Re: Suse 9.3

From: Kevin Nathan (
Date: 04/27/05

Date: Tue, 26 Apr 2005 21:18:26 -0700

On Tue, 26 Apr 2005 16:00:33 -0700
AnonymousFC3 <> wrote:

> Hello:
> just installed from scratch 9.3... and it was not for the faint of
> heart!

Hmm, we had someone post earlier about how his 9 year old son did the
install . . .

> 1) Tried to do an update... and I had to give up: too many errors
> messages in the installer for dependencies, conflict on a system which
> was "clean", with no broken packages.

And how did you determine no packages were broken?

> 2) Installed from scratch, from CD's: it was not so easy. ( I have
> been using Linux for over 5 years).

I bet the nine year old (above) has less experience than that! :-)

> It seems that Suse does not maintain CD's install too well anymore...
> Assuming that every system has a DVD reader is just silly:

I've heard that same complaint for *decades*:

Assuming that every system has a 3200 bpi tape is just silly

Assuming that every system has an 8" floppy is just silly

Assuming that every system has a 5 1/4" floppy is just silly

Assuming that every system has a 3 1/2" floppy is just silly

Assuming that every system has a CD-ROM drive is just silly

> 3) No way to test a CD on the "front menu" (like in Fedora: very
> useful),

Yes, I agree that would be useful. I've only encountered a media error
once, but sure would have been nice to be able to check it, in-place.

> also no easy to recover from a partial install: need to redo
> the whole thing!

I can see where that would be very problematic, and could open up even
more problems . . .

> Also a minimum install should be doable with only one
> CD (I hade to insert each of the five!!).

I don't think you did a minimum install, then. *All* my installs
(minimum graphic with KDE) are one, and sometimes two, CDs. Granted, I
haven't tried 9.3 yet, but it seems strange that SUSE would all of
sudden spread things out like that.

> 4) Mouse: I have a (USB) "Logitech marble" which worked just fine on
> 9.1 and 9.2...

Configuring with sax2?

> 5) SUSE looks more and Microsoft: the marketing people seem to like
> heavy flashy screens, (including the login screen)

That's pretty much the market they are targetting, whether you and I
like it or not.

> I happen to like
> the sober one's.. and I may have to fiddle around for this.

The good thing is, you and I can select what we want. I use icewm and
wm2 mostly and have started looking at openbox and xfce. I haven't used
KDM/GDM/XDM in years, preferring instead to boot to runlevel 3 and then
using 'startx'. That's the beauty of Linux: choice. :-)

> Also the task bar is now less elegant and simple as kde 3.3, a KDE
> issue I know. But the defaults are SUSE's... and I do not like them. A
> minor issue indeed, but why not having a clean system from
> installation.

Haven't seen the 9.3 panel, yet, so can't comment on that . . .

> There is much more, and I could not help thinking that SUSE seems to
> me spending too much time in fancy "visual cosmetics", looking like
> Windows, when at the contrary it should be Linux+KDE+GNOME which stand
> on its own... when properly configured.

But not if you want to attract Windows users.

> May be spending more testing time, may help.
> For the cosmetic, the Standard KDE (latest unmodified) is just fine:
> no need to add the SUSE logo everywhere.

But that's their option -- it *is* after all, SUSE distro and not
GENERIC distro . . . :-)

> YAST2 is about the same as previous version (9.2), (a few more
> features) and still quite good.

Good to know. I'm very happy with how I can (under 9.2) use 'yast2',
'apt', 'rpm' and the 'configure/compile/checkinstall' methods as I
choose and they all seem to work together. For example, I installed the
*old* Firefox that came with 9.2 and then updated with 'apt' to 1.0.2.
Just tonight, YOU updated it to 1.0.3.

> NVIDIA video drivers are supported, not so easy either, could not
> this be more automated... or at least be properly documented during
> the install?

I haven't had any problems with nVidia drivers since SUSE 7.3, and even
then it was a simple CLI script to run (from nVidia). Every release
seems to get a little easier wrt nVidia drivers.

> The geek may be happy, the Joe six packs probably not, it may be time
> for SUSE to go back to the install, and provide two paths:
> a) For Joe six packs on a dual boot windows system.
> b) For the technical person, to be able to install SUSE the way
> (s)he
> needs or wants.

I disagree with this conclusion. Doing the 'Minimal X with KDE' has most
of what Joe Sixpack needs and it's easy to add in missing items later.
They could probably trim down this install, as well as adding in a few
other common items to this install, but seems more complete than a
minimum Windows install.

And the technical person can *already* install SUSE exactly as wanted.
For example, *my* boxes start with a 'Minimal system, no X' (takes very
little time) and after testing, I start adding in the things I want.
There is nothing that SUSE needs to do differently in this regard . . .

Kevin Nathan (Arizona, USA)  
Open standards. Open source. Open minds. 
The command line is the front line.