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Monday·25·October·2010

SuSE sucks! //at 05:44 //by abe

from the frustration dept.

Since SuSE closes the security support two years after release and the recent KDE JavaShit remote code execution hole wasn’t patched as fast as I would have expected it (the patch came out after the upgrade I’m writing about here) in the SuSE 9.0 which was installed on my 2.66 GHz AMD desktop at work (it started as in 2002 as a SuSE 7.3 on a 400 MHz box and has been upgraded since then to 8.0, 8.2 and 9.0 IIRC), I decided, it’s now really time to upgrade to SuSE 10.0. (Although 10.1 will be out soon, I just don’t want to wait for it.) And since my boss only wants SuSE boxes and neither Debian (which I would prefer) nor Gentoo (which a colleague prefers), I couldn’t simply install Sarge on this box although I would have chosen that option if it would have been available.

Since my former SuSE experiences told me that this would mean a lot of trouble, I took notes from the beginning, once for the blog and once for my boss to show him, that most trouble doesn’t come from me being a power user used to being allowed to touch any config file (like I am on Debian).

Preparations

So I begin with the preparations: Starting the 400 MHz Debian Woody box on my desktop (whose operating system is more than a year older than SuSE 9.0 and still has security support, yeah!) I usually need to build custom Debian packages for customers. There I could chat in IRC and took notes while trying to upgrade and get the whole thing working again.

When everything was ready, I put the SuSE DVD in — just to notice, that it’s just a CD-ROM. So I put the SuSE 10.0 CD1 in the CD-ROM drive and typed “sudo shutdown -r now” in the shell. The box starts shutting down and tells me:

Please stand by while rebooting the system…

But it didn’t reboot. I waited for several minutes, nothing happend. Well, seems as if the SuSE upgrade already starts as I expect it to end: Horrible.

Reboot

I rebooted by pressing the reset button. — *beeeep* — Oooooh, is that cuddly. xpenguins on the wintery boot screen. :-)

Encountering YaST

Still irrititating (but well-known) is that you upgrade a SuSE by booting from the installation CD or DVD and “start” an installation. Then once during the “installation” you get asked, what you really want to do: “Installation”, “Upgrading”, “Reparing the system” or “Starting the installed system” (!). Of course I’ve chosen “Upgrading”.

Then YaST showed me what it plans to do:

Updating 864 packages
Installing 412 new packages
Deleting 513 packages *argh*

Already at this point my SuSE hate came up again. This wouldn’t have happend with Debian!™ (And neither with Gentoo to support my colleague. ;-)

Conflicts

Then I had to solve some package conflicts manually:

  • evolution-webcal conflicts with mozilla-calender: WTF has evolution’s calendar to do with mozilla’s calender? Well, doesn’t matter, I don’t need either of them, so I tell SuSE to delete both.
  • kdeutils needs dostools which isn’t available. WTF? Why isn’t dostools available? Everyone needs that for floppy disk! Well, in that case, we keep dostools. :-P
  • 17 packages (including ggv, gv, hplip-hpijs, inkscape, kdegraphics3, latex2html, pstoedit, te_omega, tetex and depending on at least one of these also lyx, dviutils, emacs-auctex and kile) need ghostscript-x11 (resp. some also ghostscript_x11, kdegraphics3 even both, but SuSE doesn’t seem to make a difference), but it doesn’t seem to be available. I decide to delete the old ghostscript-x11 and write me a note to later reinstall the following packages: ggv, gv, inkscape, tetex, dviutils, lyx, emacs-auctex.
  • i4l-base is needed from i4l-vbox: Whatever, there is no more ISDN card in this box, so I let YaST delete both.
  • smpppd needs pptp, but there seems to be no pptp. WTF? No pptp? Whatever, I don’t need it on that box anymore. So let’s delete it. Ehm, but how? There is no “Delete” option this time. *argh* Only options are to not to delete it or to risk an inconsistent system. I’ve the chosen the last option and wrote me a note to delete it later.
  • samba needs samba-client, which isn’t there either. WTF? I need smbclient. So I chose keeping it.
  • SLD_mixer is needed from tuxracer and freeciv. Whoops, ehm, what do games on my work box? Quickly delete them! ;-)
  • Deleting smpppd renders kinternet unusable. Ehm, hello? One moment, why did SuSI complain about smpppd being unusable and not allowing me to delete it?!? *puke* Away with kinternet. Who needs KDE for getting on the net?
  • Deleting wvdial makes smpppd disfunctional. *hrrrngh* Ich hate SuSI, so I wanted to delete wvdial. But *grrrr* deleting isn’t an option. Why the hell isn’t deleting an option?!? Ok, next note: Deleting wvdial later.

