Nice Work

Hi guys,

I’ve been running openSUSE-11.2 for a couple of weeks now. While I won’t comment about my experiences with KDE, I just want to say that overall, the work being done is very impressive indeed. So thanks!!

Last week, I came out with a lot of hard-hitting comments about desktops, installation, etc. And I stand by those comments. But even so, I never meant for my criticisms to overshadow the very real achievement that openSUSE represents. The fact that I was able to install it and use it right away for practical work is remarkable! And overall, the attention to detail is extraordinary. So, good job, everyone, good job!

That said, I have a few notes here for people to keep in mind:

The operating system and the graphical interface are TWO DIFFERENT THINGS. While I appreciate and respect the fact that everyone measures an OS by look-and-feel, I think Linux users should hold themselves to a higher standard than that. There’s no reason, for example, that the latest and greatest distros should not support minimal installs, with desktops that can run on virtually any PC that is still physically able to boot.

For that reason, I’m very disappointed that I can’t reasonably install many of the current distros on my older computer. If someone knows any specific reasons why it takes 256+ MB of RAM to run Linux… AND why I can’t simply opt out of that extra functionality if I so choose… then please let me know. Not being given a choice in the matter leaves me feeling, well, very limited. And if I wanted to feel limited, I would run Windows.

As far as network connectivity is concerned, I also find it alarming that people seem to take it for granted when installing and using Linux. There seems to be a certain Apple-induced mindset at work here, where people want to be able to add new applications and get at new downloads as easily as they use the pre-installed applications. On one hand, that’s a great feature, but on the other hand, it’s a nuisance, particularly if it prevents me from installing the OS on a standalone system. All I’m asking for here is freedom of choice. Despite all of the warnings in pop culture the last several years about where we’re headed with our mass-consumption mentality, it seems that some people are only too willing to walk with the herd. Again, though, I think Linux users should hold themselves to a higher standard. To me, Linux does not represent the “latest and greatest”, it represents the “oldest and best.” If I’ve been misinformed, then by all means, somebody, please direct me to whatever other distribution better reflects my ideals.

Overall, you guys have done great work. I just hope you’ll keep these key issues in mind moving forward.

THANKS!

To me, Linux does not represent the “latest and greatest”, it represents the “oldest and best.” If I’ve been misinformed, then by all means, somebody, please direct me to whatever other distribution better reflects my ideals.

In respect of openSUSE, I believe you are misinformed. In every respect openSUSE does aim for the latest and greatest (but with stability in mind), so I’m not talking latest and greatest as in a Debian ‘sid’ install. But certainly the latest and greatest within the boundaries of it’s release schedule.
And Re: Moving forward… Unfortunately it does mean archaic, mothballed equipment will need to find their resting place.

You obviously didn’t take much time reading or thinking about the words you were replying to.

In essence, Linux is not just for people like you, who consider a machine with less than 256 MB of RAM to be “mothballed.” It’s also for people like me, who know how lean and efficient it is, and who simply want that leanness and efficiency to be reflected in how it is installed and managed via the desktop interface.

I think you took my words to mean that I don’t think Linux is the best. On the contrary, I do think Linux is the best. I just want it to continue to work on older systems, which it is perfectly capable of doing (if managed properly). I love nice graphics, but I love an operating system that works everywhere EVEN MORE.

On Wed, 28 Jul 2010 04:06:02 +0000, unbuhleevubble wrote:

> Hi guys,
>
> I’ve been running openSUSE-11.2 for a couple of weeks now. While I
> won’t comment about my experiences with KDE, I just want to say that
> overall, the work being done is very impressive indeed. So thanks!!
>
> Last week, I came out with a lot of hard-hitting comments about
> desktops, installation, etc. And I stand by those comments. But even
> so, I never meant for my criticisms to overshadow the very real
> achievement that openSUSE represents. The fact that I was able to
> install it and use it right away for practical work is remarkable! And
> overall, the attention to detail is extraordinary. So, good job,
> everyone, good job!

First off, welcome back! I’m glad to see you’ve returned, because I
think you raise some valid questions and concerns - in fact, after your
last visit here, I did a little testing of my own with regards to minimal
installs, and I was honestly a little surprised at what it took to get an
actual minimal install with no X installed. But more on that below.

> That said, I have a few notes here for people to keep in mind:
>
> The operating system and the graphical interface are TWO DIFFERENT
> THINGS. While I appreciate and respect the fact that everyone measures
> an OS by look-and-feel, I think Linux users should hold themselves to a
> higher standard than that. There’s no reason, for example, that the
> latest and greatest distros should not support minimal installs, with
> desktops that can run on virtually any PC that is still physically able
> to boot.

