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Old 09-04-2003, 12:49 AM   #1
cav
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The Great SuSE Experiment and my findings (long and opinionistic)


So. About a week ago I decided to make my most recent Linux migration, to SuSE 8.2.

For those interested, here is my short Linuxography. My Linux journey started with Red Hat 8 after I purchased "The Red Hat Linux 8 Bible". Although it was a great way to get started, and probably be blasphemed by the Vatican, I soon found it to be very restrictive, a little too corporate, and perhaps "dumbed down" a bit. The real learning began when I switched to Slackware 9 which, being very UNIX like, forced me to learn how to do everything the real way. However, since I like to torture myself by endlessly reinstalling, upgrading, and switching distros (I have installed or at least tried to install freeBSD, Solaris, Gentoo, Mandrake, before saying screw it and reverting back to Slackware), I have now moved on to SuSE 8.2.

Now that I have 8.2 installed and running, I have several first impressions. SuSE is very pretty. SuSE must know I like the color blue. There is a lot of good software preinstalled that I would have had to install manually with other distros such as Slackware. That chameleon logo is really cool. But enough praise, onto what I'm really writing this thread for. GRIPING!

First off, installing off the web sucks. Why oh why god can't they just give me an ISO. Its bad enough that I have to leave it on overnight hoping that by some miracle nothing screws up before I wake up. Sure enough, it seems that the ftp mirror I was using periodically decides to play around with me and stop responding. Sure, a simple "retry" mouse click kicks it right back into gear, but not before sitting idle 6 hours while I sleep.

Not only that, but I find out a little too late in the install that SuSE isnt fond of my two voodoo cards that I use for dual head. It goes through a detection process, sees my cards, tries to set them up, and proceeds to murder my install. Start over.

So, after installing for two days, I finally have SuSE running (I had to pull out my secondary vid card and put it in later). Things are looking up. That is, until I try to play some videos. Like Red Hat and mp3, SuSE decided to remove support for some video codecs (more specifically, almost ALL useful formats unless youre watching a movie encoded in 1996). OK, theyre just covering their bases so they don't get their pants sued off. No biggie. Instead of messing around trying to install a bunch of codecs, I decide to compile and install mplayer from scratch.

I've compiled mplayer a million times in Slackware. No problems whatsoever. However, much to my dismay, I find that the 'make' command in SuSE may have the double meaning 'output an obscene amount of warnings and errors'.

So I did what any self respecting lazy-assed bum might do: forget about it and go play nintendo. Later, I stumbled upon another problem. I wanted to hack my XF86Config a bit and try to get dual head running. After making a preliminary draft, I'm ready to restart X and try it out. But wait. How in the HECK do I get out of X? Sure, I can ctrl-alt-backspace, or F1, whatever, but somehow it just pushes me right back into X. Not a big deal I guess, just edit inittab so that my machine boots into runlevel 3.

Restarting my machine now reveals that there is some little leprechaun of a program called Sax2 or something that automatically detects things and plops out a new X config every time I restart. Great. How can I use my own config? Using Sax2 manually just locks up my machine. Gah.

I think thats enough gripe for now. As the 2 of you who will ever read this far have no doubt noticed, this thread has little to no point. Maybe I'm just looking for a reason to keep on with SuSE because it seems cool. Or for some person to read this and say "Hey idiot, you had this problem because of this". But for now I want to eat a sandwich and go to sleep.

INSERT COMMENTS AND VERBAL ATTACKS BELOW
 
Old 09-04-2003, 10:03 AM   #2
trickykid
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Moved: More suitable in our Distribution forum.
 
Old 09-04-2003, 10:24 AM   #3
Wikkus
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I too have had (sorry, read "have still got") problems with Mplayer which I've yet to resolve.

However, you're issue over starting in a different runlevel can be resolved easily (assuming you're using LILO/GRUB) 'cause it's something I stumbled across when trying (successfully) to get the NViDIA drivers to work.

[From Memory]
When the splash "menu" screen appears offering you the choice of whatever (mine defaults to "Linux" with an option for "Windows" and a couple of other variants including "Linux - basic/safe") before the timer ticks down to 0 and kicks off Linux, type the runlevel you require into the "boot options" box at the bottom of the screen.

For instance, if you want to start at runlevel 3, just put a number "3" in the box and hit "Enter".

Once you've done whatever you need to do, either restart and do nothing else -- it'll default to runlevel 5 (assuming that's what you normally see). Alternatively, assuming (as is usually the case) no restart is required, at the command prompt, simply type "init 5". This will kick of X and the rest of the good stuff.

Hope this helps.

Wegards, Wik.
 
Old 09-04-2003, 10:44 AM   #4
Ekj530
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often the thirst for knowledge bites us in the butt! Guys like us can't just leave well enough alone. I wake up often and say to myselt...."Chris, you haven't crashed your computer lately....what is wrong with you?" Then, I go on some exotic hunt for the most dangerous hack I can find, and, operating against every ounce of logic, I deploy it to my own demise. Why can't I just learn that if something is working well and not broke, why fix it? But, what would be the fun in that?

I have never used Suse so I can't help you there. I have never done a ftp install of any kind and don't think I will, after reading your post. Although, I have thought hard on Gentoo lately. We'll see. Well, I am just babling here and not really being helpful, so, best of luck and I hope you figure it out! Be sure to post the fix if you do fix it so that if anyone else tries and has the same trouble, they will know what to do.
 
