Switching to SUSE 10.0

Forum: LinuxTotal Replies: 135
Author Content

Nov 28, 2005
6:56 PM EDT
Today is the day that my casual relationship with Linux gets serious.

It all started about a year ago when my friend gave me his old desktop. I already had an extra monitor, keyboard, mouse, speakers and before I knew it I had two computers in my room. I am what would be considered an average user in the MS world and I know my around a computer but I am not a programmer or hacker, yet.

I could sit here and tell you why I have finally decided to do this, but you know as well as I that it has all been said before.

What I will say is this.

In the last year I have learned more about computers than I ever thought I would and I have had a complete blast doing it! I have had more fun than when I got my first computer, which had 98 on it. Not to mention the cool people that I have met through learning more about Linux. I am really having fun again, really!

We're goin in, and we're goin in full throttle...

Here is my concise attempt to give you an idea where I am at. I have installed and used FC1, FC3, Ubuntu, De Mundi then Kubuntu and then SuSE 9.1, 9.2, 9.3 and now 10.0. I have started to get used to the file system, I have learned some commands and have figured out how to read the man pages, which by the way are the coolest thing since sliced bread when it comes to learning basic stuff. I am what you would call a newbie, I know it, I'm ok with it. My grandfather used to say "You can learn more, if you admit you don't know more". Its the way he said it that makes me remember.

This journal of sorts, is not an attempt to push one distro or another. I tried a lot of different Linuxes and once I tried SuSE 9.1 I was hooked. I just liked and continue to like, the feel of it. For some reason I can get around my desktop and change all kinds of stuff on it easily. It made learning how to use my Linux system easier. I know that people have reasons why they like Gnome or KDE, a lot of it technical, and I don't understand any of it. All I know, is that about an hour after I had 9.1 up and running, I knew that it was never coming off...until I put 9.2 on it:-)

Well, I have all of my stuff backed up. I have an HP 520c that has an AMD 1600+ 1.4G 512mgs of RAM and a 60G-HD with an Audigy2 sound card and an ATI 9600 Graphics card. I've gone through my computer a couple of times and I think I got it all. WHEW!! I think I'm really going to do it.

So much for just getting my feet wet huh? :-)

Nov 28, 2005
7:17 PM EDT
Let 'er Rip buddy!!! People who simply use a computer for day to day use don't have ANY idea of what freedom really is...you try to 'splain it to them and you get the deer-in-the-headlights look. Once I see the eyes glaze over, I just stop right there. They are a lost cause. You sir, seem to realize what Linux can do for the devoted computer user...and we are all newbies at one level or another.

Once you take responsibility for your computer and computing habits instead of blaming others, then things begin to crystalize. Hammer Down Scott...Let 'er Rip!


Nov 29, 2005
4:41 AM EDT
SuSE is a very good distro to learn Linux on.

They have a regular 6 month upgrade cycle.

A very active mailing list community: http://lists.suse.com/archive/ http://www.suse.com/us/business/mailinglists.html

Novell has open sourced the parts of Yast that were once proprietary, and released open SuSE, a totally open version: http://www.opensuse.org/index.php/Welcome_to_openSUSE.org

Open suse has an existing community of SuSE users that are every helpfull.

Good Luck, and have a lot of fun!

Nov 29, 2005
8:33 AM EDT
That outta keep those fighters off our back...

Well, I'm alive. I put rubber to the road about 10:30pm last night and as far as I can tell, it went off with out a hitch.

The install went quickly and uneventfully, I can't believe how much faster my computer is!! It is like night and day in speed and performance! Its like I got a new computer, I know I know, I did :-)

Luckily I backed up my browser preferences and bookmarks to file and about ten minutes after I was up and running I had Firefox acting like I want it to and going where I wanted to go. I have already got most of my files and pictures put on it and now I just have to figure out how to convert all my mp3's to ogg vorbis.

By the way, anybody got advice on how to do that?

I know I'm wet behind the ears, but it used to be just my feet :-)

Nov 29, 2005
9:07 AM EDT

This might help you.


Nov 29, 2005
9:29 AM EDT
how to convert all my mp3's to ogg vorbis......

It has been my experience that converting from one lossy compression to another can degrade the quality of the file. I gotta go right now, but if you google "hacking suse", you will find a primer on getting your suse box multimedia ready. Go to tuxmachines.org and srlinuxx has it in her archives.

Nov 29, 2005
12:26 PM EDT
Suse is a good distro and my favorite for the last 6 years. It is all around client & server complete system. The command line is there and I don't mind using it, but contrary to the common perception, I never really needed to use it.

The site salparadise point out is a great one. I am not much into music but my son is (he is 14). He uses Grip on Suse 9.3 and has been very happy with it.

Nov 29, 2005
1:00 PM EDT
Right with you boss...

I did the hacking suse search and got several different layouts of the same page. It took me a little while to find the right page in YaST but I did and once I got in all the url's it was a wham bang thing. I had a whole boat load of stuff I could get. I did what the guide said and got all the different stuff for xine, mplayer, win-codecs and all that jazz.

The darn thing even recognized my HP-R707 camera, through the dock even!

I have some more files to bring over but after that, I'm pretty much done. WOW!

I know I need work on the mp3 thing, I can do it, I did it, I just want to explore different ways to do it...

But Luke, at that speed will you be able to pull out in time?

It'll be just like Beggers Canyon back home...


Nov 29, 2005
1:51 PM EDT
It depends on what your take on software is. If you want nothing but free, open software then ogg is the way to go. If you're not bothered about using "free as in cost" but "closed as in source" (eg, nvidia 3d drivers, windows media codecs etc) then get lame and install it and use Grip to get mp3 encoding capability. Most mp3 players I've seen don't do .ogg.


Nov 29, 2005
3:43 PM EDT
Salparadise is right...they pretty much stick to their specialty. Although not strictly a music player, I have found that VLC is a really good player for all formats. I haven't used suse in awhile but I do believe once you have lame you are gonna be good. Look in your new repositories and see if VLC with all the plugins are there. I use it for everything but washing the car.

Nov 29, 2005
11:01 PM EDT
"I use it for everything but washing the car" - that's awesome.

Sal and Helios: I will check on that VLC and get back to you. If it can do what you say then I need to start washing my car :-)

I am still amazed at the performance increase. I have sat in front of a lot of computers and I had an accurate idea of how fast my machine was in comparison to older and newer stuff. I would have to say that my computer is roughly 30% faster than it was running XP.

Earlier I was transferring files from an external HD, listening to mp3's through Kaffiene, and downloading and installing the SuSE hacks that you told me about, all at the same time!! No-way Jose on XP, at I least not on MY machine running XP.

Just over 24 hours from sticking my head in the "deep end" and with your help(Thank You by the way), I am happy to say to all who can hear me that I am Windowless.

That washing the car line made me laugh really hard!! :-)

Nov 29, 2005
11:08 PM EDT
I'm glad it's working out for you.

Linux is S W E E T

Nov 30, 2005
1:25 AM EDT
SuSE keeps getting better and better. I have tried other distros and I keep coming back to SuSE and now am using OpenSuSE 10 after having used SuSE since 9.0. Since 9.1 I cannot stand using Windows anymore. I bought the commercial version of SuSE 10 for home use because I did not want to mess around manually getting all the proprietary packages my family wants to use.

KDE, my desktop of choice, is set up well on SuSE by default.

My biggest gripe is that the package dependencies lead to a bunch of stuff being installed I do not want on the computer, but so far all package-based distros have the same problem. I much prefer the apt-based installer used by Kubuntu to the rpm-based package manager used by yast. It makes it really easy to script new installs as all packages are accessible through a usually human-readable identifier.

I really like the philosophy behind Kubuntu, but there was too much that did not work right for me. SuSE 10 is very polished in many ways. It even clears the screen when I log off one of the text-based consoles!

It is interesting to note that SuSE is the most requested distro from the FreedomToaster machines in South Africa (http://www.freedomtoaster.org/?q=node/12)!

Nov 30, 2005
7:25 AM EDT
Now you are settled down with Suse, it is time to confuse you. Like JWBR mentioned, Suse still have couple weak points. It would be great if Suse had a complete support for Synaptics. For new users and those who won't like spending too much time exploring and learning, Synaptics is ideal. I know Suse supports Kynaptic, but not really ready yet but I am sure it will. The other issue is LiveCD; although it has one, unfortunately it does not give the option to install from it. For a server install, this is understandable, but for desktop, I think it is very essential.

One other Distro which I have been looking into recently is PCLinuxOS (.92). It is great, it is based on mandrake with a touch of Suse in it. For desktop, I would give it a serious try.

Nov 30, 2005
8:11 PM EDT
Jwbr: Its hard to explain, from the first time I booted SuSE up, I liked it. I don't know if how they did it(seriously) but they laid out the desktop in a way that made it easier for me to find stuff and learn how to do things.

I tried Ubuntu, it was ok, and then I tried Kubuntu after that, it was better but I still felt like I had to fight it to figure out stuff. I had Kubuntu installed for about two or three weeks and then I got a copy of SuSE 9.1. Like I have said, HOOK, LINE and SINKER!! :-)

I heard about this Linux From Scratch thing about a month ago, I found some docs that tell you what you need to know before you should mess with LFS. Once I learn what I need to, I am going to be really dangerous then!!

Nov 30, 2005
8:21 PM EDT
Hmmm... I just got done configuring a touchpad to get rid of the right edge scroll and bottom edge scroll feature... it was on SUSE 9.2 (without anything extra). Granted, I hand edited the xorg.conf to make the changes.... but the synaptics driver seems to be present and well supported. I know SUSE 9.3 includes the command line utilities as well (9.2 might have it too.. .just wasn't installed on the one I was working on).

What synaptics "feature" are you referring to??

Dec 01, 2005
6:23 AM EDT

Sorry for the confusion, but I was referring to "Synaptic Software Manager" not ksynaptics the "Graphical frontend TouchPad configuration tool" which Suse has.

Dec 01, 2005
6:43 AM EDT
I'm coming in to this a little late but I wanted to drop a note about the converting MP3s to OGGs thing.

It is absolutely correct that you will lose some quality going from one lossy format (MP3) to another (OGG). Some people can tell the difference. Some can't. Some just don't care. If you can't tell the difference or don't care or just want to do it anyway, here is a very simple way to handle it.

Get mp32ogg installed. Have all the MP3 files you want to convert in one directory. cd into that directory and simply type in mp32ogg *.mp3. It will take a while but when it's done, they will all be converted for you. (Tip: before starting mp32ogg disable your screen saver and go get something to eat)


Dec 01, 2005
8:04 AM EDT
Abe: :)

What's in a name....

... quite a bit actually :)

Thanks for your response.

