SuSE 8.0

April 29, 2002 - SuSE 8.0 Installation

    Well, here we are again, another new SuSE. This one claims to be the greatest yet. Course that is what they say everytime. This time I ordered the Update Package over the Web. The only difference between the Update and the Full version, besides the price, is the full version has new manuals, which I don't read most of the time anyway and besides .. the update came with an Update Manual.

    First order of business is to make copies of everything that I don't have copies of already. These copies were made to my other system, and to a Zip disk. Also some to a special section on the Winodws drive of this computer.

    I am going to try the Update method first. I really don't want to have to re-setup everything unless I have to. I just hope that there is enough difference in the new KDE to notice that I have updated. But there is the other things that I wanted to do also. I kinda wanted to redo my disk partitions and I would like to check out the recovery CDs that I got from HP before I have a problem. Nawww.. don't need all that hasel right now.. just update.

    Well, the update went fairly well. I slept thru part of it. However, when all was done it came up with no problems ... at least none visable yet. On re-boot there was a question as to whether you wanted KDE to use the old configuration or develope a completely new one. For now, since I am Updating, I said use the old. The icons came up in a vertical line on the left side of the screen. I moved them around and fired up Netscape. Works fine. Then I fired up VMware ... or I should say that I tried to. It didn't come up and I believe that I know why .. the kernel has changed and a certain portion of VMware will have to be recompiled with the correct kernel info. Tomorrow.

April 30, 2002

    Well, as usual the problem is with Windows. To bad I have to work in both . The problem is with VMware. Can't get it to bring up my Win2K. Hmmmmm.. Ok since I am having problems anyway I'm gona re-arrange my partitions. The main Windows XP partition doesn't have to be so big. However, I am sharing data between the two systems so I want the extra WinXP partition to be a little larger.

       Well, another bad idea. couldn't make the partition larger. In fact I made it a little smaller. It is just at 16GB and that makes the cluster size 8k. Still a lot of disk space waste but better than 16k cluster that it was. This is how the drive looks now:

    Drive C: and G:(D:) have 8k clusters. The second partition is called G: in WinXP and D: under Linux.

    Now I am still not having any luck with VMware. I really don't want to re-load this whole thing again but it looks like I might have to. Everything else that I have tried doesn't work. I know there are some Guru's out there that could probably fix this in a flash, but, I'm not a guru and I don't understand what is wrong. I came from the Windows world where you had to do a lot of reloads anyway. Besides, I see that for the most part the Update worked. It is just this problem with VMware/Win2K. Hmmmmm, better check my Oracle before I tear it all apart. Ok. Oracle works.

    All right now, before I do a full reload, which probably won't work anyway, I am gona look around on the Web and also try to do some analysis on this VMware / Win2K problem.

    Ok now... I didn't do a full reload of Linux but I did a remove and reload of VMware. I was able to then get it to come up and run. I reloaded VMware and Windows 2K and it worked fine. Now I am trying to restore my loaded up Win2K version that I haved tarred. I'm hoping that I really only needed to reload VMware. Hmmmmmm..very interesting...My previous tarred versions will not work. I have to use the newly reloaded VMware and Win2K. Therefore, I will have to create some new tarred images.

May 01, 2002

    Still gots problems. Sometimes VMware works and sometimes it don't. Now that is really all that I can find wrong with this version. I'm gona bite the bullet and reload the whole thing in hopes that some library conflict will get resolved and this VMware problem will go away. For some reason I don't think it is gona make any difference ... but I want to see how a full install works anyway.

    Well, a full reload did make a difference. I got a new fancy background and the lock screen and logout buttons are in the task bar. They were not there after the "update" and I thought it was just a new way. But not so. they are back and in color. To me ... that is an indication that I might have been right. Somehow there was a conflict on the update. So I have greater hopes. However:
The Good:

  • I like the Graphics. They are smooth and professional looking.
  • Analyzed and found my previous Linux. Have choice of new or update. Doing New.
  • It analyzed my HD and found the Linux Partitions. Pretty good. The only thing I had to change was which one is the '/' and which one is '/opt'.
The Bad:
  • No mention of my floppy or Zip drives in Initial Settings
  • Attempt to change display resolution. 1280x960. Would not let me set the width and hieght properly. Then I lost the mouse cursor!! So wierd. I could move the mouse and see things get hi-lited but no mouse cursor.
  • This is all BAD!! I can't set the display properly and/or I lose the mouse cursor.
   In total frustration I wiped out Version 8.0 and loaded in 7.3. Got an initial setup including VMware ... but ... nothing else really. All items loaded were just normal SuSE stuff. I then tried doing an update with version 8.0. The original update went so well except for VMware I thought that I would try again. This time when it asked if I wanted to use the old KDE setup or start new, I said new. Boy was that a mistake. All I got on my desktop was a trash can. None of the other icons were there!! I could bring up Win2K in VMware and it was ok. But I couldn't access all of my drives and systems. Turns out Samba didn't get started. This is where I found that Samba and VMware get a memory conflict. So, I am once more going to load version 8 from the beginning and see what I can see... further analysis of the VMware/Samba/Linux.

