Home > SuSE, openSUSE > Review: OpenSUSE 10.2 Review: OpenSUSE 10.2 Eugenia Loli 2007-01-20 SuSE, openSUSE 37 Comments “openSUSE 10.2 is the latest release of the community project, after the somewhat disappointing 10.1 release, where you were liable to not have package management actually working. Hopefully, we’ll discover no such flaw this time.” More here. About The Author Eugenia Loli Ex-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker. Follow me on Twitter @EugeniaLoli 37 Comments 2007-01-20 3:19 am vlado Novel campaign again ? 2007-01-20 3:48 am kaiwai There are quite a number of beta and RC quality applications included with OpenSUSE; what I do hope is that they, when Xorg 7.2.0 is actually released, OpenSuSE will issue an update to the final version. I have also noticed some major bugs in applications, especially Banshee; I’ve filed bug reports, but it is ashamed that these issues weren’t addressed before OpenSuSE was shipped. 2007-01-20 7:32 pm No it isnt Banshee is nice, even impressive for such a young app, but still at v. 0.11 or thereabout. You should expect bugs. 2007-01-20 4:30 am gireesh I have a powerful computer and yet Yast just never gets done running it’s zillion scripts for a simple change made there. The overall feel of OpenSuse 10.2 is great looks and a heavy feel. 2007-01-20 4:42 am steverez1 http://video.msn.com/v/us/v.htm?g=50654B49-EF66-4D27-A384-3842E81DB… I would have to say offensive 2007-01-20 5:04 am systyrant It’s funny. The guy obviously works for Microsoft. You can tell from his 80’s lingo and constant repeating himself. He’s probably one of the lead developers for Windows. Well, either that or he really is a retard (no offense to the retards as I know you are smarter than that). 2007-01-20 9:07 pm Duffman lol, this video is so true. 2007-01-20 4:43 am tarpit Is there anything that can be done to speed up the general feel of the distro? 2007-01-20 11:32 am arctic Ummm… rip off all unnecessary things and fine-tune your scripts or install a faster distro. Latter one is faster and easier. 2007-01-20 5:27 pm Moochman My guess is disable Beagle. My past experience with Suse was not slow, and my guess is that now the background hard drive indexing is too much for all but the fastest computers. I wonder what kind of performance difference turning the indexing off in Windows Vista might make? Edited 2007-01-20 17:28 2007-01-20 4:52 am gamma I started using Opensuse 10.2 at the start of the first RCs. I was extremely impressed. The default look is probably the prettiest I’ve ever seen Linux. Every part of the distro matches and looks amazing. I chose Gnome for my install and was extremely impressed. I loved the fact that beagle indexed my web session, my chat logs and my email. I love the default application set, and find there really isn’t anything Opensuse can’t do. My only problem is Opensuse is slow. For me the distro constantly accessed my laptop hard drive without any reason as far as I know. The Computer menu took some time to appear upon clicking it and there seemed to be a noticeable lag opening applications and menus. Yast is still slow and annoying as ever so be sure to install all applications in one run, if not you’ll have to wait for it to do it’s thing. I switched to Ubuntu a few weeks back and changed my look to that of Suse’s. Industrial icons and Gilouche theme along with the Computer menu (main-menu). Applications load twice as fast compared to Opensuse and the Computer menu is speedy and responsive. Not to mention synaptic runs circles around Yast in terms of speed. Opensuse is getting there, but has several hurdles to get around. Hopefully they can solve these issues and offer the best possible desktop experience. One problem they’ll need to face is media support. There is no easy way to play audio and video from a default install using banshee and totem. 2007-01-20 5:08 am systyrant openSuse 10.2 to me seems much faster than previous versions (v10 and up). Then again I’ve got it on a fairly fast system with load of RAM. The think I liked was the new KDE menu system that Novell create (well I think they created it). I like the gnome one when I first used it on SLED and now I’m working on becoming a KDE convert. With that said I’ve been a big Ubuntu fan and I do think that in most areas it is much faster than openSuse. If they can find away to use the new KDE menu system in Kubuntu then I will probably start using Kubuntu. 