openSUSE 10.2 on Lenovo ThinkPad T60

Well, I finally got around to installing openSUSE 10.2 on my ThinkPad T60. Unfortunately, I was running very low on disk space and couldn’t get any screen captures of the installation process.
In general, the installation process went very smoothely. The biggest advantages of openSUSE 10.2 over Fedora Core 6 during the installation process are:

  • Installation picked up my Intel Centrino 3945 and installed the kernel module. Fedora requires you to set this up manually later.
  • openSUSE has the ability to connect to the Internet, get a list of add-on repositories and add them during the installation process. Fedora has a screen where you can add the repositories manually during the installation process but this requires you to know the full URL of the repository.
  • openSUSE also allows you to install third-party applications like Sun’s Java JRE along with the Centrino firmware and kernel module that Fedora requires you download and install from a third-party provider of RPMs such as Livna or RPMForge.

openSUSE also has better fonts and looks “cleaner” and cripser than Fedora. Proprietary ATI drivers on openSUSE are easily available and installable. The default installation used a VESA driver and set the resolution to 800×600 so installing the ATI drivers was important. Fedora does a better job of providing a hi-res driver but installing the ATI drivers on Fedora is also very easy and well documented all over the place.

I’m not using openSUSE as my primary desktop yet. There’s some hacking to be done with my user settings that would allow the same user id and home directory to be used on both systems. I might remove openSUSE and give Ubuntu a whirl.

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Setting up the ThinkPad T60

The first thing I did after I got the T60 was to format the drive, keeping the rescue partition, and resize the first boot partition to give Windows XP 15 GB. I’ve decided to keep XP on this laptop for being able to do firmware upgrades to the Nokia E61 and to be able to access the Motorola SLVR with the Motorola Phone Tools. Other than that, I don’t need XP and I might eventually do away with it.

I manually partitioned the drive into multiple partions. I created at 15GB partition to hold my home directory as I expect to share it between multipe Linux distributions. I created at 2.5GB Swap partition and a 20GB partition to hold Fedora Core 6.

Installing FC6 was as normal as any Linux distribution goes except it crashed when I tried to customize the package installation. Once I ran a standard development environment install, it went smoothly.
fc6_desktop_3.png

After everything was installed, I got to configuring this puppy. I found there was a bit of manual intervention beyond what was required for my old T40. No big deals other than not being able to get the bluetooth working well enough that I can synch all my contacts and calendars from my Nokia E61 to Evolution. I’m not entirely sure where the problem is but I think it’s somewhere in the libsync libraries. Still trying to find an expert who can help me with this.

Configuring the Intel 3945 wireless was pretty painless – for one specific network. Fedora, in my humble opinion, still does not support location based network profiles very well. And for some ver weird reason, running NetworkManager is the only way to get DHCP working on the laptop with the wireless. It’s very weird, but at least I know I have to keep it on if I want to use DHCP. Conversely, if I don’t want to use DHCP (wired or wireless) and I want to employ a static network configuration, NetworkManager MUST be turned off.

fc6_desktop_2.png
Overall, I’ve been very happy having my ThinkPad T60 running Fedora Core 6 but the little things like synching my phone with my calendar and addressbook are things that Fedora is just not cut out for. I’ll see if i can get it working with Ubuntu when I get some time to install it.

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Fedora Core 6 is Available

As scheduled, Fedora Core 6 was released on October 24th, 2006.  I’ve upgraded a Dell PowerEdge to FC6 but that was after creating a bootable CD.  Apparently, the diskboot.img that is used to create bootable USB flash drives wasn’t working for me.

Upgrading FC5 to FC6 had a few issues like an i586 kernel being installed instead of an i686 kernel but for the most part, the server is doing everything it should be.  All services, CVS, Apache, Postgres, MySQL, MediaWiki are functioning fine without any changes.

I haven’t been able to get FC6 installed on an external USB HD for use with my MacBook so my ability to play with FC6 is very limited.  I hope to get FC6 running off an external USB HD but all initial research indicates that it "should" work.  I’ll let everyone know if I get it working. 

I will also be accepting donations to purchase a ThinkPad T60 to triple boot FC6, Ubuntu Edgy Eft and OpenSuSE 10.1 🙂


FedoraMain – Fedora Project Wiki

Download Fedora Core 6 Torrents (preferred) || x86 || x86_64 || ppcThese ISO links should be functional. Thank you for your patience.

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So many repositories, so little time …

The number of YUM repositories for Fedora is growing larger and larger. I’ve been playing with YAM to try and build a local yum mirror of many of these repositories so I can keep multiple machines current but it’s getting harder and harder to keep up wiht all the repos…

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Fedora Core 4

Fedora Core 4 was released in the middle of June with some interesting enhancements/additions. Click here to download it.

So far, FC4 is the most stable and simplest Fedora release that I’ve run. I was able to install it on my Thinkpad T40 and have everything up and running in less than 45 minutes with a network installation.

This screenshot shows Rhythmbox, VNC connected to Mac OSX Tiger showing the Dashboard, and on the left, CrossOver Office installed so I can run Quicken 2004. Click on the image to see a larger image. My only complaint was that FC4 did not pick up my Intel Centrino chip properly. However, that was easily solved by going to ATrpms and installing the correct drivers from here. Probably some licensing limitation to including the drivers with FC4.

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