May 03, 2002

    Oh for a computer system that loads correctly the first time... I got version 8 all installed last night but went no further. I was tired and went to bed. Now here it is the morning and I am greeted with bad news. I tried to set up VMware and it complained. The sources that were loaded were for 2.4.18-4GB and the system was running 2.4.18-64GB-SMP!!! Now I only have a single processor system. I don't remember getting asked about the kernel. Hmmmm... Well .... what now???? I'm gona try a re-load again. Oh!! I almost forgot. At boot up I got this Blue Screen that was questioning my mouse. It was a little troublesome making the selections, especially after making a selection nothing obvious happened. so I finally got the Accept and when it followed thru my mouse worked. This is the most trouble I have had with a Linux system and my mouse.
The Good:

  • Put in DVD and restart PC. Comes up to the start of SuSE installation.
  • Got a choice of loading a new, updating the old or booting an installed. Chose New.
  • I changed the Partion settings. I have a /boot, /, /opt and 3 /swaps.
  • Selected some software. Development, NO Office. Network IBM JRE, VMware, and a couple of editors. No Games and No Gnome.
  • Says it wrote Lilo to the MBA. ok.
  • Presented with a screen to set Network, Printer, Modem, ISDN, Sound and TV. The only two I am interested in at present are Network and Sound. My printing will be thru a network connection to my wife's PC. Network setup as eth0, I just had to provide the address info. Sound OK.
  • Finish. I am presented with a graphical login. Has proper hostname and one user, me, for selection. I sign in ...
  • Ok now. I have their fancy new screen with icons.
  • I was able to setup my bashrc, alias, function and xinitrc.
  • Put the ZaxisMapping in XFConfig. Need to restart the Window manager.
The Bad:
  • The install finished and I saw it booting and it was loading 2.4.18-64GB-SMP.
  • It detects my video board and monitor but they are not in the selections when I try to make changes. I am presented with a 1024x768 screen and I want a 1280x960.
  • My Zip drive is missing from screen.
The Ugly:
  • In the installation settings it does not let me select the kernel. I selected the sources but there was no indication as to whether it is for single or multiple processors.
  • I try to change the screen resolution and I loose my mouse cursor. Making changes to the screen setup gets real ugly. I can not get a proper width and hieght.
  • Well, I found the reason for the dual processor mode boot. The P4 has a flag called 'ht' for hyper threading. This somewhat simulates a dual processor. Had to go into system/kernel and remove the k_smp tag and enable the k_dflt tag. This put it in single processor mode.
The following is part of the e-mails 'tween me and SuSE.
        Hi Peter,
            I didn't bother to include the previous discussions cause this is getting to big and I 
        	want to give a full report on the results.  Pieces of the other conversation will, I'm 
        	sure, come up in this one.  Now the itemized report:
          1. Found it strange that "to much" mem was/is a problem.  It is
             usually the other way around. [:-)]   2. I had restored my system to SuSE 7.3 cause I 
        	 needed the  VMware portion.  (I have to work in both worlds.)  It was a full re-load
             of SuSE 7.3, Oracle, Samba and  VMware.  So once again I have the system as it was before 
        	 trying SuSE version 8.0. (as close as I can get)  Before starting the 8.0 "update" I 
        	 set the kernel param "mem=850M".  Want to see if the settings are kept when new version
             is loaded.
          3. Re-boot with SuSE Linux 8.0 DVD in the drive.
          4. Selected "Update" ... want to keep as much of my setup as possible.
          5. Chose "Update installed packs only" (Like to make my own software
          6. Good:   I was informed that I had forgotten to install "ispell
             american". (in the 7.3 version)
          7. Now I was informed that I had to make a manual decision on 6 packages:
                        gvim, mp3blast, quanta, radiusd-cistron, sudo and
             url-get  ... Ok.
          8. 690 packages we selected to update. (That's pretty much all of
             them.. [:-P] )
          9. Update finished .. re-boot required.
         10. Little Bad: - After re-boot, a dialog box says "All packages
             updated successfully".  'Ceptin I could not move my mouse cursor.
              Well let's see now, the mouse cursor is over the OK button so
             let's just try clicking it ... nope.  Ok let's try the "Enter"
             key.  Ok.  Now it is writing the "System configuration".  Still
             can not move the mouse.  Hit "Enter".
         11. The system went on to finish the re-boot... and the update.
         12. At the Graphic login screen it shows both of my users.  ctaylor
             and oracle.  The mouse moves now.!!   13. Signed on a ctaylor ... as normal.
         14. Dialog asks if I want to use the "old" KDE 2 config or a "new" KDE
             3 config.  I don't trust this far enough to loose everything again
             ... at least not now.  I am saying use old config.  Last time I
             said "new" all I got was a trash can and I don't believe that this
             mem fix fixed the other problems.  (more notes at bottom)
         15. Good:  Got the KDE 3.0 dialog that shows the login steps.  My
             background is the same and I got my two windows from xinitrc.
              However, all of my desktop icons are in a vertical line on the
             left side.
         16. Good: All of my icons were there including the Sip. I was able to
             move them around on the screen (desktop) where I wanted them.
              .... I also have my 1280x960 screen.
         17. First to check the kernel params.  Well, they have drastically