Dec 01, 2005
7:35 PM EDT
I took your advice and did not convert from one lossy format to another, since I got the codec to play mp3's I have no need to convert them to Ogg Vorbis. My Music sounds as good or better than when I had it on Windows.

I gotta tell ya, I am SO NOT MISSING M$ RIGHT NOW!!!!


Dec 01, 2005
8:05 PM EDT
LOL...welcome to the brother/sisterhood Scott. The honeymoon lasts forever with Linux it seems.

Dec 17, 2005
11:49 AM EDT
Sharkscott, this is Just an update to one of my previous posts...

I went ahead and switched distributions once again. This time I've gone back to SUSE (10.0). After being disappointed with the 9.x series of releases before Novell took over, I decided I would give SUSE another try. At first, when Novell did take over SUSE, I thought I would let enough time go by before actually testing the waters again. All I can say is that I'm glad I waited.

I downloaded the openSUSE 5-CD iso images from one of the mirror sites. I went with the i386 (32-bit) version since I currently don't have a need for 64-bit at this time.

The test system I am running is a Shuttle AN35N Ultra motherboard with an Athlon XP 2600+ processor, 64MB video card (nVidia chipset), 768MB RAM [(1) 512MB + (1) 256MB], (1) 40GB Fujitsu 5400 RPM laptop HD and (1) 20GB Fujitsu laptop HD (they were just lying around doing nothing, so I figured I would put them to good use), and an old SB-Live audio card that I had lying around as well.

After downloading and burning the iso images to disk, I dropped CD-1 in and booted my test system. The very first screen welcomes you to SUSE and since I downloaded from a USA mirror, by default it preselected English (US) as my language of choice (which is what I wanted anyway). It then proceeds to the license agreement, that if you decline, you might as well forget about installing SUSE in the first place.

I opted to go for the advanced method of installation, because I'm not a new user. However, new users will definitely benefit from using the default settings.

It then gave me the option to check and verify that all the source media was good and not corrupt. In other words, it allows you to thoroughly check the individual CDs for any errors. This is a great tool, because it would make for a very bad experience if you made it all the way to CD-5 only to find out that it was corrupt. It's a good thing I did this, because it just so happened that my CD-4 had errors that I must have missed during the burn process. I thought that maybe there were errors in the iso, but I burned another CD-4 and checked it again. This time there were no errors, so I didn't have to worry about downloading the iso image a second time around.

Once that was complete, I proceeded to partition the HDs myself, because I like having more control over my system instead of letting the install try to do the thinking for me. My partitions are set up as follows:

/dev/hda1 = 15MB ext3 = /boot /dev/hda2 = 1GB reiserfs = / /dev/hda3 = 1GB reiserfs = swap /dev/hda5 = 1GB reiserfs = /var /dev/hda6 = 15GB reiserfs = /usr /dev/hda7 = 20GB reiserfs = /opt /dev/hdb1 = 20GB reiserfs = /home

I chose to go with a default KDE installation with a few minor changes by checking and un-checking some of the packages that it (respectively) would or would not have installed otherwise. Now I was ready to sit back and let the installation begin. All I had to do was walk away and check on the progress every so often to see when it was ready for the next disk. Unfortunately, by the time it got to CD-3, my system locked up for some unknown reason, and I was forced to go through the entire process all over again. Luckily for me, I didn't have to go through the painful task of partitioning or checking the CD's since I had already done that before. So, I started over again by rebooting with CD-1, and went through all the motions. I did have to tell SUSE what the mount points were for each partition, but after that, I selected the basic KDE install, and told it to continue. This time it went through all the disks without any errors, and I was then able to configure my user accounts, passwords, and networking (all of which were smooth-sailing).

Now I was able to fine-tune everything by adding those packages that I wanted in my first attempt, and then go through and update everything available from the Internet. I then had to tweak the video drivers in YaST, but that was only because it was running on generic video drivers that worked fine, but it was more optimized after telling the system that I was running nVidia. This was also very easy with YaST, because it was already listed for me, all I had to do was click on a single check-box, and tell it to accept my changes... YaST basically did the rest for me.

All-in-all, I cannot stress enough at how pleased I am with this latest offering of the SUSE distribution. If you've never used SUSE, then you may be in for a real treat. If you're familiar with past versions of SUSE, you're also in for a real treat. The opensuse.org site is a welcome addition to the Linux community, and I applaud Novell for making it available to everyone. Do yourself a favor, and give this latest offering a try. If you are disappointed, I apologize in advance, however, if you find yourself as pleased as (if not more so than) I am, monetary donations to yours truly are encouraged and welcome. :-D

Feb 04, 2006
7:16 PM EDT
pmcc - What an awesome post! I have a question, OK maybe two :-)

How do you partition the /dev folder like that and why? Is there an advantage to doing this? Does it make your system more secure?

I have only just recently graduated from the newbie stage, I do not know how to program yet but I use the command line for a couple of things. I am still learning basics about hardware and stuff. Recently I started using Mozilla alot more, it loads faster and for some reason, downloads stuff faster as well. If I want to get an iso quickly, I use Mozilla. I still use Firefox, but not much. I tried Opera but it can't read any of my files for me to import my bookmarks too.

Konqurer is OK but it can be a pain to use, it is AWESOME as a file manager but not as a browser, IMHO.

If your looking for the fastest browser in the world, try Dillo, I came across it when testing out DSL 2.1 on and old compy and on my not-so-old compy it is like lightning. It is very basic but then that is why it is fast.

I am sorry for the long delay in responding to your post. I have been in and out of the hospitol because of my kidneys. Kidney Stones suck!

Thanks again to everyone who has responded.


Feb 06, 2006
12:04 AM EDT
NLD 9 ad SUSE 10 and boy NLD 10 is coming!

Feb 09, 2006
8:57 AM EDT
I realized that I have not given everyone an update or progress report, or whatever you would call this. :-)

Since November, I have replaced a DVD-ROM and a CD-RW that did not work properly with a combo DVD/CD-RW that works great. It is a cheap Emprex that I got a good price on. I have since then taken it out and put it in another computer I am putting together and bought a DVD-RW that is a cheap Emprex as well. I got $5 off because it did not come with the disks, I knew I would not need them anyway.

I was having trouble with getting and updating my packages until I came to the earth shattering discovery that I could log in as root. I should have been flogged for not remembering that one! I installed a anti-virus program called KlamAV, and so far the only thing it has found is files and stuff I have put on it. So, in just over two months I have yet to get anything on my computer that I did not put there.

I have a question, If I wanted to upgrade to the newest version of KDE, How do I do it? I have been looking into it but from what I have been able to understand I have to download a whole bunch of base packages and then do something else. I haven't been able to figure it out, if someone can explain it to me, I would love to have the newest KDE desktop.

Also, I have helped two friends of mine install Linux on their systems. It seems that they got tired of me bragging about how much a love my computer now that I am running Linux, and had to see what it was all about. Now I can't say that I am the only person I know that uses Linux.

Darn :-)

Feb 09, 2006
10:53 AM EDT

Quoting:How do you partition the /dev folder like that and why? Is there an advantage to doing this? Does it make your system more secure?

I guess because he can. No seriously, for a server, those partition in pmcc post are ok, but for a desktop, I think they are way over kill.

First of, you need a swap partition for Linux to extend its virtual memory. The Swap partition has a special structure and has to be separate from other partitions. The rest of the partitions can be combined in one partition and no need for them to have separate partitions. But for better performance and functionality, it is a good idea to have /home area as separate partition. This way, you isolate your personal files form the rest of the system. This will give you flexibility in the future to retain them if you chose to do a complete install instead of Linux upgrade.

The main reason you want to create separate partitions is for better performance, data integrity and some security if you happen to lose a partition, you don't lose everything. again, smaller partitions gives better disk access. It also depends on the type of files you want to store. Smaller not many not expanding files, use smaller partitions, very large expanding files use large partitions.

Quoting:If I wanted to upgrade to the newest version of KDE, How do I do it?

Couple of ways. You can use Yast or you can manually download the rpms.

Using Yast, you need to point it to the software source. This is full described on Novell web site or if you purchased Suse, it should be in the admin. manual. I haven't used this many times because I prefer the manual one (I don't know why). Go to a Suse mirror and locate the latest KDE rpms. select a mirror close to you. http://www.novell.com/linux/download/updates/index.html http://en.opensuse.org/Mirrors_Released_Version

Go to pub/suse/i386/supplementary/KDE/update_for_10.0/ You will find "base" & "applications" directories. Download what you need into two separate directories.

open a terminal session and login as root su root-passowrd init 3 this will shutdown the GUI and you can login as root at the console using root cd to "base" directory and execute the following command rpm -Uv *.rpm when done cd to "applications" directory and execute the following rpm -Uv *.rpm

You might have dependency issues that you need to resolve. Try moving the rpms that have dependencies to a different location and try again.

You might want to look into using Kynaptic (or synaptic) which is supported on Suse now. I never used it on Suse but it works great on Debian based disrtos.

Hit the books and Good luck.

Feb 09, 2006
4:24 PM EDT
Abe, Thank You for the info! Now that I know why, and how to do it too. I'll be re-reading your post for a while.

number6x, You are right, my questions are better served in a SuSE forum. Which I will do, I was just taking a shot at it. Thanks for the repository source.


Feb 09, 2006
5:53 PM EDT

You are welcome, feel free to post if you have any questions. I forgot a minor but important detail If you opt to download, using Konqueror, connect via ftp because it will allow you to download a whole directory instead of one file at a time. Try this link if this is the closest mirror to you.


Feb 10, 2006
10:43 PM EDT
"how to convert all my mp3's to ogg vorbis......"

Amarok handles both file types fine here... running under Mandy2006, I think I had trouble with FC4/Amarok & MP3's though, not sure with Suse, let you know soon as I intend to try Suse10 myself.



Feb 16, 2006
5:51 PM EDT
I guess I am going to have to give Amarok another look.

When I first installed SuSE on my computer and was getting my feet wet on the desktop Amarok was installed as the default audio player right in the navigation bar in Konqueror.

I didn't like it cause it tried to open everything and actually making the program close was at least a two step process. Its like Noatun where when you close it, it keeps right on playing the file with an icon that only every once in a while actually shows up in the Panel.

Once I tried Kaffeine, I was hooked. Its like VLC is for Helios. I use it for everything except washing the car. Besides Kaffeine is the only player that I have used that can handle playlists of either Music or video. Every other player I tried either would not play more than one file at a time or would crash hardcore.

