

      Thanks for giving your solution.

      Like

      • Drazenko Djuricic says :

        Hi again,

        I opened a bug report @Novell:
        https://bugzilla.novell.com/show_bug.cgi?id=865337

        Apparently there’s an updated repo for the “base system” that contains a newer version of “systemd” … I didn’t yet have the time to try it out:

        http://download.opensuse.org/repositories/Base:/System/openSUSE_13.1/

        Like

        • Neil Rickert says :

          Thanks. I’ll add a comment there, later today.

          I had earlier reported this as a systemd bug at freedesktop.org
          Bug 72759.

          The bug report was rejected. Or, more correctly, closed as NOTOURBUG. The comment was “systemd is not in the business of unmounting home directories.”

          Somehow it seems a bit like throwing a brick through a window. And when somebody complains about the broken window, you say “I’m in the business of bricks, not windows, so it is your problem.”

          Anyway, I’ll add the link to that bug thread, with some comments.

          In the meantime, I am still wondering whether “systemd” was even a good idea. It was supposed to speed startup and shutdown. But now, startup and shutdown is slower than ever. And all kinds of complexities seem to have cropped up as bugs. As I see it, “sysvinit” exemplified the KISS principle, while “systemd” breaks it.

          Like

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