SuSE Linux 10 is the best distribution for power users. Oddly though, it cant play DVDs — unless you tweak it a little. Desktop expert Jason Perlow shows you how.
Well, hell froze over: Novell took me seriously when I said they should open source SuSE Linux Professional. Color me impressed — even if they didn’t name the distribution “Geeko”. (I guess you can’t have everything.)
I also said in a previous column that if Novell opened SuSE Linux Professional, I’d go out on a limb and run the distribution personally, because its sibling, SuSE Linux is that good. Thus, I recently installed SuSE Linux 10 on my brand new HP nx9600, a fire-breathing, 3.6 GHz, 64-bit, dual-core, Pentium 4 laptop with a 17-inch LCD screen and a built-in DVD-recorder unit.
I must say I am dazzled with SuSE Linux 10’s performance and its plethora of features and bleeding-edge enhancements. The distribution is a power user’s delight. It’s that good. In fact, I think every advanced user looking for a state-of-the art Linux distribution should go to http://www.opensuse.org and download a copy right now, especially if you have a PC with a 64-bit chip, such as the Pentium 4 HT or the AMD Athlon FX/64. If SuSE Linux 10 were a car, it’d be a BMW 760i or a Mercedes S-Klasse S55 AMG.
Imagine my surprise, however, when I discovered that DVD playback capability was intentionally crippled in the open source version of SuSE Linux 10. Whoa! Or should I say, Scheiße!
Geben Sie Mir Meinen DVD Spieler, Dumbkopf!
Of course, you can play DVDs on Linux, and you most certainly can have it in SuSE Linux 10, but to do so, you have to jump through a few hoops, make a few modifications, and possibly break a few laws — kind of like yanking the catalytic converter and adding Euro-spec Bosch headlights and a high-performance intake and exhaust system to your high-performance German touring sedan.
Due to a variety of legal issues, SuSE Linux 10 cannot include working copies of a number of components needed for DBD playback. So, the first thing to do is remove the bad parts to make room for the new ones. Fire up a command prompt, type…
$ su root
… and then enter the root password. Once you’re root, run the following set of commands:
# rpm –e kdemultimedia3-video-xine-3.4.2-10
# rpm –e amarok-xine-1.3.1-7
# rpm –e xine-ui
# rpm –e xine-lib
# rpm –e kaffeine
These commands remove crippled versions of the libraries and applications needed to play DVDs.
YaST2: Der Überconsole
Now it’s time to put in the good parts. Assuming that you’re still logged in as root, type…
… to launch the YaST2 Control Center (YaST is purportedly an acronym for “Yet another Software Tool”), the SuSE “ überconsole” that allows you to configure virtually every aspect of your SuSE Linux system.