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SUSE 10.0 felt slow to me, so I was ready to try something new. Lo and behold, SUSE 10.1 appeared just weeks after I installed 10.0
I decided to go ahead with the network install, just like I had with 10.0. Finding a fast mirror was difficult but mirrors.kernel.org delivered a decent speed for me.
When I installed SUSE 10.0, it was incompatible with my nForce 4 SLI-based ASUS A8N-SLI Deluxe mainboard in that it would hang at loading sata_nv. Disabling APIC in the BIOS fixed this. This time around with 10.1, I decided to leave APIC on just to see what would happen.
Alas, to my surprise, the SUSE 10.1 installer booted without a single hesitation (IRQ lockup, sata_nv freeze, mouse freeze, or otherwise). Installation was very straightforward. I had a previous install of 10.0 but I decided to wipe it and do a New Installation of 10.1 after backing up my documents. I marked the / partition for ReiserFS format, and enabled swap on my same old swap partition. The /boot partition I decided not to format because I put my backups on that oversized partition.
One thing I noticed was that 'refreshing packages' took what seemed a decent five minutes, and this popped up at least three times during the installation whenever I changed the partitioning or packaging configuration. For packages, I decided to install a minimal default of GNOME and help/support. It even asked me if I wanted to configure the firewall to allow VNC/remote desktop, and I indeed did want to.
The installation proceeded, and it downloaded everything I needed in a mere hour and a half on a Comcast 6 Mbps Internet connection. After completion it wanted to reboot and go to the second stage of installation. Then, it searched for drivers with a dialog reminscent of a Windows 98 driver search. It found drivers for all of the devices except my "ATI TV Wonder USB 2.0", which has only so far been detected in Fedora Core 2 32-bit for me.
But there's a dark side to every story. I went to configure my NVIDIA 7800GT graphics with SaX2, and the screen became completely garbled. After a while I tried going to the virtual terminals,Ctrl-Alt-Backspace, Ctrl-Alt-Delete repeatedly. The thing was frozen. @#%!
Thankfully, that was when the installation was on the last step (driver install), so I pressed the reset button. Then, SUSE Linux 10.1 proceeded to boot, and I decided to scour the X config before entering gdm. Looked fine, so I started gdm and I was taken to the login I always knew and loved. From there on, entering my username/password took me to a radically different-looking desktop from my SUSE 10.0. The task bar was now at the bottom, and the icons seemed a lot different. It had a more plastic feel to it as well. They opted for a blue background this time around.
My next endeavour was to get Xgl working. This article made it easy: Xgl on SUSE 10.1 for Gnome and KDE with NVidia Graphics Cards. Before I knew it, I was up and running Xgl without any errors, the first time around.
After installing MP3 support, enabling the built-in GNOME Weather applet, getting mplayer and mplayer-plugin to work, and installing Adobe Reader, I felt I was all set to enjoy SUSE Linux 10.1. My mouse-wheel worked automatically this time as well. Not to mention, the whole system seems a lot faster. I'm very happy with SUSE Linux 10.1. The only problem I have had is that the "software installer" reports a corrupt SQLite database, but I have posted about the problem on various SUSE forums and filed a bug for it, so hopefully that will get fixed. Overall, very impressed. I definitely recommend this to anyone, over any other distribution I've ever tried in my life.