The SUSE Saga

Last updated: May 21, 2006, 10:02 p.m.

Here we go, a rave about how excellent Linux is compared to everything else in the world you think. No, this is actually a rant about SUSE 10.1 which has thoroughly annoyed me.

I decided the other day that I was going to finally get rid of Windows from my laptop entirely, and do a nice clean install of my favourite Linux distro - SUSE. I did this with very little effort and was happy with my SUSE 10.0 install until someone on IRC told me SUSE 10.1 had come out a mere week ago. Setting my laptop to install the new operating system, thus stopping me fiddling for a bit which encouraged me to revise a bit (probably not long enough) I was content for an hour or so as it whirred away. On completion of the install, I discovered it was indeed prettier and nicer, and all was going well until I tried to install an RPM.

Ask nearly any linux enthusiast to name the defining feature of SUSE and they'll probably say YaST (Yet another Setup Tool). YaST's RPM management was superb, maintaining a stable and use-able system despite the odd array of packages thrown at it. However, I discovered in SUSE 10.1 they have decided to add a new package manager, without taking out the YaST package management tool I might add. Essentially YaST doesn't work anymore, telling me that an RPM on my local hard disk "could not be found on the medium" after half an hour of tolerance and trying to learn how to do things the new way I became thoroughly frustrated, since the new methods seem to lack the basic ability to install a single RPM, they rely on "Repositories" and things. So, I've gone back to 10.0 (with KDE 3.5.2 now, but the base system is still 10.0).

My question to the SUSE developers is this, YaST worked well as a package manager, why fix it when it's not broken?

So if you want my advice try SUSE 10.0, or another distro entirely, SUSE 10.1 isn't worth the discs it's burned on.



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