Upgrade of desktop system to openSUSE 12.2

posted Sep 30, 2012, 2:15 AM by Webadmin Safepark Consultancy
Safepark have now started a circle of upgrades to openSUSE 12.2. The first system to be upgraded was our HP Pavillion Elite 430sc - quad core intel based 64-bit system. The upgrade was done as a fresh install without formatting of the /home partition.
During the install we could not get networking configured correctly, so the initial patching had to be skipped. After the completion of the install the network was configured to use Network Manager, and the system was patched with the latest patches from openSUSE.
Then a few additional applications had to be installed such as Google Chrome, Adobe Acrobat, and Dconf-editor. The latter application is needed to activate icons on Gnome, which is the desktop environment used most of the time. By default desktop icons are not activated in Gnome. After activation the desktop icons to the programs installed in /home/user/bin instantly became visible. 
During the initial usage of openSUSE 12.2 crashes of Adobe Acrobat Reader was experienced - especially during writing in PDF-forms. Using Evince this problem was not experienced.
openSUSE 12.2 has a very responsive suspend function, which is activated from the user menu in the top right corner under Gnome. The system wakes up by just touching the wireless mouse. Under openSUSE 11.4 the power buttom had to be pressed lightly - a behavior we have also seen on some Windows XP systems. As of this writing the system has been running for almost 4 days.

Actually it was installation of Windows 7 SP1, which moved the upgrade forward by a few weeks. Windows is rarely used on this computer, but we attempt to keep it updated using Windows Update and Secunia PSI. However, when attempting to install Windows 7 SP1 the install failed with a hexadecimal error message, which linket to some Microsoft support pages. Following the advice on these pages did not resolve the problem. Last week another attempt was done to google for a solution, and in a Linux Mint forum it was discovered, that the failure of the install of Windows SP1 occured because Windows was booted through Grub, and not directly from the C partition. The bios on the HPE system has an option to select the boot device before Grub, and using this feature allowed Windows SP1 to be installed without any problems followed after a reboot by more than a dozen security patches.
After installation of Windows SP1 and patches the Grub boot manager was no longer active. So for a few hours we could only boot into Windows 7. There is excellent material available at opensuse.org on how to resolve this issue - see http://en.opensuse.org/SDB:All_about_GRUB. Since Grub on the openSUSE 11.4 system was installed in the MBR, and this release of openSUSE would soon be at the end of the security patch periode a decision to upgrade was made.

Two other systems are waiting to be upgraded to openSUSE 12.2. These are also dual boot systems. One with Windows XP and one with Windows 7. We will attempt an in-situ upgrade of the later and report on the experience next month.