Though I will not expect it is related to the kernel, a new 'zypper up' of a bunch of packages from Factory this afternoon caused a partly broken Gnome 2.32.1 desktop for me.
Most launchers on the Gnome panel and on the desktop itself, lost their icon images (became just grey).
The desktop changed to 'no background'. That is to the plain saturated filled green color. No other background was available. Before this the background had been the 'openSUSE IK' slideshow as default on 11.3.
Rgds, Terje J. Hanssen