7-months after 11.4 is released and only then do I install 11.4 ? Yes - I’m conservative. Very conservative ! And after some hours I have to say it runs great !
Why wait so long ? I like stability. All the apps I want are now packaged (and have been packaged and running for some time, and many debugged/improved over that time). And finally this was a long weekend where I don’t have other commitments (which does not happen all that often). An ideal time for an openSUSE install.
It was a successful installation (albeit not a perfectly smooth configuration experience) of openSUSE-11.4 on my main PC - an Intel Core i7 920 with a nVidia GTX260 graphics card.
1st do Backups
Before installing I backed up. Not only everything on /home, but also key files from /etc and /boot. ie fstab, 50-sound.conf, menu.lst … and some others. I also put on a USB stick easy to get copies of my bookmarks from firefox and my /home/oldcpu/.thunderbird email directory. I made a list of the custom programs I use the most, to help me check off programs as I re-installed. I then I installed.
I unplugged my webcam before installation. I did not want it confusing the openSUSE installer as to the order of sound devices upon install
openSUSE installer installation
Now I have a test partition with 11.4 on it already on this PC and I’ve booted to 11.4 liveCDs many times, so one WOULD expect installation to be smooth. And installation was smooth for all open source aspects. Perhaps the only noticeable mentions were I did NOT use the automatic configuration, I selected a ‘new’ installation with KDE desktop, changed the kernel from kernel-desktop to kernel-default (my personal subjective choice) and I had to tune the partitioning to put openSUSE-11.4 on top of my old openSUSE-11.3 install. Since openSUSE-11.4 has been out for 7 months, the update download was LONG in duration - it took 23-minutes, and I have a VERY high speed internet connection. But I anticipated that, and use the time to wash dishes and do some household chores.
Sound worked immediately ! Wired Ethernet worked! Nouveau driver worked coming up at the maximum 1920x1200 resolution !
Argggg … Proprietary Driver Installation Problems
I downloaded the proprietary nVidia driver (NVIDIA-Linux-x86_64-280.13.run) and then went to YaST > System > /etc/sysconfig/editor > system > kernel and set ‘no_kms_in_initrd’ to YES. I rebooted, typed ‘nomodeset 3’ and after the kernel load the screen went black. No text messages. Nothing. It stayed black. It continued to stay black. After some minutes I concluded it was going to remain black. <CTRL><ALT><Delete> appeared to have no effect. I did a hardware reset. Rebooted, removed the ‘nomodeset 3’ and again after the kernel load the screen went black. No text messages. Nothing. It stayed black. Ouch. My face turned into a scowl and I turned into Mr.Grump in our apartment for the 10 minutes in which it took me to sort this. My wife retreated to the far corner of the apartment during this time.
I rebooted (hardware reboot) again, and I chose ‘failsafe’ boot. That worked ! … So, clearly I needed a boot code to get the normal boot to work. I looked through the ‘failsafe’ boot codes, trying to figure out which one allowed failsafe to work when a regular boot fails. My eyes settled on ‘highres=off’ and I pondered that. Pondered it some more and decided to try it out.
SUCCESS Installing proprietary driver !!
So I rebooted with the boot code ‘highres=off nomodset 3’ and after the kernel load text could be seen ! … The PC booted nicely to run level 3. I then installed the proprietary nVidia driver the manual way (used to be called ‘the hardway which is not hard’) and rebooted and the PC came up nicely to openSUSE-11.4 with the proprietary nVidia driver.
That black screen WAS strange - but it no longer appears and it is ancient history now with the driver now working with no such black screen faliures. I have a nice fast 1920x1200 resolution with special desktop effects on this KDE4.
Application install smooth
My remaining install was smooth - standard multimedia apps from packman (mplayer, vlc, xine, avidemux), microchips repos (xvidenc, divxenc, h264enc, audenc), plus installed skype, x11vnc (and tested it and it works taking over an 11.3 KDE desktop), nx, virtual box (taking over an existing Virtual install of another OS), wine (virtual dub with deshaker plug) … etc … My webcam works, My mic works. My wireless network printer works. My wireless network scanner works. Hotplug USB works.
