openSUSE 15.1 to 15.2 upgrade notes

In a previous article I showed how to upgrade a distro using zypper, but after the first reboot some issue might always happen, that’s why I collected all the changes and the tweaks I applied switching from openSUSE 15.1 to 15.2.

Installation

At a first attempt this list of packages was unable to download:

  • libwacom
  • libts0
  • libplist3
  • iw
  • libspeechd2
  • libusb-1
  • libwacom2
  • wpa_supplicant
  • linuxconsoletools
  • tlp
  • tlp-rdw

After ignoring the error for any single package I had a second try with:

$ sudo zypper dup --download-only

and everything worked as good as usual.

Package cleanup

Once the installation completed I gave a look to orphaned packages:

$ zypper packages --orphaned

An orphaned package is just a package which hasn’t been upgraded to the new repository because there isn’t a matching version, so it’s left installed as it is to don’t break some application which requests it.

Although most of them are not used anymore before uninstall them I always check whether or not they are really useless to me. An example is the kcheckhash application: it works perfectly although has not been upgraded to a 15.2 repository. Probably this application will be included in the future, probably will be dropped completely and replaced, but until it’s working and useful, it’s just fine having it installed.

Another example is the library libIex-24-24 used by _darktable 3.0.1, unfortunately that specific library version has not been included in any repo, so uninstalling it means also switching back to the 2.6.3 version. ()Warning: with the last update of August 19 the Darktable application has been updated to the the version 3.2 and works perfectly!)

So before removing any of them is better to query the system to see if there are valid alternative installed:

$ zypper search libx264

and remove it using the –clean-deps option to delete also useless related packages:

$ sudo zypper --clean-deps libx264-155 libx264-157 libx264-159

This is the list of orphaned packages I uninstalled without problems:

  • libx264-155
  • libx264-157
  • libx264-159
  • libx265-169
  • libx265-179
  • libx265-188
  • libdns1310
  • libdns1311
  • libdns1600
  • libdns1601
  • libdns1603
  • libfdk-aac1
  • libfind3_0
  • libgpac8
  • libjson-c4
  • libIlmImf-2_4-24
  • libIlmThread-2_4-24
  • libImath-2_4-24
  • libirs1301
  • libirs1600
  • libisc1310
  • libisccc1302
  • libmypaint-1_3-0
  • libpoppler90
  • libpoppler91
  • libpoppler92
  • libpoppler93
  • libpoppler94
  • libpoppler97

Required Packages

Some required packages might have been missed from a version to another, but this time I had no relevant problems except for the Yast Date and Time applet. A dmesg error was claiming:

Failed to start One time sync configured by YaST

And when I opened that applet, it automatically asked to install the package chrony, what better example of a self-repairing system?

Other fixes

Thunderbird has been the only application that gave me some headache, at the first start it refused to load my profile, claiming that was impossible to launch an older version profile

What I did is a manual intervention on my Thunderbird profile:

  1. First of all, I had to locate the exact path of my profile under ~/.thunderbird, having only one profile it was easy to find, it is the only folder having .default extension;
  2. then I started Thunderbird with the -ProfileManager switch:
      $ thunderbird -ProfileManager
    
  3. from the dialog I created a new profile, unchecked the checkbox to make that dialog show again and started Thunderbird;
  4. after the first start I closed it, all I wanted to do is create a new folder profile;
  5. at this point I copied only a few files and folders from the old profile to the new:
    • the folders: extensions; Imap; Mail.
    • the files: abook.mab; cookies.sqlite; logins.json; places.sqlite; prefs.js; permissions.sqlite; session.json; training.dat.
  6. Then I started Thunderbird again, all the profile were there again and the downloaded emails too, all I had to do was to insert the password again for each email account.

At this point, if everything works as expected the old profile can be deleted from the profile selection dialog.

Inkscape icons resulted too big to have a usable interface, all I had to do is select the smaller size under preferences -> interface and restart it.

I had not more fixes to apply, but there are interesting tricks from old articles:

A look around

Let’s see some interesting news provided by this new version.

What I noticed at first is that I have no more problems with hibernation, in the past it was leading to random system freezes, and to shut it down I had to use the power button, this is the news that made me happiest.

Filezilla works again, in the previous version something with libraries was broken, but now everything works perfectly.

LibreOffice at its 6.4 version includes the tabbed interface which can be enabled under View -> User interface.

Having the Graphic repository enabled I got the new versions of both Inkscape 1.0 and Gimp 2.10, while the basic repository should still have the older 0.9 and 2.8 respectively.

KDE applications

KDE 5.18 is more reactive, has new icons and the desktop switching applet works as expected: selecting a different desktop hide all the windows that are not open or sent in the desktop itself. Other relevant news is:

  • The ability to drag files from the notification window;
  • use of emojis;
  • the ability to mute the application which makes use of speakers directly from the taskbar.

Other info is available at the KDE 5.18 announcement.

Among the KDE applications, Konsole and Yakuake implement the vertical ctrl + ( and horizontal ctrl + ) split view, and when a new tab is opened it starts from the same path, which is a big plus for me.

Dolphin added the duplicate here action in its contextual menu, but this solution didn’t convince me too much:

  • The output filename format can’t be customized, every time a file is duplicated the word copy is just appended to the filename, for example the filename notes.txt becomes notes copy.txt;
  • in case of a second duplicate, it doesn’t automatically append a consecutive number, but a window popup warns for a file overwrite and asks for choice a different filename, here through the Suggest button we can generate a consecutive number to have something like notes copy (1).txt.

Pity more I can’t disable that action menu, anyway I will continue to use my custom service menu to duplicate files. If you are interested in my alternative leave a comment in the box below.

Another interesting service I discovered among the Dolphin settings is the Git extension which marks with different icons the files belonging to a Git repository to recognize which of them are changed from the last commit.

The last improvement I noticed is the ability to switch between the panels using the Tab key when the panel view is active.

The text editor Kate has a new interface to handle sessions, which is really handy for those like me who have a lot of sessions stored:

  • The interface is bigger than before and shows in a side panel all the needed button to Create, Duplicate, Rename, Delete or Open a session as a template;
  • sessions now can be filtered writing on the input box;
  • sessions can get sorted by the number of files, names, or last time open.

Definitively a great improvement for a text editor lightweight and powerful.

Final thoughts

More info about openSUSE Leap 15.2 is available at the resource list on openSUSE Wiki page and on the release notes page, there is also a list of features .

The openSUSE team also launched a Request for feedback asking to all the users who tried this version to compile an anonymous online survey.

The upgrading procedure this time has been really smooth for me, the new kernel didn’t introduce instabilities, and, at least on my laptop, improved the hibernation and the general power consumption. I am so glad about that switch that I will give a try on my Raspberry Pi3 too as soon as I can.


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