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openSUSE 13.1 Beta Is Out!

September 19th, 2013 by


“Still … in this world only winter is certain.”
― George R.R. Martin

“And thus, Factory is now Frozen.”
― Stephan “coolo” Kulow

Starting today, you can scurry over to software.opensuse.org, grab that beta by its tail and give it a spin. And report your findings, because we want to squash those smelly little bugs out of it during our hackaton. So, shove a pizza in that oven, settle with your laptop next to a roaring fire and a big glas of mead and start testing!

Read on to find out what’s new in this beta, what we’d like you to test and of course what is up with that Party and that Hackaton.

borisvanhoytema factory frozen

Latest features that made it in

With Factory feature frozen now, you might wonder what did make the cut! These are the latest new features that made it in before the freeze:

  • kernel 3.11.1
  • llvm/clang 3.3
  • Mesa 9.2.0
  • systemd 207
  • php5 5.4.19
  • tcl 8.6
  • bluez 5
  • wine 1.7
  • samba 4.1
  • KDE SC 4.11.1 and GNOME 3.9.91
  • apache2 2.4.6
  • texlive 2013
  • vim 7.4
  • Amarok 2.8

Also, Coolo has included the Greek language on the DVD.

Testing, Beta Pizza Party and Hackaton

As you have read just two days ago, we plan a hackaton to fix bugs in this beta. And the more bugs you find, the more we can fix during that hackaton! A good reason to organize a decent Beta Pizza Party

Some testing hints

Testing means installing the beta, playing around with it and submitting bug reports when you bump into trouble. For a party it might make sense to download the beta and put it on an USB stick or a DVD so people can get to work right away.

Bugs should be reported and can be tracked via Bugzilla. Find a how-to on reporting bugs on the wiki. There’s a quick overview of the most annoying bugs in 13.1 Beta, check it out before you submit duplicate bug reports.

Discussions about openSUSE development takes place on the factory mailing list. openSUSE Factory is the development release of openSUSE.
pizza David Standout geekoified

There is plenty of help available on the Development page on the openSUSE wiki and you are more than welcome to ask for help on the openSUSE factory mailing list or on the openSUSE IRC channels!


Of some special interest for this release is btrfs. A discussion has been going on about making this future-oriented file system the default on the next openSUSE. That won’t be but btrfs is still a prominent option during installation so any relevant testing and bugfixing will benefit many openSUSE 13.1 users. And, more importantly, we aim for having it default in the future.

To enable this testing, the release team has decided to include a “want to test btrfs?” pop-up during installation of Beta 1. Of course, this won’t be in the final releases (nor the RC’s) but it will hopefully help remind people that btrfs can use some testing.

btrfs in openSUSE

By default, only the ‘safe’ features of btrfs are enabled in openSUSE, including the snapshot and metadata and data integrity feature. These both offer protection against data loss. The snapshots do this by making it easy to revert files to earlier states, even bringing back removed files where needed! The (meta)data integrity feature uses error checking codes on your data to ensure your spinning rust or deep fried sand gives you back the data you stored on it the way you intended.

However, who installs btrfs now will be able to instantly benefit from the many features under development as soon as they are marked stable. Some of these include transparent compression of data, de-duplication of files and data, multi-volume drives and hot add/remove of drives part of it and various performance improvements. Currently, these features are there but can not be used. However, you can already test them by adding the ‘allow_unsupported=1’ option to the btrfs module either on the kernel command line or in /etc/modprobe.d.

Get testing!

…. and have a lot of fun

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44 Responses to “openSUSE 13.1 Beta Is Out!”

  1. Bob

    KDE variant works surprisingly well, congrats! If it isn’t messed up till release it might actually be a keeper ;-)

    Gnome seems to have finally navigated into a cul-de-sac with no space to turn around. It is almost heartbreaking to watch some good applications offered together with a DE which appeals to <2% of users. Plenty of alternatives available though.

    Back to KDE: Dual screen management getting almost too smart now. Might be tough for most to install 13.1 on a laptop with, say broken screen and external monitor.

  2. member

    Congratulations on this stage!

    I have already written iso-image to disk and started testing. Hope, I can improve a new openSUSE 13.1 too!

    Good luck to everyone!

  3. toxa

    Good work!

