Sunday, November 29, 2009

Switching to Opensuse

1 upgrade of OpenSuse 11.1 and 2 installations of 11.2

In the last 3.5 years I used Gentoo Linux as the operating system of choice for my personal computer. Apart from Gentoo, I had also done and maintained an ubuntu installation, for use in another personal computer. Eventualy, I got tired of gentoo compilations, and ubuntu sadly collapsed under its own weight. Time to try something new, I say...

In June 2009 (five months ago), I installed OpenSuse 11.1 on a HP EliteBook 8730w. The installation was smooth even though I diverted from default options and

  1. installed from an external CD drive,
  2. installed on two disks, one for the OS and one for home, swap and tmp
  3. the home, swap and tmp partitions were encrypted.
When OpenSuse 11.2 was released this November, I upgraded the 11.1 installation, by using the upgrade instructions from the openSuse wiki. The upgrade was a success, with nothing breaking along the process.

At the beginning of November, I installed OpenSuse 11.2 RC1 on a Fujitsu Siemens Amilo V2020 Pro. This time I stayed with default options in all of the installation steps. Again everything went smoothly, all hardware was detected (I havent tried the modem though) and I had a running system in little time. When 11.2 was released, I updated. No problems here either.

In the last week of November I installed OpenSuse 11.2 on an Acer Asprire1 654ZWLMi. The installation steps went smoothly. However, when the time for the first boot came, where the installation's configuration takes place, the X server failed to start. The cause was the ATI graphics card. I quickly found others with this problem in the OpenSuse forum, in this thread: OpenSuse 11.2 Black Screen. A combination of the suggestions on the thread solved the problem for me. The XServer was "hot-wired" to work with the ATI card and driver: "sax2 -r -m 0=ati". The installation continued from were it left over, without any other shortcomings.

It seems that OpenSuse 11.2 installs quite well on a variety of configurations.

OpenSuse also performs very well for my needs. It offers good administration tools (zypper, YAST) and quality technical information on the wiki and the forums. Still though I consider technical articles in the Gentto wikis and forums superior.