Archive by Author | Neil Rickert

Reviewing Mageia 6

The announcement for mageia 6 was made at around the time that openSUSE 42.3 was finalizing.  So I downloaded the iso, but I delayed any testing until after the final release of 42.3.

The announcement mentioned both live media and a classical install DVD.  I download the install DVD, which came in at just under 4G is size.  I also downloaded the sha512 checksum file, and its gpg signature.  I validated the signature, and then made sure that my downloaded iso file matched the checksum.


By the time that I was ready to start testing, I had already setup KVM.  So I first did a virtual install with KVM.  I later did a bare metal install (i.e. an install to a physical computer).

For the virtual install, I allocated a 20G virtual disk.  I used “virt-install” so that I could virtualize with UEFI without secure-boot (mageia does not support secure-boot).  I took the installer recommended defaults.  It set aside 300M for an EFI partition, 3G for a swap partition, and the remainder of the virtual disk for the root partition.  The installation went smoothly, with no surprises.  I chose the Plasma 5 desktop.  There were other desktops (such as Gnome) also available on that install iso.

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Fedora 26 — a review

Fedora 26 was released in July, so I’m a tad slow getting to review it.

I actually download the live KDE installer on the day of the release.  I wrote that iso to a USB flash drive, and booted into it on two different computers.  But I did not spend enough time with it to warrant a review back then.

More recently, I have been using Fedora as a practice system, as I try out using KVM.  So I have done several virtual installs (and deleted all but one).  So it is now time for a review.


My first install was on a virtual machine with MBR booting.  I gave it only a 10G virtual disk, which was probably too small.  I have used 20G for later installs.  I then installed using UEFI booting with secure-boot.  Later, I tried without secure-boot, mainly as a test of a KVM install that used UEFI without secure-boot.

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Creating a virtual machine

In my previous post, I explained how I setup KVM.  Today, I’ll describe creating virtual machines that run under KVM.

Creating with Yast

The easiest way to do this with openSUSE, is to use Yast.  Click on “Virtualization” and then on “Create virtual machines …”.

In the first step (step 1 of 5), you specify whether the source for the virtual machine is an iso file, a network install, a PXE network boot or an existing disk image.  For me, the iso file is the most suitable source.  On the second screen (step 2 of 5), I can browse for the iso file.

On the third screen, I can specify how much memory to use.  On my system, it defaults to 1G (or 1024M).  For my first install, I took that default.  Since that time, I have been upping it to 2G or 4G.  I can also specify how much CPU to assign.  I have 4-core machine.  This defaults to assigning 1 cpu.  I have been increasing that to 2 cpu.  For my first install, however, I left it at the default of 1 cpu.

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Installing KVM in Leap 42.3

Up until now, I have mainly tested other distros by installing them in a spare partition.  And I still see that as the most thorough way of testing.  So I didn’t bother with virtualization.

That has now changed.  I decided that it was time to give virtualization a try.

Which virtualization?

So where to start.  Many people use “virtualbox” as their way of doing virtualization.  I did consider that.  But I decided that it would be  better to use a method more directly supported by openSUSE.

Of course, “virtualbox” is supported, in the sense that it is in the repos.  So wanting openSUSE support doesn’t completely rule it out.  But it was not my choice.

The other main options are Xen virtualization and KVM virtualization.  There’s actually a useful guide available: Virtualization Guide.

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OpenSUSE 42.3 was released on Wednesday

I’m a couple of days late to the party.  I had intended to post on Wednesday, but our refrigerator broke so I had more urgent concerns.

The release itself went quite smoothly.  I have not tried to install with the final installer.  But I have installed some of the pre-release versions.  And those went very well.  Most people seem to be installing without problems.

Leap 42.3 is only a relatively small change from 42.2.  It is still at Plasma 5 version 5.8.7.  As I recall, 42.2 was released as Plasma 5.8.2 or 5.8.3, and later updates brought it to 5.8.7.

The main change that I am seeing with the KDE desktop, is that now “konqueror” comes from Plasma 5, instead of being the Plasma 4 version.  However, “rekonq” is still from Plasma 4.  And “Amarok” is apparently from Plasma 4.

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Another install of Leap 42.3 Beta

I did another install of 42.3 on Thursday.  I guess I’m a tad slow reporting that.  This install was for Build 0283.  I installed it on my main desktop.  At the moment, I am still running 42.2 on that computer.  I installed 42.3 on a separate area of the disk.

I do plan to soon switch to running 42.3 full time.  That’s the best way of testing this beta release.  The final release is due in about one month.

Downloading and installing

I followed my usual procedure.  I used “aria2c” to  download the iso for the DVD installer.  I used “wget” to download the sha256 checksum file.  Then I verified the gpg signature on the checksum file, and verified that the checksum matched the downloaded iso.

The next step was to write the iso file to a USB flash drive.  I used “dd_rescue” for that.  Then I booted the USB, and installed 42.3

Installation itself went well.  Everything worked about as expected.  Following the install, I booted into 42.3, and did a little final tweaking.  And I also added additional software that is not on the install media but is in the repos.

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Tumbleweed install for June 2017

I’m no longer doing monthly installs of Tumbleweed.  But I do installs when there is a reason.

In this case it was another computer.  And what use is a computer without some form of linux?

My wife purchased a new laptop for use with Windows 10.  So I got the previous laptop as a hand-me-down.  I already have a laptop with Windows 7, and also dual-booting to openSUSE.  So I did not need another Windows 7 system.  So this became my linux laptop.

Around two months ago, another computer died.  That was an older desktop — the one with an nVidia graphics card.  That older desktop is now in computer heaven (otherwise known as the electronics recycling center).  With the arrival of this hand-me-down, I’m now back to my former number of computers.  But this one has Intel graphics, so I no longer have anything with nVidia graphics.

Disk preparation

I wanted to use an encrypted LVM for this install. And I find it more convenient to prepare the disk ahead of time.

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Windows 8.1, KB4019215 and KB4019114

I don’t often post about Windows, because I mainly use linux.  But this is a Windows post.  I should mention that the computer involved is a UEFI box, since that might be relevant.

My main desktop has both Windows 8.1 and openSUSE 42.2.  On Friday, I attempted to install the May updates for Windows.  The updates are the two listed in the subject line above.

The updates failed.

They seemed succeed.  I got the message to restart windows to complete the update.  So I rebooted.  Then I saw the messages about “working with updates”.  At around the 30% mark, it rebooted.  Then, on reboot, it continued until the 100% mark.  That looked good.

But then a message:

We couldn’t complete the updates

Undoing changes

Don’t turn off your computer

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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.


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.

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Ubuntu secure-boot support is broken

If you install Ubuntu on a computer with secure-boot enabled, then it will probably boot.  And maybe that’s all you want.

If so, you probably won’t be concerned about what I am describing here.

However, secure-boot is supposed to verify many of the steps in the boot path.  And that’s where I see Ubuntu as broken.

I’m basing this on tests that I have done on Ubuntu-17.04 and Ubuntu-gnome-17.04.

Quick summary

First a brief summary of the problems that I am seeing:

  1. Ubuntu will boot without checking a signature on the kernel.
  2. Under some circumstances, Ubuntu will complain about a bad signature, and refuse to boot, even though secure-boot has been disabled.

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