Montag, 12. Mai 2008

openSUSE 11.0 (and why I'll wait with the upgrade)

I tried Beta 1 and Beta 2 of the newest SUSE Release. Beta 1 was already very streamlined for a Beta, and Beta 2 put something on top.

On the upside, the overall feel is very snappy and responsive. Suspend to disk and RAM is faster than ever on my Thinkpad T60, and the kernel supports more energy saving fanciness. They even polished KDE4 such that it can almost replace trusty KDE3. But, alas, only almost...
On the downside, KDE4 has still some issues, like Drag-n-drop not yet working with files on the desktop. That's a minor issue, I know, but then again what's a full blown desktop environment for if you can't drag'n drop? But since they also ship KDE 3.5.9, this wouldn't keep me from upgrading.

More important, I couldn't get my T60's WiFi to work; it's an Atheros 5418 which needs madwifi drivers from svn, and they don't seem to work with 11.0's NetworkManager. I didn't even dare to mention that on the 11.0 mailing list since I expect the answer would be something like "This Madwifi release is not part of the distribution, so we don't support it" (which has a point, I admit). In addition on the hardware side, the radeonHD driver that is used by default for my Mobility X1300 doesn't like compositing in KDE4.

Finally, openSUSE still has no numpy/scipy in the standard repository, and the "science" repo which provided numpy and related stuff hasn't upgraded to 11.0 yet.
Taken together, as much as I'm looking forward to using KDE 4 and saving battery with the modern kernel, as long as my WiFi's not working and numpy/scipy support is not there I'll have to force myself not to upgrade my system... and I already know that I'll have a hard time doing so, because from what I have seen in the Betas, openSUSE 11.0 will kick ass :)

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