Then I press “OK - Checking again” (or how else they translated it, I used the German translation — which probably isn’t one. ;-)

Three more conflicts:

  • tetex needs ghostscript-x11. Ehm, didn’t I tell it to delete ghostscript-x11? WTF? Deleting of course isn’t an option. What a fuck!
  • Deleting te_latex makes jadetex and two times (!) latex-ucs unusable. And again: Only “Not deleting” or “Ignoring”. I ignore it and plan to delete these package, if they’re not needed by tetex.
  • Deleting tetex renders jadetex and te_latex unusable. <loriot>I say.</loriot>. And also here: “Not deleting” or “Ignoring”. A fat lot I care!
Package deletion orgy

Okay, no more conflicts. Now to the list of packages, which aren’t available anymore. I note down the most important which I definitely need and those I think it’s a shame about. That last category is marked with a star.

  • amaya (*)
  • antiword
  • apache2-devel
  • apache-ant
  • apache-contrib
  • apache-devel
  • arc
  • audacity (*)
  • balsa (*)
  • bash-completion
  • bb (WTF!)
  • bluefish (*)
  • cadaver (WTF, this is my most beloved WebDAV client! You bastards!)
  • catdoc (WTF!)
  • cuckooo (*)
  • cvsup (*)
  • deb (WTF? This is needed by debtakeover!)
  • dictd
  • dog(*)
  • dump (WTF!)
  • eclipse (Well, no real loss! ;-)
  • elvis (*)
  • elib, elisp-manual, emacs-el (WTF! ARGH!)
  • emacs-lisp-intro (*), emacs-url (*), emacs-w3 (*)
  • enlightment
  • eperl (WTF!)
  • F5 steganography (*)
  • faces (*)
  • fhs (WTF!)
  • freesci (*)
  • frotz (*)
  • ftpd (WTF!)
  • gabber (*)
  • galeon (WTF! ARGH! STOP! You bastards! BTW: Wasn’t that package already called “galeon2” in SuSI 9.0? The mentioned version 1.3.14a is the one from SuSI 9.0. Very strange! Well, let’s go ahead and hope for the best.)
  • gawk-doc (*)
  • gbuffy (*)
  • ghostview (WTF!)
  • gimp2-svg (*)
  • gimphelp (*)
  • git (*)
  • gkrellm (*)
  • gmc
  • gnome-doc
  • gnomehack
  • gnome-libs-devel (*)
  • gnomemm (*)
  • gnomemm-devel (*)
  • gnome-objc
  • gnome-pim
  • gnome-print-devel (*)
  • gnome-vfs-devel (*)
  • gnuserv (WTF!)
  • gpa
  • gq (WTF! Need that!)
  • howto, howtode howtodeh, howtoenh (WTF!)
  • html2ps (WTF!)
  • htmldoc (WTF!)
  • IBMJava2-JAVACOMM, IBMJava2-JRE, IBMJava2-SDK
  • icewm-gnome, icewm-themes
  • id3ed (*)
  • inetd (WTF!)
  • javadoc
  • jhead
  • jokes
  • jmk (*)
  • john
  • jove (*)
  • kdebase3-extra, kdegraphics3-extra, kdenetwork3-lan, kdeutils3-extra
  • koffice-extra, koffice-i18n-en_GB
  • lavaps (*)
  • licq
  • lnxzip (*)
  • mad (*)
  • manyfaqs
  • mawk
  • mcrypt
  • mozilla-dom-inspector, mozilla-irc, mozilla-spellchecker(*), mozilla-venkman(*)
  • mp3blaster
  • mpg123, mpg321 (WTF!)
  • mysql-devel (WTF!)
  • nethack-common
  • netscape, Netscape6 (Naja…)
  • ngrep
  • normalize (*)
  • officebib, officebib-data
  • ohphone (WTF!)
  • oneko (WTF!)
  • openldap2-back-ldap, openldap2-back-monitor, openldap2-back-perl, openldap2-devel (WTF! Ich brauche OpenLDAP!)
  • openssl-doc
  • pdftohtml
  • pdksh (WTF!)
  • perl-DBD-CSV
  • perl-DBD-Pg (WTF!)
  • perl-Event
  • perl-GD
  • perl-HTML-SimpleParse
  • perl-Image-Info
  • perl-Image-Size
  • perl-IO-String
  • perl-MIME-Lite
  • perl-MIME-Type
  • perl-Net-Netmask (WTF!)
  • perl-Net-Telnet (WTF!)
  • perl-Paw
  • perl-POE (WTF!)
  • perl-Text-CSV_XS
  • pgp
  • pgperl
  • pgaccess, pgeasy, postgresql, postgresql-contrib, postgresql-devel, postgresql-docs, postgresql-server (WTF!)
  • pwgen
  • rfc (WTF!)
  • sawfish (WTF!)
  • sdb (WTF!)
  • selfhtml, selfphp (Naja…)
  • shtools (WTF!)
  • siag (*)
  • sleuth (*)
  • smssend (*)
  • steghide (*)
  • stunnel (WTF!)
  • suselinux-adminguide_de (*)
  • suselinux-userguide_de (*)
  • susetour (*)
  • sweep (WTF! This is the only tool which plays the asterisk WAV files!)
  • sylpheed (*)
  • tin (WTF!)
  • tleds (*)
  • traceroute-lbl
  • umlimit (WTF!)
  • ungif (WTF!)
  • unix2dos (WTF!)
  • urlview (WTF!)
  • uudeview
  • vrfy
  • w3m-inline-image (WTF!)
  • wavplay
  • webalizer (WTF!)
  • weblint
  • wm2 (*)
  • wml (WTF!)
  • word2x (WTF!)
  • xarchie (RIP)
  • xbill (WTF!)
  • xcolors
  • xemacs-el, xemacs-packages-el
  • xfce (WTF!)
  • xfishtank, xphoon
  • xgnokii (*grrr*)
  • xkeycaps (WTF!)
  • xmine
  • xpenguins (Trotz des Bootscreen! Argh!)
  • xsnow, xteddy, xpinguin
  • yacc
  • zile (ARGH! My most loved low end Emacs clone!)

