Transitioning into LEAP
I’m transitioning into LEAP 42.2. What that means is that I’m moving from my computer system of the last two years or so, into a new one that I’ve installed on the same hard drive. They are very similar, designed by the same people, but LEAP is much more advanced, so I have to do this in stages.
It’s sort of like moving into a new home – physically speaking. You have more stuff than you can take over to the new place in one truckload, so you have to make several trips. Some of the more delicate things you take in the car, right?
I’d been meaning to make this move since the New Year, but I just didn’t seem to get enough time. When I saw that my current system, (openSUSE 13.2) was no longer being updated by the people behind these things, and because little things were irritating me about how it worked persuaded me to get on this transition, and I watched for a weekend from about Easter on, when I could take time for this.
At one point, some months ago, I got LEAP installed on my laptop which I don’t use all the time, just for things like taking Minutes at the Board meetings, and genealogy research. This was so I could see what its benefits would be and how much trouble it would be to get settled in the system. It certainly looked like a wise move.
Well, this last weekend I decided to ignore a potluck supper at church, and dedicate Saturday to some gardening, and mostly to making this transition. Of course, first thing to do is a complete backup of all my files – just in case something happened during the installation. I’ve done enough installations of open source or linux systems over the last 15 years or so, that it rarely happens to me any more, but you never know. One slip up and you can wipe out everything on a hard drive! Because my hard drive was big enough, I wanted to install LEAP beside my old system, but attach the /home partition to the new one so that I would have easy access to all the files I had already created, and that would make things very easy for me.
It took about an hour and a half to install from online all the new system files, so during that time I had a snooze in the recliner. (the morning’s gardening work in the wind had been exhausting). When I woke at 4:30 the installation was done and ready to login.
Oh-no. I was back in my old system, openSUSE! My setting for the boot-loader had been wrong. Hmm… I explored a bit, and could see what to do, but it meant doing the installation over again. But I needed to work on the history book that night. So I put it off until Sunday afternoon.
That’s when I tried again. This time I used a blank partition for the new /home, realizing that I’d have to move files into there, but selectively. I didn’t want to fill it with old archived files. This time the installation went as expected, and I spent some hours just fine-tuning things the way I like them to look and behave.
Lo, I discovered it was very easy to access all my old files in the openSUSE system, but – I have to give my password each time I want to do that. This is the easy part of the transition. Now, what about setting up all my 2 dozen emails again, so I can download, reply, etc.? That will take time. I’ve done that before, so I know.
There are some activities that I can do in LEAP right now, such as writing this RoseBouquet. But there are other tricky things.
Last night I was going to work on the history book, but when I tried to open the file in Scribus, the program in which I do the layout work, I found that this system did not have the same fonts installed by default, so it switched them all to some other font. Yikkes! Fixing that would be like starting the work all over again! I installed some of my old favourite fonts, but Scribus was not satisfied yet, so I had to go back into openSUSE for the rest of the evening until I can get that worked out.
This is why I’m comparing this to moving into a new home. It takes a while to arrange the furniture and getting your normal tasks done until all your favourite appliances, etc., are in place, and functioning well. It’s fun to change the decor colours and try out this and that new feature that the old house didn’t have.
Perhaps I’m just the odd one out who cannot settle into a new home in a few hours flat.
I can’t be the only one when it comes to computer systems, because I know that many others are fearful about switching up to a new system, even in Windows, where you have a lot less options than in an open source system. We used to joke there were 356 of them, but I think the number may be higher now.
In fact, on Saturday, while I was waiting for LEAP I installed Mint Linux on an old mini-tower computer. That one was quick and easy, and I was rather pleased, especially once I disabled the lock session if I turned my back for 10 minutes. But then on Sunday the computer seized up, and I remembered why I had quit using it. It needs a new hard drive.
When I first tried out a linux system it was one called Mandrake. I thought I had a candy store! (It came with 93 default programs). Less than a year later I was trying out openSUSE 7.3 and I thought I had a castle! (It came with over 1000 programs). I’ve tried out 14 types of Linux systems, but still come back to the openSUSE stream, which is now focused on LEAP. My new home!