Few questions about installing opensuse on laptop

hi everybody! i decided to explore linux world and i have some questions about installing the latest version of openSUSE on my laptop.The laptop is Acer Aspire 5720 and i would like to know if i install opensuse(no dual boot with windows) will i have hardware problems with drivers etc.? for example the laptop has a built in camera and mic. ,will they work on opensuse?It also has wirless and some hotkeys.Will they work?
Please answer me soon! thanks :):slight_smile:


I have had two Acers in succession and the only hardware problems I have had were with the Winmodem and wireless five years ago. You may have to install a particular version of the software for your webcam but I would not expect any hardware problems.

In any case, you can download and try either the KDE or Gnome Live CDs to test all these things before you commit yourself to anything.

Do take the trouble to read the material for new users that is available on the site.

Come back if you think you have encountered a specific problem but I would not expect you to find any.

Most of the Acer hotkeys will work as you expect them to but I very rarely have a need to use them.

Most people will NOT have a clue as to what precise hardware is in your Acer Aspire 5720. So if you want a one-to-one reply then YOU need to provide that detail.

Why not download and burn an openSUSE liveCD, and play with the liveCD without actually installing openSUSE?

Did you read our laptop stickie?

It will point you to sites such as linlap on the Acer Aspire 7520 and there are other Linux laptop sites noted in the laptop stickie such as the openSUSE HCL page on Acer which has Acer Aspire 5720 entries.

Good luck, and WELCOME to the openSUSE forum.

thnx everybody! if i try linux on VirtualMachine and explore it,will i see hardware problems or i need to boot the live cd?

aaa also what is kernel 2.6.24? Does this exists on opensuse?I read that if the distro i will choose has kernel 2.6.24 or latest,it has many drivers and i won’t need to install them manually(for example the wifi driver )

A VirtualMachine will not show you as many hardware problems, as some of the hardware may be virtualized.

My experience is a Virtual Machine is more useful for playing with applications, but if one wishes to take the hardware “for a spin around the block” then the liveCD is best. Linux in a Virtual Machine will also run slower than Linux direct on the hardware. Note you can try the liveCD for openSUSE-11.2 and 11.3 milestone7 (which is not yet ready for release, still with many bugs). And there is also the much older openSUSE-11.1 liveCD which is still available.

Note that by default, the liveCD will NOT install software on your PC, unless you deliberately select the installation option. I recommend you play with it without installing the software.

How much RAM does your laptop have? Typically one needs at least 512MB for a liveCD and more RAM is much better.

I think you mean the 2.6.34 kernel. Yes, it should be better than openSUSE-11.2’s 2.6.31 kernel.

It might be useful for you to brush up on some openSUSE Linux concepts by looking at this page.

Before burning the liveCD I recommend you review these two pages:

ok! thanks! and finally one more question :stuck_out_tongue: what is kde and gnome and which is better?

I think he does mean 2.6.24, the machine is not new, found some reports about Arch and Ubuntu dated from early 2008. IIRC I have installed 11.0 on a 5670, not quite sure. I would say that all should work out of the box, except for the ATI card, that may need some tweaking. There’s these two threads I suggest you read before you start:
NEW Users - Suse-11.2 Pre-installation – PLEASE READ - openSUSE Forums
openSUSE Graphic Card Practical Theory Guide for Users - openSUSE Forums

They are both desktop environments. Both can run programs that “belong” to the other one, both can be installed at the same time, even run at the same time (for different users). None of them is better than the other, it’s a matter of taste

For info:
KDE - Experience Freedom!
GNOME: The Free Software Desktop Project

about testing the latest version of opensuse i have to download the 4.7 DVD or LIVE GNOME?

KDE and Gnome are different desktops. Take a look at that openSUSE concepts page I linked to above. It explains this.

Note there are more desktops than just KDE and Gnome. There is also XFCE and LXDE officially for openSUSE (where LXDE is being added to the installation DVD as of the new openSUSE-11.3 to be released in mid-July-2010). And there is also the SOAD liveCD with the Enlightenment desktop. Both LXDE and Enlightenment work well and VERY fast on old PCs.

