Release Notes for SUSE Linux 9.1

These release notes cover the following areas:


3-D Support for nVidia Graphics Cards

The RPM packages NVIDIA_GLX and NVIDIA_kernel for the nVidia driver with 3-D support are no longer available as of SUSE LINUX 8.2. To install the nVidia driver, use the nVidia-driver patch in YOU (YaST Online Update). The drivers for 2D support are still included in SUSE LINUX.

UTF-8 Encoding is Default


Removable Media / subfs

Removable media are now integrated via subfs. It is not anymore necessary to mount the media manually. A cd /media/* triggers the automatic mounting. Note that media cannot be ejected while a program is accessing them.

vmware Installation

If you install within vmware, you should disable acceleration in vmware: Edit-> Virtual Machine Settings -> Options -> Advanced -> Disable acceleration Installation via NFS on AMD64

Installing on 64-bit AMD64 machines might fail if the home directory is NFS mounted due to a kernel bug. This will be fixed with the next update kernel.

XFS Filesystem Corruption

During a fix for a silent memory corruption in the X Filesystem (XFS) a bug was introduced that made the Kernel oops while mounting a XFS formated partition. Unfortunately we discovered the Bug to late to fix it for SUSE LINUX 9.1. Therefore we provide a Driver Update Disk with a hotfix. Learn more about it in our SUSE LINUX Portal:


Network Device Setup

The network device setup has been changed. Previously the configuration of a non-existing interface triggered initialisation of the hardware. Now, new hardware is searched for and initialized first, which then triggers the setup of the new network interface.

Additionally new names are introduced for the configuration files. Since the name of a network interface is created dynamically and the usage of hotplug devices increases more and more, a name like ethX is not usable anymore for configuration purposes. Therefore we now use unique descriptions like the MAC-address or the PCI slot for naming of interface configurations.

Note: You can use interface names of course once they are present. ifup eth0 / ifdown eth0 still works.

The configuration for devices is found in /etc/sysconfig/hardware. The interfaces these devices provide is as usual (just with different names) in /etc/sysconfig/network.

An extended README is available under /usr/share/doc/packages/sysconfig/README.

Sound configuration

After an update from an older distribution the sound cards will have to be reconfigured. This can be done using the sound module of YaST2. In order to achieve this, please call YaST as user root using the command yast2 sound.

Non UTF-8 filenames

Files on filesystems created by 9.0 and older distributions are using (when not set otherwise) non-UTF-8 encoding for its file-names. If these file names contain non ASCII characters, they will be garbled on SUSE LINUX 9.1 and later version. A fix is to use the convmv script which changes the encoding of the files to UTF-8.

XML Stylesheets and DTDs

The FHS now requires XML resources (DTDs, stylesheets, etc.) to be installed in /usr/share/xml. Therefore, some directories are no longer available in /usr/share/sgml. If you encounter problems, modify your scripts or makefiles or use the official catalogs (especially /etc/xml/catalog or /etc/sgml/catalog).

Codepage with mounting VFAT partitions

When mounting VFAT partitions the parameter formerly called code= must be changed to codepage=. If mounting a VFAT partition causes problems, check if the file /etc/fstab contains the old name for the parameter.

Apache 1.3 has been replaced by Apache 2

The apache web server (version 1.3) has been replaced by apache2 (version 2.0.49). A system update on a machine with a HTTP server installation will remove the apache package, install apache2 and you will need to adapt your setup manually. Configuration files that were under /etc/httpd are now in /etc/apache2. Apache2 requires either of the packages apache2-prefork (recommended for stability) or apache2-worker.

GNOME Update with Update from SUSE LINUX 9.0 to 9.1

After the 9.0 (GNOME 2.2) to 9.1 (GNOME 2.4) update, the GNOME configuration has been changed. The migration is done incorrectly during the first login after the upgrade and is partially irreversible.

With YOU a patch is installed that fixes the problem. In a forthcoming SDB article you will find a desription of how to fix the configuration in case GNOME was started without the patch.

Raw Devices

There have been significant changes in the implementation of raw devices. For more details, see /usr/share/doc/packages/util-linux/README.raw which is provided in the util-linux package.


Setting up an Installation Source for YaST

Information on how to set up an installation source that can be used by YaST can be found under:

New Type of Installation Source: SLP

New feature: linuxrc understands a new installation source, slp. If you select install=slp at the bootloader prompt, linuxrc will send a SLP (Service Location Protocol) request for service install.suse to the network and prompt you to select an entry from the list of returned URLs. See RFC 2608 and for more information on SLP.


OpenSSH Updated to Version 3.8p1

The gssapi support has been replaced with the gssapi-with-mic to fix possible MITM attacks. These two versions are not compatible. This means that you cannot authenticate from older distributions by kerberos tickets as different methods for authentication are used.

libiodbc has been Dropped

People using FreeRADIUS now have to link against unixODBC as libiodbc has been dropped.