Besides I cannot seem to get Realplayer 10 to do anything but take up room on my hard drive anyway. :-)


Mar 02, 2006
3:15 AM EDT
Quoting:Besides I cannot seem to get Realplayer 10 to do anything but take up room on my hard drive anyway

After installing it invoke it from the command line with "realplay". The first time it loads you should get a couple of intro screens which includes the "configure browser helpers" bit. If you have mplayerplug-in installed then check out the /usr/lib/BROWSER/plugins folders and remove every instance of mplayerplugin-rm.so. This will stop realplayer files from trying to load in mplayer and will allow them to run in RealPlayer correctly.

Some distros need either the libstdc++compat libraries or libstdc++5 library installed before realplayer will launch.

The gxine plugin will also hinder realplayer from working properly (with embedded realmedia stuff).

Mar 02, 2006
6:41 AM EDT
Just a bit of a warning: your lives as SuSE users may just become a bit more interesting as it has been for Red Hat users at certain times:
Quoting:If there is a problem here at all, it is that the distributors are being quick to make products out of technology which may not be entirely ready for prime time. Red Hat has operated this way for a very long time; anybody who remembers being pushed into, for example, the ELF or glibc2 transitions by Red Hat Linux upgrades knows that some of that code was a little rough around the edges then. But, by pushing that code out to the users, Red Hat almost certainly accelerated the stabilization process.

What we are seeing now is that Novell wants to get into the same game and put more leading technology into the traditionally conservative (by comparison) SUSE distribution. When things work well, Novell will be able to claim leading-edge features and the code will get wider testing, sooner. There is nothing that requires Novell, as it moves SUSE Linux toward the leading edge, to follow Red Hat's decisions on which approaches to adopt.
For subscribers to lwn.net read thoughtful item on the front page on the supposed "fragmentation" of Linux: http://lwn.net/Articles/173206/ Hang onto your hats it may not all be a fun ride.


Mar 02, 2006
10:31 AM EDT
Thank you Sal, I did what you said and I think it worked.

I haven't run into to many problems with not having it work because I have Kaffeine, Nouton, Xine and MPlayer. My guess is that it was not working because of all the different media players I have but then again I can view anything anyway so I did not miss it much. :-)

Herschel: I must really be ignorant because I have no idea what your talking about. I don't mean that in a bad way to you, I mean it in a bad way to me. :-)

Are you saying that Novell is going to start or has already started to put really new packages into SuSE? I think that's what your saying, if that's true then so much for SuSE being the "Tank" it is known as. I came to SuSE because of what I heard about it being the most tested and stable of the major distro's, and stayed because it was.

By the way, where should I send that DNA sample? ;-)

Mar 02, 2006
1:30 PM EDT
sharkscott - don't panic, it is just a possibility not a certainty. More likely it would be on the free SuSE betas and early versions. Just wait for the dust to settle, when you hear it works well then upgrade. Until then just do security fixes. Pretend you are using Debian ...

Regarding the DNA, I think we have to contract that out. While I had an interest in and worked on biological problems with the exception of only a few short periods my work stressed the tools and techniques of the physical sciences.

I could turn you into a clown anytime you want, if you wish to go that route. Game?

Mar 02, 2006
7:13 PM EDT
9.3 was already on the shelf before I came around to SuSE. I burned the iso to 9.1, put it in, and it was all over for the sharkscott! I mess with my computer so much I don't need the help of "super new packages", I'm dangerous enough to my system all by myself.

I installed 9.1, 9.2, 9.3 and 10.0 all together on different computers and the same ones over (because I would do something really stupid, and unfixable) about 15-20 times. Along the way I figured out how I wanted my computer to be set up. The programs I wanted and did not want. What I needed to do to hear music, look at pictures and watch video. I've learned a little about what my system needs and doesn't need too. Not to mention about ten different ways to get in and out of YaST which once I really learned how to use, is an awesome program, K3b too.

It has only been the last couple of installs including this one has it all come together for me. So to speak. :-)

A Clown? I thought I already had that covered? You haven't read what I've written? LOL!

Mar 03, 2006
3:35 PM EDT
I though that I would post this. Its a decent explanation of disk formats, I am helping a guy to get the most out of his laptop.

He Writes,

I use and installed only KDE. However, I got some Gnome libraries because I prefer Gaim over Kopete and I guess there are some other things that require Gnome libraries...but for the packages later.

It is still (but not for long) a dual boot because I am not so confident with Linux yet and, as I mentioned before, I use my comp for my work at school, which sometimes requires Win apps. Although I believe that as I learn, I won't need these anymore.

Here's the partitioning scheme:

Device Size Used Avail Use% Mounted on FS Type /dev/hda1 9.8G 4.7G 5.2G 48% /windows/C ntfs /dev/hda2 4.9G 2.8G 1.8G 62% / ext3 /dev/hda3 502MB swap swap /dev/hda5 5.0G 1.4G 3.7G 28% /windows/D ntfs /dev/hda6 5.0G 224M 4.5G 5% /home ext3 /dev/hda7 2.8G 12M 2.8G 1% /windows/E vfat

I did an internet install and got the following package groups:

-Graphical Base System -KDE Desktop Environment -Help and Support Documentation -Laptop

These are the general groups I see checked in YaST Software Management. However, I also have packages from other groups: Office Applcations, a couple of Games, some of the Multimedia libraries, some Fonts and the rest I guess got installed by themselves to resolve dependencies and stuff.

As far as the RAM is concerned, I plan on buying additional 512MB to add in my free slot, which would add up to 768MB. The max for my model is 1GB.

My Response,

Alright! Lots of info!

At the start, if I say something you do not understand PLEASE let me know! Sometimes I explain things and it doesn't make sense to me! :-) I got a million ways to say things and I don't mind rewording stuff at all. Its good practice for me!

Well I am glad that you use KDE because I have started to lose whatever Gnome skills I had, I need to boot into Ubuntu a little more often than I do. But I gotta tell ya, I really like KDE. I'm one of those people who will experiment with all kinds of stuff, figure out what I like and then become very stubborn to change from it. :-)

OK, so like I said, If I lose you...

I am not a partition guru, your set-up looks good to me but...

1. Alot of people do not know this and you may not, 256MB is the minimum amount of RAM required for XP. Tell me if I am wrong but when you were running just XP, your computer was not the fastest? XP is a serious RAM hog.

I have a 1.4G AMD with 512MB of RAM on a desktop that I cannot add to and even though I had a DVD-ROM my computer would freeze up when I tried to play a movie on it. Ohh I got stories...

2. Now I see that on your partitions hda1- You have 48% free hda2- You have 62% free hda5- You have 28% free hda6- You have 5% free hda7- You have 1% free

Added up quickly I see about 9.5 G free, total on your entire hard drive spread out between the drives.

There are a couple of things going on,

A. ntfs and vfat have problems talking to each other and/or co-existing. You have etc as well. It can and has been done but on a 30 G hard drive it is next to impossible. Here's what happens..

Your Hard Drive, all by itself with no format is like a huge warehouse with all the shelves, cabinets, forklifts and blank labels. What a format does when it reads the disk and "formats" it is to take a "picture" of the drive. That picture is what the file system uses as its guide when putting stuff away. Now in every warehouse there are always some shelves or cabinets that just don't ever get used, because there is nothing that comes in that fit.

Every format, like ntfs or vfat or etc take different pictures, therefor where they put stuff and the empty spaces they cannot use are different from each other. Actually the picture is a little different every time you re-format a drive, even if its the same disk format. When you have different "pictures" existing right next to each other, things can get interesting to say the least.

B. When a drive gets over 50 or 60 percent full its starts to take longer for the drive to find files when you ask for them. The drive starts at the beginning when getting data every time no matter where the data may be on it. As the drive gets full it gets slower in retrieving data.

Consider this,

1. Clean out and back-up whatever you can to free up some disk space. 2. If you can combine a couple of your partitions that would help too. 3. Adding a stick of 512MB-RAM would give you an immediate performance increase. 4. And I mean immediate! 5. If your having problems with your hard drive not reading partitions then paring down the number of disk formats would help that too.

Tell me what you think, what you want to do and we'll talk about those Windows programs your tied too soon.


Mar 04, 2006
12:20 AM EDT
First, I'd like to correct one important misunderstanding there - the percentages you see are of disk usage, not free space. This would mean that on the whole 30GB drive I have around 18GB free. So I believe it's not that crammed. As far as the partitions are concerned, I used to have even more, because I read an opinion somewhere that it is a good idea to have /usr and /var on separate partitions. I don't know how you feel about this. The vfat I need to move files between Linux and Win because I know there are problems with ntfs support in Linux, correct me if I'm wrong. What I can possibly do for the moment is to shrink D:, where I keep my Win docs. But, as I said in the previous post, as soon as I grow confident using Linux, I am removing Win totally.

Concerning XP, I can say that I managed to make it behave very decently thanks to the guy at Tweakhound, who has published an excellent guide on tweaking XP. Although 256MB RAM is the minimum for an XP system, after removing all the eye candy, disabling unnecessary services and removing unused programs it was running flawlessly. Now I am trying to do something similar with SuSE but having used it only for a month and Linux in general for 2-3 months, I don't really have the skills and knowledge to do it. So I'm counting on you guys for advice.

Mar 04, 2006
5:37 AM EDT
Oops! :-)

Forget most of what I said! Your kickin' butt all on your own goodguy!

Now as far as helping figure out what you need and do not need with SuSE, I think I can get that right! ;-)

What I need is a rundown on the packages you have installed. I don't think I would be able to list them all if someone asked me but if you can come close then we can decide what you need and what you do not. Also, If there are tasks and/or functions that you can migrate to a "Linux only" status then we can start to shrink those Windows partitions you have. The more that we can get SuSE to do the better your computer will perform, I hope. :-)

You sure you still want my advice? :-)


Mar 04, 2006
8:15 AM EDT
OK, I'll send you a list of all my packages. But there is another thing that bothers me. I have over 70 processes at startup. I don't know what is normal for Linux, but in Win with all the antivir/antispyware shit I had 40 at startup (which was also awfully many). I can also send you a list of the processes if you want to check them.

Mar 04, 2006
10:36 AM EDT
OK, I am showing 113 - 114 processes and 2 users on a system monitor GKrellM (it also is running cpu, disk and network usage along with supposed cpu and mb temperature with fan rpm)

Open a terminal window (if you had the monitor your users would jump by one and a process added).

On the terminal window, at very least widen it to fit in the data, then type in: ps aux (exactly as written, hit return or enter key)

A lot of the processes belong to root or other automated users, however, they are mostly inactive but available. A few are daemons to record system actions or attempts to call and control processes.

Note that most take no cpu time or effort.

The last two should be bash (in the terminal you are running) and the command you just ran: ps aux.

Look it over, later when you know more some can indeed be turned off.

Mar 04, 2006
11:06 AM EDT
True, 42 of the processes belong to the root. But at the moment I am not at all clear which process does what and which/how I can disable.