    Already installed and done some testing – everything works just fine. Keep going that way!

    Extensive testing on weekend: let’s see what can be broken :)

    Thanks a lot for outstanding work!

  4. I’m very not much a fan of BTRFS… the logic of trying to use something that’s shitty with the expectation of simply using and testing will fix their fundamentally multiple flawed philosophies in the near future , that is not the case.
    I LOVE SuSE, you are my RPM distro recommendation of choice, but at least try to have a technical reason other than “lets do BTRFS to be hip and cool and “in” and still cutting edge”.
    Unfortunately it’s technically flawed albeit cool sounding promises and features, it’s not in need of simple bug-fixing, it needs to be re-engineered.

    • Bob

      You have a point here. All Phoronix tests so far seem to prove that Btrfs is so far no match for Ext4.

    • hmmmmm

      Can you back this full redesigning need with some technical reasons? Otherwise you’re just another troll.

      • There is one marvelous example of how BTRFS architecture is absolutely ridiculous


        About the “index subvolume UUIDs” aspect which… works around a performance issue that ended up getting baked into the Btrfs disk format. WTF…. FIX THE PROBLEM, don’t just abstract the problem away to leave the problems there while the FS is technically “experimental” and SHOULD have on-disk format changes so it doesn’t 100% get baked for certain.
        With numerous work-arounds because they didn’t/couldn’t fix the actual problems at hand is why I was appalled and completely didn’t bother with using it at all since then.

        That is only the most recent example though, but as many have seen benchmarks and base their conclusions on that, but those are quite pointless but the incapability of BTRFS does show up while performance testing simply because there are so many crazy aspects of the system. In honesty I was excited of BTRFS ~3 years ago and researched it extensively, but I found so many flaws with it I left it completely untouched and went XFS instead. Problem is, my decision to disconcern it so many years ago my points of argument so long ago have also faded in my memory. I will… look through the internal structure and internals and design decisions again to remember and post back later.

        • hmmmmm

          Well, maybe.
          This example is a performance thing. Although I agree that a perfect disk format would be desirable, that’s never the case in any file system as complex as btrfs or zfs. After a certain point in development you cannot change every aspect of the disk format without far reaching implications. They are stabilizing the code despite the experimetal flag. But I admit I’m not familiar with the code so cannot judge.
          However your statement about a complete design flaw: I’m still not convinced.

          The performance thing on Phoronix tests: let’s assume for now those tests are accurate. ZFS vs Btrfs vs EXT4 test shows much beloved ZFS is generally by far the slowest. Different file systems has different scaling properties, so what???


          Are you absolutely sure that XFS is pure according to your standards?
          Also, 3 years ago Btrfs was not really usable. Do you know how much changes in 3 years in an “experimental” file system?

          • ruohtula

            Surprising XFS doesn’t get more love in distributions. Not sure if it is “pure” or elegant, but it nowadays works well, has competitive performance, and has been around long enough to have most bugs squashed. The last is important, reliability is just about the most important attribute of a file system.

    • yup

      Yup, btrfs is about 10 years away from being usable on production systems, at best.

      OpenSuse has a track record of throwing things in just to be cool without any technical reason for it. For example: they started using KDE 4 about 2 years before it was usable. 12.1 actually shipped with a beta version of firefox.

      • @yup: KDE4 was firstly included as complementary part of KDE 3.5 with optional beta apps etc., when it was completely included on openSUSE it was more usable then the original version from kde.org (or that included in Fedora)… maybe not feature complete, but with it i hadn’t no problems during everyday use.

        • yup

          OpenSuse removed support for KDE 3.5 before KDE 4.x was in a usable state

          • eco2geek

            “As of openSUSE 12.1 KDE 3 desktop is included as officially supported part of the distribution. Additional KDE 3 software can be installed from community-supported KDE:KDE3 repository.”


            You can use KDE 3.5.x on openSUSE if you want to.

  5. oldcpu

    Well done in sticking to the roadmap schedule for 13.1 beta1.

    In particular thank you for including the 3.11.1 kernel. That kernel version may have a power management improvement (that my Toshiba Z930 ultrabook can use) and it may have a new wireless driver inclusion (supporting the Intel 7260 wireless in the Sony Vaio Pro-13 ultrabook that a colleague uses). Hence there could be an immediate benefit for myself and for a colleague and we are looking forward to testing these enhancements in this beta release.

