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Dec 012013
 

opensusegeekoopenSUSE 13.1 Tips, Tricks, and Tweaks
This article will be updated as I find more tips or on the off chance that someone actually sends some in.
*update – 13FEB2014
The openSUSE forums went through some sort of change. All old page links to the forums are broken.
I’ve updated the links in this guide. If you find a broken link contact me.

Preamble

Why use Linux?
There are articles all over the web on this subject.
My main reasons: Security, and Free Software.

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OPINION – My Thoughts On openSUSE
You see where it says OPINION above? Good…

Where openSUSE Stands
openSUSE is a seriously awesome operating system for serious users. I’ve been using openSUSE for many years (I think 9.3 was my first version). openSUSE while mostly stable is a bleeding edge release. Also “openSUSE releases have a lifetime of 2 releases + 2 months overlap. With a release cycle of 8 months this makes it 18 months.” The stable, long term release is called Suse Linux Enterprise. Because it is bleeding edge sometimes configuring things can be difficult. This may require a user to actually think for themselves and, heaven forbid, do a Google search or two.
Should You Use openSUSE?
If you have ever taken your computer to Geek Squad, or used those “one-click” fix your PC programs you see on TV then openSUSE may be too difficult for you to start using Linux with. If you have partitioned a drive and installed Windows, or are comfortable editing the registry and fixing hardware and software issues yourself then go for openSUSE.

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Notes On This Article
In the past I’ve done several how-to’s but I’m not doing that with this version. As hardware is changing writing articles like how-to dual boot become more challenging (BIOS, UEFI, Secure Boot, GRUB, GRUB2, etc.). I just don’t have the time (or the hardware).
This article will be more of a “where to find info” thing.
This article is also specifically not for Linux newbies.
I use the KDE desktop exclusively.
Also, as much as I would like to be I am not a Linux expert. Like most ‘Nix users I learn by researching and doing.

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How I use openSUSE
I use 3 operating systems; Windows 7, Windows 8.1, and openSUSE 13.1. I spend the majority of my time in openSUSE. I use virtual machines to run things like Office 2010 when needed.

Fellow Geekos: I rarely use the Factory repos. Even more rare is my use of developmental kernels. I do tend to use things like KDE Upstream. I also often compile my kernels (because I can).

My setups are something like:
1 – Desktop: Triple-boot Win 7, Win 8, openSUSE 13.1
2 – Laptop: Triple-boot Win 7, Win 8, openSUSE 13.1
3 – Desktop: Dual-boot Win XP, openSUSE 13.1

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Issues I’ve Encountered
If anyone has a solution please let me know.
I cannot get VMWare Player + Bumblebee (Nvidia) + 3D to work (Linux host, Windows guest).
I cannot get Amarok 1.4 to display FLAC cover art. I know, Amarok 1.4 = old / unsupported.

 


Official openSUSE Links

First and most important tip is where to get help: The openSUSE Forums
This is THE place for any openSUSE user to find help and info. (I am NOT an active member there.)
There is a small but hardcore group of regulars that really know their stuff.

openSUSE Official Links:
Home
Download
Discover It
Portal:13.1
*openSUSE Documentation
*openSUSE: Documentation List of Manuals
****Beginners Guide to openSUSE 13.1


On With The Tip, Tricks, And Tweaks…

 

Add Repos
See Additional package repositories.

Repos I use:

How to add repos: SDB:Add package repositories

Packman - http://packman.inode.at/suse/openSUSE_13.1/

zypper ar -f -n packman http://packman.inode.at/suse/openSUSE_13.1 packman

Mozilla - http://download.opensuse.org/repositories/mozilla/openSUSE_13.1/

zypper ar -f -n mozilla http://download.opensuse.org/repositories/mozilla/openSUSE_13.1 mozilla

Virtualbox and Virtualization http://download.opensuse.org/repositories/Virtualization:/openSUSE13.1/openSUSE_13.1/
zypper ar -f -n Virtualization http://download.opensuse.org/repositories/Virtualization:/openSUSE13.1/openSUSE_13.1 Virtualization 

Wine (disabled mostly) - http://download.opensuse.org/repositories/Emulators:/Wine/openSUSE_13.1/
zypper ar -f -n wine http://download.opensuse.org/repositories/Emulators:/Wine/openSUSE_13.1 wine

libdvd- http://opensuse-guide.org/repo/13.1/ libdvdcss/

zypper ar -f http://opensuse-guide.org/repo/13.1/ libdvdcss

Also: Official repos added at install (updates, oss, etc.)

