Operating Systems

VLC Problems After Upgrading to OpenSuSE Leap

Upgrading to OpenSuSE Leap

opensuse leapI recently upgraded from an OpenSuSE 13.2  32 bit system to an OpenSuSE Leap 42.2 which is a 64 bit system.

Since a direct upgrade from a 32 bit system to a 64 bit system is not supported, I had to follow a special approach which is described in the post Upgrading from OpenSuSE 13.2 to OpenSuSE Leap.

After this upgrade, I found that it was easy to move to the latest version OpenSuSE Leap 42,3 and a few days later I did also this further upgrade, by following the instructions provided by the article How to Upgrade from OpenSUSE Leap 42.2 to 42.3.

At the end of this process I was pretty happy because everything seemed to work and I noticed also some performance improvements.

However, when I tried to access some mp4 files with VLC, I found that they could not be played because I received an error that the video encoding h264 was not supported and also VLC could not decode the format “mp4a” (MPEG AAC Audio).

The VLC Video Encoding Error

VLCBy searching the web I found an interesting thread on this problem at the following url https://forums.opensuse.org/showthread.php/481503-VLC-no-longer-plays-video-with-h264-encoding.

The main advice in the thread was to uninstall vlc and install again from the Packman repository.

Actually, due to software patents and licences, openSUSE, like many Linux distributions, doesn’t offer many applications, codecs, and drivers through official repositories (repos). Instead, these are made available through 3rd party or community repos such as Packman,

I added the Packman Repository by using the Software Repositories option of Yast. You just choose the Add option and then select the Community Repositories option.

Then I decided to uninstall VLC by using a zypper command as follows:

sudo zypper rm vlc

Then I re-installed VLC by using zypper with the following commands:

zypper dup --from packman
zypper in vlc-codecs

Notice that Packman had a special packge vlc-codecs that does not exist in the original OpenSUSE list


8 things to do after installing openSUSE Leap 42.1

VLC encoding problems

Repository for Video codecs













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Posted by Mario1 - 13/02/2018 at 3:49 pm

Categories: Linux Sofware, Operating Systems   Tags:

Upgrading from OpenSUSE 13.2 to OpenSUSE Leap

How to Upgrade from  OpenSUSE 13.2 to OpenSUSE Leap..

OpenSUSE UpgradeWhen I decided to upgrade from OpenSUSE 13.2 to OpenSUSE Leap, I found that I could not upgrade directly because my OpenSUSE 13.2 was a 32 bit installation, whereas the OpenSUSE Leap is a 64 bit installation.

My work environment consists of a Laptop with Windows 8,1, Oracle VirtualBox and my OpenSUSE installation as a virtual machine of VirtualBox.

I think that this is a satisfactory setup because it allows me to access Windows and OpenSUSE applications at the same time and removes the risks of problems during double booting with Grub that I had experienced in the past,

In order to install the OpenSUSE Leap without risks for my working working environment, I decided to create a new virtual machine with the new Operating System.

I will describe below my approach and I would be interested to receive comments and suggestions on alternative ways to do the work,

Addition of the Virtual Machine in VirtualBox

The creation of a new virtual machine and the installation of OpenSUSE Leap is described pretty well in the article  How to install openSUSE Leap 42.2 in VirtualBox and I will describe only the main steps:

  • Open VirtualBox and create a new virtual machine. Select Linux type and openSUSE version
  • Select the amount of memory RAM. They recommend 4096 MB (4 GB), but I found that the machine works well also with 3 MB.
  • Create a new Virtual Disk (since I have plenty of data I created a VDI disk with 200 GB
  • We have created a new empty virtual machine. We need to set more properties and read the lSO file. You can find in the article a goof description of the settings, then load the openSUSE ISO file in the Storage tab of the Virtual Machine.
  • Finally Start the Virtual Machine and choose the Installation option to install OpenSUSE Leap

After the installation I took a snapshot of the virtual machine and then performed an online update of OpenSuSe  by using Yast,

Copying the Data from the Old to the New Virtual Machine

I decided to use the tar command to copy the relevant directories from my old OpenSUSE 13.2 machine to the new OpenSUSE Leap machine.

I created separate tar archives for my home directory and many directories containing data by using commands such as:

tar -cvzf  archive-name .

In order to transfer the archive file to the new virtual machine, I defined a common shared folder created in the Windows installation.

I just moved the tar archives of the old virtual machine to the shared folder and then I could easily access them from the new virtual machine and move them to the target directory,

For each archive I restored the data in the appropriate directory by running a command such as the following:

tar -xvzf  archive-name .

A Video on the Installation of OpenSUSE Leap

Strange Problems After the  Installaion

After the installation I had to face some problems as described below:


a) My Samsung ML-1640 usb printer did not work in Opensuse Leap,

I realized that USB drives are not automatically detected by VirtualBox, but must be added manually. In addition, I also had to add the VirtualBox groups to the user of the system in order to correctly access the USB drive.


b) I had frequent  memory reference errors in VirtualBox that caused a crash of the virtual machine. I tried to re-install OpenSUSE without any improvements.  Finally I realised that the problem had after the addition of the usb devices (the printer and an external disk). I tried to remove the external disk and the system has worked well after that.