  6. Good work done!!

    I want to update my oS 12.1 and taste this new flavor! ;)
    As usual, spreading the word for spanish speakers in my blog:

    Have a lot of fun this weekend and happy hacking!

  7. I downloaded the i586-DVD iso for four times, and the four times the md5sum was different… Before you say anything about my connection, is a Colt’s fiber optic internet connection with 200 Mb/s (I downloaded the last two isos this morning at 4-3 Mb/s). What’s happening?

    Thank you!!!

    • toxa

      Try download it directly from here (and take MD5/SHA1 with):


      I could not download yesterday over torrent, direct download had worked for me.

    • One way I find sadly works pretty good after any download of massive size, is to use the torrent to finish & verify afterwards.
      1) Download the ISO file direct
      2) add the .torrent to your torrent client but don’t actually start it
      3) point the ISO file inside the torrent to the previously downloaded file
      4) do a “check/verification” on the ISO to see how much doesn’t match the fingerprint the torrent knows about
      5) start the torrent after it knows the good/bad in the ISO and have it finish downloading the couple corrupt blocks
      6) profit

    • Don

      You might want to check your (computer) memory. I had a similar issue about 2 years ago and that was the cause.

  8. pschulze59

    The first installation was done as a VirtualBox-VM-Installation without any problems – okay only standard-components in the VM – but I think there was a good job done.
    As a next project I ‘ll try to update an older installation (12.1/12.2). I hope it’ll going well.

  9. I’m dying to switch over to btrfs (mainly for its snapshot feature) but after reading this thread[1], I decided to wait..

    If the issues mentioned in this thread are solved (by now), I’ll happily make the switch.

    [1] http://opensuse.14.x6.nabble.com/BtrFS-Usage-Complaints-td4994291.html

  10. OK I remembered the Achilles heel BTRFS has… ironically its COW & snapshots lol. Every time a snapshot is made, it’s b-tree changes, and when it changes, that forces the entire file system structure (b+tree) to be modified and duplicated on each file system snapshot. So that creates an exponential degradation each and every time a snapshot is performed simply because its COW feature is working against it really badly. So the very benefit BTRFS has as its best feature(snapshots) completely makes the file system into a ticking data-time-bomb until there’s an exponential metadata overload to the point of a grinding halt upon too much nodes caused by the snapshots causing exponential b-tree node duplication.

    I really do apologize for caps but hasty use of BTRFS is a BAD IDEA still, please stick to EXT4 or something.

  11. sysitos

    Opposite to M4 with Beta 1 formating of BTRFS within the installer does work now. But why are subvolumes created, if there are partitions for /boot and /home are already mounted? Even if I remove the subvolumes in the partition dialog, they are created nevertheless.

    Another little bug, using the DVD installer to install german KDE, I must define german as prefered language within the KDE system settings (locale settings). Only after that all menus and dialogs are in german.

    Btw. thanks for Opensuse, still the best KDE distribution.

    CU sysitos

  12. Christopher Unixhead

    I’ve been using 12.3 with BTRFS on a SSD for several months now and its fine. I’m extremely aware that it is not production ready and wont be for a while yet. But the performance isn’t too much behind Ext4 (I realize what the benchmarks say, but it doesn’t “feel” slower. It feels identical.). By all means use backups, but it feels very solid so far. Check it out.

  13. Ioan

    Has any of you got an: “Failed to mount RW root file system” during boot?

    I’ve downloaded the i386 live kde build and made a live usb using dd. Unfortunately the boot hangs with the above message and after 120 seconds computer restarts. After restart, the strange thing is that the usb partition is wiped out so there is literally nothing to boot.

    Does anyone have an idea about what might be wrong? I must mention that I’ve tried with 2 usb’s and the same problem appears on both of them.



  14. ac_z01

    There are still several bugs to solve.

    The Bug 803590
    (https://bugzilla.novell.com/show_bug.cgi?id=803590 ) takes 8 months to fix activity is very small.

  15. Kai

    never use BTRFS with encrypted LVM on SSD else SSD will die 3-5 times faster.

