I switched from Ubuntu 9.10 to Opensuse 11.2

My experience with linux and Opensuse 11.2

I’ve two laptops, my main one is Dell inspiron 1545 and for experimental purposes, I use Acer Aspire 5315. I used to be a Redhat linux user from 2001 to 2003 on and off, but lost touch with linux for the past few years. I grew frustrated with windows after my Vista recovery partition in Acer Aspire got corrupted and when I took the laptop for servicing, the service person installed a pirated copy of XP. The laptop constantly overheated and I always received all kinds of warnings from microsoft about using pirated version. I finally decided to buy a new laptop and hence bought Dell inspiron 1545. Too bad I didn’t realize I could have switched to linux.

I was suspicious about Windows 7 in my new dell right from the day one and thought of checking linux options available. I was surprised to know the the most popular linux distro now was no longer Redhat or Suse but a relatively newcomer Ubuntu. I installed Ubuntu 9.10 on a 40GB extended partition and was extremely satisfied with the ease of installation. The hardware detector told me I need to install “Broadcom STA” for my wireless card to work. I installed ATI driver from AMD website and it worked like a charm.

Like any linux user, I couldn’t resist the temptation to distro hop, so decided to use my old Acer laptop as testbed. The first distro I tried was KDE version of Fedora 12. The splash screen was very impressive and more graphical than Ubuntu’s, however the boot time was painfully slow and I ran into a dependency hell while trying to upgrade using Kpackagekit.

I tried Linux mint KDE next and it was impressive, but I was still not completely satisfied.

I then tried Opensuse 11.2 KDE and I immediately fell in love with the beautiful look and feel. I was so impressed that I went ahead and replaced the ubuntu in my dell with Opensuse 11.2.

However, it was not smoothsailing when it came to hardware detection. After a lot of trials and tribulations, I managed to download Broadcom STA drivers and managed to get my wifi working.

I realized that Radeon HD was installed as default and tried to turn on compositing. KDE got stuck and even after cold reboot, didn’t recover. I had to re-install the OS and this time I tried to install ATI proprietary driver. But running the driver install script threw up lot of errors and I lost my mouse cursor. I had to re-install the OS again, generate RPM for the ATI driver and install it along with Kernel source, headers, gcc, make, etc… Finally I was able to activate compositing.

I then installed Xen and when I booted to Xen kernel, my mouse cursor again dissapeared, most likely due to non-compatibility of ATI driver. I had to uninstall Xen. I then tried to upgrade the kernel to 2.6.31-15 and again my mouse cursor dissapeared. I had to re-install the entire OS again. I’m so frightened of Kernel updates now. I never had such problems with Ubuntu kernel updates, maybe ATI is more pro-active in releasing new versions of drivers when it comes to Ubuntu.

In-spite of all my hardships, I’m so much in love with Opensuse and KDE. I love it so much that it now runs on both my Dell and Acer. I’ve removed all the other distros from my Acer. It has been quite a long time since I tried any other distro and I don’t even have the faintest desire to distro-hop. Infact, for the past few days I’m so worried about the news of Novell takeover. I really don’t want Opensuse to die. It will be a big loss for Linux users.

I take this opportunity to thank the developers of both Opensuse and KDE for delivering such a wonderful product. Just wish the installation and driver support could be more out-of-the-box experience like in Ubuntu.

Sorry for the long post :slight_smile:

One thing I like about Ubuntu is, after every kernel upgrade, the grub gives a choice of booting to either old kernel or new kernel version.

Whereas, with Opensuse, I don’t get a choice of booting to older kernel version. If only I had that choice, I wouldn’t have had to re-install the OS so many times after my ATI driver messed up boot process.

Enable multiversion in /etc/zypp/zypp.conf

multiversion = kernel-default

or if you use kernel-desktop, change accordingly :slight_smile:

Wow! so simple, I was sure I would have found this if I had little bit of patience to search. Thanks for making my life easier :).

Did anyone succeed in getting the latest ATI catalyst driver (10.2 I think) to work with Xen-desktop/default kernel?

I’m curious about Xen. It was interesting to see Xen option appear in grub menu after installion. I’m wondering if it will cut down the number of steps to follow to boot a guest OS compared to Virtualbox or VMware.