OpenSUSE 11.1

posted Dec 22, 2008, 5:15 AM by Aviv Greenberg   [ updated Dec 22, 2008, 6:16 AM ]

My favorite Linux maker,OpenSUSE, just released version 11.1. I installed it on my Lenovo T60 laptop. The initial impression i got was awesome:
  1. The T60's ATI mobility X1400 runs smoothly with the radeonhd driver, which is supplied with xorg. No more endless battles with installing fglrx crapware. I did have to manually add 'Option "DRI" "on"' to my xorg.conf to enable DRI, but that was it! AIGLX loaded and ready for compiz action.
  2. The Atheros wifi card worked smoothly. Again, no need to install an external driver. The old Atheros drivers had this nasty bug that caused the chip to go wild after waking from sleep mode. I refused to install NDIS wrapper, and so i used to suffer from this. Now everything works perfect.
  3. NetworkManager - although i love messing with ifconfig, configuring wifi using the console is a pain in the ass. One of the things that make Windows usable is the ability to configure and connect a wifi link easily. It just works. Maybe NetworkManager is not new to 11.1, but using NetworkManager, i was able to set up wifi link in 30 seconds. Impressive.
  4. Fonts - OpenSuse is shipped with the Liberation fonts. Fonts look much better than previous releases of OpenSUSE. But still, i rather use Tahoma on my box. I installed the webcore package, and everything looks even better.
  5. KDE 4.1 - comes with the distribution. Fankly, i think that KDE 4.1 is bloated and slow. It does not give any real benefit over KDE 3.X and works much slower. KDE advocates always argued KDE being bloated, with KDE 4.1 they do indeed have a case. KDE 4.1 is notably slugish.  My T60 has a Core 2 Due T7200 CPU which is supposed to give sufficient CPU power, and yet the desktop responds to mouse commands with delays. My rant up till now was towards KDE 4.1 and not related to OpenSUSE, however i do have some complaints about KDE 4.1 packaging in SUSE. OpenSUSE made an effort to ship KDE 4.1 with "grayish" style rather then the black style that other distros (e.g Kubuntu) use. While one might argue which is better (for me they are both crap), i wonder why OpenSUSE didn't let the user decide about what KDE style he wants. Maybe there is a way, i just could not find it after 5 minutes of trying.
  6. Yast, software management. I generally favor RPM based distros over deb based distros, as i was able to render several Ubuntu boxes unusable after fiddling with package installations. Yast is the BEST tool i ever used for package management, and OpenSUSE 11.1 significantly improved its looks and speed. I really recommend using this tool. I once had to remotely administer an OpenSUSE box, and one beautiful feature of Yast is that is has an ncurses interface, so you can use it if X cannot be forwarded.
All in all, Linux is trying to gain Desktop market share, and OpenSUSE is definately a strong player in the disro arena. Novell suffered a lot of heat from the community for their relations with Microsoft. Some time passed since the deal, and i don't see any OpenSUSE users growing horns or anything like that. OpenSUSE is a polished disto, it comes with everything Linux has to ofer, it installs flawlessly and worked much better on my hw then any previous release. It is just great!

Hello World

posted Oct 8, 2008, 4:11 AM by Aviv Greenberg   [ updated Oct 8, 2008, 4:23 AM ]


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