Old 09-04-2003, 10:46 AM   #5
rshaw
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install apt. http://linux01.gwdg.de/apt4rpm/ then apt-get install mplayer-suite. presto.
 
Old 09-04-2003, 11:27 AM   #6
crashmeister
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There is a lot of rpm's that seem to work with mp3 and real codecs and,blah,blah at some site http://packman.links2linux.org/
I wont be hold responsible for the quality of those but they worked pretty good about a year or so ago.
 
Old 09-04-2003, 02:26 PM   #7
JaseP
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You shouldn't mess with intitab,... rather you should just open a virtual console, go to runlevel 3 by typing:

init 3

And then make any manual changes to the XFConfig file with VI or whatever.

Then when done:
init 5

And you will be returned to runlevel 5.
 
Old 09-04-2003, 02:53 PM   #8
cav
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Quote:
Originally posted by Wikkus
if you want to start at runlevel 3, just put a number "3" in the box and hit "Enter".
Groovy. SuSE scores a few more points. And about RPM's, I'll try as a last ditch effort, however Slackware has taught me to love thy source code. Maybe I'll give that 'apt' a try though.

Thanks everyone who's posted so far.
 
Old 09-04-2003, 04:15 PM   #9
contrasutra
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Why not post this in LinuxQuestion's REVIEWS section?
 
Old 09-05-2003, 06:31 AM   #10
ronss
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rshaw -thanks for apt, one of my next goals are to install mplayer, probably better figure on a week of sleepless nights though to get it installed.
 
Old 09-05-2003, 03:00 PM   #11
pilotgi
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If you're not stuck on mplayer, why not try xine. Everything is in rpm format and you can install with YaST.

Xine
 
Old 09-05-2003, 04:34 PM   #12
ronss
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sounds like a winner, may give it try later today after i pay some unwanted bills. later ,. hey-thats a great link , i just scanned it. gives me a good chance to install it, and i want to watch dvd,s. always thought if i install xine or mplayer installed, my days with $microsoft would be over with.

Last edited by ronss; 09-05-2003 at 04:38 PM.
 
Old 09-06-2003, 09:47 AM   #13
Wikkus
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Mplayer now working! (mostly)

Quote:
Originally posted by ronss
rshaw -thanks for apt, one of my next goals are to install mplayer, probably better figure on a week of sleepless nights though to get it installed.
Indeed, thanks /all/ who contributed to this thread (no hijack intended!) 'cause I now have a working Mplayer! Hurrah!

Ok, it gives me a (minor) error message that I haven't got my head around, yet:
"New_Face failed. Maybe the font path is wrong. Please supply the text font file (~/.mplayer/subfont.ttf)"

and occasionally it'll go "BANG!" without any solid explanation (usually when trying to play AVI's encoded with MPEG codec in Windows):
"Fatal Error! Mplayer interrupted by signal 11 in module: key_events" and then "Mplayer crashed by bad usage of CPU/FPU/RAM. Recompile Mplayer with --enable-debug and make a 'gdb' backtrace and disassembly. For details, see DOCS/bugreports.html#crash.b"

..which, I'm afraid, is all gobble-de-gook for me at the moment (ok, not entirely true, but I haven't got time or the skills to fix it to /that/ extent).

Incidentally, for anyone still dithering over what to do about this issue and wondering what I did (probably no-one!), I uninstalled Mplayer using YAST2 and then considered what people had written, here.

I haven't had the time or inclination to figure APT out yet (I'm sure I will over time), so I checked out the Packman links and then set about installing the necessary RPMs one by one in YAST2.

The only one that caused a problem was the DivX codec which required a restart before everything was ok.

Anyhoo, much better than it was before. Now all I need do is figure out how to play DVDs...
 
Old 09-06-2003, 12:25 PM   #14
rshaw
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to anyone who cares, the apt for suse page can be confusing at first. here's the short version. download and install two rpm's.

ftp://ftp.gwdg.de/pub/linux/suse/apt...6-rb3.i386.rpm
ftp://ftp.gwdg.de/pub/linux/suse/apt...6-rb3.i386.rpm

as root edit /etc/apt/sources list and comment out all that is there and insert the lines found here. http://ftp.gwdg.de/pub/linux/suse/ap...urces.list.FTP

also comment out the rpm-src line if you don't want the source packages, save, exit. connect to the net if you're not already and at a root term type apt-get update once done type apt-get install synaptic when done exit root term. kde will eventually put it in your menu list, but you can make a link on the desk top. right click and select "create new"-> "link to application" enter synaptic in the name box, pick an icon then click "execute" fill in kdesu synaptic click ok. click synaptic icon, give root password and be greeted with a nice little gui for package management.

Last edited by rshaw; 09-06-2003 at 12:27 PM.
 
Old 09-06-2003, 02:05 PM   #15
Wikkus
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Thumbs up

Quote:
Originally posted by rshaw to anyone who cares, the apt for suse page can be confusing at first. here's the short version.
[snip]

Hey, rshaw, I care!

Thanks heaps for that -- mucho useful! Keep up the good work, mate!

Wegards, Wik.
 
  


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