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Install defaults to Allow_Kernel_Updates=NO

Feature state

openSUSE-11.3
Rejected Information

Description

Make the install default with kernel updates off.

Create a  config file with a flag that can be turned on or off, that must be edited. Inside the file could be all the information needed for a newbie to do his/her own kernel update without hosing thier system. Instructions, links to forums, links to video card drivers, etc.

Advanced users could easily edit the file and turn on kernel updates after the install, but new users would not be blind-sided with a kernel update that leaves them in panic mode staring at the command prompt login, and wondering why they had a desktop one minute and a reboot leaves their system broken. If a new user needs a kernel update, they can do a little research and find how to edit the file, by the time they do it, they should have all the information they need to make an informed decision and be prepared with the tools they need to bring their system back online properly.

http://forums.opensuse.org/install-boot-login/432421-i-accidentally-updated-my-system-big-mistake.html#post2115813

http://forums.opensuse.org/install-boot-login/432378-updated-new-kernel-now-system-hangs-boot.html

http://forums.opensuse.org/install-boot-login/432017-serious-problem.html

User benefit:

We have lost too many new openSUSE users over the years because they did their updates and did not know that a kernel update would break their modules. Nothing causes more panic for a newbie than a reboot that leaves them stuck at the command line interface and wondering why their system is broken. Too many just do a format and reinstall of Windows and the last we hear of them is when they post on the forums that SUSE sucks.
For us old techs, this is a small problem and we know how to fix it, but for the newbie, this is a deal breaker. We must change our way of looking at these small problems and how they affect the new inexperienced users. We can not overlook these issues. We have to make them a priority.
How many new users could we keep, if they never had this problem? Food for thought.

Relations

Discussion


icons/user_comment.png R. G. wrote: (8 years ago)

Considering that openSUSE kernel updates are only for security patches, I think this is a bad idea. A proper solution to the real problem exposed here must come from other sites: the "fall-back driver" idea expressed on
#308935 is one possibility, but getting the open source drivers on good shape is even better: most users do not need the full power of nvidia or ATI proprietary drivers, so making noveau and co. drivers ready will be the right solution for most, if not all, problems generated after kernel updates.

icons/user_comment.png W. P. wrote: (8 years ago)

But what new user does not want desktop effects? They all want the eye candy. They get the proprietary drivers working and the next time a kernel updates they are left with an unworking system. Some of them come to the forums to ask for help, but many just "Format and Reinstall," and show up at the forums to make a post stating how bad we suck. The bad part is that they are right. openSUSE should never have left their system broken.

This can be fixed and I know it can. It should have been fixed, but everyone wants someone else to do it. For years, the blame has been cast at nVidia and ATI, but we have to take resposibility too. For you and I, this is a molehill. We can easily fix a broken module and move beyond it in a few minutes, but for the newbies, this is a mountain in their way.

If we want openSUSE to grow, we have to fix these little problems that turn new users away in frustration.

icons/user_comment.png R. G. wrote: (8 years ago)

What's your definition of "new user"? One that open a root shell and goes to runlevel 3 to run a script in order to install the latest nvidia driver or one that just click the "one click install" to enable the nvidia repository?

For me, a "new user" belongs to the second category, and under that category there is no problem at all: if the driver is not yet on the repository when there is a kernel update available, a big enough dialog will prompt warning about a missing dependency.

Don't get me wrong, I understand and accept that there is a huge problem here, but I do not accept the proposed solution.

icons/user_comment.png W. P. wrote: (8 years ago)

Then help come up with a good solution. This is thought provoking and that was the intent. I am happy to see discussion about it here. Prove me wrong or prove me right. I don't care either way. I just want solutions.

My definition of a new user is one that has just download and installed openSUSE and it is his first experience with Linux.

icons/user_comment.png R. G. wrote: (8 years ago)

What about an nvidia / ATI "pull-in". When someone enter a site that need the flash plug-in, openSUSE suggest to install the macromedia flash plug-in. Maybe (I'm not sure if it is simple or even possible, but it is an idea ;) ) if someone with a nvidia or ati cart try to run a 3D app or to use desktop effects the system could suggest to install the proprietary drivers
from repository . In fact, this "pull-in" thing could run on first system startup, right after install... or during it.

icons/user_comment.png R. G. wrote: (8 years ago)
icons/user_comment.png J. E. wrote: (8 years ago)

If you are only out for looks and nothing else, there are enough other distros to choose from. But you are trading out other benefits then, of course.

icons/user_comment.png W. P. wrote: (8 years ago)

So you are suggesting we have the newbies use another distro besides openSUSE? I'm not sure I understand this one.

icons/user_comment.png J. E. wrote: (8 years ago)

Having Xorg break is of course an unfortunate event, but rolling things on your own (such as recompiling pre-provided system pieces) is one of things that impacts or "voids your warranty". Enterprise users should know this best.

icons/user_comment.png M. M. wrote: (8 years ago)

Drivers for nvidia and ati cards are provided as zypp repositories with KMPs (e.g. for 11.2: ftp://download.nvidia.com/opensuse/11.2/ and http://www2.ati.com/suse/11.2 ). This means that should there be an incompatible kernel update, users will be warned beforehand. Compatible updates will just reuse the module. So what group of users is this feature targeting?

icons/user_comment.png W. P. wrote: (8 years ago)