Other optional repos I use:
home:ecsos – grub-customizer http://download.opensuse.org/repositories/home:/ecsos/openSUSE_13.1/
home:mik34020 – plasma-ihatethecashew http://download.opensuse.org/repositories/home:/mik34020/openSUSE_13.1/


SSD Setup:

- You need to use ext4 or brtfs as the filesytem.
- You need to add discard as an option in your fstab for all the partitions on the SSD.
i.e. / , /home , but only for ext4 or btrfs formatted partitions (not swap, or Windows, etc.).
To edit your fstab to enable discard (trim)
- How I do it (openSUSE 12.3/KDE): press the alt + f2 keys > type kdesu kwrite > navigate to and open /etc/fstab >
find the partitions mentioned above > add discard to that line.
- What mine looks like:

/dev/disk/by-id/XXXXXX/                 ext4      noatime,acl,user_xattr,discard
/dev/disk/by-id/XXXXXX/home      ext4      noatime,acl,user_xattr,discard

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Mounting Windows Drives

This is how I mount Windows drives.
First I mount them via YaST Partitioner. Go to YaST > System > Partitioner
Right-click on the partition you wish to mount and choose Edit.

os123_winpart_1

In the Mounting Options section, check the circle next to Mount partition.
Type in where you want to mount it. I like to mount my Windows partitions in a folder called Windows in my home folder.
I type /home/YOURUSERNAME/windows/NAMEFORYOURWINDOWSDRIVE 
Now click Finish and Finish to exit out of Partitioner. Your new folder should appear an be accessible on reboot.

os123_winpart_2

 

Next we are going to edit our FSTAB file. This is where openSUSE looks for info on what and how to mount drives/partitions.
Press the Alt + F2 keys and type kdesu kwrite /etc/fstab , enter your root password when prompted.
Edit your entry so that the end section looks like this:

/dev/disk/by-id/XXXYYY-part2 /home/tweakhound/windows/backups     ntfs-3g     defaults,locale=en_US.UTF-8 0 0
/dev/disk/by-id/XXXXXX-part1 /home/tweakhound/windows/docs              ntfs-3g     defaults,locale=en_US.UTF-8 0 0

Be sure to save fstab before closing.

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Install Video Drivers
AMD / ATI
Nvidia Easy Way, or Nvidia Hard Way

*Important
If you have a laptop that uses NVIDIA Optimus technology you should investigate a project called Bumblebee.
I’m using it with success but the installation and setup isn’t for the faint of heart.
You must pay exacting attention to the info provided in the links below and read through everything before continuing:
1 – Main openSUSE Page: http://en.opensuse.org/SDB:NVIDIA_Bumblebee
2 – THE Guide: openSUSE 13.1: install ‘bumblebee’ and disable discrete graphics adapter on NVIDIA Optimus laptop
3 – Another good guide: Bumblebee – Run entire KDE session on NVIDIA
4 – Bumblebee home page: Bumblebee, a project aiming to support NVIDIA Optimus technology under Linux.

 


openSUSE 13.1 Multimedia
This guide will help you install everything you need to play any multimedia file: openSUSE 13.1 Multi-media and Restricted Format Installation Guide
Of course I use the section for KDE.
In addition to the packages recommended I add:
w32codec-all
xine-ui


Windows Networking (SAMBA)

Fast and simple method.