I still have a few more custom programs to install, but overall (with the exception of the black screen of death delay) this was pretty painless.
My current assessment - its better than the openSUSE-11.3 KDE4 (also on this PC) that I replaced. I have the perception of a slight speed improvement. I like the fonts better (which is strange as I kept my old /home, but I figure the newer nVidia driver with the newer KDE is the reason).
Really like pulse audio
BUT most of all, and I know, this is absolute heresy to some, but MOST of all I like pulse audio on this PC. Sound worked immediately. Worked well immediately. I installed pavucontrol and configured 5.1 sound. I like it.
I installed the packman packaged pulseaudio-equalizer. Pulseaudio-equalizer looks like this:
[click on above image for larger view]
The control for that works well on this old Core i7 920 PC. Sound worked in Firefox. Sound worked in smplayer. It worked in Skype. First time. Every time (thus far).
This is only a few hours after the install. I have the remainder of this long weekend to play with it. I’m sure I’ll encounter some hiccups along the way, as I have some custom compilations ahead of me.
But right now I’m a happy camper.
Some detail on my system:
oldcpu@corei7:~> inxi -F **System:** Host: corei7 Kernel: 220.127.116.11-0.7-default x86_64 (64 bit) Desktop KDE 4.6.00 Distro: openSUSE 11.4 (x86_64) VERSION = 11.4 CODENAME = Celadon **Machine:** Mobo: ASUSTeK model: P6T DELUXE V2 version: Rev 1.xx Bios: American Megatrends version: 1108 date: 09/21/2010 **CPU:** Quad core Intel Core i7 CPU 920 (-HT-MCP-) cache: 8192 KB flags: (lm nx sse sse2 sse3 sse4_1 sse4_2 ssse3 vmx) Clock Speeds: 1: 1600.00 MHz 2: 1600.00 MHz 3: 1600.00 MHz 4: 1600.00 MHz 5: 1600.00 MHz 6: 1600.00 MHz 7: 1600.00 MHz 8: 1600.00 MHz **Graphics:** Card: nVidia GT200 [GeForce GTX 260] X.Org: 1.9.3 drivers: nvidia (unloaded: nouveau,vesa,fbdev,nv) Resolution: email@example.com GLX Renderer: GeForce GTX 260/PCI/SSE2 GLX Version: 3.3.0 NVIDIA 280.13 **Audio:** Card-1: Intel 82801JI (ICH10 Family) HD Audio Controller driver: HDA Intel Sound: ALSA ver: 1.0.23 Card-2: Logitech driver: USB Audio **Network:** Card-1: Marvell 88E8056 PCI-E Gigabit Ethernet Controller driver: sky2 IF: eth1 state: down speed: N/A duplex: N/A mac: 00:24:8c:7e:ee:38 Card-2: Marvell 88E8056 PCI-E Gigabit Ethernet Controller driver: sky2 IF: eth0 state: up speed: 1000 Mbps duplex: full mac: 00:24:8c:7e:ee:39 **Drives:** HDD Total Size: 1500.3GB (62.8% used) 1: /dev/sda ST31500341AS 1500.3GB **Partition:** ID: / size: 29G used: 5.8G (21%) fs: rootfs ID: / size: 29G used: 5.8G (21%) fs: ext4 ID: /home size: 1.2T used: 856G (76%) fs: ext4 ID: swap-1 size: 6.82GB used: 0.00GB (0%) fs: swap **Sensors:** Error: You do not have the sensors app installed. **Info:** Processes: 181 Uptime: 1:51 Memory: 795.7/5973.6MB Client: Shell inxi: 1.7.23
Webcam is a Logitech C910:
Bus 002 Device 002: ID 046d:0821 Logitech, Inc.
and network printer/scanner is an HP Photosmart Premium C309a.