Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 16th Nov 2011 23:38 UTC, submitted by sb56637
SuSE, openSUSE And another popular Linux distribution pushes a new release out the door. This time around, it's openSUSE, as they just released version 12.1. Other than the usual latest and greatest version of all the open source desktops and associated tools, there's a few other interesting tidbits in this release as well.
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RE: here's a suggestion
by Dave_K on Fri 18th Nov 2011 11:37 UTC in reply to "here's a suggestion"
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If your hardware isn't supported don't waste your time downloading and installing the distro.

Even after researching what is and isn't compatible, it isn't always obvious whether a particular Linux distribution will work properly or not, let alone how much hassle it'll be to get it fully functional.

For example, my Thinkpad was listed as Linux compatible, but many things just didn't work after installing Mint.

Suspending to RAM initially seemed to function, until I tried to wake the laptop and nothing happened. Hibernating to disk didn't even get that far, simply crashing the system when activated. Even after spending a week getting power management more-or-less working there were still issues (i.e. compared with Windows the laptop runs hotter and noisier, and drains much more power even while asleep).

All the laptop specific features needed manual configuration after installation. For example, some of the special keyboard buttons didn't function, and while the trackpoint worked as a basic pointing device, some features still don't work properly after hours of research and config file editing. This is stuff that could be sorted out with a couple of clicks in a control panel in Windows.

After all that work Linux is just about usable on the laptop (I guess the people who reported it as compatible are happy with it like that), but it still doesn't work as well as Windows does. Maybe it's possible to fix the remaining issues, but when the suggestion for my power management problems is to compile a custom kernel (that may or may not work) it does dent my enthusiasm a bit.

Even with the desktop computers it wasn't obvious just from RTFM that not everything would work. For example, one problem with my main PC is that my E-mu sound card doesn't work properly. Again some people seem to have managed to get this working, there have been drivers written for it, but on my installation I get serious sound glitches.

On my secondary PC the only problem is that USB 2 doesn't work. Of course Linux can support USB 2, but for some reason on that system I'm stuck with USB 1.1 speed. When a quick search didn't turn up a solution I didn't have any incentive to waste more time trying to solve it.

There have always been at least some little issues like that on every desktop I've used with Linux. Of course that's nothing compared with the problems I've had trying to install Linux on laptops, but it still means time spent solving problems, or money spent replacing hardware.

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