2007-01-25 9:12 am raver31 Really ? I actually did not like the new menu in Suse. It looks good, but it is using mono, and is really slow. I tried it under Gnome too, I liked it a little more in there, but it just seemed a little too unintuitive for a menu. I switched back to Ubuntu too. 2007-01-20 8:19 am unclefester I installed opensuse on two machines. The install on an Athlon XP 2000 went very well. On a dual P111 with RAID it was a disaster. The partitioner couldn’t deal with the preconfigured Adaptec RAID 5 partition. After installation it decided I had a single cpu with resultant abysmal performance. The K Menu is simply horrible as is the glacially slow YAST installer which needs additional repositories to be useful. The standard installer is worse than useless. THe whole RPM package management is just atrocious compared with APT. Installing a new theme borked my Gnome setup. Openuse looks pretty and has lots of goodies but it is way too slow. It was superb back in the 9.1 days. 2007-01-20 11:06 am h3rman Openuse looks pretty and has lots of goodies but it is way too slow. It was superb back in the 9.1 days. I happened to use it in the 9.1~9.3 days and it was slow then too, so what was so superb then? Suse is a great distro for those new to Linux so imo they need some credits for that. Before Ubuntu came up with its free CDs, SuSE and Mandriva/Mandrake were unchallenged in that league. Unfortunately I always felt the whole YaST building was a labyrinth and Suse really doesn’t understand the KISS principle. They wasted their time on messing up Gnome (ok, Novell did that I suppose) instead of making their system lean and mean. I’d say, if they’re so desperately trying to have Gnome and KDE look and feel the same, dump one of them and concentrate on the other. Independent forks may come up and you can use the improvements made there later on. “Kill your darlings”, they call that. 2007-01-20 8:22 am lqsh by LQ are pretty cool http://shots.linuxquestions.org/?linux_distribution_sm=openSUSE~*~@… 2007-01-20 11:22 am stooovie As long as I quite like Vista, I also wanted to have some kind of free desktop. I tried openSuse 10.2, ane boy was I wrong. It’s even slower than Vista, and nowhere near as capable. 2007-01-20 12:11 pm unclefester What I meant was that Suse 9.1 was much more polished than most of its rivals. I have just switched to PC-BSD two days ago and am very impressed. The installation is quick and foolproof. The base system is light, uncluttered and noticeably faster than opensuse 10.2. Getting multimedia support is as simple as downloading and double clocking on the w32codecs PBI. The great thing is that if anything goes wrong you just install CD 1, click repair and you have a fully recovered system in minutes – with all applications and settings intact. 2007-01-20 2:36 pm B. Janssen unclefester: The [PC-BSD] base system is light, uncluttered and noticeably faster than opensuse 10.2. Unfortunatly this is true for almost any other free operating system out there. But speed isn’t the main feature of OpenSUSE, ease of use is. They are good in that regard, but others are closing in and these systems are faster. OpenSUSE has to work on its speed, especially with regards to YAST. 2007-01-20 1:33 pm justin.68 I’ve used Suse Linux for a long time besides other OSes. There are improvements, but some things always seem to be neglected. OpenSUSE 10.2 IS impressive, but it has problems which didn’t affect previous releases. SATA disks misdetection anyone? That’s one nasty bug affecting no other distro I’m using or have tried, just SUSE. I’ll get an RC vanilla kernel and see… 2007-01-20 1:49 pm netpython OpenSuSE and Fedora both lack a powerfull yet foolproof packagemanager.They can’t touch gentoo emerge or Ubuntu apt-get.Neither do they have a central repository. If you hardly use any packages other than what’s on the CD’s/DVD than there’s no problem.ZMD,Yast,smart,yum still suck and generate a lot of false positive dependency errors.Sure you could add a lot of repositories manually and the additional applications are being displayed but a lot of them just sit there and can’t be installed due to dependency errors. In case of gentoo one just goes to their website and enters the package of choice into the search query field and voila a simple emerge <package> from the command prompt does the trick. Open/SuSE and RedHat/Fedora are perhaps good windows alternatives for the enterprise but have lost (deliberately) touch with the desktop and or average Joe HomeUser. 