Friday, April 28, 2006

Stupid Suse tricks

I've been running around with Suse 10.1 RC1 on my Gateway since it was released. It's quite nice, actually. Key features such as video, USB, and the SATA drive work, but sound and wireless don't. When RC2 was announced last week I was happy. Perhaps sound and wireless were fixed. Then I read the updates were posted only as deltas to be applied to the existing ISOs. OK. No problem. They have a tool (applydeltaiso) and directions for creating the new ISOs. I can follow directions. Oh, wait. I don't have the ISOs on my Linux system, they're on my Windows system. Ah. The directions say I can just access the CD/DVD device as the input to the tool in place of the original ISO. OK. Now I'm good to go. Except when I attempt to execute the directions using /dev/hda (my CD/DVD device) as the input to applydeltaiso, nothing works. Oh, there's lots of CD spinning and whirring, the disk drive lights up like there's lots of drive activity, but when I look in the working directory nothing's there. Even performing a complete search for the newly created ISO across the filesystem fails to find it (Now where did I drop that 680MB ISO? It's gotta be around here somewhere...)

So I do a quick Google search to see if there are other's out there with this problem, but I can't find anything. Life then intrudes and I put away trying to create new ISOs until I can Get Around Tuit. A week goes by and the merry folks at OpenSuse release RC3, again in delta ISOs only. This time I'm determined to succeed. I burn the ISOs on the Windows machine as five separate files onto a blank DVD. Then I hand carry the newly minted DVD and drop it into my Gateway's DVD player. Lo and behold, applydeltaiso works if I reference the raw ISO as a file on the DVD. Just to be thorough I try once more to use the RC1 CDs I'd burned, but applydeltaiso still fails. I tried with them unmounted (/dev/hda) and I tried with them mounted (/dev/hda and as /media/SU1010.001). The utility still fails.

Now you're asking, "Hey stupid, why didn't you use the equivalent Windows utility if you had them on Windows?" And I answer, "Because I wanted to create a single DVD from the five ISOs using makeSUSEdvd. And it only works under Linux. So I'll create my five new CD ISOs on my notebook with plenty of copious disk space." But here's the final painful bit of humor to this story. On the DVD creation directions page (which I haven't read before this very moment) is a warning, in big red type, that "makeSUSEdvd will not work currently with SUSE Linux 10.1 RC3. All other versions will work correctly." Ain't it wonderful?

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