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A horrific start with openSUSE 11.1 December 21, 2008

Posted by Nigel Ajay Kumar (NAyK) in Confessions, Firefox, First Impressions, Linux, OpenSUSE, openSUSE 11.1, samba, Ubuntu, Windows, Working on Linux, Working with Linux.

openSUSE 11In the past 24-hours with the latest openSUSE 11.1, I’ve had a horrific experience. And while I’ve not given up on the distribution, I’m putting down my experiences here neither as a call for help nor as a rant to keep people away. Rather, an honest approach spreads honest knowledge… and hopefully I will be proved wrong, and others will not make the same “mistakes?” I made. What follows is a quick historical recount of my experiences with openSUSE and also my current trauma.

Believe it or not, I love openSUSE and have been using it since the 9.3 days. Of course I was, and still remain, a novice. Which means I enjoy installing the new openSUSE, I try to get it working on my machine/s and then, after using it for a few weeks/days… I go back to windows, waiting for the next openSUSE release. I know this just reveals that I am a shallow linux user, without much knowledge of the system, but sadly, that IS me.

I think openSUSE 10.2 was one of my best Linux experience, it really improved from my traumatic experience with openSUSE 10/10.1. I eventually used 10.2 a lot, for a few months, as my primary distribution, and the only reason why I returned to Windows was because I needed Dreamweaver and Photoshop for important (read official web-designing). I did try the linux solutions, but I didn’t have the guts to invest company time and pages on my experiments.

Anyway… openSUSE 10.3 was quite traumatic as well, and when openSUSE 11 was released, I knew openSUSE would only improve. And it did. But then they had started promoting KDE 4 and while I liked it, I couldn’t use it everyday and shifted back to KDE 3.5. However by then it was too difficult to commit entirely to a Linux distro and I went back to Windows primarily, with occasional Linux visits.

One of the chief problems was that I wasn’t able to access my Linux files with explorerFS (the Windows based linux files viewer). I don’t know what happened, but once openSUSE could only be access FROM openSUSE, I couldn’t invest doing too much work in openSUSE in fear that I would waste too much time going back and forth.

I also was upset that I couldn’t access my Windows files from openSUSE when Windows was hibernated. This, is obviously for my safety, yet PCLinux allows this and it is really a useful feature. Still… that’s no excuses… just a reality.

Anyway… in time I suddenly realised that my openSUSE 11 started having problems with the audio. I couldn’t keep the speakers on without a feedback sound. Something like a mic feedback. I didn’t have the time to fix, so I waited for the new openSUSE 11.1

My horrific experience with openSUSE 11.1

downloading: I was one of the first people to start downloading openSUSE 11.1 (right to the minute it was released). I was waiting for it to allow me to download, kept refreshing the page, and when I got the direct ISO link I was delighted. In 2.5 hours I had the entire DVD on my disk, and another .5 hours I had the add-on disk.

burning and media testing: because I did the download in windows, I also burned the iso in windows (i usually prefer KDE). I then had to do a mediacheck in the openSUSE installation, and thankfully there were no problems in the DVD.

installation: The installation began and went quite smoothly… except I wasn’t able to connect to the internet because I am connected through wifi and I am not able to connect to my internet through the ethernet. Don’t ask me why… I called the Bell tech-support and their help wasn’t that great on this matter. (also I was running out of time, and wanted to get started, so I started without network configuration). The openSUSE installation is so swanky and cool (as always) that I didn’t pay attention to the new changes that may have been made. It’s just that things went so smoothly, I had no cause for complaint. I in fact used most of the default settings (I usually play around with the settings to get exactly what I need), because things were just going so well. The whole process took about an hour (the actual installation was about 35 minutes).

getting started: when I had my new KDE 4.1 desktop on my computer, I connected to the wifi connection without problems… which was great (openSUSE has always had a good wifi recogniser). And then got cracking with the updates (two security updates) and configuration.

