OpenSUSE Leap 42.3 Alpha

I’m a bit slow in reporting this.  I saw the announcement on May 5th, and I downloaded and installed on that same date.  This was for build 0184 of 42.3.  This was followed a few days later by build 0229.  And yesterday we saw build 0243.

Installing

I downloaded the install DVD for build 0184 from the download site.  That site should have the current build during the testing phase.  As of the time of this posting, you can find build 0243 there.

As usual, I downloaded with “aria2c”.  I also downloaded the sha256 checksum file (I used “wget” for that download).  I verified the gpg signature on the checksum file.  And then I made sure that the downloaded iso matched the checksum.

I then “burned” the iso to a USB flash drive, using “dd_rescue” for the copying.  I then used that USB drive to boot my test desktop machine.  It booted into the install program without a problem.  This was with secure-boot enabled, though it should also boot without secure-boot or on a MBR machine.

The install itself went pretty well.  I ran into one minor glitch, but it did not prevent the install from completing.  The glitch is reported as bug 1037911 if you are interested in the details.

Finally, I rebooted.  And 42.3 Alpha was up and running.

What’s there

I first booted into KDE Plasma 5.  Checking the Info Center application, that shows the system as running Plasma 5.8.6, Frameworks 5.32.0 and QT 5.6.2.  To compare, the updated current 42.2 release is running Plasma 5.8.6, Frameworks 5.26.0 and QT 5.6.1.  So the change is not great.  I’ll note that Plasma 5.8 is considered a long term support release, so I don’t expect 42.3 to move beyond that.

I later logged into Gnome (which I had also installed).  Checking it was version 3.20.2, which is about the same as the Gnome release for 42.2.

Thus far, everything that I have tested has worked as expected.

Updating

I have mentioned that there were later releases for build 0229 and build 0243.  For those builds, instead of downloading the installer, I chose to do an online update.  For that, I used the command

# zypper dup

which is similar to how I update Tumbleweed.  The updates went smoothly.  The update to build 0229 was relatively small.  The update to build 0234 was quite large — I’m guessing that most of the packages were recompiled, though they may be at the same versions as before.

After updating (and rebooting), the main software version numbers seemed unchanged.  And again, everything that I have tested seems to run well.

Future directions

The next release of 42.3 will probably be the beta release.  And then we should start seeing release candidates.

As far as I know, the final version of 42.3 expected in July or August.  And I expect that to be the end of the line for the 42.x series.

OpenSUSE Leap 42.x is based on SLE 12 (SuSE Enterprise Linux).  And 42.3 is based on SP3 (service pack 3 to SLE 12).  It has apparently been decided that the next major release of SLE will be named SLE 15.  And the current plan is for the corresponding openSUSE release to also have a 15 number.  There was an extensive discussion of this change on the factory mailing list, starting HERE.  Personally, I am just taking the change in stride, but some folk were troubled by this decision.

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About Neil Rickert

Mathematician and computer scientist who dabbles in cognitive science.

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