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7 things making me tear my hair out after installing openSUSE 11.1 (and some good stuff) December 22, 2008

Posted by Nigel Ajay Kumar (NAyK) in Brasero, Confessions, First Impressions, Internet, K3B, Linux, OpenSUSE, openSUSE 11.1, Reviews, Software, Wallpapers, Windows, Working on Linux, Working with Linux.

openSUSE 11My previous post was honest, but still irresponsible. It could have given the impression that openSUSE 11.1 was not a good distribution. I’m sure it works perfectly for thousands of people. So I admit that my problems with openSUSE 11.1 are probably only my own…  I guess I’m not that lucky to have openSUSE work on my computer… or I must be dumber than I thought. Still, AFTER I reinstalled EVERYTHING (and I mean EVERYTHING including Windows), I finally got openSUSE 11.1 working… and then I was faced with problems of ‘using’ the distribution and this is that story. In no particular order, this is a list of some of the problems I faced while USING openSUSE 11.1.

I can’t imagine how this could be universal problems… otherwise  the distro would be super-buggy… but maybe it is a problem of openSUSE not recognising my Lenovo laptop (even though it has worked fine in Lenovo for all these years)… but my experiences with 11.1 have simply been terrible.

1. Confusion over KDE 3.5 or KDE 4.1 ??? Chuck it, let’s go to GNOME… but wait, where’s K3B?

As I said in my earlier post, when I installed KDE 4.1, the window crashed simply when I wanted to change the desktop photo. So I realised that KDE 4.1 could not be my novice desktop manager of choice just yet. But after my previous experiences of crashing my entire system by just meddling with the boot configuration, I decided to work with GNOME. At least there was only one manager to work with. So what that I hate GNOME, how bad could it be in openSUSE?

Well, I was happy that the wi-fi worked in GNOME, but when I wanted to do a simple bittorrent download I found some strange program called Monsoon. OK, I thought, how bad could it be, but I couldn’t change any of the view settings… like if I wanted to see the peers who were giving the highest speeds, I couldn’t adjust the windows. Enough of that, I said, I want Azureus (VUZE). I got it without a problem, but then, when I launched it, it would crash all the time. OK, let’s go for the trusted KTorrent… and I was invited to install half of KDE base systems. But that’s ok… I needed K3B anyway… so might as well install these files, I thought. Well.. KTorrent worked fine (phew). But now it was CD burning time… and that GNOME Brasero burning couldn’t even recognise my blank CD. Instead GNOME kept openning up another CD burning app, that wasn’t allowing me to burn a CD image onto the CD. Hmm… no more waiting, let’s install K3B… but when I launched K3B… nothing happened… no launch, nothing. I was stuck, I really needed that CD burned, but I couldn’t get the GNOME CD burners to work and K3B wasn’t working. My plan, install the entire KDE base and files, which I did, and I even restarted for good-measure. And viola! K3B worked in GNOME (all it took was the support of the ENTIRE KDE interface).. surely there’s an easy way than that.

2. Back to KDE, but wait, what KDE is this???

Needless to say, it wasn’t long before I switched back to KDE (3.5) because who wants to be stuck with GNOME anyway. But wait, some of the functionality of KDE was missing, especially the shut down button. There was no shutdown. I had to logout and only then shut down. Whaat? (ok, I know there’s a fix somewhere, but please, this is openSUSE 11.1 !!! should this be happening?)

3. Repair, no repair, but still repaired… whaaat?

As I admitted earlier, I am a windows – linux user (ie. I regularly dual-boot). So I need the openSUSE grub install. However, as expected, when I installed Windows ‘after’ openSUSE, I lost the GRUB, and I knew I had to repair the openSUSE installation to fix the GRUB. I ran the CD and when the GRUB was being fixed, it didn’t recognise my Windows installation. That’s strange, I thought, and I manually entered the Windows booting code, as I remembered it. But the GRUB gave me an error, and I thought I’d rather not mess with it anyway, so I cancelled the installation, it told me that things are not repaired and I went to windows hoping to deal with this problem later.