Mar 04, 2006
1:00 PM EDT
the_new_z - for now just leave them alone. Others not seeming to be run as root are still run as a high privilege user. Others are part of your user environment, i.e. KDE (mine are parts of Gnome). tty's are available terminals, though I many times run quite a few I usually do not use the 6 0r 7 available. Again look at the resource usage. Is it really harming performance? If not have patience and you can later decide what you want to drop. If performance is that big an issue the desktop environment is a top candidate for removal.

Mar 04, 2006
2:28 PM EDT
Well, the load on the cpu is minimal, but the memory is full and it's using 130MB of the swap. I'm not sure but I think it's swapping too much because the hdd turns mad when I have more applications running and I'm switching between them. For example, usually I have some music on (kaffeine), firefox and openoffice are running and whenever I try to do something more in openoffice than typing (like adding a table or a picture) the hdd starts churning and the the whole system comes close to a halt. While in Win the same tasks never gave me such a pain. So I'm trying to figure out why this happens. It's just not right.

Mar 04, 2006
4:04 PM EDT
You have a 30G drive total? Assuming you have a laptop, suspect too you probably are running with less memory than I have on this machine. I never see anything in Swap. Not being a user of SuSE, ever I am a poor person to advise you on these problems. I agree this sounds like it needs some attention, hence, you need to investigate some of the SuSE forms or as I would advise LinuxQuestions [must register to post].

Make certain you describe your problem with a good description of your hardware, and the applications you are running. Don't dump your output from the ps aux, unless asked. Even then see if they have an attachment option.

I have been on chats for various applications and distributions, where some are very active. Describe your problem, but don't over do either the size of the text or repost too often. If it is quiet, but you see a lot of chatter and indications a large number are present, it means no one feels confident in trying to supply an answer. Be aware you might well get some well intended misinformation. [I have done that myself - hated myself in the morning.]

Mar 04, 2006
4:05 PM EDT
> but the memory is full and it's using 130MB of the swap.

> whenever I try to do something more in openoffice than typing (like adding a table or a picture) the hdd starts churning and the the whole system comes close to a halt.

> So I'm trying to figure out why this happens.

You just answered your own question. You're out of memory, and the machine starts swapping processes to the hard drive to free up memory for OpenOffice to use.

Add more memory, or find out what's using your current memory and shut some of it down. The ps command given above will also show you what's using the memory. If you provide a list, people can make recommendations as to what you can remove from your startup.

For a current version of KDE, running the programs you listed, I'd recommend having at least 256 MB of memory installed.

Mar 04, 2006
4:23 PM EDT
@Herschel_Cohen: I'll try the places you suggest. Thank you.

@ jdixon: yes it's obviously out of memory (i've got 256). But the thing is why would I be using less memory in XP than in SuSE. I expected the opposite. What I see in ps is that Firefox is using 33.1% of the memory :oO Other apps seem normal though I think I don't need all of them, but I still have to figure this out.

Mar 06, 2006
3:01 PM EDT

In the list you sent me you listed every single package on your computer. Holy Cow!

I know what some of them do, but all of them? That's WAY over my head. Like way over! Plus Herschel and jdixon are in the know.

What I did was go through my package selections in YaST. I spent the good part of a night in the package selections menu going through all of the different program groups getting rid of what I knew I didn't need and adding what I did. More than a couple times I had to go back in to fix something I had done. Even after YaST checked for dependencies I still had to go back in for things like removing and adding certain plug-ins for some of the media players I use. Even though YaST said I was good, I still had to figure it out. Overall it took me a couple days to get it right. But then again I make it hard for myself, I use a ton of different players. YaST rocks but it can only help you so far in customizing your set-up.

After making a TON of mistakes and learning what my computer needed and what I wanted it to have, it works like a charm. Not to mention I learned a lot about installing plugins, programs and all kinds of stuff.

I think. :-)

Mar 06, 2006
3:58 PM EDT

> ... What I see in ps is that Firefox is using 33.1% of the memory...

Well, I only have 128 MB of memory, which is one reason I run XFCE instead of KDE or Gnome. I have firefox open with 3 tabs in use, and it is using 27.3% of my memory, which is just under half of what yours is using. This is Firefox The more tabs you have open, the more memory I'd expect it to use, ditto if you're hitting javascript or frame laden sites.

Mar 08, 2006
1:35 AM EDT
Well, I'm also thinking of giving xfce a try. At the moment I'm also trying Konqueror instead of Firefox and it goes much smoother. Although if I don't come up with an alternative to adblock, I'll have to dump it.

I encountered another problem these days. After running for some time Ktorrent starts using 99.9% cpu and the fan goes wild. Any ideas why this happens?

Mar 08, 2006
10:54 AM EDT
the_new_z - the fan going wild at peak cpu usage means it is trying to dissipate the heat build up.

One thing you could try, requires going back to Firefox, is to add the extension Flashblock. I no longer see the peak cpu usage when I land on weird sites. All flash is bypassed. At your option you can, however, hit the "f" (that becomes an arrow head as your mouse cursor approaches the "f") to run it, if you so choose.

Mar 08, 2006
1:41 PM EDT
Quoting:After running for some time Ktorrent starts using 99.9% cpu and the fan goes wild. Any ideas why this happens?

No idea why, but it happens on other distros as well. I switched to Azureus - works fine. There's also Bittornado and bittorrent-gui.

Mar 08, 2006
8:19 PM EDT
I checked out their website http://www.xfce.org/

It looks really good for as easy on the RAM as it is.

I have an old computer(1.4g) and it is faster than the day I bought it now that I am running Linux on it. That said though, when I tried out DSL and Puppy and Feather my computer it was faster than the 2.5g and 3.0g XP systems my roommates have.

Xfce looks like it could make my system even faster, If I can make it through downloading all the RPM's!

Mar 08, 2006
9:01 PM EDT
Use the graphic installer instead. http://prdownloads.sourceforge.net/xfce/xfce4-


Mar 12, 2006
1:59 PM EDT
OK, I'm back and as sharkscott put it my casual relationship with Linux also got serious.

On Friday I formatted the hdd and make a clean netinstall of OpenSUSE 10.0. It went very smooth and I think it's the best choice in case you got access to a fast internet connection (I did it at my university). You get to choose from all the packages, not only the ones selected for the cds. Otherwise, the instalation is the same. No more Win for me.

Concerning the slow responsiveness, I didn't replace KDE but got more RAM. Now with 768MB - no more swapping and everything flies.

Thanks to Herschel_Cohen for telling me about FlashBlock. It's really cool to be finally able to control these crazy animations flashing all over the place.

One thing that bothers me is that I couldn't upgrade Firefox to 1.5 from yast (still not available!?). So I got the rpm, but now it lost its KDE integration and looks like a Gnome application. Is there a way around this?

Maybe I should open another thread for this, but I want to ask about the lowID problem in mldonkey. I managed to forward the ports on the router, but I don't know how to do it on the SUSE Firewall. I found some iptables script on the mldonkey site but I don't know how/where to add it.

Mar 12, 2006
4:45 PM EDT
the_new_z - same thing with Ubuntu (perhaps worse) regarding upgrading to Firefox (get the newest).

Go to Mozilla, pull down the firefox- for the Linux version.

Put it where it is suggest for SuSE. For Ubuntu is was /opt then I created a subdirectory beneath that called firefox- and unzip the contents.

Command is something like: $ where the "$" is your prompt, command follows that:

...$ tar -xzvf /path to your zip file/firefox1.5.0.1 (do this a root)

look in the directory see many files? Ok find firefox file, if your system is color coded it will show it in green as an executable.

Change the rights giving everyone execute rights on that file - ok, safest way, go to that directory and type this:

...$ sudo chmod 711 firefox (be root or su or sudo if that works for you in SuSE)

Do an ls -l firefox, should see: root:root -rwx--x--x firefox, meaning everything belongs to root but everyone can execute.

Sorry had it a bit wrong on where it resided on Ubuntu:

:~$ ls -l /opt/firefox- -rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 5247 2006-01-24 19:32 /opt/firefox-

And on mine, everyone can read - to be more secure some I knew when I was using Linux also hid the contents.

Now create a launcher where this is filled in for the Launcher tab (Ubuntu - have no idea how it looks for SuSE) so it will be possible to run two differing versions.

As long as your Firefox looks in ~/.mozilla/firefox all your settings, e.g. bookmarks, etc should show up. BUT MAKE SURE ALL VERSIONS ARE CLOSED.

Might not hurt to close any version of Ff, logout, log back in and then run Ff.

Let me know if you encounter any problems.

Mar 12, 2006
5:58 PM EDT
Herschel_Cohen, one thing before I start - at the moment I have ff but installed from a rpm. Should I remove this one before I do what you said?

I checked and there is /opt/MozillaFirefox/ with more dirs in it, no files. Should I still extract to that dir? And how do I create a launcher?

Thank you for helping.

Mar 12, 2006
6:20 PM EDT
A stick of RAM and a nice clean installation of SuSE and some fun with YaST? I know the feeling. :-)

If you get Firefox 1.5 up and running let me know. For some reason I could not keep Firefox from crashing and deleting all of my bookmarks, settings and extensions too. It must have happened four times before I got tired of setting it back up the way I like it. I pulled it off my computer a month or so ago. I started to use Mozilla more and I like it. It loads pages and downloads files faster too. I don't know why but it does.

I tried Opera but it will not allow me to import my bookmarks, period. I went in through root and tried everything I know (which isn't much really) and Opera kept saying that it could not access the folder where I keep my bookmark back-ups or any folder I tried for that matter. I used Opera before I 'switched' and it was fine, a little different, but quick.

with that said, CONGRATULATIONS! on the non-duel boot!

Now you can help me, to help others, and me. :-)


Mar 13, 2006
2:22 AM EDT
Well, I didn't have any probs with FF. I just got the rpm from http://ftp.suse.com/pub/projects/mozilla/firefox/ (how do I make a hyperlink?) and installed with kpackage. Then imported my bookmarks from a file and dl-ed my extensions again. The only thing is that the old version 1.0.7 that comes with openSUSE 10.0 was KDE integrated and looked like Konqueror - same icons and menus. The new one looks like a Gnome app for some reason. That's what I was trying to explain.

Mar 13, 2006
5:33 AM EDT
the_new_z - difficult to discern where you stand, from your post late evening (my time) it seems the updated Ff had not been unzipped. Now I may tell you a bit more than you might want to know, but it will make some other problem later a bit easier to understand.
Quoting:I checked and there is /opt/MozillaFirefox/ with more dirs in it, no files.
Yes, it might be the wiser remove or just repeat the attempt to install via the rpm - it seems the file extraction step failed.

By the way, I don't do RPMs anymore, and usually I would think if you had friends nearby they would stop you. [For the humorless, that was humor. Nonetheless, after my experiences with Man(whatever, this week) I resorted to only installations from source with more success.] I am sorry, could not resist.

