Monday, February 11, 2019

openSUSE Linux Challenge

Jason Evangelho has launched another Linux challenge; this time it is openSUSE Tumbleweed.

"The basic premise of the openSUSE Tumbleweed challenge is simple: ditch Windows, macOS or your current Linux OS of choice and exclusively use openSUSE Tumbleweed for two weeks."

Unfortunately I can't comply 100%. The remote work I do dictates that I use Google Chrome in Windows.

I've never liked doing things I don't like just because I get paid to do so. That's gets into prostitution.

I tried using Firefox once while working. The text box complimented me on my "fancy" browser, but it wouldn't work. I did sneak and use Google Chrome in deepin and it worked fine. Don't tell anyone.

So, understanding that I can't completely ditch anything, it was time to install it on my test machine.

The test machine is a 3 year old HP Envy BTO (Build To Order). More of the story here

The first eyebrow raiser was the installer. Very intimidating.

Keep in mind, my hard drive is already partitioned and has other operating systems on it.

For some reason openSUSE automatically chose a partition already occupied instead of a blank partition. The NTFS formatting may have caused that.

Everything proceeded once I told it where to install. Then, it crapped out at the GRUB install.

The error was that it couldn't find a 256MB EFI/boot partition?

I'm sorry, what?!

The 100MB EFI/boot partition that is there works fine for the other 5 distros; heck, that's what WIndows uses for cryin' out loud. Granted, if Microsoft Windows was in charge of the oxygen supply on our planet, we would have all died 20 years ago...

Anyway, I was able to push beyond the GRUB error and complete the install. Sparky was in charge of the existing GRUB, so I booted into it. Straight to a terminal window I went and

sudo update-grub

openSUSE was picked up and added to the GRUB list. Reboot into openSUSE.

Right out of the gate openSUSE has kind of a "plastic" appearance. Every Linux distro has its own look so whatever...

The menus - ew! That's the same menu they have (had?) in Q4OS; I didn't care for it there and I don't like it here. I'd say it "drove me nuts" but that's a short trip...

So next is the hunt for nVidia drivers. Thankfully Mr. Evangelho had linked to CubicleNate.

A nice installation guide here and following the links I ended up here.

I started copy/pasting the terminal commands, but they didn't work.


I got into YaST and it worked. The instructions for YaST were enough to get it going.

Now I had the nVidia X Server, but, bad news, I could NOT save my monitor settings.

This is one of those things that keeps Linux distros in general from being a mainstream player to compete with Microsoft, Apple, and Android. This isn't necessarily openSUSE's fault because a lot of different Linux distributions use this exact same nVidia X Server program and the program has issues.

Side note - deepin has their own "Graphics Driver Manager" and it works fine. That tells me we don't have to settle for broken programs.

I did find a cure for nVidia X Server, but not on the first Google search. Mastery of Google is an art... What I found here was pretty simple. The author said he too had found confusing instructions that looked like they would mess his system up rather than fix his problem.

And, to top it all off, video quality, after all that work, sucks.

The video that explains how to fix nVidia X Server will only play in 360p which makes it too blurry to read. The same video will play in 1080p, with the same GFX card, same browser, but a different Linux distro with a different GFX driver tool.

Oh, flash and Java? I know people think they will usher in the antichrist, but, the truth is, a lot of the internet (websites) still require it or pages won't render correctly, or even at all.

So, my review stops here.

I had high hopes because it looked so promising, but alas, no.

If I had a problematic GFX card, then I'd understand, but an EVGA GT 710 (Dual DVI 02G-P3-2717-KR) is NOT some state of the art, just came out yesterday ordeal. It is about as common as peanut butter and jelly on white bread, and almost as antiquated. Aaaaaaaaand, it works elsewhere with other OS's and driver widgets so...

Very disappointed.

Dedoimedo did a thorough review of openSUSE a few months back. Worth the read.

In closing, please keep in mind, this has been "my' review.

Linux distributions, like ice cream, come in many different flavors.

Not everybody likes the same flavor(s).

You may try it and like it.

I tried it. I didn't like it.


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