OpenSuse 11 – First Impressions

I downloaded OpenSuse 11 Linux yesterday… ended up letting it download overnight and then installed it this morning. All in all… impression of this release has been very good so far although I haven’t really had a chance to get my teeth into it. Had a few other things to do today and then was out watching The Police in concert tonight at Stormont in Belfast (which was excellent by the way!)

Install was very clean with much improved interface. Installed to dual-boot alongside Windows XP on one of my older desktops – is an AMD 64 3500 processor with 2GB Ram and an Nividia 6800 128MB Graphics card… had a 160GB disk which I partitioned in 2 – giving the linux install a nice clean 80GB to work with… is not bad for a mess about machine to experiment with.

Two of my biggest bug-bears with OpenSuse Linux have been solved in respect of the USB wireless dongle being picked up and working straight away, as well as much improved ease of install of Nvidia graphics driver.

I still find it annoying that you have to download Nvidia drivers separately for OpenSuse linux… as has always been the case… but they have made the install very very easy these days and was impressed that Nvidia were bang up to date with OpenSuse 11 drivers pretty much on the day of distro release.

The Wireless LAN pickup was a dream come true. It took me ages to get this same Wireless USB dongle working on OpenSuse 10.3… at least 2 evenings… so I was glad to see that OpenSuse 11 just recognised it straight away.

Was a bit dissappointed with Compiz-Fusion experience on this machine. Was able to get it working OK using nice new graphical UI configuration tools and the fx are pretty sweet… however I haven’t been able to spot  anything on the GUIs provided to enable this to be switched on by default whenever the OS reboots… so I guess I’m gonna have to hack some configuration file in the background somewhere…just a slight annoyance – but still it would have been nice to put something so simple on one of the config screens! Secondly… I admit the graphics card I’m running this on only has 128MB Ram… but I have noticed that, when I have compiz-fusion switched on, the window buttons for maximise, minimise, close etc keep on disappearing… windows won’t close sometimes even when you repeatedly press the close button… is a bit annoying… never the less is all still a big improvement over the previous configuration experience and certainly all-in-all makes linux just the sexiest looking rich eye-candy desktop experience out there when compared to Vista or OS X… especially like the Apple cover-flow-style alt-tab window swapping experience they’ve built in… that’s just sweet…although obviously Apple did it first.

Was impressed with the fact that a lot of packages they have in this distro were so up to date including KDE 4.0, Firefox 3 (which was only released the day before!), and Wine 1.0 (just released the week before) were all in the box… very nice!

Was out at concert this evening but had left it installing all the usual development stuff including Apache, MySQL, php, Mono, Eclipse, SubVersion, webkit etc etc… will get messing with those in due course to evaluate…

All in all… good solid distro so far although I think I’m probably going to leave compiz-fusion switched off on my test machine… will try it on another machine with a better graphics card to see if experience improves… I still think OpenSuse is the best linux distro out there and makes for a great free download!

Go get it!

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2 Responses to OpenSuse 11 – First Impressions

  1. Pingback: Links: More Reviews on openSUSE 11.0 « Linux and Open Source Blog

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