The command tar - is historically short due to using shared, slow connections (think teletype in an old B&W movie, i.e. printer no monitor, etc - I have used a similar setup when I was at the Univ. of Chicago). So I am pretty sure the "t" stands for tape, the "a" for archive and the "r" might be retrieval. However, I doubt the last is correct, since tar is a two way operation archiving to tape (now any media/device) and pulling archived data back to rebuild or duplicate a system.

So tar xzvf - cannot remember what the 'x' does (your assignment is to look it up, either man tar -to escape tar hit "q" key, space bar for new page or easier to read info tar, (info uses pg up dw) it should be listed early as an option to the tar command.) 'z' is to uncompress, "v" is verbose (telling you in the messages that fly by in the terminal window what has happened (with xterminals I have used recently you can scroll up the messages with the middle scrll wheel if your mouse has it or use the scrll bars at the side - let me know if you understand all the messages and be sure to write to explain some to me) and the "f" files that are uncompressed.

File away that knowledge about changing rights: chmod (change mode/rights), take a look also at chown (change ownership - on Debian the owner was root, but a group was staff or something similar, when the latter command is run chown root:staff filename (where again unless this is in your home directory and already belonged to you, do it as su (root) or sudo (means being su, but where a limited number of commands should apply - not always true.).

Creating a Launcher could be confusing, because of differing words used to describe essentially the same actions. It also could be called creating an icon on the desktop (which launches the associated application).

Try placing the mouse curos/arrow/or whatever shape it has on the desktop, right click - I hope that brings up the Launcher option, follow his instructions above to connect the icon to the command that runs the version of Ff you want.

Good idea about backing up your files that are associated with the application (do it always - smart), life gets very interesting when these suddenly become corrupt.

Running out of breath here, guess i move my lips too much when i read or write, so the last item for now - symbolic link: why do you need it? These are not so nice when the partners get separated, well form the man ln or info ln, remember "q" to quit!

Quoting:ln - make links between files

(one of three listed) ln [OPTION]... TARGET [LINK_NAME]

-s, --symbolic make symbolic links instead of hard links

-v, --verbose print name of each file before linking

There was no sample in info - remember 'q' to quit, if you go into either man or info

Sample ... $ (jprobably should be a '#', need to be su probably) ln -vs targetfile linked-file-name

Hope that helps you a bit. So whenever some jerk (smartass) says RTFM!!! Tell them you have, but there are just a few issues that have left you confused and you are wondering if they could help.

Let me know if I can do anything further, Txt.

Mar 13, 2006
7:33 AM EDT
Hey Txt,

Thank you very much for the detailed info. I have already gone through a lot of mans and I know about tar and its operatiors, also about chmod and permissions both in numeric and symbolic terms. However, this didn't help me at all with the problem I have with Firefox. I don't know if I explain it well, but I'm saying that Firefox runs OK - no problems with browsing at all. The problem is totally cosmetic - the look after the update changed from kde (menus and icons) to gnome. I have no idea why this happened and how I can change it. Even if I don't fix it, it is something I can live with.

I know that I should learn to compile the apps myself and not rely on rpms, but still I am not quite clear on how compiling works - this ./configure, make, make install and dependencies stuff is pretty vague in my head. If you have some good reading on compiling, I'd be glad to go over it.

I found another problem that really bugs me. When I restart the machine, I lose the internet connection. In the process of starting the ethernet card it says that no ip is assigned and it's backgrounding the process. On normal boot (shut down and boot) I don't have this problem - the internet is working. I checked the network card configuration in yast and as advised by sharkscott made it start on hotplug, instead of on boot. But this doesn't solve the problem. Any suggestions what I can do further?

Mar 13, 2006
9:11 AM EDT
the_new_z - don't worry about the compiling. What should have happened is merely that unzipping should have created the entire directory structure and file system for an operational application. That seemed to be your first problem. That should have sufficed, but somehow in the later post you indicated it ran, but seemed to be the older version. That's why I thought it might be your launching mechanism - I can hit the blue icon that came with Ubuntu and I see the old 1.0.7 version. If I carefully make sure I am pulling the proper executable version of the firefox I get the proper app. running.

I must admit I know little about KDE, because in its worst form - when somehow a Debian system I was running reverted to I was revolted and sickened with its to close resemblance to Windows(TM). Nonetheless, I liked some of the associated KDE apps, because they out performed similar Gnome applications. The short message here is: I am a poor choice to guide you on that problem, since I prefer Gnome and I am ignorant of how KDE works.

Reading further about losing the internet connection on a hot reboot, is similar to some of my experiences on other issues (monitor configurations), but again i know to little to provide useful advice. I suggest now that you forget the compiling questions and post these other problems either on http://forums.mozillazine.org/index.php?c=4 (seems to be under attack, cannot get to it when I checked) use either Firefox Help section or post on the first section with a title that is descriptive. That is not just "I NEED HELP!!!", something like New has un-Firefox appearance ... If you cannot get through to the Firefox forums use linuxquestions or SuSE forums.

The networking problems should be posted on linuxquestions after doing a search to see if the question has been answered. We can talk compiling later if you need it.

Mar 13, 2006
10:14 AM EDT
I'm pretty sure that I'm running Firefox, at least that's what the About says. Also I think I cannot run the old version when I click the old launcher in KDE. I believe it has overwritten it. I also can't get through to the mozilla forums at the moment: "The forums are being upgraded, they will return soon!"

I did as you said and posted about the network problem on linuxquestions. I hope I get some replies, because this is really bugging me. I spent the whole day reading forums and nothing.

So we can talk about compiling in the meantime :o)

Mar 14, 2006
8:51 AM EDT
the_new_z - rather than explaining how little I know, we should start a new thread on either Meta-Linux or Linux asking for help explaining compiling from source. One could appeal to the Gentoo Linux people, who compile Linux from source to make a custom configured Linux OS to fit their hardware.

Do you want to start it or should I?

Mar 14, 2006
10:51 AM EDT
Herschel_Cohen, can you please start the new thread? I believe you can put it down better. The Gentoo people are a good idea. I am also interested in this distro...but I think I am a long way from getting there.

By the way, do you have any suggestions about my network problem?

Mar 14, 2006
11:37 AM EDT
the_new_z - No, sorry I can be of no help on the network problem. One thing you learn on chat sites, when you think you are being ignored it is rather no one feels confident enough to believe they can help. Sometimes they are doing you a favor by being quiet.

I will start the thread, later - have to think about the wording of both the headline (title) / where / and how to word it. I happen to want to learn more about compiling. While I have at times been successful, I still am missing a lot. So when an attempt fails I am at a loss. Moreover, when the instructions are not complete or are not specifically for the distribution I am using, I cannot go that route for fear I may really screw things up. Screwing things up is a forte of mine.

Now to keep you busy, read Scott's description of how and whom to entice into trying Linux. Then read about the forces that are arrayed against him in the comments section.

Mar 14, 2006
2:42 PM EDT
As far as network stuff goes, I still have a couple of cards up my sleeve. :-)

If there is more info you can give me, I will endeavorer to help you figure it out. I have had my own issues with getting and staying on-line.

One thing I did was set my modem to refresh once a week instead of every day. I still do not know why, but my connection issues subsided significantly after doing that.

If you are connecting from the University this might be a cause. If you can, find out a little about how there network is set-up. Let me know what you find out.


Mar 14, 2006
3:35 PM EDT
sharkscott, I use the net in the university only when I have to download something big (like a new distro). Otherwise, at home I have a normal cable internet connection going through a router (because we are 4 people in the house). But still what is this refreshing of the modem you are mentioning?

Mar 14, 2006
3:47 PM EDT
Well here is where it gets fun.

I live in a roommate situation too and I am the only one using Linux and of course, the router is completely non- Linux compliant.

So I had to have one of my roommates make the changes for me through Windows. It sucks I had to go about it that way but at least it worked. If your situation is like mine see if one of your roommates can help you out.

I think that I only have one card up my sleeve now. :-)

Mar 14, 2006
4:22 PM EDT

> ... I don't do RPMs anymore...I resorted to only installations from source with more success...

Checkinstall is your friend. http://asic-linux.com.mx/~izto/checkinstall/

Instead of performing a make install, simply run checkinstall and tell it you want to create an rpm. It will create the rpm for you, and then you can use rpm to install the program. This makes it far easier to remove the program in the future or to use the program on multiple machines. I use it frequently with Slackware.

Mar 14, 2006
4:39 PM EDT

...do you have any suggestions about my network problem?

OK, the network card works fine on a cold reboot, but fails to get an IP address on a warm reboot; correct? I assume the card is set to use a DCHP server.

This is probably an interaction problem between the card and the software. On a warm boot, the card is taking too long to initialize, and the dhcp client software is timing out. Whether it's the card or the software at fault is a debatable subject, and really beside the point. I had a similar problem on an IBM machine I was playing with one time, but did the same thing whether it was a cold or a warm boot.

There are two comparatively easy solutions to the problem. One, once you're up and working, go into Yast and tell the card to get an IP address. The card will have had plenty of time to initialize and should get the ip address with no problems. Two, add the appropriate dhcp command to the rc.local script, which is the last startup script run. Again, the card should have had plenty of time to initialize and it should work. This assumes SuSE has kept the rc.local convention, but I think that's a safe bet, as I believe both Red Hat and Debian still have it. Unfortunately, I have no idea what command SuSE uses for DHCP (Slackware uses dhcpcd, while I believe Debian uses pump), nor where SuSE puts the rc.local file. :( A quick review of your startup scripts should reveal both.

Mar 15, 2006
10:11 AM EDT
the_new_z - have you read any of this thread yet? http://lxer.com/module/forums/t/22040/

On the alias, you drive a sports car? I hope not with an automatic transmission.

jd - only using Debian or Debian derived systems. From this time forward rpm means only numbers on my tac.

Mar 15, 2006
6:56 PM EDT

>only using Debian or Debian derived systems.

That's OK, checkinstall builds Debian packages too. :) It really is a very nice program.

Mar 16, 2006
3:00 PM EDT
@jdixon: Thank you, man. I'm still trying to figure out how to make the ethernet card to get an IP and how to edit the rc.local. But when I do it I'll tell you if it worked. In the meantime, I am not restarting :o)

@Herschel_Cohen: I just went through the thread and it's really interesting and educational. I'd like to try Gentoo whenever I get more free time to play with it. What was this with the sports car!?

Mar 17, 2006
6:26 AM EDT
the_new_z - you don't know about the Z series Nissan sports cars? Well my preference is for hybrids that play more than the simple assist (mild) mode vs full*. However, looking at an automatic transmission when I would really, really prefer a nice 6 speed manual. Damn you Honda.

