**I downloaded the OpenSuse 12.3 32-bit iso last night and used unetboot to install it on a USB thumb drive.
A friend of mine had forgotten the password to her Dell Inspiron Mini model 1012. Without her password there was no way to log into the machine anymore. It’s a netbook with an Intel Atom processor and 1GB of DDR2 ram. The Atom processor only runs at 1.66 Ghz and has a tiny 512M cache. It’s currently on of Intel’s coolest running processors designed to save battery life. It’s not a performance workhorse. She had Windows 7 Starter installed from the factory on it. This is the weakest (cheapest) version Microsoft distributes of Windows 7. Its a stunted version of the better known complete versions normally installed on desktop and notebook PC’s. The netbook came with the installation software on a DVD. But these Dell netbooks do not have optical drives in them.
I have read some many posts and reviews of light desktop environments like XFCE, LXDE, Fluxbox, Enlightenment, and more. Many of these reviews were done by people which had older legacy machines with low resources. They all claimed that KDE required to0 many resources for their machines. Many further stated that Linux would be sluggish with KDE installed. I have OpenSuse 64 bit installed on my monster HP XW8600 Workstation with dual 4-core Xeon processors and 32G of ram. It runs quite nicely.
So I put the thumb drive with OpenSuse 12.3 in a USB port and it booted nicely into the installer. I did a complete KDE install on this tiny little machine and the installation could not have been smoother. I was a bit reluctant to do this and had my doubts this would go well. Lo and behold! The tiny little netbook booted up with a complete install of OpenSuse 12.3.
After booting and connecting to the wireless network, I started to make a few adjustments to the operating system. I downloaded and installed all the latest patches and updates. I then configured the desktop to run OpenGL and the KDE effects. I was surprised to see the 3D effects were working smoothly without a stutter at all! The windows were wobbly, the desktops switched nicely on a 3D cube, and windows popped up quickly. Cool!
I then installed a bunch of other great software that comes bundled with OpenSuse. Inskscape, Kamoso, Krita, Kmail, and more. To say I was surprised at how good this all worked would be an understatement. The owner of the netbook was stunned by all the features and appearance of her new machine. I had a tough time convincing her that it really was legal and free. She had a hard time understanding why more people did not know about this.
She thanked me and I just smiled.**