4. Movies do not play in Kaffiene… so why have it in the first place (hurray for VLC)

Even after installing all the proprietory drivers, I still couldn’t get Kaffiene, the first-choice player, to play my .avi files. I had to install VLC to do that. So, why’s Kaffiene the default if after codecs are installed, it still doesn’t play what I would want to play?

However, when I was rebooting… to go to windows… I found a brand new GRUB installed, with Windows as default. Wow, is my computer haunted or what?

5. External harddisk. My external hard-disk does not work if I do not unmount it properly from Windows. For instance, if I, for whatever reason, pull the hard-disk cord in Windows, in Linux it will not mount the system and tell me to go back to Windows to eject it properly. What?

6. Audio has disappeared

In all this… somewhere along the way, and I have no idea where, I’ve lost the audio of my openSUSE. Either it is when I installed the codecs or when I installed the whole KDE system, I don’t know, but right now I have no audio, and I don’t know why.

7. Terrible default wallpapers. I know this is not a biggie, but couldn’t there be a major revision of what we find in the default wallpapers. That would add so much more value!

(under miscellaneous… big icons, why KDE why? )

AND THE small MERCIES (What is going well)

Not everything is bad. I had to reinstall Windows all of yesterday, and it was a striking constrast to the ease of installing Linux. In the Windows world we laptop owners are spoiled by the drivers being preinstalled… but when I lost everything… including all my drivers, I realised I had to install everything, one by one…. update again and again… restart countless times… and I haven’t even got to my programs yet! So it’s great to know that Linux, and especially openSUSE is actually much more easier to install and certainly more fun. The good things

1. Wi-fi is working. No problems there.In constrast, just to get the internet working in Windows. I had to get the wifi drivers, but before that I needed three other drivers from three different locations, before I could get that driver to work. Of course that’s three restarts as well.

2. No restarts. I know I’ve already said it, but I’ve done so many installations in openSUSE and not once have I needed to restart (besides the point that I choose to restart once, but I didn’t need to… a big relief).

3. and… well… that’s it for now… once my audio starts working, and I start listening to some soothing/relaxing music… I’ll be able to identify a few more positives… I hope.

Below is a screenshot of my gnome version… I know it’s not pretty, but what to do. Gnome-linux is better than no linux.




1. Nora Mc Will - December 22, 2008

…and if you’re looking for completely FREE CD/DVD & Blu-Ray/HD-DVD burning application you’re welcomed to give a try to StarBurn from Rocket Division Software. Just in case here’s an URL:


Nora Mc Will

2. a fellow linux user - December 23, 2008


you wouldn’t by any chance have extended / logical partitions, would you?

Dealing with dual boot set-up is hard enough, but when you add logical partitions to it, you can get all sorts of weird problems. They are all related to PC (and/or BIOS) limitations, that you would never encounter, if you did not have a dual boot set-up.

I had similar problems to yours once (with openSUSE 10.2) and the best way to deal with it, was to repartition my hard drive into primary partitions only. I had to buy a second hard drive to make that task easy, though. I got to know more about the limitations of PC Hardware than I ever wanted to know.

3. NAyK - December 23, 2008

To fellow linux user: Hey you may be right. My partition table wasn’t the best… but now I’ve fixed it. I have an extended partition for my Linux though… swap and openSUSE root and home and in one extended partition. Rest (previous) ones for windows are on primary partitions. (but why didn’t I have similar problems with openSUSE 11, which I was using for a while now?). But thanks for your comment.

4. Anonymous - December 23, 2008

I just shifted to openSUSE 11.1 too – before this I was, for a brief moment on Fedora 10 (KDE). and openSUSE 11.0 was pretty slick and openSUSE 11.1 is even better, dare I say. KWin is no longer sluggish(as it was in 11.0) with Composition enabled, and WiFi was a piece of cake(thanks the ip3945, though not as simple as F10). works beautifully for me.

NayK – I suspect the lack of audio is due to pulseaudio – try removing it or check pulseaudio volume control. And hey – openSUSE 11 & 11.1 never needed a restart for me – itjust booted the installed kernel w/o the restart. How awesome is that!

fellow Linux user, NayK – I have probably even more weird setup, my Windows & Linux boot partitions are on primary partitions, while the /home and Windows data partitions are extended ones.

