I am currently testing OpenSuSE 10.2 again, after having eliminated Fedora Core 6 as an option to replace my Windows XP installation. Wireless support in OpenSuSE is excellent, although Gnome keeps asking for the stupid password every time I boot. As KDE is not afflicted by this condition, I have determinded that I will be using KDE as my desktop. Besides, I like the new menu structure of KDE. Very intuitive. Also, the transparency of the menubar seems to have been better implemented in KDE, so it just looks nicer. I have just one problem at this time: Samba
I installed and configured Samba with a few clicks of the mouse, which surprised me. I did have to change the security option from “security = user” to “security = share”. Otherwise, you have to waste your immensely valuable time with adding users and logging in every time, and using passwords. I use passwords enough already, thank you very much. Frankly, if anyone can gain access to my local area network to begin with, then read-access to my shared directories is the *last* thing I am going to worry about. But so far everything went according to plan, and I was able to read a text file I had shared on OpenSuSE, from Windows. Unfortunately, the next test failed …
Because next I tried it the other way round: share an AVI file on Windows and then play it over the network in Linux. I tried Totem, I tried Mplayer, I tried VLC. Totem crashed with Sig11 error. Mplayer and VLC started downloading the whole file (~700MB) to a cache directory, thus defeating the whole purpose of using Samba to begin with. Very odd. So I googled a little, and soon discovered that this is a known problem. There are a couple of possible solutions, but the methods they employ are an inconvenience to me (i.e. involve typing).
Nonetheless, I think I may go ahead with the installation in the near future. The most important test will be to find out if my Xbox is able to access the Samba shares just as easily. If that works as planned, then my main reason for favoring Windows over Linux in my home entertainment configuration will be no more.