openSUSE 12.1 Release Notes


12.1.12 (2012-04-13)

Copyright © 2012 Novell, Inc.

Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included as the fdl.txt file.

If you upgrade from an older version to this openSUSE release, see previous release notes listed here:

These release notes cover the following areas:

  1. YaST AppArmor Configuration Module
  1. For Detailed Installation Information
  1. openSUSE Documentation
  2. GNOME 3
  3. PulseAudio Sound System
  4. Btrfs
  5. Windows Domain Logon with KDM
  6. Oracle Java Externally Available
  7. Removing 32-Bit XEN Hypervisor
  8. Formatting Large Disk Partitions on Windows 8 Server
  9. Configuring Postfix
System Upgrade
  1. Mounting Encrypted Partitions with dm-crypt
  2. Mounting Encrypted Partitions Using systemd
  1. Initializing Graphics with KMS (Kernel Mode Setting)
  2. Radeon HDMI Sound Output Being Disabled
  3. Booting with systemd or sysvinit
  4. systemd: Supplying Service Start-up Parameters
  5. systemd: System Shutdown
  6. systemd: Making Use of tmpfs: /run, /var/run, /media, etc.
  7. systemd: Cleaning Directories (/tmp and /var/tmp)
  8. CUPS 1.5
  9. The rename Command
  10. NetworkManager Command Line Interface
  11. rpm: %_topdir Changed for Non-root Users


YaST AppArmor Configuration Module

FATE Categories for AppArmor, YaST.

Find the AppArmor Configuration module now in the "Security and Users" section of the YaST Control Center.


For Detailed Installation Information

For detailed installation information, see the "openSUSE Documentation" referenced below.


openSUSE Documentation


GNOME 3 offers a new design for the desktop that is different from GNOME 2. As a result, and in order to have users benefit from the changes, the look and feel of your GNOME 2 desktop will not be migrated automatically. The System Settings can be used to customize GNOME 3, and an advanced tool (gnome-tweak-tool) is provided for more detailed customization.

The standard mode of GNOME 3 requires support for 3D acceleration in the graphic drivers. When 3D acceleration is not available, GNOME 3 then uses the fallback mode. If it turns out that GNOME 3 detects availability of 3D acceleration, but the standard mode is unusable, then you likely hit a bug in the graphic drivers. You can force the fallback mode with the "gnome.fallback=1" argument on the boot line in grub.

If you use the fallback mode, you can customize the panels by pressing Alt when right-clicking on a panel.

For a brief description of many GNOME Shell features, such as keybindings, drag and drop capabilities, and special utilities, see

PulseAudio Sound System

The PulseAudio sound system is now system-wide integrated and enabled by default for new installation. If you disabled it on a previous release, and want to enable it now, check the PULSEAUDIO_ENABLE variable in /etc/sysconfig/sound:

Set PULSEAUDIO_ENABLE to "yes" to forcefully enable PA everywhere. Setting PULSEAUDIO_ENABLE to "no" will disable PulseAudio completely, and setting it to "custom" means to keep a custom configuration untouched.


Btrfs is the next generation filesystem for Linux. As a preview of the new technology, you can create btrfs partitions or setup your whole system with btrfs.

Note: The btrfs filesystem is in active development, and check and repair functionality ("scrub") has been added just recently. "Scrub" is aimed to verify data and metadata assuming the tree structures are fine; it can (and should) be run periodically on a mounted filesystem: it runs as a background process during normal operation.

Thus we advice to carefully consider, which data to put on the filesystem, and follow the usual suggestions for redundancy and backup. For more information, see

Btrfs contains many interesting new features, including the ability to take snapshots of your filesystem. Snapshot and rollback is supported by snapper, and already integrated into openSUSE package and system management tools such as zypper and YaST.

Windows Domain Logon with KDM

The SUSE KDM theme does not allow Windows Domain logons.

To work around this issue, set DISPLAYMANAGER_KDM_THEME to an empty string in /etc/sysconfig/displaymanager to use the default KDM theme:


Oracle Java Externally Available

The java-1_6_0-sun package is not anymore part of openSUSE due to a license change. We ship the OpenJDK build as a replacement. openSUSE users who prefer to use the Oracle JDK binary version over the openSUSE OpenJDK build, can download the Oracle version from

Removing 32-Bit XEN Hypervisor

The 32-Bit XEN Hypervisor is no longer available. Use the 64-bit XEN Hypervisor instead for 32-bit and 64-bit virtual guests.

Formatting Large Disk Partitions on Windows 8 Server

Installing a guest hosted on Windows 8 Server may fail when a large virtual disk image (larger than 50 GB) in .vhdx format is assigned to the guest. To workaround this issue use either virtual disk images with a fixed size, or create the dynamically sized disk image using Powershell.

Technical Background about the Issue

The .vhd and .vhdx images are sparse files. When a dynamic .vhdx is created with a maximum size of 127 GB, the initial size is about 256 KB. Because the default block size for .vhdx files is 32 MB, writing one 512 byte sector will result in a 32 MB section of the sparse file being allocated. When ext3 is allocating the MBR, the super block, the backup super blocks, inodes, directories, etc., space is being allocated in the sparse file. Because of ext3's suboptimal IO, how the data structures are laid out on disk, and the default block size, a large partition of the .vhdx file is allocated just by formatting. The workaround is to create a .vhdx file with a 1 MB block size rather than the default 32 MB.

