Lenovo Thinkpad R61 and Ubuntu Hardy …

I recently bought a brand new Lenovo Thinkpad R61 which was preloaded with Suse Linux Enterprise 10. Although I came from having used Ubuntu Linux for 2 years straight I found it pretty easy to go through the initial Suse Linux setup as one does upon first boot of a new machine.

However once all that was over with I was taken aback once Suse (SLED) loaded into my user. Here are some observations:

– I thought the default layout of Suse to be an attempt at replicating the MS Windows environment, which I thought to be pretty ridiculous since those choosing to go with Linux obviously care little or nothing about their former life with that OS from B. Gates.

– I right away went to see if I could enable Desktop Effects (Compiz) and navigated to the Control Center and then on to Desktop Effects. I tried to enable Desktop Effects and nothing … even after a re-login. But when I loaded the Ubuntu 8.04 LiveCD and attempted to enable Extra under Visual Effects, it worked perfectly without having to install anything additional.

– One of the first things I realized was how simple life had been with Add/Remove Applications and Synaptic Package Manager in Ubuntu Linux. Now with totally different terminology and various places to go, I was finding myself sorely confused with how I could install more software in Suse Linux. When I did find where the place to install additional applications was I was surprised by how few things there were to choose from compared to Ubuntu’s Synaptic.

– A real odd thing was that in Applications installed by default with the system there was a Nvidia settings configuration application and I don’t have an Nvidia chipset!? I have Intel through and through …
I also was expecting to see something from ThinkVantage … but alas there was nothing.

– Upon going to the Home folder there were only 2 useful folders, Desktop and Documents. There were two other folders, “bin” and “public_html” but I have no idea what they would be useful for!?
In Ubuntu Linux you get a folcer for Documents, Music, Video, Pictures and Desktop by default.

– One thing that I thought was pretty cool was a Quick Start Tour link on the Desktop. Double-Clicking this link will launch Firefox and a complete range of video tutorials on how to use Suse Linux on the Thinkpad. I thought this was very good and something that Ubuntu should do as well. However I thought that the tutorials stopped a step too soon by not including information on how to add and remove software in Suse.

– Suse Linux did have the Fingerprint Reader hardware installed and ready to be used out of the box, and for that they get a thumbs up!

All in all Suse Linux on the Thinkpad R61 will eventually get the job done for you … but I would chuck out Suse any day to replace it with Ubuntu Linux.

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