Adventures with OpenSuSE 12.1

After installing OpenSuSE 11.4 (which was completely flawless) I decided to give the OpenSuSE 12.1 upgrade a try. From what I’ve determined 12.1 is nowhere near the polished state that 11.4 was (perhaps this is intentional or something, maybe 11.4 was a LTS-type release I’m not entirely sure).

The first time booting the installation DVD, things started off normal, I was greeted with a boot menu with the option to Install. After choosing to install, the Kernel loaded and then shortly after that my screen distorted and that was where the first attempt stalled. I waited 5 minutes or so just to be sure but things never returned to normal.

*reset button*

This time I tried booting the installation DVD with the ACPI=off kernel option and this time the installer finished loading after loading the kernel. I’m not sure what changed between 11.4 and 12.1 but that issue was a little annoying, and probably bad enough to turn off anyone who’s not experienced with Linux. Perhaps OpenSuSE isn’t intended for the Linux ‘n00b’ though, it does have some very nice Enterprise features these days.

The rest of my Upgrade went extremely smoothly, all the new packages installed properly. After the upgrade, things went south rather quickly. The installer closed and I was left at a command prompt (was expecting a GUI login screen). I assumed it was just a glitch and rebooted.

Again after rebooting I was left at a CLI login prompt. This is when I remembered that when I installed the proprietary Nvidia drivers, in order to get my TwinView settings to persist I had to write then to the xorg.conf file. Again this would probably stump a non-experienced user, renaming my xorg.conf file was easy enough for me to do and soon I was back at a GUI login screen.

I logged in and immediate opened my browser to go and re-install the Nvidia drivers and I notice right away Firefox is really slow with the DNS lookup. Open up a terminal and quickly discover I can’t even ping other addresses on my own network. I open YAST and much around with the Network settings (turned off DHCP6 for example) and that seemed to fix things. After that I was able to easily install the Nvidia drivers again.

Reboot and everything looks food from the start. OpenSuSE 12.1 even properly detects my second monitor and configured Dual monitors for me (nice little improvement over 12.1). But once again the networking is messed up.

Every time I reboot OpenSuSE 12.1 my networking doesn’t work until I go into YAST and go through the network configuration. I haven’t had time to really dig into this and find where the problem is yet though I noticed on the forums I’m not alone. Still trying to figure out if its the network configuration itself or something to do with the firewall settings.

Once again, the network issues would be a huge show-stopper for inexperienced users and for a long-time Linux user like myself makes me wonder if I woke up in 1999 or something. I’m going to keep working with OpenSuSE a little longer and see if I can get things to improve or not. Still not sure what distro I’ll attempt to install next.