Sodele, jetzt mal schauen, was die normale Paketauswahl so sagt:

OpenLDAP is still there. Good. Apache2 also. Also good. Well, then let’s go.

And than again happend what I already loved with the last SuSE upgrade: You make yourself a lot of effort to solve all the criticised conflicts only to get the following slammed in the face: “Automatic requirements: Additionally to your choice, the following package states have been altered to solve dependencies.” WTF?!?

So it told me, it’ll delete:

  • apache, apache-doc (*grrr*)
  • abiword2 (WTF!)
  • eog2
  • freeswan (ok, gibt’s nimmer)
  • gdm2
  • gedit2
  • gimp2 (WTF!)
  • gnome-applets2, gnome-games2, gnome-media2, gnome-utils2, gnome-vfs-extras
  • gnumeric2 (WTF! I need that!)
  • html2txt
  • java2, java2-jre (WTF!)
  • libungif
  • OpenOffice_org-en, OpenOffice_org-en-help
  • nautilus2
  • perl-Msql-Mysql-modules
  • roottail (WTF!)
Usual annoyances

Ok, no real other choice. Leaves to choose keyboard layout (US) and language (German, with UTF-8 — that will surely become funny…) then “Accept”.

The Flash player license pops up. *overfly* Well, accpeting it. Another click on “Ok” and it starts. With a slide show. I do a Ctrl-Alt-F2 and do a little clean up some no more needed or still downloadable ISOs. So I have again 22% disc space free instead of the 7% before. And the ISO collection is reduced from 8.4 GB to 3.8 GB.

DJ Axel

Then he plans to need two hours for installing all the stuff. And thanks to having no DVD drive, this means to play DJ about every 25 minutes in average.

But after the first CD, it stops and SuSI tells me “Installation windup”. Isn’t it possible that this thing tells one in advance what it really plans to do. I already was on the way to insert CD 2.

LILO vs YaST

Then the real fun begins: “During the installation of the boot loader an error occurred. Do you want to repeat the boot loader configuration?” Which error occurred doesn’t seem to be important enough to tell. If I click on “yes”, my lilo.conf pops up graphically displayed. Since I don’t want to change anything, I click “finish”. Again an error. And again no information, which error. Not even which kind of error.

What to do? Of course getting a console with Ctrl-Alt-F2, “chroot /mnt”, the call “lilo”. And what surprise: “Duplicate Label `console80x2’. Hmm, this label formerly was called “console80x25” or “console80x28”, both existed. But SuSE has truncated all labels to 11 characters, the devil knows why. And this shit is said to be “beginners compatible”?!? Don’t make me laugh! And this is no lilo restriction, only a YaST problem. Probably “YaST” means “Yet another Setup Trouble”…

I added all missing characters, reran lilo and it worked. *grrrrr*

Reboot doesn’t reboot today

Back to YaST. This time I click on “No”, it continued, said it wants to reboot. I allow it and it starts shutting down. It stops with the following message:

Found a Linux console terminal on /dev/console.
umount /mnt: device is busy
umount /mnt: device is busy

But I didn’t get to this console to unmount anything. Thanks, SuSI! Reset button. Of course now I don’t know, if it wants the CD again in the drive or to boot from the hard drive. But since I fixed lilo.conf, booting from the hard drive should work.