desktop Configuration: that’s where things started getting buggy. I tried changing the desktop wallpaper, and when I changed it… nothing happened. Then I tried again… and the window crashed. hmmm? Anyway, thinking it was a KDE4 glitch… or a bug… I thought about reporting it… but I had to register as a new user and I wasn’t in the mood to do that… so I went to the KDE 3.5 session. and tried changing the desktop wallpaper there… and even there I had some problems, but I was able to change to one of the default pictures. I had tried installing my own picture… using firefox images right click set as desktop, but that didn’t work.

multimedia codecs: I then did the one-click install for all the multimedia codecs… and hoped I would be able to watch avi files. I wasn’t. I then had to install VLC player to view the avi files I had. Anyway… I didn’t want to get too picky… so I went to sleep with an imperfectly configured openSUSE. (ps I was able to go back to windows, as the grub recognised the windows booting).

The next day…

Boot configuration: the next day I started by configuring the boot… because I wanted to make windows the default. using YAST. Then I restarted and…

BAAM… no operating system! whaat?

I restarted again, and again, no operating system.

I was not concerned, thinking that perhaps the GRUB got messed up, so I tried to repair install using my openSUSE dvd. But when I tried fixing the GRUB, the entire C drive partition was unrecognisable. I wasn’t able to use or mount it. Hmmm.

Another try: I was a little concerned (though not that much because I had my important files backed up, but I didn’t have everything backed up, and I DIDN’T want to do a fresh Windows install because I would lose some preloading programmes). Still… I thought of a workaround. I tried using Ubuntu 8.04 to install and get Windows back… but even there the C drive was unregnisable. (I didn’t install Ubuntu as a result)

OK now I was worried… I returned to openSUSE disk and tried to install just the openSUSE installation, but it told me that the openSUSE root did not exist. Hmmm.

In effect, I was without a computer… with no windows or linux. Only solution, install linux again… I did that… and have found that I can’t access the C drive of windows… only the D and E (thankfully).

And now I have to repair my Windows installation… and hopefully that will be enough (I really don’t want to reinstall my Windows).

Ending… (or pause)… so that’s it… this is NOT a rant… just an experience-tale. To perhaps show my lack of experience.

I’m writing this from my second installation of openSUSE 11.1… and also on Konqueror because the Firefox is not working. What-the-heck? Something must be wrong… but I can’t imagine what.

Anyway, it’s back to repairing Windows and I hope I will return to tell a happier tale.



1. wayne - December 21, 2008

the same thing happened to me.use a windows disc to restore the mbr.then reinstall linux.after the install use yast and re do grub.after you set the default to windows click the tab.choose to install grub to mbr then click next

2. Felice - December 21, 2008

Similar horror stories here… tried both Gnome and KDE4: pulse audio is a total mess, unable to play DVDs with any player and codec. (Opensuse 11.0 did it easily).
Gnome 2.24 works, but KDE 4.1 crashes quite often, Compiz plugins do not work anymore as expected etc etc etc.
Really a bad surprise!

3. wayne - December 21, 2008

I’ll reinstall 11.0 in the morning.it was really less troubling.kde4.1 worked with little problems for me.

4. arrakis - December 21, 2008

GRUB -liveCD-Terminal-su-grub-find /boot/grub/stage 1-root (hdx,y)-setup (hdx)-quit

Dolphin Is this really FM???!!
su dolphin wow Read this stupid red lebel
Konqueror FM only UI rest is dolphin c..p
YAST All Programs and… Ctrl+Alt+Esc

SuSE 9.3 still The Best

5. Sathya - December 21, 2008

Ok I’m burning openSUSE 11.1 DVD just as I’m typing this…. and I’m wondering.. should I go ahead? After reading your experiences, I’m weary…. Like uoi, I’m a huge openSUSE fan, since the past 8 years (hey you’ve mentioned 9 days!) and I had the exact same problem of LiveDVD not connecting to the Internet via WiFi. So I’m wondering now should I go ahead at all!

