Sunday, 27 September 2009

openSuse LiveCD

I spent some more time playing with openSUSE LiveCD on my Toshiba A-215 laptop. This time, I copied my WEP key onto a USB flash drive so I can find it later. However, things went very, very smoothly this time. I bet having some time and enough sleep really help in that regard.
It was relatively simple to configure wireless connection. I added the WEP key (without dashes) into wi-fi configuration and networking was up! From then on I had access to a large repository of help, available online.
This time, also, it was really easy to mount the NTFS partition. I guess the only difference was using "ntfs-3g" instead of "ntfs" in the mount parameters. I was able to mount the Windows partition immediately and all my files were available. Of course, the USB stick (actually an SD card reader attached to USB port) was recognised on boot, too. There, in the list of devices, was also the built-in multi-card reader.
Then I tried to play some music and movies. After a little bit of playing around I found everything worked well. Installed amarok-xine package to be able to play mp3 files. I guess something similar is required to be able to play movies, as LiveCD does not contain stuff like proprietary codecs, etc.
Well, as of right now, everything runs as one would expect. I also played with some more software in a virtual machine yesterday. Everything seems pretty smooth. Firefox crashed a couple of times but the virtual machine had 300MB of RAM assigned only.
Yesterday I also imported fonts from my Windows box and used Tahoma as the default font. All very straightforward. On my laptop, the default font seems quite OK so I don't really need any Windows fonts.
Pidgin is available as a rpm package. Latest version can be found on the build project ( Adding a new repository is simple and it provides the latest version of Pidgin.
I really can't think of much other software I might need. I'd like to try Skype with video calls, VMWare Workstation/Server or some other VM software. Also, games, Quicken, and MS Office using Wine. This is just to see if Wine is as useful now as I read the other day.
Also, Mono is awesome. It runs KeePass 2.08 perfectly. There is no autotype feature, however, but it functions well otherwise. I do not have to downgrade my password file to old version to use KeePassX or other software. There are a couple of solutions available with Linux, like KWallet, but at the moment I really like KeePass and the functionality it provides. I might rely more on browser password keeping later but at least the passwords are taken care of, too.

I guess the only real thing left now is make a backup of my files and Vista system and perform the installation of openSUSE. I'd like to have ext4 as my default filesystem but that might not really matter at this moment.
I'll spend some more time thinking of and listing software I'm using and see if there are equivalents in Linux. Some software, not available for Linux, will run happily with Wine (which I have to confirm first) and the rest can be run in a virtual machine. So, I guess it is now the time when even Windows development tasks can be performed under Linux. :) Awesome...

Dvorak keyboard layout - supported by default. I'd like to have an easy way to switch to Qwerty for cut/copy/paste functionality. There is a way, I just need to read a bit about it.
Webcam - Kopete displays the Chicony USB 2.0 webcam. Apparently, gqcam displays the video stream from the camera. The camera is found in USB devices but none of the programs I tried could use it from /dev/input/input10.
Mouse works well, including the Back-Forward buttons (4 and 5) on my IntelliMouse Optical.
Hibernation - There is an option to hibernate the system but it did not work with LiveCD. Which is understandable as it runs from a CD and creates a RAMdisk (most probably), so no hibernation is possible to either of these media.
PocketPC Sync - Need to look into it more.
Dropbox has a client for Linux. LogMeIn also work under Linux.

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