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.

Reiser FS v4 released!

Claiming to be the fastest journaling linux filesystem to date, reiser4 is now out. Of particular interest is the claimed significant increase in write speed over ext3 and others. I’m not running to switch my ext3 machines over just yet but if in fact it’s true it should help me squeeze a bit more performance out of my MySQL servers. Of course I’m eagerly awaiting a couple unbiased benchmarks.