* can operate as electric alone, gas alone at cruise and gas plus electric under acceration.

Mar 18, 2006
1:44 AM EDT
Yeah, nothing can replace the feel of a 6-speed manual transmission :o)

Mar 20, 2006
5:53 PM EDT
I think you hit the nail right on the head here, Scott. After running FreeBSD, Debian, Gentoo, And RedHat, SuSE and I just clicked. Once I had 9.1 up and running, Windows got deleted... for good. I can't say I've ever been happier with my computer. At 766mhz and with only 256MB of ram, SuSE has my little Celleron running circles around XP machines with a 3 ghz P4 and a gig of ram. And to think I can still upgrade to a 1.2 ghz and add more memory before the board is maxed out!! Prior to the "SuSE Revelation" I was actually thinking of getting a new CPU, motherboard and ram because XP lagged so hard that minor upgrades seemed pointless. Instead, I was able to blow the cash on a pair of 120GB Seagate Barracudas and an ATI Radeon 9200 128MB AGP Video card. Linux in your life is good indeed!!!!!!

I recently got off my lazy rear, tore myself away from a game of KMahjongg, and upgraded to 10.0..... I love it to death, but I did notice (like you) there is no default support for mp3's. Let's call this a smart move by Novell, with the whole "We're just gonna sue 99% of the planet and this entire file sharing thing will go away" movement running wild. Nonetheless, it's handicapped my ability to play music on my PC. I mean really, I have better things to do besides re-ripping my CD collection into oggs. (Like playing more KMahjongg) Care to share how you found the lost MP3 codecs?

Mar 21, 2006
9:47 AM EDT
Quote: "I have better things to do besides re-ripping my CD collection into oggs. (Like playing more KMahjongg) Care to share how you found the lost MP3 codecs?"

You and me both goodguy! I have a fair amount of music and it would have taken, like..a long time.

First off, here is the link to Jem Matzan's The Gem Report: Hacking OpenSuSE webpage http://www.thejemreport.com/mambo/content/view/178/42/

It is very well written and his page has a lot of details.

The one thing that I had to do different was how I got into the right area of YaST2.

I got to it this way,

1. Click on the SuSE Icon on the menu bar and go to, 2. Preferences-- 3. YaST2 Modules-- 4. Software-- 5. Choose the Source of software installation packages--

The root password request will come up, put that in and then YaST2 will start up.

From there you should be able to follow Jem's examples.

I am in the midst of writing a series of articles about how to do things like this, for those like me who don't know much about the command line and things like that. I'll talk about this specifically but it is based heavily on Jem's Examples.

I figured that if you knew how to update to SuSE 10 then you wouldn't need the "Scott" version I am putting together. :-)

I hoped I helped, let me know if it works.


Mar 22, 2006
10:36 PM EDT

Here's a great site for SuSE users. (Just in case you hadn't found it yet).


Mar 27, 2006
2:08 PM EDT
I have suse 10.0, and I have been using it here and there. Suddenly, it boots to the command prompt, and I cannot figure out how to get it to boot like it used to (to the GUI). I have not tried to boot to the install CD and try a repair yet, but I have never had any success with that (had serial cables go bad for my HDD). Any suggestions, besides reloading the whole OS?

Mar 27, 2006
2:24 PM EDT
> Suddenly, it boots to the command prompt, and I cannot figure out how to get it to boot like it used to (to the GUI).

Check your default runlevel in the /etc/inittab file. If it's 3, then you probably need to change it to 4 or 5. As to how it could have gotten changed, I have no idea.

Mar 27, 2006
3:12 PM EDT
Try the instructions @ http://wiki.suselinuxsupport.de/wikka.php?wakka=HowToGetTheG... This is a great Suse site and you'll find good Suse help there.

Mar 30, 2006
5:28 PM EDT
Thanks for the tips, scott. Got my multimedia system back on track... My old setup (under 9.1) was cobbled together using codec packages from Mandrake and a couple random no-particular-distro bundles. It worked, but it was always a little buggy. With the correct "Made for SuSE" rpms it's a lot better. For some reason, XMMS won't play - or even try to play - mp3 files, but amaroK handles them just fine, so I guess I'm not too worried about that.

Mar 31, 2006
12:35 AM EDT
CW: Your not alone, I can't get XMMS to do anything but I use Kaffeine like its going out of style anyway. I use Kaffeine for everything. and when it cannot do something, then I go to Xine or MPlayer. I have to admit that I am pretty happy overall.

Apr 18, 2006
1:48 AM EDT
Hello all,

Well, I decided to mess with a perfectly running system, and I did. Make a mess, that is.

I got Linux Format 78 at the bookstore and it had a copy of if OpenSuSE Slick with it. I'm like "Cool, I can install this and my Compy will go even faster, awesome!" My computer is already faster than the day I bought it, 5 years ago.

So I borrow a friends external hard drive, back up my stuff and proceed to install it.. All was fine and good at first.

I'll tell you what, I learned me some Linux today. :-)

I can't even finish this post because the story's not over. The disk was clean and and I know I got a good install..All I know is, that synaptic and me well, we got issues.

I know that they are probably my fault but still what's "Bad Magic" supposed to say to me?

I will post tomorrow with details. I'm actually taking notes! Can you believe it?


Apr 18, 2006
2:00 AM EDT
Yesssss, Suse Open CLick.

It makes use of Debian repositries (despite being an RPM based system) and installs the debs into a user folder, so you can install without having to use root permissions. I had a play and have to say, nice idea but it doesn't work as well as it could. Some apps downloaded and then wouldn't run. It stayed on my test box for about half an hour and was then nuked and replaced with Slackware.

Not sure quite what Suse are up to with this, I couldn't see much in the way of explanation - perhaps I didn't look carefully enough.

Apr 18, 2006
5:23 AM EDT

OpenSuse slick is not from SuSE, but a seperate project where some folks in the open Suse community took open SuSE and started their own distro. So you would have to ask them. Actually I think it is a merger of two different suse forks, one for a light weight speedy suse, and one that uses debian repositories directly (ie suse w/ a debian kernel).

It is new, and is definitely a work in progress. Comments I've seen are that it installs easy and works fast, until you try to upgrade or install software. I'm a big fan of SuSE, and think the opening up Novell has done is great for the commercial distro, but if you want the ease of debian packages, aren't there already several hundred debian based distros to choose from?

Here are some of the solutions people have tried: http://www.linuxformat.co.uk/index.php?name=PNphpBB2&file=vi...

Well I hope the slick guys get it working, because it does sound cool.


Apr 19, 2006
6:51 PM EDT
Well, I am back up and running SuSE 10 and I am a happy man.

I got tired of having bad magic and re-installed SuSE 10. I have to tell you though, I think in the end it helped my system. They say the third times a charm? I think they are right. I really tried to think of everything I have learned and apply it to a good install. I think it worked. My system is responding faster and 'feels' better too. It took me a little while to get the stuff I needed to see and hear what I want but I am up to snuff now.

That OpenSuSE Slick is cool and all but without the ability to update or upgrade my system because Synaptic could not, even once, successfully apply an update/upgrade to the system. I went to the site(thanks number6x) and tried to do what they did but I had no success.

It made my system faster but not better. So I am once again a bug in a rug with SuSE.

ahhh cozy.. :-)


Apr 21, 2006
10:14 PM EDT
Hi guys!

A noob to this site but not to linux - been using *ix since almost before minix days but am not a guru, just a user. I have used many different distros but really settled on SuSE in the 9s. I now have 10.0. Interesting to read about the probs some of us have had with Firefox. Why did SuSE not update to 1.5?

Anyway my current problem is graphics. I have been using NVidia for some years now and my system is currently: AMD Athlon64 3500+; 2GB Geil PC3200; XFX 7800GT (AGP). Before the 7800 I was running a 6800 and SuSE had no problems loading the NVidia drivers and all the 3D was working. This time around it just does not want to know. I even switched to FC5 for a week (bummer) but coming back to 10.0 it did not even recognize the card as an NVidia in the install. Then getting the nvidia drivers through YOU just does nothing at all.

Just to get the time line right:

1) 10.0 + 6800 : all graphics and 3D work 2) swap 6800 out for the 7800 and it still works but now realize I did not actually look at the 3D side of things to see if that was still working. 3) Decide to try FC5 to have a look at later KDE release etc etc 4) reinstall 10.0 and it can't see the 7800. Forces me to use VESA or framebuffer. Seemed to me that before the 7800 card, SuSE would use the nv driver after install and then would grab the proprietary drivers through YOU and come fully alive.

Any idea what gives? Is there a quick fix? I had thought of putting the 6800 back in to see what happens but that card is already in another computer and we have a big family event coming up so I don't really have the time for a week or so?

Apr 22, 2006
11:20 PM EDT
MickeyT: You are WAY over my head on this one. My compy is five years old so I don't even have the capability to have the problems you have come across.

I hope that someone here can give you some advice. I found a three hundred some odd page PDF file on the Novell site that has helped me.



I am sorry that I do not know enough to help you, but I'm tryin'. :-)


Apr 23, 2006
2:03 AM EDT
Sharkscott: Many thanks for the post. I checked your link out and that pointed me to having a look at the SaX log. This was showing the card as an unknown nvidia chipset.

So I decided to do what it says not to and hacked xorg.conf. I had downloaded the NVidia drivers so I simply loaded them and changed vesa to nvidia in the driver name and it worked - my 3D is up and running. Now I have to work out how to do it properly since SaX still reports my card as VESA!

I have tested this by changing "nvidia" back to "vesa" and things like TuxRacer then do not work. If I change it to "nonsense" then X doesn't work. I am used to doing things like this in XFree86 but this is all a bit dirty and I need to learn more about xorg and SaX.


Apr 23, 2006
4:16 PM EDT
Quote: "So I decided to do what it says not to and hacked xorg.conf."

Awesome!! I didn't think I could help, but instead I helped you break 'the rules'.

One down, eight billion to go...:-)

P.S. Well, I am off to San Diego for the Desktop Linux Summit. I will be reporting for LXer both days. I cemented an interview with Ian Murdock for Tuesday and I have a couple of other things up my sleeve as well.

Apr 25, 2006
7:26 AM EDT
Sharkscott: Have a great time in SD. I now have X-Plane running too...

Jun 26, 2006
10:11 AM EDT
Hi, I know its been a while since posting.. but I am going to go to L.A. to set-up my Mother's computer. She needs to be able to boot into Windows so that she can use software for school that is only compatible with Windows.

Are there any particular issues that I should look out for? I have never set-up a dual boot system before but from what I have been able to find, it doesn't seem to hard. As long as I do it right after Windows is done setting up, correct?

Any advice or information is most welcome and let me say Thanks ahead of time as well.


