Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

openSUSE 10.2 Final Report

Filed under

Although I had planned to write a full length review of openSUSE 10.2 at the time of the RC release, I later decided against it. ...until I received a shiny new HP Pavilion notebook computer for Christmas and needed to install a Linux distribution. I obviously chose openSUSE 10.2 and I'm not sorry I did. This will describe some of my experiences with this fine distro on my new equipment.

When this adventure began, I still had not planned to write about it as eco2geek had already generously shared his experiences on a similar Compaq laptop. As such some items were already configured without my having taken screenshots. Also it's important to note that although I'm not exactly a laptop virgin, I'd say I only reached 2nd or 3rd base using my old vintage 1999 Dell as a training device. So please forgive my ignorance.

This machine arrived with an 80 gig sata harddrive with Windows XP Media Edition on an NTFS partition. This partition spanned approximately 69 gigs of this drive with an 11 gig vfat restore partition at the end. It was my desire to not only retain this Windows install, but also the restore partition. I was a bit apprehensive with it residing on said NT filesystem. But as I was testing livecds I had handy, one disk I popped in was the RC1 of openSUSE 10.2. I ran it through the partitioning step just to see what it'd say, and it acted like it could resize that NTFS partition and install. I was encouraged and burnt the final release of openSUSE 10.2 onto dvdr.

I popped in the dvd and restarted the machine. I was presented with the new very polished openSUSE installer. The new theme was complete throughout now and a new install option was present in the options menus at the bottom of the boot screen. Harddrive install is now an easy option. It's not relevant this time, but it's nice to know that method is now much easier to perform. From that point on I don't recall any new elements that have not been previously described by me in the coverage of the development cycle.

I reached the first summary screen and saw where the installer proposed to resize my ntfs and make several partitions for my new install. I was leery, but I had made some dvd backups of the XP system, so I preceded. I didn't really want to go with its exact proposal as it was planning on giving windows 30 gigs. As all the data was still within the first 6 gigs, I changed that to 12 and set up some additional partitions I thought I might need, such as a 500 mb /boot, and two extra partitions (one for the upcoming PCLOS .94 and another for testing other various distros). In addition, I decided to let it use ext3 filesystem as is openSUSE's new default this release. I almost held my breath as I depressed enter, but off it went. Next thing I recall was it installing all the software I had chosen.

This install also brought another first or two for me. This time I was gonna need a bootloader installed and I even chose to go with grub. It included Windows in its proposal as well as a windows 2 for that restore partition. I deleted that entry in the config.

Upon first reboot I just hit enter as OpenSUSE 10.2 is the default system. After some other configuration steps, I rebooted to see if Windows was still operative. It was. It did go through its dskchk that first boot after the Linux install, but it booted fine. I've booted over there another time since and all seems well. It's still amazes me how far Linux has come. But that's not all that amazed me about openSUSE on this machine.

One of the first things I noticed was how openSUSE detected my display and gave a correct resolution of 1280x800. As mentioned earlier, I'd tested a few livecds previously, and none of them did as well. Another yippee was its detection and auto-config of the pointer thingy. I recall reading horror stories in the past by folks trying to get those to work. Linux has come a long way, Baby. Some more good news: the sound card and volume control worked out of the box, some of the media/shortcut keys work, and power management was setup out of the box and worked properly.


I did have configure some things myself. The first order of business after graphics is always the net connection. As my graphics were fine, I started out to set up the wireless connection. Unfortunately, my wireless chipset isn't supported natively by Linux, so I had to resort to ndiswrapper. I ended up using the advice given by eco2geek about installing the windows driver off that partition and using ndiswrapper for the module as described by the howto he linked to in that article. It worked wonderfully. As he stated, it will connect to the neighbor's lan if you're not careful. But once you connect to your own, it will be set as default.

My printer is connected to my main workhorse machine, so I needed to set it up as a smb printer on this new machine. I had previously set it up on the desktop and only needed to configure it on the laptop through Yast. There was no pain with this process. Easy peasy, just fill in a few blanks and click Finish.

I tested the new Software Manager quite a bit installing additional software and even uninstalling some. I quickly became weary of popping in the install dvd and opted to set up a http mirror. In addition I ran the Online Updates configuration to set up an update repository. That applet has offered updates and installed them without issue twice already. Their appearances haven't changed since previous coverage, but it seems all is working wonderfully to me.

In fact, everything I have wanted to do in Yast has worked fantasticly. From looking at hardware information, adding new users, adjusting startup services, to turning off the firewall, ...everything, has worked great.


