Dark Duck's Confusing Quack

Story: OpenSuSE 12.3 – the CheaterTotal Replies: 9
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Apr 24, 2013
7:53 AM EDT
I tried to understand what this writer was getting at. I really did. But I became confused by what exactly he was arguing about. I really don't care what dependencies a piece of software chooses to employ as long as the required dependencies are present and the software is working reliably - that after all is the aim of the game isn't it ?

I approached openSUSE 12.3 from a different direction. I downloaded the full 4.2Gig ISO file for a 32bit system (I still prefer 32bit because some software I have runs more easily or smoothly). It installed without any problems whatsoever. I then automatically accepted that there will have been updates and patches since the original release and after opening up the "online update process", I simply accepted those that were marked as important by the openSUSE team. I certainly did NOT ever encounter a 1.4Gig patch total download as one blogger stated. Whatever, I do know that openSUSE 12.3 runs smoothly and well on my Toshiba i5 Satellite laptop with 8Gig of RAM.

Honestly, this almost looks (well, to me anyhow) like someone writing something with a bad case of the morning after the night before. If I'm wrong, my apologies. However, if the openSUSE team state on their online upgrade site that a particular patch is important for either or both stability or security, let's face it, I am not going to argue. I'll install it and be grateful that my system is protected. And I will download and install without hesitation any files so marked by the openSUSE team. I don't have the expertise to query their skill and ability. While I have never explored the option, I am fairly sure that you can turn the automatic update system off in openSUSE....But in my books, anybody who accepts an OS released in say, midyear, but does not automatically accept the updates and patches that are available or required a few months later is simply asking for trouble.

Respectfully, I have to disagree with Black Duck on the matter of the YaST software management and update system that openSUSE uses. I like it immensely, I find it simple to use, and as far as I am concerned, it works extremely well. Perhaps my bland acceptance offends his need to be very specific as to what he does or does not want, but each to his own - an OS I happen to like immensely, he doesn't. Fine with me.

And finally, if the writer starts by stating he doesn't like openSUSE, am I to accept that he is trying to be honest, or should I accept that he is setting out the fact that anything he writes will be negatively biased ? Or both ? The first comment on his page seems to echo my feelings.

Apr 24, 2013
10:58 AM EDT
Yes it was me who commented on the blog itself.

I downloaded the live KDE disk which was 990 mb and less than a month after it's release the update was 1.4gb.

Now the suggestion from a lot of people was that I should have downloaded the 4.2gb ISO. That seems overkill. How much of the 4.2gb ISO would you say you have actually installed into your system. Most of that is applications you would never use.

I could understand if I downloaded an ISO in June 2012 and then updated that there would be a lot of changes but it was less than 1 month later.

On top of that how many of the updates were security related and therefore needed to be installed and how many were just bringing applications up to date in general.

I just found it odd. I installed Fedora last night and I installed PCLinuxOS last week. Both of these were live disks and neither asked me to perform huge updates. Just reasonable sized updates.


Apr 24, 2013
12:21 PM EDT
There seems to be a misunderstanding of the rôle of the openSuSE Live DVDs. These are essentially snapshot demos of e.g. KDE, that can also be used to perform a network install. The Live image can be installed "as is", then further software, and updates added in the normal manner. If there is no installation, the Live disc can be used as if it were the NET CD to perform a network install. If the intention was to install or upgrade, then one only needs to download the CD image (c.240MiB) in the first instance.

If performing an update with YaST several filters are available: Needed, Unneeded, All, Recommended, Security, and Optional Patches. "Recommended" includes stuff like "KDE: 4.10.2 version update". I also remember a large number of systemd fixes.

I maintain a partial mirror of openSuSE, so can easily provide some figures. The total size of the openSUSE-12.3 x86_64 Update repository is 2.3GiB this afternoon, but that includes both the full versions of all changed files, as well as the patches. The total size of the 12.3 Update patches (the delta rpms and other required files to update installed rpms) is 203MiB. That 203MiB includes the update from KDE-4.10.0 to KDE-4.10.2.

So Gary's 1.4GB would have been the size of his installation, and not an update.

Apr 24, 2013
5:38 PM EDT
Well, to me the real corker is that Dark Duck is attempting to update the software stack in a live session. I understand that the "live CD experience" or "out of the box" experience is what his reviews are aimed at. But, honestly, who updates a distro in a live session? That step should always be done after an actual installation.

Apr 24, 2013
5:41 PM EDT
@gary_newell. I have never had much luck with "live CD's" for any OS so I tend to ignore them. But I would also echo "vagabondo's" comment in that what you get is a much reduced situation with a live CD and you must then do a full install which brings all the rest of the software onto your computer - and usually that is large, so why not "start large" anyhow ? I prefer to have a situation in which I got the lot and then leave it up to the software to decide exactly what and how much is needed to get a smooth installation running. To be honest, I have NO idea how much of the 4.2Gig is actually now loaded onto the hdd, but I do know it "just works" - with a little tweaking in the direction of my "comfort zone". Another nice aspect is that usually, unless you specify ONLY the installation DVD, an openSUSE system will automatically go to the openSUSE site and get the latest version of the package you want, and often, what is on the installation disk is not the latest version.

