Here are my experiences installing OpenSUSE 11.0 on my desktop PC (I had already successfully installed it on a VM). I opted for a KDE 3 desktop – I don’t like Gnome especially and KDE 4 is not ready for day-to-day use as far as I am concerned. <span style="font-weight: bold;">UPDATE 2008-07-17</span>: This may, in the end, have been a hardware issue – I reseated the cables and everything is stable at the moment However, it is easy if you follow the instructions in my previous blog entry.
Will I ever be free of Microsoft? Well, unlike many people I’m not really evangelistic about this. I’ll use whatever gets the job done properly. My main reason for ditching Microsoft products is due to their overly restrictive and greedy licensing without really giving real innovation in return. So why can’t I escape? Well one of the main reasons is that I am constantly faced with Microsoft products through my job as an IT consultant.
I was getting very frustrated with SUSE recently. Mainly because of the slow and flaky package management but also due to my scanning difficulties. So I decided to do a quick test of a couple more Linux distributions. Here are a few quick notes. MEPIS 7.0 Release 3 There is a password on the Live CD login with no information on what it is (guessed demo) Install to disk has to run as root – it silently logged when run as demo with no indication as to why In the disk partitioner, there were no partition names or labels to give a guide to existing partitions – both SUSE and Mandriva give better information No wizard to help install my Wacom graphics tablet (this works great under SUSE) THERE IS NO SETTINGS WIZARD FOR NVIDIA!
OK, so we’ve have the good things about openSUSE 10.3, now for the bad. The repository and package installation management in openSUSE 10.3 sucks – bigtime! I’m often getting failures to read the control files from the Internet (though normal browsing works fine), it is slow – really very very very slow, and you do seem to get weird dependency issues more often than other distros, there are too many fairly standard packages missing from the default repositories so you have to configure third party ones (at least this is often easier with the 1-click install facility now available),
It works well out of the box. Things it doesn’t do wrong I didn’t need to get round the GRUB bug since SUSE treats PATA and SATA disks as pseudo SCSI disks and nothing gets confused when rebooting. It didn’t kill my graphics card with a buggy NV driver. My Soundblaster Live card works correctly with digital output and everything. My old, serial connected, Wacom graphics tablet just works. Once installed, Compiz Fusion just works.
Linux is a very fast moving landscape so I tend to do a major update of my systems once or twice a year. Although I moved over to Linux at the start of 2007, I decided to do another move in December as my main installation was getting rather tatty from too much experimenting! So I went back through the distributions that I had looked at before, namely: Ubuntu (along with the variants Kubuntu and Mint) now at 7.