Updates to Alpine Linux and SUSE

Alpine Linux has been updated to 3.11.0. One of the musl-based releases, 3.11 updates to Linux 5.4.5, musl libc 1.1.24, gcc 9.2.0, LLVM 9.0.0 and Busybox 1.31.1. The release also features "initial GNOME and KDE support": remember, one of its selling points is its size, achieved partially by not shipping with any desktop environment, though I imagine quite a few use Xfce. The release also adds Vulkan support, and Rust on all supported architectures except s390x. Multiple install options are available for ppc64le.

Also recently updated is SUSE Linux Enterprise 12 Service Pack 5. POWER9 has been supported on SUSE since 12 SP3, and should boot on a vanilla PowerNV system like the Raptor family (if you are running SUSE or its free tier, openSUSE LEAP on Raptor hardware, post in the comments). SUSE Linux Enterprise is available (both 12 SP5 and 15 SP1) with a 60-day free trial.


  1. I'm using openSUSE LEAP 15.1 as my main OS on a Raptor Blackbird (note: at the time of its release, the Blackbird was not yet available, so I would expect that it carries no specific fixes or improvements for it).

    Setup works out of the box (including the graphical installer on the onboard output - I haven't tried it on AMD). Basic X11 as well as KDE/GNOME options are available.

    For AMD GPUs, you will probably have to compile an updated kernel (shipping with 4.12) as well as Mesa, which would otherwise lack accelerated drivers. I have not tried Wayland much on this machine, but it would not show up in GDM. To get it to work, I had to do the following IIRC:
    1. Set the mainboard jumper to disable onboard HDMI.
    2. Edit /usr/lib/udev/rules.d/61-gdm.rules to remove a special rule disabling Wayland in the presence of AST graphics (this appears necessary because the PCIe endpoint still appears even if disabled).

    Most packages I use are available for ppc64le. Notably absent was LibreOffice, probably due to the build failing with the default configuration. I had to compile it manually.

    Other than that, it has mostly been smooth sailing; user experience is very comparable to my x86 Laptop. With openSUSE likely not being the most popular choice on desktop POWER (I certainly haven't heard anything from other users!), I'm quite happy with the distro's performance on this relatively new platform.

    1. Yeah, I think you're the first I've heard from. Still, very good to hear it basically works with a little tweaking.


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