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My Tumbleweed install for December

I have not been doing monthly Tumbleweed installs for a while.  But this month I have done several, for various reasons.  I will report on the most interesting install.  Well, at least, the install that is most interesting to me.  I hope my readers find in interesting.

The basics

This was an install to an external hard drive.  It is a 250G Seagate hard drive, purchased back when that was a large size for external drives.  I originally used that drive for backups, but I am no longer using it for that purpose.

My aim was to have an external drive that I could use for maintenance tasks on other computers.  So I wanted it to be bootable on a computer with legacy BIOS booting.  But I also want it to be bootable on an EFI box.  And, given my recent experiments with 32-bit EFI, I figured that I should also make it bootable on 32-bit EFI.

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OpenSUSE Tumbleweed and 32-bit EFI

I recently described how I managed to install and run Leap 15.0 on a system with 32-bit EFI.  I decided to do some more experiments, and this time I tried with an install of Tumbleweed.

Most of my experiments with alternative methods of installing were failures.  So I finished up doing something similar to what I used in that earlier post.  I suggest reading that for the details.  I did make a couple of improvements.

Basic install

As before, I used “deepin” as a starter system, simply because that works out-of-the-box with 32-bit EFI.  I still needed to start by installing “deepin”.  And again, I really only needed the “/boot” from “deepin”.  But I had to make that 800M to keep the “deepin” installer happy.

The first improvement that I made was to make all of the needed additions to the boot menu at the beginning.  As before, I used “/etc/grub.d/40_custom” for that.  I did not have all of the needed information.  But by creating skeleton entries, I finished where I would only need to edit “/boot/grub/grub.cfg” for the final changes.  So, after that point, I only needed to retain the “/boot” partition from the “deepin” install.

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OpenSUSE Leap 15.0 and 32-bit EFI

Most desktop and laptop computers use a 64-bit processor, which also supports 32-bit instructions.  However, some computers, particularly some tablets, come with 32-bit processors that also support 64-bit instructions.  The Intel Atom processors are an example of such 32-bit processors.

The problem

The UEFI specifications require that the UEFI firmware be based on the native instruction set.  For most computers, that means UEFI booting will be 64-bit.  But for systems with 32-bit native processors such as the Intel Atom family, the firmware normally implements 32-bit UEFI.

Most linux systems only provide 64-bit UEFI support.  In particular, openSUSE only provides 64-bit UEFI support for installation.  OpenSUSE Tumbleweed does include 32-bit UEFI grub packages, but they are not part of the installer DVD.

If I want to install openSUSE Leap 15.0 on such a computer, then I will have to find ways of booting the installer.  And then, after installing, I will have to find ways of booting the installed system.

Looking around

I don’t actually have a computer with 32-bit EFI.   But I can setup a KVM virtual machine to use the 32-bit UEFI firmware.  I have actually been intending to try this for a while.  So I just got around to doing it.

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OpenSUSE Leap 15.0 is out

Leap 15.0 was released at around 1200 UTC today, which is around 7am at my local time (Chicago time).

There appears to have been a problem with the bit torrent seeding.  I hope that was fixed.  For my own download, I used aria2c, which uses the meta4 link.

The main download page for Leap 15.0 has the DVD installer iso and the NET installer iso.  There is an additional download page for live media which is KDE live, Gnome live and a live rescue image.

My downloads

Today, I downloaded the DVD installer.  And I then did a final test install.  This went perfectly.  I also downloaded the live KDE media, and booted that as a virtual DVD on a KVM virtual machine.  That booted up nicely.  However, the live download page has updated since my download.

My laptop is already running 15.0.  And 15.0 is already installed on my main desktop, but in a different partition.  I’m continuing to run 42.3 for another day or two before I switch over.  My main desktop is also a file server for the home network, so I have to do the changeover at a time when it won’t disrupt anything.

A good launch

It looks as if Leap 15.0 has had a good launch.  I am hearing very few problems reported at the openSUSE forums.  Actually, a number of users started running 15.0 during the testing phase.

I’m expecting this to be a very good release.

Preparing for Leap 15.0

OpenSUSE Leap 15.0 is expected to be released on Friday May 25th.  That’s just a few days away.  I have already posted two guides to different aspects of installing:

So here’s one more post before the release.  I will fill in some of the gaps left by the other guides.

