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back to article Memo to openSUSE 12.2: More polish, less angst

Chameleon fans, rejoice: openSUSE 12.2 is finally here. This release, due more than two months ago, has been plagued with delays. Ordinarily a few delays might not be a big deal; bugs happen and most users would agree a late, stable release is better than an on-time buggy one. However, with this development cycle the delays were …

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First Love

SuSe 9.1 was the first Linux distro I actually used day to day. Though I've used almost every other distro since then, SuSe and Opensuse have always had a special place in the Linux side of my heart.

I was impressed with the way they delayed this release, rather than slavishly pushing it out purely to satisfy a silly release 'cycle'.

Downloading it right now.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: First Love

Ditto here. I like the integration between GNOME and KDE so *you* can choose rather than the packager although it seems KDE is preferred.

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Linux

Does anybody know

if the KNode (newsgroup reader) drag/drop bug has finally been fixed? I've been unable to upgrade beyond V11.1 because of this critical (to me) flaw.

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Re: Does anybody know

Pull down the LiveCD and have a look - and if it isn't, please log a bug so it can get addressed.

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Have been using it for the last week orso, really like it .

Got to KDE 4.9 thanks to the distros .. smooth, slick and shiny ..

Now to find a plymouth manual that allows me to put my own pictures instead of the SuSE splash screen and I will be a very happy puppy

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Yay!

Been using Suse since version 6, I've tried others but it's always been the one I get on with the most as it gives me the best tools and the least hassle.

I know some people like to moan about it but I'm glad it's still alive and kicking.

Downloading now.

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Linux

Being Using Since 12.2 RC2

So far my experiences have all been very positive and I haven't run into any horrible show stoppers. Very fast and stable.

A couple of points to note though are:

1) If you upgrade to KDE 4.9 then be prepared for your dolphin places panel to NOT automatically resize. This is a KDE feature removal by the KDE devs, fuck knows why ?

2) Auto-mounting of internal hard disks in KDE is still a problem (since 11.4) as you still need to enter your root password to mount the drives after every login unless you create fstab entries or modify this file:

/var/lib/polkit-1/localauthority/10-vendor.d/org.freedesktop.udisks.filesystem-mount-system-internal.pkla

I'm with Linus T here on some of the Suse devs over paranoid approach to polkit

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Being Using Since 12.2 RC2

Does it (KDE4.x) still have the utterly stupid no colour icons in the system tray, with no easy way to change them for proper ones ?

If so, it's more evidence that they are following the Gnome devs' lead

Now that SUSE have made a way to have KDE v3.x, might have a look, been stuck on 11.3 (last colourful KDE) for a while.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Being Using Since 12.2 RC2

Here you go about the icons:

http://maketecheasier.com/use-custom-tray-icons-in-kde/2011/11/30

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Linux

Re: Being Using Since 12.2 RC2

I just ported to the new version from 11.4 which I had a very nice KDE3 setup on. Still have it on some of my smaller systems, but I'm impressed by some of what has been done on 12.2. Still having a few problems, however, since KDE3 has stopped allowing me to do some pretty mundance things such as unmount USB drives and SD cards that I actually loaded. It also appears that the sysinfo: kio_slave is broken under KDE3 though KDE4 has no problems that way.

Systemd, the new boot system, has certainly improved since 12.1 in that it actually works this time (12.1 failed on nearly every installation I tried though it was easily switched back to sysvinit which worked fine there - there seems to be some real paranoia about anyone going back to sysvinit on 12.2). I even managed, with a little jiggery-pokery, to grab my old 11.4 profile and sling it into the new profile, something that worked well for some of the Wine stuff I use including Tweetdeck, though things got a bit messy with Firefox and LibreOffice.

I also used this as an excuse to sling an SSD into the mix as the new system drive which really makes the whole thing run well, especially as some of the things you need to do to get an SSD to run right actually work without you having to do anything other than state that the partitions in question need to run with the discard switch in the fstab file.

I'm not completely sold on 12.2 (I mean 11.4 was a hard act to follow and 12.1 certainly didn't cut it IMHO) but having run it for a few days now, it has an impressive feel to it. Haven't used KDE4 much yet, though it will get its run in at some point but I suspect that the fiddling behind the scenes on such things as HAL could explain some of the messier problems with KDE3 at this point. Yes, this probably means what the original article says; "they need to polish the rough edges".

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Re: Being Using Since 12.2 RC2

Actually, this being something of a follow-up to what I wrote, it appears that the folk at openSUSE have indeed been twiddling with the back end of KDE3 in that they quite proudly proclaim that they have ousted HAL in favour of udisks2. I've not encountered this before really but there seems to be some commentary around the net that it may or may not be a steaming pile of doo-doo but that goes back to a previous comment I made about changing things for change's sake rather than for the greater g... no, I'm not going to say it!

However, if you dig deeply enough, there's a post on their wiki that states that although it has been added, the polkit needs to be wrangled to get it to work properly to the point that they even give instructions on how to disable udisks2 in favour of HAL (as long as you have it installed, of course!) See http://lizards.opensuse.org/2012/06/02/kde3-gets-udisks2-backend/ for that much. Note also that they have switched the comments off on that page. Now I'm not a cynical person (deactivate sarcasm mode)...

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Meh

What I love about 12.2

is the ease of network printer setup, either through CUPS or through the HPLIP package - or HPLIP or CUPS - or -

if I ever get it set up, I get back to you.

