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openSUSE Announce First 11.4 Development Milestone With Improved Package Management Performance, New XOrg, KDE and GNOME

September 2nd, 2010 by
Broken-up chocolate bars symbolising parallel download of packages

Metalink multichannel download, so package candy melts your screen, not your internet connection.

openSUSE 11.4 Milestone 1 is available today, Thursday, September 2 for developers, testers and community members to test and participate in the development of openSUSE 11.4. M1 starts off openSUSE 11.4 development at a cracking pace with performance improvements in the package management network layer and version updates to major components.

This milestone contains libzypp version 8.1, which has a new backend for http and ftp package downloads. MultiCurl replaces the old MediaAria backend, and brings support for zsync transfers and better Metalink download support. These will improve both repository refresh and package install and update performance. Metalink allows the multi-channel download of packages by downloading the individual blocks of a package in parallel from multiple servers. ZSync reduces the amount of data to download by only fetching the changed parts of a file instead of the whole file. This speeds up repository refreshes, since due to the way the repository data is structured, it is easy to locate the parts of the metadata that changed since the last update. The new Curl-based zypp backend also gives libzypp and therefore zypper and YaST better support for network proxies, by using the same proxy configuration as the rest of YaST instead of its own, and adds support for HTTP BASIC password-protected repositories. And as an added bonus, MultiCurl should eliminate slow and hanging package installations that occurred due to bugs in the old MediaAria backend.

Broken up chocolate bars symbolising partial download of repo metadata

Zsync efficiently downloads only the changed metadata. Sweet!

Other major components that have received updates from upstream projects for Milestone 1 include XOrg 1.9, KDE 4.5 and GNOME 2.32.0 Beta 1. Automated testing and brave openSUSE Factory testers have been validating early builds to make sure that Milestone 1 is suitable for others to test, so please download Milestone 1 and report bugs – the earlier a bug is reported in the development cycle, the more likely it is that it will be fixed on release day, March 10, 2011.

The next milestone is scheduled for September 30.

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36 Responses to “openSUSE Announce First 11.4 Development Milestone With Improved Package Management Performance, New XOrg, KDE and GNOME”

  1. Vgaerg

    sounds good. And I want the candies. Good job guys.

  2. Göran Sweden

    Sweet. Did the live-cd -64bit and it runs perfect.Only freeze was while trying to download plugin for Kaffeine. (understandable).
    Going for a install later to night and will try to come back with more comments later
    Keep up your good work.Best regards from a lizzard in Sweden

  3. Mustafaa

    Awesome!! the best from the best, I like the efficient package download, it’s great for the slow connections.

  4. Axel

    ?????? What Username and Password I need to test the live cd???

  5. Carl

    Please, please, please move to Grub-2, so I can finally have my entire install on LVM, instead
    of needing a separate /boot partition.

  6. Dean

    Not until dmraid is properly working with it. Have it as an option sure but Grub .97 is still needed in some cases.

  7. sauntor

    I like GNOME very much, so I wonder whether the next release will have a better look ….

  8. KenP

    Has the nasty bug of KDE4 freezing been fixed? It is not KDE issue because I find it only on openSUSE. Simply run KDE with effects turned on and sure enough, when you least expect it, you will have reach for the hw reset button of your computer.

    I am running KDE4 on my laptop with 4 different Linux flavours, kubuntu, openSUSE, Fedora and PCLinuxOS.

    The above ‘bug’ hits on openSUSE only :(

  9. wayne

    i tried Gnome version, download, burnt CD and check that CD has the correct checksum,
    run also check on Live CD and it said check OK.
    when i tried it on two computers, both have internet access ( good),
    but both have no task bar.
    the only three ICONs appeared on top left hand side of the desktop are :
    Linux’s Home
    Live Installer

    if i open terminal, type firefox: yes, firefox works. same as gedit.

    can i know what did i do wrong?

  10. Can you guys send me the candy, looks nice :D

  11. Flip

    Will there be a procedure (change repos etc) to do a ‘zypper dup’ from a currently test_11.3 workstation?

    (Yes I know, I could download the CD, but hé, I like online repositories…)

  12. wstephenson

    On all openSUSE livecds, the root and default user ‘linux’ have empty passwords.

