Tumbleweed notes

Early today, there was a Tumbleweed update to snapshot 20160128.  So I took a look at both the live rescue system and at updating my computers that are running Tumbleweed in one of their partitions.

Live rescue iso

There has been a problem with the live rescue iso for a month or two.  As far as I know, it works fine if you burn the iso to a CD.  But writing it to a USB flash drive has been troublesome.

On reading the email notification of the update (or publishing of this snapshot), it seemed to hint that the problem had been fixed.  So I downloaded the iso, and wrote to a 4G USB.

Alas, the problem is still there.  What you notice, is that it seems to hang during boot.  If you look at the messages, they indicate problems starting journald.

As far as I know, the problem is related to the use of “btrfs” for the hybrid file system (the place for persistent storage, where changes are kept between boots).  So I used Yast partitioner to reformat that partition to “ext4”.  I used “Yast” because it retains the file-system label when reformatting.  After that change to “ext4”, the USB booted properly into an XFCE desktop.


For updating Tumbleweed, I usually go through two steps.  In the first step, I use the command:

# zypper up libsolv-tools libzypp zypper rpm

That just updates the software used for updating and package management.  Then, I separately run

# zypper dup

to complete the update.

The first of those commands completed without problem.  The second gave several conflicts.  The first two conflicts were with “texlive-apprends-latex” and with “chromium”.  I was able to deal with those by keeping the old version instead of updating to a newer version.  But another conflict message had me puzzled:

Problem: plasma5-workspace-branding-openSUSE-13.3-3.1.x86_64 obsoletes kdebase4-openSUSE <= 13.3 provided by kdebase4-openSUSE-13.3-1.1.x86_64
 Solution 1: keep obsolete kdebase4-runtime-branding-openSUSE-13.2-7.1.x86_64
  Solution 2: deinstallation of plasma5-workspace-branding-openSUSE-13.3-2.1.x86_64

  Choose from above solutions by number or skip, retry or cancel [1/2/s/r/c] (c):

What puzzled me, was that there was no option to uninstall the “kdebase4-runtime-branding” which it thought was obsolete anyway.  So I canceled out of “zypper dup” at that point, and investigated using Yast Software Management.  I found a number of orphaned packages —  those are packages that are no longer in any configured repo.  To find those, you can either use the “package groups” view or the “repository” view.  In the “package groups” view, there is a line for orphaned packages.  With the repository view, the idea is to look for “unmaintained packages” in “@System”.  The latter list looked a bit longer, so I used that.

I set about uninstalling all of those orphaned packages.  A few gave conflicts when I tried to uninstall.  So I chose the option to keep that package after all, and continued deleting other orphaned packages.  Then I went back and deleted those that I had skipped (it turned out that removing other packages had eliminated the conflicts).  Yast did install replacements for some of those package that I deleted.

After removing orphaned packages, I repeated the “zypper dup”.  This time, the “livetex” and “chromium” conflicts were the only two that I saw.  So I told it to keep the older version, and proceeded with the update.

As best I can tell, all is running well.

The general principle that I am following, is that a clean install is supposed to work.  It is, after all, tested before release.  So conflicts are mostly due to software that is not currently in the repos.  And removing orphaned packages should deal with that.

The chromium conflict

The chromium conflict was actually a version conflict between “chromium” in the main repo, and “chromium-ffmpeg” in packman.  I guess I’m used to seeing these timing problems.  On a clean install, I would have to use “chromium-ffmpegsumo” in place of “chromium-ffmpeg”, and lose some of the multimedia support until I could change that.

The texlive conflict

The conflict here was with a package that I probably never use.  According to the description, it is for French documentation of latex.  I’m guessing that, on a clean install, it would not be installed.  But I haven’t tested that.


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About Neil Rickert

Retired mathematician and computer scientist who dabbles in cognitive science.

3 responses to “Tumbleweed notes”

  1. Rick says :

    Thank you for this. I’ve been having the same issue when performing a “zypper dup” on my system. Deleting the orphaned kdebase4 package will hopefully take care of it.


    • Neil Rickert says :

      A quick note to readers. Your first comment to this blog goes into moderation. I usually approve (unless it is spam), but it is sometime a while before I see it. Please be patient. Posting a second time won’t speed things up.


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