OpenSUSE Leap 42.2 Beta1

We are getting nearer to the release date (November) for Leap 42.2.  And the first beta release was announced on Wednesday.  It was time for me to get busy and do some testing.

Downloading

I used “aria2c” to download the iso, and “wget” to download the sha256 checksum file.  I verified the “gpg” signature on the checksum file.  And then I checked the sha256 hash of the downloaded iso against the checksum file.  Everything checked out.

Next, I “burned” the iso to a usb flash drive, with:

dd_rescue openSUSE-Leap-42.2-DVD-x86_64-Build0164-Media.iso /dev/sdd

(“/dev/sdd” happens to be the device name for the first USB drive on this system).

I then booted from that USB to install beta1.  My first install was on Wednesday.  That was to a UEFI box, with secure-boot enabled.  My second install was yesterday (Thursday), to an older computer with legacy booting.  Both installs went smoothly.

I did notice one change to the installer.  On the summary page, there is now a section about whether to copy ssh host keys from an earlier distribution.  The default is to copy (assuming that you have an older linux system on that box).  But you can change to not copying if you prefer.

Booting 42.2

My first install was into an encrypted LVM.  I was expecting problems.  With my earlier alpha3 install, there were problems accessing the LVM home volume.  But the first boot went without problem.  Unfortunately, I have run into problems since that time.  Around half of my boots are successful and half are unsuccessful.  I have now edit “/etc/lvm/lvm.conf” and set “use_lvmetad = 0” (the default value is 1).  It now boots without problem.  There seem to be some issues with “lvmetad”.

For my second install, the root file system was its own partition (unencrypted), but swap and home were from an existing encrypted LVM.  I have not run into any “lvmetad” issues on the second system.

KDE Plasma 5

The output of “kinfocenter” shows that the system is using Plasma 5.7.2, KDE Frameworks 5.24.0 and QT version 5.6.1.  The final release of 42.2 is expected to use Plasma 5.8 (or 5.8.1).  But that wont be available until shortly before the release date.

With 5.7.2, it does appear as if something is crashing during logout from KDE.  On logout the screen goes black, but then seems to show a new session.  And then it closes that new session.  So it looks as if something is crashing and being restarted.  I see this behavior on both computers.  And other folk also seem to be having this problem.

My first install was to a computer with Intel graphics (Haswell), and this seemed well supported.  Apart from the crashing on logout, everything seems to work well.  Or, at least, everything that I have tested is working well.

My second install was to a computer with Nvidia graphics (GeForce 6150LE), using the nouveau driver.  It is mostly working.  The initial login was a mess and the system was barely usable.  But, on subsequent logins, it seems to be working well.  Checking, I see that desktop effects are set to use XRender as the backend.  So when the system was barely usable on first login, it apparently set the configuration to use XRender to avoid further problems.  I’ll note that with the earlier alpha3 release, I never could use KDE.  Even forcing XRender did not make it usable.  So the current version is a distinct improvement from what we saw with alpha3.

Gnome software

I also installed Gnome.  Using “Settings –> Details”, I see that it is at Gnome version 3.20.2.  That seems to be working well on both of my computers.

The login screen gives me a choice of “Gnome Classic”.  I tried that, and it logged me into KDE Plasma 5.  That was not what I expected.  Presumably something is going wrong with Gnome Classic, and it is instead taking me to the default desktop which happens to be KDE on my systems.

My initial tests were using “sddm” for the graphic login.  I don’t much like “sddm”, so I switched to “lightdm”.  That also fails on Gnome Classic.  So, as one further test, I switched to using “gdm” for login.  With “gdm” the login to Gnome Classic actually works.  I have since switched back to “lightdm” and will have to manage without “Gnome Classic”.

Final notes

The system is doing pretty well for this stage in the release cycle.  I’ll do some more testing over the next few days.  And if anything important shows up, I’ll add a comment.

 

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About Neil Rickert

Mathematician and computer scientist who dabbles in cognitive science.

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