             changed the Control Center.   Could not find a configuration edit
             that would let me check the kernel params.  I checked lilo.conf
             and the new mem param was still there.
         18. Did a uname -a and it has come up with the correct kernel.
              2.4.18-4GB.  This is good.  (On the previous full install of SuSE
             8.0 it came up with 2.4.18-4GB.)
         19. Good:  Ok now we try  VMware.... it came up.
         20. Great:  Clicked on the Power On and my Win2K came up!!  Now for
             the test.  Can I shut it down and get it back??  21. Shut down Win2K and then  VMware.
         22. Marvelous:  Restarted  VMware and then Win2K  and  it still works.
         23. Now for the next big test.... Power down the machine.   Performed
             a full shutdown.
         24. Turned power back on and let it re-boot. OK
         25. Clicked on  VMware and it came up. Clicked Power On and my Win2K
             came up.
         26. Check on Oracle.  Great! Oracle still works. Was able to bring it
             up and execute SQL.
         27. Check on Samba.  Another Great!!  It is running and not causing
             any conflicts with  VMware.
         28. Allrighty now: I have a fully working SuSE Linux 8.0
          Ok. As I mentioned above there are some minor quirks.... and praises or likes:
        Just as a reminder, my system consists of:
           * Hewlett Packard Pavilion 9995 with 2.0Ghz P4
           * 1GB of RAM
           * 80GB Hard Disk
           * 1 DVD+RW and 1 regular DVD
           * 3.5" floppy
           * Iomega 250MB parallel port Zip drive.
           * ViewSonic A90 - monitor
           * nVidia GeForce 2 - video board
           * Came with WinXP but I dual boot with Linux and I am in the Linux
             portion 90% of the time.
           * Hewlett Packard cp1700 InkJet Printer.
        I have this Networked with two other HP Computers (both running Win98). 
        One of them has the printer and I access printing through it.
        The Good:
           * I like the Graphics.  They are smooth and professional looking.
           * KDE now has visual distinctions between the hidden files and the
             normal ones.
           * It keeps my sound control in the task bar.  I don't have to set it
             every time.
           * Since I need index.php   I edited the new one to put in
             "index.php".  Closed down Netscape and restarted apache. All
             appears to be OK.... again .
           * A Big Positive:  I was able to setup my printer, which is
             Networked through my wife's PC, while I am composing this letter
             and the printer works.  Least the test pages did.  Great I didn't
             have to re-boot or anything.  The biggest factor is that my
             printer was one of the selections. Great!!!
           * This would have been the cleanest Update of all had it not been
             for the weird memory problem.
           * The CD slowness that was in 7.3 is apparently fixed.  Took less
             than 1 hour to load up Win2K through  VMware. Almost as good as
             7.2... [:-)]
        The Not Sure:
           * The Full version loads in a KDE 3 version that shows nice
             thumbnails of graphic images in a directory.  The Update version
             does not.
        The Bad:
           * My http.conf file got changed.  The new file is quite different
             but it appears that most of the differences are just comments.
             (However, as mentioned above I could edit the new one.)
           * It detects my video board and monitor but they are not in the
             selections when I try to make changes.
        The Ugly:
           * No mention of my floppy or Zip drives in Initial Settings.  If a
             Full install is performed the Zip drive is not detected and installed.
           * Attempt to change display resolution. 1280x960. Would not let me
             set the width and height properly. Then I lost the mouse cursor!!
             So weird. I could move the mouse and see things get hi-lited but
             no mouse cursor.  I try to change the screen resolution and I
             loose my mouse cursor. Making changes to the screen setup gets
             real ugly. I can not get a proper width and height.
           * In the installation settings it does not let me select the kernel.
             I selected the sources but there was no indication as to whether
             it is for single or multiple processors. It chose the wrong one.  [:-(]
           * To much memory causes problems.  Something like this should never
             happen. Lots of memory is gold. [:-)]    
           * In an update, I was given the choice of using the old KDE 2 config
             or the new KDE 3.  I chose new and all I got was an empty desktop
             with a trash can!!
        This is all I have time for right now.  On that testing ... I don't want Alpha or Beta or 
        Omega.  What I want is a DVD just like you plan on releasing to the public BEFORE it is 
        released. (I'll even pay for it)  I strongly feel that if your latest version will load on 
        my system that it will work for almost everyone.  Especially the people who we want to 
        convert from Windoze to Linux. (I, like a lot of them, have to work in Windows to make 
        some money.)  I like the SuSE version of Linux and I believe that there is great potential.
        You guys (and gals) have all been cordial and responsive.  So far you haven't let it go to 
        your heads like RedHat.  (they are the Microsoft of Linux as far as I am concerned) Please 
        stay the way you are and don't get greedy.  Time and fortune will come to those who wait.... 
        properly and patiently.
        Take care,




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