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Tumbleweed, Gnome and Wayland

Recently, openSUSE Tumbleweed updated Gnome to version 3.24.  So I decided to give it a test.  And I ran into some “problems”.  This post will discuss those problems.

Gnome under Wayland

My oldest Tumbleweed system was installed in November 2014.  And that’s where I first tested Gnome.  At the time, I was using “sddm” for logins.  Selecting “Gnome” on the login menu gave me a Gnome session running under X11.  This was as expected.  There was also a menu item for “Gnome-Wayland”.  Selecting that gave me Gnome running under Wayland for managing the graphics.

I later switched to using “gdm” as login manager.  And, with “gdm”, selecting “Gnome” gave me a Wayland session.

Next, I tried on my laptop.  Tumbleweed was installed there on March 14 this year.  I was already configured to use “gdm” for logins there.  But, try as I did, I was unable to get a Wayland session for Gnome.

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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.

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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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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

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Slackware notes

This is mostly a followup to my earlier post on testing Slackware 14.2.  Since then, I have spent a little time using the installed slackware.  So here are some of my notes.

Repos

In my earlier post, I noted that slackware does not use repos in the way that many distros do.  I got back a comment, informing me that the Slackware user community is maintaining repos, and that there are package managers available to access those repos.

It’s always great to see this kind of involvement of the user community.

Encrypted LVM

I had installed Slackware onto its own partition.  However, I also have an encrypted LVM on that box, which I use with opensuse.  So I wanted to be able to access that from Slackware.  The encrypted LVM includes a home volume and a swap volume, and I wanted to mount those.  Specifically, I wanted to mount the home volume to “/xhome” so that I could add symbolic links to it.  And I wanted to use the swap volume as swap for slackware.

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Using flash from adobe repo

With Leap 42.1, opensuse no longer provides the flash plugin for firefox.  However, the folk who maintain the packman repos have added flash there.  So I have been using flash from packman until now.

Unfortunately, the flash in packman is a tad out of date.  And I’m getting annoyed at firefox telling me that flash is vulnerable and requiring me to jump through extra hoops when I use it.

I don’t actually use flash very much.  But there are a few sites where I need it.  I have the flashblock extension installed, so flash does not activate until I tell it to, so the risk of an out-of-date flash is small.  But firefox still makes me jump through extra hoops.  For that matter, I really don’t like firefox “phoning home” to decide that flash is vulnerable.  But that’s the way it is.

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My assessment of “btrfs”

In my previous post, I indicated that I would give my own view on “btrfs”.  So that’s what this post is about.

Short version — I will continue to use “ext4” in future installs.

Note that this a personal view, not a recommendation.  My own choice depends on how I use computers and my practices for backup, recovery, etc.  Your practices are likely different.  Much of this post will be about my considerations in deciding against “btrfs” for my own use.

What is “btrfs”?

“Btrfs” is a file system for linux.  It is based on a b-tree data structure (often used in databases).  You can think of the file system directory as an index into that database.  I’ll give only a quick summary.  You can find a more detailed summary in Wikipedia, or in the sources that linked there.

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The “btrfs” file system and linux rescues

Thus far, I have been mainly using “ext4” as a file system, and avoiding “btrfs”.  But there is one exception.  I have “btrfs” on an opensuse Tumbleweed install.  This was mostly to get some experience with “btrfs”.

I’ll give my overall opinion, based on that experience, in another post in the next few days.

Rescues

I have not actually needed to rescue my “btrfs” system.  But it is sometimes useful to be able to access it from a different partition.  And it can be useful to know how to rescue, just in case.

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Recent changes to Leap 42.1 and plasma 5

There have been several recent updates to opensuse Leap 42.1.  Toward the end of February, there was an update of KDE applications.  And earlier this week there was a frameworks updates.

There was, at first, a problem with the update earlier this week.  There were two updates that were supposed to be applied at the same time.  And somehow they released the frameworks update without also releasing the QT update.  That left some folk unable to login to the plasma 5 desktop until they released the complementary QT update.

I’ll note that I was affected by this on one of my computers.  But it did not affect my main desktop, because I held off applying the update until all was back in order.

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