5. Sathya - December 23, 2008

I just shifted to openSUSE 11.1 too – before this I was, for a brief moment on Fedora 10 (KDE). and openSUSE 11.0 was pretty slick and openSUSE 11.1 is even better, dare I say. KWin is no longer sluggish(as it was in 11.0) with Composition enabled, and WiFi was a piece of cake(thanks the ip3945, though not as simple as F10). works beautifully for me.

NayK – I suspect the lack of audio is due to pulseaudio – try removing it or check pulseaudio volume control. And hey – openSUSE 11 & 11.1 never needed a restart for me – itjust booted the installed kernel w/o the restart. How awesome is that!

(Sorry for the double post, hit the say it button a bit too fast!)

fellow Linux user, NayK – I have probably even more weird setup, my Windows & Linux boot partitions are on primary partitions, while the /home and Windows data partitions are extended ones.

6. E@zyVG - December 23, 2008

Installed 11.1 and the system is running exceptionally well, and didn’t encounter any of the above mentioned issues and problems. The only strange thing I found was the absence of KMix in KDE 4.1, and had to install it manually.

After installing all the audio/video codecs, all is working, so no probs with that either.

Simply, I am happy that I decided to upgrade to 11.1 from 11.0 (I sticjk with 100% clean install, as /home is on another partion).

7. NAyK - December 23, 2008

To E@zyVG: I think the key is that you upgraded from 11 to 11.1. I think I should have done that too. It’s just that I think the predominant recommendation is that we do a fresh install… and because it’s easy… it feels doable (and fun). Next time, next time.

8. Russian Hacker - December 26, 2008

Just installed 11.1 x86_64 KDE 4.1 on my system having AMD Athlon, nVidia 6150SE.

Everything worked out of the box. I didn’t encounter any of the problems you put in your last post. Believe it or not 11.1 is faster than 11.0. Kwin is a lot smoother now.

Now after trying four distros this year I’m realizing nobody does KDE like SUSE does.

9. John - December 28, 2008

I don’t get what you guys are talking about…my 11.1 is running flawlessly.

10. NAyK - December 29, 2008

To john: I’m glad. After reinstalling openSUSE 11, and then ‘updating’… my openSUSE 11.1 has begun to work well… but it is too early to say, are there are some problems here and there… but not as horrific in my second outing.

11. bill - January 6, 2009

I’ve been an OpenSuse user since 10.0. My favorite previous version before 11.0 was 10.3. Either 10.1 or 10.2 had a bad reputation, but I don’t remember which. Where 11.0 was a smooth install, 11.1 has just been a disaster. I did a fresh install, and it crashed repeatedly on install until I changed the default bootloader. A permissions problem kept me from running dvds until I finally discovered that for some reason only Root had permission to play dvds. I use two sound cards, and have spent days changing settings to get my usb card to play–with no results. Testing sound within Yast yields no sound whatsoever, and no matter what changes I make–including changes in .asoundrc, the usb speakers simply will not play.

Compiz is simply broken, as far as I can tell.

I intend to reinstall 11.0.

12. Bill - January 7, 2009

I too encountered many of the same problems in 11.1. This was my first experiment with this distribution. Previous a Ms windows user and support person and a light user of Ubuntu. I am not delighted with Ubuntu8.10, though I have managed to get things to work pretty well with some lingering video issues. I never have gotten any sound to work with the Realtec chipset on my motherboard. However, when closing down, I get extremely loud closing sound! I also never got any video playback to work, though I tried several players. I also never got my networked new Brother printer to print, though it appeared to be installed.

Wanting to try KDE, I next tried Mandriva 2009. Everything worked excellently except video. Very cool looking distribution, though Dolpin is hard to get to. After the first update, With my very new highend ATI board, I could only boot in safe mode after issueing a strange command preventing any 3d. Apparently there is an incompatibility in 11x and ati in KDE, though they work together in Ubuntu on another drive on the same computer. Frustrated, I tried the new Fedora KDE. It already seems to have 11x, and it, like Mandrivia stopped with a black screen crash, but during the installation.

