Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

SLED 10 rocks!

Filed under

SLED 10 rocks!

I've quite recently bought a new laptop (Znote 6214W 1,83 Ghz Intel dual core, 512 Mb 533 Mhz DDR2 RAM, 60 Gb harddisk, 512 Mb nVidia video card) with XPSP2 preinstalled. It's been a while since I last bought a new computer, and I must admit I had completely forgotten how cheap the default XP Home installation is on applications. No office apps (except Word Pad), no CD/DVD burning tools, very few media codecs, no decent image manipulation tools, hell, not even a pdf-reader. Still, as I like to play games, I wanted to keep XP around for Football Manager 2006 and Elders Scrolls IV: Oblivion.

A dual-boot solution seemed to be the best choice, XP for games and Linux for everything else. Having used Canonical's brilliant shipit program, I had some Dapper-disks laying around, and decided to go for an Ubuntu/XP-dual boot. Unfortunately the Live-CD didn't boot properly. Seemed to be a videocard-problem, as the the screen crashed into random colourfull patterns as the splash screen was about to appear. I tried a couple of other distros, and of those I had lying around, only the Linspire 5.0 LiveCD worked. As this one can't be installed, and I in any case prefer Gnome, I sort of gave up on linux for a while (actually I still messed around a bit on an old Toshiba laptop (Pentium III, 32 Mb RAM, 4 Gb harddisk), but more on that another time).

This was until SLED 10. By now I had used a lot of time getting my XP driven PC up to date, and it now had OO 2.0, Gimp, DivX codecs and so on. Still, as SUSE is the only major distro I have never tried, I decided to give it a go when it came with the Linux Format DVD.

I am still very much a Linux newbie, so I appreciated the easy-to-understand graphical partitioning and setup tool SLED provided. Despite being a bit slow, the install was relatively seamless. My soundcard wasn't automatically configured for some reason, but this was easily taken care of when I booted the system for the first time (without command line jiggery).

And just to get that out of the way; SLED 10 is an amazing OS. I can't remeber ever having had so many «how can this be free software ?!?»-experiences. Everything is easy, everything is beautiful. The selection of preinstalled apps is incredible, the configuration tools is extremely user-friendly. It's easily the most intuitive, best equipped and most polished distro I've ever seen. It just feels utterly professional. Go Novell! SLED also seem to perform very well, though it's difficult to really compare it to other distros or operative systems, because even XP runs really fast on my rather new system

On the downside is the lack of proprietary drivers and media plugins. I understand that this is a strategic choice from Novell in order to promote free software, but for me as an end user its just plain annoying. Especially since I don't have internet. This means I have to bring a usb-stick to the university and download the pasckages to it, then go home only do discover that I lack dependencies, and then try again the next day. Thanks to the run-script from NVIDIA's homepage I was able to get 3D and Xgl working for my graphics card after quite easily, but I still can't get totem to play mpeg's avi's or DVD's. MP3 works out of the box, though.

All in all 9 out of 10 for SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop, and easily the best distro I have used.
My SLED 10 desktop with banshee playing MP3.

More in Tux Machines

Red Hat News

openSUSE Tumbleweed: A Linux distribution on the leading edge

So, to summarize: openSUSE Tumbleweed is a good, solid, stable Linux distribution with a wide range of desktops available. It is not anything particularly exotic or unstable, and it does not require an unusual amount of Linux expertise to install and use on an everyday system. To make a very simple comparison, in my experience installing and using Tumbleweed is much less difficult and much less risky than using the Debian "testing" distribution, and it is kept much (much much) more up to date than openSUSE Leap, Debian "stable", Linux Mint or Ubuntu. I don't say that to demean any of those other distributions. As I said at the end of my recent post about point-release vs. rolling-release distributions, if your hardware is fully supported by one of those point-release distributions, and you are satisfied with the applications included in them, then they are certainly a good choice. But if you like staying on the leading edge, or if you have very new hardware which requires the latest Linux kernel and drivers, or you just want/need the latest version of some application (in my case this would be digiKam), then openSuSE could be just what you want. Read more Also: Google Summer of Code 2017

Graphics in Linux

  • 17 Fresh AMDGPU DC Patches Posted Today
    Seventeen more "DC" display code patches were published today for the AMDGPU DRM driver, but it's still not clear if it will be ready -- or accepted -- for Linux 4.12. AMD developers posted 17 new DC (formerly known as DAL) patches today to provide small fixes for Vega10/GFX9 hardware, various internal code changes, CP2520 DisplayPort compliance, and various small fixes.
  • libinput 1.7.0
  • Libinput 1.7 Released With Support For Lid Switches, Scroll Wheel Improvements
    Peter Hutterer has announced the new release of libinput 1.7.0 as the input handling library most commonly associated with Wayland systems but also with Ubuntu's Mir as well as the X.Org Server via the xf86-input-libinput driver.
  • Nouveau TGSI Shader Cache Enabled In Mesa 17.1 Git
    Building off the work laid by Timothy Arceri and others for enabling a TGSI (and hardware) shader cache in the RadeonSI Gallium3D driver as well as R600g TGSI shader cache due ot the common infrastructure work, the Nouveau driver is now leveraging it to enable the TGSI shader cache for Nouveau Gallium3D drivers.

GNU/Linux Games and Wine