Considering switching to Opensuse

Hello, I will first introduce myself as an undergrad physics student.

Since the summer, I have stopped using Windows OS and moved onto Linux based OS.
I’ve tried Linux Mint 16 and 17 Cinnamon
Ubuntu 14.04.1 LTS
Lubuntu 14.04
Debian 6

I have my secondary/“for work” laptop which is Lenovo T410S, I just swapped out my HDD to SSD and it’s currently running Linux Mint 17 64bit Cinnamon Desktop.
Here’s the list of issues I’ve had with each distro:
LM16&17,
The touchpad and keyboard does not get recognized properly and it arbitrarily loads some combination of devices at each boot and I have to use modprobe to unplug and plug the touchpad and the OS itself I am finding it relatively unstable lately. DE crashes almost daily now. (No solution in the past 4 months)

Ubuntu 14.04.1 LTS:
I HATE the Unity DE and it seems to break everytime I try to make any modification. (Issues I’ve had with LM17 did not occur here)

Lubuntu 14.04
It breaks on itself as soon as I run the very first update, upgrade and dist-upgrade

Debian 6
Very stable and standard repository is not as large as Ubuntu derivatives and I never had fully set it up on my laptop because I was switching from distro to distro quickly because I needed a reliable system within 3 days.

I have a one week “break” from school when I wouldn’t need this laptop to be functioning at 100% in the next few weeks and I have a few options:
1.ArchLinux
2.Opensuse
3.Give Unity another chance
4.Wait for LM17.1 and hope for the best

My laptop will be used for:
LaTeX, C and C++ editing, “ROOT” data analysis software, “R” data analysis language and software, Virtual Machine for Windows 7, SSH/SCP, Graphical Editing (Imagej or GIMP)

I am currently downloading Opensuse 13.1 to try out on Virtualbox but I never anticipated the issues I have with LM17 within VM because everything was loaded properly in the host Windows 7 OS. Would someone be able to advise me regarding what to watch out for if I were to make the switch to Opensuse regarding stability, known bugs, known incompatibilities and etc.?

My knowledge in Linux is limited to jumping from distro to distro (mainly staying with Linux Mint) for slightly over 4 months.

Thank you for your time
-SJL

All those are great distros too

IMO, your solution is to be found not in alternate distributions, but in establishing a open source purchasing mentality.

Having said that, you can often iron out some of these niggles with the help of the distro support forums. Have you worked with these?

Linux Mint and Ubuntu are very similar as Mint is built from Ubuntu and Ubuntu is basically Debian…

Ubuntu is usually really quite good when it comes to just working…
Have you considered kubuntu

But openSUSE is of course my personal fav. and choice.

Hello,

I have been actively seeking a solution for my touchpad/keyboard issues in support forums
http://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.php?f=49&t=173213

unfortunately without success.

Instability surfaced only last week and I know for a fact that it’s not a hardware issue because it has worked perfectly fine with Ubuntu (minus the failing HDD at the time)

I may try Kubuntu within this weekend but I was hoping for something with better reputations when it comes to stability because I am a little bit tired of re-installing everything more than once a month.

[QUOTE=SJLPHI;2669864]I have a one week “break” from school when I wouldn’t need this laptop to be functioning at 100% in the next few weeks and I have a few options:
1.ArchLinux
2.Opensuse
3.Give Unity another chance
4.Wait for LM17.1 and hope for the best

My laptop will be used for:
LaTeX, C and C++ editing, “ROOT” data analysis software, “R” data analysis language and software, Virtual Machine for Windows 7, SSH/SCP, Graphical Editing (Imagej or GIMP)/QUOTE]

The Lenovo T410s should be good to run any major GNU/Linux distro and it does have a pointer as well as a touch-pad.
Good luck with testing openSUSE 13.1 and please do raise any issues here. Some very wise and helpful users monitor this forum. You might consider adding Fedora to your list of test candidates. As a very ‘general user’ I run openSUSE 13.1 KDE on Lenovo X230 laptop with no problems.