PS: The reason why openSUSE 11+ ext3 partitions can’t be read is because the default inode size has been changed, its a kernel level change and is mentioned in openSUSE 11 release notes, with a note on how to change it back to original settings, even on Fedora 10 my ext3 partitions can’t be read.

PPS: Nice to read your post, after quite sometime

6. Embedded - December 21, 2008

Well Normally I will never put a brand new distro on my work machine. Yes I do Linux Embedded ARM development. I always see stuff exactly like you describe.

I too had noticed that the sound system got done on V11.0 about September. I have to edit the sound card (ATI R200 IGB in YAST) Reset it and push mute then unmute and reboot.

On my HP L2005CL the mute light comes on. So I would say the mixer is mishandled.

I have had KDE 3.10.x and 4.1.x for some time. But stay in KDE3 for real work. I too have spotted the default inode setting changes but who said you have to use the distro to partition? Best thing is use the same rescue CD and Gparted always and ignore the whole issue.

7. Peter - December 21, 2008

I installed SUSE 11.1 Live CD Gnome in both VMware and VirtualBox. In both the screen size was about 2/3rds of the 22 inches despite choosing the correct Samsung monitor. The correct resolution wasn’t available either. Various Ubuntus and derivatives work well in VMware.

8. Myke - December 21, 2008

I tried it with KDE and it went immensely SLOW for me with 3D effects on…this is not the case with Gnome. Granted I have Intel integrated video but still…

So, back to Mint with Gnome for me.

9. y3 - December 21, 2008

KDE 3.10.x and 4.1.x

10. 7 things making me tear my hair out after installing openSUSE 11.1 (and some good stuff) « Tryst with Linux and other Alternatives - December 22, 2008

[…] Comments y3 on A horrific start with openSUSE 11.1Myke on A horrific start with openSUSE 11.1Peter on A horrific start with […]

11. mal - December 22, 2008

I tried 11.1 and after a lot of grief went back to Fedora
I can’t get Compiz working ( works perfectly in Fedora and Suse11.0 )
Window decoration vanish. Audio is terrible, flash doesn’t work properly ( Also fine in Fedora and Suse 11.0 ). I can’t change desktops unless I reboot, if I just log out and select another desktop it ignores me. When I have a lot of spare time I will revist it and see if I can get it going properly. I was so disappointed :-(

(PS… and yes, I have visited the support site and tried all of the suggestions )

12. Boycott Novell » When SUSE Fails - December 22, 2008

[…] is one person’s horrific start with OpenSUSE 11.1: In the past 24-hours with the latest openSUSE 11.1, I’ve had a horrific experience. And while […]

13. Arun - December 23, 2008

Installed openSUSE 11.1 64 on the second partition dual boot with openSUSE 11.0 32 bit.

Everything works out of box. loving every bit of it.

My machine inspiron e1705

14. Necrolin - December 23, 2008

I’ve had problems with Banshee crashing, being unable to play audio CDs, java applications crashing, Anjuta IDE not working, and on and on and on. Well, at least the sound works. In 11.0 the sound would work for a while and then change to static. Bleh….

15. Robert P - December 26, 2008

OK…two cents from another “novice”
I have been trying to get comfortable with linux as an alternative to windows for about 10 years now…lol
I have installed most of the major distro’s with varying success across many different hardware platforms, and will offer the following:
1) NEVER let AN OS do what it thinks is smart for you…inevitably it will crush you…I.E. disk problems, hosed MBR, Hosed LILO/GRUB, etc. If possible mirror the HDD you wish to dual boot with…or be prepared unless you know what and how the OS access’s the drive. From experience..
2) Many times the more cutting edge your hardware is the more difficult it will be for the OS to get in smoothly.
3) Be prepared to spend some time configuring your OS to suit you and your hardware…that is one of the beauties of linux…is that you can cater it to yourself…use google and the forums for any distro…chances are someone has already experienced and worked through the problem.
4) new distro’s will always have bugs..and will take time to get debugged..
Finally I decided that in order to make the plunge into linux..it has to be an all or nothing committment…hardware is so cheap today i just use a windows machine to do things i “cant” with linux..the learning curve is a bit harsh..but the payoff is huge…

