Skip to main content

At Work with Linux: A Failure to Update OpenSUSE 12.1

Back in early December I installed OpenSUSE 12.1 as a VMware virtual machine hosted on Windows 2008. At that time I'd written that I'd installed Chrome from the Google repository, and wondered if it would automatically and independently update like it did for all the other distributions I'd installed the Google version on. As fortune would have it I was overwhelmed with end-of-the-year work and the holidays, and forgot all about it. Then, every so innocently, someone asked in the comments of the December post if Chrome had auto-updated. So I went back into the lab, fired up the VM, and decided to check and see if the installation would update, and what parts would update.

The update started off automatically and innocently enough. Because the VM had been off since I finished the installation, there were some sixty-plus updates sitting in the queue.


Which, when expanded, showed "132 packages to install" and "110 packages to update". Hidden in plain site was a checkbox; "Do not confirm when installing or updating additional packages." I did not check this box, and I have a feeling that it was responsible for what was about to happen to me.


One of the annoyances of the update is the fact that it required my authorization, which is fine. However, the authorization dialog appeared behind the update window. I didn't see it until I touched the window with the cursor, and the window because transparent enough to show me it was sitting behind it. That's one of the nicer features of KDE 4. After entering my password to authorize the update, then the really bad part of the update started.



I started to get a continuous stream of warning dialogs telling me the package was unsigned and asking if I wanted to install this, because all sorts of horrible things might just happen if I did. This, of course, raised all sorts of questions and observations:
  • Why was I getting unsigned packages? I was getting this dialog for just about every package.
  • Why didn't the dialog tell me what package it was complaining about?
  • There was no global escape button on this dialog. Once this started I couldn't find any way to shut it up or shut it down.
I put up with this bad behavior for some fifteen minutes, clicking the 'Yes' button the whole time, until I got tired of it and just shut down the VM. I'm not going to be in the office until Friday, and when I get back I intend to just delete this instance and forget about OpenSUSE. I've got other working distributions that do what I need.

This is 2012, folks. This should not be happening with any Linux distribution, let alone OpenSUSE. It seems like this release has been star-crossed from the start. If anyone reading this is having a better time of it, I'm glad to hear it, but I'm not. I don't need a lecture or steps that might fix the problem. This either works as you would expect out of the box, or it doesn't. And if it doesn't then I'll stick with those Linux distributions in the lab that do. I've got plenty to choose from already.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

cat-in-a-box channels greta garbo

So I'm sitting at my computer, when I start to notice a racket in back. I ignore it for a while until I hear a load "thump!", as if something had been dropped on the floor, followed by a lot of loud rattling. I turn around and see Lucy in the box just having a grand old time, rolling around and rattling that box a good one. I grab the GX1 and snap a few shots before she notices me and the camera, then leaps out and back into her chair (which used to be my chair before she decided it was her chair).

Just like caring for Katie my black Lab taught me about dogs, caring for Lucy is teaching me about cats. She finds me fascinating, as I do her. And she expresses great affection and love toward me without coaxing. I try to return the affection and love, but she is a cat, and she takes a bat at me on occasion, although I think that's just her being playful. She always has her claws in when she does that.

She sits next to me during the evening in her chair while I sit in mi…

first night for the gingersnaps

The first night has passed and the two have managed to survive, in spite of what their tiny hearts might have thought when first arriving. Greebo, the larger of the two, has been in hiding the entire time so far. Ponder has spent the time zipping in and out of hiding spots, checking things out, and learning just how comfortable pillows are for resting your head.

During the night I felt the tiny body of Ponder hitting the bed as he leaped up on the side, and then climbed to the top to run around on top of me. At least once he play-attacked my fingers. He might be small but his claws are still quite sharp.

When I got up in the morning the bowl of cat kitten food was fairly well depleted. It's been refilled and fresh water put in the big dish on the floor. I'm assuming that both Greebo and Ponder are feeding and drinking. I have seen Greebo under the furniture peeking out at me when I went looking for him. I'm leaving him alone while he continues to adjust.

So far the guys h…

vm networking problem fixed

Over the weekend I upgraded to Windows 8.1, then discovered that networking for the virtual machines wouldn't work. Then I tried something incredibly simple and fixed the problem.

Checking the system I noticed that three VMware Windows services weren't running; VMnetDHCP, VMUSBArbService, and VMwareNatService. VMware Player allows you to install, remove, or fix an existing installation. I chose to try fixing the installation, and that fixed the problem. The services were re-installed/restarted, and the virtual machines had networking again.

Once network connectivity was established there was exactly one updated file for Ubuntu 13.10, a data file. This underscores how solid and finished the release was this time. Every other version of every other Linux installation I've ever dealt with has always been succeeded by boatloads of updates after the initial installation. But not this time.

Everything is working properly on my notebook. All's right with the world.