Changing the block size in the UI is not implemented. It can only be changed when the VHDx file is created through Powershell. To create a VHD with a modified block size, use this Powershell script (all in one line):

New-VHD -Path C:\MyVHDs\test.vhdx -SizeBytes (127GB)
  -Dynamic -BlockSizeBytes (1MB) -VHDFormat vhdx

Configuring Postfix

There is no SuSEconfig postfix module any more. Thus SuSEconfig no longer writes the postfix configuration files, if you set sysconfig variables in /etc/sysconfig/postfix or /etc/sysconfig/mail.

After modifying sysconfig variables you must manually run /usr/sbin/SuSEconfig.postfix as root.

System Upgrade

Mounting Encrypted Partitions with dm-crypt

On ancient SUSE systems, /etc/cryptotab was used for setting up devices with the now deprecated cryptoloop technology. 12.1 only supports /etc/crypttab (without 'o'!), which uses dm-crypt. Users who still have a cryptotab from the old days should run convert_cryptotab, which prints instructions about what to put in crypttab and fstab instead.

Mounting Encrypted Partitions Using systemd

If encrypted partitions are not automatically mounted when using systemd, the noauto flag in /etc/fstab for these partitions could be the cause. Replacing this flag with nofail will fix it. For instance, change the following line:

/dev/mapper/cr_sda3  /home   ext4    acl,user_xattr,noauto 0 2


/dev/mapper/cr_sda3  /home   ext4    acl,user_xattr,nofail 0 2


Initializing Graphics with KMS (Kernel Mode Setting)

With openSUSE 11.3 we switched to KMS (Kernel Mode Setting) for Intel, ATI and NVIDIA graphics, which now is our default. If you encounter problems with the KMS driver support (intel, radeon, nouveau), disable KMS by adding nomodeset to the kernel boot command line. To set this permanently, add it to the kernel command line in /boot/grub/menu.lst. This option makes sure the appropriate kernel module (intel, radeon, nouveau) is loaded with modeset=0 in initrd, i.e. KMS is disabled.

In the rare cases when loading the DRM module from initrd is a general problem and unrelated to KMS, it is even possible to disable loading of the DRM module in initrd completely. For this set the NO_KMS_IN_INITRD sysconfig variable to yes via YAST, which then recreates initrd afterwards. Reboot your machine.

On Intel without KMS the Xserver falls back to the fbdev driver (the intel driver only supports KMS); alternatively, for legacy GPUs from Intel the "intellegacy" driver (xorg-x11-driver-video-intel-legacy package) is available, which still supports UMS (User Mode Setting). To use it, edit /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/50-device.conf and change the driver entry to intellegacy.

On ATI for current GPUs it falls back to radeonhd. On NVIDIA without KMS the nv driver is used (the nouveau driver supports only KMS). Note, newer ATI and NVIDIA GPUs are falling back to fbdev, if you specify the nomodeset kernel boot parameter.

Radeon HDMI Sound Output Being Disabled

Due to problems on some hardware HDMI sound output has been disabled by default on the radeon driver, which is the default driver for AMD/ATI graphics cards.

It can be re-enabled by adding as a kernel parameter. In YaST, go to System -> Boot Loader, then click Edit on the default entry, and add the following to the end of 'Optional Kernel Command Line Parameter':

Then reboot to apply the change.

Alternatively, users can install the proprietary driver from AMD. For more information, see

Booting with systemd or sysvinit

By default, openSUSE now boots using systemd. In case of trouble, you can switch back to the old way using sysvinit by pressing the F5 key on the boot.

If you want to switch to sysvinit permanently, install the sysvinit-init package. To switch back to systemd, reinstall the systemd-sysvinit package.

systemd: Supplying Service Start-up Parameters

systemctl only supports "standard" parameters (see

You can bypass this new behavior by calling the start-up script directly, for example:

cd /etc/init.d
./apache2 <your_parameters>

systemd: System Shutdown

To halt and poweroff the system when using systemd, issue halt -p or shutdown -h now on the command-line or use the shutdown button provided by your desktop environment.

Note: A plain halt will not shutdown the system properly.

systemd: Making Use of tmpfs: /run, /var/run, /media, etc.

systemd mounts several directories that are meant to contain volatile data only, as tmpfs filesystems: /run, /var/run, /var/lock, and /media are those directories. For background information, see

Note: Do not store files that are meant to survive a reboot, in /run, /var/run, etc.

systemd: Cleaning Directories (/tmp and /var/tmp)

systemd maintains directories as specified in the tmpfiles.d directories and in /lib/systemd/system/systemd-tmpfiles-clean.timer. For more information, see the tmpfiles.d manpage.

By default, systemd cleans tmp directories daily as configured in /usr/lib/tmpfiles.d/tmp.conf:

d /tmp 1777 root root 10d
d /var/tmp 1777 root root 30d

Note: systemd does not honor sysconfig variables in /etc/sysconfig/cron such as TMP_DIRS_TO_CLEAR.

CUPS 1.5

CUPS 1.5 comes with backward incompatible changes:

The rename Command

According to the GNU Coding Standards, the rename command now treats all strings beginning with a dash as a command line option. To prevent this, separate the option from the other arguments with -- as follows:

for f in *.jpg ; do
  rename -- ".jpg" "-$RANDOM.jpg" $f ;

NetworkManager Command Line Interface

cnetworkmanager is no longer available—use nmcli instead. For migration information, see

rpm: %_topdir Changed for Non-root Users

Unprivileged users can no longer write to /usr/src/packages. rpmbuild now uses ~/rpmbuild by default. To change the directory add a line as follows to ~/.rpmmacros:

%_topdir /some/where/else

To use the subdirectory foo of $HOME add to ~/.rpmmacros:

%_topdir %{getenv:HOME}/foo