Upgrading to openSuse 11.2 from 10.3

I run a completely Windows free shop. That has it’s good points & bad, but I’m not going to get into that question. For now, I just want to talk about my recent experience upgrading from openSuse 10.3 to 11.2. openSuse 10.3 has been my OS of choice for quite some time. Sadly, however, it has reached the dreaded “end of life” stage wherein all support, repositories, updates, etc… have disappeared completely. I have to admit that I dreaded the upgrade process, having more experience with Windows upgrades than with Linux. However, I am happy to report that this upgrade was the smoothest thing since lubricated ice. First of all, the entire upgrade can be accomplished without a network connection. That’s a big deal for my personal laptop, as I use a wireless connection with ndiswrapper (Thanks Broadcom!) and I always worry a bit whenever I have to do anything involving my network connection. The upgrade DVD eased my fears, as the whole shebang is located on the DVD.

The installation is carried out flawlessly, from a very appealing screen, seen here:

<%image(20091201-install1.png|200|150|openSuse install screen)%>

In any case, once you load the DVD, then that’s about all that you have to do. My home folder was untouched, all of my data (which I had backed up beforehand) was untouched, and everything “just worked”. I do have to admit that I was kind of thrown by the whole Plasma Desktop thing, especially coming straight from 10.3. But I’m getting the hang of it already, and I can certainly see how helpful & intuitive the entire system is. Take a look at an example Desktop configuration from KDE:

<%image(20091201-desktop.png|200|160|KDE Desktop in openSuse 11.2)%>

I had actually toyed with the idea of switching to Ubuntu with this upgrade, however openSuse 11.2 is a slick, attractive, powerful distro that I’m proud to run on my computer. For those of you who are still stuck in the Windows world of locked software, forced upgrades, and 8 hour installs, you should really take a look at any of the great Linux distributions out there. openSuse especially, as well as Ubuntu & Fedora are really very user friendly, powerful and a great replacement for Windows.

You can download the openSuse install DVD at:
Download openSUSE 11.2