The installation has taken some time, but it works pretty well.s

Even if the two virtual machine have more or less the same resources (about 3 GB of memory), the OpenSUSE Leap is significantly faster than my old  OpenSUSE 13,2. and of course there is also the advantage of using the latest versions of the programs



OpenSUSE Linux – An Amazing Linux Distro

Linux OpenSuSE – Tumbleweeed vs Leap

OpenSuSE Linux 13.1 Installation within VirtualBox













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Posted by Mario1 - 17/01/2018 at 5:00 pm

Categories: Linux Sofware, Operating Systems   Tags:

Linux File System Types

Linux File Systems Types.

Linux File SystemWhen you install a Linux distribution, you must choose one file system type to use and Linux offers many possibilities.

I recently noticed an interesting article on the MakeTeachEasier.com website with useful information about the possible Linux file system types and I have re-published it below for your convenience.

What’s the Best File System for My Linux Install?

File systems: they’re not the most exciting things in the world, but important nonetheless. In this article we’ll go over the popular choices for file systems on Linux – what they’re about, what they can do, and who they’re for.


If you’ve ever installed Linux before, chances are you’ve seen the “Ext4” during installation. There’s a good reason for that: it’s the file system of choice for just about every Linux distribution available right now. Sure, there are some that choose other options, but there’s no denying that Extended 4 is the file system of choice for almost all Linux users.

What can it do?

Extended 4 has all of the goodness that you’ve come to expect from past file system iterations (Ext2/Ext3) but with enhancements. There’s a lot to dig into, but here are the best parts of what Ext4 can do for you:

  • file system journaling
  • journal checksums
  • multi-block file allocation
  • backwards compatibility support for Extended 2 and 3
  • persistent pre-allocation of free space
  • improved file system checking (over previous versions)
  • and of course, support for larger files

Who is it for?

Extended 4 is for those looking for a super-stable foundation to build upon, or for those looking for something that just works. This file system won’t snapshot your system; it doesn’t even have the greatest SSD support, but If your needs aren’t too extravagant, you’ll get along with it just fine.


The B-tree file system (also known as butterFS) is a file system for Linux developed by Oracle. It’s a new file system and is in heavy development stages. The Linux community considers it unstable to use for some. The core principle of BtrFS is based around the principle of copy-on-write. Copy on write basically means that the system has one single copy of a bit of data before the data has been written. When the data has been written, a copy of it is made.

What can it do?

Besides supporting copy-on-write, BtrFS can do many other things – so many things, in fact, that it’d take forever to list everything. Here are the most notable features: The file system supports read-only snapshots, file cloning, subvolumes, transparent compression, offline file system check, in-place conversion from ext3 and 4 to Btrfs, online defragmentation, anew has support for RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, RAID 6 and RAID 10.

Who is it for?

The developers of BtrFS have promised that this file system is the next-gen replacement for other file systems out there. That much is true, though it certainly is a work in progress. There are many killer features for advanced users and basic users alike (including great performance on SSDs). This file system is for those looking to get a little bit more out of their file system and who want to try the copy-on-write way of doing things.


Developed and created by Silicon Graphics, XFS is a high-end file system that specializes in speed and performance. XFS does extremely well when it comes to parallel input and output because of its focus on performance. The XFS file system can handle massive amounts of data, so much in fact that some users of XFS have close to 300+ terabytes of data.

What can it do?

XFS is a well-tested data storage file system created for high performance operations. Its features include:

  • striped allocation of RAID arrays
  • file system journaling
  • variable block sizes
  • direct I/O
  • guaranteed-rate I/O
  • snapshots
  • online defragmentation
  • online resizing

Who is it for?

XFS is for those looking for a rock-solid file solution. The file system has been around since 1993 and has only gotten better and better with time. If you have a home server and you’re perplexed on where you should go with storage, consider XFS. A lot of the features the file system comes with (like snapshots) could aid in your file storage system. It’s not just for servers, though. If you’re a more advanced user and you’re interested in a lot of what was promised in BtrFS, check out XFS. It does a lot of the same stuff and doesn’t have stability issues.


Reiser4, the successor to ReiserFS, is a file system created and developed by Namesys. The creation of Reiser4 was backed by the Linspire project as well as DARPA. What makes Reiser4 special is its multitude of transaction models. There isn’t one single way data can be written; instead, there are many.

What can it do?

Reiser4 has the unique ability to use different transaction models. It can use the copy-on-write model (like BtrFS), write-anywhere, journaling, and the hybrid transaction model. It has a lot of improvements upon ReiserFS, including better file system journaling via wandering logs, better support for smaller files, and faster handling of directories. Reiser4 has a lot to offer. There are a lot more features to talk about, but suffice it to say it’s a huge improvement over ReiserFS with tons of added features.

Who is it for?

Resier4 is for those looking to stretch one file system across multiple use-cases. Maybe you want to set up one machine with copy-on-write, another with write-anywhere, and another with hybrid transaction, and you don’t want to use different types of file systems to accomplish this task. Reiser4 is perfect for this type of use-case.

There are many file systems available on Linux. Each serves a unique purpose for unique users looking to solve different problems.This post focuses on the most popular choices for the platform. There is no doubt there are other choices out there for other use-cases

A Video on the Linux File Systems Types


Which Linux File System Should You Use?
7 Ways to Determine the File System Type in Linux (Ext2, Ext3 or Ext4)
Which File System Should You Use?
Free E-Book to Learn Linux



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Posted by Mario1 - 11/09/2017 at 2:06 pm

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OpenSuSE Linux – An Amazing Linux Distro

OpenSuSE Linux

OpenSuSE DistroI have used OpenSuSE Linux for many years and I consider it one of the best Linux Distributions.

