What do you do when it Just Works?

So I finally got a new laptop - I’ve been waiting for years for this - ironically, I ended up purchasing a lower end model than I originally intended - I’m counting on this to hold me over till the new Intel Core i# CPUs get more affordable. I purchased a Dell Inspiron 14(40), specs are in my sig.

Though I intended to give Archlinux a try on this machine, I don’t have the time right now, so I went ahead and popped in the 32bit KDE live CD (openSUSE 11.2). Booted to the desktop, launched the installer; once it was going I tried turning on KWin compositing. Hey, it works! Slick for a live CD anyway. Once the installer finished, I rebooted, went through the auto-configuration (I don’t like the auto-config, TBH), and logged into my new desktop.

I enabled Packman, installed multimedia codecs and broadcom-wl, and was online (wirelessly - ethernet worked out of the box). I then installed Dropbox and SpiderOak and sync’d up my /home directory with all my files on my desktop.

And then I was done.


It was almost like a let down. There wasn’t anything special. I installed 1 (one) driver (for the wifi card). Sound, video, multimedia keys, card reader, suspend/hibernate, CPU throttling… it just worked.

It was almost boring.

Of course, a geek can’t leave the system alone that long. I did go ahead and upgrade to KDE 4.4, and enabled some extra repos to get more up-to-date software, but that was just because I wanted to. The system itself was ready for use in minutes.

It almost bothers me.

Of course, many folks run into trouble installing/configuring linux on their machines (that’s what the forums are for, right?). But I don’t hear as much about the systems that just worked after installation (and maybe some basic config like installing a wireless or video driver).

Any thoughts?

You could write to the computer manufacturer and complain. :wink:

What amazes me is you did all the right things the first time. The receipe is simple: setup a limited essential number of repos (OSS, Non-OSS, Update, Pacman) and install a limited number of very specific packages via zypper or yast, and it all just works (assuming of course one’s hardware is supported).

What you described is pretty much my typical install. In truth, I no longer learn as much from my own installs. They usually go too smooth.

Yet many users do not follow the logical path you laid out and they have problems.

I now end up learning more by banging my head against the wall trying to help others who have not followed the route you smartly followed. The key thing for me is to learn not to be grumpy, impatient, and blunt. Its a constant learning experience for me, not only technically, but for attitude as well.

Life can always be interesting. lol!

Good point there, oldcpu. A lot of the problems I used to have setting up Linux were my own fault - of course, usually I would assume that the problem was Linux’s fault and proceed from there (a sure recipe for success, eh? :wink: ). The howto’s on this forum are certainly valuable if new users would just read them. I hope we can consolidate these howtos and get them centralized on the wiki - currently the community documentation is plentiful but scattered - some on the forums, others on the wiki, others on the “unoffical” openSUSE community site. But that’s a topic for another thread.

You could write to the computer manufacturer and complain.


Now there is step two.

Stick to one of the most important “Admin’s wisdoms”:

“If it’s not broken, don’t try to fix it!”


If it’s not broken, fix it until it is. :smiley:

… and then go to $NEXT_FORUM and cry out “I didn’t do anything and suddenly it’s no longer working”.

Which leads us to the next “wisdom”:

If being told in $FORUM that something broke and the OP “didn’t do anything”, always ask, what he/she did BEFORE he/she “didn’t do anything”.

markcynt wrote:
> If it’s not broken, fix it until it is. :smiley:

i like that, a LOT

palladium, waiting for :wink:
Arctic Cooling Freez00r 8.897 Ultimate Professional Enterprise

You just wrote part 2 of the 'Ultimate Sysadmin’s Guide to the Universe". Part 1: take printer power plug, put in wall. :wink:

Part 3 (or should it be “Part 1a”? as it only extends Part1?)

If some hardware is not working, always check “the russian switch*” first.

*(aka the “poweronoff”-switch)

Sometimes you just don’t believe it. I went to a customer complaining his new DVB-C card was not working, not even after 2 days of trying. It was still in the box…The ‘trying’ was an attempt to install the windu software on his Fedora.

Knurpht wrote:
> The ‘trying’ was an attempt to install the windu software on his Fedora.

some folks are not smart enough to be allowed to ‘try’ on Linux…or
Redmond, Wii, VCR clock setting, multi-gear bicycles, etc…

and, we see some new ones here every day.


Ah yes, the story of my early life, to the chagrin of my dad. lol!

Knurpht wrote:

> Sometimes you just don’t believe it. I went to a customer complaining
> his new DVB-C card was not working, not even after 2 days of trying. It
> was still in the box…The ‘trying’ was an attempt to install the
> windu software on his Fedora.
I guess this was one of the persons who live in a world where reading the
installation instructions or the manual of a newly bought device is
considered as something really evil. Maybe it could harm mental health of
the consumer to see that the instructions explicitly states that s/he shall
install the windows software on a windows system :wink:

I have never added this pacman repository and I seem to get all the main updates; Why is it important to add this repository?

The three official repositories: OSS, Non-OSS, and Update are great and if you ONLY have those 3 then you are doing well and your openSUSE should have minimal problems.

Packman is particularly useful if you wish to have lots of multimedia applications. They also package some games (for example a superb chess game collection). You can surf the site here to see what they have: PackMan :: Startseite

I’ve made no secret over the years that if there was no Packman site for openSUSE, I would have likely stayed with Red Hat/Fedora or moved to Mandrake (before it became Mandriva) and I would NOT have stayed with SuSE / openSUSE . … The importance of Packman to users like me is possibly a bit less today than it was a few years ago, given the massive repository proliferation with the build service, but Packman is still the #1 openSUSE 3rd party repository in my view.

I’ve contributed financially a few times to some of the repository servers.

Well, with Fedora you will run into the exact “problem”, even stronger as Fedora does not even provide any non-oss (take that literally for openSUSE, the stuff in there is what I mean) packages. So without 3rd party repos on Fedora (RPMfusion comes to mind) you are fscked as well.

Don’t know about Mandriva, don’t care either, but generally they are known to be less strict on that.

Mandriva has the Penguin Liberation Front.

So again we’re talking 3rd party repo here.

Well, nuff said.

People for whose anything is going smooth generally don’t report to the forums saying so. People generally only post when there are problems.