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BobNutfield 05-01-2006 03:43 AM

Questions About Package Management in Slick
Hi Everybody,

A few questions, if I might, about a new install of SuSe Slick for testing purposes. My wifes old P3 500Mhz just went to computer heaven, so I put together another one from part around the house, a P3 1Ghz with a 40gig IDE drive and an old nVidia card (Geforce mm400, I believe with 64mb aperture.) She had previously been using Ubuntu on the old one. She didn't really like it, so I deceided to give Suse a try for her since she also doesn't like my FC or Slack. I chose Slick because it is still fairly old gear and I am told that Slick works well on older machines. Install went well (though it took almost 4 hours including the updates.) So far, so good.

But, after the install, I see why this is called a "performance enhanced" version of Suse. It's so stripped down, there is very little useful for the desktop user like my wife. No office software (OOo), no graphics (Gimp, etc.), only the KDE desktop (she prefers Gnome) and others that normally come stock in most distros. But, since it runs smooth and is very quick for this old box, I thought I would give it a little longer and just add all this other stuff myself.

This distro came with a nifty little tool called "Klick" for adding software. This works pretty well for adding new software, but it leaves it on the desktop with a generic icon and a filename ending in ".cmg" If you change the name and add an icon, it won't open. So much for Klick.

I know everyone will tell me that I should have just installed the full version of Suse 10.0 if wanted all this other stuff, and you are probably right, but now that I have spent the better part of a full day with this thing, I am not inclined to start over. So I would like to ask a few questions about package management. I have been all over this forum and the Suse home page (as well as a good bit of other googling), and while package management is discussed, I am left a little confused. I know Suse will install via RPM (which I am obviously familiar with) but my question is:

1. Is there a command line installer like Yum in Fedora?

2. Is there an "extras" respository I could add that will install things like OOo and digital camera tools?

3. What in the world is "Kynaptic" used for other than to list the software already installed? The GUI look pretty useless.

4. This thing came with no screensavers at all. Where can I find a single install for KDE's normal suite of screensavers instead of having to install them one by one?

This seems like a nice distro for her. Fairly easy to navigate, reasonably stable, and "pretty". But, if it is a going to be a hassle installing software and keeping it up to date, I'll just bite the bullit and try something else.

I hope I don't offend any Suse lovers with my statement/comments. At this point, I'd like to keep it because she seems to like it.

Any help/thoughts would be appreciated.


bigrigdriver 05-02-2006 09:00 AM

1. SuSE uses YaST (Yet another Setup Tool) for package management. It runs as GUI from the Control Center, or from command line (see yast man pages).

2. Google on the search terms "suse repository" to see what turns up.

3. Don't know, I haven't heard of Kynaptic before.

4. Screensavers are part of the kdebase3 rpm.

To ease the hassle of installing and keeping current, install apt4suse, which is Debian's apt ported to SuSE (versions also available for RedHat and Mandriva). Apt installs packages, chases down and installs dependencies, does updates, upgrades, etc.

mike160 05-02-2006 11:59 AM

Using YaST seems to be the best way to do updates and install packages in SuSE. You just have to add extra repositories or Yast will just look on the install media for the software.

I've tried using Slick and I love the idea but it falls short of my expectations, maybe you could try "slimming down"
the full version (10.0) during the install ??

Just curious ... why didn't your wife like Ubuntu ??? Just seemes to me if she enjoyed gnome so much she would stick with it, also using apt with Ubuntu has always worked well for me. (don't rip off my head please, i'm not trying to be sarcastic) :)

dasbooter 05-02-2006 02:13 PM

Sad to say yast is probably the best choice for package management although I have seen people using apt and I think suse guru has an apt repo. I actually was running suse 10 full install on a p3 667 with 512 of ram and it was doing alright. You might consider running yast2 from tty1 after shutting down kde/gnome that might be quicker. I think there are stickies in this forum for sources also look at the opensuse website.

As for the screensaver I would just disable all kde screensaver stuff and use xscreensaver which gives you a whole host of screensavers.Get the rss(really sclick screensavers) package and put links in the xscreensaver config file to really live a little.

Ya I wonder why switch from Ubuntu.Every time I get mad at suse I think Ubunto debian=fast ubuntu=friendly and fast. I am interested if you eventually want to make a comparison

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