Saturday, 5 July 2008

openSUSE 11.0 vs Fedora 9 Gnome/Desktop Live CD

I've downloaded openSUSE Live CD in hopes that it could help me resolve issues with Fedora 9 (see my previous post)... Well, does not seem likely.

First I put the DVD into drive and booted the computer. And I was lost even before I could boot. The boot choices were worded in a such way I didn't know what to chose (err. rather what the choice will do) and help seemed completely unrelated. Well, so I chose what seemed most likely and hoped it will boot the Live CD. And it did! I was pleasantly surprised how fast the Live CD was. It was nearly like if it was run from HDD. No slugishness, nearly no UI freezes, generally responsive. Well, if I compare Fedora 9 Desktop Live CD, I must ask - where did we go wrong? Fedora Live CD is sluggish (on the same old Athlon 900 MHz) machine, the drive is damn loud, UI is most of the time unresponsive...

But that's probably about all good about suse. Their menu is just awful. I cannot imagine how anyone can use that piece of software. So I switched to traditional menu - alas, they again have it sorted in a way that it took me like forever before I've found terminal. Why do they use four-level menus for applications? Who was that insane to suggest such a choice?

But ok, well, one can get used to that, a worse thing is that wifi didn't work. I don't know why - the kernel is same version as in fedora. That's a dissapointment, since in Fedora Live CD it works flawlessly. Anyway, it could just be a firmware missing, so I gave it a go and click install to harddrive.

Well, I can only say it was so frustrating experience, I ended up not installing it. First the partition managing seems so unnatural that I didn't figured out how to custom paritition it to my liking (as opposed to partition editor in anaconda), luckily I've prepared 10 GB empty partition beforhand with gparted on Fedora, so that openSUSE only used this partition (though it deleted it then rectreated extended partition instead and created what seemed like subpartitons to me in it).

But the thing that stopped my efforts was setting up GRUB. It took me about 5 min. before I got to know that it will install to MBR on sda (but that's my fault, it was nicely visible). That wouldn't be a problem if it knew about Fedora's GRUB that was already there. I even tried their option which was called something like "propose merging with existing GRUB layout" which didn't changed anything. And bacause I didn't want to break my Fedora installation, I decided to stop trying, because this obstacle seemed to much for me :-(


davidnielsen said...

This fixes your cd burning issue from the previous post:

I to have been bitten by this rather unfortunate bug but it's solved now.

Kevin Kofler said...

When it comes to wireless, Fedora's kernel is actually a lot newer than the version number written on it. Fedora kernels include the very latest wireless updates from the upstream development tree, meaning a Fedora 2.6.n kernel usually ships a snapshot of the wireless development headed towards 2.6.n+2. For example, the current 2.6.25 kernels have wireless updates from the upstream tree targeting 2.6.27. This is probably the explanation why wireless works for you with Fedora's kernel and not with OpenSUSE's, despite the apparent same version number.

Martin said...

davidnielsen: thanks for the info. I guess I'll wait till it hits repos - I don't burn that much to be irritated by having the bug not fixed for another day or two :-D

kevin kofler: Aah, then I guess this sorts out most of the distros - since the wireless actually started working somewhere between F9 Alpha and Beta, which basically means the fix is hyper new...

Does any one know any other distros that have the wireless updates too?