Change in Resolver Library

Incompatible change: the resolver library treats the .local top level domain as link-local domain and sends multicast DNS requests to the multicast address port 5353 instead of normal DNS requests. If you already use the .local domain in your nameserver configuration you will have to switch to another domain name. See for more information on multicast DNS.

Support for Intel PRO/Wireless 2100 (aka Centrino)

There is now experimental support for Intel Centrino WLAN adapters. The driver is not complete, WEP support and operation modes other than managed are missing.


Various services can be announced over SLP. One has to install the openslp-server and start the slpd service. SLP is currently supported by cupsd, rsyncd, ypserv, openldap2, ksysguardd, saned, kdm VNC login, krfb, distccd, smpppd, rpasswd, postfix, sshd and kpf.

Konqueror: kio_slp

The new network browser shown on the desktop can be used to display and use services based on SLP and MDNS. Apart from the service:/ URLs also the following types are supported: "slp:/" to browse SLP services. "mdns:/" to browse multicast-DNS services.

SSH and Terminal Applications

When using remote access (notably SSH, telnet and RSH) between 9.1 (in its default configuration with UTF-8 enabled) and older systems (9.0 and lower, where UTF-8 is not enabled by default or not supported), terminal applications might display garbled characters.

This is because OpenSSH does not forward locale settings so that system-defaults are used which might not match the remote terminal settings. This affects text mode YaST and applications run remotely as non-root user. The applications run as root are only affected when the users changes the default locales for root (only LC_CTYPE is set by default).

Applications using ncurses

If problems occur with ncurses based applications running on the text console then simply issuing unicode_stop (reverting keyboard and console from unicode mode) should usually provide a fix.


SUSE LINUX 9.1 / SLES 9 features a new pthread implementation called NPTL, which is faster and better than the old implementation called linuxthreads.

If your old program is incompatible with this new threading implementation, we also provide the old one. To switch to the old version, set the environment variable LD_ASSUME_KERNEL to 2.4.21 by using (e.g.) export LD_ASSUME_KERNEL=2.4.21 in bash.


SuSEplugger now supports drive notifications and therefore does not poll the devices. Drives that fail to support notification might not react. A workaround is to enable polling to get back the old behavior.

Printer Configuration

For information about the changes with printing see

Standby/Suspend with ACPI

With the new kernel 2.6 standby/suspend is now supported with ACPI. Note that this feature is still experimental and not supported by all hardware. To use it you need the package powersave. Further information about the package can be found under /usr/share/doc/packages/powersave. A graphical front end can be found in the package kpowersave.

Wireless LAN Cards

Some wireless LAN cards (PrismGT, Centrino, Atmel, ACX100) need firmware to operate. Due to licensing issues we can not ship these firmware binaries. Please read /usr/share/doc/packages/wireless-tools/README.firmware for information on how to obtain and install the firmware.

X Server Does Not Listen on Port 6000

Fresh SUSE Linux installations default to a secure setup of the system to limit possible security concerns to the bare minimum. The ongoing development of the product results in improvements that are not always visible, but that are useful for security. This text is to inform you that the X Server does not listen on port 6000+/tcp any more.

The X Window System uses TCP protocol starting at port 6000, plus the display number used in the X session, to allow for a client to display its window over a network connection, thereby providing network transparency for the X Window System. While using reasonably strong authentication methods to approve or reject client connections which default to deny access to the display, the X Server still exposes port 6000+/tcp on the network. While the use of bare, unencrypted X Windows network protocol can be considered secure enough on a trusted network, it is not reasonable to even offer the service on an untrusted/hostile network environment. Therefore, the new setup defaults to not listen on port 6000+/tcp any more.

As a side effect, one of the two authentication mechanisms in X Windows, the host based authentication using the xhost(1) command, becomes nearly meaningless as only clients that make use of the (local) unix domain socket can connect to the X Server, regardless of the list of remote hosts displayed by the xhost command. The cookie-based X Windows client authentication method remains unchanged.

This means that the command xhost +<hostname> allows clients executed by users not in possession of the necessary credentials for other authentication methods can connect to the Xserver only when started locally (ie. on the same machine the X server runs on).

Network transparency is one of the key strengths of the X Window System, and despite the change in the default setup, there is no need to abstain from it. Either you revert the change on your system by changing the variable DISPLAYMANAGER_XSERVER_TCP_PORT_6000_OPEN in /etc/sysconfig/displaymanager, or you use the ssh command from the openssh package to log on to a remote system. The ssh utility allows for the forwarding of X client connections through the encrypted ssh connection, without the need to set DISPLAY variables or the use of the xhost command. The use of ssh with X11 client connection forwarding is the recommended method to make use of the network transparency of the X Window System.