A free software developer adventure

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Migrating to Suse 10.1

This week-end I went back to my parent's house in the East of France. As always I was asked to clean the PC and make it work correctly. This included solving the issue causing the mail client stoped sending and receiving mails. This was an easy fix : there was no more free space and as always, I wonderered where was the free space gone (as always my sister knew...). Anyway, some years ago I had conviced the family to switch to Linux and had set-up a Fedro core 2. Everybody was quite happy with it but some features where lacking like accessing easily to USB devices (some times the automount was morking and sometimes not...). I though it was a good reason enought to switch to a new distribution : Suse 10.1. As I was also wanting to test it myself it was a perfect time ! From the beginning to the end, everything went smoothly. I started installing the basics, then :
  • configured e-mails (and migrated the old account),
  • tested USB devices (I love the way the sysinfo kio shows information and give access to the devices to users),
  • installed the internet software (Adobe Reader, Java, flash Player...)
  • installed the multimedia libs (mplayer, realplayer, mp3 codecs...),
  • installed the MS TTF fonts,
  • and finished with the nvidia drivers, xgl and compiz (completely useless, but so good looking)
The only two problems I encountered during all this were about having the mp3 support in amarok and getting the nvidia drivers to work. For the mp3, I first followed the opensuse documentation explaining that you can solve the mp3-codec lack by installing the helix-amarok engine from the non-oss software repository. This works well as long as you do not log out. As soon as I reboot the amarok engine is xine-amarok again... Do not know why but the preferences are not kept. Finally, I followed this link explainning that if you install the xine libs from packman it also works, and the trick was done. For the nvidia drivers, I followed the very well written tutorial from Novel. Everything went right until I called sax2. There my screen resolution was not recognized and the image was out of range ! I solved the problem by specifying to Sax2 a resolution : sax2 -r -m 0=nvidia -V 0:1024x800@60 This resolution was not recognized by sax2. This seems to have forced sax2 to autoconfigure the correct resolution. From this point, everything worked like a charm ! Once all this was finished, everybody started using it. My sister discovered Amarok and she loves it ! I explained her how to get the lyrics the CD jacket and infos about the atists and she really enjoyed re-discovering the titles of her favorite artists. She also liked the xgl effects (but I disabled them because not everyone likes them). For my mum the fact that the mail client stays the same that under Fedora Core 2 was the most important thing. Everybody is now just happy. I love Suse 10.1, it's really well done ! PS : As many people explained it already, yast is not working so well for setting repositories compared to the previous version, but I am sure an update will correct that soon !


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