MATE desktop, installers and ZFS

Tomorrow I am getting broadband again and so I shall begin testing LEAP. I am a Linux user of 21 years and I haven’t tried suse in about 7/8 years so I thought it was time I re-evaluate it against Arch, Ubuntu etc. I will be trying LEAP first.

Looking at the install iso I was disappointed that, as far as official ISOs go I only have the choice of doing a net install or downloading a 4.7GB ISO. Is see there are unofficial ISOs with either KDE or GNOME that are just under 1GB - that seems more reasonable but I don’t like KDE or GNOME. Is doing a net install the best way to install for someone who prefers MATE? Downloading a 4.7GB ISO seems like to total overkill as I’m sure not to use most of the included apps and desktops etc. Maybe there is a good unofficial spin of opensuse based upon MATE?

This page:

Seems to indicate that MATE 1.10.2 is the latest MATE version packaged for suse? Really? MATE 1.10 dates back to June of 2015 and MATE 1.18 is available now. I would’ve thought there would’ve been more interest in MATE amongst suse users than that?

Also, I know that ZFS is not officially and likely never will be supported by suse but is there an unofficial ZFS installer or a ZFS on root installation guide for the latest LEAP anywhere?


Might check GeckoLinux it is a Live version just under 1 gig.

ZFS I don’t think is officially supported at this time. Default is to use BTRFS.

Hi Gogalthorp

Geckolinux sounds great! I think I’ll be trying both their MATE and LXQt versions - I’ve not tried lxqt since its early days so its time I tried that again. However, if it defaults to pcmanfm for the lxqt file manager I’ll be swapping that out with Thunar, which is something I do under MATE too, instead of using Caja. I find MATE to be a superior desktop to XFCE but XFCE has the best FOSS file manager in Thunar since Dolphin went insane/buggy.

As I said about ZFS, I know what the teams stance is and I’m not expecting official support, I’m just curious if there is any opensuse root-on-ZFS guides or unofficial opensuse ZFS installers?

Is MATE at 1.10.2 under LEAP 42.3, under geckolinux too? How about under Tumbleweed?

AFAICS Tumbleweed serves MATE 1.18 …
Mind, Gecko Linux is a derivate of openSUSE Tumbleweed, built by one of our users, and not running in paralel re. Tumbleweed.

The NET install iso’s are small, and only pull in what your system needs.

I expected Tumbleweed would have the latest, but I was asking about the latest LEAP version. I’ve worked out where to fetch that info now

Seems 42.3 is bang up-to-date to with MATE 1.18 . Not sure what that ‘portal’ page I linked to in my OP was about?

I’m not sure about the MATE version the latest LEAP version of Gecko will include now. Distrowatch seems to think it is 1.10.2

EDIT: Distrowatch deets are outdated and date back to December 2016 for the LEAP version

Could it also be that Gecko (and opensuse) is still using GRUB 1 (0.97), in 2017?

Has the Gecko dev written a new installer for opensuse, tweaked the existing one or is it the same installer?

I think I heard he use a different instiller.

Gecko is currently still at 42.2 not sure when 42.3 will be available. Figure SUSE studio is still at 42.2 and I think he uses that for the builds

All use grub2 for a long time

Gecko is openSUSE all the same repos no reason you can’t upgrade from there.

Basically he cut down on extras and added a lot of the proprietary drivers for WiFi and the like.

Thanks gogolthorp!

Thats interesting what you say about SUSE Studio (and hence Gecko) still being on 42.2. I would’ve expected SS would’ve updated in sync with the release of the latest official LEAP ISOs but clearly it lags behind.

At least it sounds like upgrading is possible so it could be better than installing opensuse official from scratch. 42.2 apparently includes MATE 1.16 which is recent enough for me not to complain but for support / security reasons its prob best to upgrade to 42.3 straight away anyway.

I’m back, with 100Mb broadband! :slight_smile:

Now I have tried both the static (LEAP) and rolling MATE version of Gecko. I really like the Gecko / Studio / Calamares installer and I was impressed by the Gecko choice of packages but unfortunately MATE is borked under opensuse under LEAP 42.2, 42.3 and Tumbleweed. I have opened a ticket for it:

I think I’m going to do a fresh install of Gecko Cinnamon static (42.2) then upgrade that to 42.3 as I’m wanting to test LEAP primarily. Or I’ll just do a net install of 42.3 - that might be a bit faster.

Is there a tool for opensuse that scans for different package repo mirrors and picks the fastest ones for your connection?

I’m surprised how many steps there are in upgrading from one LEAP version to another - I expected it would be doable with a single command in 2017 but it seems you have to manually trim and edit your repos, then run a few zypper commands including the last at runlevel 3.

Gecko installers based on 42.3 are on their way, says the dev.

The only prob I had with the gecko installer is that the auto-login option doesn’t work but thats easy enough to fix post-install.

I’ve just closed that MATE bug that I opened earlier. My cursor was freezing shortly after MATE had booted but turns out that only happens when I install using Gecko. MATE/OS installed via the official 42.3 install DVD is fine, or at least the cursor doesn’t freeze.

I get the impression that only KDE and GNOME are actually included on the install DVD and that if you pick an alternative desktop it has to download it?

Yes usually best to install other Desktops after the main install. . You can always select minimal then install a desktop pattern

A few Desktop patterns besides Gnome and KDE are also on the DVD.
But, you won’t be able to choose from all alternative Desktops unless you use online sources, and for several numerous fixes were made after the DVD release.

So, there are plenty of good reasons to use online sources during install if you have a working network connection.
Besides, if you don’t use online sources for your install, you should update your system immediately after install anyway(not necessary using online sources).