KDE and Gnome as you likely surmised are the more popular desktops. Neither is better. They are different, with different development teams who have slightly different development philosophies. There is some history behind them, where KDE was started initially, but there was valid concern that the KDE developement tools were not free open source (but were proprietary) and hence the Linux community started the Gnome desktop which was completely free in both the application and development tools. Later on, the concerns about KDE were addressed, and the KDE development tools were made legally free.

Note when I say “free”, I don’t mean free as in “free beer” but rather I mean free as the the “free software foundation” definition of “free”. (ie free to copy the code, give away the code, modify the code, give away modified versions of the code … etc … ).

All of the desktops are good. ie Gnome, KDE, LXDE, Xfce, Enlightnement, etc … they have different themes, different look-feel, different features, etc … with different tradeoffs being made between ease, features, functionality, speed, etc … The assessments on this are all very subjective, and there are a MASSIVE number of fanboy/trolls associated with each desktop who take pleasure in flaming the other desktop users and causing general disruption to Linux. A sad but true observation about Linux. Trust me when I say there are all good, but you will likely find you like one more than another.

There was a time when KDE was more popular in Europe and Gnome more popular in North America, but I do not know if that is still true.

You can try each of them via liveCDs !! There is a page here with more information on the different unofficial community produced liveCDs available for openSUSE: Derivatives - openSUSE

If your PC has enough RAM, I recommend the liveCD. Do NOT install. Just play and test.

When it comes time to install, I recommend the DVD for installation.

Keep the CD and DVD afterward, as they are also your rescue CD/DVD.

Follow the links I provided previous for advice on how to both download (do md5sum check) and burn (slowest speed, high quality media, do NOT use RW but rather use +R/-R).

Download the Live Gnome CD iso; you will need some way to create either a bootable CD or USB version. You then need to select F2 when you boot your Acer and change the boot order so that the CD/DVD drive or the USB becomes the first boot priority.

If you don’t have over 1G RAM you will get a warning message but I have successfully run a Live CD, albeit very slowly, with less RAM. The Live CD version will not touch your hard drive or any other settings; it runs entirely in RAM. But it will probe all your hardware and set things up so that you can test whether it is working.

If you are satisfied that all is well, you can proceed to install by clicking the icon on the Desktop.

Once the installation has been completed, simply select YaST>Online update and it will download all the other programs you are likely to need which were not on the CD. You can use YaST>Software management to add other programs, multimedia codecs etc.

nice! so now about installing openSUSE 11.2 in my laptop without MS Windows(no dual boot and partitions) what i have to download? (i prefer gnome desktop)

I recommend the DVD it has both gnome and kde. Also it has more of the BASE system. In general the CDs have just one desktop but because of space limits you my find you need to install some things that come automatic on the DVD. Both the DVD and the CDs work fine. Decide if you want 32 or 64 bit. If you choose the CD and want Gnome just download the Gnome CD. Follow the installation guides posted earlier in this thread.

Unless you have a need for lots of memory +4gig the 32 bit version will be just fine.

Got problems come on back.

I have found that Toshiba are the most Linux-friendly laptops. As long as you don’t get the lower end ones.

Nvidia video(some are intel which run in Linux, but those cards blow), atheros wifi cards, I am not sure who made the camera, but it worked out of the box.

The only dicey thing was the audio which are generally realtek I believe. It seems to work ok, except the sound quality with any linux driver is very, very bad. With headphones it is better.

Some of the utility buttons on my qosmio don’t work in Linux, but they didn’t work in Windows either.

Laptops are such a huge crapshot no matter the brand, but there are some rules that help.

  1. Nvidia video cards-anything else is either bad quality or dicey driver support or both.

  2. Atheros wireless. There are other linux friendly wireless chipsets, but these seem to be the most solid. Avoid broadcom like the plague. That is a deal killer.

Conforming to that short list is no guarantee that everything will work, but it gives a 99.9% chance that you will avoid the most common issues.