Gutsy and openSUSE 10.3 Beta1: Part2

So the response to my first post was pretty overwhelming. It got picked up by tuxmachines.org, linuxin.dk (I don’t know Danish but apparently somebody does), forums.suselinuxsupport.de, and opensuse-project . Wow, it’s really interesting how information travels around our little cyber universe. The other cool thing is I didn’t receive and hate-mail or comment flames. Thanks for keeping it civil people.

OK, so I’ve got a little bit more openSUSE experience under my belt and wanted to talk a bit more about Gutsy:

  • First of all, I must clarify my last post and say that I found only the YaST package management painfully slow. The rest of YaST seemed fine.
  • Some numbers for zypper, an openSUSE CLI package manager (this is on a 1GZ P4 with 256MB RAM):
    • Removing a repo – 8s for Factory (non-oss) and 169s for Factory. Total 177s
    • Adding a repo – 1s for Factory (non-oss) and 2s for Factory. Total 3s
    • Refreshing the repos – 251s for Factory and Factory (non-oss) after adding above.
    • Searching takes considerably longer with zypper than with apt-cache. Actually installing packages though is basically the same. zypper also offers some nifty features like repo renaming so you can have a nice alias, repo enabling and disabling, and two different package update schemes, packages (whole package) or patches (more like a binary debdiff) although that is not a zypper-specific feature.
  • I’ve had a lot of problems with zypper/YaST from the Gnome Beta1 install. Lots of cache problems, etc. I had to remove all the repos and readd them, but now they work.
  • The KDE version of openSUSE Beta1 is very nice. It works very smooth and I love the menu. KNetworkManger works very well (no such luck on the Gnome side unfortunately) and I can logout (apparently there was a Gnome bug that prevented logout that has since been fixed). The only negative I have about the KDE version is that my laptop’s touchpad is acting funky. It loves to double-click at the slightest touch and and Firefox keeps going back in the history on me.
  • 3D Desktop. Ubuntu developers have been working on compiz (compiz-fusion now?) to see if it can be enabled by default for Gutsy. Lots of progress has been made, but a recent email to ubuntu-devel suggests that there might be too many regressions to turn it on by default. The ease with which the desktop effects can be turned on or off however is definitely worth at least publicizing the 3D desktop features for Gutsy, even if we can’t enable it by default.
  • libgimme-codec has been replaced by built-in gstreamer functionality. I don’t listen to much music or watch movies much on my laptop, but when I do I want them to work. With Gutsy (and Feisty for that matter), when I do a fresh install and go to play an mp3 in Rhythmbox it pops up a dialog box that asks me if I want to install the needed codec. It doesn’t get much cooler then that in an Free and Open Source distro. [Edit] apparently the gstreamer codec detection doesn’t work for Rhythmbox (it would be very cool if somebody was able to fix this for Gutsy) but does work for Totem.
  • Gutsy now has the ubuntu-restricted-extras metapackage (also for kubuntu and xubuntu) that installs mp3 and other codecs, LAME, MS fonts, Java, Flash, and DVD support. One package to install, that easy.
  • For education-oriented people, Edubuntu is really going to see some great improvements. I wish the people in the openSUSE Education project well and am really glad to see it, but my guess is it’s going to take them quite some time to get to where Edubuntu is now.

I’m sure there’s a lot more that can be said, but these are some of the things important to me. Feel free to leave comments (civil ones anyway) about what you’ve read here or want to add. I’m really keen now to see how openSUSE 10.3 and Ubuntu 7.10 Gutsy Gibbon turn out. Rock on!

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4 thoughts on “Gutsy and openSUSE 10.3 Beta1: Part2

  1. Pingback: Top Posts « WordPress.com

  2. Good points raised. I believe work is just starting (and possibly already finished, I have to check) on speeding up that zypper search. The problem was that all resolvables were being read into memory for every search, instead of just querying the database (or something similar) directly. Some info on http://lists.opensuse.org/zypp-devel/2007-08/msg00031.html

    Note that with openSUSE compiz _is_ enabled by default for all hardware that would be supported out-of-the-box (some Intel cards), though if you add i.e. the NVIDIA repository (and you install the drivers) before installation I think it would also enable compiz. Compiz Fusion is available in the online OSS repository (so, at the moment, Factory) as well. Though the X11:XGL repository in the build service will have more up-to-date packages.

    > when I do a fresh install and go to play an mp3 in Rhythmbox it pops up a dialog box that asks me if I want to install the needed codec. It doesn’t get much cooler then that in an Free and Open Source distro.

    Indeed, that’s very nice. openSUSE almost definitely can’t do that (legal reasons), but i.e. the GNOME install comes with MP3 out-of-the-box with banshee if you have the add-on CD, or if you installed from the DVD. For other things, the best we can do is have a page like http://benjiweber.co.uk/installdemo/ for people.

  3. Since you’re using these distros on your laptop, any difference in battery life? My biggest complaint about shifting to Edgy and then Feisty, from XP, on my ThinkPad, is a significant reduction in battery life. I also find that Edgy and Feisty don’t handle password protected wifi connections as well as XP (often they just won’t connect, where XP will). Any thoughts on these points? Thanks.

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