My only complaint is the fonts. The fonts aren't quite as nice on this system as I've observed on my desktop openSUSE installs. I'm sure it's to do with the type of display, but I've not been able to adjust them to my exact liking. Although I'm growing accustomed to the new appearance, the fonts on my desktop just knock my socks off when I get back on that machine.

At this point I strayed from openSUSE's stock system and I installed the NVIDIA graphic drivers. This didn't seem to help with the font issue, but games are much more cooperative. I did install a few more font packages and found one that looks better than the default.

After that I ended up "Hacking openSUSE 10.2." I then copied over my kmailrc, bookmarks.xml, and akregator directory from my desktop and I am ready to take my new computer on the road.

The only issue I've had is one lock-up when issuing a "sensors-detect" under X. This process completes at the terminal without further issue.

In conclusion, openSUSE 10.2 performs marvelously on my new mobile computer. This whole experience has been a pleasure from start to finish. Most hardware is detected and auto-configured right out of the box. Most of what requires further configuration are user-friendly to set up. Important components like power management work great as well. openSUSE runs fast and stable, even after "Hacking." And it's just plain pretty while retaining a nice professional appearance. As always, slick and polished are the two words that come to mind when trying to describe openSUSE. But now another comes to me as well. Amazing.

My thanks goes out to eco2geek for his previous article, which probably saved me hours of googling and trial & error, and to all those wonderful developers at openSUSE who work so hard to bring us such a pretty and functional system.

openSUSE Homepage.
Changelog & Version information.
RC 1 Coverage.

What fonts did you choose?

openSUSE 10.2 fonts are also a problem for me on my HP Pavilion laptop (dv6000t - Nvidia GO 7400). I am using the MSfonts with some satisfaction, and have grabbed every Xorg update I can find thinking that might be a logical fix. I have played with font rendering and settled with 96 dpi, sub-pixel (LCDs), medium hinting.

During Oct-Nov I loaded all the openSUSE 10.2 alpha, beta, and RC releases on my HP with good success (except for headphone sound) and don't remember being unhappy with fonts. But the final 10.2 font problem (in Firefox) has been so bad for me I avoid using SUSE for my long surfing sessions...

Would appreciate knowing what fonts you found satisfactory on your HP - particulary in your Firefox browser. Like you, I am very happy with 10.2 on my desktop machine (Sony G420 19" monitor - Nvidia 7600 GS card).

BTW, was happy to hear you got a new HP fox Christmas. My brother bought his wife one and I am VERY with mone.

Thanks, happyg

re: What fonts did you choose?

I'm using dustismo for kde stuff. I tried windows fonts, and I even tried enabling the bytecode interpreter, but it seems almost like a lost cause. I even tried a coupla tricks from suse specific font tutorials with no real luck.

I don't really use firefox all that much, so I've left it on whatever was default. It don't look too bad really.

I've just really been using pclos mostly lately on that laptop cuz the fonts look so much better right out of the box.

You talk the talk, but do you waddle the waddle?

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

More in Tux Machines


  • Managing OpenStack with Open Source Tools
    Day 2 operations are still dominated by manual and custom individual scripts devised by system administrators. Automation is needed by enterprises. Based on the above analysis, Ansible is a leading open source project with a high number contributions and a diverse community of contributions. Thus Ansible is a well supported and popular open source tool to orchestrate and manage OpenStack.
  • Databricks Weaves Deep Learning into Cloud-Based Spark Platform
    Databricks, a company founded by the creators of the popular open-source Big Data processing engine Apache Spark, is a firm that we've been paying close attention to here at OStatic. We're fans of the company's online courses on Spark, and we recently caught up with Kavitha Mariappan, who is Vice President of Marketing at the company, for a guest post on open source tools and data science. Now, Databricks has announced the addition of deep learning support to its cloud-based Apache Spark platform. The company says this enhancement adds GPU support and integrates popular deep learning libraries to the Databricks' big data platform, extending its capabilities to enable the rapid development of deep learning models. "Data scientists looking to combine deep learning with big data -- whether it's recognizing handwriting, translating speech between languages, or distinguishing between malignant and benign tumors -- can now utilize Databricks for every stage of their workflow, from data wrangling to model tuning," the company reports, adding "Databricks is the first to integrate these diverse workloads in a fast, secure, and easy-to-use Apache Spark platform in the cloud."
  • OpenStack Building the Cloud for the Next 50 Years (and Beyond)
    Two OpenStack Foundation executives talk about what has gone wrong, what has gone right and what's next for the open-source cloud. BARCELONA, Spain—When OpenStack got started in 2010, it was a relatively small effort with only two companies involved. Over the last six years, that situation has changed dramatically with OpenStack now powering telecom, retail and scientific cloud computing platforms for some of the largest organizations in the world.
  • The Myth of the Root Cause: How Complex Web Systems Fail
    Complex systems are intrinsically hazardous systems. While most web systems fortunately don’t put our lives at risk, failures can have serious consequences. Thus, we put countermeasures in place — backup systems, monitoring, DDoS protection, playbooks, GameDay exercises, etc. These measures are intended to provide a series of overlapping protections. Most failure trajectories are successfully blocked by these defenses, or by the system operators themselves.
  • How to assess the benefits of SDN in your network
    Software-defined networking has matured from a science experiment into deployable, enterprise-ready technology in the last several years, with vendors from Big Switch Networks and Pica8 to Hewlett Packard Enterprise and VMware offering services for different use cases. Still, Nemertes Research's 2016 Cloud and Data Center Benchmark survey found a little more than 9% of organizations now deploying SDN in production.