  13. wstephenson

    @KenP That bug seems to be an openSUSE specific bug resulting from the combination of X server and kernel used in openSUSE 11.3. You can workaround it in 11.3 by using X11:XOrg packages, which are in openSUSE Factory so it should be ok in M1.

  14. SÅ‚awek

    “HTTP BASIC password-protected repositories”

    Some companies could introduces shops thanks to that. Very simple way – each user have username and password. User downloads trial version from repository and next input key from the shop(website interface) to the application.

  15. If you have intel hardware, this release should indeed have fixed it. Was an Xorg/Kernel interaction issue… in 11.3 you can only fix it by upgrading kernel & Xorg packages, see my blog.

  16. mz

    Downloaded 11.4 M1. burnt to CD. load CD into drive. get the typical load screens and it stops a the user login screen. the only user is “Live-CD user” named “linux” no reference to the password can be found. Otherwise a user friendly live version. shutdown works. any feed back would be helpful. tried a few standard password I have seen.


  17. jefro

    There is still a password problem with the KDE live cd. It has been there since 11.1 at least. Some system just won’t let you get past the login screen with any combination of passwords or users.

  18. Wallacy

    We will have to download several packages at the same time as well as synaptic?

  19. PhillipS

    Having the same issue running inside VBox 3.2.8 on Win7, screen does not auto resize.
    I changed Boot Options VGA=0x317 giving 1025×768 size, then at bottom (rght-clck) Add to Panel the “Main Menu”
    Monitor does not Auto resize – logged on 28/08/2010 (see Bug #635339)

  20. Jonas

    Actually, you don’t need to use the X11:Xorg packages to fix that problem in 11.3.

    At least I don’t. All it takes is to add:

    Driver “intellegacy”

    to the file /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/50-device.conf

    Maybe not the best solution, but works.

  21. Bryan

    I would love to give my opinion on project management, but having never managed a large project, I cannot say with justification.

    However, being in the process of creating my first application, I can tell you one thing for certain: without a plan, you will fail. I have made three attempts so far, and they all ended in bloated and sub-optimal code, as well as their share of design flaws. The few times that I have spent the time planning, with a piece of paper, what I want, and how to do it, I have never had to “fix” the implementation, only sometimes “extending” it.

    So, here is my guideline that I am using to create my application:
    1. What should it do? (A very general and basic description/goal.)
    2. What else do could it do? (Extra features, make sure you leave room for the future.)
    3. What will be done in the first release? (Assuming there is not enough time to implement every feature…)
    4. Create a functionality map, using stepwise refinement. (Map out the entire functionality of the first release; avoid implementation details.)
    5. Create an implementation map, using stepwise refinement. (Remove redundancy/reusable solutions wherever possible.)
    6. Implement.
    7. Document.
    8. Test.
    9. Fix.
    10. Release.

    This could be translated into project management:
    1. What are the projects goals?
    2. What else could the projects goals be in the future?
    3. What goals are feasible for the next release?
    4. A detailed map of what to do for the next release.
    5. A detailed map of how to do it.
    6. Implement.
    7. Document.
    8. Test.
    9. Fix.
    10. Release.
    11. Repeat.

    I cannot emphasize how much planning can help. Greece fell to the whims of the people, Rome fell to the whims of the rulers. A project must have plans, or it is not a “project.” Here is the definition of a project from the Webster’s 1828 dictionary:
    PROJECT’, v.t. [L. projicio; pro, forward,and jacio, to throw.]

    1. To throw out; to cast or shoot forward.

    2. To cast forward in the mind; to scheme; to contrive; to devise something to be done; as, to project a plan for paying off the national debt; to project an expedition to South America; to project peace or war.

    3. To draw or exhibit, as the form of any thing; to delineate.

    PROJECT’, v.i. To shoot forward; to extend beyond something else; to jut; to be prominent; as, the cornice projects.
    If you start a “project” to create peace during war, and let everybody and anybody contribute (without a master plan), it could easily run amok. It would be easy to have contradicting and hurtful contributions to a project.