Some quick notes

First some notes.  If you have already been testing pre-release versions of openSUSE 15.0, then now would be a good time to run

zypper dup

from a root command line.  This should bring your system to the final release version.  After that, you should update the usual way with “zypper up” or with the desktop update applet, or with Yast online update.

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Leap 15.0 — the partitioner

It is expected that Leap 15.0 will be released by the end of this month (May 2018).  At present, I have Build 241.1 installed for testing.  It is considered to be a release candidate.

The biggest installer change from earlier openSUSE releases is with the partitioner.  So that’s what I’ll be discussing in this post.

I’ll note that the new partitioner is also being used if you install Tumbleweed.  And, after installing Leap 15.0, you will also be able to access the partitioner via Yast, for making changes to your disks.

And one additional note about the installer.  Before now, I have been reporting a problem with installing into an existing encrypted LVM.  The problem was that the installer failed to create “/etc/crypttab”.  That has now been corrected.  So installing into an existing encrypted LVM should be relatively straightforward.

Starting the install

My previous post was on booting the installer.  And there, I showed the possible boot screens for legacy booting or UEFI booting.  Now let’s look at what we will see after booting the installer.

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Leap 15.0 — booting the installer

OpenSUSE Leap 15 is getting closer to release.  The last two builds have been release candidates.  Or, at least, the last two builds no longer say “Beta”, so I take them to be release candidates.

This post will be about booting the installer.  And perhaps that’s no big deal.  However, some folk are unsure on whether they have booted the installer in UEFI mode or in Legacy boot mode.  So I am including some screen shots to help explain the difference between the boot screens.  These screen shots are from when booting the install media (Build224.1) in a KVM virtual machine.  Using a virtual machine is what makes it possible to take a screen shot while booting.

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The status of Leap 15.0

I’ve been testing Leap 15.0 for some time.  I have not always posted about that.  As long as it is working, a post would not be very interesting.  However, it is time to sum up the current status.

We now have a release date for the finalized Leap 15.0.  The plan is to release on May 25, at 12:00 UTC.  See the announcement for more details:

I’m expecting further test releases before that date.  They will mostly be release candidates.  My own plans are to update my current installs for each release candidate.  I probably won’t do another full install on a real machine, but I will install some of the release candidates on a KVM virtual machine.

My current usage

At present I am still using Leap 42.3 on my main desktop.  Sometime within the next week or so, I plan to switch to full time use of Leap 15.0, and mostly retire 42.3.

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A Tumbleweed install, and notes on Leap 15.0

Since my last post on Leap 15.0, Build 139.1 was released.  It was time for a new install, so I downloaded the iso.  And then I installed to a virtual machine.

I ran into some interesting bugs.

It told me that my EFI partition (at 33M) was too small.  Well, I agree that’s small.   But it is what an earlier build of 15.0 had created.  It looks as if they have adjusted to a more reasonable size.

I told the installer to go ahead, in spite of the small EFI partition size.  And I then ran into an additional bug.  The installer said that some devices (the ones to which I was installing) did not exist.  See bug 1082143 for details.

The installer allowed me to continue in spite of those errors.  And the install was successful.  So the errors were bogus.

A Tumbleweed install

Back to Tumbleweed.  Actually, that Leap 15.0 is part of the background.  I decided to try installing Tumbleweed into the same virtual machine where I had just installed Leap 15.0.  However, this time I would allow it to delete everything on disk and make a fresh start.

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OpenSUSE Leap 15.0 Build 84.1

I notice, on Thursday Jan 4th, that Build 84.1 was available at the download site.  So I download, and did some testing.


As is my usual practice, I used “aria2c” to download the iso, and I used “wget” to download the checksum file.  I then verified the “gpg” signature on the checksum file, after which I used the checksum to verify the downloaded iso file.


My first test was to update an existing 15.0 system.  For that, I wrote the iso to a USB flash drive.  I then configured that flash drive as a repo.  And, following that, I used “zypper dup” to bring the existing 15.0 system up to date.  When I do this, I can see that most of the updated software comes from the local USB that I configured as a repo.  Some updated software comes from the online repos.  The “zypper” command seems to recognize that the repo on the local USB is to be preferred to the online repo, when the software is available in both places.

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