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tomhudson's Journal: OpenSUSE 10.3 Alpha 2

Journal by tomhudson

I've been using OpenSUSE 10.0 on my home machine for quite a while, and 10.2 at the office since last fall. Recently, another developer at the office wanted to switch over to Linu, but he was unable to get his dual monitor setup to work correctly under Ubuntu, so he went back to Windows.

Last month I gave him a disk with OpenSuse 10.3 alpha 1 on it, He was able to get his dual mnitor setup running, as well as most of his Windows tools (debugger, editor, etc) under Wine.

Yesterday I decided to use a free partition to install OpenSUSE 10.3 alpha 2. Surprise - not only did it configure my dual monitor setup properly without any input on my part, but it also now recognizes my usb chips as being 2.0, not 1.1 or whatever, and it finally configures sound properly, with a decent default volume! No more having to hunt down through the various sound applets to figure out how to fix it.

I've got to say one thing - logging into KDE is much faster.

The only "gotcha"s:

  1. if you want to add everything during the install process, you have to remember to switch to "package selection" and select the individual packages - the default view doesn't select everything, even when you think it did ... so what you'll end up with is over 2,000 packages, (that's 8 gigs of software) to install.
  2. there was a weird "disk space low" warning that I ignored (low disk space? Fat chance - I installed into a fresh 20-gig partition, and both drives have over 100 gigs free each, and /tmp, /home and swap are other partitions reserved for all installs).
  3. gnome is unusable on a dual-monitor setup. It tries to hide items that are "running in the taskbar" by drawing their client windows off-screen ... but waht's off-screen on one window ends up showing on the other window.
  4. gnome's "menu system" is non-existent, having been replaced with a few "favourites". You have to open an "application browser window" if what you want isn't in your "top 5 programs" or whatever.
  5. The new KDE menuing system is "strange". Not as bad as gnome's, but something that you'll either like after a bit of "getting used to it" or you'll switch back to the conventional menus (on a dual-monitor system, you can have both).
  6. Eye candy - yes, thee are some new desktop wallpapers that look nice, you can still make menus (and windows) translucent, with drop shadows, and nice themes.

It's nice. For alpha software, its VERY nice. The speed improvements alone make it worth upgrading.

Of course, the next question is "how will it do on a triple-monitor system" ... which I might just get around to trying sometime in the next month or so ...

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OpenSUSE 10.3 Alpha 2

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