February 13, 2005

Suse 9.1 Professional Edition

This is a quick summary of the installation of Suse Linux 9.1 Professional Edition on the following laptop: HP zv5405us

2/13/05 (purchased 2/12/05)

- Made sure to choose Gnome as part of the initial installation as I've had trouble installing it after the fact.
- Partitioned the drives as follows - /boot 100MB / 10GB /home 20GB swap 1GB /opt the restGB.
- By default it installed the "nv" video driver. I changed the screen resolution to 1240x800 and everything now looked nice. I think installed the updated NVidia drivers from Suse's online update and this failed for some reason. I think this may have something to do with the fact that the monitor wasn't recognized and I haven't set any of the parameters for it. Had to recover by booting the rescue CD, logging in as root, running "mkdir mnt; mount /dev/hda2 mnt" and the editing mnt/etc/X11/XF86Config to change the driver from "nvidia" back to "nv".
- Enabled swap to disk using the following option in /etc/powersave.conf: "POWERSAVED_DISABLE_USER_SUSPEND=no". For the record, I still get a weird screen blur issue on Suspend, and in my ACPI settings, even though I've set "Close Laptop Lid" to "Suspend" it doesn't work - I have to do it from KDE's powersave icon - right click and choose "Suspend".


I personally prefer Gnome, which probably means I shouldn't be using Suse - at least in 9.1 there's a clear favoring of KDE. Anyway, that aside (given that at some stage I may go to Ubuntu or Suse 9.2), I am trying to change to using Gnome rather than KDE.
- Initially the laptop battery monitor wasn't working - it was saying it couldn't find or access the "/var/run/acpid.lock" file. After a little web searching, I realized that I needed to install "acpid" from YAST and then edit the run levels from YAST so that "Powersaved" was disabled and "ACPID" was enabled. All looking good now, and the battery monitor is working correctly. Now I just need to work out how to get it to suspend, and I'm in good shape.
- Another annoyance with 9.1's Gnome is that it doesn't give the option to shutdown from the "Logout" menu. You have to log out, it then returns you to the login screen and then you can shutdown/restart. I assume this is because of the login manager I'm using (the default) rather than GDM, I think it is...
- Successfully got RealPlayer 10 installed and the firefox plugin working nicely. Had to create a "components" directly and drop a file in there per plugindoc.mozdev.org.
- Was pleased to see how easy the flash plugin install was on Firefox. All handled automatically...


- Oh dear. Suspend-to-disk crapped out on me. Seems to be a corrupt suspend file. Won't restart. Tried contacting Suse and I was out of my support agreement. Also tried failsafe mode, but no dice. Tried a bunch of other things and mailing lists, but no luck.


Please see updated entry on Ubuntu here. I've switched to this distro and had a much better experience. I'm sure more recent versions of Suse would work better as well....

Linux On Laptops

Posted by mthaddon at February 13, 2005 01:31 PM