OpenSUSE Education Li-f-e 13.1, 64bit edition

This is a followup to my earlier review of the 32bit edition.  I noticed the announcement of the 64-bit version on the lizards mailing list (which I do not closely follow):

So, naturally, I decided to take a look.

Download and boot

I followed the “download” link on that announcement.  I used “aria2c” on the metalink provided, then checked the SHA256 sum.  The download went smoothly.  I then “burned” the iso file to a USB, using “dd_rescue”.  I presume that I could have burned to a DVD, but I did not test that.  The format looks correct for a USB, though the announcement did not mention that possibility.

I then tested booting the USB on my laptop, which does not have UEFI support.  I later tried booting on my desktop with UEFI and with secure-boot enabled.  The booting went fine in both cases.  I notice that the 64bit version does create a hybrid partition, so that changes you make while running from the live system will be retained in persistent storage.  The 32bit version lacked support for persistent storage.

Installation and testing

I later installed on my laptop, where it replaced an earlier install of the 32bit version.  I have not attempted to install on my UEFI box.  The installation went smoothly, and was similar to other installs from live media.

After installing, I spent some time using the system.  Everything seemed to work quite smoothly.

Differences from 32bit

Here are the differences that I have noticed, compared to the 32bit version:

  1. The 64bit live system, when used from a USB, sets up a hybrid partition for persistent storage (not present on the 32bit version).
  2. The “mathrider” software was not installed.  On the 32bit version, it was installed but did not work.  It is better to not install, than to have it fail to work.
  3. The “google earth” software was not installed on the 64bit version, though it was present on the 32bit version.
  4. The packman multi-media repo was configured for the 64bit version (but not for the 32bit version).  I see this as an improvement.

I’ll note that the absence of a configured packman repo was one of the problems that I saw for the 32bit version.  My laptop, where I originally installed 32bit, and later replaced with 64bit, uses a broadcom WiFi card.  Both 32bit and 64bit come with the broadcom-wl drivers from the packman repo.  With the 64bit, I can be sure that the drivers will be properly updated when there is a kernel update.  I saw that as a potential problem in the 32bit version, where the packman repos were not configured.

Overall summary

This is a pretty good collection of software.  It might be a good place to start, for somebody wanting to try opensuse for the first time.  In particular, the multimedia support is there at install time, and not something that has to be added later.  This will make for an easy transition into opensuse.




About Neil Rickert

Retired mathematician and computer scientist who dabbles in cognitive science.

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  1. Software updates | Thoughts on computing - 2014/03/07

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