Fighting with computers

Computers are not always friendly.

Monday, February 07, 2005

SuSE 9.2, not this time

This distribution is available on ftp.suse.com for a month or so. You can dowload the installation DVD or you can do an FTP-based install by booting your computer with a small (60MB) ISO image.

I've been using SuSE for three years now and I am, most of the time, quite pleased with it. It is my main distro and I like to have DVD full of software I can install without having an Internet connection. I do like the online update feature too.

I have been upgrading my systems every now and then, mostly because newer KDE versions use to inlcude lots of fixes and new cool features. But when I tried 9.2 to install in my trusty but old Toshiba Satellite (128MB RAM only) it took around 6 hours. Afterwards the system took, everytime, a lot of time to boot because it froze for a long while on udev. And when it booted KDE was almost useless as it was slow to a crawl.

The system was still acceptable, but slow, on SuSE 9.1. Because I had an Ubuntu install CD around I used this instead and now my old laptop is usable again. Ubuntu is a GNOME-based distro, easy to install and it detected properly my old DWL-650 D-link wireless card. It also includes Firefox, Evolution, GIMP and OpenOffice, among other useful software though it does not support MP3 files out of the box.

I am not planning to use this computer for more than a quick browsing, what I get with Ubuntu is just good enough and the install time was also below the one hour mark.

Installing SuSE 9.2 Professional on a fast computer (AMD XP2800+ with 512MB RAM) took only twenty minutes and everything was smooth and clean. I recommended the software to several companies and untrained personnel were able to do a clean install without a problem, so all in all, it is still a very good choice if your machine has at least 256MB and your processor is less than two years old.

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