Absolutely agreed for my part. I had started just by playing around with
the stock 11.3 installation, and I found that even in the “minimal (text
mode)” install, Xorg was installed and enabled by default. It wasn’t
difficult to remove (it just took an ‘rpm -qa | grep -i xorg | xargs
zypper rm’ and all the other dependencies were removed as well), but I
don’t think that should’ve been necessary, so I’m going to pursue that
one myself, probably by opening a bug since the behaviour wasn’t what I
expected. There were differences between the “Minimal X” install and the
“Minimal (text mode)” install, and I did actually make a note of them.

I also tried using the minimal “JeOS” build in SUSE Studio with 11.2, and
that did install without X, so I’m hoping that same option will result in
an Xorg-less build when I upgrade that appliance to 11.3.

> For that reason, I’m very disappointed that I can’t reasonably install
> many of the current distros on my older computer. If someone knows any
> specific reasons why it takes 256+ MB of RAM to run Linux… AND why I
> can’t simply opt out of that extra functionality if I so choose… then
> please let me know. Not being given a choice in the matter leaves me
> feeling, well, very limited. And if I wanted to feel limited, I would
> run Windows.

I’ve found with SUSE Studio that about the smallest disk footprint is
about 120 MB for 11.2 (and that’s actually using a compressed
filesystem). I think the general recommendation for 256 MB of memory
stems from that the packages that are built are for i586/i686 and x86_64
processors, and finding a system with one of those processors in it with
that small amount of memory is actually pretty challenging these days.

My D-Link router runs openWRT and it has only 64MB of memory and a very
small amount of flash storage built into it (either 4 or 8 MB as I
recall), but it also doesn’t do very much. Most desktops require more
than that just because you can’t run very many applications in that small
amount of memory. In other words, it’s the apps that really drive the
memory requirement.

> As far as network connectivity is concerned, I also find it alarming
> that people seem to take it for granted when installing and using Linux.
> There seems to be a certain Apple-induced mindset at work here, where
> people want to be able to add new applications and get at new downloads
> as easily as they use the pre-installed applications. On one hand,
> that’s a great feature, but on the other hand, it’s a nuisance,
> particularly if it prevents me from installing the OS on a standalone
> system. All I’m asking for here is freedom of choice. Despite all of
> the warnings in pop culture the last several years about where we’re
> headed with our mass-consumption mentality, it seems that some people
> are only too willing to walk with the herd. Again, though, I think
> Linux users should hold themselves to a higher standard. To me, Linux
> does not represent the “latest and greatest”, it represents the “oldest
> and best.” If I’ve been misinformed, then by all means, somebody,
> please direct me to whatever other distribution better reflects my
> ideals.

I’m not quite sure what you’re saying here about openSUSE - if you
install from the DVD, there’s no need for a network connection to be
present. In fact, when I started testing installing from a USB Flash
drive, I had to disconnect from the network (before I realised I could
tell it not to do a network-based install from the syslinux menu) in
order to install the way I wanted to. That was “pilot error” on my part
(didn’t realize I could press F5 (I think it was) to select the
installation source.

> Overall, you guys have done great work. I just hope you’ll keep these
> key issues in mind moving forward.
>
> THANKS!

Thank you again for coming back and providing the feedback that you
have. You might want to join with me in the but I am going to open on
the minimal install issue just to provide some additional data points.
I’ll post back here when I open it - it might be on the weekend because
I’ve been slammed with work this week - or you might want to open a bug
on it and I’ll add to it (either works for me).

Have a good one - and as we say in the openSUSE project, “have a lot of
fun!”. :slight_smile:

Jim

Jim Henderson
openSUSE Forums Administrator
Forum Use Terms & Conditions at http://tinyurl.com/openSUSE-T-C

openSUSE can install with LXDE
Should you require anything lighter weight than that, then you can look at other even lighter builds. Which I’m sure you are aware of. openSUSE or any other distro for that matter, AFAIK, does not try and become all things to people of all sorts.
You could of course use SUSE Studio to build your own @unbuhleevubble-OS

I understood you perfectly BTW.
But understand this… The choice is there, you just have to choose the right tool for the job. Fortunately ‘Linux’ has a wide selection of tools, it’s just that openSUSE doesn’t have all of them.

One can try LXDE or build JeOS if they lack ram.

Okay, that’s fair. I don’t agree with it, but it’s fair.

Overall, my experiences with openSUSE/Gnome have been very good. If given the option, though, I would have happily jettisoned about 90% of the apps during the install. With what would have been left behind, I have a hard time understanding why I need more than 256 MB of memory to run a simple desktop. Whether or not the openSUSE community is trying to appeal to people like me, I’m sure you can see why this is frustrating.