Security News

  • GNU Tar "Pointy Feather" Vulnerability Disclosed (CVE-2016-6321)
    Last week was the disclosure of the Linux kernel's Dirty COW vulnerability while the latest high-profile open-source project going public with a new security CVE is GNU's Tar. Tar CVE-2016-6321 is also called POINTYFEATHER according to the security researchers. The GNU Pointy Feather vulnerability comes down to a pathname bypass on the Tar extraction process. Regardless of the path-name(s) specified on the command-line, the attack allows for file and directory overwrite attacks using specially crafted tar archives.
  • Let’s Encrypt and The Ford Foundation Aim To Create a More Inclusive Web
    Let’s Encrypt was awarded a grant from The Ford Foundation as part of its efforts to financially support its growing operations. This is the first grant that has been awarded to the young nonprofit, a Linux Foundation project which provides free, automated and open SSL certificates to more than 13 million fully-qualified domain names (FQDNs). The grant will help Let’s Encrypt make several improvements, including increased capacity to issue and manage certificates. It also covers costs of work recently done to add support for Internationalized Domain Name certificates. “The people and organizations that Ford Foundation serves often find themselves on the short end of the stick when fighting for change using systems we take for granted, like the Internet,” Michael Brennan, Internet Freedom Program Officer at Ford Foundation, said. “Initiatives like Let’s Encrypt help ensure that all people have the opportunity to leverage the Internet as a force for change.”
  • How security flaws work: SQL injection
    Thirty-one-year-old Laurie Love is currently staring down the possibility of 99 years in prison. After being extradited to the US recently, he stands accused of attacking systems belonging to the US government. The attack was allegedly part of the #OpLastResort hack in 2013, which targeted the US Army, the US Federal Reserve, the FBI, NASA, and the Missile Defense Agency in retaliation over the tragic suicide of Aaron Swartz as the hacktivist infamously awaited trial.
  • How To Build A Strong Security Awareness Program
    At the Security Awareness Summit this August in San Francisco, a video clip was shown that highlights the need to develop holistic security awareness. The segment showed an employee being interviewed as a subject matter expert in his office cubicle. Unfortunately, all his usernames and passwords were on sticky notes behind him, facing the camera and audience for all to see. I bring this story up not to pick on this poor chap but to highlight the fact that security awareness is about human behavior, first and foremost. Understand that point and you are well on your way to building a more secure culture and organization. My work as director of the Security Awareness Training program at the SANS Institute affords me a view across hundreds of organizations and hundreds of thousands of employees trying to build a more secure workforce and society. As we near the end of this year's National Cyber Security Awareness Month, here are two tips to incorporate robust security awareness training into your organization and daily work.

What comes after ‘iptables’? It’s successor, of course: `nftables`

Nftables is a new packet classification framework that aims to replace the existing iptables, ip6tables, arptables and ebtables facilities. It aims to resolve a lot of limitations that exist in the venerable ip/ip6tables tools. The most notable capabilities that nftables offers over the old iptables are: Read more

Linux 4.8.5

I'm announcing the release of the 4.8.5 kernel. All users of the 4.8 kernel series must upgrade. The updated 4.8.y git tree can be found at: git:// linux-4.8.y and can be browsed at the normal git web browser: Read more Also: Linux 4.4.28