Welcome Open Suse 10.2

S8000349.JPG After 1 year using Mandrake, 5 years using Debian and about 2 using Ubuntu I decided to jump to Open Suse, having both systems in my laptop. The main reason is that I don’t have much time to struggle with packages and versions and I do want to get the latest versions of Mono in order to develop my projects. I have Suse to easily get the Mono binaries and I have Ubuntu to experiment, build software from source, and other things. I’ve been using Gnome for years and I’d like to track KDE as well having a different user experience.
As a gift for myself I’ve purchased Open Suse from Novell to get a nice box with original stuff, manuals and support. It is my way to contribute to the Mono project too. Hopefully in the future people will pay money for the support, not for the software 🙂
The installation of Open Suse is great, it even resized my Ubuntu ext3 partition turning it to ext2 (although it didn’t convert it to ext3 again, I had to do so manually with tune2fs).
Now I must say that the experience has been a bit disappointing. First of all, there is no support contract inside the box (papers) and all the information is in the Novell website. It is not clear what the support covers and they answer the tickets nothing fast in the help desk system. I felt that Open Suse 10.2 wasn’t enough tested before the release because there are quite a few updates to download and the system actually gets better once updated.
I mean, it is absolutely reasonable and usual to have a bunch of important updates as the open source community never stalls the ball but when you pay for the software you expect a little bit more, you count on the original cds and dvds you have purchased.
I had a weird incompatibility problem between the firmware version of my laptop BIOS (Acer TravelMate 4202wlmi) and Linux Kernel 2.6.18.2 that caused random freezes during the kernel startup sequence. Fortunately it is working very good after the update.
So, if you get Open Suse 10.2 don’t forget to download the lastest updates. Go to the “computer menu”, run Yast2, go to “Online Update Configuration” and after that go to “Online Update” in order to get the updates. In addition if you want to get some non-free packages go to “Installation Source” and add the next addresses (mp3, mplayer, and other cool stuff):
Server Name: packman.mirrors.skynet.be
Directory on Server: /pub/packman/suse/10.2

Server Name: download.opensuse.org
Directory on Server: /distribution/10.2/repo/non-oss/suse/

And other cool package sources such as the Mono packages or the Linux kernel:

Server Name: software.opensuse.org
Directory on Server: /download/Mono/openSUSE_10.2/

Server Name: software.opensuse.org
Directory on Server: /download/Kernel:/HEAD/openSUSE_Factory/

Finally I got what I wanted, to have the last Mono packages, including the last MonoDevelop 0.14 which is awesome !!!, because with Suse you are able to go to monodevelop.org, check out the rpm package and install it directly if it is not in any respository yet.