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Do-No-Evil Saturday – Part I: OpenSUSE… Plus a Little Bit of SLED and Xandros

Posted in GNU/Linux, Mandriva, Novell, OpenSUSE, SLES/SLED, Ubuntu, Xandros at 3:56 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


BEING A PERIOD of holidays, not much has been heralded by companies, so commercial distributions did not receive as much coverage as an (relatively) open-ended project like OpenSUSE.

Some more people have been installing OpenSUSE over the holidays and they wrote about their experiences. Marc Fearby believes that OpenSUSE defeats Mandriva and he defends this position by comparing different versions of KDE4.

Even though I cited one more not-so-good aspect to openSUSE than good, I am very impressed with it. It seems much more polished than Mandriva, thanks to the Folder View support in KDE 4 as well as the installer and YaST overall. If openSUSE could find some way to improve mouse support then I’ll even pay for my next version or donate or whatever is the done thing to show one’s appreciation. Like most distros, it’s always the video, sound, and peripherals that are still the major issues, so I hope for some improvement in this area overall (particularly getting rid of all those sound systems). But I’m not going to back to Windows. No way!

Here is another experience with OpenSUSE 11.1.

If I get that configured correctly, I’ll be totally happy. Sound works, wireless network works (but it’s still more convenient to use ifup instead of network manager, but the 11.0 bug where I’d have to restart the wireless network after booting to get it working is fixed. KDE looks great and feel very stable and I’m already recompiling KOffice.

Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols published a comparison involving what he considers to be new big releases and the article appeared in several IDG-owned Web sites. He also mentioned SLED here and so did Jack Germain, who took on a sub-notebooks journey.

Techie Moe, who is one of the harshest reviewers out there (bar Béranger perhaps) took a look at the latest release of OpenSUSE.

SuSE and I have a long and generally pleasant history. I was one of those guys who would actually go to my local electronics store and purchase the new boxed version every six months or so.

At least, that was the story with SuSE up until version 10.3. At that point, things started to go decidedly downhill, and it hasn’t been until relatively recently that I’m beginning to feel comfortable again.

Unfortunately, this release didn’t help my already shaky resolve with openSuSE. Read on to see why.

Here is another one.

There have been mixed reviews for OpenSuSE 11.1, some lauding it while others panning it for a disaster almost as bad as the 10.1 release mostly surrounding KDE-4 desktop choice. The desktop environment is so much a part of a distro nowadays that normal users do not usually make the distinction between what is the distro and what is the desktop environment. For them, KDE or OpenSuSE they are both the same. For me I applaud the OpenSuSE team for taking a brave new step ahead! KDE-4 has it’s faults no doubt but as usual I put my total trust in the OpenSource community to mold into something better than the current 3.5.x. I will still look forward to keeping OpenSuSE as my main working distro.

Moving on to some technical writings, here is one person’s experience adopting the very latest release.

Over the Christmas I set about updating from OpenSuSE 11.0 to OpenSuSE 11.1. I always like to have the latest and greatest distro :-)

There are those who experiment with the unfinished implementation of the ext4 file-system and there are also some new HOWTOs out there. Nothing truly exciting though, but there are more picks at the OpenSUSE Web site, whose summary/overview is:

* openSUSE Education available SLE10 and 11.1
* Zimbra Mail Server Training in Indonesia
* Q&A with Joe Brockmeier
* Forums: Getting VMware to run on openSUSE 11.1
* Best of Newsletter 2008


The H-P-SUSE relationship made a lot of headlines last month and it was mentioned very briefly in this article from The Independent.

To provide customers with more cost-effective and secure computing options, HP, the leader in worldwide Linux server shipments and revenue, has introduced a new desktop offering with SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop from Novell on the HP Compaq dc5850.

Sean Michael Kerner sums up a year and also comments on Novell.

In 2009, Novell will roll out Novell SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) 11 its first update since SLES 10 in 2006.


On the legal front, SCO — yes, it will still exist in 2009 — will continue its myriad appeals against Novell and attempt to press for a court date with IBM.

Sean also approached a Novell employee for a comment on Linux:

“The ext4 filesystem, the successor to the ext3 filesystem, has been marked stable enough for people to start using and relying on,” Novell Linux kernel developer Greg Kroah-Hartman told InternetNews.com.