2007-01-20 3:46 pm garymax “In case of gentoo one just goes to their website and enters the package of choice into the search query field and voila a simple emerge <package> from the command prompt does the trick…” And four hours later after compiling and hopefully, no errors, you have the latest and greatest! Sorry, I couldn’t resist! 🙂 2007-01-20 4:27 pm netpython And four hours later after compiling and hopefully, no errors, you have the latest and greatest Four hours? It takes me more than a day to have it all the way i like it.But i got the insight it’s worth it. 2007-01-20 3:37 pm Nezumi Perhaps somebody could comment on this… Is it default services, compile options or something else? As an aside, after using e-merge and/or apt, I will never use an rpm based distro in anger again (although I reserve the right to dabble!). This is a shame in a way as I personally like the level of visual polish that OpenSUSE and Fedora have. 2007-01-20 5:03 pm elsewhere Perhaps somebody could comment on this… Is it default services, compile options or something else? It’s their insistence on mono-based core services. Suse 10.2 enables beagle and the zmd package manager by default, both of which are hideously abusive to system resources. Disabling or removing both helps considerably. Beyond that, the performance should be fairly on par with comparable distros and comparable packages, there’s nothing Suse really does different or an overabundance of background services that would impact it. I did choose xfs for my parititioning, which feels like an improvement over ReiserFS and ext3, though that’s an impression, I haven’t attempted to actually measure anything. Taking it an extra step, I rolled my own kernel with the ck patches and much extra stuff disabled, really noticed an improvement with repsonsiveness, but even with the stock kernel I found it very good. 2007-01-20 9:38 pm nelvana2005 I have installed OpenSuse 10.2 on an old P2B mainboard with a PIII 450 MHz cpu and 512 MB RAM and OpenSuse 10.2 is not slow. 1. I did not install the zmd daemon and the zmd-updater, I disabled all the ZENworks Linux Management from the very beginning of the installation. I chose the opensuse-updater instead. 2. I did not install beagle (not any application needing this) and any mono-based application (not one mono library). 3. I removed or deactivated all the services I do not need, e.g. postfix. 4. Sometimes Yast protested against my choices (something with the word “patterns”), but I did not pay attention to it. From my Suse experience I know what packages I can remove from Suse without damaging the system. This strategy worked with Suse 9.0 and it works with OpenSuse 10.2. 5. There might be other reasons why OpenSuse could be slow: Maybe it is worth to try the options “noapic” or “nolapic” at the boot prompt. 2007-01-21 7:53 am jimveta I have installed OpenSuse 10.2 on an old P2B mainboard with a PIII 450 MHz cpu and 512 MB RAM and OpenSuse 10.2 is not slow. I dunno man, I think your idea of what’s fast is.. a bit off maybe I installed Suse 9.3 on a PIII 600MHz + 512mb ram, so there’s no zmd, no beagle, no mono, etc. and it was terrible! Now ever more so with the GNOME and KDE customizations, just clicking on the start menu and navigating through them is slow — when caches are cold. I recall something about KDE allowing scripts to be used for displaying the start/K-menu.. maybe that’s why Suse’s slow in this regard at least. (It would take at least 3 seconds to display the K-menu on that 600mhz PIII the first time around and any other time when those items aren’t cached in mem). 2007-01-21 12:53 pm nelvana2005 I did not said that OpenSuse 10.2 is fast on this machine, but it works at reasonable speed. If I click on the K-Menu, it is displayed within a second. OpenSuse 10.2 is as fast as Debian Etch on this computer. That’s what I observed, nothing more. So maybe there is another reason for the slowness you experienced. Suse 9.3 was slow here, too. Suse 10.0 worked fine (with reference to speed), but Suse 10.1 was dog-slow, a catastrophe. Did you install OpenSuse 10.2 on this PIII 600MHz computer? 