Upgrade to SuSE 9.2

Because it actually costs money to get the latest version of SuSE I'd decided I wouldn't bother updating it, just download updated versions of things I was interested in. I'd already manually upgraded to KDE 3.3 and found updated versions of some of my more commonly used software (like Firefox) so I was quite happy for a machine I didn't really use that much. Then I bought a Linux magazine with a SuSE 9.2 Professional DVD on the cover and I figured, what the hey?

I booted off the DVD, it went through the usual Linux install environment detection and then started up YaST. YaST duly detected my existing installation of SuSE and asked if I wanted to update it or overwrite, I selected update and off we went. The process took over an hour, though it might have been a bit quicker if I'd been paying more attention because it stopped a few times to tell me it failed to install a package - which required me to click an OK/Cancel requester. I'm not sure this is such a good idea - what sort of state would my system have been in if I'd given up halfway through the install? Why not just carry on regardless and tell me about the failures at the end?

Anyway, it got to the end and then told me about a few package conflicts it couldn't resolve, mostly due to me installing some non-SuSE packages I think, I uninstalled a few things and then did the automatic update, then rebooted. The new framebuffer loader is a bit prettier than the previous one, also a bit more professional looking IMHO (as befits a 'Professional' product). Got to the login screen, which still claimed to be SuSE 9.1, and logged in for the first time to KDE. Everything seemed to be hunky-dory except various important things had been downgraded as part of the install (Firefox, Thunderbird, Gaim). I eventually located some up to date Mozilla packages for 9.2, and then found some RPMs for the other important stuff and everything was hunky dory.

SuSE seem to have sorted out the kernel updates (in 9.1 I was having to manually update my Grub menu.lst every time I got a new kernel through YOU), now Grub is configured to boot vmlinuz and that is a symlink to the most recently installed kernel. They also have a nice feature called Patch RPMs - RPMs which have in them only the updated files - which makes downloading updates far quicker than, say, Fedora. Overall I quite liked it, it was a bit more hassle than I remember my last Fedora upgrade being (and definitely more hassle than Ubuntu), but I suppose I'm not upgrading to the latest version in this case.