Trying suse for a while…

Since I have been quite dissapointed with the recent releases of fedora for desktop use I’ve decided to try something other than redhat. I’ve tried on a couple occasions to use FreeBSD on my desktop because I absolutely LOVE the ports system. Unfortunatly most of my time was spent configuring and tweaking instead of working, which is what a good desktop OS should be all about, getting things done with minimal fuss. Also, I love freebsd but it’s definatly behind linux when it comes to hardware support.

I tried gentoo for a couple days but I also found it too demanding. I spent 2 days compiling and configuring to get a desktop that redhat could have given me in 30 minutes through HTTP install! I know that gentoo is faster (with prelinked binaries) and more 1337 but I’m too old and cranky to care. Gentoo does make a great server though, their portage system is a great clone of the FreeBSD ports system, which makes remote upgrades a snap.

I’ve breifly tried some others but always found something that I didn’t really like. Finally I installed suse 9.1 (after downloading and trying the suse 9.1 live CD) and so far so good. YaST is a great program, it’s nice to have a centralized configuration tool, and one that works in both console and X. I’ve tried suse before on a friends machine some years ago and wasn’t really impressed. I guess times have changed, the latest version is quite nice. I worked with KDE for a few days to give it a fair tryout but had to switch to Gnome 2.4.

I had to do a little tweaking to get the dual head working with my nVidia FX5600 Ultra but that’s expected, just adding the usual Twinview options to my /etc/X11/XF86config and it came alive. (if you want my XF86config post below and I’ll put it up here)

Anyway, aside from an annoying font issue in FireFox (I think it’s a firefox issue, not a suse issue) all has gone well. We’ll see what I think after a couple weeks.

4 Replies to “Trying suse for a while…”

  1. What annoying font issue in firefox? I just mention it because I had an annoying font issue in firefox: way-too-big menu/button fonts. If it’s the same thing, edit/preferences/fonts/”Display Resolution”. Make that correct. Otherwise, if it’s a different issue, ignore me ^_^. Ran across your post when I was searching for a solution. Otherwise, I just started runnin’ SuSE 9.2 and it’s really not too bad so far.

  2. to be more precise (and again, this can be completely ignored if your issue is different): firefox fonts were too large when I enabled TwinView on my FX5200. I’m assuming mozilla-based browsers estimate the resolution based on screen width, because before I adjusted the DPI, it looked fine with TwinView on and a single display enabled (“Option MetaModes 1280×1024, NULL”), but not if I set it to display to both screens (“Option MetaModes 1280×1024, 1280×1024”). Anyway, hope this helps if you’re having this issue 😛

  3. Cool, thanks for the input! I also found that if I disabled twinview support that it worked ok. It’s ok, I’ve since moved on to a Dell laptop with a Radeon Mobile 9600 pro card and a new set of driver issues. 🙂

    My girlfriend is using the nvidia card now with a single monitor configuration. Thanks again for the input.

  4. Got any pointers for getting dual-head to work on SuSE 9.3 Pro with a GeForce FX5200? The GUI config tool says I have only one card (which it true) but it’s not seeing that it’s a dual-head card and it tells me I need to of them.

    Dropping my working config in, from my Gentoo install isn’t working either.

    I’m all ears! 🙂

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