“We now have a proper memory manager for video memory, the GEM [Graphics Execution Manager] memory manager,” Kroah-Hartman said. “This gives Linux much better graphics performance than it previously had.”


Some reviews of the Eee PC carried on coming and from the Indian press came this article which mentions Xandros by name (that becomes more of a rarity because of Microsoft tricks).

The computer has built-in wireless, a LAN port plus a couple USB ports, and with pre-installed Linux Xandros it’s plug-and-play ready. Just flip it open, hit the on switch and about 10 seconds later (it loads fast!) the laptop is ready for use.

Viyya is one company that we mentioned before because it has connections with Xandros [1, 2, 3, 4, 5] and this latest press release (also found here) sheds more light on their relationship.

Viyya Technologies, Inc. (PINKSHEETS: VYON),the developer and marketer of the world’s most advanced, web-based information management application, announced an update from John Bay onprogress relating to activities from 2008 and plans for the Internet Search and Discovery marketplace in 2009:


First, we will continue to customize VIYYA(TM) and build the VIYYA Information Store with Xandros in the NetBook marketplace. This contrac twill provide a lucrative revenue stream especially with VIYYA’s new advertising based model coming in 2009.

That’s all about SUSE and Novell from the past week. Next week will be busier for sure.

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  1. Lyle Howard Seave said,

    January 3, 2009 at 4:30 pm


    http://meandubuntu.wordpress.com/2008/12/16/the-opensuse-faq-touched-me-in-a-bad-place/ does an excellent job of giving you a play by play of the OpenSUSE FAQ.

    Im sure you had in in the links 2 weeks ago but I actually thought you were writing this under a pseudo.

  2. The Mad Hatter said,

    January 3, 2009 at 4:35 pm


    I don’t like SUSE or OpenSUSE. Fedora is OK. I’ve just finished a test of Mandriva 2009, and in my opinion it’s a failure. So I’m going to install Ubuntu 9.04 Alpha 2 on my Acer laptop in a few minutes. It may be just familiarity, but I keep going back to Ubuntu. With some modifications (installation of VLC is a must, and removal of Mono) it’s my personal favourite.

  3. Roy Schestowitz said,

    January 3, 2009 at 4:41 pm


    Mandriva 2008.1 is very good (I’m using it right now) and it’s supported for some time to come.

  4. The Mad Hatter said,

    January 3, 2009 at 4:51 pm



    I should have worded my post better. Mandriva works well, far better than Windows XP (don’t know about Vista, never tried it). Of course any modern Linux/BSD/Solaris Distro is better than XP, hell XP is seven years old. And based on Microsoft’s lack of ability, they are all probably better than Vista.

    That said, Mandriva, OpenSUSE, Sabayon, Knoppix, Yellow Dog (yes, I have a G3 Mac), KUbuntu, XUbuntu, LinuxMint, and PCLinuxOS all failed my personal use test. Quite frankly if I hate to use an OS, it’s a failure for me.

    OSX, Fedora and Ubuntu all passed. It’s a matter of taste.

  5. Roy Schestowitz said,

    January 3, 2009 at 4:57 pm


    I don’t think that any distribution has ever not worked for me. And I’ve tried plenty. Maybe my hardware was a good fit and maybe my standards are low.

  6. The Mad Hatter said,

    January 3, 2009 at 10:30 pm


    Hum. Depends on your definition of “worked.” All of them functioned. Some of them were not enjoyable to use. There is a difference, and since I have the choice, I won’t use something that I don’t enjoy. After all, that’s what freedom is about.

    Hell. By your definition Windows works. And I swore two years ago that I’d NEVER have that piece of shit on any computer that I own, ever again.

  7. Roy Schestowitz said,

    January 3, 2009 at 10:44 pm


    Windows is very unreliable. The last version of Windows that I had was Windows 98 Second Edition and I was glad to get rid of it.

  8. G. Michaels said,

    January 3, 2009 at 11:07 pm


    How can you say it’s “unreliable” if you don’t even use it, or the last version you used was Windows 98?

    Note: writer of this comment adds absolutely nothing but stalking and personal attacks against readers, as documented here.

