Tuesday, December 12, 2006

First Impressions - SuSE Linux 10.1

So I finally got off my butt and downloaded the SuSE Linux 10.1 iso files (find em at isohunt.com), burned, and installed. I just jumped right in without any preliminary reading because unfortunately for me this is how I learn the best. The install is an absolute BREEZE.

The single biggest peice of advice I can offer to anyone looking to get a SuSE 10.1 system up and running is - Install the 3rd party package called Smart Updater and use it to update your system FIRST before trying to install video drivers, or new programs. This will save you a LOT of time and trouble. Details on installing Smart can be found in this article.

Here is a quick list of areas where I got stuck for a bit:
  • Figuring out partitions during initial install (ended up just accepting defaults and shrinking a windows partition... oh well)
  • Adding all the proper installation repositories.
  • Updating the system. The default updater is incredibly buggy with a fresh install and it is not uncommen to have hundreds of available updates that just will not install for seemingly strange reasons. I ended up using a 3rd party program called smart updater which worked much much much better. Detailed instructions on this can be found right here.
  • Installing AIT drivers. I was stuck on this for hours because I tried to install the drivers before updating the packages on my system. It is important to update everything first because the installed depends on the updater software to function properly. Once I had the latest files for the packages on my OS, the ati installation just worked using the ati driver repository and the standard system updater. I'm sure it would work using the smart updater as described here.
  • Frostwire was failing to launch. This again was due to not having the system entirely up to date.
I began searching for the standard apps I would use on a day to day basis and I was excited to find that the collection that shipped with SuSE was great. Instant messaging, torrent client, gimp for photo editing, Firefox browser, irc chat client with a very helpful #suse channel, etc.

What I still need to make the transition complete:
  • A nice media center for linux.
  • A good newsreader application like newsleecher for windows.
I will update this post shortly and include links to where I was able to solve my problems.