I must have been depressed. I don't know what struck me. Anyway, yesterday I replaced my nicely working SuSE 9.1 with OpenSUSE 10.

Well, I had reasons -- mainly thinking of better ACPI and Wi-Fi support. Plus utf8->koi8 recoding plugin didn't work that well in irssi. And also 2.6.4 kernel of SuSE 9.1. And I decided that it's about time to switch to en_US.UTF-8 (from ru_RU.KOI8-R). Here's what I encountered:

UTF-8 issues:

  • ZSH doesn't support it. That is, it doesn't crash, but non-ascii characters get garbled when you type them.
  • Mutt works well. Needed to add
    set charset=utf-8
    to .muttrc and then found how many mail headers are malformed. Everything readline-based (e.g. bash) works well.
  • Xterm works after adding
    XTerm*utf8: 1
    XTerm*font: -misc-fixed-medium-r-normal--20-200-75-75-c-100-iso10646-1
    to .Xdefaults.
  • Rxvt doesn't support unicode. There is rxvt-unicode (urxvt) project that supports UTF-8, and works quite well. To have syntax highlighting work in urxvt I had to set
    URxvt.termName: rxvt
    in .Xdefaults.
  • There are two decent raster unicode font packages, ucs-fonts and efont. Both are shipped with SuSE. Xterm hangs when started with efont (Update: Bug#132998), and there is no 12x24 font in ucs-fonts, so I use urxvt + efont-fixed-10x24.
  • Vim works out-of-the-box, but langmap doesn't work even after conversion from KOI8-R to UTF-8.
  • mova/Mueller dictionary -- still need to think how to hack it to make it work, have already faced the trouble when tried to set it up for (she uses Fedora Core 3)
  • Fido -- Golded goes off the rocket. Yet another reason to dump it.
  • a2ps (text to postscript converter) -- doesn't convert UTF-8 proprely texts. Moreover, it stopped converting KOI8-R texts either. The problem is probably with fonts.

SuSE 10 issues:

  • Misses half of the needed packages. No such trivial packages as licq or ncftp. Of course no Mplayer and no w32codecs-all (video playback codecs). No jpilot but plenty of KDE and GNOME tools to work with handhelds. Of course no urxvt-unicode.
  • As usually, package dependencies are crappy. You want xmms-plugins (7 MB), and it depends on Wine (50 MB). You want Gaim, and it depends on evolution-data-center, (15 MB).
  • Installs gcc 4.0.2 prerelease as the default compiler. I hope the kernel wasn't compiled with it.
  • XMMS won't play mp3 out of the box due to licensing issues. You need to install xmms-lib-mad and mad (mpeg audio decoder library).
  • Postfix: make sure to edit /etc/sysconfig and have tlsmgr started if you use tls transport in postfix.
  • Mozilla-Firefox from www.mozilla.org crashes under SuSE 10 whenever I want to download something. The shipped Mozilla-Firefox works better, but still crashes. Mozilla-Firefox in SuSE 9.1 almost never crashed for me.
  • ttmkfdir is not shipped, I had to install an ALT-Linux RPM.
  • IceWM has a new configuration files format. The current theme name is taken from .icewm/theme and as I use a custom theme I had to move it from ~/.icewm/Infadel2 to .icewm/themes/Infadel2/ to make it accessible from within .icewm/theme. What's worse, icepref and icemenu are not included into 10.0 and their packages from 9.3 don't work in 10.0 (wrong version of python-gtk). So, no icewm/icepref in 10.0.
  • Valgrind 3.0 is too slow and generates too much noise leaks which I failed to suppress. Downgraded to 2.4.1.

Overall, I think SuSE is not getting better as fast as other distributions. SuSEConfig is still run every time I install a package, hardware detection is still started whenever I simply want to change an option in my network setup. Still no such thing as apt-get or yum or emerge for updates.

Update: talked with Lenz Grimmer about my troubles, and regarding missing packages it turned out that I was using an evaluation DVD burnt from the publically available ISO images. The most prudent thing to do after installing from it would be to mirror the full repository from somewhere or supply YaST with a reference to a mirror.