Jun 26, 2006
10:25 AM EDT
Suse is pretty good at resizing the XP partition and adding XP to the bootloader afterwards. I've set it up this way a few times without a hitch.

In fact, I've yet to come across a distro that doesn't do this OK (even slackware adds Windows to the bootloader before itself, though it won't resize the partition for you).

Linux generally plays well with others.

AFAIK writing to NTFS is still touchy. Personally I've never needed it, explore2fs is a great little app for reading Linux partitions from within Windows and Linux can always read Windows partitions.

YAST will offer by default to resize the Win partition and add Windows to the bootloader, though you can override this and set it up "the way you want".

I don't think there are any "gotchas" to watch out for. (I'm open to correction on this).


Jun 26, 2006
10:51 AM EDT

There is a known issue with resizing NTFS partitions in Suse 10.1. I've seen some talk about it on the suse forums.

It seems to be trashing the xp swap file on some very rare occasions (whatever the paging file in windows is called). There is a fix that will get applied after you install, but the resizing of the NTFS partition is done before you install!

I didn't have any problems, but some people have. The suse team was very prompt in issuing a fix, but how many disks shipped before the fix? I don't know!

Jun 26, 2006
10:54 AM EDT
> AFAIK writing to NTFS is still touchy.

I'd heard that NTFS write support was no longer considered experiemental in the later 2.6 kernels, but don't treat that as gospel. I've had mixed success with captive-NTFS.

Jun 26, 2006
12:31 PM EDT
Writing to NTFS Hasn't been a problem for quite a while, but, as far as resizing the NTFS partition, placement of the files is still an actual problem and issue. Before actually resizing, you need to defrag and compact the volume so to get the pagefile or any others away from the end sectors.... otherwise there will be data loss or worse. Be sure to use a program other than the default, and really do a through compress. Actually, that advise is valid for fat32 too.

Jun 26, 2006
3:46 PM EDT
Quoting:rather than explaining how little I know, we should start a new thread on either Meta-Linux or Linux asking for help explaining compiling from source. One could appeal to the Gentoo Linux people

Ok, I (Gentoo user, LXer editor) started a new thread about compiling from source. Only a beginning, you can ask anything you want.

The new thread lives at http://lxer.com/module/forums/t/22960/

Jun 26, 2006
3:47 PM EDT
Thank You all for the information and advice. I am going to be installing SuSE 10.0 so I hope that I do not come across the swap file issue that was mentioned.

jimf: If I need to defrag and compact the partition before installing SuSE, what program do I use to do that? You said to not use the default but I do not know of other programs off the top of my head. I have never used any either. Are there any that you think are good?

She is not going to have Internet access until the afternoon of the day I have to leave(I'm there only for one day because I work seven days a week) and I have to have everything I need already on disk with me so I can do it all in one shot.

Are any of the programs you like available for download?

Again Thanks for all of your help.

Jun 26, 2006
4:03 PM EDT
Looks like you could use GParted LiveDVD.

Read here: http://www.linux.com/article.pl?sid=06/04/25/1917228

There is an open free variant of PartitionMagic, though I don't know what it's called anymore.

Jun 26, 2006
4:34 PM EDT

I haven't done this in a while, but when I started with Win, I was using VoptXP to compact and reorder. Diskeeper is another option. If you can't beg borrow or steal one of those, as hkwint says, PartitionMagic is another good way to resize NTFS as it is most likely to move all the files correctly. If you can't find one of those then run chkdisk with the approiate options and then the built in defragmenter before you resize.

Once you have the NTFS volume compacted, then I'd go for the GParted LiveDVD to format and size volumes.

Jun 26, 2006
5:54 PM EDT
> Diskeeper is another option...

The 7.0 version of diskeeper was a free download. I have a copy of it here. I believe they've gone to expiring trial versions since, but the trial version should be suitable.

> There is an open free variant of PartitionMagic...'

There's a program call Partition Logic at http://partitionlogic.org.uk/. I haven't tried it.

I haven't tried the GParted live CD yet either, but I've had only intermittent luck with parted and qtparted.

The downloadable version of ASP Linux included a version of the Acronis partitioning software on disk one. I don't know if that's still true or not, and some folks done't seem to like Acronis software, but it's at http://www.asplinux.ru/.

Partition Magic is probably widely availalbe on the P2P networks, though of course I couldn't possibly recommend that anyone do such a thing.

Jun 26, 2006
6:06 PM EDT
> I haven't tried the GParted live CD yet either, but I've had only intermittent luck with parted and qtparted.

I've used recent gparted to do some formats and resizing. It's come a long way in both the interface and performance. The project is very active. I booted the GParted live CD, and was quite impressed.

As for qtparted, I've seen a lot of persistent bugs and problems reported especially with sizing partitions.

Jun 27, 2006
10:02 AM EDT
Quoting:There's a program call Partition Logic

Ah, thanks, that was the free Partition Manager variant of which I had forgotten the name.

Jul 18, 2006
2:25 PM EDT
Well, I get to L.A. and literally take the Computer out of the boxes for my Mom and get it all hooked up correctly (I hope) and come to find out she got the super-duper Dell with the new Intel 64-bit 'emulated' chip in it.

All the advice and notes I took and steps I took to make sure I was ready (or at least look like it) flew right out the window because I knew I did not have the 64-bit version if SuSE 10.0 on me. @!$#*%$&! The thrill of setting up a dual boot system on my Mom's machine gone until I can get a 64-bit disk of SuSE, and fly out to L.A. again.

Even so, I spent the next four hours, that's right, four hours setting up my Mom's computer to be at least usable and so that every time she opened a program that it would not act like a CONSTANT ADVERTISEMENT FOR WHOEVER PAID M$ THE MOST MONEY!

I honestly am finding the words to describe what opening programs on a new M$ machine is like, hard to find. There is not a single program that you can open for the first time on a new M$ machine that does not open either an advertisement for upgrades or extra features from M$ or some other company. Plus, getting rid of all the extra crap that comes on the thing takes forever because you have to shut down after every un-install. I will admit that I am severely spoiled by that feature in Linux, I love it and I forgot how long it takes to do ANYTHING on a new M$ machine AAHHH!!!

Ok, I'm better.

Back on subject though, I realized along the way that there were several instances that the adverts made it very unclear how to get 'around' them. If my Mom had to set the thing up herself, she would have un-intentionlly signed up for all kinds of stuff she did not know about. If your going to mug my Mom, do it in the street where I can take care or you myself, not on her computer. I'm Pissed! I cannot believe that M$ and the OEM's load their machines like this, I might as well ask Car Salesmen to sell me computers.

Anyway, I am going to get back to L.A. soon, I hope and get my Mom set up so that I can start to wean her off of M$. Once she realizes just what a big pain in the you know where M$ is just to use, it will be easy.


Jul 18, 2006
3:14 PM EDT
Why didn't you install the 32bit version? Your mom won't know the difference. I doubt even you would, just using the system normally. 64bit is only really usefull for power users, and at special tasks only (some games, data crunching). Besides, there's no 64bit Flash, and flash is nice to have for people casually browsing around the web (i.e. Google Video and YouTube).

Jul 18, 2006
3:31 PM EDT
There is also no 64 bit java plugin last I checked.

However, I believe that Suse uses a 32 bit Firefox even in the 64 bit version.

There is something called nspluginwrapper that get's around these problems if you do use a 64 bit firefox. But I've not used it myself.

Jul 18, 2006
4:15 PM EDT
sander: I almost did but I wasn't as sure it would work with the Intel chip. If she had the AMD, I wouldn't have thought twice about it.

sbergman27: See, your way over my head on that. "You got a tutorial on that?", "that would be cool." - Me ;-)

What, you guys have never set up a new M$ machine? No comments?, nothing? Really? Honest?

Jul 18, 2006
5:47 PM EDT
> What, you guys have never set up a new M$ machine? No comments?, nothing? Really? Honest?

What's to say that you didn't already say? I assume you loaded Firefox, Thunderbird, Spybot S&D, AdAware, and one of the free virus scanners? Yes, almost everything included now is a timed demo or limited version. And unless you pay extra, most of the manufacturers don't even include the Windows media to allow you to perform a clean reinstall if wanted to (which would, of course, require re-activating Windows). It's ridiculous, but people still put up with it.

Jul 18, 2006
6:06 PM EDT
"""sbergman27: See, your way over my head on that. "You got a tutorial on that?"""""

There's a lot of discussion of nspluginwrapper and how to use it in the 64 bit section of the ubuntu user forums. http://www.ubuntuforums.org

However, unless you specifically want to explore a 64 bit distro, I'd just do the 32bit. There are usually a few "gotchas" with 64 bit. Plus fiddling with the separate 32 and 64 bit libs adds confusion.

Like I say, though, last I looked Suse shipped a 32 bit Firefox with the 64 bit version of the distro to avoid these plugin issues.

Perhaps Dean, our resident Susenite has more solid info?

Jul 19, 2006
2:27 AM EDT
Quoting:What, you guys have never set up a new M$ machine? No comments?, nothing? Really? Honest?

I'm trying very hard to forget that. My therapists says I'm making good progress though. I no longer have the desire to smash the system to tiny bits 5 minutes into the Windows installation. I can hold it out for up to 10 minutes now.

Jun 29, 2007
8:19 PM EDT
Time for a long awaited update to this thread...

Well, I installed SLED-10 on my HP laptop and I have to admit that it went off without a hitch. I am now dual booting XP and SLED-10.

The install was just like I remember. I got the partitions figured out and luckily the XP install was none the wiser.

I had tried out several other distributions "Live" CD's on my laptop and none could get my wireless card to work at all, let alone to an unprotected network.

Getting YaST updated with extra repo's was as much "fun" as I remember but all in all it did alright in getting what I needed to see and hear and do what I need it too.

I can't complain, the XP install still works and I can actually use my wireless card and because of my familiarity to SuSE I got it acting and looking the way I wanted it without too much hair pulling and gnashing about.

I really didn't think that it would be SuSE or SLED-10 of all things that I would end up loading on my new "lappy" (for you Strong Bad fans out there) but I wanted everything to work, most especially my wireless card, and after over half a dozen tries with other flavors of Linux..here I am running the red-headed step child of Linux on my Laptop...

I guess I should be prepared to take some heat on this huh?


Jun 30, 2007
1:11 AM EDT
Last Wednesday I delivered a fully configured Mandriva 2007.1 system to a lady in her 70s (72) she asked me to replace her Windows system, which due to hardware changes was telling her she had a an illegal copy of WinXP installed, and she needed to contact Microsoft to get it fixed. She is now the happy owner of a Linux computer, and as keen as mustard - she's gone out and bought Linux for Dummies and researched where to get other books that will help her use her system.