Go to YaST > Networking Services > Samba Server

Start-Up Tab:
Service Start = During Boot
Firewall Settings= check Open Port in Firewall
os131samba1
Shares Tab: Sharing by Users section
check Allow Users to Share Their Directories
check Allow Guest Access

os131samba2
Indentity Tab:
Fill in Workgroup name
Fill in NetBIOS name

Click OK and Reboot.

os131samba3

Advanced settings see S.A.C.T. – Samba Automated Configuration Tool – Version 1.20


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Disable Akonadi and Nepomuk
Akonadi and Nepomuk are kinda like Windows search / indexing. I really don’t have any use for it. They use a considerable amount of resources even if you don’t use it.
To disable Akonadi / Nepomuk:
1 – Configure Desktop > Desktop Search > Basic Settings > uncheck Enable Nepomuk Semantic Desktop
2 – Configure Desktop > Startup and Shutdown > Service Manager > uncheck Nepomuk Search Module
3 – Logout or Reboot

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Install Amarok 1.4
Hate Amarok 2? Me too! For most folks the alternative can be a program called Clementine. I still prefer Amarok 1.4
- First make sure Amarok 2 is uninstalled.
- Then add  kde3-amarok via YaST (it is in repo http://download.opensuse.org/distribution/13.1/repo/oss/)

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How To Install RPM’s Without Apper (Kpackagekit)

If you are like me and have uninstalled / not installed default packages you will find Apper will often try to install / reinstall this stuff.
I should note that I disable Apper autostart though this isn’t recommended practice for new users (Personal Settings > Startup and Shutdown > Service Manager > uncheck Apper Monitor).

To get around using Apper I do this:
1- I always download my rpm’s to my Downloads folder.
2 – Add the folder to YaST. Go to YaST > Software Repositories. Click Add.
3 – Choose Local Directory and click Next
a1

Browse to the folder you want to add, then name it, click Next.
a2

Once added, select your new repo, at the lower-right of the screen click on Refresh and choose either

Refresh Selected or Refresh All Enabled.

a3

Your new repo is ready to go.

Click View > Repositories to add the Repositories tab.
Under that tab click on the name of your new repo to view it.
a4

 

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Virtualization

Install VMware player: Installing VMWARE Player in openSUSE 12.1 (works for 13.1 also)

Install VirtualBox: Install VirtualBox 4.3 on OpenSUSE 13.1 – Unixmen

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Random openSUSE & KDE4 Tips

Run Command
Press the Alt + F2 keys

 

CCleaner For Linux
There is a CCleaner like program for Linux called Bleachbit. Install it initially via YaST. Then upgrading from the official rpm is easy.
Also KDE has a built-in cleaner called Sweeper (Start > Utilities > Security > Sweeper).

 

Install RealCrypt (TrueCrypt): RealCrypt is now available in the Packman repo.

 

Make mouse select double-click (like Windows).
Go to Personal Settings > Input Devices > Mouse > Double-clcik to open files and folders > click Apply.

 

Remove That Stupid Desktop Nugget Thingy
In the upper-right there is a icon / nugget /tab. It used to be shaped like a cashew. Thus we get I Hate The Cashew (ihatethecashew).
Add repo:
home:mik34020 – plasma-ihatethecashew http://download.opensuse.org/repositories/home:/mik34020/openSUSE_13.1/
Install ihatethecashew, right-click on Desktop, choose add Widgets, double-click I HATE The Cashew, done!

 

Manage Services
Windows users use Services.msc to manage services. In openSUSE 13.1 / KDE4 services are managed in 2 locations.

For KDE4 (users):
Go to Personal Settings > Startup and Shutdown > Service Manager

For System:
YaST > System > System Services (Runlevel)

 

Get Sysinfo Back
Add repo: http://download.opensuse.org/repositories/KDE:/Extra/openSUSE_13.1/
Install: kio-sysinfo
In Konqueror (NOT Dolphin), go to address sysinfo: (or sysinfo://)

 

24 Hour Clock
Go to Personal Settings > Local > Date & Time > Time format: > use HH:MM:SS > logout or reboot.

 

Compile Kernel
Compiling the Linux Kernel, the SUSE way
&
S.A.K.C. – SUSE Automated Kernel Compiler

 

EasyTag Won’t Start

I ran into a problem where EasyTag would not launch.
Soultion: https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/easytag/+bug/1160729

 

Network Sometimes Doesn’t Start
On my desktop openSUSE boots so fast it seems to outrun the network connection.
2 solutions:
1 – Use Network Manager (what I use)
2 – Use static IP

 

Set CPU Scaling
C.F.U – CPU Frequency Utility

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My Karamba Theme

See: TweakHound’s Karamba Theme
For advanced users only!

 

-END-

 


Got a tip? Please comment!