16. Robert P - December 26, 2008

one more thing failed to mention..it took 4 days to configure..but now i have a shiny new 11.1 running three monitors a somewhat functioning compiz installation , working sound…..Im not all sold on KDE 4 as it seems to choke a lot..but 3.5 works..and i can remotely access windows machines smoothly as well as have all multimedia capabilities working …I doubt that linux will ever be as “intuitive” as windows…but for the life of me i also cant quite think i want an OS to think it knows whats best for me, or my working environment,..it always seems to limit what i know a computer to be capable of

17. Ratko - December 26, 2008

I was thinking that I am only poor linux “old” novice. So far I am tray many different distros but always I am come back to SUSE. For last year I can say that I am M$ free, and I am love it. I am used openSUSE 11 from start uo to UBUNTU 8.1 come out. I am like it but few weeks later my UBUNTU 8.1 lost 3d support and I was not able to bring it back. I was able to re install UBUNTU but I am get bask to openSUSE 11.
Few hours after release of 11.1 I am upgrade 10 to 11.1 and after installing few packages I am went to bed. Next day shock..
I was not able to log in, even I was set it up to auto log in.
OpenSUSE 11.1 did not accept my password for my user name. After few attempts to log in I am changed user name to ” root ” and I am log in to find that I have 3Mb space left and night earlier there was over 300Gb. I am try to add my self as new user and still I was not able to log in..
After all that I am done NEW install and I was happy ( more or less ) until I am found that I am not able to write DVD/CD… because none of aps is able to recognise any of my 2 dvd/rw
p.s. I do not even know what to do.. I hate Window$ and after all I am done to convince friends to at list try Linux I can not go back to it.

18. Edward Macfarlane Smith - December 28, 2008

SUSE 11.1 is disappointing, I’ve been using it since 5.2 and this is one of the worst releases I’ve seen. Sound is completely screwed up (same on 2 different machines), no sound initially comes out for mp3s or dvds. Eventually after getting it use xine and then selecting alsa then sound worked again, but this used to just work. Before that I noticed some program “pulse” running whenever I tried to get sound. I don’t know (or care) what it is but it’s complete crap, hopefully removed for 11.2. Also hopefully they will ditch the KDE 4 crap, it’s unbelievable they offer it as a default. If I wanted a s**t user interface like that I’d use gnome. If I wanted a dreadful file manager that was separate from my browser I’d use gnome. Also tried changing background, didn’t work properly, the picture was corrupted. Same thing if you moved a window close to right edge of screen, lots of corruption. Even if it did work properly I don’t know which idiot thinks having your 3D hardware running all the time when you are just using the desktop is a good idea, especially on my laptop, it might be nice to play with some effects for the first 5 minutes, but after that you will want to do some real work. At least going back to KDE 3.5.10 fixed most of the problems, no obvious bugs, nice display and quite snappy performance and sound is generally working ok now after lots of messing around. So you can get to a usable system.
My advice would be if you are on 11 don’t bother updating, nothing obviously better and some definite nasty bugs.

blackpoopie - June 18, 2009

Hey there…
I had OPENSUSE 10.3 working not badly… Then I thought I just had to upgrade to 11.1 Not good.. I am having problems…
As others have said, I could not get any music to play… but finally I got it working… not sure how…
Right now I cannot get any dvds or videos to play… I got one playing in MPlayer but only could hear the sound… no video…
Seems like a huge pain… I do not want to depend on Windows but stuff on there seems to work… HELLO ????
Cannot get a movie to play on Caffeine… Hey, what is it on there for … to look pretty… it does nothing….
VLC won’t play a movie either … neither will KMPlayer…
Who has truck loads of time to waste on this..?? I do not know
if it is worth it…..
Time is money….. Anyway… I will play around with it when I
have a chance… but not real happy….. DJ……….

