Even though I swore I'd keep Fedora Core around for a while, it only took 3 months before I replaced it with Suse (again). It's all Xgl's fault. The Kororaa Live CD  is very cool. Since Xgl was created by a Novell engineer, and there are Xgl binaries for Suse, and since Suse is coming out with a new version, and (fintally!) since Xgl hasn't made it into Debian Sid yet, it made sense to install Suse to use as an Xgl testbed.
I downloaded the Suse 10.1 RC1 ISOs via bittorrent using my favorite version of Linux, Kanotix  (it's a live CD that installs Debian Sid, with some great enhancements). Then I grabbed the RC1 > RC2 deltas, figuring I'd try applying them with
xdelta in Debian, and if that didn't work... That didn't work. Next thing to try was downloading the
deltarpm rpm, using
alien to convert it to a deb package, install it, and try again. It installed fine, but the
applydeltaiso command ended up giving me a CRC error at the end of the conversion process (even though the MD5 sums of the ISOs and deltas were fine).
There's more than one way to skin a cat, and more than one way to install Suse. I grabbed the diminutive (35 MB) 'net install CD, followed the directions , and, in about an hour, was looking at a familiar green lizard. (The installer even recognized the native 1280x1024 resolution of my LCD monitor!)
The only glitches were as follows:
During installation, you come to a spot where it asks you if you want to go online to look for updates, and it complains it can't get online -- odd, since it just finished downloading 4 GB of packages. Then again, that part didn't work the last two times I installed Suse, either.
The second, more serious glitch came post-installation. I told it to put GRUB on the partition I installed Suse to (hda2), not my MBR, because I still boot Windows (OK, so I only waddle the waddle sometimes....) and I use a version of GRUB that runs after Windows' NTLDR runs. After rebooting, I got a "missing operating system" error, which was easily fixed by booting using a Smart Boot Manager floppy and running
chkdsk in Windows. Suse, why'd you mess with my MBR when I specifically told you not to?
And the two most annoying glitches I've encountered in Suse proper are: 1) YaST won't seem to let me set my hostname manually. I want to leave the domain name blank, but it won't let me; then, when I put in a domain name, it complains about my search domain, which I'm not changing -- so I'm going to have to find out which files to edit manually. For now, I'm stuck with the annoying "dhcppc1". 2) I can't seem to add any repos without getting error messages about
/etc/init.d/novell-zmd not starting. Then it tells me the server isn't accessible.
I really like the new openSuse Wiki. It makes doing things like installing nVidia drivers  much easier when the instructions are easy to find.
In Part 2: On to Xgl.