What an extreme waste of time that was, trying to install the latest alpha of OpenSUSE 10.2. I first spent over an hour trying to figure out how the network install works, because I really don’t want to waste 6 CDs just for an alpha build of an OS. No matter what I tried, I received an HTTP 302 error. After a bit of googling, I found out what that meant (but why on earth is the installer incapable of finding out the redirect itself?) and tried with a working path instead. All went fine until it tried to install the actual kernel package, which didn’t pass their MD5 checksum. So I was forced to cancel the installation and try with CDs anyway.
The network install hinted that it only needed the first CD (it referenced to CD1, and nothing else), so I decided it was worth wasting at least one CD for this alpha. After all, I really want to try the new start menu in Gnome that I hope will eventually replace the worthless default Gnome main menu. So I burned CD1 on disc and tried again. All went fine until it said “Next: CD2, 10:03″ and counting.
It turns out OpenSUSE 10.2 Alpha4 needs to use five (5) CDs just for the default install! What an insane waste of time, effort and CDs! I decided it’s not worth it just to have a look at a new start menu.
Earth to OpenSUSE developers: Stop this Fedora-like multiple CDs insanity and pick the best tools for each task. At the very least, make just CD1 the required CD and the rest of them optional. Ubuntu has no problem presenting me with a fully functional OS with just one CD. Why should you have to struggle this much to install OpenSUSE? I’m sure many other Linux testers like myself find this situation offputting.