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I am not responsible if your devices send you back in time, explodes, implodes, bricks or flies into space from the use of any software I put up.

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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

OpenSUSE 11.4

For those who use Linux you might know that OpenSUSE 11.4 has just released.

I will be doing a short write up on this but unlike many "review" sites I will not just run a LiveCD and do a review just based on the Live CD.

Rather I have completed a Full Setup of the OpenSUSE on my laptop running it natively and complete for usage. Doing a Review based on a Live CD or on VM is like reviewing a book just by reading the first page.

1)Downloading the Distribution

To install OpenSUSE you do not need to download the Full DVDs, simply download the Live CD about 700MB and either a)Burn it to CD and boot from it or b)Create a Bootable Thumbdrive by using the provided Tool SUSE Studio Image Writer and image the LiveCD to Thumbdrive.

Most of the time OpenSUSE will boot successfully without any issue unless you have some exotic hardware or OEM implementations.

2)Installation
Installing to harddisk is pretty standard just remember to uncheck the UTC if your computer is set to local time and adjust the boot entries accordingly.

3)Setup up the Repository

OpenSUSE has made setting it up very easy.
Simply go to YaST, select Software Repositories,
Choose add, Choose Community Repository  and simply check the Repository you need.
For those who are using Nvidia Graphics you need to add Nvidia Repository to the list.
You might want to add Packman to increase the number of package options.
You might want to add VLC as well.

4)Installing the Software

Next you want to pull down the software from the Repositories
Go to YaST, Software Manager and type in the name of the Packages you want.
This is where it shines unlike Fedora finding the package is like googling for the package.
For users of Nvidia Graphics you need the nvidia-gfx02-kmp-desktop (Desktop refers to laptops and desktop) and vdpau (for video acceleration).
If you want VLC and other additional software just select them accordingly.
I will just list some of the more useful packages
  1. java (jre)
  2. flash plugin for x86 OpenSUSE
  3. (if you are using x86_64 OpenSUSE I do not recommend install the x86 flash plugin instead get the square native 64bit plugin, copy it to the plugin folder /usr/lib64/browser-plugins with root permission, this way it pulls in less unnecessary packages and it is less buggy compared to the native x86 plugins)
  4. chromium (cutting edge release of google chrome)
  5. vlc
  6. freetype font
  7. fetchmsttfonts (pulls in Microsoft Fonts useful for document interoperability)
  8. skype (follow the instructions here you need additional libraries for it to work)
  9. cairo-dock & cairo-dock-plugins (from Packman)
  10. Droid Fonts
  11. Add the font hinting Repository (Guide here ) Highly Recommended!
Finally when you have 3D acceleration you can enable desktop compiz effects. The effects are similar to Windows 7 behavior.

9) To modified any file as root while running under Xserver you run the commands like this:

gnomesu gedit /etc/bootsplash/themes/openSUSE/config/bootsplash-1366x768.cfg

Basically I find that this is a pretty good release, it is very responsive, and OpenSUSE chose to exclude a lot of unnecessary drivers, however on the 64bit Live CD they omitted the dependency gnome-audio just remember to pull it from the repo if it is not there. The operating system is very smooth as a whole, compared to Fedora it has definitely less breakages as it aims to be a stable and up-to-date distribution.

I am so stucked on OpenSUSE, I find I am booting up Windows much less than ever ( I don't play games btw)

I also modified the Sonar Theme with the Faenza Theme (Original Source) Monochrome icons.


I have put it up for sharing here.

Workaround for 1360x768 resolution bootsplash:
When you set the vga_mode to 0x34c for 1360x768 resolution the bootsplash will not display a progress bar. This is due to only 1366x768 image and config files (Total 3 files) found in the OpenSUSE bootsplash. To fix this you need to trick the bootsplash into thinking that 1360x768 resolution files exist.

Solution:
sudo cp /etc/bootsplash/themes/openSUSE/config/bootsplash-1366x768.cfg /etc/bootsplash/themes/openSUSE/config/bootsplash-1360x768.cfg

sudo cp /etc/bootsplash/themes/openSUSE/images/bootsplash-1366x768.jpg /etc/bootsplash/themes/openSUSE/images/bootsplash-1360x768.jpg

sudo cp /etc/bootsplash/themes/openSUSE/images/silent-1366x768.jpg /etc/bootsplash/themes/openSUSE/images/silent-1360x768.jpg

su

mkinitrd


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