What I cannot understand is why video is fine in Suse 11.1, but sound does not work when it is just the reverse in Fedora and Mandriva. I have extensively searched for solutions, and found none that work. I would love to be using one of these 3 distributions, but am stuck. It seems that Suse is the best possibility, because even without sound, you can still get into the os and work on configurations, something you cannot do with a black screen video related crash.

13. bill - January 7, 2009

other Bill

You might try going back a little and trying OpenSuse 10.3 or 11.0. I found these to work flawlessly.

14. John - January 20, 2009

I did a clean install of Suse 11.1 on my new system which is a Gigabyte M61PME-S2 motherboard and all went well. It Recognized the video, sound and network no problem. I still need to try to get video and DVD playback to work but all in all I am happy with 11.1. I used to run 10.3 until I had to rebuild the computer with the new motherboard because my old Socket 7 board died…. RIP….

15. Anurag Panda - January 29, 2009

I am not sure you know already, but keep the Super GRUB disk. It is very handy for reinstalling/uninstalling GRUB

16. Jody - February 3, 2009

I installed openSUSE 11.1 on my new system. The ATI proprietary driver installation was a nightmare, but I got it working with 3D acceleration. I kept getting the black screen after the X-server fired up. Thanks to a how-to at forums.opensuse.org, I figured out how to get the drivers installed and a GUI that would start. And this required a shutdown, not just a reboot. Probably something to do with the BIOS, but this is just speculation.

The only other problem I’ve had is with audio. I had installed Amarok instead of Banshee. The gstreamer/yuaup engine filled the music with static, but the xine engine is static free.

Overall, I’m happy with 11.1.

ASUS M3A79-T Deluxe
AMD Phenom II X4 3.0GHz
ATI Radeon HD 4870

17. Pravin Dahal - February 9, 2009

I recently installed OpenSuse 11.1 and removed Ubuntu Intrepid Ibex 64 bit and Vista 64 bit. Now I do not have any other OS. Thank god I have Ubuntu Live CD.

First, I could not configure kppp to dial my CDMA internet connection so had to use wvdial. wvdial connected but cud not get DNS. This was solved when I disabled onboard lan. Later I figured the YaST Netwoking and enabled to dial connection from right in there and currently posting this with the connection. However, I don’t know what will happen when I restart.

Also, I had problem configuring the display. My monitor was not detected and had a frequency overrange after I restart after installation. I tried editing the xorg.conf but did not help. Finally, I cud get my system running only after I copied the xorg.conf.install over xorg.conf and later configured the refresh rates.

Package management is quite poor as compared to Ubuntu. Searching and installing codecs is also not that great.

18. d.kelly - March 1, 2009

i am a microsoft partner because i am a reseller
and i do not choose anone software os i support os apps
performance i do like novell and they have lost a bundle as whel
as amd i tested windows server 2008,windows server 2003 r2,
vista64 and vista 32 i64 is much better more ram and cpu support
i am now to test windows 7 has vhd a virtual support that vista
did not have.
On the linux home front in 2006 i tested and liked ubuntu 6.06 but i had no sound in my apps now 2009 i tested 8.10 nice but my apps have no sound i guess i need an update
now today mar 1,2009 i have tested opensuse 11.1
i like this os mainly that its backed by novell
look out microsoft this one is solid os althought some tools from red hat are included
my next is fedora and is backed by red hat i think will be hard to beat

i am d.kelly
from qembedded64 systems
msdn,technet and linux support specialist

19. Jeffrey Bradshaw - March 14, 2009

I studied all the Linux brands for 4 months prior to choosing openSUSE 11.1 and PAYING for the DVD from Novell. What a mistake and what a horror show! The Network Manager couldn’t find a wireless network when it was right beside the D-Link router! It would not even allow the manually inputted IP config data (and yes it was all accurate) just kept bouncing back a message that it could not find opensuse.org. From there it gets worse. I went ahead with the install thinking I could just open its vaunted Network Manager and reconfigure things. Good Luck! It would not open with any combination of clicks, double-clicks, right-clicks or clickety-click-clicks. It just sat stupidly on the tool bar. A reboot did not cure it. I finally used a MintLinux LiveCD to kill its partitions as it was a waste of time, money and effort. I then restored Vista’s master boot record (MBR) to get rid of the ferschlugginer Grub boot manager – this took 2 hours of my already too short life – and I was back in my beloved (comparatively) Vista 64.