Kubuntu 12.04 - a couple mouse cliks and printer is printing. All of them.

Waiting for new Slack. Now there's an oldie that wasn't screwed over by MSNovell and a gang of simians.

Author: what do the Polish have to do with it? I thought O'SUSE were Krauts again - now?

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Been using since RC1, and has much improved.

Nvidia drivers still have to be used due to X.org not supporting the GTX580

Much faster than 12.1

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Another satisfied customer here

It just works.

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Happy

One of the best SuSE releases I can remember

The boot time on my ancient Dell laptop went from > 60 seconds down to 3 seconds once I enabled Grub 2. My jaw literally dropped when I rebooted. Unlike the previous two releases, all my upgrades went smoothly so I'm pretty happy. That, and KDEPIM getting stable/useful again makes this an outstanding release. Kudos to the SuSE team.

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Linux

YaST

Used it very many years ago for a while but if I switch away from Mandriva I think I will miss the Mandriva Control Center very soon.

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Happy

"Slick"

Was the author paid for each use of this word?

a slick choice; a very slick start-up screen; the very slick KDE desktop theme; the slick one-click web-based package installation process; a very slick desktop

If not, thesaurus.com offers plenty of synonyms, so could we perchance see it rewritten thus:

a greasy choice; a very lubricious start-up screen; the oleaginous KDE desktop theme; the slithery one-click web-based package installation process; a very soapy desktop

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "Slick"

Oh, give it a rest.

You would also interpret "ProGlide gel" quite differently if they didn't add the "Gilette" branding..

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Neat!

I'll upgrade my home system shortly!

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I'll have to have a look soon. KDE + speed sounds good to me.

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Open Suse

My experience with OpenSuse in general was only what I would call "Okay". I liked the look of the interface but I just kept running into too many strange bugs for my taste. With 11.4 Only around half the desktop effects work correctly on my Intel chipset powered laptop. If I turned on the wrong desktop effect the whole interface would grind to a halt and crash. There were also a lot of widgets that would just inexplicably crash on me. With 12.1 I found that the interface was just slow as tar running down a wall. Even when I turned most of the desktop effects off it just felt like I was constantly having to wait for the OS to catch up. Not at all a good experience for me. But it was the strange glitches in the "start menu" that really pushed me away from OpenSuse. There seemed to be some weird memory leak that caused items to start vanishing from the menu just leaving blank spaces in it's place until you mouse over those entries. I hate to say it but even Windows 98 was more stable than that. I haven't seen such bad behavior from an OS interface since Windows ME.

I also gave Ubuntu a try. I liked how fast Ubuntu performed but I didn't like the Unity interface and I found the bugs in the Gnome to be a nightmare. Any time I opened more than 7 or 8 browser windows the whole interface would flip out for no apparent reason.

Now I'm using the KDE release of LinuxMint and so far it's the first Linux distro that's behaved for me on my antiquated laptop.

Anyway, has anyone else run into similar problems with OpenSuse? If so, have they fixed those problems with 12.2?

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Re: Open Suse

Sadly I can relate to your problems as I, too, once had a laptop using antiquated Intel kit. It worked with no problems under openSUSE 10.3 and 11.0 but only if you patched it. The last version I managed to get it to work with was openSUSE 11.2 but I had to bend over backwards to get it to work and even then it was slow to respond in areas that 11.0 and earlier had no trouble with. I gave up after that.

It's probably one of the areas of openSUSE that I'm not so keen on. In their rush for newer, bigger and better, they will sometimes break older code and leave it that way, giving sometimes lame excuses about where the support should be. The same thing happened when they booted KDE3 off the distro back in 11.2, insisting that KDE4 was "adequate". Three distros later and suddenly KDE3 is back and getting official attention, but only because enough people made a noise about it through 11.2/3/4, all versions having had KDE3 installed by me on my systems using a supposed "unsupported" repository.

So don't hold your breath. When LT had that cow about GNOME, he could as easily have turned his ire on so many other groups, openSUSE included. These groups need to get it through their skulls that we don't all want to be working at the bleeding edge.

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YAST2

My first Linux distro was SUSE 7.1. I used to like the non GUI Yast that helped checking and setting up headless non GUI servers. It was a good halfway house between full Graphical help and line mode command remembering.

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Re: YAST2

And guess what? The ncurses or "text style" YaST is still there all those years later! It can save a lot of work, especially if all you have to work with is a simple SSH or telnet session.

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Upgrade?

Will it upgrade painlessly over an existing openSUSE 11 installation? I've been bitten by that before.

-A.

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Re: Upgrade?

Not tried it with 12.2 but I did try 12.1 over an 11.4 installation. It sucked serious donkey balls. A clean install beats an upgrade, IMHO.

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Re: Upgrade?

Oh well. Thanks for the info.

How come Ubuntu can get this right?

-A.

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Yes, conceded, installing from scratch is the best method.

However, once your data is backed up, what's to lose by trying the upgrade path and see what happens?

From (64 bit) 12.1 to 12.2 using the dvd upgrade route proceeded quickly and without incident. I have a couple of minor things to address, but end result is excellent. Well done openSUSE.

12.2 is impressve.

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speaking of polish....

have they improved the font rendering?

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How's about that Plymouth?

Not that I'm going to install this, perfectly happy with Mint, but I've got to ask. Does using graphic acceleration bork Plymouth?

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