Opensuse 42.1 is ready

Stephan Kulow, the release manager, announced on Friday that the Gold Master was ready.  The GA (general availability) release is supposed to happen on Nov. 4th.

First looks

I installed from a recent build (more recent than RC1), and then updated from the already available online repos.  So I now have two computers running the final release version of 42.1.

From what I have seen, thus far, it is looking pretty good.  The artwork is excellent.  The bugs that I have mentioned in earlier posts are mostly fixed.  So expect this to turn out to be a pretty good release.

In earlier tests, I noted that neither “ecryptfs” nor “sendmail” were available.  However, “ecryptfs” was available by the RC1 release.  And “sendmail” is in the final release.  There may be other missing software, but none that I am aware of, with the exception of “flash” (which I will discuss below).

Plasma 5

Plasma 5 is a little different from KDE4.  I think I actually prefer KDE4.  But they are similar enough that it is not hard to adapt.

I have made two changes from the newly installed version.  Following a suggestion by wolfi, at the opensuse forums, I went to the directory “/etc/xdg/menus”, and copied “applications.menu” to “kf5-applications.menu”.  I did first save a copy of the original “kf5-applications.menu” in case I ever need to restore it.  This change gives menus more like the multi-level structured menus of KDE4, though with the risk that a future update will override the changes.  The menu structure did not change immediately, because of caching.  It was perhaps after two or three logins that I saw the change.

The second change that I have made, was to install “kwalletmanager5”.  The attempt to install caused a conflict, so I had to agree to uninstall “kwalletmanager” (the one from KDE4).  Installing “kwalletmanager5” makes it possible to configure kdewallet to stay open.

SDDM woes

There are problems with “sddm”.  It can start Plasma 5, and it can start Icewm.  I’m not sure if it can start any other desktop.  It seems to hang on an attempt to login to Gnome.

As far as I know, this is an upstream problem.  So it won’t be fixed until KDE.org comes up with a solution.  The same problem exists on Tumbleweed.

If you are only using Plasma 5, this won’t be a concern.  If you plan to install additional desktops, then it is best to switch to a different desktop login manager.  I will be using “lightdm”.  Brief tests of “gdm” suggest that it is another good alternative.

The Flash plugin

On advice of their legal team, it has been decided not to include flash in Leap or Tumbleweed releases.  There was a long discussion of this on the factory mailing list.

This does not mean that you cannot use flash.  Rather, it means that you have to find some way of installing it.

The Packman repo for Leap 42.1 is not officially up, as of my last check.  It seems likely that when it is up, you will be able to install flash from there.  I already notice that flash is in the Packman repo for Tumbleweed and for opensuse 13.2.  Failing that, you can install using a download from the Adobe site.

Nvidia graphics

One of my Leap 42.1 systems uses a Nvidia GeForce 6150LE card.  When testing RC1, I installed the Nvidia driver the hard way.  However, for my latest install, I intend waiting for the Nvidia repos to become available, and to install from there.  The advantage is that with install from the repos, I don’t have to reinstall for every kernel update.

So, for now, I am using Nouveau.  I have desktop effects disabled, and it seems to work pretty well that way.  I also have set the Power manager to never turn off the display.  That’s because the nouveau driver has a problem where sometimes the mouse pointer will disappear and never come back (until reboot).  I’ve already seen that problem occur once with Leap 42.1, and that’s why I have since set the display to never turn off.  I’ll change that back to the default when I am able to install the Nvidia driver.

When running RC1, with the Nvidia driver, I still had graphics problems in Plasma 5.  I had to set the desktop effects (compositing) to use XRender instead of using OpenGL 2.0.  With XRender, it works well.

Kernels

When I updated my system from the repos (using “zypper dup”) there was a kernel update.  The final kernel is 4.1.12-1-default.  And a reminder that there is no longer a separate desktop kernel.

I suggest you set aside some time this week for installing Leap 42.1, once the GA (general availability) has been announced.

 

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About Neil Rickert

Retired mathematician and computer scientist who dabbles in cognitive science.

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