This is a HowTo to update from 11.0 to 11.1 - theoretically. Actually, I'm back to 11.0 again on Tisiphone and pretty pissed off - I really like compiz and a working wireless card. Additionally, I have plenty of other things to do right now, and maybe I didn't spend as much time on this issue as it deserved ;-)
Update: It got better after the third try.
If you do a virgin install it might be a good idea to remember what you had on the old system.
rpm -qa > allpackages.txt
Backup your system and home partitions as described here. DO IT! You will probably need it.
First try: System update from the installation DVD: compared to the 10.3 to 11.0 nightmare, only minor disasters.
The much-praised new partitioner: it's definitely different. Still, not completely unusable. The default config still formats your home partition, which is plain stupid and could have been changed for 11.1, but at least, there is a nice big "Import mount points" button. After that you only have to tell the system to format your root partition, which is hidden amazingly well (System view ->Hard disks -> /dev/sda -> choose partition -> "Edit" button).
In my 11.0 installation, I had installed plenty of stuff from community repositories, and I expected a pretty jumbled installation if I just updated from the DVD. Here the "Include addon products from separate media" checkbox ought to come in handy.
Somwhere the "Previously used repositories" dialog pops up: you get the option to change the repo URLs (replacing 11.1 with 11.0 worked for all repos on download.opensuse.org, download.nvidia.com, ftp.skynet.be (packman mirror), download.videolan.org) However, those repos apparently were not included in the update process (even though set to active) and cluttered up my repository selection afterwards. You can use the standard "Add repository" dialog and try to get community repos, but that got me only main-OSS. If you value certain repositories, set them by hand (this could definitely be improved).
Like in 11.0, the import option for your previous user settings is well hidden. Use the "Change..." button. Remember to untick the "setup this user as root" option if you value your root account.
I ended up with a mixed 11.0/11.1 system, which possibly could have been cured by some updates, but which I didn't trust on principle. Compiz didn't work, so I tried a virgin install (keep my old home dir, use default options for everything else).
Dude - where's my compiz?
Compiz still didn't work and produced (among others) the following errors:
compiz (core) Error: Couldn't load plugin 'dmx'
compiz (core) Fatal: no manageable screens found on display.
Apparently the excellent Ben Kevan has supplied a workaround; he also tackles the question of Emerald not working properly on 11.1. In short, he recommends the X11/XGL repo (though deprecated) and compiz-plugins-dmx.
Nvidia drivers were not pre-installed, although included on the DVD. Apparently there are still people out there who prefer Mesa - or is this a licence issue?
My wireless chip has been bitching around for ages, it took serious voodoo to get it to connect to our home WLAN. On 11.1 it got extremely wayward (scanned and found networks, but refused to connect), even after fiddling with every kind of configuration (/etc/wpa-supplicant/wpa-supplicant.conf, ~/kde/share/config/knetworkmanagerrc, console ifconfig). The YaST ifup config kept yelling for smpppd, although it was already installed. Interesting question: Why is /etc/sysconfig/network/ifconfig-wlan0 only accessible by root?
Actually, I can't blame this entirely on 11.1 - I got no connection after restoring 11.0, until I had booted Vista to check for basic chip functionality. $!&%§&!??? Even if there are sometimes problems with partitions or files locked by Windows, surely, this shouldn't affect root and home partitions.
The WLAN problem was the final straw, so I chucked the system for now. Summary: fishy.
Last annoying question: where has the right-click compression option in KDE4 Konqueror gone?
(OK, it's a plugin: see here, seems to work)
I don't want to imply that openSuSE 11.1 is completely unusable, but if two physicists with several years of SuSE experience can't figure out to get a working update within a day on a standard laptop, I wouldn't call it exactly user-friendly. In retrospect, the virgin install of 11.0 was less problematic.