Dienstag, 17. Januar 2012

Testing and ranting openSUSE 12.1 RC1

Update: openSUSE 12.1 has now been stable since a while. Works perfect on my Thinkpad. Filed a Bugreport on systemd. To disable the tracker daemon use Alt+F2 and type gnome-session-properties. Here you can disable the tracker daemon.

Filed a bug about high RAM consummation for 12.1. Will not upgrade to 12.1 on my main machine.

First things first SuSE 12.1 is still not ready and i just tested it out on my Desktop PC still having
a backup of my old 11.4 version. I am yet unsure whether i want to change or not. At least on my Main Thinkpad Machine i will still use the older 11.4.

There is a bug affecting Software changes and keeps the Yast-installer crashing if you use version 12.1 rc1. But as long as you keep going with the default installation everything else will go fine. In fact finally i don't have to manage my external encrypted devices setup after i finished the installation. This all goes fine in the current installation procedure.

Yast doesn't look much different from the previous versions but they changed it in the details. For example during the installation when showing how much GB are going to be installed they changed to 4 digits after the "," so you dont stare at 2,0 gb to install for like 2 minutes and you actually can see more details when it says: "2,0423 to install".

But there are some bugs in the packages. When you install a package you often
get a message like this:

"/usr/bin/desktop-database --defaults-list unknown option"

Also i found a couple of new Yast modules which are looking pretty interesting and you are able to add sax3, the reborn sax. Since Sax3 is still under development you shouldn't install it if your monitor settings are fine anyway. For example the Snappper module to create filesystem snapshots for ext4 and btrfs seems interesting but did not load correctly.

The first time i tried opensuse 12.1 rc1 i was confronted with the fact that they now have a lot of new stuff that has changed in 12.1. Well what was the reason for there is no .0 release any more? Right so people don't believe that there is a major change here.

Changing from sys-V-init to systemd is in fact a big change. And the best documentation i found about this is here . The startup of the computer is very fast. My pc boots up in notime now and so is the change to an other runlevel. But however this doesn't bother me since i usually do not reboot often or change runlevels. You do this mostly for maintenance reasons, right? However changing to systemd was not the best choice. In the description it says its backwarts compatible to sys-V-Init. Well its not. For one reason there is no shutdown -F any more. which forces the
check of your filesystem when you boot up next time in sys-V-init shutdown. I think this is not acceptable. A workaround for this would be setting the check interval to 1 with tune2fs like this:

tune2fs -c 1 /dev/sda1

and set it back to normal after rebooting like this:

tune2fs -c 60 /dev/sda1

For an other reason, this might be only affecting 12.1 RC1 switching from runlevel 5 to runlevel 1 will freeze the system at least if you are using gnome3 with proprietary driver like described at the bottom.

It still uses the patched Version of Grub1 which i am fine with since this is easier to administer.

Of course i installed gnome3 and was unhappy at first but than i discovered the nice gnome-shell extensions and i loved it. But gnome3 is much more RAM consuming than the 2.x one. With 2GB RAM and 2GB Swap it uses 60% out of 800 GB RAM and nearly 500 GB Swap.
You can install the package gnome2-look-and-feel to get the gnome2 look and feel back if you don't like gnome3 with gnome-shell.
However an other problem is that Windows don't size correctly so that you are leaving with guessing what "Toog" or "Men" could mean. And how do you change the icon theme? You have to install a tool that allows you to access the "Advanced Settings" And if you don't know that the menueditor is called alacrte its not possible to change the menu items by right klick like in gnome2. Also anyoing everytime you log in there is this message you have to clickaway multiple times for every device that gets mounted during start up. If you like me and have like 5 mounted devices this can get very annoying. And how do deactivate this tracker thing. i dont want the daemon to itch my hard drive all the time. Uninstalling it will also uninstall the whole gnome3-session. WTF!!! I am looking for a way to get this disabled on startup: All i know for now is how you can create autostart items by creating proper files in ~/.config/autostart/
and that you can disable the tracker dameon by using tracker-control -t all
Synapse program is much much better than the gnome-do program though and is called to live with the same shortcut.

I miss the Terminator Terminal which i used to monitor the system with tools like sar, htop, iotop and iftop and tail -f /var/log/messages.

An other thing which does not affect servers but does in fact the user is that it needs a little effort to get the nvidia propriatary driver running for gnome3. With the kind hint of zaitor from the irc channel #opensuse-gnome i was able to finally install it. asuming you already have downloaded the driver follow these steps will install the driver:

Nvidia driver is running

(1) Install
gcc make and kernel sources and all dependecnies like this zypper ref && zypper in kernel-source make gcc

(2) change to runlevel 3 and execute the installer like this
./NVIDIA-Linux-(arch)-255.05.09.run. You will be asked whether a file in

disable-nouveau.conf in /etc/modprobe.d should be created. answer this with yes and leave the installer for now.

(3) Disable the noeveau using cat /etc/modprobe.d/disable-nouveau.conf >> /etc/modprobe.d/50-blacklist.conf

(4) in yast or with zypper uninstall the nouveau driver.

(5) in yast --> System --> Editor for /etc/sysconfig search for kms and change the value from yes to no.

(6) restart the system. init 1 and init 3 wont work with systemd since the old driver is still loaded

(7) change in runlevel 3 and execute the installer again like in (2) this time the installation should be finished without problems. Answer with yes when you are being asked whether /etc/X11/xorg.cong should be written for you.

(8) add the group video to the system user gdm and the user you want to use. In the case the usersname is geeko:

usermod -A video gmd && usermod -A video geeko

(9) change in runelvel 5
That's it. now you can use the better nvidia driver with better perfomence at 1% cpu load instead of 20% cpu load. Remember that you have to redo this procedure every time you get a kernel update.

That's it for today. ;)

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