SuSE users don’t need mice

Right guess. It now wants CD 2. I wanted to click “Ok”, but had to notice, that the (USB) mouse isn’t working anymore. Perfect! Thanks, SuSI!

Ich press “Ok” by pressing Enter. Interstingly, it now thinks that the installation takes 3h40min from now on instead of the 2h for all CDs together. Ten minutes later, it thinks installation will still last 2h50min. Thanks for this precise values, dear SuSE!

I went home.

Next day

CD3 is next. While looking at the list of packages being installed, I noticed a package called “kio_ipodslave”, a KDE client for an iPod or so. WTF does this package do on my disk? I had neither this time nor ever before any iPod related package installed. And in the base choice I’ve chosen “minimal configuration”. Thanks for this very minimalistic base installation, dear SuSE.

Then OpenOffice.org: Why does the progress bar go twice from 0 to 100%, first time fast and the second time slow?

During the installation from CD 5 (the last one), the installation of xfig failed. This time, I was allowed to view the details. And I was surprised about the error message:

Leave old IPsec RSA signature key untouched.
insserv: script ldap.SuSE: service ldap already provided!
insserv: There is a loop between service network and pcmcia
insserv: There is a loop between service network and pcmcia
insserv: There is a loop between service syslog and network

WTF? Oh, after one empty line, there is more:

error: unpacking of archive failed on file /usr/X11R6/lib/X11/xfig/Libraries: cpio: rename failed - Is a directory.

Fine. Redo. Failed again. Some more warnings, same failure. Ignore. Hate.

Fortunately, xfig was said to be the only package which failed during installation. That I still can’t use my mouse doesn’t seem to matter anyone except me.

Network or no network?

Then it asked me if I want to test the connection to the internet or if I want to skip that test. I decided to do the test, since the box has internet access over the LAN. Internet connection test failed. WTF? Looking at the report, it tried something with “eth-1.what-should-this-be”. Well, I asked that myself. Ctrl-Alt-F2, ifconfig: eth0 was up and had the correct IP address. WTF? But with the failed test, it didn’t want to do the online update and skiped it without any further notice while both, “Network” and “Online Update” had an Ok check on the list. Fuck SuSE!

After a few minutes of SuSE linker cache thingies, it congratulated me to having installed SuSE 10.0. How sarcastic!

Then the login manager appeares. *ARGH* This thing looks like Windows XP. No mouse yet. Without mouse I can’t change (nor see) which window manager it will start. *puke*

So I first logged in as root to fix the mouse. Looks like KDE is planned to start. But except an rotating SuSE logo nothing happened. For about a minute. Well, ok, it’s KDE and it’s SuSE. It’s slow.

After I managed to close some Windows like popups just using the keyboard (being a keyboard and not a klickbunti freak now pays off ;-), it told me, it found new hardware, a network card. Well, I’m sure there is no new hardware, so let’s see if it wrecked the network connection… No it didn’t. Luck this time for SuSI.

So I start YaST for configuring the mouse. It’s slow and took time. I had to choose “USB-Mouse” explicitly. Well, that’s what I call plug’n’pray.

Since I can’t activate the KDE menu (the windoze key doesn’t work), I had to logout using Ctrl-Alt-Backspace.

The I could choose the window manager and session type. The previously configured fvwm2.5 has of course vanished since SuSE never overwrites any manually changed config files. Haha. Fuck SuSE!

First login

Well, I could login, the fvwm for luck seems to be a 2.5 version, so my fvwm config worked. All my xterms were there, too, xosview also and even Emacs started. Galeon didn’t start of course, because it wasn’t installed. mutt seemed to have UTF-8 hassles. Umlauts were blanks. And it argued about my config containing unknown variables. That should be fixable.

Galeon and other not so available packages

Now let’s see, where I get a Galeon from. Opened the YaST package tool, searching for “galeon”. No matches. ARGH! SuSE sucks! Would my boss notice, if I would use debtakeover? Well, maybe Galeon is on the DVD, since 5 CDs can’t contain everything from a double layer DVD. I put the DVD in another running box and looked for “galeon” on it. No Galeon there. FUCK! FUCK! FUCK!

So I decided to compile Galeon by myself. First thing for long compiling sessions: Starting screen. “screen: Not found.” WTF? There was a screen installed before. Why isn’t screen installed anymore although the package still exists?!?

