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Installing Ubuntu-16.04.4 into an existing encrypted LVM

Yes, Ubuntu 16.04 is old hat.  This was a recent  re-release, but who cares with 18.04 just around the corner.  But I decided to install anyway, and I’ll shortly explain why.

The problem with installing Ubuntu into an existing encrypted LVM, is that it doesn’t boot.  You have to go into repair mode to fix it.  The reason for this is that the file “/etc/crypttab” is not created by the install.  And the system won’t boot unless that is created and the “initrd” file is generated so as to contain a copy of that file.  That’s needed to handle the crypto early in the boot process.

What has changed?

I’ve done this before, and blogged about it.  So what’s new?

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Notes on OpenSUSE Leap 15.0

Since my last post on 15.0, there have been several new beta releases.  We have seen Build115.1, Build 124.1, Build 127.1, Build 128.1 and Build 129.1.

With that many builds, I have not been downloading them all.  I have been updating my 15.0 systems.  I am updating them in the same way that I update openSUSE Tumbleweed.  That is, I am using

zypper dup

to update from the repos.  My most recent install attempts have been with Build127.1, though most of my systems are now updated to the latest version.

Overall picture

Things are mostly going well with 15.0.  The final release is still planned for May.  But if you want to take a look at pre-release versions, then now is a good time to try.

What I have tested is mainly working well.  There are still a few bugs in the partitioner, as used for install.  Some of those bugs have already been fixed in the latest updates.

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OpenSUSE Leap 15.0 Beta

Build 109.3 of Leap 15.0 was announced on Friday.  So I download and installed.  With build 109.3, it is now announcing itself as a Beta release.  Previous releases that I tested have indicated that they were Alpha releases.

Downloading

I followed my usual practice of downloading with “aria2c”.  I am using the download site download.opensuse.org/distribution/leap/15.0/iso/.  I first used “wget” to download “openSUSE-Leap-15.0-DVD-x86_64-Build109.3-Media.iso.sha256” (the checksum file).  I then verified its gpg signature.  Next, I downloaded the iso itself.  And I used “sha256sum” to verify the sha256 checksum.  And, following that, I wrote the iso to an 8G USB flash drive. Read More…

GeckoLinux has been updated to 180107

Yesterday, I reported on GeckoLinux.  And I found a few problems.  I’m happy to say that the maintainer noticed my report, and has provided an updated release 423.180107 to correct those problems.

Trying Plasma

This time, just to be different, I tried the Plasma version instead of the XFCE version.  I downloaded the iso, following the links at the GeckoLinux site.  I then verified the download using the provided sha1 checksum.

To test, I planned only to use the downloaded iso as a virtual CDROM with a KVM virtual machine install.

Installing

I was already running “virt-manager”, so I used the menu option to define a new virtual machine.  I set it to use 10G of virtual disk space, which should be sufficient for my testing.  And I set it to use 2G of memory and to use 2 processors (from the 4-core processor in my main desktop system).

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GeckoLinux 423.180105 — a review

[Note: please see addendum at the end of this post.]

Gecko Linux is based on openSUSE.  The new release was just announced, so I thought I would give it a try.  The version number 423.180105, indicates that this is based on openSUSE Leap 42.3, and that this version was finalized on Jan 5th, 2018 (or 180105).

One of the limitations of the current Leap series of openSUSE releases, is that there is no live installer made available.  There is, of course, a DVD based installer.  So GeckoLinux is filling that gap by providing a live installer.

I downloaded “GeckoLinux_STATIC_XFCE.x86_64-423.180105.0.iso”, which is the live installer for the XFCE variant of GeckoLinux.  After downloading, I verified the SHA1 checksum.  And then I wrote the iso to a USB flash drive.

Executive summary

A quick summary for those in a hurry.  I would have to call this a FAIL.  I’ll give the details below.  I ran into multiple failures using the recommended Calamares installer.  The problems may be minor, and the maintainer of GeckoLinux will probably come out with an improved version that fixes these problems.

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OpenSUSE Leap 15 — an early look

Work on Leap 15 is underway.  There was a short discussion on the factory mailing list, beginning HERE.

Two months after my last status update Leap 15 is almost rolling.  Following SLE 15 I’d like to aim for a release in April.

It is worth reading that whole message, and perhaps the other emails that follow it.  As the message indicates, there is now a download site for isos, in case you want to try Leap 15 for yourself.

I went to the openQA site to look at failures.  And they didn’t seem too bad.  So I downloaded an iso from there.  It was “openSUSE-Leap-15.0-DVD-x86_64-Build48.1-Media.iso”.

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Reviewing Ubuntu 17.10

Canonical recently made Ubuntu 17.10 available.  So I downloaded a copy to take a look.  This is the first Ubuntu release since they announced that Ubuntu would switch to the Gnome desktop instead of the Unity desktop that had been the default.  So we can take this as a first look at the new Gnome based Ubuntu.

Overall, I like it in a relative sort of way.  I do prefer it to the Unity desktop.  However, for my own use I will be sticking with openSUSE and KDE.

First looks

I’ll comment on installing below.  Let’s discuss the installed system.

On first glance, it looks similar to the Unity desktop.  There’s a panel on the left (called the “dock”), much as with Unity.  It is for “favorite” applications, etc.  It starts with “favorites” preselected by the Ubuntu team.  But you can add your won and you can remove applications that you don’t want.

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Reviewing Akregator (again)

I previously reviewed “akregator” almost 5 years ago.  That was the “akregator” that came with KDE 4.  We now have a newer version that comes with KDE Plasma 5.  And it is significantly changed.  So that warrants a new review and a comparison.

I have been using the new “akregator” since the release of openSUSE 42.2 (November 2016), where it was a choice.  Now, with 42.3, only the plasma 5 version is available.  I am mainly using 42.3 on my desktop, though I also have Tumbleweed available and occasionally try “akregator” there.

Changes from KDE 4

The newer release of “akregator” is similar to the previous one.  But there are a few changes.

  • The change that confused me at first, was that I could not find the setting to view only unread articles or articles that are marked as important.  I eventually found that setting when I clicked on the icon in the search bar.  It does not work quite as well as in the KDE4 version, and I’ll comment on that below.
  • “Akregator” now used QtWebEngine for its browser interface.  That’s based on the engine from “chromium” and “chrome”.  It is more reliable than the previous browsing engine (based on “konqueror”.  But the downside is that it no longer shares cookies with “konqueror”.
  • It mishandles articles that are already old when received.  The old “akregator” also mishandled them.  But the new version mishandles them in a different way.

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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.

Installing

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.

Installing

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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