openSUSE, like any other operating system – whether it be Windows, Mac OS X or Ubuntu, needs some work after fresh install. There are some tweaks needed to make it work for you. Most of these are optional, depending on what your needs or preferences are.
Here are a few things that I do after installing openSUSE 13.1.
#1 Fine tune YaST software installation
One thing that irritated me while installing or removing any app in openSUSE using the Yast software manager is that it closes after you perform an action. At time may want to do something and you will have to re-open it every time. The great thing about openSUSE is that you can fine-tune and change every aspect of it to your liking.
Open Yast and go to /etc/sysconfig Editor > ‘System’ > Yast2 > PKGMGR_ACTION_AT_EXIT
Here the default setting would be ‘close’, change it to ‘summary’.
Click ok and you are done. Now after performing any task it won’t close on its own and will give the summary of the task completed.
#2 Make LibreOffice look great
The menu-bar of Libreoffice looks ugly under KDE (Qt/Gtk conflict). But there is an easy way to fix it.
- Remove libreoffice-kde4 packages
- Install gtk3-engine-oxygen & gtk3-theme-engine
Now, go to desktop settings > application appearance > Gtk configuration
Select oxygen-gtk in both GTK2 and 3 themes. Now, you Gtk apps will look beautiful and KDEfied.
#3 Enable extra repositories
openSUSE has thousands of applications and packages, but by default all these repositories are not enabled due to patent or licensing reasons. Packman is one such repo which will give you access to packages and applications like VLC.
Open YaST and go to software repositories. Then click on ‘Add’ button and select ‘Community Repositories’. You will be presented with a list of available repositories and you can select ‘pacman’. Click on OK and It will refresh the repositories. Now you can easily install applications like VLC and others.
#4 Get more applications through OBS, openSUSE’s PPA
New openSUSE users may not be aware that openSUSE has something called Open Build Service aka OBS which works like – but it’s much more than – Ubuntu’s popular PPA. OBS is used by the larger GNU/Linux community to build packages for other distros as well. Yet again openSUSE’s goal remains to ‘collaborate’ with others and to create tools to help others as well instead of ‘for Ubuntu’ kind of approach. These things simply makes openSUSE more respectable when compared with others.
OBS offers a very powerful online search where you can search for the package you need and then install with one click. This is yet another edge openSUSE has over Ubuntu which doesn’t have any easy way to search and install applications from PPAs. There is no need to open the terminal or copy-paste the repo URL as you have to do in Ubuntu. Everything is click next.
OBS offers a very powerful online search where you can search for the package you need, select the version of openSUSE you are running and then install with one click. You can search and install packages from software.opensuse.org
#5 Need ATI/Nvidia drivers?
If you are running openSUSE the chances are that you don’t need to install the non-free Nvidia drivers as the open source drivers work out of the box. But if you do want to use Nvidia drivers as there can be some tearing in videos, you can easily install them with one click. Visit [Install NVIDIA drivers in openSUSE] page and choose the appropriate driver.
If you have AMD/ATI cards then you can easily install drivers for these cards from this page [install ATI/AMD drivers], as usual it’s a 1-click affair.
Note – NVIDIA packages are not available yet and should be there within a week.
#6 Install media codecs
I never needed to install extra codecs once I installed Amarok and VLC*. But if you do need to install media codecs, you can easily do that with one click from this page [install media codecs in openSUSE 13.1].
* VLC not playing videos
VLC has separated codecs in openSUSE so even if you install VLC you won’t be able to play some videos. Install a package called vlc-codec from YaST Software Manager and then you will be able to play videos in VLC.
If you have any questions, check out the uber friendly openSUSE Google+ community.