I’ve been using openSUSE for a number of releases now without real problems. It’s a great OS, and I’m really not tempted to try elsewhere. But my installation of 13.1 has given rise to a cataloge of issues. Some seem related to one application or another (counting KDE, YAST2, Firefox), although others are not. Yet the issue isn’t really one of installation, or of particular hardware, etc. This seemed the most appropriate forum heading, but apologies in advance if it actually isn’t.
I’ve installed a nearly vanilla 13.1 KDE from the DVD. I’ve removed a few packages I don’t use or don’t like - games, Apper and Amarok - and installed (from the SUSE and Packman repositories only) a few others I do - Scribus, Sea Monkey, Audacity, pdftk, Celestia, Requonk, VLC - nothing controversial. The installation sits alone on an HP G60 laptop, with AMD64 processor and nVidia graphics card. I’ve installed the nVidia drivers having first added myself to the video group. I’m using EXT4, with /, home and swap. In fact, absolutely nothing I’ve not done successfully for several releases already on this and another laptop, and on my wife’s.
I at first assumed that the issues I was having (description coming up) were down to 13.1, so in a mood of great disappointment I decided to go back to 12.3, which had worked beautifully. But the issues have followed me to 12.3 ! These are:
(a) I have KDE in folder view with my own wallpaper, but once at boot I was taken to the SUSE splash screen instead, having quite lost all reference to my wallpaper; and on another to my wallpaper but with no folders in view, and no panel (I just have the one panel, at the bottom of the screen).
(b) Installed packages are not always shown in YAST2 as having been installed, yet I know perfectly well that they are installed. A reboot corrects this till the next time.
(c) When scrolling a web page (Firefox or SeaMonkey) using the mouse wheel, it is only a matter of time before the whole display starts to jitter and jump. I suppose it thinks it’s refreshing, but it does so at the rate of a strobe - 10 or 12 times per second at a guess. There is no way out of this. The keyboard is locked. The only exit is the power off switch. The system boots up again normally, but it’s only a matter of time before… (I installed Requonk yesterday, and it hasn’t done it on that - yet).
(d) occasionally when I select a web search result, and click on it to be taken to the web page, instead I am taken - instantaneously - to a completely blank, white screen (not within Firefox, but a white screen within openSUSE).
(e) my USB mouse dies from time to time, and the touchpad remains unfunctioning. This behaviour changed yesterday, when I began to receive messages from the kernel, kindly advising me that it was closing the USB port to which my mouse was connected. After the message, the mouse died but the touchpad became functional. (No power management tools installed.)
(f) yesterday, LibreOffice failed to open at all. Rebooting didn’t help.
I’m not posting in the hope of receiving solutions to any of these individual issues, but I would be interested to hear from a fellow openSUSE user who has experienced something similar. I can’t help but feel there must be one underlying condition which is giving rise to all of them, and perhaps inevitably, I wonder whether it is hardware related. Perhaps my hard drive is preparing for mortality? Or could it be file system corruption? I haven’t had time, but at the weekend I will force a filesystem check at next boot, to see if anything interesting comes up.
The laptop is almost five years old now, so a dying disk would not come as a surprise, but I don’t want to write it off on just an assumption. There certainly is a hardware issue insofar as the laptop is liable to overheat when it is given some work to do - like install an operating system. I have to stand it up on books to increase the airflow to prevent it switching itself off near the end of the install, or during the so called ‘updates’ (seems like a reinstall lol!) afterwards.
Thanks for reading.