OpenSuse 11.1 second beta
OpenSuse's developers have released a second beta of OpenSuse 11.1 after the first beta had problems and could damage Intel e1000e network cards. The problem, which appears to affect all Linux Kernel 2.6.27 releases candidates up to rc8, involved some unknown process overwriting the NVRAM settings of the network chipset which was left writeable by the network driver. The fix has been a patch to the network driver to lock the NVRAM and stop the overwriting. It is this patch which has been incorporated into this second beta and in the Linux Kernel 2.6.27-rc8 release.
Intel and Linux developers are still trying to determine the root cause of the problem, but believe that the protection of the NVRAM memory should prevent the hardware damage. For users who may be waiting for a more comprehensive fix, it is still possible to disable the e1000e driver by adding
broken_modules=E1000 to the boot command line.
The second beta has also seen a number of package updates, with VirtualBox 2.0.2, OpenOffice.org 3.0rc2, Gnome 2.24.0, KDE 4.1.2, Mono 2.0 rc3 and Compiz 0.7.8 all integrated into the release. The release also includes Live CD releases for Gnome and KDE. The final release of OpenSuse 11.1 is planned for the 18th of December, with another two beta releases and two release candidates expected before that date.