Ruminations on the Digital Realm

Jan Stedehouder

OpenSUSE – searching for programs and packages

I had some writing to do and this provided a good opportunity to actually spend a few hours on OpenSUSE 11.0. When trying to work with OpenSUSE the way I am used to work I quickly needed to install some new programs. I use Abiword often, since it is light and fast. Under Ubuntu I need to install both Abiword and a plugin pack in order to have proper support for various document formats. Now it was but one package to take care of it all.

Bluefish was next on my list. I wasn’t surprised not to find it in the repositories. Basically all RPM-based distributions I tested in the last six months didn’t have it in the repositories. Downloading and installing the RPM-package from the website was the simple solution.

Installing my Bible study tool via Wine was a necessity. I am preparing a new talk and access to the reference materials is paramount. I have no problems installing the tool under Wine with Ubuntu, but with OpenSUSE the install routine crashed repeatedly without leaving an error message that I could interpret.

Later today I wanted to install Prism, the new toy that brings webbased applications to the desktop.It isn’t in the repository and so I added it as an extension to Firefox. I also downloaded the latest version from the website.

Looking for software that isn’t there is a nuisance, though you can’t expect the repositories to contain everything you like. What really got on my nerve was the menu panel. I switch from app to app and to click on Computer, then on More programs and then have to wait in order to see the list and then find the application is cumbersome and requires more mouse clicks than I want. Okay, I didn’t dump it immediately. I added a new panel and a menubar.

What a relief! With this it was no problem to enable the 3D effects on my laptop. I finally found the menu entry to do that. :p

Banshee 1.0 received a cursory glance today. I noticed my Last.FM stream now previews the next three songs. It made me forget Rhythmbox.

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7 thoughts on “OpenSUSE – searching for programs and packages

  1. Anonymous on said:

    No Bluefish package? Did you use any package search? http://software.opensuse.org/search?baseproject=openSUSE%3A11.0&p=1&q=bluefish

  2. It wasn’t in the repositories. The fact there is another online outlet to find the package is nice, but doesn’t change the original point.

    But, thanks for pointing this service out. I am sure it will be of benefit for people who desire to start with OpenSUSE.

  3. pengpengpeng on said:

    but you can’t write a review based on the fact that you don’t know the repository system of opensuse.
    if you’re new to ubuntu, you also first have to figure out that there is universe, multiverse, etc. pp.
    in opensuse you can activate the community repo’s in yast, and with free, non-free, and packman, you’re pretty much set.

  4. Ah, the wonderful world of assumptions.

    For what it is worth, I am aware of the repository system of OpenSUSE and all the repo’s you mention are activated. My experience extends somewhat beyond Ubuntu, thank you.

    Plus, this wasn’t a review (I should know, there is a specific category for my reviews on this blog) but a description of my first experiences with OpenSUSE. The review will perhaps be written in the near future.

  5. Banshee’s Last.fm support is excellent (I happen to be listening to it right now). If it wasn’t for MPD, it’d be my default media player 🙂

  6. pengpengpeng on said:

    @jan
    Problem is, people find your page through google or a blog, read your article, and think, opensuse has a sloppy repository system and don’t try it out. or even worse, they think, “another example that linux is too complicated” and don’t try any distribution at all.
    (and it doesn’t matter if you have categorized it under review or any other category, it sounds like a review).

    so if you are aware of the repository system, then just write the facts.

  7. I didn’t write “sloppy”. I simply wrote that some packages couldn’t be found (I have another one for the list TOR, it won’t even install when downloading from the TOR site due to an insolvable dependency) and that I could solve it by downloading from elsewhere.

    Currently I have a list of upgrades that crashes to the following dependencies not being met:

    nothing provides OpenOffice_org = 2.4.1.5 needed by OpenOffice_org-nl-2.4.1.5-3.2.noarch
    ktorrent-3.1-5.1.i586 requires kdebase4-runtime < 4.0.60, but this requirement cannot be provided

    But it does report everything is installed fine, which is simply not true.

    I did and do have problems with Wine, a program that new migrators will no doubt want to use. For your information, it concerns a program that should run fine with Wine without tweaks.

    Hence, the problems I noticed are real and I have no qualms pointing them out. Problems need to be fixed and new users are entitled to know they exist. Otherwise blogs like Linuxhaters simply reflect the experience of frustrated users that were promised too much.

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