There is another alternative to test the 2.6.38 kernel. Update /etc/zypp/zypp.conf to allow for multiple kernel versions:
## Packages which can be installed in different versions at the same time.
## Packages are selected either by name, or by provides. In the later case
## the string must start with "provides:" immediately followed by the capability.
## kernel - just packages whith name 'kernel'
## provides:multiversion(kernel) - all packages providing 'multiversion(kernel)'
## (kenel and kmp packages should do this)
## Valid values:
## Comma separated list of packages.
## Default value:
# multiversion = provides:multiversion(kernel)
**multiversion = kernel-desktop
Add the Kernel/HEAD repository:
If you are running 11.3, use the associated 11.3 kernel/HEAD repo.
Add the 2.6.38 kernel via YAST (or zypper) and re-boot. If the new kernel does not work satisfactorily (or fails to meet your expectations), you may simply re-boot, selecting your previous kernel from the GRUB menu. Of course, you may delete this new kernel (2.6.38) if your are no longer interested.
I have used this method with very good results, and without requiring more than a re-boot to return to current state. I suggest that you add NOTHING ELSE from the kernel/HEAD repository until you are sure that you wish to keep the kernel.
Further, my experiences with the 2.6.38 kernel, from -rc1 to -rc8, have varied from exciting to disappointment, and finally resigned acceptance. It has appeared faster, although has not been without quirks. The -rc6 version crashed and burned in early boot, several versions have been snarky on ATI graphics, and (most disappointing of all) the new and improved kernel support (NOT the Xorg support!) for the Intel GMA graphics showed up in -rc1 and -rc2, regressed in -rc3 and remains somewhere by the wayside.
I currently run 2.6.38 on 11.3 and 11.4 installs, both on an Intel i5-430 with Intel GMA graphics. As for the ATI graphics, I still test 2.6.38. I have two problems (which I believe are due to KDE) that may be sorted after a re-install. Once you successfully install 2.6.38, do a test re-boot back to your current kernel. THEN you will notice the difference!