Geekiness Warning: This post might be inappropriate for normal human consumption.

After 3 days of downloading the dvd via the slow peer-to-peer network (since the direct link was not working yet), burning the iso onto a couple of DVDs (since the first copy was erroneous), performing three formats and repartitioning operations, and moving 30 Gigs of data back and forth, openSuSE 10.3 has finally installed successfully on my machine …. “successfully” here means “with some quirks”.

SuSE ships with a bunch of desktop environments, of which i mainly use KDE and GNOME. Unfortunately it does not ship with what i really would be using …. fluxbox … but i guess i can download that later.

Well …. the thing to know about openSuSE is that it is an awesome .. awesome distribution …… but it comes with a few quirks (or at least that has been my experience with it). This time around, GNOME had two problems. First, the panel and the dialog boxes would assume that my screen resolution is only 1024×768 and would sit in the upper left hand corner of my screen. To add to the oddity, YaST (the system configuration über-tool) correctly detects my normal resolution, and so does KDE and the rest of my system (except KDE4 preview). Not only that, even in this faulty GNOME, the background extends to cover the rest of my screen, and i can actually use the rest of the screen correctly. It is just that it thinks that its resolution is 1024×768 (and it displays that in its control center), but it also acknowledges that the screen is actually bigger !!! So, dialog boxes are centered in the upper left corner of my screen …etc.

In addition to that, the right click menu does not work on the desktop, and i can not see any desktop icons (not that i actually want to). Even worse …. i could not browse the filesystem without using the command line shell !!!

What could that problem be … what could that problem be ?!! …. Oh wait …. apparently i have accidentally installed GNOME without (guess what)nautilus !!! For god’s sake, how could the system allow me to install GNOME without nautilus !! .. I installed nautilus and i can now use my desktop and browse my filesystem ….. (i wonder why :-)).

Unfortunately the 1024×768 dilemma was still a problem. I later on found out that it is somehow kdm‘s fault … it seems as if it was not passing the correct parameters or something .. i don’t know. But switching to gdm seems to have fixed the problem. Now all is left is to see why is NetworkManager giving me a hard time recently .. but other than that everything seems great (specially that 1-click install spiel).

Eh …. anyway, i hate formatting and setting up systems (last time i did that was 15 months ago). I have to get back to my Rails project. Unfortunately i have deleted the development database and all the dummy data, but luckily i have the entire db schema in migration files (which is one of the very nifty things about Ruby on Rails).

  1. OpenSuse is cool, fun to use but Ubuntu is much more practical.

  2. hmmm …. i’m not sure if i totally agree with that :-). I’ve seen SuSE to be pretty dependable. But i am planning to give Ubuntu 7.10 a try nonetheless.

  3. ugh..I learned that i should listen to your warning..i got so bored reading the entire thing..UGH
    technology is not my friend…i like it when i am at the “store front” side of it…not the “back office” …

  4. Dandoon: sorry …. you were forewarned 😀

  5. My first proper exposure to Linux was through Red Hat 4 and Unix as the OS set on the server.

    Let’s just say it wasn’t pleasant.

    I installed Fedora, Kubuntu and Ubuntu on my VM … Kubuntu gave the most issues, Ubuntu was human friendly and barebones and Fedora was awesome but had lots of resolution issues.

    I want to become a Linux guru but for some reason my brain isn’t quite comprehending the system yet. Which is a shame since I am around servers most of the day!

  6. KJ: Yeah definitely linux has become much more user-friendly in the past few years. Although i use linux by default on my machine … i can not claim that i am even remotely close to being a guru … i semi-know how to do my stuff .. and that is it .. nothing sophisticated really 🙂

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