My acquaintance with it was even shorter than with Mandriva.
From the list of available packages my choice was OpenSuSE 11.3 LiveCD with GNOME environment.
Amazing, but, official OpenSuSE site seems to have a tool to create LiveUSB from disk image. Similar to Mandriva Seed. That's fine, except for some technical detail. Disk images of OpenSuSE are distributed in .iso format while the tool requires them to be in a .raw format. Little inconsistency which makes the useful tool useless. Finally I burned iso-image to CD.
First try is with modern Toshiba laptop. Insert CD in a tray. Reboot. Choose boot from CD.
- From the start OpenSuSE make me feel happy. At least it asked me much less questions than Mandriva. It does not want to know my location, timezone etc to run properly. That is fantastic, because CD image cannot save this information anyway.
But... Toshiba laptop was again too hard nut for this version of Linux. Neither LAN nor WiFi card was found. What is the point of Linux without network? Shut it down!
- Second, let's try Compaq. It is old enough, and I hope that relatively new version of Linux (released in July 2010) should cater all the drivers. Initial load from CD was not successful. Bad sign again? Or just wear&tear of CD-RW to blame? Anyway, that problem was easily solved, because I have Linux already installed on this laptop. So, dd command from Ubuntu made me bootable USB. Let's reboot once again, choose USB-boot option. Let's go!
I still remember Ubuntu asking me for the drivers to Broadcom 4311 WiFi card. How was Green Gecko doing with it? Almost the same. Even worse. Ubuntu asked me for the drivers, and gave a tip to make alternative network connection (via LAN). Green Gecko silently ignored the card. Of course, after some researches I found a way to see the card in the list. And even tried to install drivers to it, as Gecko recommended. But... It gave no result whatsoever! Broadcom has beaten Green Gecko this time.
Surely, there is a way to install driver. And this way is the same as in Ubuntu. But Gecko did not give me any clue for this!
Trying to activate my WiFi card I made almost impossible. I managed to kill Tux (even though this time he was looking like lizard). And this was not "pocket" version of Linux, like SLAX. I managed to break SLAX several times. This was full Linux version which can properly work on desktops. As a result of all operations with Network Manager, I got black screen with only Power button to help with it. After switching laptop on again, I found my USB "installation" of OpenSuSE dead. How could it be? That's because OpenSuSE 11.3 can "live" on USB drive with "persistence" option. That said, all changes are recorded onto the USB itself. I think the reason of this death is same as for SLAX: USB stick has FAT32 file system, and Tux in general is not good friend of it.
So...OpenSuSE seems not as friendly to me as user as I would like it to be. Definitely it can be more hellpful with problem solving. And for now... Bye-bye, Green Gecko!
All that I wrote above does not mean OpenSuSE is bad distributive! Not at all! It is just my personal opinion! Do you want to have your own? I can help you with getting your own Green Gecko! Try to order one on Buy Linux CDs page!