OpenSUSE - My experience


I have installed OpenSUSE 11.1 about two months back, on my new Core2 duo PC and here is a quick newbie review.

Why Linux:
I have tried Ubuntu Linux a few years back on my other pc - it was decent though my main activity remained on my Win XP on dual boot. It died down when the system had to be formatted for some reason. When I bought another PC, I worked out that I was spending most of my time on the PC to play around with security software - antivirus, spyware busters (3-4), firewall, scanners, defrag etc. than to do any real work. I didn’t see why I should spend a large sum on an OS, when Linux distros were free. I decided I will buy Windows after trying out Linux for a while.
As I installed and began with Linux again, I realized I won’t need to buy an OS again.

Why OpenSUSE?
I downloaded a good number of distros - LinuxMint, SimplyMepis, Debian, Fedora among others. While I have installed LinuxMint on my older pc (it is cute, btw), I have tried all the others on the new pc and liked OpenSuse the best. It seemed so solid and full featured, and of course Novell was a plus. I remember Novell Netware, the colourful first lines on the monitor back in the Win 3.1 days when I started serious computing. The installation options were intuitive and it gave options for GNOME & KDE. I have both and switch at times, though I am mainly on KDE now.

My Current System:

  • OpenSUSE 11.1
  • GNOME & KDE 4.3
  • Thunderbird, Firefox, Opera, Skype
  • Compiz & Emerald wow
  • Win XP on dual boot for games

What I liked with OpenSUSE?

  • Clean interface, user friendly
  • Full featured
  • So much software and free! You name it - you have it!
  • Yast/zypper is bliss.

Minor irritants:

  • Some of the standard things to do after install can easily be in a OpenSUSE for dummies guide - will make life much easier for newbies - e.g., install OpenSUSE, add community repositories to get nvidia, mp3 working; add yourself the CD privilege to be able to write disks, install ntfs-3g & configuration tool for write access to Win drives etc. Maybe it is there somewhere and I missed it. Anyway, google is a friend.
  • Compiz hung with conflicting effects for each event and at shading effect with KDE4.1.3. Upgraded to 4.3 and uninstalled simple compiz setting manager, it is heaven now.
  • Took some getting used to to the menu options - e.g., desktop effects was there in Configure Desktop, Simple Compiz Settings and Full Compiz Settings, and they conflicted.
  • Some trouble with login themes and options - they don’t seem to be saved. Needed fiddling and manual edits.
  • Had to fiddle around to get sound initially (though I did nothing specific); then there was this pop-up saying falling back to default. Changing the order of pulse sorted it.
  • I am shocked everything I need is available right here, and with options. Can’t hink of anything I need but don’t have available in the sea of free software.
  • For the first time in life, suspend to hard disk worked for me on any OS, with the pc getting back to life in seconds again.
  • Compiz effects + Emerald - amazing. I can customize my desktop anyway I like.

What I miss Windows for:

  • Games - I am into 3D strategy games. Not much success with Wine for them.
  • Drivesort - no Linux edition.
  • OpenSUSE surely takes a wee longer to boot.
  • IM clients with webcam support - not perfect yet.
  • Fonts - I did the subpixel smoothing etc., but have to admit Win 7 fonts look cuter. If I am missing something I should have done, shout.


  • OpenSUSE Linux rocks, my mainstay now.
  • Win for games. Lin for all else.
  • Looking forward to 11.2, I am sure it will be better.


Welcome to openSUSE! You made a good choice. :slight_smile: I’ve used other distros, including some of the ones you listed, but I always end up coming back to openSUSE. It just feels like “home”.

I’m not too much into gaming, but you mentioned that you like 3D strategy games. Have you checked out “Battle for Wesnoth”? It’s a Linux game that I think is supposed to be a civilization type game. The graphics look very good.

Hope you enjoy your openSUSE experience!

Thanks! :slight_smile:

I’m not too much into gaming, but you mentioned that you like 3D strategy games. Have you checked out “Battle for Wesnoth”? It’s a Linux game that I think is supposed to be a civilization type game. The graphics look very good.

Yes I did, it is good but kind of archaic by today’s standards ;). The only other large game (by size) available seems to be Glest - decent too. I am more into the Age of Empires, Empire Earth, Command and Conquer kinds!

If you haven’t done so already, you might want to check this out:

Windows Games Seamlessly Integrated on Mac or Linux - Mac Windows Games, Linux Windows Games - CodeWeavers

It uses Wine as its backbone, but it has company backing with many enhancements and improvements. Crossover Games looks like it’s optimized for games. You could download the trial version and see if it works for you. I don’t think the trial version is limited on capability. It’s only time limited before they ask that you register.

Welcome to openSUSE and the forum here. You might be amazed at how easy it is to run M$ games under Wine. You can install Wine by adding this repo which will give you one of the latest versions:
Index of /repositories/Emulators:/Wine/openSUSE_11.1

run winecfg after installing wine

WineHQ - Wine User Guide

Typically just run the installer for a game like this

wine ./Setup.exe (or whatever the installer name is) only as a user not root

I will try crossover games out. The other option I want to try is the virtualbox as someone suggested.

Thanks for the welcome. I have wine already and use it for PWSafe - works neat. I didn’t try games on wine since the general impression I got browsing the wine app list was that the sound and graphics may not be very good - but I will try it out nevertheless.


I’m not a big gamer but I use Tomb Raider Anniversary on it and Honestly it works better than in winders

I keep yet Windows only for videogaming. Games like Unreal Tournament 3, Operation Flashpoint Dragon Rising, Batman Arkham Asylum etc. are not at all supported by Wine or Linux in general.

Ok, I tried installing Age of Empires via wine - installed well, but did not work beyond the intro. wine FAQ says wine and Compiz/XGL don’t go well - disabling Compiz each time is going to be cumbersome - so I didn’t try that.

So I will have to go the hawake way.

Switching Desktop Effects off is 3 clicks of the mouse

Yes, but I thought it is more than disabling the desktop effects alone - Emerald, Window manager, XGL? I am not sure, but trying this game caused some trouble that I had to remove and reinstall wine. But I will try again sometime.

Further this game is not listed on appdb of wine, so I guess there won’t be much success anyway.

It can be a bit trial and error with Wine. I use compiz but not emerald, only native kwin for kde. I’ve yet to have any problems with it.

Switching from one WM to another is one command.

In most cases:


Starting games in their own X-session without any other stuff, would be another option.

You will find lots of tutorials/documentation for that on the net.

Good discussion, this. I will explore.

Your comment also makes me wonder if games on wine will run better if I login into an xfce session, without the hassles of changing anything. Will try. Thanks.