In my experiences, stability is one of the primary reasons I settled on openSUSE, along with great configuration interface with Yast and a super-friendly, immensely helpfull Community on this Forum.

I have it installed on a multitude of machines, and I have set up a multitude of Linux newcomers with it, to their delight.

I urge you to give it a run and stick with it awhile to see.

Any difficulties, come back here to experience the help from seasoned veterans.

And, welcome aboard.

This is mostly opinion.

Forget Arch. It will take more than a week. It’s an excellent system for learning the nuts and bolts, but that takes time.

I’m sympathetic with your disapproval of Unity.

Obviously, I’m an opensuse user and prefer opensuse to Mint, though I do have Mint installed somewhere.

The kind of problems that you are describing are as likely to occur on opensuse as on Mint. They seem to be the problems of the software (mostly drivers) not yet handling the newest hardware. That’s a fact of life in the open source world. One sometimes has to make do, and hope that the next version will handle things better (it usually does).

I guess one advantage of opensuse is that version 13.2 will come out soon, and probably have newer kernel and drivers than the other systems that you have tried. But there’s still no guarantee that it will solve your problems.

As you are a beginner, strictly don’t go for ArchLinux as it’s command line interface (CLI) based on only. First try ArchLinux on a virtual machine and install it only when you feel comfortable with it. If don’t like Unity you can go for Kubuntu or Ubuntu-GNOME.

All your work requirements will easily be served by any major distro.

A piece of advice. Instead of jumping from one distro to other, settle down with any one distro, get used with linux environment. And don’t switch just because you are facing some issues, post in the forums for help.

Also before installing check the look and feel of distro and the desktop-environment KDE/GNOME.

Some praise for openSUSE- stable, good laptop hardware support, large collection of wiki articles, active forum support, a very strong GUI control tool - yast

It read to me at one point like you had success.
Personally I hate touch pads and all that and usually turn them off in favour of a wireless mouse. But that doesn’t help you.

It’s just something you’ll have to work with for the time being.
I’d prefer to skip thru whatever hoops are required in favour of a Linux install any day.

On 2014-10-17 16:46, vish 99 wrote:

> A piece of advice. Instead of jumping from one distro to other, settle
> down with any one distro, get used with linux environment. And don’t
> switch just because you are facing some issues, post in the forums for
> help.

My thought exactly :slight_smile:

Of course, if you don’t like the feeling or can not get it to work right
or it is too difficult, jump :slight_smile:

Ah, and 13.1 is a long term version, so if it works for you (SJLPHI),
you don’t need to reinstall for a year and a half more, close to two
years (making a total of about 3 years)


Cheers / Saludos,

Carlos E. R.
(from 13.1 x86_64 “Bottle” at Telcontar)

I used to like Mint but switch to openSuse when I got dis-satisfied with the look and feel of the Gnome applications.
I also had a requirement for encrypting the laptop and openSuse’s installer was the best for that.

However, if you like Gnome and Ubuntu you could try ZorinOS.
I have it on my wifes laptop and it looks much better than Unity!
http://zorin-os.com/gallery.html

I just finished testing Opensuse 13.1 on Virtualbox and I have to admit that I am truly impressed, one thing that I’d like to find out is if/how I can move an active application to another “desktop” or “workspace”(in Ubuntu/Linux Mint language)
I also like the fact konsole is there by default. It’s my favorite terminal. It seems that I will need to find my way to set up hotkeys and get used zypper instead of apt-get. I am finding that it boots a little bit slower than other distros with similar parameters which won’t matter too much because my work laptop has SSD. I WILL need tips on optimizing it for SSD though. Starting with partition management (I am likely to have 0 swap)

As I’ve mentioned above, for some reason the hardware incompatibility did not occur with Ubuntu 14.04.1 for some reason. I think I am going to back everything up and try on Opensuse at full scale next week.

