openSUSE Gymnastics: Leaping and Tumbling

by Ostatic Staff - Sep. 07, 2015

openSUSE announced the second milestone for the Leap 42.1 developmental cycle so I decided to give her a test run. I wasn't the only one putting openSUSE through its paces this weekend though. Jamie Watson tested a recent Tumbleweed snapshot on yet another new Acer netbook and Neil Rickert tested both.

As my search for a Mint replacement continues, openSUSE Leap 42.1 reached Milestone 2 and thought I'd give it a whirl. I downloaded the install DVD and designated a pre-used partition for the install and formatted with ext4. I didn't test any of the higher functions like encryption or LVM, and left the default KDE desktop as my choice. I didn't bother selecting packages and just installed the default selections. That was 4 gigs. I had it put the boot files on both the MBR and the install partition and it didn't balk. This is the first time in a long time I have a pretty Bootloader screen. It identified and listed all my Linux installs, even those I wish it wouldn't.

At the login the user has the choices of KDE Plasma Workspace, Plasma 5, and IceWM. I didn't really detect a whole lot of difference between the two KDE implementations other than some version numbers. I liked the default menu and panel, except some of the submenus were a bit too lengthy for comfort. The selection of software was about just right to get started, mostly KDE but with LibreOffice, Firefox and others added. With a developmental release, it was the hard way for installing proprietary graphic drivers. I think the wiki needs a bit of updating, and after some trial and error I figured out how to disable Nouveau so the NVIDIA software would install:

1. Add "nomodeset" to the boot options in /boot/grub/menu.lst
2. echo "blacklist nouveau" >> /etc/modprobe.d/50-blacklist.conf
3. add: nouveau.modeset=0 to boot command line
4. Install the kernel source package from software manager
5. Download the NVIDIA drivers
6. Boot to init 3
7. Run NVIDIA installer

Overall, this release of openSUSE is an updated version of what I remember most about openSUSE - stable, even in development. A release candidate is scheduled for October 15 with Final due on November 4.

openSUSE Leap 42.1 Milestone 2 KDE

Neil Rickert tested the release yesterday too and had issues trying to boot the installed system. He used encrypted LVMs and wasn't able to input his password to boot. He was able to fix it and get in, then noted most of Plasma 5 is working but he's concerned ecryptfs might not make it into the final. Rickert also posted of his monthly Tumbleweed install. He said, "This install turned out to be a disaster." From the description of his Tumbleweed woes, I'm glad I decided to go with Leap.

Jamie Watson tested Tumbleweed on his new laptop this weekend as well. He used a live image of Tumbleweed to partition the new disk and install the system. Watson said, "Once I corrected the BIOS boot priority, it booted openSuSE with no problems - and very quickly, I might add. Everything seemed to be recognized, configured and working well. Everything looks good."