Currently the openSuSE project offers two distributions: Tumbleweed, which is a rolling distribution that gets continuous updates, and Leap, which is a point distribution that gets periodic updates

Recently I read a good article on the Foss Post website that contains a pretty good description of the OpenSuSE features (by looking mainly at Tumbleweed) and I have re-published it below for your convenience.

OpenSuSE is an Amazing Underestimated Linux Distribution

I still remember using openSUSE 11.3 around 7 years ago for the first time. It was the second Linux distribution I used since I converted from Windows. Was awesome. Still so.

Unfortunately, the distribution is very underestimated. While most Linux users do know about it, it doesn’t seem to attract very much attention those days. Most of the lights are going toward distributions like Ubuntu, Mint, Manjaro.. And those shiny new distributions.

In this post, we would like to highlight some features which make openSUSE remarkable.

openSUSE Tumbleweed

Tumbleweed is the rolling release branch of openSUSE. It’s just like Arch Linux and the other rolling distributions; You get the software as soon as its ready in the repositories.


However, unlike some others, the packages you get in openSUSE Tumbleweed are tested. You don’t get beta or alpha releases. You also don’t get software which is known to be not working or causing various problems in the system. It’s a rolling release model provided with quality (see next the coming openQA section). Which is a nice thing to have.

openSUSE Tumbleweed made some remarkable movements in providing newly-released software to users. For example they’ve provided GNOME 3.24 to users in just 2 days after its release, making them the first ever to ship the new version.

Tumbleweed is the first major distribution to use GCC 7 by default. Just around 1 day ago of publishing this post, Tumbleweed images have been recompiled with GCC 7.

Same things happens from time to time for a lot of different packages. You can keep checking news.opensuse.org to see the latest news about kernel packages, GNOME, KDE and other packages added to openSUSE Tumbleweed.



openQA is a quality assurance service created by SUSE/openSUSE. All the openSUSE releases (Leap and Tumbleweed) and a lot of openSUSE core packages (GNOME, KDE, YaST2..) are tested on that platform. It provides a set of API functions and methods to use in order to test packages and ISO images with automated tests and scenarios. After that, users can test it manually.

The thing about openQA is that it’s not just some automated scripts which do this and that and then check the output of various commands to see if bugs or problems exist. It utilizes openCV and other libraries to “see” what’s going on the screen. It hits different keyboard combinations and runs complicated installation/configuration scenarios and reads the screen in order to determine what’s going on.

The complete testing process is recorded and all the log files are uploaded automatically. You can check the following video for the latest openSUSE Tumblweed GNOME build (opensuse-Tumbleweed-DVD-x86_64-Build20170529-gnome@64bit):

Things like openQA means better quality. Instead of completely depending on manual testing – like most other Linux distributions – openQA helps a lot in automation of those tests and detecting bugs instantly before releasing any new ISO images. Making openSUSE more robust and bug-free.

All openQA source code is free and released on GitHub.


Zypper is the default package manager for SUSE/openSUSE. Just like dnf and apt, zypper can handle any ordinary package management task like installing, removing and updating packages.

According to a personal experience, package management with zypper was faster more lightweight on the system than Apt and Dnf. In Zypper, even if you add a new repository which includes an already installed package with a newer version, it won’t be installed until you change the default vendor for that package. Which is good from a lot of aspects.

Zypper has a lot of features which you can check from its page.



Probably the most special thing about openSUSE is YaST2: The complete control center capable of configuring everything on a Linux system. It comes by default on SUSE & openSUSE distributions.

YaST2 is awesome because it contains a lot of options and functionalities. Currently, there exist around 80 different modules for YaST2, which allows you to configure software management, containers, services, kernels, servers, hardware and a lot lot more. You can say it’s around 80 different applications in a single center.

I like the software management module:

YaST2 Software Management

When I downloaded openSUSE again around few week ago, I gave it a shot in trying to find a Samsung printer’s driver. YaST2 did the whole job in around 1 minute. It searched for the possible drivers and listed them. I selected the one I needed and installed it. I couldn’t do this easily on some other distributions:

YaST2 Drivers

What is also nice about YaST2 is that it provides a TUI (Text-based User Interface) for all its modules. Meaning that you can run YaST2 from your openSUSE system in the command-line mode and still be able to configure your system in a quick and fast way. You can also use it on your servers:


You can also manage your operating system remotely using WebYast. Just install it on your machine and launch the service online in order to be able to mange it through your web browser any time:

Image via: http://webyast.github.io


There are tons of other modules which you can use to manage your system. The idea of providing a complete graphical solution to manage all the system aspects from A to Z in a Linux distribution doesn’t seem to exist anywhere else other than in SUSE/openSUSE.

openSUSE Build Service

openSUSE Build Service

openSUSE Build Service (OBS) is an online platform for building and distributing software packages. Developers and packagers can create packages easily using the platform for different Linux distributions (not just openSUSE!). Currently, it supports Debian, Ubuntu, Fedora, CentOS and a lot more of other distributions.