2007-01-21 3:09 pm jimveta I did not said that OpenSuse 10.2 is fast on this machine, but it works at reasonable speed. If I click on the K-Menu, it is displayed within a second. OpenSuse 10.2 is as fast as Debian Etch on this computer. That’s what I observed, nothing more. So maybe there is another reason for the slowness you experienced. Suse 9.3 was slow here, too. Suse 10.0 worked fine (with reference to speed), but Suse 10.1 was dog-slow, a catastrophe. Did you install OpenSuse 10.2 on this PIII 600MHz computer? Ah well, I guess it’s relative then. Far from getting the expected performance in my experience deemed it “slow” for me. I did try suse 9.3 (and the previous versions) on other low end machines, as well as tried the typical kernel options and it was still slow. I haven’t tried opensuse 10.2 on this old machine. I used it on a P4 1.6Ghz with 512mb ram and it’s the slowest OS on it (compared with FC6, ubuntu 6.10, zenwalk 4.2, solaris express) but that’s running with the default services and zmd and anything else though. For your K-menu, are you using the classic version or the default fancy side scrolling version? 2007-01-21 6:32 pm nelvana2005 I switched to the classic menu at once (I can’t stand this “XP” menu). Very often only a few software packages are responsible for the slowness of a Linux installation. E.g.,one of my Debian Etch installations was very slow on a 400MHz AMDK6-3 machine with 256MB RAM. The reason: Obviously I installed the xfs font server and, after that, every click on a package name in synaptic lasted for about two seconds. I removed this package and the slowness was gone. So there are ways to optimize even a “modern” linux for an older machine. But it seems that no one really cares about it. 2007-01-23 3:33 pm nelvana2005 I wrote in this thread that my OpenSuse 10.2 KDE installation would be fast enough even on my old PIII 450MHz/512MB RAM machine. This statement is true as long as I do not add further online repositories in the Yast update management section. After the addition of four additional repositories (oss, non-oss, packman and rbos) Yast took an eternity even to start. So I thought, o.k., Yast might have a bug so I tried apt and synaptic from the rbos repository. Then I went back to the command line, no gui started. I typed “apt-get update” and apt needed about 6 minutes for “Reading Package Lists”. During this time the whole system was almost “dead”, all RAM was eaten up and Suse began to swap(!). Even the mouse was unusable. Up to now I do not know the reason for this. But one thing is clear: As long as this “bug” is implemented, OpenSuse 10.2 is hardly usable on older machines. Maybe it could be circumvented, but I have no idea at the moment. 2007-01-20 4:19 pm Anonymous Penguin Much of what has been written here. 1)OpenSUSE 10.2 is slow. However I installed without beagle and that improved the situation. 2)”Customized” menus both in Gnome and KDE are cumbersome. However reverting to the default one is easy in KDE. 3)Some applications are broken: TuxKart anybody? (I know, it is only a little game, and yet) 4)Funny idea shipping with a beta Xorg. 5)But what disappointed me most is the disappearance of apt. Smart and smart-gui can’t hold a candle to apt and synaptic 2007-01-20 4:54 pm elsewhere A new package manager (zypper) was created for 10.2 that manages to leverage the strengths of zmd (multi-architecture support, support for delta rpms) without the resource-sucking mono-based framework around it. The KDE software update mechanism was designed to leverage this new mechanism; unfortunately, zmd remains as a bad hangover from 10.1 because the Gnome update mechanism still relies on it. By the time 10.3 is released, zmd should be gone. Until then, one can either select the opensuse framework manually at install, or select the opensuse framework pattern to replace Novell’s zmd. Sad that it’s not done automatically, but the devs were concerned about having Gnome and KDE using different mechanisms so everyone was stuck with the lowest common denominator. Yank out zmd, and you’ll see the massive improvements that went into the Yast package manager. It flies now compared to previous versions. Delta rpms for core package updates is much friendlier for users with dial-up connections (yes, they still exist). You can intermix i586/x86_64 packages without borking dependencies. Dependency handling is more flexible and much more granular (if you choose) than what you’ll get in Smart. I also prefer the file-based dependencies inherent in rpm versus package-based dependencies, Yast