19. Goodbye openSUSE. Hello Linux Mint. « Tryst with Linux and other Alternatives - January 8, 2009

[…] previous escapades with openSUSE have been documented in earlier posts… except that my last post I actually ended in a happy note. I had finally reinstalled […]

20. brigs - January 26, 2009

for first installation check your grub configuration if your windows being first installed on your hdd. Uncheck activate partition at grub option for windows section. Use Gparted or similar partition manager to move for a while active boot partition before installing suse 11.1. I always using root partition for boot flag so i returned my active boot to windows partition and used grub4dos to recall my suse. I never had bad experience for my suse. Suse forum mostly active, please used them for search information. I recommeded to check update repo everyday cause a lot of bug can be fixed from there.

21. Anonymous - January 29, 2009

hmkm. me 2 might as well use the agnula from 2007, works perfectly and comes with everything you actually use, bored of fiddleing with things when they worked years ago… just want to go to sleep!!!

Downloaded all the packman stuff… no image, questions about it all over the place, no answers.yada…

22. Anonymous - January 29, 2009

Plus.. lets see… yast is crap.. if you ABORT the installation, and then ABORT again, why do you have to ABORT for every single package??? it takes exactly as long to abort the installation as to do it. that is not what ABORT means.

Trying to mount an ntfs partition, if I use /dev/sda? not /dev/some stuff about disk ids/? then mount just hangs, the process restarts if I kill it, the “start bar” breaks and the machine will not go down because the file system is busy.. Thats the first time EVER i have had to hard shut down my linux box in 10 years. probly a problem with ntfs-3g.. but.. i mean the START bar crashing??? thats like having to restart explorer… that is THE WORST THING I HAVE EVER SEEN IN LINUX

umm. still want to watch my startrek and go to sleep

23. JayLinux - February 8, 2009

I restarted again, and again, no operating system.

I was not concerned, thinking that perhaps the GRUB got messed up, so I tried to repair install using my openSUSE dvd. But when I tried fixing the GRUB, the entire C drive partition was unrecognisable. I wasn’t able to use or mount it. Hmmm.

Try out ‘SuperGrubDisk’ to repair the GRUB bootloader. Can also repair /fix the Wndows bootloader/MBR.


24. Richard - March 1, 2009

Was running Open SUSE 10.2 with no major problems, but decided to upgrade to 11.1. Installation manager reported partition error problems and was not able to upgrade, so I decided to do a complete new installation. Seemed to go okay, but KDE crashed (Signal 11) while trying to change wallpaper. Desktop was then corrupted.

Tried to repair the installation (several times) but SUSE was apparently not able to repair the “boot configuration” information. No longer able to boot SUSE from the hard drive, I decided to completely reinstall SUSE 11.1 from the DVD. This time, I selected the Gnome desktop, which I really don’t like. I dug out my 10.2 DVD and will now go back to that distro. I think that SUSE 11.1 is a disaster.