P.S. I also hope you can see how all of this plays into the hands of the Microsoft’s and Apple’s of the world. The more you train computer users to expect all of the bells and whistles, the less easy it becomes to keep the alternatives available… which is the basic theme of what I’ve been trying to say all along. Unwittingly, I think Linux developers have been falling into this trap. By trying to add high-gloss features, they’ve forgotten who they really are and what they represent. Freedom of choice is essential.

First off, welcome back! I’m glad to see you’ve returned, because I
think you raise some valid questions and concerns - in fact, after your
last visit here, I did a little testing of my own with regards to minimal
installs, and I was honestly a little surprised at what it took to get an
actual minimal install with no X installed. But more on that below.

Thanks very much for your reply. I realize I’m coming across a bit old school here, but I think it’s for a good cause.

With what I’m running, I’d still like a basic desktop, and having used older versions of Linux, I know this is possible. Not only possible, but easy. I really respect the efforts of the people adding all of the newer components to KDE and Gnome and such, but back in the day, I used Windowmaker, for example, and I never had any issues with memory. I’m not saying that was the best desktop ever, but it got the job done without needing 8 GB of RAM. Obviously, if I want to edit video, play music, and backup my system all at once, I’ll need lots of memory. But on a typical day… I don’t need all of that.

I’ve found with SUSE Studio that about the smallest disk footprint is
about 120 MB for 11.2 (and that’s actually using a compressed
filesystem). I think the general recommendation for 256 MB of memory
stems from that the packages that are built are for i586/i686 and x86_64
processors, and finding a system with one of those processors in it with
that small amount of memory is actually pretty challenging these days.

My D-Link router runs openWRT and it has only 64MB of memory and a very
small amount of flash storage built into it (either 4 or 8 MB as I
recall), but it also doesn’t do very much. Most desktops require more
than that just because you can’t run very many applications in that small
amount of memory. In other words, it’s the apps that really drive the
memory requirement.

I’ll look at SUSE Studio to see if it can offer any suitable options for my older computer. That’s reasonable.

As far as network connectivity was concerned, I guess I was referring to the fact that the LiveCD seems to want a network connection… just because. And other distros, not just openSUSE, seem to expect users to be updating constantly from a central repository. Again, these are good features to support, but the freedom to opt out should always be there, too. The more people that use automatic updates, I’ve noticed, the more often installed software seems to break down. Somehow, I doubt that’s a coincidence.

Anyway, I appreciate your thoughts, and I will certainly keep openSUSE on the list of distros I’m trying out. Good night!

On Wed, 28 Jul 2010 07:06:02 +0000, unbuhleevubble wrote:

> Thanks very much for your reply. I realize I’m coming across a bit old
> school here, but I think it’s for a good cause.

No problem, I think there is certainly a place for that - and in Studio
you’ll see a “JeOS” option (for “Just enough Operating System”). 11.3
isn’t in there yet, so I’ll be interested to see if the JeOS build there
handles that the way I (and you) expect. :slight_smile:

> With what I’m running, I’d still like a basic desktop, and having used
> older versions of Linux, I know this is possible. Not only possible,
> but easy. I really respect the efforts of the people adding all of the
> newer components to KDE and Gnome and such, but back in the day, I used
> Windowmaker, for example, and I never had any issues with memory. I’m
> not saying that was the best desktop ever, but it got the job done
> without needing 8 GB of RAM. Obviously, if I want to edit video, play
> music, and backup my system all at once, I’ll need lots of memory. But
> on a typical day… I don’t need all of that.

Makes perfect sense to me - LXDE might be a good alternative for you - I
don’t think there’s a LiveCD version of it available, but when 11.3 hits
Studio, it should be possible to set one up fairly easily. I think
you’ll find Studio gives you a lot of flexibility over the configuration
and what’s included, and it gives you the ability to spin your own LiveCD
distributions with the software you want.

The project also announced SUSE Gallery yesterday (or the day before,
it’s all becoming a blur the last few days), which is a place where
appliances built with Studio can be published. It’s a pretty cool
feature.

In my day job, I manage the program for ‘practicum’ (ie, lab-based) exams
at Novell, and I’ve used Studio for a couple of different purposes in
that program - including building very minimal installs that are intended
to run a very minimal configuration (hardware detection and a single
application). I think you’ll find it fits your needs very well.

> I’ll look at SUSE Studio to see if it can offer any suitable options for
> my older computer. That’s reasonable.
>
> As far as network connectivity was concerned, I guess I was referring to
> the fact that the LiveCD seems to want a network connection… just
> because. And other distros, not just openSUSE, seem to expect users to
> be updating constantly from a central repository. Again, these are good
> features to support, but the freedom to opt out should always be there,
> too. The more people that use automatic updates, I’ve noticed, the more
> often installed software seems to break down. Somehow, I doubt that’s a
> coincidence.

