Posted by: duskfire | December 10, 2013

openSUSE hits a snag

I was going to install openSUSE 13.1 on my old Gateway and report on it, but the 32 bit version doesn’t seem to have any wireless networking wizard in the live version at all. I’m not sure why that is, but since most other recent distros have been able to let me get connected while running live, I just have to conclude that openSUSE dropped the ball this time. I’ve tried both KDE and GNOME editions and in each case, the “wireless” tab is greyed out in Network Manager when I attempt to add a new connection.

Not only that, but with the KDE edition, it seemed very sluggish in live mode – again, behavior which has never shown up in any distribution I’ve tried before. The laptop I’m using only has 2 GB of RAM but that can’t really be the issue – I’ve run KDE live before and it wasn’t noticeably slow.

From what I can tell, the WiFi problem doesn’t affect everyone – but since I’m not willing to try it on my main laptop, it does affect me. I’ve been told this is a bug left over from 12.3. Some folks have tried to give me helpful suggestions, but I’m not really willing to spend too much time fixing the issue. In the meantime, I have installed Fedora 20 (Beta). They will release it soon, and I thought I would check in to see how it looks these days. So far everything works well, and there seem to several neat new features introduced since version 18, which was the last one I reviewed. I’m running the default GNOME 3 edition this time around.

I am also considering the idea of just installing openSUSE from the main DVD. I haven’t made up my mind just yet.

My other project this weekend is going to be an attempt to install Linux Mint 16 in a dual boot setup alongside Windows 8 on the new laptop.



  1. Two comments – first, openSuSE had a lot of Network Manager / WiFi strangeness for a long time in the 11.x and 12.x releases, but I haven’t seen them in quite a while now. It used to seem to happen only on the Live media and the first boot after installation, and even then was sort of random, it would happen on one but not on another. I haven’t seen it in quite a long time now, though. However…

    Second, I haven’t installed the 32-bit version in a very long time now, so I guess it could be specific to that version.

    It might be interesting to know what kind of WiFi adapter that laptop has, and whether it has been recognized and the correct driver has been loaded for it (lspci -v). If Wireless Networking is grayed out in NM, that could mean that it simply doesn’t see any wireless adapter. It seems to me that Broadcom adapters are getting to be a major pain – I am having, or have recently had, problems with them in three different laptops.

    Anyway, Fedora is certainly a good alternative, and RC1.1 went up last night, so I’m going to give that a try too.

    Good luck.


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