openSUSE 11.2 Upgrade

21 Nov 2009

I upgraded my HP Compaq 6715b from openSUSE 11.1 to openSUSE 11.2 on Tuesday. There have been a couple of minor bumps since, but all-in-all, I’m pretty happy with the upgrade. Here are some of the things that I’ve seen.

For one thing, KDE 4 is working again. For some odd and never explained reason, KDE 4 stopped working (would crash early in the initialization process) after an update from the official openSUSE updates repository about 8-9 months ago. I worked and worked at it, but could never get it to run. I was using KDE 3.5 for all these months, which wasn’t that bad of a thing to me.

I did experience some really odd screen flicker under X right after upgrading to openSUSE 11.2, but that’s already cleared up. Restarting X didn’t help, but there were a pile of updates in the official 11.2 updates repo, which I installed soon after finishing the upgrade with the DVD. I suppose that something in those fixed the flicker. Most of the time, it wasn’t bad enough to irritate me, but sometimes it was.

The upgrade process was pretty smooth. The only problem that I had was that in the middle of installing packages, YaST stopped and warned me that I didn’t have enough disk space to complete the upgrade. It sat there waiting for me to tell it to either bail-out or go on. I pressed <ALT>+<F2> to get to a terminal. From that shell I ran these commands:

# lvextend -L 10G /dev/reaver/suse-usr
# resize_reiserfs /dev/reaver/suse-usr

Those commands finished in less time that it took me to type them (and, yes, that is saying something). Back in the graphical installer, I clicked the Next button and it went on.

BTW, that LV was 7GB before.

Another odd thing is the the audio mute light keeps coming back on, even though the card isn’t muted. If I right-click the kmixer tray icon and select mute, it doesn’t toggle that light. I’ve got both in sync several times and a few to 30ish seconds later, the light is on again. Weird.

I was using the ATI driver repo to install the proprietary ATI driver. I’ve been using that up until now because that was the one that worked with the Radeon X1370 GPU built into this notebook (the X1270 is the X1250, but with both shared and dedicated RAM). I’m now using the fully open-source radeonhd driver, which finally has support for my chip. No 3D, though, even though the documentation says that I should have that. Perhaps I’ll have some downtime during the upcoming holiday to figure it out. I’m certainly noticing the performance drop without it.

Both Thursday night and again this evening, I’ve been working on getting all the development environments’ pieces back into working order. There’s always something that needs fixing when I upgrade the OS. This time, the big troublemaker has been Ruby on Rails. openSUSE 11.2 ships rails 2.3.2. I’m glad for the upgrade, but, sheesh; there’s been more than a few speed bumps to work out. At this point, I have WEBrick working, but dispatch.{f,}cgi isn’t happy, yet. The Apache 2.2 with mod_fcgid bits are working, it’s the dispatch scripts that are currently breaking. I’m thinking that I’ll write a separate post about all of that rigmarole.

I am finding that Konqueror is being a little frustrating. I’m using Firefox more than I ever have before on Linux. Firefox has been my preferred browser on Windows for a long time, but Konqueror has been the flat out best web browser for me for over a decade now. It’s mostly odd behavior with some JavaScript found in some apps, including this blog. I’m writing posts with Firefox for now. Don’t worry, though; I’m not giving up on Konqueror any time soon.

Overall, this has been a pretty easy upgrade. Considering that I’m making a major change in graphics drivers (for the better, overall), I’m amazed at how well that’s working out, already. Audio quality is great and all the features that I’ve tested are working flawlessly, but the sound does seem a bit quieter than before (at the same volume settings). That could be the particular media files, too.


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