On Thu, Jan 7, 2021 at 9:23 AM Axel Braun <axel.braun(a)gmx.de> wrote:
2 days ago, Linux Unplugged published a podcast where they reviewed
(Review starts at 38:40)
The review was not as positive as I expected and it contains some general
remarks, so it makes sense to discuss it on project, and not on factory.
We may not agree with the remarks and findings, but we should at least listen
to them and ask ourself, how we can improve.
I try to summarize the various points for improvement (with my own words)
Website and download
It was noted that the download of images does not work under Chrome, so they
had to switch to Firefox
The section for live-images was considered 'confusing' as the hints lead to
the impression that not the full TW experience is possible (should not be used
for installation or upgrade of TW) - or that it may not work at all (limited
amount of drivers, may not run on all hardware).
-> What is the limiting factor to include more drivers in the images?
-> How can the live media be enhanced for full installation capabilities?
(enable online repos and pull packages from there?)
While the first power-on experience as well as the new partitioning tool was
perceived very positive, the installation process itself had several kinks:
- The reviewer is working on a Dell system with 4k screen resolution. The
installer is not properly scaling and shows all icons very tiny (complete EULA
fits on the screen). At the same time, there are some issues with the touchpad
(around minute 46:00), it is hardly possible to click a button.
-> Do we have a problem with 4k screens?
Yes. YaST looks pretty terrible on HiDPI screens (2K and higher).
- setup of WIFI during installation 'is really
old school' as one has to jump
between different tabs to set it up. And, finally, the WIFI setting is not
taken over to the installed system, so one has to enter it again (and he hit a
known Plasma-bug by this https://bugs.kde.org/show_bug.cgi?id=389052
-> can the WIFI setup be done on a single page?
-> can the wifi settings be transferred to the installed system?
yast2-network needs to learn how to configure NetworkManager for this
to be fixed.
There are two strategies for doing this:
1. NetworkManager gets configured with the ifcfg-rh plugin enabled and
we patch the plugin to look at ifcfg files in /etc/sysconfig/network.
This is an incomplete solution because RH and SUSE ifcfg file formats
differ slightly and there has been no attempt to rationalize them into
a uniform file format. This might be easier now that Red Hat is
actively working to retire legacy ifcfg-style configuration for
NetworkManager keyfiles, as the plugin could be forked upstream and an
"ifcfg-suse" plugin could be fully adapted for SUSE-style files. This
doesn't make YaST "better", but makes it kind of "work".
2. yast2-network learns how to configure NetworkManager via its API or
by writing native NetworkManager keyfiles. This is actually the
preferred way to do it, since the keyfiles format is the native format
and supports all the features of NetworkManager, including telling NM
to use encrypted stores for credentials. This is also the _required_
format for VPN configuration.
- there was some confusion around the activation of
online repositories during
installation from DVD. It is unclear where it is used or necessary for.
-> a clarification that enabling the online repositories gives a wider variety
of desktops and additional software should be included
-> this hits for some parts the recent discussion if we can include repos like
packman right at installation time
-> If I remember correctly, a TW DVD with online repos enabled installs only
if no new snapshot was released. Enabling the online repos on a DVD install
pulls most packages from the repository instead of the DVD. This is clearly
not a smart move, and I would consider this as bug. The reviewer had actually
the same complaint.
I agree with this complaint. It confused me as well when I first
started using openSUSE, and it surprised me that there is no
straightforward way to have both networking set up and use DVD repos
Installation of software
- After installation the reviewer obviously ran into severe performance
problems (where it was not clear to me if this was coming from Intel Graphics
or from free Nvidia driver). So he tried to install proprietary NVidia driver
and had the issue that his graphics card was mentioned nowhere and he was
unsure which driver to install ('this is managed on Fedora/Ubuntu with a
checkbox, Arch installs one additional package'). In the istallation process,
'YaST hangs at 64% for ages' and he was uncertain whether to kill the process.
-> can we improve the detection of hardware to recommend the right proprietary
driver? I cant comment on how other distros do it, but it looks like this was
In Fedora, we have this set up with modalias() Provides and AppStream
data with modaliases for the NVIDIA driver. This allows GNOME Software
and Plasma Discover to suggest the correct driver for the hardware.
Fedora Workstation has this workflow through GNOME Software for
enabling and installing the driver.
- the installation of additional proprietary software
(slack) obviously via
snap was not as easy as expected. I have a personal opinion on snap and
flatpack, but these formats are more to come, as a cheap alternatve if no
native packages are available.
-> is there a point where we can/need to improve the snap/flatpack support?
Wes tried with Flatpak and that worked, once he got a software center
working with Flathub. Chris tried to install the RPM from Slack's
website and it failed. The community repos on the openSUSE Build
Service did not work either.
One part of this is some dependency incompatibilities which break the
official Slack RPM on openSUSE, and another part is that we don't have
Slack in non-oss repo in openSUSE. Both things should be fixed.
They didn't get far enough to notice it, but neither GNOME Software
nor Plasma Discover know how to discover our non-oss repo and offer
the user the ability to enable it, like they do on Fedora. The
mechanism supported for this is something I'm building up with
rpm-repos-openSUSE, but I've got some ways to go before this can be
made to work.
In general the YaST Softwaremanagement was seen as
quite old style ('like we
did it 7/8 years ago).
A general point that was noted was that YaST's interface was confusing
and a hindrance to getting stuff done. I'm not sure if we can do
anything about it, though.
As stated in the introduction, we do not need to agree with all findings, but
we should listen to them. Some of the points, esp. during installation, come
up same or similar in Leap. With 15.3 ahead, we should look into this and
check if we can improve this.
I would recommend to anybody to listen to the review, and see if we can
improve. The just-released community survey seems to have some of the same
points (I did not read it in detail so far), like finding documentation (not
only for Nvidia cards)
I think it's important to note that both were basically coming from
this from the perspective of someone *new* to openSUSE. That is an
important perspective to keep in mind as we want to make the
distribution more approachable to the world.
真実はいつも一つ！/ Always, there's only one truth!