openSUSE 12.3 Release Notes


12.3.4 (2013-02-27)

Copyright © 2013 Novell, Inc.

Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included as the fdl.txt file.

If you upgrade from an older version to this openSUSE release, see previous release notes listed here:

These release notes cover the following areas:

1. Miscellaneous


2. Installation

2.1. For Detailed Installation Information

For detailed installation information, see Section 3.1, “openSUSE Documentation”.

3. General

3.1. openSUSE Documentation

  • In Start-Up, find step-by-step installation instructions, as well as introductions to the KDE and Gnome desktops and to the LibreOffice suite. Also covered are basic administration topics such as deployment and software management and an introduction to the bash shell.

  • Reference covers administration, and system configuration in detail and explains how to set up various network services.

  • The Security Guide introduces basic concepts of system security, covering both local and network security aspects.

  • The System Analysis and Tuning Guide helps with problem detection, resolution and optimization.

  • Virtualization with KVM offers an introduction to setting up and managing virtualization with KVM, libvirt and QEMU tools.

Find the documentation in /usr/share/doc/manual/opensuse-manuals_$LANG after installing the package opensuse-manuals_$LANG, or online on

3.2. UEFI—Unified Extensible Firmware Interface

Prior to installing openSUSE on a system that boots using UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) you are urgently advised to check for any firmware updates the hardware vendor recommends and, if availale, to install such an update. A pre-installed Windows 8 is a strong indication that your system boots using UEFI.

Background: Some UEFI firmware has bugs that cause it to break if too much data gets written to the UEFI storage area. Nobody really knows how much "too much" is, though. openSUSE minimizes the risk by not writing more than the bare minimum required to boot the OS. The minimum means telling the UEFI firmware about the location of the openSUSE boot loader. Upstream Linux Kernel features that use the UEFI storage area for storing boot and crash information (pstore) have been disabled by default. Nevertheless it is recommended to install any firmware updates the hardware vendor recommends.

4. System Upgrade

4.1. systemd: Activating NetworkManager with a network.service Alias Link

By default, you use the YaST Network Settings dialog (yast2 network) to activate NetworkManager. If you want to activate NetworkManager, proceed as follows.

The NETWORKMANAGER sysconfig variable in /etc/sysconfig/network/config to activate NetworkManager has been replaced with a systemd network.service alias link, which will be created with the

systemctl enable  NetworkManager.service

command. It causes the creation of a network.service alias link pointing to the NetworkManager.service, and thus deactivates the /etc/init.d/network script. The command

systemctl -p Id show network.service

allows to query the currently selected network service.

To enable NetworkManager, use:

  • First, stop the running service:

    systemctl     is-active network.service && \
     systemctl     stop      network.service
  • Enable the NetworkManager service:

    systemctl --force        enable NetworkManager.service
  • Start the NetworkManager service (via alias link):

    systemctl     start     network.service

To disable NetworkManager, use:

  • Stop the running service:

    systemctl     is-active network.service && \
     systemctl     stop      network.service
  • Disable the NetworkManager service:

    systemctl disable NetworkManager.service
  • Start the /etc/init.d/network service:

    systemctl     start  network.service

To query the currently selected service, use:

systemctl -p Id show     network.service

It returns "Id=NetworkManager.service" if the NetworkManager service is enabled, otherwise "Id=network.service" and /etc/init.d/network is acting as the network service.

4.2. SYSLOG_DAEMON Variable Removed

The SYSLOG_DAEMON variable has been removed. Previously, it was used to select the syslog daemon. Starting with openSUSE 12.3, only one syslog implementation can be installed at a time on a system and will be selected automatically for usage.

For details, see the syslog(8) manpage.

5. Technical

5.1. Initializing Graphics with KMS (Kernel Mode Setting)

With openSUSE 11.3 we switched to KMS (Kernel Mode Setting) for Intel, ATI and NVIDIA graphics, which now is our default. If you encounter problems with the KMS driver support (intel, radeon, nouveau), disable KMS by adding nomodeset to the kernel boot command line. To set this permanently using Grub 2, the default boot loader, add it to the GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT kernel default load options line in your /etc/default/grub text file as root and running the terminal command

sudo /usr/sbin/grub2-mkconfig --output=/boot/grub2/grub.cfg

for the changes to take effect. Else, for Grub Legacy, add it to the kernel command line in /boot/grub/menu.lst, also done as root. This option makes sure the appropriate kernel module (intel, radeon, nouveau) is loaded with modeset=0 in initrd, i.e. KMS is disabled.

In the rare cases when loading the DRM module from initrd is a general problem and unrelated to KMS, it is even possible to disable loading of the DRM module in initrd completely. For this set the NO_KMS_IN_INITRD sysconfig variable to yes via YaST, which then recreates initrd afterwards. Reboot your machine.

On Intel without KMS the Xserver falls back to the fbdev driver (the intel driver only supports KMS); alternatively, for legacy GPUs from Intel the "intellegacy" driver (xorg-x11-driver-video-intel-legacy package) is available, which still supports UMS (User Mode Setting). To use it, edit /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/50-device.conf and change the driver entry to intellegacy.

On ATI for current GPUs it falls back to radeonhd. On NVIDIA without KMS the nv driver is used (the nouveau driver supports only KMS). Note, newer ATI and NVIDIA GPUs are falling back to fbdev, if you specify the nomodeset kernel boot parameter.

5.2. systemd: Cleaning Directories (/tmp and /var/tmp)

By default, systemd cleans tmp directories daily as configured in /usr/lib/tmpfiles.d/tmp.conf. Users can change it by copying /usr/lib/tmpfiles.d/tmp.conf to /etc/tmpfiles.d/tmp.conf and modifying the copied file. It will override /usr/lib/tmpfiles.d/tmp.conf.

Note: systemd does not honor obsolete sysconfig variables in /etc/sysconfig/cron such as TMP_DIRS_TO_CLEAR.

5.3. Configuring Postfix

The SuSEconfig.postfix was renamed as /usr/sbin/config.postfix. If you set sysconfig variables in /etc/sysconfig/postfix or /etc/sysconfig/mail, you must manually run /usr/sbin/config.postfix as root.

5.4. GNOME: Workaround to Set Shift or Ctrl+Shift as Shortcut Keys for Input Source Selection

In Gnome 3.6 use the following workaround to set Shift or Ctrl+Shift as shortcut keys for input source selection:

  1. Install gnome-tweak-tools.

  2. Then in the 'Typing' section, at the very bottom, find the 'Modifiers-only input source switch' option, where you can set Ctrl Shift_L, for example (meaning, Ctrl key and left shift) or Shift_L Shift_R (meaning both Shift Keys).

This is also being tracked in the upstream bug report