Leap 42.1 after one week

In my previous post, I described my experience in downloading and installing opensuse Leap 42.1 Milestone 1.  That was a week ago.  I’ve booted Leap every day since then.  So it’s time to add to my previous report.

Overall, Leap 42.1 appears to run well.  I have seen relatively few bug reports, and not too  many problems mentioned on the forum.  I take that as a good sign.

That booting problem

In my prior post, I did mention that Leap would not boot.  And I described a workaround that I used to get past that.  I have since reported that problem as bug 939411.  It turns out that this is essentially the same problem as I had previously reported for Tumbleweed, as bug 911319.  Apparently the fix for that had not been backported to the SuSE enterprise system on which Leap is based.

The problem was that the “initrd” did not contain the driver “xhci-pci” that is needed on many systems with USB3 (starting with kernel 3.18).  A small change (a one line text edit) to a configuration script for dracut fixes that.  After I applied that change, and remade the “initrd”, all was well.

Gnome

My earlier post also mentioned a problem with login to Gnome.  Using “sddm” for the graphic login, I can select Gnome.  But Gnome never starts.  That’s a known “sddm” bug.  I also tried login to Icewm, and that works.  Another menu option with “sddm” is a failsafe login.  While that sort-of works, it looks broken.  The “xterm” session window opens, as it should, but the “sddm” login screen never goes away.

My next attempt was to switch to “gdm”, as that is the recommended login manager for Gnome.  That works.  I could login to Plasma5 or Icewm or to Gnome, using “gdm”.  There is no “failsafe” option, so I could not try that.

The “gdm” menu also allows me to choose “Gnome wayland”.  I tried that, but just got back the login screen.  That seems broken.  By comparison, that does work with Tumbleweed.

I would have stayed with “gdm” were it not for another problem.  I’m using a KVM switch with that computer, to share screen, keyboard and mouse with an computer.  And it turns out that if I am logged in to Plasma 5, then toggle the KVM switch, the Plasma 5 session crashes and I get back to a boot screen.  This seems to be related to “gdm”.  It does not happen if I am using “sddm” or “kdm”.  And I’ll note that I do not see a similar crash when using “gdm” in Tumbleweed.  I reported this as bug 939452.

Gnome, itself, seems to run well.  It is version 3.16.2 (the same as currently in Tumbleweed).  But I still don’t like Gnome 3.

Previous Gnome versions, by default, download updates automatically.  I prefer to do updates with Plasma or with Icewm, so I would prefer that Gnome not do that.  With Gnome 3.16.2, I have not yet found the setting to change this default.  This is one of the things that makes me dislike Gnome 3.  The developers seem to want to make it difficult for Gnome 3 to be configured to the user’s liking.

Other software

The normal things that I do seem to work.  The only problem that I am seeing, is that Plasma 5 crashes on shutdown.  That also happens in Tumbleweed, so it is not a Leap-specific problem.

Overall, Leap looks to be headed in a good direction.  I’ll be following as future milestones become available for testing.

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About Neil Rickert

Mathematician and computer scientist who dabbles in cognitive science.

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