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YaST (Yet another SUSE 10.1 RC2 Trial), Part 2

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Installing Xgl on Suse 10.1 RC2 couldn't be simpler. It does require video acceleration; typically, that means using an nVidia or ATI graphics card with the manufacturer's proprietary drivers installed (see the Xgl page on the Suse wiki for more information).

The directions for installing Xgl are here, complete with a lot of screenshots and step-by-step instructions. (Another slightly less useful howto can be found here.) The only "bug" I found in the directions is this: Instead of adding compiz -replace to the GNOME session editor, one should add compiz --replace gconf. Of course, if you don't use GNOME, you can ignore that section.

Xgl makes your desktop into a cube, complete with top and bottom. The four sides function as four views of your desktop, allowing you to place windows on them and rotate through them. You can download a video ("xgl-demo1.xvid.avi," 58 MB) from this page.

Xgl allows for the following things, among others:

  • Wobbly windows
  • Window translucency
  • Zooming in and out on a window
  • Displaying an svg image on the top of the cube
  • Running a screensaver as you work (hey, why not?)
Since a picture's better than words, here are some screenshots

Cubism -- what a novel(Loser concept

Zooming way in on a window

Choosing among active windows with Alt+Tab

Windows on 2 sides of the cube

Translucency in action

Do you wiggle the wiggle?

In conclusion, Suse 10.1 with Xgl is going to be a lot of fun. It'll be interesting to try an alternate package manager, possibly yum (if available for Suse) or apt. As a KDE partisan, among the "big 3" rpm-based distros (Fedora, Mandriva, and Suse), Suse is my favorite because of their fine treatment of KDE. (After seeing Red Hat's effort to make KDE look like GNOME, it's rather amusing to see Suse trying to make GNOME look like KDE.)

I'm really looking forward to upgrading to 10.1 final. Note that Suse usually comes out with a live CD version, so even if you don't intend to install it, you can at least check it out.

And that applydeltaiso issue? It runs just fine within Suse (go figure). Contrary to other reports I've read, though, it took a long time to process the 6 CDs (5 install CDs plus 1 non-OSS CD).

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As far as the time for applydeltaiso, it took about 10 or 12 minutes for the first cd and a little less for each of the others here. I guess a lot depends on your machine specs.

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

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