Archive by Author | Neil Rickert

Tumbleweed install for March 2017

It has been a few months since I last tried installing Tumbleweed.  I wanted to install on my laptop, to test the latest version of NetworkManager.

Quick summary

The install went pretty well.  The most obvious problem was a black screen on the first boot of the newly installed system.  But that was not as bad as it sounds.  I’ll give more details below.  The install was for snapshot 20170314.


As is my usual practice, I used “aria2c” to download the iso, and I used “wget” to download the sha256 checksum file.  Both were the 64-bit versions.

I downloaded both the DVD installer and the live rescue CD.

After downloading, I used

gpg --verify filename.sha256

to verify the gpg signature on the checksum file (where “filename” depends on whether this was for the live CD or the DVD installer.

I then used

sha256sum -c filename.sha256

to verify the checksum of the downloaded iso file.

After download, I wrote both isos to USB devices.  My typical command for this is

dd_rescue filename.iso /dev/sdd

where “/dev/sdd” is the device where the USB shows up.  I used a 4G USB device for the live rescue CD, and an 8G USB for the DVD installer.

I then booted the live rescue CD on two systems.  It booted up without any difficulty.  On the first boot, a hybrid partition was created, where any changes made can be saved to disk. Read More…

KaOS notes

While reviewing KaOS in a recent post, I indicated that I expected to add some comments in another post.  Here are those comments.

I’ll first note I am primarily an openSUSE user, so my experience with KaOS is rather less than that with openSUSE.

Software notes

The KaOS software selection is different from that of openSUSE.  For example, it uses Calligra for office software, instead of LibreOffice (used by openSUSE).  I should add that LibreOffice is in the repo, so I could install that if I preferred.  And, for that matter, if I add the KDE-extras repo for opensuse, I’m pretty sure that I can install Calligra.

I did experiment with Calligra on a spread sheet.  It seemed to work pretty well.  But I don’t actually use a spreadsheet very often, so this is not a thorough test.

Read More…

KaOS-2017.01 — a review

I have previously reported on KaOS, in 2015.  I have actually kept it installed since August 2015.  When I saw the announcement for 2017.01, I decided that it was time for a re-install.  I’ll note that I could have just updated the already installed version, but it seemed like time for a fresh start.

What is KaOS?

KaOS is a rolling distribution, based on KDE.

I am a KDE user, with openSUSE Leap (currently at 42.2).  But I also keep openSUSE Tumbleweed installed for looking at what will be coming up.  And I’m using KaOS as an alternative view of what is going to be showing up in the future.

I have not used KaOS extensively, except for occasion testing and occasional updating.  I’m expecting to continue that practice with the new install.


I downloaded from the download site listed on the announcement.  I then checked the md5sum for the download.  There did not appear to be a gpg signature that I could check.

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Booting solus-2017.01.01

As mentioned in my previous post, here is my separate post on booting Solus.

What’s wrong with the installation defaults for booting?

Probably nothing, at least for most users.  But they do not suit my needs.

The main issue, for me, is that I have several linux systems installed.  So I don’t want Solus to take control of the booting.  I would prefer to have an entry added to my openSUSE boot menu.

Do I even need a bootloader?

You probably do.  The grub configuration (as with “grub2-mkconfig” in openSUSE) can find other linux systems and add menu items for them.  But that configuration process looks at the boot menus for the other linux systems, to decide how to boot them.

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Solus-2017.01.01 — a review

I saw the announcement of the new Solus release on Distrowatch.  So I decided that it was time to take another look at Solus.


I used the available torrent to download “Solus-2017.01.01.0-Budgie.iso”.  I then separately downloaded the sha256 checksum file, because that was not part of the torrent download.  And I noticed a file “Solus-2017.01.01.0-Budgie.sha256sum.sign” which looked as if it might be a gpg signature for the checksum.  So I downloaded that, too.

Unfortunately, I could not find the gpg key that I would need to check the signature.  So I had to just trust the checksum.  Just before composing this post, I did another search for the gpg key, and finally came up with a link.  So I added that to my keyring, and was finally able to verify the checksum file.  The needed key still does not appear to be on the public keyservers.  But at least I could find it with a google search.


