Progress toward opensuse 13.2

As previously posted, the opensuse team have turned factory into a kind of rolling release.  I have it running on a test system, and it does seem reasonably stable apart from a problem with Intel graphics on Gnome.

The way it works, is that new software is first built on OBS (the Open Build Service), and snapshots are periodically taken and tested at OpenQA.  Only if the tests are satisfactory, are the newly built packages moved to the factory repo.

To keep my factory install up to date, I periodically run

zypper dup

My current practice is to use CTRL-ALT-F1 to open a terminal (console) session, login there as root, and run the command to update from there.  I most recently did that this morning.

Naming

At present, the updated system is being named based on the date of the snapshot used.  Here are the contents of “/etc/os-release” after this morning’s update:

NAME=openSUSE
VERSION="20140626 (Harlequin)"
VERSION_ID="20140626"
PRETTY_NAME="openSUSE 20140626 (Harlequin) (x86_64)"
ID=opensuse
ANSI_COLOR="0;32"
CPE_NAME="cpe:/o:opensuse:opensuse:20140626"
BUG_REPORT_URL="https://bugs.opensuse.org"
HOME_URL="https://opensuse.org/"
ID_LIKE="suse"

While there’s no “13.2” version number there, it does appear in the repo license and it is understood that factory is progress toward the next release.

At present, the kernel (as shown by “uname -a”) is 3.15.0-rc7-1-desktop, and KDE is at version 4.13.2.  As best I recall from my last check, Gnome is at version 3.12.2.  It is tricky to check, due to that problem with Intel graphics (I’ll say a bit more below).

Installation

On Monday, I did a full install to an alternate partition on my main desktop system.  The install went well.  The installer wanted to allocate a new partition, and format it with “btrfs”.  I instead chose “create partitioning” and went to custom partitioning mode, where I told it to use existing partitions and to use “ext4” (with “ext2” for a separate “/boot”.  I installed into an encrypted LVM, and that was without any problems.

Previously, I had used the option to import partitioning.  That would have been ideal, since I was reusing the space where I previously had opensuse 12.3.  However, I did not see that option, so went with the choice of creating partitioning.  I later noticed that there was an import option on that screen to create partitioning.  But I noticed that too late.  I’ll try that on a future install.

Setting repos

The installed system comes with its repos configured to those of 13.1M0, released back in March.  Those are out of date by now.  So the first order of business is to update the repo list.  But there may be a problem.  Yast is still broken.  So the first thing is to delete the package “libproxy1-config-kde4”.  Yast can manage without that, but crashes if it is present.  I used the curses version of Yast to delete that package.  Then, starting the normal GUI version of Yast, I blacklisted that package so that it won’t be reinstalled.

With that done, I used Yast Software Repositories to update the repo list.  The repos that I am currently using are:

http://download.opensuse.org/factory/repo/oss/
http://download.opensuse.org/factory/repo/non-oss/
http://packman.inode.at/suse/openSUSE_Factory/
http://download.opensuse.org/factory/repo/debug/

The last of those I have marked as disabled.

Intel graphics

My two installs of factory are on machines with Intel graphics.  And Gnome won’t start on those systems.  Apparently, this is due to a known problem with the “xf86-video-intel” package (version 2.99.911).

I can work around this, with

# cd /usr/lib64/xorg/modules/drivers
# mv intel_drv.so intel_drv.so.dontuse

That way, Xorg manages without that particular component.  I name it back to the original name after I have exited Gnome. Reports indicate that there is a newer version being tested, and I hope that will soon be available.

Summary

I see steady progress, and a reasonably stable factory version.  If all goes well, I will switch to using that for my main computing needs.  That will allow me to test some of the applications more thoroughly.

I shall also do occasional installs from the snapshot DVD.  I do that to test for problems with the installer.

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About Neil Rickert

Mathematician and computer scientist who dabbles in cognitive science.

2 responses to “Progress toward opensuse 13.2”

  1. Cae says :

    “.. the opensuse team have turned factory into a kind of rolling release… seem reasonably stable apart from a problem with Intel graphics …

    Do you happen to have tested factory with Nvidia graphics drivers?

    Am running opensuse on a separate partition and will be more than happy to switch to factory permanently if it’s reasonably stable enough to avoid the reinstallations.

    Like

    • Neil Rickert says :

      Do you happen to have tested factory with Nvidia graphics drivers?

      As it happens, yes I have. On an older box with nVidia Geforce 6150LE graphics, I did a test install into an external drive.

      The install went well enough. I was able to boot the system and use the Icewm windows manager with “nouveau” graphics. It probably would have worked that way with KDE, if I disabled desktop effects.

      I next tried to install the nVidia drivers. That would be version 304.121 for my nVidia card.

      The install seemed to go fine. However, on reboot, it froze trying to bring up X.

      That’s only one test. But it does suggest that the current driver might not be compatible with 3.15 kernels.

      I didn’t take notes, but I’m pretty sure that I was using the 20140620 snapshot for that test. The changes since then seem unlikely to change the situation with nVidia.

      So, bad new, I guess.

      Like

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