Regarding my thread at Linux Mint community, weird part is that the hardware incompatibility surfaced so arbitrarily, I thought it was fixed until it resurfaced and the entire OS crashed and refused to boot.

One thing is for sure.
If you want to get an accurate reflection of a newly installed systems stability. You need to maintain a status quo. That would mean;
Install, Patch fully, add mutlimedia and additional basics, and run.
Avoid any unusual additions of non-standard or proprietary form.

One problem with distro hopping is you can loose track of the facts and never really get a feel for any one system.
On the other hand it is good for experience, and the more, the better.

Ubuntu’s UI just takes some getting used to.
But for stability I actually find openSUSE by far the best.

Well, I will admit that I am quite nicely settled in with Linux Mint, I know my around quite well except I cannot fix the touchpad/keyboard problem and that I cannot explain that recent crashes. I have booted OpenSUSE 13.1 using live cd without any issues but I want to wait to get 13.2 in the mean while I would greatly appreciate the following:

1.Setting up “Virtual Desktop” shortcuts
such that I can move this active application to the next virtual desktop purely using keyboard (I didn’t see one by default)

  1. Optimizing for SSD
    fstrim equivalent,
    partition management.

  2. I still need MS Word, I’m currently using Crossover 13, do I use .deb package or the red hat package?

  3. Environmental variables:
    For ROOT and python I have added a few lines to my .bashrc and .rootrc using “export” this=$OverHere
    would the syntax still be valid?
    I also have access to Scientific Linux 6.5 which are installed in my lab computers, one thing I notice is that they use sentenv instead of export and cshell instead of bshell

I am currently quite comfortable with the Debian derivatives but not with other distros.

I have decided to go with KDE desktop instead of Gnome 3 because Gnome seems almost identical to Unity.
I am currently down to Kbuntu and OpenSuse and currently Opensuse seems to have my favour due to reviews on its’ stability and I am hoping that this jump is the very last one at least for the rest of the year.

I actually halted myself from formatting my drive about an hour ago to get opensuse installed because as little as the 4 things sound, they are important at least to me.

  1. Don’t know. Not something I have ever had the need for.

  2. I don’t have SSD’s either

  3. There should be a .rpm or .bin

  4. No idea

Sorry I can’t be more useful. Standby for other replies from forum users.

Shortcut to move window (1) in your list.
Alt-Tab to select window, then use shortcuts specified here:
K-menu->System Setting->Shortcuts and Gestures->Global Keyboard Shortcuts
Then, in the KDE component drop-down, select KWin
The action is Window One Desktop Down, Window One Desktop to the Left, Window One Desktop to the Right, and Window One Desktop Up
You can reset shortcuts to suit.

However, I use mouse. Right mouse-click on top window border, then select ‘Move to desktop >’

On 2014-10-18 06:36, SJLPHI wrote:

> OpenSUSE 13.1 using live cd without any issues but I want to wait to get
> 13.2 in the mean while I would greatly appreciate the following:

Notice that 13.1 is mature, and 13.2 is “mint new”. Meaning, that 13.1
had most kinks ironed out, whereas 13.2 needs ironing for a month or
two, at least for my liking. Nothing special about 13.2, it is just
always like that. Problems are found just after release because that’s
when the majority of users install it and then they start finding
problems that the testers did not find.

> 1.Setting up “Virtual Desktop” shortcuts
> such that I can move this active application to the next virtual desktop
> purely using keyboard (I didn’t see one by default)

In XFCE, which what I use, “ctrl-alt-3” moves the current window to the
“workspace” number 3, and also sets that workspace as active. I suppose
KDE may also have something like that, but I don’t know. Some of this
things you can add hot keys for them as you wish.

> 2. Optimizing for SSD
> fstrim equivalent,
> partition management.

I can’t talk from personal experience, but I have seen some very recent
threads about that very question. Search a bit, you should see them easily.

> 3. I still need MS Word, I’m currently using Crossover 13, do I use .deb
> package or the red hat package?