Ok, let’s install screen. Huh, WTF, why does it install ghostscript-x11, too? I thought this wasn’t available anymore? Fuck SuSE!

In the meantime I started Epiphany (*puke*) to fetch a copy of Galeon *hehe* from the Galeon website. On the download page, there were also binaries for SuSE 9.1 mentioned. Although they would be quite old, I clicked on the link. 404. Shit. But wait, what’s there written exatly. Some hint on another subpage about mostly GNOME RPMs for SuSE. Fine. Let’s see. A howto describing how to (what else would you have expected? ;-) include usr-local-bin.org’s repository of SuSE RPM into YaST. Well, before doing this, let’s have a look at the FTP server itself. — Cool! There are Galeon packages for SuSE 10.0. Yeah! Strike! I’m saved!

So I tried to cut and paste the hostname and path from the website into YaST but nothing pasted. Neither middle mouse button nor Shift-Ins nor Ctrl-V did work. Using right mouse click everything in the context menue is greyed out except “Choosing input method”. Choosing the only alternative input method available doens’t help though. What a shit. So I typed it character by character and even didn’t make any mistake. :)

Ok, but how do I now say “apt-get update”? Hmmm, let’s see, if I find a Galeon in the package tool. It popped up, that it updates the informations about the new repository.

Interestingly it showed the FTP based repository as “usr-local-bin CD1”. SuSE really contains crazy stuff.

Misconfigured SuSE GNOME

Then I tried to start Galeon:

Galeon failed to start.

The gconf schema couldn’t be found.

This shouldn’t generally happen, but can usually be fixed by running “galeon-config-tool –install-schemas”.

Well, needless to say that this tip didn’t work. galeon-config-tool threw an awfully big number of errors, just looking like a nice ASCII art animation without content. Doing it as root again did work anc not throwing any error messages (as fast as I can read ;-).

But Galeon still refused to start as user “abe” while it worked fine as user root. galeon-config-tool seems to plan to write to /etc/opt/gnome/gconf/gconf.xml.defaults and not to a user owned file. Yet no clue, why.

Let’s see, what other options galeon-config-tool has. –fix-gconf-permissions looks promising — but didn’t help. Neither did removing resp. renaming of $HOME/.gconf, $HOME/.gconfd, $HOME/.gnome* nor $HOME/.galeon help. After fiddling around for quite some time, I managed to find out why galeon-config-tool only wanted to access a readonly resource: Because “gconftool-2 –get-default-source” told it to do so. So SuSE seems to be guilty for this one, too. *shrug*

Now that I have Galeon running, I can restore all the old configs. Wrote it, did it, ran my local modified copy of the galeon-config-tool again, started up my Galeon default session and everything seemed working fine on the desktop for now.

So now I run Galeon 1.3.21 based on Mozilla 1.7.11 at work instead of Galeon 1.3.14 based on Mozilla 1.4.2. Fine, except that the flash player doesn’t work, at least not in Galeon. All other development related problems should show up during the next week.

Updates

Ok, let’s see, what updates are already out, so that I can perhaps also have a working xfig. Well, there are already a lot of updates, but no xfig in the updates, so I probably will deinstall and than reinstall it when I need it the next time.

Third day

The day after: Samba doesn’t work anymore as before. Neither did sound nor nmap. strace wasn’t installed anymore, neither was tcpdump, sudo nor perl-Algorithm-Diff. Instead a lot of bluetooth, infrared and PDA crap was installed as well as Mono was. And XMMS still segfaults instead of cleanly shutting down. And libwww-perl seems to be installed, but the most important parts, GET and HEAD are missing while lwp-request is there. WTF? Just added the appropriate symbolic links.

First I tried to get Samba working again. rcsmb status said, it’s unused. rcsmb start said, it successfully started. But in reality it didn’t and refused to work: “Connection refused” said smbclient. (Couldn’t use nmap since nmap currenlty doesn’t work.

The log file revealed:

[2006/01/23 18:20:25, 1] auth/auth_util.c:make_server_info_sam(807)
  User Nobody in passdb, but getpwnam() fails!

So I did a grep -i nobody /etc/passwd /etc/samba/smb.conf, which looked like this:

/etc/passwd:nobody:x:65534:65533:nobody:/var/lib/nobody:/bin/bash
/etc/samba/smb.conf:    guest account = Nobody

You probably guess, what was SuSE’s fault: Yes, the uppercase letter “N”… Very good and well tested transition scripts for the upgrade from Samba 2.2.8a to 3.0.20b. I’m lovin it!™ *grrrrr*

More cleaning and installing

I looked through all the installed packages and deleted the telnet-server, a lot of KDE crap, CD burning tools. Installed mpg123 from http://pbx-manager.de/installation-linux-asterisk.php, but it couldn’t open /dev/dsp.