    Strictly speaking, without a plan, openSUSE is not a “project” at all, but rather just another collaborative operating system without goals.

  22. Bryan

    Uh… after reading my comment, I see that my remarks about Greece and Rome did not make sense, so here is an elaboration:

    Greece was (literally) controlled by the people. Whatever the majority wanted, it got. Rome saw this fatal flaw and, unfortunately, chose the opposite extreme, which was _no_ power to the people. (You could say that Greece was a community-driven “project,” and Rome a propriety model.)

    What I am getting at is that perhaps openSUSE should choose a balanced form of governance: one that let’s the community be involved and help, but is limited by the project’s goals; the goals may be amended and modified as needed. What I mean by limited is, for example, if a community member contributes code to make openSUSE binary compatible with, say, OS X, then it should be denied, regardless of the quality or motives, because it would conflict/alter the goals of openSUSE (of course, assuming openSUSE even HAD any goals!). But, that only protects openSUSE from the people, but what about the people from openSUSE, eh?

  23. @Bryan

    If you like a challenge, I’d be very interested to see an application of a project planning metaphors applied to a heterogeneous community of mostly self-interested volunteers which depends on the products of many external sources for much of its eventual output.



  24. Mario


    I am a new user, really liked the software and learned a lot about it.

    This first version I use, was bought and the second one I will by to support the work of the developers.

    Thanks a lot for the opensuse 11.3. Windows nevermore.

    Kind regards from a Brazilian in Switzerland.

  25. roeland

    this is definitely not true. Even ubuntu has this problem. It’s a mix of a bit flipping problem and some other things. look at bugzilla from novell. there are even patches available that fix it for you.

  26. ???

    So, will OpenSUSE finally adopt DKMS? The best distribution I’ve ever used but for those that don’t use the default kernel it would be a blessing.

  27. harry

    it’s a kernel issue which happens to be hit by others as well………

  28. Dan

    Grub-2 has big issues on older SCSI machines.
    OpenSuse is notable in not having this buggy device.
    If you want this use Ubuntu and leave it there.

  29. Rob Fortune

    Linux is Linux. I run grub2 on OpenSUSE and I did so with very few changes… I just tricked YaST into thinking it is still running legacy Grub and had Grub2 read configuration from /etc/sysconfig because mosf of /etc/sysconfig and the Grub2 config configuration are really posix shell scripts, it’s an easy deception to make on the system.

    If you run grub2 “stable” you need to patch it to support symlinks with SuSE, the people in #grub2 on freenode IRC would be able to tell you where to get that patch.

    If Grub2 has issues with older SCSI machines then perhaps Grub1 should be kept around unless Grub2 fixes those issues. Why not offer both options to install? It’s not challenging, the challenging thing would be to detect the hardware Grub2 doesn’t like and Grub1 will support OK since I know of no such list that exists, if such a list does, then just have YaST offer Grub2 for those it works fine on and not let it be selectable with a description of why for those devices it is incompatible with.

  30. Rob Fortune

    Correction, I think the channel is just called #grub.

  31. Rob Fortune

    Maybe the #grub team would know which devices it is incompatible with, and could supply such a list.

  32. Rob Fortune

    YaST could also offer a solution that installs grub2, but offers to create a grub1 bootloader on a CD or USB key so you can boot your system from that if it fails to work for you, while I’m not generally a fan of such things, people who boot this “failsafe USB key” could automatically submit a list of their hardware to suse so it knows of which devices Grub2 doesn’t like :)

  33. Rob Fortune

    The failsafe USB key would of course load the relevant lvm and raid drivers before bringing up the system proper… :)

  34. Det

    You can change the password in another TTY (e.g. Ctrl+Alt+F1) with “sudo passwd”. Still unable to login with VMware, though, because of some crash (Milestone 2 64-bit).

  35. J.B.

    I can’t login with Virtual-Box. Fist I get the message that the login has failed. Then I pressed CTRL+ALT+F1 (TTY) –> ENTER –> User: linux –> passwd –> ENTER (password does not exist) –> Enter new password –> press: CTRL+ALT+F7 –> User linux and my new password.

    The login works now, but after 2 or 3 seconds it switchs back to the login screen. wtf!

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