To install, I wrote the iso file to a USB flash drive, with

# dd_rescue Solus-2017.01.01.0-Budgie.iso /dev/sdd

(note that “/dev/sdd” is the device usually used by a USB flash drive on my main desktop).

Read More…

Geckolinux-422 — a review

Geckolinux is a distro that is based on opensuse.  The maintainer uses the handle sb56637 (at least at sourceforge).  He use the suse studio site to build his releases.  His releases version amount to opensuse that is configured to his liking.  The releases are iso files for a live session, and can be installed.

In the move to the Leap series, opensuse no longer provides live versions (except for Tumbleweed).  So I have occasionally recommended geckolinux to people looking for a live version that they can test.

I saw the announcement of the 422.161213 release, via a link at Distrowatch.  I proceeded to download the bare bones version.  I was not fully satisfied with the result, so I tried the XFCE version.  I wasn’t happy with that either.  Yesterday, I rechecked the site, and I see that there is now a more recent 422.161228 release.

Read More…

OpenMandriva Lx 3.01 — not really a review

Hmm, I have been neglecting this blog.  It’s time to catch up.  I’ve still been doing stuff, but have not recently blogged about it.

There’s not much to report here, so this will be a short post.

I saw the recent announcement from the OpenMandriva folk, and thought that I would give it a try.  According to the announcement, this release comes with Plasma 5 with Wayland support.


I downloaded the iso and the checksums.  I then used the checksums to verify the download.  This is not completely satisfactory — a gpg signature would be better — but at least it is a download check.  And that all worked out.

Read More…

Installing Tumbleweed, November 2016

It has been a while since I last installed Tumbleweed.  I decided that it was time to again check the installer.

The Tumbleweed system that I already have installed had desktops KDE, Gnome, XFCE and LXDE.  But for recent intstalls (as with Leap 42.2), I have been going with KDE, Gnome, XFCE, LXQt, FVWM and MATE.  So it seemed reasonable for the new Tumbleweed install to follow the same path.  I also added Enlightenment for experimenting.


As usual, I downloaded via the command line.  The install was for snapshot 20161128.  I chose to download both the DVD iso and the rescue iso.

Rescue iso

For the rescue iso, the commands that I used were:

gpg --verify openSUSE-Tumbleweed-Rescue-CD-x86_64-Snapshot20161128-Media.iso.sha256
aria2c -V -R
sha256sum -c openSUSE-Tumbleweed-Rescue-CD-x86_64-Snapshot20161128-Media.iso.sha256

DVD iso

And, for the DVD iso, I similarly used:

gpg --verify openSUSE-Tumbleweed-DVD-x86_64-Snapshot20161128-Media.iso.sha256
aria2c -V -R
sha256sum -c openSUSE-Tumbleweed-DVD-x86_64-Snapshot20161128-Media.iso.sha256

Read More…

The transition to openSUSE Leap 42.2

I’m now up and running on 42.2.  The official announcement was on Wednesday.  I’ll note that I am not calling this a review.  The final release is not much different from RC2, which I reviewed earlier.

Main desktop

I downloaded the DVD installer, using “aria2c”.  I then “burned” that to a USB.  I then booted that USB to install on my main desktop.

This was a clean install.  I kept the previous 42.1 on a separate disk area.  That way I can boot either.

After installing, I was switching between 42.1 and 42.2.  I needed to tweak the new install to suit my needs.  And booting to 42.1 allowed me to get my work done.  By Thursday, I had completed the switch, and I am now running 42.2.

Other computers

For my other computers, I updated the already installed RC2 (release candidate 2) to the final version.  For that, I plugged in the USB, and made sure that it was enabled as a repo.  I then did

# zypper refresh
# zypper dup

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Preparing for openSUSE 42.2

We should see 42.2 released less than two days from now.  So here are a few last minute notes.

Install or update

I am planning to do a full install on my main desktop, where I have not installed the release candidates.  Also, I want to see how the full install goes.

On other systems, I will simply update RC2.  I checked this morning on my laptop, using

# zypper lu

Read More…