Gary, I noted that the article by Dedoimedo (for which Dark Duck provides the link) fulminated over that "nauseating" piece of software called KWallet (he used even more indelicate language). I also have spent a blog on this site becoming more and more angry with KWallet and its stupidity for some situations. Conversely, another blogger stated that she liked KWallet immensely and used it successfully. Ultimately, the trick to it is to store your workspace software password(s) in KWallet, but for KWallet itself, set the opening password to "blank" by storing a "return" stroke from the keyboard. If you do that, KWallet is instantly opened at startup and the password required by KMail for instance, is already loaded and present so that the software runs in KDE4 with a forced KWallet usage in much the same way as it did in earlier versions of KDE4 where the use of KWallet was not forced. Sorry, I cannot remember the thread on this site .......I'll go look.

Edit update: Found it: http://lxer.com/module/forums/t/34497/

@vagabondo...Your second paragraph is confirmed. Usually my update filter is set at either recommended (works very well) or security. There are "oooooodles" of patches available, but most of them I never bother installing since they are for software I don't use. I too have just upgraded to KDE4-10.2 and yes, it was a biggish patch, but again, for KDE4 especially, you would be silly not to take advantage of a major "fix set".

Apr 24, 2013
10:00 PM EDT
When I wrote comments like this about DarkDuck's methodology before I was accused of bias, of holding some sort of grudge, etc... Yet time after time his "reviews" of live CDs (which are not worth reviewing in the first place) produce negative results which I just don't experience because I actually install the OS.

I like openSUSE and used it as my everyday OS (12.2 and 12.3) because I was supporting it at work. It's an excellent distro. It's not my first choice but that is generally due to personal preferences, not to any flaw in what the developers are doing. It's not perfect by any means, but show me a distro that is.

Apr 25, 2013
2:23 AM EDT
Yggdrasil was the only sort of "Live Distro" I have actually liked. The CD was the repository (this was about 20 years ago). Package management was brilliant. Everything appeared to be installed, but was actually dynamically/seamlessly installed on the hard drive on first use.

Some day I would like to get a virtual machine to emulate an old SCSI-I controller so that I can boot it up again.

Apr 25, 2013
2:41 AM EDT
@vagabondo.......I implied above that I was perhaps, a bit wary of active CD's. Okay, for them's as likes 'em and can get them running, terrific. However, I am about to step completely outside of my "comfort zone" so to speak and do something that to me seems the better alternative. This is something I have always shied away from, but it is being forced on me because a piece of contract work I have to do requires Win7....(Okay, okay, I'm a traitor, but I am also a pragmatist.....especially if the software I absolutely HAVE to use will ONLY run in Windows....Yuck, but nevertheless.....LOL).

For the first time I am going to have a go at using virtual machines. I have already loaded onto openSUSE 12.3 the latest version of Oracle's Virtual Box and since this is an i5 machine, I shall probably tell Win7 it can have two of the cores. With 8Gig of RAM and nearly 500Gig available disk space, this OS should move quite well. Getting openSUSE to accept me as part of the group to use Virtual Box was a mini-lesson in itself, but it's on the web and turned out to be simple - if you know what to do......Now from what I am beginning to appreciate, a virtual box installation is THE way to go to trial a new distro or distro release. As I said, I've never done this before, but come next Monday, I shall dabble my toes in the water paying due heed to patrolling pirahnas and cruising crocodiles......and despite the neon "Luddite" sign over my Neanderthal cave, I'm looking forward to it very much indeed.

Apr 25, 2013
6:24 AM EDT
The situation with regards to live CDs doesn't add up. I installed PCLinuxOS last week from a live dvd.

Only 990 mb download for the live disk. I installed it and it comes with loads of software pre-installed.

The updates are just 128mb.

Therefore I don't get why with openSUSE you get 990 mb download and then a 1.4gb update.

I appreciate Vagabondo's suggestion that it might be better to start with the net install and then build upon that but being that the live disk does actually install most of the software that is required I would have thought installing the live media and then building on that is just as acceptable. It certainly seems to be the case with most distros including Ubuntu, Mint, Fedora, PCLinuxOS, Zorin, Debian etc etc. Only openSUSE has such a big update straight after install.

Apr 25, 2013
8:55 AM EDT
@gary_newell......it's only a guess, but openSUSE is constantly revising and updating their software. If the live CD was made from an early "snapshot", it's contents might almost be 100% outdated, plus the extra software in a full installation, plus the update of KDE4 itself.....that would make 1.4Gig easy. But it's just a guess.

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