Minimal install is GREAT! Thanks for the low-memories

Just a note of thanks about how much I like the minimal install option, and some comments.

I love how OpenSuse has made it a lot easier for low-mem / slim desktop newcomers by putting together all the necessary X components. I’m used to doing this in Debian strictly from the commandline, and while I think it is fun, OpenSuse’s minimal can get new users over that first hurdle relatively quickly.

I guess it is somewhat expected that a user of this type of install is going to hit the cli pretty often, but I’d love to see it made just a tad easier. Those few critical minutes after the first reboot might just scare away the newcomer. Here are some observations:

The minimal system on 11.0 comes up with the TWM window manager, even though the IceWM wm is on the disk. Ok, but unless you know how to resize a twm window by dragging the upper right corner, or clicking on the blank desktop to get to the xterm menu, one might assume that nothing is working. Therefore I wish it would come up with IceWM which is already waiting.

Once in an xterm, just edit /etc/sysconfig/windowmanager by changing the default window manager:

# Default_WM="twm"
Default_WM="icewm-session"

Making xterm look better:
Until you configure it, just getting xterm to be readable is in order. :slight_smile: One way is to ctrl-right-click anywhere in the xterm window, and choose a larger font size. Better, but still a bit ugly.

My favorite way is to just call up another xterm by choosing your font and font-size:

xterm -fa mono -fs 12 &

Ah, at least you can see what you are doing until you get around to permanently configuring xterm to look better.

Editors:
I love vi, and even found the joe editor installed. I have used both since '95, but really wish that the nano editor would be included to help out the new user.

I guess these are small issues, but boy are they going to help out guys with low-memory Apple G3’s and G4’s with only 64 to 128mb of memory and want to do something useful with them. I support a handful of these users, and am looking forward to getting OpenSuse on them, as the PPC port works great on my G5 iMac.

In the end, I guess one is probably going to use zypper or other software managers to get what they want, but I think that making IceWM the default wm, and adding nano to the default toolkit would be a great help for those new to the low-mem / slim minimal installation.

OpenSuse is impressing me more and more every day! I can’t wait to see how 11.1 goes! If anyone knows the devs responsible for the minimal install, tell them thanks!!

Sorry about replying to my own thread - it feels weird when I should edit the original :slight_smile:

I forgot to mention a replacement for top, especially for low-memory users. Yep, it should be learned, but my favorite alternate is htop. It wasn’t until recently that I learned that if you have multiple cpu’s just hit the “1” key while in top to keep an eye on them individually.

Htop takes care of that for you. :slight_smile:

Thanks for the great posts! You have company - well, at least, company of one (I’m sure there are others): I make a practice of doing as you described, regardless of primary DE. In particular, nano is valuable added with the initial install because it makes repairs from the cli so much easier, should that be required (the default cli editors like vi are IMO out of the question for new users).

Whoa - I just discovered that the gui mousepad editor is included, which could solve everything, assuming that X is properly configured. Nice touch. I used to install leafpad, but mousepad is close enough.

This is what amazes me about the minimal install, aside from the twm default wm - they have included a very wise choice of apps to help you get up and running. Firefox, although somewhat heavy, is nice to see, along with the html interface to Cups! That was one of my biggest complaints about minimal installs was that I could never get my printing support properly installed, let alone configured, so that made it hard to print out docs I wanted to study. Seeing cups preinstalled is another great decision.

Anyway, I’m thrilled with openSuse’s choices.

Wait till you see all of what YaST can do - a primary reason why I came back from Debian/*buntu’s . . .

I’m just now exploring Yast! Quite nice, although as an old cli-type, openSuse’s zypper was a very easy switch from Debian’s apt-get.

Ah, I remember well my days when I almost chucked Linux completely being forced to learn vi with Slackware and Sco right at the outset - although I love vi now, the joe editor, configured for wordstar as jstar, saved the day.

I wanted to learn *nix, but really didn’t want to climb the mountain just to edit files - that’s why I’m so in favor of nano at least being installed up front. Even the venerable BSD’s include a simplified “ee” editor.

Ok, enough of my rant. Had enough of the editor flamewars back in usenet. :slight_smile:

Back to yast!