Recent changes to Leap 42.1 and plasma 5

There have been several recent updates to opensuse Leap 42.1.  Toward the end of February, there was an update of KDE applications.  And earlier this week there was a frameworks updates.

There was, at first, a problem with the update earlier this week.  There were two updates that were supposed to be applied at the same time.  And somehow they released the frameworks update without also releasing the QT update.  That left some folk unable to login to the plasma 5 desktop until they released the complementary QT update.

I’ll note that I was affected by this on one of my computers.  But it did not affect my main desktop, because I held off applying the update until all was back in order.

After the updates, Plasma 5 is mostly working the same as before.  The “amarok” icon still does not show up in my system tray, though I can click where it is supposed to be.  If I run “liferea” and configure it to use a tray icon, that icon still does not work at all.

However, I have noticed two significant changes.  Those were to the NetworkManager applet and to kdewallet.  So I’ll say a little more about those.

KDEwallet

The notable change for KDEwallet (the plasma 5 version), is that it now permits GPG encryption.

I was hoping for this change.  After the updates, I setup a new plasma 5 session for my test user account (by deleting all of the previous user configuration).  Then I used a command that would require KDEwallet.  And I was offered the choice of GPG encryption or blowfish encryption for the wallet.

I then went back to my normal account, where I was using blowfish encryption.  I started “kwalletmanager5”, and use it to save the wallet content to an XML file.  I had it put that XML file in my ecryptfs private directory, so that it would be encrypted on disk.

I then logged out, and logged back into Icewm.  There, I removed the directory “.local/share/kwalletd”.  I then logged back into the KDE plasma desktop, and used a command that would open the wallet.  It gave me the option of using GPG, which I used.  I selected the same GPG key as I had been using previously with the wallet in KDE4.

Having setup the wallet to use GPG, I now ran “kwalletmanager5” and imported the wallet from that saved XML file.  That way, I did not lose any content.

I am liking the result.

Previously, I was opening both the plasma 5 wallet and the kde4 wallet (still used by konqueror and akregator).  Now I only have to open one of those, and the other is opened automatically.  That’s because they both use the same GPG encryption key.  The first to open causes “gpg-agent” to load a copy of the private key.  And the second wallet can then be opened with the aid of “gpg-agent” and it all happens in the background without me being prompted to open the second wallet.

NetworkManager

I previously described problems with NetworkManager under plasma 5 in Tumbleweed.  Those problems have now hit Leap 42.1.

You won’t notice a problem unless you set a connection to be shared with all users.  And if you had already set the connection to be shared before the recent updates, you again won’t have a problem.  But if, going forward, you set a connection to be shared with all users, that is going to require a root password every time that you connect.  See the earlier post for full details, including workarounds.

For most users, the easiest way to deal with this is to not share the connection with other users.

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About Neil Rickert

Retired mathematician and computer scientist who dabbles in cognitive science.

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