  9. The Mad Hatter said,

    January 4, 2009 at 1:49 am


    Because we know a lot of people who use it, have problems, and are not happy, but are either too chicken, or not knowledgeable enough to switch.

    Quite frankly I was trying to escape from Windows for years. The first Linux distro I tried was Caldera Open Linux 2.4. The problem was that it wasn’t capable of doing what I needed. Over the years I’ve tried most of the major distros, and many of the minor ones, and watched Free Software improve dramatically. Oh, it always worked well, but the user interface was usually an after thought in early distros, whether BSD or Linux kernel based.

    About 4 years ago a friend converted one of his computers to Mandrake 9. While it wasn’t what I needed, it was far more usable. Over the next two years, I tried a series of distros. I even installed Scientific Linux in a separate partition on an old desktop for use as a network access point in the hospitality suite of a convention that I helped run. By doing this, and forcing everyone to use a guest account, I was able to lock out my work partition, keep the machine virus free, and assure that the thing would run 24/7 with no problems for the length of the convention.

    In early 2007 I bought a new notebook. Vista was due out any day, and I wanted to avoid it. I’d been through Microsloth upgrades before, and knew that Vista was likely to f*** up a lot of my current software, so to avoid it I bought a machine with XP installed (and a Vista certificate that I promptly binned). So I got XP, and was happy for about two months. You got it – XP blew up. Backup was a bitch, the “Restore” CD wouldn’t, the restore partition wouldn’t, the system was totally useless. So I decided to try Ubuntu 7.04.

    Install was a breeze. The only problem I had was getting wireless working, some time spent in the Ubuntu forums solved that problem. Now the problem could have been hardware, instead of XP, but since the computer has run flawlessly for nearly two years with Ubuntu installed, and only managed 2 months with XP installed, my conclusion is that the hardware is fine.

    This is not the first time I’ve had stability problems with Windows. In my NOT SO HUMBLE OPINION the last stable version of Windows was 3.10, and that it’s been in a nose dive like a paralyzed falcon ever since.

    And that’s what will kill Microsoft. You can’t produce shit, and expect your customers to stick around. Apple knows this. Apple is out for the money, and they know the easiest way to make lots of cash, is to make the customer so damned happy that he wouldn’t even consider another option. People pay more for Macs, because Macs are worth more. They last longer (very well built hardware), and they don’t need expensive anti-virus subscriptions.

    Meanwhile Microsoft looks at the customer’s back as they leave, and wonders what they did wrong. But they are looking at the wrong customer. Microsoft thinks that Dell, Acer, Lenovo, etc. are their customer. They are wrong. Their customer is John Q. Public, and they don’t give a shit about John Q. Public, and John Q. Public knows this, and is voting by moving to Apple for the top end, and Linux at the bottom end, while Microsoft gets squeezed in the middle.

    You can sign me off at this point as:


  10. Roy Schestowitz said,

    January 4, 2009 at 4:39 am


    Apple makes a lot of money from selling hardware. Microsoft loses money in businesses where it sells hardware, probably with the exception of peripherals.

  11. Bob said,

    January 4, 2009 at 9:44 am


    @G. Michaels
    Thanks for talking about Win98. I am forever grateful to MS for making it because it persuaded me to move to Linux, Mandrake 8.3 as it happened.
    I have not had any MS crapware on any hardware of mine for 5 years now but I have used Windows 3.1 – it was shit. Then I used Windows 95 B – it was shit. Then I moved to Win 98 SE, that too was shit.
    I have installed Win XP for others many times and am stuck with using it from time to time in internet cafes. It is shit.
    I attend a computer club weekly which meets for an hour. Usually 50 of the 60 minutes is spent discussing protection from or removal of malware that effects Windows. Occasionally we get caught up with some unfortunate who has bought a legal version of Vista on a brand name laptop HP for example, who is unable to get Microsoft to accept that he has paid for his software. So I conclude that Vista is shit.

    Like it or not we can listen to the unfortunates who run Microsoft garbage software and can fairly conclude that it is shit. Because the software I run does not give me the grief that affects Windows users. So if you really think that anyone needs to pay $$$ to Microsoft to install and run their garbage to form a valid opinion about it you are just a moron.

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