OBS currently hosts 400,000 packages. You can search for any package you need via software.opensuse.org. If you were using SUSE/openSUSE, you can install any package in a single click via YaST 1-Click Install:

OBS Download Page Example For A Package

As usual, the source code for OBS is available on GitHub.

SUSE Studio

SUSE Studio

This service is actually provided by SUSE, but since both distributions are like two sides of the same coin, it won’t hurt to mention it here.

SUSE Studio allows you to create a customized operating system based on SUSE/openSUSE in few minutes. Just login to your account there and choose what base image you want to use, add the software and configurations you want and hit the build button.

SUSE Studio is cool because it allows you to export your images to different formats and mediums. It’s also compatible with the openSUSE Build service. It also allows you to run your images online before downloading them using Testdrive. All of this is for free.

This is an example for Testdrive running GeckoLinux Plasma inside the browser:

SUSE Studio Testdrive

It also provides a nice download page for each project. In that download page, you can see the added packages/files to the images as well as repositories and configurations. This allows you to check if it’s safe to download the images or not.

SUSE Studio uses Kiwi as its core to build images. It’s also free and released under GPL.

If you are interested about it, you may check our tutorial about building a Linux distribution using the service.

Btrfs and Snapper

Btrfs is the default filesystem in openSUSE. It’s a copy-on-write filesystem. One of its main features is the ability to take “snapshots” of files stored on your hard disk in order to be able to restore them later.

openSUSE is very compatible with this filesystem. There’s a module in YaST2 called Snapper. Which allows you to restore your system to whatever state you want at any history before/after administrative actions. Such as package installation/removal or configurations change.

For example, if you run a system upgrade using zypper dup. And something broke and you no longer can enter your system, you can easily go back to the previous system state before the upgrading process occurred. All your files and configurations will be restored to that specific time. Just like a system restore point in Windows.


A Video Review of OpenSuSE 42,2 (Leap)




There are a lot of features which make openSUSE a remarkable Linux distribution. If you are happy with your current Linux distribution, you probably don’t need to change it. However, if you are looking for something new and modern, it’s recommended that you give openSUSE a try.

You can learn more about openSUSE from their official website: openSUSE.org


Side-by-side: openSuSE Tumbleweed and Leap | ZDNet

A brief comparison of Leap vs. Tumbleweed : openSUSE – Reddit



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Posted by Mario1 - 17/06/2017 at 2:43 pm

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The Ubuntu Desktop Evolution

Ubuntu Desktop

Recently the Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth announced that the Unity desktop development has been stopped and he has shared some details regarding Ubuntu’s future.

I have copied below an interesting article published by the Fossbytes website that discusses the future of the Ubuntu Desktop environment,

The Future Of Ubuntu Linux Desktop — What’s Next?


ubuntu linux desktop

Short Bytes: After announcing that Ubuntu 18.04 LTS will ship with GNOME as the default desktop environment, Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth has shared some details regarding Ubuntu’s future. In a Google+ post, he made clear that Canonical will be investing in Ubuntu GNOME with a motive to deliver an all-GNOME experience. One should also note that despite the demise of Unity 8, Snaps and Ubuntu Core are here to stay.

Last week, Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth shook the open source world by announcing that Canonical will be giving up the development of Unity and convergence shell for phones/tablets. He announced that Ubuntu 18.04, the next LTS release, will ship with GNOME as the default desktop environment.

In his announcement post, Shuttleworth announced that his convergence vision was wrong and the open source community perceived it as fragmentation. But, what’s next for the world’s most popular open-source operating system for desktop, i.e., Ubuntu?

In a Google+ post, which looks like a follow up to the original post, Shuttleworth highlighted some major points that will continue to be the focus of Ubuntu desktop.

Before going ahead and reading about the future of Ubuntu, don’t miss our useful lists:

Based on his post and other related developments, here are the answers to some of the biggest Ubuntu-related question:

What’s next for Ubuntu Desktop?

1. All GNOME desktop in Ubuntu

In his post, Shuttleworth said that Canonical will invest in Ubuntu GNOME and deliver an all-GNOME desktop. It means that we can expect Ubuntu GNOME without much changes to make it look more like Unity.

2. Upgrade from Ubuntu 16.04 LTS Unity to Ubuntu 18.04 LTS GNOME

This might be a big question on the minds of Ubuntu users. Shuttleworth has assured that the Canonical engineers will surely figure out a way to smoothly update Ubuntu 16.04 LTS Unity to Ubuntu 18.04 LTS GNOME.

3. Snaps and Ubuntu Core aren’t going away

Canonical founder already made it clear that Snaps and Ubuntu core aren’t going anywhere. Snaps and Ubuntu Core will remain a major part of Canonical’s strategy. You should also expect more Snaps adoption in near future.

4. What about Mir?

The future of Mir remains unclear. As Wayland is receiving all the love from the open source community, it’s less likely that Canonical will try to push Mir aggressively in near future. However, in his post, Shuttleworth said, “we have lots of IoT projects using Mir as a compositor so that code continues to receive investment. I agree, it’s a very fast, clean and powerful graphics composition engine, and smart people love it for that.”

5. Unity 7 will be available in archive

The Unity 7 packages will remain in the Ubuntu archives. Also, Unity 8 has been picked by third party developers and I’ll be keeping a close eye on its development.

Are you excited about these changes coming to Ubuntu Linux desktop? Don’t forget to share your views.