But the new users are not warned. They don't know till their modules are broken and they are sitting there wondering what happened. I have volunteered my time in the forums since SuSE 9.1 and the story is always the same.

icons/user_comment.png M. M. wrote: (8 years ago)

Then the new users should be taught to use the KMPs that are made available to them, instead of compiling stuff manually. At least for ATI and NVIDIA, the drivers are available and yast offers to add the repository during install, not sure how many other gfx cards with proprietary drivers are out there. Leaving all users vulnerable can't be meant as a serious answer.

icons/user_comment.png W. P. wrote: (8 years ago)

Who is going to teach them? We normally don't see them until it is too late and they have a broken system. That is usually their first visit to the forums.

icons/user_comment.png S. P. wrote: (8 years ago)

Michal, I have to wonder if you've actually experienced this. You obviously haven't. You apparently believe that users are "warned." They most assuredly are NOT. You also believe that, if there is a problem, it's because the user "compiled stuff manually." That is NOT true.

I speak from personal experience. In the past, I've had to jump through hoops to keep my GEForce 6100 video working after a kernel update. I can assure you that I was never, ever warned in any way, either. One-click install solved a lot of my problems, but even with NVidia repositories selected and/or One-click used (which also selects the correct repository), there are still problems from time to time with a kernel update.

Once again, as requested here and in Wilson Phillip's other post: please, PLEASE go into the OpenSuse forum and look at all the posts from people with broken video. We're not making this up, and frankly, speaking as a loyal Suse user, your attitude is a little discouraging.

icons/user_comment.png J. E. wrote: (8 years ago)

Even if they were warned during the install, they most likely would just click it away. As usual.

icons/user_comment.png W. P. wrote: (8 years ago)

Are you suggesting that they are too stupid to use openSUSE?

icons/user_comment.png J. E. wrote: (8 years ago)

Not just openSUSE. But they are not stupid, they just don't know and thus act randomly. mmarek already said it: they ought to be taught. One warning does not do it, a constant nag is needed, and I have had success with both the iptables and kernel-devel packages, which received changes to error out on any unwanted invocation.

icons/user_comment.png D. H. wrote: (8 years ago)

Horrible idea, updates are done for security purposes for a reason.  If your looking for a solution to modules breaking on a kernel update then suggest that opensuse starts using dkms.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dynamic_Kernel_Module_Support

icons/user_comment.png W. P. wrote: (8 years ago)

That was what I thought at first. Think about it a bit and it makes sense. As I said, this will not prevent anyone from applying kernel updates. During the install, the flag could be set by asking the user's expertise level.

This is about keeping the new users and not having them leave out of frustration and thinking "SUSE sucks." This problem has been overlooked for years and we need to change the way we look at the simple issues that can be a deal breaker for the new inexperienced user.

Please remember that most newbies have never even used the command line in Windows, yet one update can leave them at the command line login with no clue as to what got them there. This is a problem that should have been fixed a long time ago, but with more newbies trying Linux, we need to make it a priority.

I am all for getting DKMS installed as well. This is to get the developers thinking about the best ways to handle the problem. After a bit of discussion in the forums, we all feel that it is fixable, but someone has to get the ball rolling before it will pick up some speed. That is why I volunteered to make the feature requests. Anyone could have done it, but no one had.

icons/user_comment.png K. Y. wrote: (8 years ago)

At the very least openSUSE should retain the previous version of the kernel and the GRUB entry so that there is a fallback if things go pear-shaped. I have always thought it reckless of SUSE to keep only the latest version of the kernel. Deleting all the old versions also gives rise to strange bugs like modules not loading until the system is rebooted which is mysterious until one realises what happened. Now of course the updater nags the user to reboot as soon as possible.

But still, it's a good idea to have a fallback so that the system can be repaired. Not everybody is capable of logging in at the CLI and running zypper to revert the kernel. Which wouldn't work anyway if the system is using NetworkManager to establish a connection when the GUI is started.

Is multiversion= in zypp.conf meant to fix this recklessness? Will it work correctly in 11.3?

icons/user_comment.png M. M. wrote: (8 years ago)

It should work better in 11.3 - you just uncomment this line in /etc/zypp/zypp.conf:

multiversion = provides:multiversion(kernel)

there is still room for improvement (there is no limit on the number of kernels kept, also if the new kernel breaks a KMP, you won't notice, because the dependencies are still satisfied by the old kernel), but IMO provides a solution to the "oh I compiled a driver before and when I boot the new kernel it doesn't load it" problem. It's off by default though.

icons/user_comment.png J. E. wrote: (8 years ago)

That may be problematic, especially when /boot is size-limited.

icons/user_comment.png M. V. wrote: (8 years ago)

Its better to focus on ksplice to take away the pain. Reducing security/bug fixing because of user problems is not a option.

But it could be a option to leave the last kernel as a backup. So you always have a old kernel. Have to increase the /boot size then though

icons/user_comment.png L. M. wrote: (8 years ago)

Somewhat related is this openFate submission:
https://features.opensuse.org/308467

icons/user_comment.png R. D. wrote: (6 years ago)

There's a better way to have safe kernel updates in 12.1, that's to enable in zypp.conf, multiversion kernel & multiversion.kernels = latest, oldest, running which would preserve a kernel with working X etc. See https://features.opensuse.org/312647 which requests this be enabled by default to protect the inexperienced, who don't know to install kernel-default or vanilla as a fall back.

Last change: 6 years ago
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