Once I again I expected to need to change a CD. The status line of YaST said: “Next CD: SuSE Linux CD 2”. But the next popup said: “Please insert `SuSE Linux CD1’”. *grrrrr*

More SuSE madness

Since YaST via ssh root@localhost didn’t work as expected, I logged in as root, this time with GNOME, since I don’t like KDE at all. GNOME had no menues at all under root. After I added some preconfigured menues, I looked for the GNOME Control Center. Of course you can’t find it under “Configuration”. There you only find the gconf-editor. It took a while until I found the GCC under “Desktop”. BTW: The submenue “Windows” in the GCC is a joke: The only thing you can configure there is “focus follows mouse” — what I also did. *puke*

Then I noticed that whois under root didn’t work, only giving empty responses. Under my normal user it worked. Why? Well, there seems to be a difference between /usr/bin/whois and /usr/sbin/whois.

When I tried to start the User module of YaST, it told me that there are two users with the same user id and that I have to correct that manually before starting this module ever again. Ehm, how was that with “beginners compatible”? So let’s do it. This is what I found:

mailman21:x:101:304:Mailman 2.1 User:/usr/local/mailman21:/bin/false
haldaemon:x:101:102:User for haldaemon:/var/run/hal:/bin/false

Obviously SuSE adds new users without checking if the planned user id already exists and than barfs about it. Very user friendly, yes.

Yet another reboot

Since we had an kernel update, and sound and nmap didn’t work yet, I decide to reboot. Interestingly the machine hung again like it did before upgrading. Another annoying error not being solved since two years. Ah really good distro, yeah!

After the reboot, at least nmap worked again. *phew*. But sound didn’t.

Then cut & paste in Emacs when tunneled over an ssh leads to an Emacs crash with the following error message:

X protocol error: BadWindow (invalid Window parameter) on protocol request 38

The problem was resolved by adding

ForwardX11Trusted yes

to /etc/ssh/ssh_config (ssh -Y instead of ssh -X works also) which I found here. This also resolved some errors about missing XInputExtensions when starting YaST or KDE applications over an ssh tunnel.

Easy listening

Ok, next was missing sound. Since I had no idea where to start, I opened yast2 sound and — surprise, suprise — no sound card was configured. But when I started to configure one (“normal” and not “fast” setup), it just asked if the volume is ok. Nothing more. And after this, sound worked. So why didn’t YaST manage to do this from the beginning?

First remumée

So I’d worked one day with SuSE 10.0. What I missed most at that point — even with some third-party packages — were ISO-8859-1 and that nice LDAP client GQ. The good thing is: I can work. And it didn’t take two full days as the last upgrade on that box. So SuSE can really be happy that I hadn’t a blog about two years ago, when I upgraded to SuSE 9.0. Comparing to two years ago, this upgrade really went fine. No YaST had been deleted due to dependency conflicts and I also could login as normal user after reboot… They seem to get better. Maybe once the will reach the quality level of Sid. Harhar.

But though, I will never again suggest SuSE to anyone, even if it’s a bloody beginner who just wants to work with the computer and not to know, learn or decide how it works. For these people there is Ubuntu with Debian beneath. For those who want a proper Linux and understand and decide how the system works, there is Debian.

Did I already mention, that I hate SuSE?

The next weeks
  • The subversion package is completely wrecked: /usr/bin/svn: error while loading shared libraries: libdb-4.1.so: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory — but the dependencies and build dependencies of the Subversion package talk about libdb-4.3. Rebuilding the RPM helped which suggests that SuSE took an older package and just changed the dependencies without rebuilding it — which is a impertinence.
  • mutt segfaults if it is called in a window with or resized to more than 254 columns.
  • OpenLDAP’s slapd segfaults. SuSE changed the OpenLDAP backend to libdb4.3 without converrting the existent LDAP database — resulting in segfaults when accessing them. For luck I had LDIF backups so I could rebuild the database.
  • SuSE didn’t install the YaST modules for printers, missed the CUPS printer drivers, although I had a working CUPS before.
  • Got an DVD drive for that box. So I could install some of the software not included in the CD version: apache2-devel, bash-completion, cadaver, cups-device-drivers, ghostview, gmc, htmldoc, yast2-printer, xteddy, zile. I really wonder, how SuSE determines which software only goes onto the DVD. I expect not very realistic ideas behind that.
  • Still missing sweep (the only WAV player playing the WAV files, asterisk sends) and arc (the only useful WinZip clone for X I know) and a generic LDAP client like gq or jxplorer. gq probably is not included anymore because of a dead upstream and jxplorer never was.
  • Some software have another version on the CDs than on the DVD. SuSE sucks.

