I got SuSE 9.3 the other day and although it did install perfectly on two machines of questionable quality, it did not boot well the first time on either machine.

Machine #1:

An AMD Athlon 1800+, GigaByte Mobo, 256MB RAM, Nvidia MX something video card on my Samsung 17″ LCD via a KVM… As stated above, it installed very well. The screens are all very smooth with no glitches. Very clean. Install on this machine took about 30-40 mins.

Upon first boot, the booting screen came up, but once kdm was supposed to start, darkness… nothing… a void. So I hit CTRL-ALT-BACK to restart kdm and it responded, but back to darkness it went. I’ve had trouble in the past with KVM switches so I tried to plug the LCD directly in and still nothing. I did some research and booted in text console mode. Changed various settings (don’t ask me what, I don’t remember) and finally got a decent 1024×768 out of it.

This machine is not hardwired into my network, it has a D-Link DWL-520+ wireless PCI card in it… It detected it correctly, and I configured it, but it would not connect to my Wireless AP. I googled it and found some other people having problems with this card as well, but did not have the time to tinker with it. I plugged in an old USB MA-101 Wireless adaptor, it detected that as well, but after configuring it, it locked up the whole computer while trying to bring it up.

I never did get this machine wirelessly connected, but it worked well overall after the resolution issues.

Machine #2

I also took the plunge and did dualboot on my laptop. It is an HP ze4610us laptop with 512 RAM, 60 gig 5400 RPM drive, etc.

I’ve had problems in the past with various linuxes not installing well due to ACPI (Advanced Configuration and Power Interface) in the laptop, but SuSE handled it well and started installing. Took a bit longer on the laptop due to the slower CD drive (~1.1 hr).

Rebooted after the install and brought it up.

UGH! 640×480 only.

SuSE didn’t detect the video capabilities very well on this card (ATI RS100 4336)… I was able to go into the YaST configuration for Graphics/Video and force it into higher resolutions. There was a little more to it, but I didn’t really document the steps. Perhaps I should start doing that. 🙂

I then was very reluctant that it would detect my Wireless PCMCIA card, a Hawking HWC54D Hi-Gain Wireless-G Laptop Card. I had trouble finding drivers for Windows XP on the manufacturer’s site after losing the installation CD… Actually had to call their tech support line to get the URL.

I inserted this card and set it to DHCP… DHCP didn’t work for some reason, so I manually set the IP and it works flawlessly.


This SuSE overall is very clean and well done. It has all the latest packages like OpenOffice, GIMP and the FireFox.

One thing to note is that the OpenOffice is the latest 2.0-pre version. It includes the OpenOffice Database software (.odb extension). It looks so far very similiar to Microsoft Access and helps OO close the gap with Microsoft Office when it comes to Business use. I’m going to look more into this.

Overall, to sum this up, SuSE is my new personal build. Outside of the minor graphics problems, I give it a 9/10. Eventually, I am going to look more into it for my Linux Server, but am going to wait until I upgrade the hardware before switching to SuSE.

That’s all folks.