A Video on theEnd of Unity Desktop in Ubuntu


5 Developments After Ubuntu Unity Fiasco

Explained: Which Ubuntu Should I Use?

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Posted by Mario1 - 19/04/2017 at 3:43 pm

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Linux OpenSuSE Tumbleweed vs. Leaps

Tumbleweed vs. Leaps

OpenSuSE currently offers two different Linux distributions known as Tumbleweed and Leaps. I have re-published below an  interesting article published on ZDNet.com that explains the differences between the two distribtions

Side-by-side: openSuSE Tumbleweed and Leap

openSuSE offers a development distribution, Tumbleweed, and a stable distribution, Leap. Here is a side-by-side rundown of the differences between the two

The openSuSE project offers two distributions: Tumbleweed, which is a rolling distribution that gets continuous updates, and Leap, which is a point distribution that gets periodic updates.

Looking at it a different way, I think of Tumbleweed as being a development distribution, so I expect it to get the latest version of all its major packages very quickly, but I am not surprised when there is some minor instability. I consider Leap to be a stable distribution, so some of the major/critical packages only get updates when a new point release is made, and I expect it to be very dependable.

What I would like to do in this post is to look a little more closely at the differences between these two distributions. This will include decisions about when and where each distribution should be installed, differences in the distribution and installation process, updates and daily use of the systems.


The first major difference between Tumbleweed and Leap is in the consideration of when and where they should be installed. Because Tumbleweed is a rolling distribution and is tied very closely to openSuSE development (it is one step behind the unstable factory version), it generally should not be installed in a situation where stability is a high priority. That obviously means it is not well suited for production systems where downtime would be a significant problem, but I also recommend that it not be used on systems which are being prepared for non-technical (or non-tolerant) users. A specific example of this would be that I have openSuSE on all of my own systems, but I would not put it on a system that I was setting up for my partner, or for another family/friend/neighbor as a Windows replacement system.

openSUSE also recommends a technical consideration in deciding where to install Tumbleweed. Because it is a rapidly changing leading-edge distribution, it should not be installed on systems which need or want proprietary hardware drivers. Some common examples of this are systems which have nVidia or Radeon display adapters, or Broadcom WiFi adapters. In some cases there are FOSS drivers available, such as nouveau and radeon if you are happy to use those. In other cases, such as the Broadcom WiFi adapter in my Acer Aspire E11, you might be able to find the proprietary driver in the pacman repository, but you should keep in mind that Tumbleweed sometimes moves forward so quickly that pacman doesn’t keep up. I recently ran into this problem, and it finally caused me to give up and switch to Leap on my Aspire E11.

If you take those restrictions on who should install Tumbleweed and turn them around, you have a pretty good idea who should install Leap. The primary target is stable systems – and by that I mean not only stable operation without downtime, I also mean systems which are themselves stable, and are not getting new hardware swapped in and out regularly. If you don’t need the absolute latest Linux kernel, desktop, display system or whatever, then Leap is a good choice.

I suppose that the choice could be reduced to one very simple statement – you should install Leap unless you know that you have some specific need for or interest in Tumbleweed.


There is more difference in the installation process of the two distributions than you might expect. Leap is available from the openSuSE Downloads page, as a 4.7GB full installer image, or an 85MB Network Install image. Note that both of these are installation images only, not full-boot Live images. There also used to be Live images available, but i can’t find them any more.

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Tumbleweed ISO images are on the Tumbleweed Installation page, again as full DVD installer or network installation images. There are also Live CDs listed on that page, but there is a clear warning that says use of the Live images is discouraged. I would state that even more emphatically, do not use the Live images for anything other than emergency system recovery. The problem is that the Live images are updated much less frequently than the installer images, and it seems to me that they get less attention in general. There have been numerous times in the past few years when I learned (the hard way) that the Live images were broken and would not install. I don’t bother with them at all any more.

All of the ISO images for both Leap and Tumbleweed are hybrid images which can either be burned to CD/DVD or copied directly to a USB stick and booted. The installer (yast) is nearly identical for both as well. Both versions offer btrfs as the default for the root filesystem.

Both Leap and Tumbleweed are compatible with MBR and UEFI systems, including UEFI Secure Boot support. In fact, the openSuSE bootloader is the one reason more than any other that I keep it loaded on all of my computers. The bootloader handles multi-boot with other Linux distributions and/or Windows with no trouble, and it is graphically very pleasing. The default bootloader on every one of my systems is openSuSE – even if I often actually boot into some other distribution.

Booting and Running Tumbleweed

openSuSE Tumbleweed KDE Desktop

If you choose the KDE desktop during installation, it boots to the rather plain-looking desktop with the geometric wallpaper shown above, with KDE Plasma 5.6.4.

One of the biggest differences between Tumbleweed and Leap is in the day-to-day operation of the system – the frequency and number of updates that come through. The Software Updates notifier sits in the system tray, and by default checks daily for updates. It is not unusual for it to announce new updates are available every day.

Booting and Running Leap

openSuSE Leap 42.1 KDE Desktop

Leap (KDE) comes up with a somewhat more decorative wallpaper, running KDE Plasma 5.5.5.

