> I’ve been an Ubuntu power user on my thinkpad T61 for over a year now,
> but owing to its rather terrible battery management and lack of a
> hibernate ability, I decided to shift to OpenSUSE 11.1.
> So far, my experience has been anything but satisfactory.
I have a T61, and have used OpenSuse 11.0 from the moment I received it.
I’ll answer as many questions as I can, but you haven’t told us much about
what you’re using for your desktop manager, which can have a big impact.
For example, I’m still using KDE 3.5, because I’m not satisfied with KDE4
at this point in time.
> 1) The default install seems to have vim, but with no syntax
> highlighting, irrespective of the fact that
> syntax on
> is in the vimrc file or I force it in the file I’m editing. And yes, no
> emacs, no gcc or g++ compiler installed by default.
No Idea. I don’t use vim for anything, I use kwrite or kate, instead. I do
notice that in the description for vim-enhanced it mentions other
> 2) A beautiful kicker panel, which arbitrarily decides NOT to open up
> applications seemingly for the want of it. But fine, since I do most of
> the things from the terminal, I’ll let it slide.
Don’t have this problem. But also don’t use KDE4 and you haven’t specified.
> 3) The default openSUSE install lacks a build-essential package, which
> is oh-so-important for compiling software from source. I had to manually
> scurry about satisfying dependencies.
So? Most people don’t compile software from source, they install rpms, so
it’s reasonable not to include this in a default install. You did see all
the opensuse build service repositories in the community repositories?
> 4) A hibernate issue for thinkpads, which I thought would’ve been
> sorted out on these forums (which werent ultimately), which I had to
> figure for myself, resumes so slowly on boot that I could reboot
> openSUSE twice in the time it takes to resume.
Mine seems to work fine, although I use performance mode and it doesn’t kick
in that often.
> 6) Absolute vagaries while running firefox from the terminal. Yakuake
> whines about “no display specified”, when I have a grand total of ONE
> display on my comp. And yes, I have to run firefox from ONLY konsole and
> nothing else.
I suppose you could do it this way, but don’t understand why anyone would.
Anyway, when I go to a terminal, and type firefox, it just starts.
> 7) Video card drivers(180.27 from nVidia) which display a beautiful
> mosaic each time I boot up to the graphical login. No amount of
> modifying xorg, or going through log files seems to indicate anything.
> The open source nv driver doesnt support hibernate.
I just let the install find the standard drivers and installed them.This
works in 11.0 but some users have noted problems with 11.1 and it seems to
be related to the nvidia proprietary drivers. A bug has been reported
here - https://bugzilla.novell.com/show_bug.cgi?id=461262
> 8) A support forum where it takes an average of 70 views before anyone
> bothers to reply to any query.
What, you check once a minute? People do this voluntarily as a kindness, not
as a job, as I’m sure you appreciate. And when someone posts with a Title
like “Terrible Suse Experience” some will suspect your post is only an
anti-suse troll and not bother to reply.
> 9) Nonexistent keyboard shortcuts barring amarok. Again, no mention of
> a keyboard shortcut file or anything on the forums or the web.
> Apparently, most people are happy without shortcuts?
What bar to amarok? And which version are you using? I’ve been using it
(1.4.10) for a number of years, and nothing bars you from using amarok. You
can set shortcuts in Amarok if you want to, however. Never used them
though. I don’t know what stage Amarok 2 is at, however.
> 10) Searching zypper for a package X yields no results but yast2
> somehow magically finds them.
And you would search zypper why? as opposed to the normal method of using
> Now, I really need reasons to NOT shift to a new distro.
Every distribution has it’s own quirks, and some things are just done
differently in one distro than in another. Not better, or worse, just
differently. If you expect everything to work exactly the way it was done
in Ubuntu, then you may be disappointed. But if you take a longer look, and
are willing to relearn some of the ways you do things, I think in the long
run you’ll be quite happy with suse.
The other thing you might look at is the SLED version of suse, since you can
buy a T61 with SLED, they should have most of the T61 specific stuff
Lastly, there’s apost on the Fedora Forum talking about how to get suspend
working on a T61 - http://forums.fedoraforum.org/showthread.php?t=160325
That might be useful to you.