Saturday, March 23, 2013

Through the ages...

+openSUSE 12.3 is out now. Sooner rather than later users should upgrade. Getting ready to do so it took me some time to locate my burnable DVDs. And I guess DVDs as a technology is already obsolete, really? Why not go all USB/flash?

Times have changed. The habit of keeping the previous install DVD to be ready for a reinstall or lending it out easily or even a downgrade has led to a habit of keeping a minor collection of install DVDs. And even some CDs. Below is a walk down memory lane with old install disks. A walk I will probably not be able to take in the DVD-less future.

I believe my first distribution was a Red Hat. That disk has gone to the great incinerator.

Knoppix 3.6 live CD, August 2004.

SUSE Linux 9.2, kernel 2.6.8, October 2004.

I started using Linux as a means to salvage data from crashed Microsoft Windows installs. Not from ideology, not from wanting to geek out. From necessity and buggy competition. One day I created a partition and installed Linux on the drive in stead of just booting with a live CD. And one day I realized I'd started using the computer from the Linux system much more often than from the Windows system.

SUSE Linux 10.1, kernel 2.6.16, May 2006.

OpenSUSE 10.2, kernel 2.6.18, December 2006.

OpenSUSE 10.3 64 bit, kernel 2.6.22, October 2007.At the time running 64 bit required a few workarounds.


The next couple of upgrades I ran from DVDs that came with the LINUX Format magazine. I liked to sit back and read a reassuring article about what was about to happen to the system. Also, downloading 4 GB of data was not exactly commonplace a decade ago.

Apparently I couldn't wait for openSUSE 11 and installed a release candidate. As far as I remember it ran just fine.


OpenSUSE 11.0, kernel 2.6.25, July 2008.


One thing I have learned about the "Bible" series of Linux books is that they are not bibles. But the overwhelming weight of irrelevant information is strangely comforting.

From that point on I started downloading new releases using peer-to-peer and always sharing. I guess uploading hundreds of copies of install DVDs is now my main contribution to the community.

openSUSE 11.1, kernel 2.6.27, December 2008.

openSUSE 11.2, kernel 2.6.31, November 2009. As of writing this release is still supported.

openSUSE 11.3, kernel 2.6.34, July 2010. I had major problems with my dual screen and resigned to whining about it. Interestingly, this release is no longer supported.

openSUSE 11.4, kernel 2.6.37, March 2011.Perhaps feeling guilty over my 11.3 related whine I praised this release for being awesome as well as beautifully fixing exactly the issued I'd had.

I believe it was due to a bad review I hesitated installing 12.1.  Why risk anything when 11.4 was still awesome. Hesitation led to abstinence and suddenly 12.2 was out.

openSUSE 12.2, kernel 3.4, September 2012.

We're in the now, now. Except YaST has painlessly upgraded the system to kernel 3.4.33, KDE 4.8.5 and IcedTea Java which once again I've had to replace with Sun Java in order to actually use it.

Welcome to the very near future. The new release has been burnt to my very last writable DVD. Perhaps my last install DVD ever. Except if I actually go out and buy more disks for burning which I guess there really is no need for here in the future?

openSUSE 12.3, kernel 3.7, March 2013.