If there is no specific package for openSUSE, the next choice is a
generic rpm package. A Red Hat package may work. The next option is a
bin. I have used crossover (test) without problems.

> 4. Environmental variables:
> For ROOT and python I have added a few lines to my .bashrc and .rootrc
> using “export” this=$OverHere
> would the syntax still be valid?

I suppose so. I’m not familiar with “ROOT”, only heard of it.

> I also have access to Scientific Linux 6.5 which are installed in my lab
> computers, one thing I notice is that they use sentenv instead of export
> and cshell instead of bshell

I don’t see a package by the name of “cshell” nor “bshell”. Guessing
that the latter is “bash shell”, the former must be some other name wich
I don’t “compute” :wink:

There are several shells available and you can install any/all of them,
and select anyone as default. Don’t dare remove bash, as then the system
scripts would fail! Just use yourself whichever you like.

> I have decided to go with KDE desktop instead of Gnome 3 because Gnome
> seems almost identical to Unity.

Whichever you like best, is the best for you :slight_smile:

openSUSE is different from other distros in that it is “desktop
agnostic”. You can install any desktop from the same installation DVD
(the BIG one, not the kde/gnome /demo/ lives). You can also install
several of them simultaneously. I do. I have kde4, kde3, gnome, xfce,
and others I forgot about.

> I am currently down to Kbuntu and OpenSuse and currently Opensuse seems
> to have my favour due to reviews on its’ stability and I am hoping that
> this jump is the very last one at least for the rest of the year.

Good :slight_smile:


Cheers / Saludos,

Carlos E. R.
(from 13.1 x86_64 “Bottle” at Telcontar)

As far as I know, Scientific Linux is repacked RedHat. But I could be mistaken.

I use c-shell. The actual shell program is “csh” or “tcsh”.

Yes, csh handles environment variables differently from bash or other Bourne shell derivatives/clones.

With “csh” there are two distinct sets of variables - the internal variable and the environment variables.

To set an internal variable, I use
set variablename=value
To set an environmental variable, I use
setenv variablename value

To get the value of an internal variable, I use $variablename
To get the value of an environmental variable, I can use printenv variablename,
or, if there is no internal variable with the same name, I can use $variablename

Examples:


% echo $TERM
xterm
% setenv TERM vt102
% echo $TERM
vt102
% set TERM=vt100
% echo $TERM
vt100
% printenv TERM
vt102
% unset TERM
% echo $TERM
vt102
% unsetenv TERM
% echo $TERM
TERM: Undefined variable.
%

You can see there that, at one stage, the internal TERM has the value “vt100” while the environmental TERM has the value “vt102”. This is a great way to confuse yourself. Most csh users avoid using the same name for both an internal variable and an environmental variable (except when demonstrating the difference).

With bash, if I export TERM to the environment, then any changes I make to TERM as an internal variable are automatically exported.

However, I am used to using “csh” from an era before linux existed. So I continue to use it.

The way I handle this with KDE is as follows:

I click the button at the top left of the application window. That puts the application in all workspace, and the shape of the button changes to indicate this. Then I move to the other workspace, and I click that button again. That toggles it to be only in the current workspace. The effect is that I have moved it.

Thank you for such detailed replies. I think I will be making the switch as soon as I finish coding an assignment.

Regarding moving the active application to another virtual desktop, I would very prefer it to be something that can be done quickly using the keyboard because often I like to write my codes in Kate and make my Konsole transparent and I can quickly lay my konsole on top of kate for mistakes then move it over on top of systems monitor to make sure that I’m not frying my cpu once I start the code (I do a lot of simulations and my last example involved generating 10 million events which kind of “froze” the computer for 15 seconds)

If that’s not available on KDE, I suppose I could try look into the XFCE? I only found Gnome and KDE from the big installation DVD.iso though.

XFCE is there.

Early in the install, you are asked to choose KDE or Gnome or Other. Choose “Other” at that point. Then, later in the install, click the “software” heading, and look for the XFCE and XFCE base patterns to select.