25. blackpoopie - March 1, 2009

Hola!! Hey, I just installed Open SOOOZIE 11.1 and it took a wee bit of fiddling but the install finally went really easily. The only problem was when the desktop finally came up the mouse cursor would not move. I tried hooking up an older mouse. But then I booted the system in the safe mode and then the mouse was working. Have to figure that out later. I had Open Soozie 10.3 before and I liked it although the software installing is much easier with the newer version. I had to type my problems into GOOGLE and then I got some web sites that offered good advice. I did like that videos would play in Browsers this time out of the box. So I did not have to try and figure out how to install the Flash Player plug ins….
I am using the K desktop and not the GNOME one…
AND, of course CAFFEINE would not play a DVD at first so I had to go to one of those web pages and they had the way to install the code ecs to Caffeine and the audio code ecs so MP3s would play on AMORAK.
So installing that stuff took a while and I am not sure what I was doing but it seemed to fix some of the problems. Like no DVD play on Caffeine. So now I can play DVDs on CAFFEINE and it works properly. I even had a music CD working in AMORAK but then I played with the audio settings at the bottom of the screen and now the music CD plays for a second and cuts out.
BUT I tried to play an AVI vid file with CAFFEINE and it was a no go so more work is needed to get that working… I may try and install KMPlayer… I installed VLC player but it is not working for me yet… more tweaking on that baby..
So that is pretty much my experience with SOOZIE 11.1. I also have DEBIAN on an older PC and it is more difficult to navigate. Need to use the CLI which seems quite a huge pain so far.
I cannot even get FLASH PLAYER installed so video works in the two browsers.. a hassle.
But I have fooled with quite a few of the distros so far and I chose OPEN SOOZIE because it took care of the hard drive partitioning and all of that which I had no clue what to do. They say pick a mounting point… duh, and I have no clue what that means or what possible choices I could make…
I have a book on LINUX and I plan to learn all about how they partition the hard drives and the letters they use and what they all mean… but that basically is a lot of time that I will have to invest which I would rather not do… could use it elsewhere… time is precious…
I plan to stay with SOOZIE and I hope I can make it my basic system and only use WINDOWS for the odd, unusual job.. like using TC2007 to play the Stock Market. Not sure if they have a version for LINUX….
OK, nice to read all the comments… be blessed y’all… see you later…. Blackpoopie out………..

26. Dale - May 3, 2009

I had to fight to install it and had issues, then I did install it and went to update and it was the server security didn’t match or something suggesting a mistake or a hack then wouldn’t let me do anything with it, and with all the things im seeing of other people complaining about with 11.1 I’m going to personally call Opensuse beta-extended…disgruntled I downloaded Fedora 10, haven’t tired it yet.

I cant do KDE anything…I just cant use it (years of win 98se rotting my brain perhaps) however I am a big fan of XFCE but I mainly use GNOME. I have mostly used Ubuntu but need something with more of a back bone and deeper security.

27. Cahya - June 22, 2009

I’m using Windows Vista and OpenSUSE 11.1, I never get a problem if want to use the Windows to be the selected OS to boot with GRUB. It was easily manage from YaST –> Boot Loader Configuration, as long we don’t check “make this partition as active partition” when chose a Windows partition to boot with GRUB.

Well, I’m a newbie, sure lack of experience in this matter.

28. Moiz - July 26, 2009


I installed openSuse 11.1 last night on my Acer5710z and got a bit of a mouse problem. Can any one help please?

I used the DVD iso image, I did not understand how to use LiveCD iso. Installation went quite smoothly without any problems. After seeing Gnome, I decided to use KDE. Everything worked perfectly fine untill I rebooted the machine ejecting DVD, so that it can boot from hard disk.

Since reboot, my mouse keeps on moving here and there unexpectedly and keeps on poping menus. I tried to struggle, but ended up clicking various options on those poped up menus.

Can someone help please? I need openSuse11.1 more than anything else. Please help.

29. dan - March 6, 2010

suse 11.1 and 11.2 are crap. Everything worked fine with 11.0, but with 11.1, KDE 4.X is rubbish, and 3.5 is different from 3.5 on 11.0 – it’s more like kde4 somehow – I realy didn’t expect that. I never would have changed from 11.0 except the Suse dickheads stop supporting releases after 2 years, which makes life difficult. I’ve tried all major linuxes and they all use KDE4 now, so I can see the day coming where I have to buy a Macintosh to get a unix derivitive without a crap GUI. Take note, kde assholes – fix your crap!

30. y3 - March 5, 2011

I have a book on LINUX and I plan to learn all about how they partition the hard drives and the letters they use and what they all mean… but that basically is a lot of time that I will have to invest which I would rather not do… could use it elsewhere… time is precious…


31. Friv - August 4, 2011

Nice blog…thanks so much!

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