Leaving Deb-by for openSUSE-ie Part 1


Around every 6 months I back up everything and look at updating my distro. My last update was in the summer when I tried updating Mint and ended up with Ubuntu.

Well, I heard on the Linux Outlaws Podcasts that some listeners said great things about openSUSE and how it just worked.
I got my Linux Format magazine and the cover disk had Mandriva 2010, Ubuntu 9.10 and openSUSE.

I had every intention of actually installing Ubuntu, but when I put the disk in the drive and ran the live version of Ubuntu I noticed that I had similar video issues to 6 months ago. I thought I’d have to go through that configuration again.
It did recognize the 2 Acer monitors attached but it did not indicate that it knew the videocard. I tried to use the configure display settings utility but with no luck.

I then thought to myself why not give the live version of openSUSE a try. The live version was KDE4.3.
Now it identified my video card as the ATI HD3450 without any help from me. It did not recognize the 2 Acer monitors. I was amazed that when I tried to use configure display settings. It worked!

So I tried installing from the live version. The installation is very similar to installing Mint or Ubuntu approx 20 minutes, but then it reboots and goes through an extra configuration stage.
An added plus was that it identified that I have 2 hard drives and that one is a Windows drive.
Mint and Ubuntu in the past have always needed some intervention to make sure it is going to the whole drive.

The negative was that the first time I installed it stopped half way through. I believe it may have been me knocking one of the buttons on my mouse and activating the highlighted button, which was abort.

After installation my first impression of KDE4.3 was that it was much nicer that the previous KDE4.x implementation that I had seen 6 months ago.

Then it happened – crash…Reinstall…crash… Reinstall. OK when you have just installed it is easier to reinstall because it is 20 minutes, whilst troubleshooting could be an hour. I did some reading and the live distros are only 686 versions and I only have 2GB Ram on this computer.
I like to watch podcasts so I need the codecs to play them. I downloaded the media packs. I now see the podcasts but with no sound. Bah!

Crash! I thought that perhaps the low memory and the 686 version combination may be making things unstable. I had come this far, I have everything backed up, OK so time to download the 586 version distro, give that a try.