Leap also has a Software Updates notifier in the system tray, but updates come through much less frequently. I don’t use Leap consistently enough to have a good feel for exactly how often updates are available, but I would guess it averages something like weekly, or perhaps even every few weeks. It really depends on when there are significant security fixes coming out (they come through to Leap very quickly, of course), or when there are updates to some of the core applications such as Firefox or LibreOffice.


The difference in focus between the leading-edge Tumbleweed distribution and the conservative Leap distribution makes for significant differences in content, even though they are both openSuSE distributions with the KDE Plasma desktop:

Leap Tumbleweed
Linux Kernel 4.1.26 4.6.3
KDE Plasma 5.5.5 5.6.4
Qt 5.5.1 5.6.1
gcc 4.8.5 6.1.1
X.org 1.17.2 1.18.3
Firefox 47.0 47.0.1
GIMP 2.8.16 2.8.16
digiKam 4.14.0 4.14.0
Amarok (music) 2.8.0 2.8.0
Dragon Player (video) 15.12.3 16.04.2

Note that gcc is not installed in the base system of either Leap or Tumbleweed, but it is indicative of what compiler was used for the entire system. The switch to gcc 6 and the resulting recompilation of essentially the entire system was one of the major changes made to Tumbleweed over the past few months.

I think this table clearly shows the heart of the difference in these distributions. Like a lot of “point release” distributions, Leap tends to stay with the same Linux kernel version through the life of the release cycle – so that is currently 4.1.x. Tumbleweed tracks kernel development very closely, so it is already running 4.6.x, and I’m sure it will pick up 4.7 shortly after its final release.

The “leading-edge” nature of Tumbleweed is also shown in the recent switch to gcc 6, while the “stable” Leap is still using gcc 4. For comparison, Fedora 24 also has 6.1.1, Debian testing (stretch) has 5.4.0, Debian stable (jessie) and LMDE have 4.9.2, Ubuntu 16.04 and Mint 18 have 5.3.1.

It would appear from the comparison table that one significant exception to the “stability first” rule on Leap is Firefox, but if you remember that the majority of Firefox updates and new versions include significant security fixes that becomes more understandable.

Stability and Recovery

The last thing I want to mention about these two distributions is actually something I have said several times along the way – stability. As a leading-edge distribution tied closely to development, Tumbleweed can occasionally have problems. Especially when major changes are under way, such as the recent switch to gcc 6, there can be problems with dependencies, interactions of packages and such. If you choose to run Tumbleweed, you should be capable of handling, recovering or at least surviving such problems. In the simplest case this might just mean sitting tight and waiting for the next batch of updates to come through, or perhaps getting updates via the CLI (zypper update), or at the other extreme it might mean picking up the latest Tumbleweed snapshot and making a fresh installation.

Because of this it is very important to keep your home directories, work and data files separate from the root filesystem. A simplistic “root filesystem only” installation is not likely to be sufficient for Tumbleweed – but then again, I would hope that anyone who is sufficiently experienced and competent to install and run Tumbleweed would never consider such a basic installation anyway.

Leap, on the other hand, should never have such stability problems. It is so extensively tested, and so conservatively updated, that such problems are extremely unlikely to make it through. While the Leap distribution doesn’t have that long of a history to look at (it’s initial release was in April 2015), I think it is safe to say that Leap is related to SuSE Linux Enterprise in much the same way that Tumbleweed is tied to factory, and one thing that SuSE Linux Enterprise is very well known for is rock solid stability.

That’s pretty much it, so I hope this brief review of the two distributions is helpful in deciding which would be right for your purposes


A Video on Upgrading from OpenSuSE Leap to Tumbleweed


Portal:Leap – openSUSE

7 things you should know about openSUSE Leap | CIO

How to upgrade openSUSE Leap to openSUSE Tumbleweed …

Upgrading OpenSuSE 13.1 to 13.2 – My Experience

Why you should choose OpenSuSE Linux

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Posted by Mario1 - 04/02/2017 at 11:24 am

Categories: Linux Sofware, Operating Systems   Tags:

Linux Mint 18 Review

Linux Mint 18.

I am an happy user of Linux OpenSuSE, but recently I have decided to investigate also some other distribusions and I am been especially interested in the Linux Mint distribustions, which is in some way similar to the well known Ubuntu.

I have found a good review of Mint 18 on the FOSSPost.com website and I have copied it below for your convenience.

A Complete Review for Linux Mint 18: Amazing Indeed

Posted by Mario1 - 24/12/2016 at 2:24 pm

Categories: Computer Software, Linux Sofware, Operating Systems   Tags:

Linux User Administration Commands

Linux User Administration

Linux User AdministrationI noticed recently an interesting article in the Computer Technology Special website about the User Administration for Linux/Unix and I have re-published it below for your convenience,




There are three types of user accounts on a Unix/Linux system:

1. Root account:

This is also called superuser and would have complete and unfettered control of the system. A superuser can run any commands without any restriction. This user should be assumed as a system administrator.

2. System accounts:

System accounts are those needed for the operation of system-specific components for
example mail accounts and the sshd accounts. These accounts are usually needed for some specific function on your system, and any modifications to them could adversely affect the system.

3. User accounts:

User accounts provide interactive access to the system for users and groups of users. General users are typically assigned to these accounts and usually have limited access to critical system files and directories. linux  supports a concept of Group Account which logically groups a number of accounts. Every account would be a part of any group account. Linux groups plays important role in handling file permissions and process management.


