Okay, so Seagate "ate" two brand new RAID1s in 2 weeks, but at least it wasn't ALL in vain! The second set of Seagate drives I bought yesterday died today, but not before I had a chance to install openSUSE 10.3 on them.
The high points:
- multimedia support: working mp3 and dvd viewing/editing, etc.
- 22 gigs of software if you include the community repositories in your online updates
- no more need for dual-booting or wine to run Windows apps - you can run Win3x, Win9x, and WinXP Pro in virtual machines, either in a window on your linux desktop, or sharing the desktop. (think "parallels on the Mac").
The package list is impressive. More importantly, its very up-to-date. In some instances, the packages were pulled from svn rather than wait for a "final" version. And yes, there are repositories online for both ATI and NVIDIA video drivers, so you have a better chance of 3d acceleration "just working."
The quickest way to get started is to just check all the package groups from the dvd, except laptop and KDE4 (KDE4 is a "preview", and it's pretty badly broken - wait for the December 11th final release). Don't go and make individual package selections at this stage. You'll get about 5 gigs of software installed
When you boot into your newly installed OS, you can then add the other software repositories, which will give you goodies such as working mp3 and dvd players, etc. This gives you another 16 gigs of software. Make a detailed selection from one package group at a time (say "Development" or "Office"), do the online update, then go on to the next group. If you're determined to grab a copy of everything, you'll end up with more than 21 gigs of software installed, as follows:
- /etc: 109 meg
- /lib: 140 meg
- /opt: 2.1 gig
- /sbin: 17 meg
- /srv: 146 meg
- /var: 674 met
- /usr: 18 gig
- /boot: 47 meg
That's 21, 233 meg, so don't accept the default of a 20 gig root partition and putting the rest in
The down side: While 10.2 was able to configure all 3 video cards, 10.3 wasn't. Also, it was unable to delete the raid partition on re-install, but that may have been an issue with the second set of new Seagate drives failing. Also, as I mentioned earlier, the KDE4 preview is not usable. The new-style "slab" menus (in both KDE and GNOME) have a hard time coping with over 6,000 packages - be prepared to wait a minute the first time you click on "newly installed programs".
With the ability to run linux and Windows (not just Windows programs) side-by-side, I can see this being a serious threat to Microsoft trying to get people to upgrade to Vista. Why bother, when you can get the eye candy on your current machine, run all your old apps, and buy some serious hardware upgrades with the money you saved?
I haven't run Windows in years, but I might just try installing an old copy of Win9x in a virtual machine, just to play Sim City 2k and Sim City 3000 again.