  16. roland mundloch

    Thanks for your good work,

    updating the 13.1-M4-64 system is a little bit buggy (grub listing lost opensuse boot entries – only the richmond os is shown as single option on the dualboot machine). New Installation is required. But it’s now running well. (see below for another problem).

    Roland from Karlsfeld in Bavaria, Germany.

    OS: OpenSuse 13.1 Beta 1 (DevRelease-Factory)
    Problem: Endless loop while booting with a special /etc/fstab

    In an older support document I found a tip for making the
    scanner of an Brother device (mfc) working with xsane:

    Installing a Brother scanner driver into a Linux based system
    using SANE (for USB Users)
    For SuSE users: change the line in the /etc/fstab file from:
    ‘none /proc/bus/usb …’ to ‘none /proc/bus/usb usbdevfs auto,devmode=0666 0 0’
    ‘usbfs /proc/bus/usb..’ to ‘usbfs /proc/bus/usbfs auto,devmode=0666 0 0’ mount the harddisk ->
    edit /etc/fstab with vi to delete the critical line and reboot.
    the system is runnung again (the correct way to setup the scanner
    is a change in the /etc/udev/rules.d/55-libsane.rules file)

  17. John

    it’s great that this is out, really… I can skip the ups and downs of Tumbleweed :)
    Congratulations guys, for all your hard work… although I know it’s not finished.. I will oblige and TEST

  18. CalinDee

    Will be most certainly giving this release a good crack – with btrfs.
    btr has come a long way recently and is now slated as being the default fs for that other slightly more red distro in 7.x. Lets face it that other mob arent known for running with flaky kit, anymore than SuSE are..

  19. Shane

    Been trying to find info if Optimus/Bumblebee support will ever be baked in? I made the unfortunate mistake of purchasing a laptop with Optimus (well, the vendor didn’t reveal in it’s marketing that it was such …). For 18 months now, I’ve been stuck using the Intel video chip/driver and not able to use the nvidia chip.

    I see more and more laptops (Mac Book Pro, included) now using optimus or hybrid graphics modes out there. This seems like one of those major features that is going to catch up with and cause a lot more pain and suffering for Linux users.

    I know there are various options to run Optimus/Bumblebee and various tweaks to get it …sort of… working. I’ve been following all of them. But my laptop is my primary work machine, it gets 12 to 16 hours a day of work. I don’t have time to eff around with screwy implementations and then spend 2 days uncorking a screwed up system.

    I’d love to see Optimus/Bumblebee/Hybrid mainstreamed in a distro. Please … pretty please … :)

    Still love OpenSuSE – my favorite distro by far and away … the best KDE implementation.


  20. Thanks for your extra work, but not optimum for my computer made in local

  21. John

    On my Samsung UltraBook serie 9 with UEFI secure boot activated, the boot process hangs.

    After successfully entering Grub, the load of kernel hangs between the message “loading kernel” (displayed) and “loading init ramdisk” (not displayed).

    With the same harware and OpenSuse 12.3, everythings run smoothly.

    I have tried from a DVD and a USB key with the same result.

  22. the truth since I installed everything works great and faster at the beginning I made ​​the mistake of turning off the computer when I was doing updated and it did not work very well but I reinstall and update and now it works fine .. I have installed the programs IDJC, JACK and is working very good , NO DOUBT THIS VERSION WILL BE THE BEST OPENSUSE I EVER HAVE

  23. WGz

    Have you observed:

    Bug 802189 – /etc/ini.d/kbd is not invoked at boot time

    Frederic Crozat 2013-04-08 11:19:04 UTC

    Hmm, plymouth upstream has added a dependency to ensure
    systemd-vconsole-setup.service is started before showing the splash.

    However, since we don’t ship systemd-vconsole-setup in the initrd, it might be
    a problem until we switch to dracut (in 13.1, hopefully)..

  24. Programs that I install already and they are working very good are Skype, IDJC, JACK , MIXXX , Banshee
    the only program I have problem and is not working good at all in my system is Rhythmbox

  25. macias

    Are there any plans of providing (officially or not) KDE 3.5 for OS 13.1, or KDE3 ended with the end of 12.x series?

    I am KDE3.5 user (desktop, KMail) and I don’t want to switch to anything else (KDE4 for sure). The best option is XFCE but it is still not mature enough.