makes it easy to find particular library files (or packages dependent upon them) which, while not important for the average user, helps considerably when you’re reconciling build dependencies for code you download and compile yourself. The multimedia support problems are no different than you’ll get in distros like Fedora or *buntu, and the reasoning for it and the resolution are the same. Add the appropriate repo, download updated pacakges. The information is readily available in the forums and wikis, as it is for other packages. There’s even an Automatix like utility that will add updated repos etc. for you. One advantage that is also overlooked is the availability of the opensuse build-service, which is gaining more and more momentum. The build service automates the compiling and building of source packages against multiple distributions, so developers and maintainers no longer have to spend time supporting multiple versions, in fact it even hosts packages compiled against other distributions besides Suse. So while Suse may not have access to the breadth of legacy packages you’ll find in the debian universe, it is leading edge when it comes to the availability of newer applications. Whether developmental software (KDE4, Xorg 7.3), backports, popular community applications, third-party drivers, experimental utilities etc. the build-service gives users the ability to add to and tweak their system as they see fit. Now, what is lacking is a simplified interface to the build-service, but that’s a work in progress. The complaints about Suse’s package management in 10.1 were extremely justified, and it’s unfortunate that the core problem was inherited by 10.2. That’s an issue that was hotly debated during development, but ultimately the devs had their reasoning. Fortunately it takes a simple adjustment to correct that; once you do, you’ll find a vastly improved experience. That’s something that was definitely lacking in 10.1. 2007-01-20 5:24 pm Moochman From the article: “I have mixed feelings about openSUSE. On the one hand, it feels like a polished system, and that is reflected from the installation to YaST. Yet, if we take away YaST for a moment, then openSUSE looks a little weak. It feels sluggish, and has a user interface that isn’t necessarily better for the user compared to a standard GNOME interface. It has the cost of deviating from the norm, while gaining very little from it. Compare it to, say, Ubuntu or perhaps even Debian, and openSUSE really doesn’t stand very well. Put YaST back in, however, and openSUSE has a fighting chance. I would go so far as to say that YaST is the best configuration utility I’ve used.” This leads me once more to the same thoughts I’ve had ever since YaST was open-sourced: Someone needs to come up with an alternative YaST-based distro, now! 2007-01-21 3:06 am miscz I’ve bashed Suse since forever but until I refined my rants to being somewhat constructive I was ignored or modded into oblivion. Now it’s like obvious and mandatory to criticize Suse without reminding that it has good sides too. Is the Novell-Microsoft deal responsible for this?  (drunk), some typos corrected Edited 2007-01-21 03:08 2007-01-21 3:58 pm twister_ux Heard that Novell is secretly evaluating *.deb format package management and apt for SLED 10.4 so as to eliminate package management related performance issues. This might just be what every Suse fans might have asked for. Perhaps they are keeping a veil of secrecy because SLED fans might pressurize them for an early glimpse. Hope this grapevine is true 2007-01-22 9:45 pm vsilves I tried OpenSUSE 10.1 in my quest for the perfect Linux desktop replacement. The installer left me blind with “resolution not supported” and I had to manually edit xorg.conf . The graphical interface (gnome but I tried kde too) was very unresponsive. I perseverated and figured out how to make xgl and compiz work by downloading the the legacy nVidia driver for my old card. It was a pain, but what a pleasure. I care not for eye candy, although it does not hurt, but the system is VERY responsive now! What a glory watching (some) Windows applications wobble using Wine. Menus fade in instantly, etc. Perfect! This is the best linux I have tried yet. I like Yast, or anything else that does not make me figure out the dependencies by hand. Downloading SuSe 10.2 right now… A great desktop, and this system only has 512M of RAM with no swap.