But instead of just including existing useful open source software Novell asks what commercial software should be ported to Linux (via OS News). SuSE really sucks.

Comments

Re: SuSE sucks!

Posted by: Simon Morris
Website: http://beerandspeech.org
Time: Sun, 12 Feb 2006 00:12

Abe - A sorry story indeed.. YaST package management has never struck me as sturdy enough to handle complicated tasks - like a version upgrade. I'm on SUSE 10 now from a fresh install and I think I'll be installing new versions over the top rather than attempting the upgrade.

Does your trackback function work?

http://beerandspeech.org/index.php?/archives/9-Building-XGL-and-thinking-about-upgrading-SUSE.html

Reply

Re: SuSE sucks!

Posted by: beza1e1
Website: http://beza1e1.tuxen.de
Time: Sun, 12 Feb 2006 00:19

I can sooo feel with you. I had to overhaul some SuSE boxes as well. The oldest one is still waiting, because it is impossible to use a 2.4 Kernel with SuSE > 9.4 or so their support said. We have software, which does not (yet) work on 2.6. :(

I didn't know about debtakeover ... temptation lurking ...

Did you know about the WTF Ligature? You could have used it ;) http://typophile.com/node/16343

Reply

Re: SuSE sucks!

Posted by: h2o
Website: 
Time: Sun, 12 Feb 2006 02:51

if it's for a server and your boss insists on using a "suse" distro, he should have decided for sles 9, not for suse (desktop version). sles _guarantees_ for a much longer period of fixes and backports than the normal suse distro (one of the reasons why sles - and other commercial enterprise distros - have a much higher price tag than normal desktop distros).

in most cases, debian is indeed a nice choice, however.

Reply

Re: SuSE sucks! (ACK)

Posted by: Dieter Weber
Website: http://uellue.de/PHPGallue/
Time: Mon, 13 Feb 2006 01:47

I am feeling sorry for you because you have to use SuSE! One time I did an update (8.1 to 9.2). It was more work than installing from ground up. Well, I'm feeling rising anger, so I'll stop thinking about it! ;-)

Another oddity is that SuSE comes without MP3 and DVD-Video support. When I tried to install the required packages from an external source, together with a KDE update, my system got f*cked.

As I didn't want to resolve all these odd dependency issues and we've got a broadband internet connection at home now, I decided to install Ubuntu. "sudo apt-get install " - what a relief!

I'll never let this SuSE crap touch my hard disk again. There are still three SuSE boxes waiting for me, but they'll be replaced with Debian or Ubuntu when their time has come. :-)

Maybe you can convince your boss that he saves a lot of money if you are productive and happy instead of angrily muckraking the insides of SuSE Linux... May the force be with you!

Dieter (uellue dot unterwegs at freenet punkt de)

Reply

Re: SuSE sucks!

Posted by: v.
Website: 
Time: Mon, 13 Feb 2006 12:03

oh well, next time rtfm first :) suse updates works fine for me - but i know what i'm doing :))

Reply

Don't use it, just fake it!

Posted by: Gunnar Wolf
Website: http://gwolf.org
Time: Mon, 13 Feb 2006 18:06

A friend is a local distributor for SuSE. He does, of course, much more than that - But in order to keep the Novell guys happy, he installed the whole SuSE theme over a regular Debian machine. Of course there are differences, but then again, your boss might not be able to find them.

Reply

Re: SuSE sucks!

Posted by: cheexer
Website: 
Time: Sun, 09 Apr 2006 20:07

you are such a pussy.

Reply

Re: SuSE sucks!

Posted by: noob
Website: 
Time: Tue, 18 Apr 2006 00:24

How did you get the mouse working. Steps for the novice would be appreciated. This upgrade sucks big time. Novell should be ashamed or is that ass named. A clean install finds the mouse but not on an upgrade WTF!

Reply

You suck...

Posted by: irritum
Website: 
Time: Mon, 29 May 2006 22:06

Did any of you losers ever consider *READING* the manual?

Reply

Re: SuSE sucks!

Posted by: philipp
Website: 
Time: Thu, 15 Jun 2006 19:55

Good read, gave me a laugh! I know what a SuSE box means, had one a *long* time ago. You might wanna try SLICK (http://en.opensuse.org/SLICK), I haven't tried it yet, but it sounds good (if you keep in mind that it's SuSE).