Linux is simply not ready for prime time. I have thoroughly tested 14 different distros over the last 4 months and they have an enormous task ahead of them – especially when it comes to wireless networks and printers. Of the 14 I’ve tried as LiveCD or LiveUSB’s (created with that great program Unebootin for Windows) only 7 had any auto-detection capability and GUI for hooking to wireless broadcasting networks. Out of those 7 NONE could see or connect to a wireless printer on my network. NOT ONE! And to make matters worse their Print Mangers were so difficult to comprehend that no newcomer would stand a chance.

Linux is still far too geeky for the average PC user to even consider – especially if you need wireless networks and wireless devices. They are still 5 years behind Vista and Windows 7 beta (I test it too) and unless they can find a quick way to make wireless printing and scanning a top priority, they will remain with less than 0.7% of the PC market share and lose all of the PC users in the growing wireless market.

Too bad but it’s their own fault. Too many distros, too much developer ego in the various communities, too much focus on fat and eye-candy like dancing screens and warping menus, and not near enough focus on meat and potato issues like basic wireless connectivity. Get your act together people! Stop congratulating yourselves, you are seriously losing the race and face utter extinction in the next 5 years. Linux must try and find a way – as in VirtualBox – to let the Windows OS do the ploughwork of wireless connectivity because 1) they are excellent at this and 2) will continue to ship with virtually every new PC. But here is an opportunity for Linux – if it is bold enough to recognize it – it can be developed to ‘piggyback’ onto the work Windows does in connectivity and ‘graft’ itself into the underlying software and drivers that the primary Windows OS uses to communicate with essential wireless devices like 3-in-1 wifi printers. All the idealism about free and open-source is just an expensive illusion if the distro vanishes from lack of support – and it will get next to no one if things do not change rapidly.

Before you consider installing ANY LINUX brand, do all the research you can on the downside of the installation and you wilI find thousands of very disgruntled ex-Linux officianados. Learn all you can and print out all you can about uninstalling the Linux brand you are favouring. Many are extremely difficult to get rid of and unless you are very good at using your Windows Install DVDs in repair or restore mode, you may regret the day you ever installed Linux as repairing XP or Vista’s master boot record (and getting rid of Linux’ Grub Loader) is not like de-installing a program. Even if you install one of the better Debian packages like Ubuntu/Kubuntu/Xubuntu from within XP or Vista, it cannot be uninstalled completely as it will forever linger on your multi-boot window until you learn to repair the Windows MBR
In closing, I spent over three decades with IBM back when we developed DOS and threw it away on Gates. If Linux expects to grow, it has to first ‘grow up’ and stop feeling smug satisfaction at its poor market showing. Free is only good if its useful. If its not its just trash to be discarded. I discarded openSUSE for that reason.
I can be reached at jjcb@shaw.ca

20. Joe - October 16, 2009

11.1 is better then 11.0 As for the ntfs file thing. That what’s going to happen when you don’t unmount a ntfs from inside Windows correctly.
It gets flagged. Boot back to Windows and do a proper shutdown.
Try going to my Linux Page http://www.wolf-spider.com/linuxpage.html and read some of my blogs and links to other good sites for Linux info…

Joe - October 16, 2009

Oh ya. one more thing. If 11.0 is working, Well you know what they say, “If it’s not broken, don’t fix it”.

21. Prateek Pande - January 9, 2010

I have installed Suse11.1. What a mess it is. Had any one tried to add widgets in it. When I tried my system stuck. I had to hardboot it and then my GUI wasn’t allowed me to work it opened a screen without app, without icon task bar and didn’t respond as well. Than I did install Gnome and stop trying anything that could mess I dare to make any changes in default system. But problem is that sound is not as good as it is in windows 7(in fact any windows) or even KDE4.1. It is too low. Can anyone provide me any solution ?

22. Anonymous - February 7, 2010

instead of cribbling here ask for help in forums dumbos. so many idiots in one place! u don’t deserve hair on ur head.

cheerkut - November 24, 2010


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