Friday, July 11, 2008

openSUSE 11.0 Install Experience

Yesterday I decided to vipe away the Windows XP Home partition at the computer at Slangerup Church Council. This computer has for more than a year been running openSUSE, and only on a few rare occations has Windows XP been booted.

The system is a 4 year old 2.x GHz celeron with 512 MB ram and a 75 GB HD plus a Tandberg Data tape drive and a DVD RW drive and 5 USB slots (2 on the front). Windows including recovery and backup partitions consummed about half of the 75 GB.

Some weeks ago I had already downloaded openSUSE 11.0 GA, so a bootable DVD was burned using the existing openSUSE 10.3 installation. Prior to install all data - about 3.8 GB - was saved to a DVD. The system was then rebooted using the install DVD. Install was selected, and Danish selected for the language, since the system will be used by Council members, who are not very proficient in English.

In order to do away with the Windows partitions I had to select the expert partitioning tool. I had no problem getting rid of the old partitions. But how do you partition 75 GB for a new install? I decided on just two partions '/' of 20 GB, and '/home' of 50 GB. The system also have an old 9.4 GB IBM HD, and this was set op as '/backup'. It would have been nice with some suggestions for partitioning a fresh HD.

During the install I selected every possible package except for 'Cell development', since I don't have access to a Cell processor. This only consumed 5.6 GB of my root partition. Unfortunately I selected 'Automatic Configuration' at the end. This gave a lot of problems connecting to our wireless network after the install finished, so I re-installed and choose manual configuration.

Again I have problems connecting to our router during the install (I did not have these problems with the install of openSUSE 10.3 last year). Eventually I just by-passed the updating during the install.

While playing around with the network setting after the initial install, and also changing to NetworkManager I finally got a wireless connection. Then the fun started.

I did not know, that I would be unable to access YOU if I had activated scheduled patch download.
When I finally got YOU to work it insisted on updating the package handler several times, and each time a re-boot was required.

Am I pleased with openSUSE 11.0? Yes! Was it worth the trouble? Yes! Since I had been playing around with a number of things on the old openSUSE 10.3 installation (openVPN, openLDAP, Samba, KnowledgeTree, Amanda, Rdiff-backup and a few other things).

I have now decided not to use KnowledgeTrre, since I think it is overkill for our small organisation. I have decided to use Rdiff-backup for local disk to disk backup of documents. I have decided to used Samba for file access inside our local church office. I also plan to support openVPN access at a future date.

What I would like to see:
  • Some advice about the different file systems available. I choose ext3 just because I used that before.
  • That NetworkManager is installed by default on the status line.
  • An option to install Adobe Reader during the initial install with creation of relevant links to Firefox.
  • Some more info during test of network connection. Mine seemed just to sit there for a long long time.
So on a scale of 0 to 10 I would rate this install experience as a 9!