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openSUSE Tumbleweed was running fine until a recent zypper dup update, but now it gets past the disk decryption step and then the KDE startup hangs. A non-blinking cursor just sits at the top-left of the screen, and no further progress is ever made.

I can switch to tty1, login, and access the root directories and my encrypted home directory fine, so I don't believe there's anything wrong with the disk system or with Linux core. It's just the KDE system which fails to make an appearance.

One of the last things seen in /var/log/boot.log is "Starting X Window system". And in /var/log/Xorg.0.log I can't spot anything which looks like an error, the last line being "Suspending AIGLX clients for VT switch".

I have successfully run zypper dup from the command line, and other than having to change vendor from packman to openSUSE for several packages, nothing was unusual. But the update did not fix the problem.

I've also run the openSUSE live disk which I used to install three weeks ago, and ran the update and repair options, but that did not fix the problem.

Can someone give me a clue as to what to try next in order to diagnose and fix this sudden failure of KDE Plasma to load?

System:
* Intel Core i5-4460
* NVIDIA GTX 970 (using proprietary NVIDIA driver)
* 16GiB RAM
* Samsung 970 EVO Plus 1 TB PCIe NVMe M.2
* Gigabyte Z97X Gaming 3 motherboard

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I never got past this broken upgrade problem. However, the excellent snapshot feature of the Btrfs (now default for the root partition in openSUSE Tumbleweed) did at least allow me to revert to a snapshot just before the zypper dup which broke things. That way I could get back into the graphical desktop fine. See this page for information about openSUSE system snapshots.

Problem was that, no matter how many days/weeks passed, as soon as zypper dup was run again, the same problem would recur and the graphical desktop would hang on boot.

In the end I had to reinstall openSUSE on top of itself (keeping the separate home partition, to avoid having to restore that too). Now openSUSE Tumbleweed is running on the latest version and can update without breaking the graphical desktop.

Moral here is: use Btrfs with snapshots enabled for your root directory, and put your home directory on a separate partition.

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