Managing Users and Groups:

There are three main user administration files:
1. /etc/passwd: Keeps user account and password information. This file holds the majority of information about
accounts on the Unix system.
2. /etc/shadow: Holds the encrypted password of the corresponding account. Not all the system support this file.
3. /etc/group: This file contains the group information for each account.
4. /etc/gshadow: This file contains secure group account information.

useradd                    Adds accounts to the system.
usermod                   Modifies account attributes.
userdel                     Deletes accounts from the system.
groupadd                 Adds groups to the system.
groupmod                Modifies group attributes.
groupdel                  Removes groups from the system.

Create a Group

You would need to create groups before creating any account otherwise you would have to use existing groups at your system. You would have all the groups listed in /etc/groups file.
All the default groups would be system account specific groups and it is not recommended to use them for ordinary accounts.
The syntax to create a new group account:

groupadd [-g gid [-o]] [-r] [-f] groupname
-g                         GID The numerical value of the group’s ID.
-o                         This option permits to add group with non-unique GID
-r                          This flag instructs groupadd to add a system account
-f                          This option causes to just exit with success status if the specified group already exists.
With -g, if specified GID already exists, other (unique) GID is chosen
groupname Actaul group name to be created.

If you do not specify any parameter then system would use default values.

Following example would create techbuddies group with default values, which is very much acceptable for most of the administrators.

$ groupadd techbuddies

Modify a Group:

To modify a group, use the groupmod syntax:

$ groupmod -n new_modified_group_name old_group_name

To change the techbuddies_2 group name to techbuddies, type:

$ groupmod -n techbuddies techbuddies_2

Here is how you would change the financial GID to 545:

$ groupmod -g 545 techbuddies

Delete a Group:

To delete an existing group, all you need are the groupdel command and the group name. To delete the financial group, the command is:

$ groupdel techbuddies

This removes only the group, not any files associated with that group. The files are still accessible by their owners.

 Create an Account in Linux

Let us see how to create a new account on your Linux/Unix system. Following is the syntax to create a user’s account:

useradd -d homedir -g groupname -m -s shell -u userid accountname

-d  homedir                            Specifies home directory for the account.
-g groupname                          Specifies a group account for this account.
-m                                           Creates the home directory if it doesn’t exist.
-s shell                                     Specifies the default shell for this account.
-u userid                                  You can specify a user id for this account.
accountname                            Actual account name to be created

If you do not specify any parameter then system would use default values. The useradd command modifies the /etc/passwd, /etc/shadow, and /etc/group files and creates a home directory.

$ useradd -d /home/user1 -g techbuddies -s /bin/ksh user1

Once an account is created you can set its password using the passwd command as follows:

$ passwd user1
Changing password for user user1.
New  password:
Retype new  password:
passwd: all authentication tokens updated successfully.

Modify an Account:

The usermod command enables you to make changes to an existing account from the command line. It uses the samearguments as the useradd command, plus the -l argument, which allows you to change the account name.For example, to change the account name user1 to user2 and to change home directory accordingly, you wouldneed to issue following command:

$ usermod -d /home/user2 -m -l user1user2

 Delete an Account:

The userdel command can be used to delete an existing user. This is a very dangerous command if not used withcaution. There is only one argument or option available for the command: .r, for removing the account’s home directory and mail file. For example, to remove account user2, you would need to issue following command:

$ userdel -r user2

If you want to keep her home directory for backup purposes, omit the -r option. You can remove the home directory as needed at a later time.


A Video on Linux User |Administration



Linux Tutorials for Beginners

Best Linux Distributions

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Posted by Mario1 - 22/11/2016 at 2:21 pm

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Some IDE for Linux

IDE for Linux

Linux IDEThere are many IDE (Integrated Development Environment) applications that can bu used with Linux.

Probably most people know Eclipse that can be used on Linux and with many other platforms, but there are also many other IDE applications.

I found a good article on this subject on the Openfoss.com website and I have re-published it below for your convenience.

Linux : 5 IDEs You Would Probably Want To Use


You will probably switch with an IDE if you have acquired sound knowledge on any programming language. It makes our life a lot more easier though some hard coders may disagree with me.This post focuses on some IDEs for Linux.

Once you start writing an application you will have to write and work with numerous lines of codes and this can be very hectic at times. Choosing an IDE over text editor is a good choice. IDE come with extensive features like syntax highlighting.

IDE help save your effort while working with codes hence making you very efficient and productivity. This might be the main reason people tend to use IDE over text editor.

List of 5 IDEs for Linux You Would Love :


1. Code::Blocks :

code-blocks-ide-linuxLanguages Supported : C/C++/Fortan

License Type : Free and Open Source

Features :  Syntax Highlighting , Multiple Compiler Support , Workspaces to combine multiple projects

2. Netbeans

Languages Supported : C/C++/Java/Ruby/Python/Perl/PHP and many more

License : Free and OpenSource IDE .

Features : Syntax Highlighting , Cross Platform , Refactoring , QT Support Toolkit etc.

3. Eclipse

Languages Supported : C/C++/Java/Ruby/Python/Perl/PHP and many more

License : Free and OpenSource IDE .

Features : Syntax Highlighting , Cross Platform , Unlimited Undo/Redo , Lightweight etc.

4. CodeLite


Languages Supported : C/C++/Node.js/PHP and many more

License : Free and OpenSource IDE .

