Since openSuSE released the final version of 10.3 last Thursday (no beta-OS for me...), I resolved to try it on at least one computer, a fairly new Samsung R55 Cavan laptop nicknamed Tisiphone with a dual-core Centrino processor, Intel WLAN and a Nvidia graphics chip.
Although the openSuSE people kept us waiting for most of Thursday, their server capacities were quite impressive: the 4 GB ISO image downloaded in less than half an hour on both Thursday evening and Friday morning.
My first attempt was just to update the installed 10.2 release. Do not try this at home! Seriously. The DVD YaST diagnosed package conflicts for about all of KDE3 and apparently resolved them by deleting KDE - and I didn't even fiddle with the KDE4 beta packages. I ended up with the good old console - but at least they have included fancy syntax highlighting in the standard vi. This seems to be a general problem - taaris had the same issues with Pandora.
Next try: clean install from scratch. The DVD partitioning setup seems to have a small bug: trying to mount my previous home partition without formatting, the partitioning summary first insisted on formatting it anyway, at the second attempt the system refused to mount an "unknown" file system. Re-reading the partitioning table (Expert settings) helped a lot there.
The choice of online repositories offered next would be extremely helpful if you had access to the non-standard reps like Packman or Nvidia. This might get handy when the packages on the ISO image get old, though.
The actual install was no different from the 10.2 procedure. The network setup worked fine, including WLAN and DHCP. No problems with importing previous user settings either.
Look & feel, first impressions: They changed the system colour from blue back to green. They seem to have reduced the booting time - I'd like to time it against a Vista boot one of these days ;-) Impressive YaST makeover, I'm going to tackle that in a separate post. No big software changes, and hopefully no beta releases of essential packages - I still remember the trouble with getting an ATI graphics card to run on SuSE 10.2 with an Xorg RC. Next challenge: 10.3 on Xanthippe, the bitch - self-assembled machine, 64-bit processor and ATI graphics drivers...