Wednesday, November 10, 2004

SUSE 9.2 Professional

My order of SUSE 9.2 Professional Update edition from Amazon arrived yesterday. Damn that was fast.

The box included the OS on both CDs and DVD, a nice thick system administration manual, and a SUSE sticker. The discs came in a nice plastic storage case, an improvement over the cardboard sleeve thing prior versions of SUSE came in.

After reading the fine manual's section on system upgrades, I popped in DVD1 (DVD2 contains source code and wasn't needed for the upgrade) and rebooted Bagend. On reboot it loaded from the DVD, and I selected to do an install, then a system upgrade based on the already-installed packages.

A few mouse clicks later the YaST installer started the upgrade, first by deleting the installed software and then installing the new version. Because it first had to delete all the old stuff the whole process took significantly longer than a clean install, over an hour AAMOF.

The final step of the install was to verify Internet connectivity and download any patches released since 9.2 went gold. The default mirror that SUSE YOU chose was a server located in Los Angeles. I switched this to one in Georgia, which is closer to me. This was a mistake, as YOU couldn't retrieve the list of patches from the server. After hitting the Abort button about a hundred times, it finally gave up and let me try an FTP server in Chicago, which worked fine.

Upon booting into SUSE 9.2 for the first time I noticed that it had a somewhat updated version of the Liquid theme. It's flat-out gorgeous and makes the box very Mac-like in appearance. The mechanics of the UI remain standard KDE, however. (Which is fine by me.)

SUSE detected my Samsung ML-1710 USB printer and loaded the correct PPD file. I'd tried to get it running under 9.0 after I installed it on Bagend, but couldn't get the printer to work. Now, it's installed and shows up as accepting jobs, but I'm still not getting any output. Getting the thing to work under 9.0 on Gondor was a real mofo so I'm not surprised, although I'd hoped the damn thing would work easily under 9.2 with the right PPD file. I'll get it working eventually although I may resort to using a driver and setup package I downloaded from Samsung on Monday.

Just once, I'd like to see a Linux box setup printing as easily as a Windows machine.

After the printer episode, one of the first things I noticed was that instead of separate icons on the desktop for each drive, SUSE now configures KDE with an icon labeled "My Computer." (No doubt this is intended for newbies coming over from Windows.) Clicking on My Computer opens Konqueror in file manager mode, with icons for the various drives.

As I use the system some more I'll post reports.

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