Rediscovering KDE - part 3 - the Suse effect

Disaster struck my Kubuntu 11.10 installation last Thursday.  Having gotten thoroughly sick of the screen artifacts, frozen windows and poorly rendered window decorations from what looked like a bad video driver, I decided to address the problem.  I went into the "additional drivers" app to see what was up with the proprietary nVidia drivers.  It showed that the "[recommended]" driver was "activated and in use".  There were a few other options including a driver with "post release updates".  I'm not sure what that meant, but I decided to try it.  That was a mistake.

After "activating" the driver, I was prompted to reboot the system.  (What is this, Windows?)  With a frown, I complied and never saw the screen work again.

To make along story short, my xorg.conf file became "corrupt".  Restoring the original from backup didn't help.  Wiping it out and having the nVidia X configuration app write a new one was useless.  It's frustrating to have an application declare its own output as "corrupted".  I even tried rendering a no frills xorg.conf by hand - could not get the screen to light up.  It would boot to a point and then just hang forever.

I have no patience for xorg.conf video problems, this isn't 1999.  At this point I had lost an entire evening on this problem and I needed to have a working machine by morning.  My Linux machine is a tool for my work - configuring  X11 is a hobby abandoned years ago.  Yeah, there was probably a way to fix it, but as I said, I lost my patience.  As a temporary measure, I setup my Macbook Air with my dev environment and limped along with that for a day.

Disgusted with my Kubuntu troubles, I decided to give KDE one more chance and I loaded Suse 12.1 on my workstation.  There was immediate relief.  KDE runs (almost) flawlessly. The video runs flawlessly, no screen artifacts.  Even the dual screen, that barely worked at all under Kubuntu, is working smoothly and effortlessly.

So that's the end of line for Kubuntu/Ubuntu for me.  I'm returning to my Suse roots, at least until the next shiny thing crosses my path.