I tested various PCs with 11.3 Milestone-7 build-0625. The experience in many respects was similar to that of Milestone-6, although I did encounter a new 64-bit bug with firefox. All the tests below were done with liveCDs.
64-bit liveCD Experience:**
- PC#1: booted with openSUSE-11.3 64-bit M6 KDE4 liveCD on my 64-bit Intel Core i7 920 w/6GB (Asus P6T Deluxe V2 motherboard) w/ PCI-e nVidia GeForce GTX260 graphics. PC booted using the Noveau graphic driver at maximum expected resolution (1920x1200). As expected, special desktop effects does not work with Noveau driver. Sound works. Wired Internet works. But Firefox immediately crashes when run, forcing me to use Konqueror as the web browser. . - PC#2: booted with openSUSE-11.3 64-bit M6 KDE4 liveCD on my 64-bit Dell Studio 1537, Intel P8400 w/4GB, w/ATI Radeon 3450HD graphics . Sound just worked. Graphics booted with the Radeon open source driver (as evident in the /var/log/Xorg.0.log file) at maximum expected resolution (1440x900). The graphics came up with special desktop effects and was impressive. I had seen this behaviour before in M4 to M6. Setting up the wireless Network on this laptop in 11.3 M6 was finicky. I disabled kwallet, but there were still problems. I tried using knetwork manager to setup our wireless but it did not work. I did set it to automatically connect. Then I killed knetwork manager, and then restarted knetwork manager, and I then I had a wireless connection. A nice solid connection at that. I could not get knetwork manager to work without this convoluted scheme. There were bug reports on 11.3 M6 on this (with work arounds) and I did not try those. Wireless on this laptop is an Intel Wireless 5300 AGN and once it is finally connected, its connection is far superior (IMHO) to previous openSUSE versions. Again Firefox immediately crashes when run, forcing me to use Konqueror as the web browser.
32-bit liveCD Experience:
- PC#3: booted with openSUSE-11.3 M7 32-bit KDE4 liveCD on my 32-bit AMD Athlon-2800 w/2GB (Asus A7N8X Deluxe motherboard) w/ PCI nVidia GeForce 8400GS graphics. Behaviour identical to what I saw on M6. PC booted using the Noveau graphic driver at maximum expected resolution (1920x1200). Sound worked. Wired internet worked. As anticipated, special desktop effects with the Noveau driver did not work on this hardware. . - PC#4: I have not tested this yet. This is my wifes 32-bit AMD Sempon-2600 w/1GB (Epox EP-8K7A motherboard) w/AGP ATI RV280 (Radeon-9200Pro) graphics, but I don't have access yet. It worked okay on 11.3 M6 so I have high hopes for M7 . - PC#5: this is my sandbox PC, an old 32-bit AMD Athlon-1100 w/1GB (MSI KT3 Ultra motherboard) w/AGP nVidia GeForce FX5200 graphics and it had the same hiccups with M7 that I saw previous on M6 with the 32-bit openSUSE-11.3 KDE4 liveCD. It would not boot in any of the 800x600, 10247x768 nor vesa mode, each time hanging up when trying to run X (presumably the nouveau driver failing ? ) . I then booted to safe Settings, only to watch that 'hang' after a clock setting (same behaviour as M6):
[39.456766] rtc0: alrms up to one day, 114 bytes nvram
and as per M6 by pressing < ctrl-c> it restarted / continued its boot and eventually booted to X at a low 1024x768 resolution. That turned out to be the nv graphic driver. Fonts were bad on this boot (but not as bad as I rememberd M6). Sound did NOT initially work (unlike M6) and what was interesting was it put my USB webcam (which has only a mic) as default. But sound is not an issue as I can retune this in YaST and this PC has multiple sound cards which is difficult for any automatic configuration program to figure out. Wired Internet worked.
I plan to install M7 on this PC later (possibly this weekend).
- PC#6 - This is my 32-bit Fujitsu-Simens Amilo 7400M laptop w/1.256 GB w/Intel 1.5 celeron, and Intel i855 GM graphics. The i855GM causes MAJOR problems for all Linux versions with newer kernels, and thus far 11.3 milestone is no different - it has problems.
This laptop is currently running openSUSE-11.1 with KDE-4.3.5. Running quite nicely I might add. I previously tested it with openSUSE-11.2 and the Intel driver did NOT like the 2.6.31 kernel in 11.2 , requiring the boot code acpi=OFF.
I tried with openSUSE-11.3 M6 and obtained similar (albeith slightly worse) behaviour. M7 is worse than M6, in that thus far I can get it to boot to run level 3 but NOT run level 5. The “acpi=off” method does not work for me thus far in M7. In fact, thus far I can NOT get X to start. I suspect it may be possible if I install sax2 on this PC and try to configure the FBDEV or VESA driver.
I previous documented my efforts with M4 and M6 here: https://bugzilla.novell.com/show_bug.cgi?id=593463 . I’ll have to add an entry for M7.
Research has indicated that ever since the 2.6.29 kernel (or so) the kernel has an interference with the Intel graphic driver (or visa versa dependent on one’s perspective). A fix may have been found, and I tested a Ubuntu version with the 2.6.32 and a patch that worked. Still, I note this is NOT an openSUSE unique problem. https://bugs.freedesktop.org/show_bug.cgi?id=24789
Thus far, for my newer PCs, 11.3 M7 is positive. For my older PCs, it has problems due to
- nouveau driver does NOT like my older nVidia hardware
- kernel still does NOT like my older Intel i855GM graphics
Based on this (and with my still having one PC left to test) I predict that for 11.3 GM in July (unless there are major changes between now and then) we will see:
- ATI/radeon users with legacy hardware noting this 11.3 release is superior to 11.2 and overall a better release (albeit not perfect).
- nVidia users with old hardware may be very upset, as the nouveau driver does not work well for them, and these users will be forced to boot in safe settings/fail safe, until they can configure the “nv” or “vesa” drivers better, and until they can install the proprietary nVidia driver (where I note there is NOT yet a proprietary legacy nVidia driver yet for the 2.6.34 kernel).
- nVidia users with relatively moderate-to-new graphic hardware will be ok with the nouveau graphic driver.
- Intel drivers will be a mixed lot. Those with the newer Intel hardware (that comes with i3 and i5) will be happier, as that hardware does NOT work well on 11.2. But users of older Intel graphics (such as in my Intel i855 GM) will continue to be dissatisfied.
Hence like all releases before, I predict 11.3 will get mixed reviews.