This after noon I was asked to set up yet another Linux system, which I'm in the process of doing, and I have been told there is another person wanting to go the Linux route, who is so annoyed with the viruses and other issues they have had with their windows system they want to talk to me about Linux. Many of these people never heard about Linux until quite recently, and then having heard someone talk about Ubuntu on the radio, and having picked up my cards at the local community message board, they are keen to experiment.

Jun 30, 2007
8:59 AM EDT
> I guess I should be prepared to take some heat on this huh?

Hopefully not. If it works, it works. And if it doesn't, then you can't use it. There are probably ways to get the other distros to work with your wireless card, but why bother is SuSE just works.

I'd keep an eye on the other distros and download their new versions for testing, just in case one of them starts working too, but until they do there's no reason you shouldn't stay with SuSE.

Jun 30, 2007
9:55 AM EDT
Only three or four actually saw my wireless card at all and of those none would work with WPA encryption.

With the more than a dozen different wireless networks around me some protected using WEP and most left unprotected I am unwilling to budge on whether or not it will work with WPA. I use a long combo of numbers and letters too.

I refuse to make it easy, or easier for someone to get onto my network because I cannot find a distro that supports WPA.

I know, I am a pain but no way am I going to worry about the security of my network. Besides, everyone I help set up with a wireless network I make use WPA with a nice messed up password that would take forever to crack.

Jun 30, 2007
10:53 AM EDT
>Perhaps Dean, our resident Susenite has more solid info?

I wimp out and use the 32 bit firefox.

Jun 30, 2007
4:39 PM EDT
It would be nice to run Debian on my Lappy but I am unwilling to waste the Hard Drive space having to install Gnome by default and then go get the KDE I wanted in the first place.

Once Gnome is on your computer it is impossible to completely get rid of and still have a functioning system. No matter what you do there will be dependencies that will refuse to resolve and essentially make the system impossible to upgrade or update without having to re-install a bunch of Gnome stuff. No matter what I have tried to get rid of it, I can't. Too many shared libraries.

That is the one thing I have always loved about SuSE. It will let you install it without having to install Gnome and just install KDE.

Can someone please explain to me why and how Gnome got to be the "You don't have a choice but to install it first" for Debian? I know that there are KDE centric Linux's out there but why does Debian MAKE me install Gnome first whether I want it or not? Sure there is Kubuntu but I don't want second fiddle Ubuntu, I want Debian with KDE and no Gnome or anything else.

Understand, I do not hate Gnome, I just don't use it. Ever. I don't need it and am tired of having to waste HD space on it because it is the McAfee of GUI's.

I feel better now.. :-)

Jun 30, 2007
4:41 PM EDT
> That is the one thing I have always loved about SuSE. It will let you install it without having to install Gnome and just install KDE.

You should try Slackware sometime. :) No Gnome to worry about.


Slackware 12.0 should be out fairly shortly.

Jun 30, 2007
5:30 PM EDT
Mandriva gives you the choice, GNOME, KDE or XFce.

Jun 30, 2007
5:31 PM EDT
> why does Debian MAKE me install Gnome first whether I want it or not?

You don't have to install Gnome with Debian, although it seems like they want you to think so.


Jun 30, 2007
7:32 PM EDT

My first ever how-to, luckily I've learned a bit about what not to say since then. I got a good flaming on that one and learned opinion and how-to's don't really go well together.

Thanks though, its always a nice boost to the self esteem to see one's work referenced, especially in the company that hangs out around here.

Jun 30, 2007
9:30 PM EDT
Very cool azerthoth, I will give it a shot.

jdixon: Slackware? No, I need to learn more first otherwise it will frustrate me to no end.


Jul 01, 2007
5:00 AM EDT
Small world. I had that howto bookmarked before I ever found LXer, so I didn't even make the connection to azerthoth. I've used this method several times, except with "apt-get install xfce4".

Jul 01, 2007
6:05 AM EDT
Quoting:why does Debian MAKE me install Gnome first whether I want it or not?

It doesn't. Etch was released with three different versions of the first CD which install different desktop environments (Gnome (default), KDE and Xfce).

Instead of linking to an article which says so here's a rock-solid proof: http://cdimage.debian.org/debian-cd/4.0_r0/i386/bt-cd/ (see debian-40r0-i386-kde-CD-1.iso.torrent and debian-40r0-i386-xfce-CD-1.iso.torrent at the bottom of the list)

Note that I haven't tried them. I installed my Debian about 6 years ago and never had to do anything other than regular apt-get upgrade :) [maybe except occasional glitch fixing when I pushed it too far, but never anything catastrophic]

Jul 01, 2007
6:20 AM EDT
> Slackware? No, I need to learn more first otherwise it will frustrate me to no end.

Slackware's difficulties are overrated. And if you want to learn, there's no better distro than Slackware to learn on (unless you count LFS as a distribution).

A quick Google search reveals a Slackware installation walkthru at:


If you want to see what's involved (typo fixed) in installing it. The only notable change that I can think of would be that SATA drives are now sd devices rather than hd devices.

Jul 02, 2007
10:54 AM EDT
Scott, there are some boot codes when you install Debian that let you choose your desktop.

I just did a laptop Debian install in which I did the "standard install," which means just the base Debian system, no X, no nothing. Then I installed X and Fluxbox, so I've got very little overhead there.

Installing X was pretty easy -- all I had to do was:

#to get X apt-get install xserver-xorg-core xorg

#install fluxbox window manager apt-get install fluxbox

#if you want the X login manager (at present I'm just using the console and the command startx when I want to run an X session) apt-get install xdm

I stole all this info from here: http://www.debian-administration.org/articles/432

When installing the base Debian system, you naturally don't get all the GUI tools that come in the full install. Instead you can add what you want. That's where trying a dozen different distros comes in -- you can add the packages you want with apt and have a custom system with no bloat.

I agree with you on WPA -- I'm not practicing what I preach because I'm using an old Orinoco Wavelan Silver card (recognized by every distro I've tried, but 802.11b and no WPA), but WPA is the only way to go if you want a secure wireless connection.

Jul 02, 2007
11:03 AM EDT
Re: Slackware

I've enjoyed using Slax, NimbleX and ZenWalk -- and I just might try a full ZenWalk install at some point -- but as far as standard Slackware goes, I can't even figure out how to make the ISO to install it.

I'm sure it's not that hard, but it's not the way every other Linux distro I've tried works -- and I can't seem to find the instructions.

Jul 02, 2007
12:55 PM EDT
> ...I can't even figure out how to make the ISO to install it.

The iso's are downloadable from the mirrors and bittorrent. The simplest thing to do is get the DVD iso if you can burn DVD's. If not, you should get the three non-source CD's. Do you want to make your own from scratch for some reason? That's doable, but a lot more work.

Jul 08, 2007
8:57 AM EDT
Well, I got a wild hair up my...anyway!

I decided to download and burn a copy of OpenSuSE 10.2 last night and install it on my Laptop. SLED was being a royal pain to add install sources too, just like every other SUSE installation I have ever had has done..

1. Go into YAST and add installation source.

2. If it takes, and that's a pretty big if, enable it and turn on refresh.

3. Go into YAST to update and/or upgrade some software to find out that either the installation source will not communicate, does not exist or that the enable and/or refresh is not turned on.

4. Go back into YAST to reinstall the installation source and turn on enable or refresh again.

5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 ad infinitum..

The kicker for me was/is getting my wireless card to work and access WPA protected networks. I have been hearing good things about OpenSuSE from people who both like and despise Novell. So I figured why not give it a shot. I have not used SUSE since 10.0 before the OpenSuSE Project was created and only just started using SLED 10 recently.

Since I already have the partitions set up the way I want them the install went smoothly and without incident. After the initial install everything worked including my wireless card but it could not access a WPA protected network.

With much trepidation I went to the OpenSUSE website and proceeded to add all of the extra installation sources I wanted. I enabled them and turned on the refresh for each one...

I can't believe I am saying it but they all stayed installed and my enable and refresh settings stuck! They all synced with Zenworks and after a restart I had 283 updates waiting for me. After I let it update all those my wireless card would let me access my WPA protected network easy as pie. Needless to say, between the sources and settings sticking and getting my wireless card to do what I wanted it too without having to do anything other than an update made me very happy.

OpenSuSE gave me everything I wanted...

1. No default Gnome install to take up space. 2. My wireless card was recognized and worked minus WPA. 3. YAST ACTUALLY ALLOWED ME TO ADD INSTALL SOURCES AND KEPT MY SETTINGS TOO! 4. I got my wireless card to work with WPA after only an update. 5. I went and got all the multimedia programs and codecs I needed through YAST effortlessly.

I'm like a pig in..anyway! :-)

Now I am one of those people who thinks very highly of the OpenSuSE Project. Not that I had a bad opinion, up until yesterday I had never installed OpenSuSE before and I have always known that the OpenSuSE Project is innocent regarding Novell's deal with Microsoft.

To everyone who works on OpenSuSE, my hat is off to you! You have done what I thought could not be done. You got YAST to do what I wanted it too. You Rock!!


Jul 08, 2007
9:29 AM EDT
Scott -

Yeah. OpenSuSE is pretty good.

I've been wavering a bit, giving kubuntu and ubuntu a whirl, but I don't think it's going to stick.

Jul 08, 2007
9:42 AM EDT
The one thing that I have really been missing about SUSE is that you can log in as root, (K)Ubuntu will not let you do that without going through a lot and Debian too.

Call me crazy but I really, really like being able to log in as root if I want too. Without my OS telling me I can't.


Jul 08, 2007
10:22 AM EDT
> ...and Debian too.

Debian gives you problems logging in as root? News to me. I'll have to check out my Debian virtual machine when I get home and see.

Jul 08, 2007
10:47 AM EDT
Yep, you got me on that one. I must have had a momentary instance of insanity.

Which is not new for me... :-)

Jul 08, 2007
10:54 AM EDT
>Which is not new for me... :-)

That's where you and I differ. I've always got my act together. Firm grip on my sanity. Intellectually forthright. Handsome beyond words. Able to leap tall buildings with a single bound while doing bird calls to spook wayward housecats.

Did I mention my wife, the young Elizabeth Taylor?

Jul 08, 2007
11:16 AM EDT
Quoting:That's where you and I differ. I've always got my act together. Firm grip on my sanity. Intellectually forthright. Handsome beyond words. Able to leap tall buildings with a single bound while doing bird calls to spook wayward housecats.

Whew! You gotta warn me when you leave a stinker laying around like that Dino..

Does anybody have some air freshener?


Jul 08, 2007
2:03 PM EDT
Quoting:The one thing that I have really been missing about SUSE is that you can log in as root, (K)Ubuntu will not let you do that without going through a lot...

1. Open a command shell. 2. sudo /bin/bash

You cannot post until you login.