Sunday, March 27, 2011

OpenSUSE Tumbleweed

I installed the live KDE version of OpenSUSE 11.4 and then added the Tumbleweed repository as documented here on a Lenovo S10-3 netbook. The installation and updates were pretty straightforward. It updated to 2.6.38 kernel. However, the wi-fi was not connecting. I tried to install the broadcom-wl driver and there wasn't one for 2.6.38. I built the non-free driver for 2.6.38 and installed it. It still did not work. Since I could not understand the cause or diagnose it, I removed the hidden network option on the router. The wireless connection worked!

The next step was to realise that there was an open source broadcom driver brcm80211 included in 2.6.38 kernel and the wl driver wasn't needed. The wifi network worked well with the open source driver. I made the network hidden on the router and the network still worked! I am not sure if this workaround is needed every time a new wifi connection is needed - something to be verified.

My preference is for a rolling distribution which distributes delta packages. I still like Arch Linux and the ease with which I could hold back X11 server to an older version for Intel 845/945 graphics cards. It has been successful in demonstrating the power and feasibility of a rolling distribution model. It is great to see OpenSUSE adapt it and OpenSUSE were, probably, the first to offer delta packages. So, I plan to stick to Tumbleweed on the Lenovo Netbook with the KDE Plasma Netbook interface.

I will continue to keep Arch Linux on my mother's computer which has Intel 945 graphics.

My concern is that since OpenSUSE is continuing to work on discrete distributions as well, they may be complicating their environment. I hope they do not drop Tumbleweed in the process.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Demise of ArchDelta?

I have been regularly using the archdelta repository to keep my system current. A couple of months ago, the repository stopped providing updates. The arch linux discussion forum provided the answer. Sabooky was no longer using delta packages and had stopped maintaining the site.

It is disappointing as I had hoped that the experiment would become a part of the core repositories as in the case of Fedora and Suse.

This, though, provides the incentive and motivation for trying out openSUSE's Tumbleweed rolling distribution. I tried updating the Smeegol installation using the Portal:Tumbleweed advice. However, the Smeegol desktop does not appear to be a part of the Tumbleweed environment. So, only the kernel and a few packages were replaced by the higher versions.

I will start with a 11.4 livecd and then add the Tumbleweed repositories and see how it works out.