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openSUSE 11.2: Getting Started!

Posted 11-18-2009 at 12:12 AM by ~sHyLoCk~
Updated 12-04-2009 at 07:55 AM by ~sHyLoCk~

Originally posted in my BLOG.

First things first, let me once again tell you I've become a huge fan of openSUSE. it's absolutely everything I look for in a Desktop OS.

Now I'm gonna write my experience down. A few slight quirks, which was not SUSE's fault but since I'm new to it [ well I used it a year ago, but that was only for a month], it was mainly because I wasn't aware of SUSE's way of doing things.

openSUSE is well known for it's user-friendliness. YAST has the ultimate tool which is everything that you need in order to control your system. From repositories to Kernel Modules, you can customize anything using it. It's an all in one super control center for your machine.

I will only talk about KDE here, since I don't use Gnome.

After the install was over, I was asked to update around 500megs of packages. I was shocked as this was a fresh install. So I went into YasT -> Software Management->Installation Summary, and found out that the packages were mainly aspell and OpenOffice Language packs. So I taboofied them as I didn't want them installed ever.

My update was then cut from 500 to 23Mb and I updated a few packages.

Immediately I had to get the Nvidia driver to fix my display. So, I added the Nvidia repo and installed the driver.

Then I wanted to see how multimedia support was. As I had installed from the KDE Live CD and not the DVD [which I have downloaded later to keep incase of a re-install], I needed to download a lot of stuffs, mainly codecs and players,etc. I came accross this guide in the forum which helped me get started.

Being an Arch user the best part I liked about openSUSE was their Additional Package Repositories. It is like AUR but segmented into various categories.

So I added a few repos from there, like KDE community,backports, VLC, Education, Games,etc. Now that I learnt how to use YaST, I wanted to check out the CLI way in openSUSE. You have to use zypper.

So to refresh the package repos [as root]:

Code:
zypper ref
To list repos:

Code:
zypper lr
To check upates:

Code:
zypper lu
To update:

Code:
zypper up
To check patches:

Code:
zypper pchk

zypper lp
[I still don't know the difference between these two commands.]

Anyway, so I was quite happy with my KDE 4.3.1 for a few days and then decided to see how I can manage to install KDE 4.3.3. I asked about it in the forum, and was pretty much satisfied with the quick reply.So, my KDE upgrade was successful.

Overall my openSUSE 11.2 experience was quite good. It impressed me. Last year when I tried it, I had lotsa problems. YaST was slow. KDE4.1 was buggy, it would crash every few minutes. But this time around they really released a polished, stable, great looking desktop. YaST works fine and so far no crashes. For the first time, I can suspend to disk easily without any system instability. I am loving my SUSE.
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