I see what you mean about the LiveCD - I think maybe the issue is that
the LiveCD, while it can be used to install a functional system (ala
Ubuntu’s live installer), the primary intentions are twofold: 1) to
provide a way of checking system compatibility, and 2) to be able to try
out the two main desktops (KDE4 and GNOME). Installation is really a
tertiary consideration (at least from my point of view, the folks who
build the discs may consider it differently) since not all the packages
can be installed from a CD (just for lack of space). That’s why they
have the 'net connection requirement for installation. I’ve always
considered the LiveCD media to be more of a demo base than anything.

> Anyway, I appreciate your thoughts, and I will certainly keep openSUSE
> on the list of distros I’m trying out. Good night!

No problem - feel free to ask any questions you may have about specifics
in the forums here - have a good night as well. :slight_smile:

Jim

Jim Henderson
openSUSE Forums Administrator
Forum Use Terms & Conditions at http://tinyurl.com/openSUSE-T-C

Index of /repositories/X11:/lxde/images/iso

On Wed, 28 Jul 2010 08:06:01 +0000, caf4926 wrote:

> ‘Index of /repositories/X11:/lxde/images/iso’
> (http://download.opensuse.org/repositories/X11:/lxde/images/iso/)

Perfect, I thought I remembered hearing there was a LiveCD for LXDE, but
given the hour (is it really almost 3 AM here?), I wasn’t sure if I
imagined it or not. :slight_smile:

Jim


Jim Henderson
openSUSE Forums Administrator
Forum Use Terms & Conditions at http://tinyurl.com/openSUSE-T-C

  1. Ram requirements depend on the distribution you are trying. Distributions aiming at the modern day user take advantage of modern day hardware and have higher system requirements.

If you have poor hardware, try DSL http://www.d a m nsmalllinux.org/

Why is the word d a m n filtered?

  1. The design of opensuse doesnt let you. If you want more control try Arch or Gentoo.

Arch Linux
Gentoo Linux – Gentoo Linux News

  1. But with 256Mb of ram you cant even run Windows XP very well.

On Wed, 28 Jul 2010 12:06:01 +0000, FizzyFanta wrote:

> Why is the word d a m n filtered?

Because it’s a curse word. Yes, it’s part of DSL’s name as well.

Jim


Jim Henderson
openSUSE Forums Administrator
Forum Use Terms & Conditions at http://tinyurl.com/openSUSE-T-C

Thanks to everyone for all the useful feedback. I’ll do my homework and follow up if I have any more questions/concerns/compliments.

Incidentally, I didn’t know there was a “JeOS” variation to be had. So thanks for spelling that out for me.

Also, I understand what you’re saying about Live CD’s. Therein lies my concern, though, that the distinction between using them as demo/test software and as installation media is being lost. Anyway, it’s a minor point overall.

On Fri, 30 Jul 2010 02:36:01 +0000, unbuhleevubble wrote:

> Thanks to everyone for all the useful feedback. I’ll do my homework and
> follow up if I have any more questions/concerns/compliments.

That sounds good - and I appreciate your comments. :slight_smile:

Jim

Jim Henderson
openSUSE Forums Administrator
Forum Use Terms & Conditions at http://tinyurl.com/openSUSE-T-C

First I did not not read the whole thread post.
I only wanted to say that I have one PII w/ 256 ram and running 11.2 with xfce and very customized when I installed the operating system.
Am happy with how it works. I haven’t try installing 11.3 on any of my machine coz am happy with what I am using at present. I may try 11.3 minimal install in this PII and see how will it respond.
Am just too busy with too many things that it seems there is no time for upgrading our computer at home maybe I’ll let my son do this in his spare time and will post here.

I just installed 11.2 on my main P4 machine,…and I must say I’m impressed at how little resources it uses with xfce! I’ve been using Debian and Slackware derivites for quite some time,…and had always heard that Opensuse was just sooooo slow and bloated. Sure doesn’t seem that way to me. I can’t wait to try it on my PIII (512mb ram). I have 11.3 on it’s merry little way by “snail-mail” (on dialup, so the DVD is the way to go for me). Can’t wait for 11.3 to get here, though. I can MOST certainly see me staying with Opensuse on my main machine! This is good stuff. :slight_smile:

Correction to my first post. It’s not Pentium II but a Pentium III with 8GB scsi disk , 120GB ata disk drive,256 ram and I think nvidia fx550 on pci. My son did the work last night and installed 11.3 with xfce. It is now working efficiently but seems can’t detect the old on-board sound. I told him to try and install LXDE and compare which of the two is better for that PIII.:slight_smile:

LXDE Rocks on PIII machine. but still my son said there was no success with the sound card, but can’t complain much the last time this works was back in opensuse 10. Anyone can recommend a cheap but descent sound card on pci. We want to use it as kinda multimedia in our basement?