Testing KaOS-2015.04

I saw the announcement of a new KaOS release (at Distrowatch), so I decided to give it a try.  What I liked, from the announcement, was that it came with Plasma 5.295, which is a release candidate for Plasma 5.3.  That’s newer than what is in opensuse Tumbleweed, so I wanted to try it out.

Downloading

Downloading was straightforward enough.  I snagged the download link, and then used “wget”.  Download took around 30 minutes for a 1.5G iso file.  Sourceforge was a bit slow, but I had other things to do during the download, so not a problem.

I also checked the md5 hash, which showed I had a good download (I hope).  The md5 file was on the KaOS site rather than on sourceforge.  That’s good.  That makes it harder for a hacker to break into a site, add malware, then change the md5 file to match.

One nitpick, though.  The downloaded “md5” file was HTML.  I prefer a plain text file.  That way, I can use

md5sum -c md5file

and have the software compare md5 sums.  When HTML is used, I have to manually compare, which is less accurate.

Next, I wrote the iso file to a USB.  I used “dd_rescue” which is similar to using “dd” (one of the recommended procedures).

Booting the system

Next I booted from the USB flash drive that I had prepared.  I first tried on an older computer with nvidia graphics.  The live system did not work very well.  I tried again, but select the boot line for nvidia graphics.  That was better, but still not very good.  It is probably using nvidia drivers for newer cards, and they don’t match my card very well.

I then tried on a newer computer with Intel graphics (my ThinkServer TS140).  This is a UEFI box, so I first booted in UEFI mode.  It came up quickly and seemed to work well.

The first user screen informed me that “yakuake” was running, and that I could access it with F12.  That worked well.  I liked that.  I have been unable to get yakuake to work with the earlier plasma 5 version in Tumbleweed.

Installing

My attempt to install was a fail.

I first booted to opensuse, and created the partition where I planned to install.  Using an existing partition was supposed to be one of the available install options.

Next, I went to my BIOS/firmware settings, and put it into a mode where it prefers legacy MBR booting.  I planned to boot that way for the install.  I booted the KaOS system.  Then I clicked the “Install” button.

Nothing happened.  I later tried on another computer with legacy booting and legacy MBR partitioning (my laptop).  And again, I clicked “Install” and nothing happened.

Looking closely, that wasn’t quite true.  When I clicked “Install” the disk briefly became active.  Perhaps the installer was probing the disk.  But then the disk activity ceased and nothing else happened.

I went back to the ThinkServer and tried again.  Looking closely at the disk lights, I could see that there was disk activity shortly after clicking “Install”.  Perhaps I should remind the reader that it was running from the USB, so did not need to access the local disk to load the installer.  That’s why I’m guessing that it was probably probing to see what was on the disks.

No error message.  Nothing beyond a few seconds of disk activity.  So I don’t know whether it found something that it didn’t like on my disks.  Or maybe this iso is just broken.

I’m disappointed.  I had been looking forward to a few days of trying out the installed system.

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About Neil Rickert

Mathematician and computer scientist who dabbles in cognitive science.

3 responses to “Testing KaOS-2015.04”

  1. Neil Rickert says :

    I’ll note that the KaOS site now lists, as a known problem, that the installer fails if there is a LUKS partition on the hard drive. That seems to explain why I could not install.

    Like

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