Features : Supports all Major Compilers, Git Plugins , Code Completions Engine run Simultaneously , Syntax Highlighting , Cross Platform

5. Geany

Languages Supported : C, Java, PHP, HTML, Python, Perl, Pascal (Full List On Geany’s Website)

License : Free and OpenSource IDE .

Features : Call tips , Code Folding , Syntax Highlighting , Auto Closing of HTML and XML Tags, Code Navigation

IDEs can make a lot of difference in your coding life so be wise while choosing an IDE . It is wise not to keep changing IDE but start with one and master the IDE features are you keep using it. This is a small list of IDE that can help make your programming efficient and make yourself productive.


A Video about the Installation of Eclipse on Linux


Free Programming Books for Enthusiasts

Linux Programming Tutorials


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Posted by Mario1 - 11/11/2016 at 2:22 pm

Categories: Linux Sofware, Operating Systems, Uncategorized   Tags:

IBM i Services

IBM i Services

IBM i ServicesIBM i Services are a new option that can be very useful for IBM i System Administrators,

There are many system services that can be accessed through system-provided SQL views, procedures, and functions. These provide an SQL interface to access, transform, order, and subset the information without needing to code to a system API.

I found a new article published by the mcpress.com website and I have re-published it below for your convenience.

TechTip: IBM i Services – What It Is


IBM i Services is the hottest, and coolest, thing to hit systems admin since…well, maybe since ever! And its constantly updated SQL tables will give you a whole new slant on managing your i.


Have you heard about IBM i Services? No? Well then, you’re in good company because apparently no one at IBM has either. Go ahead; go out to IBM’s website and search on “IBM i Services.” If you find anything, let me know because I sure didn’t. Yet this product looks like a sure bet to be a winner for those who are managing an IBM i.


What Is It?

In short, IBM i Services (which I will refer to as just “Services” for the rest of the article) is the brainchild of Scott Forstie, the DB2 for i Business Architect, SQL Development Leader, and IBM i developerWorks content manager.


In essence, it’s a series of DB2 views that look like traditional physical file catalogs on the surface. These views provide the consumable interface for SQL users, while behind the scenes, User-Defined Table Functions (UDTFs) provide accurate query data to the user. Most of these services return their answers quickly, and all of them can be easily accessed by SQL.


But We Have Commands

Of course, the way we have always gotten management information is to issue one or more vaunted IBM i commands or APIs, and that is still a very valid way to get information. It’s up to date, it’s easy to use, and we are familiar with it. But there are some issues that make going after info like this with SQL very attractive.


First, if you want to use an API, you’re going to have to write a program. With SQL, all you need is a command line or SQL interface.


Second, if you want to use a command, then the info you are going to get back is fixed. Yes, you can vary it somewhat by using the command parms, but pretty much you get what you get. It may be too much; it may be too little. With SQL you can use the Select, Where, Group By, and other statements to get just what you need.


Third, again if you use a command, then it may be necessary to use several commands to zero in on what you want. That means there is going to be some manual work on your part to pull the data from the different commands together. No way that can be fun. And it’s even worse if the command doesn’t have an OUTPUT parm on it. With SQL, you can combine data from several tables to get output that is just what you want. And you can then download that output to Excel or some other format so that it is ready to roll.


Fourth, SQL is a standard language across many platforms and languages, which means you don’t need to know really anything about the i to get the info you want. Even Windows people can do it.


All in all, while commands and APIs are great for some things, using SQL to access the Services DB2 tables makes good, good sense.


Fine. What Do I Have to Know?

Well, the first thing you need to know is SQL. And a lot of us don’t. But all of us should. You can argue all day long about whether embedded SQL is better than RPG I/O for use in RPG programs, but you can’t argue that a solid familiarity with SQL is a must for i people today.


Don’t have a lot of experience? Then download the DB2 for i SQL Reference Manual and get started. You don’t have to read the whole thing, but you can certainly quickly get yourself up to speed for elementary SQL statements.


Second, you need an SQL environment or tool to issue your SQL commands. One option is to use the RUNSQL command and type your SQL statement into the SQL parm. Or you may prefer to issue STRSQL on a command line and then key your SQL commands into the lines that open up. Each command is treated separately, and the results are displayed on your screen. Probably the best option is the Run SQL facility within Navigator or whatever it is called in your particular installation. One of the advantages of this tool, of course, is the ease with which you can convert your output to an Excel spreadsheet.


Third, you need to know the table names and the data that is associated with that table. There are two libraries on the i where this stuff seems to be located: QSYS2 and SYSTOOLS. Problem is, you can’t just do a WRKLIB and look for the SQL views, etc. in each.


Probably the best place to go is https://ibm.biz/DB2foriServices. This website lists the tables that are part of this feature and the libraries where those tables exist. Want to know what data is kept in a table? Simply click on the table name and you will be sent to a web page that provides complete information on the columns in that table and the information they contain. Can’t ask for more than that.


So give it a try. It’s simple, it’s sophisticated, and it’s another way to go if you are trying to dig up information on your i and how it is used.



TechTip: DB2 for IBM i Services – The Practical

IBM DeveloperWorks – DB2 for i Services


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Posted by Mario1 - 08/11/2016 at 1:21 pm

Categories: AS/400 Software, Operating Systems   Tags:

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