Reply

Get a life, all of you !!

Posted by: Bart
Website: 
Time: Wed, 21 Jun 2006 16:53

Nerds !

Reply

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Time: Thu, 20 Jul 2006 15:21

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Reply

Re: SuSE sucks!

Posted by: Reto Schaer
Website: http://www.infocopter.com/know-how/linux/suse.html
Time: Fri, 18 Aug 2006 12:29

From RedHat to Suse; You never have a second chance to make a first impression. ISPs are often using SuSe for root Servers. Reason enough to take a closer look to verify if I could use the same system at home for compatibility and gain better configuration know-how.

After two years I tried *again* to make a move from RedHat to SuSe (OpenSuse 10.1) but it looks SuSe is still away from a painless handling like it's used to be with RedHat (or Fedora).

Reply

Re: SuSE sucks!

Posted by: Deluxe
Website: mailto:www.google.com
Time: Sun, 05 Nov 2006 07:44

SUSE + KDE = Windows XP!

Reply

Re: SuSE sucks!

Posted by: Thomas Ilnseher
Website: 
Time: Wed, 21 Mar 2007 16:49

I have the same problem ... after I made my diploma thesis, I got a job. the sysadmin asked me wether I want Linux or W1nd0W$e, and I said Linux (of course). Got a PC w/ some crappy SuSE + KDE :puke: preinstalled.

But i see a light at the end of the darkness: the Sysadmin telled me that I can have whatever OS i want if i administrate it myself. Once i find enough time to install Gentoo, Byebye SuSE!

SuSE is uber-crap: The sysadmin installed the latest (at that time) OpenSuSE, but it had no driver for the Q965 chipset.

I had to fiddle in a driver that was precompiled for some SLED, as there were of course no RPMs for OpenSuSE. (and I didn't want to compile the driver myself as that involves installing some 100.000 devel packages)

Gnome won't work/install correctly. no idea why.

It loads ca. 100MB of some CRAP daemons into memory during the 10minutes boot up period.

and lastly, the built in auto updater would FAIL :P

I was a proud SuSE user in the past (up to version 7.2) in the past. but since the advent of yast2, this distro became a piece of SHIT. Thats it. I want gentoo! (I can also live with Ubuntu / Debian, but there is also the problem with that 100.000 devel packages ... man this .h files and symlinks eat that much diskspace :P)

Reply

Re: SuSE sucks!

Posted by: David Duggins
Website: mailto:weatheredwatcher@gmail.com
Time: Thu, 12 Apr 2007 05:35

Ah yes....SuSE! I currently have version 10.2 on my laptop and it is also shit. I use it right now because I don't have an internet connection at my house.....My first foray into Linux back in 1997 was using Red Hat. Not long after that, I started using Debian. Enjoyed it very much. For a time I played around with Gentoo, but they have a lot of infighting going on in the developer community.

The biggest problem that I have with SuSE is not YaST! (which works no too bad--although I too have never seemed to be able to update the system without crashings...since 9.2) but is rather the fact that they place required files in the damndest places. When ever I try to compile software from source (oh yeah...used slackware for a while between Debian and Gentoo) I have to type three lines on code on eterm telling ./configure where all of the dependencies are. This is not my idea of very clever. So now I am considering Debian again. Bottom line, with SuSE you seem to lose a lot of control over your experience...If I wanted that, I'd be using a Mac or.....Windows.

Reply

Re: SuSE sucks!

Posted by: mjb
Website: 
Time: Fri, 30 May 2008 08:41

BTW a majority of the missing packages were installable separate. There's the SUSE main distrib and the SUSE SDK distrib. The later has most of the items (80% or more) you list as missing

Reply

Re: SuSE sucks!

Posted by: Leo D
Website: 
Time: Thu, 22 Sep 2011 21:01

Jesus Crist Suse system of packages and repositories are the worst i ever saw ... tried suse 11.3 thinking that would be stable enough ... arg . after 30 minutes trying to solve dependencies i gave up. and installed suse from scratch.

Reply

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This is the blog or weblog of Axel Stefan Beckert (aka abe or XTaran) who thought, he would never start blogging... (He also once thought, that there is no reason to switch to this new ugly Netscape thing because Mosaïc works fine. That was about 1996.) Well, times change...

He was born 1975 at Villingen-Schwenningen, made his Abitur at Schwäbisch Hall, studied Computer Science with minor Biology at University of Saarland at Saarbrücken (Germany) and now lives in Zürich (Switzerland), working at the IT Support Group (ISG) of the Departement of Physics at ETH Zurich.

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