Linked by Eugenia Loli on Mon 31st Mar 2003 03:17 UTC
SuSE, openSUSE What a big month this was with many Linux releases (and not just Linux ones). The third most popular Linux distribution (along with Debian), after Red Hat and Mandrake, is SuSE. While the company is more successful in Europe, with their 8.1 release a few months ago they were able to broaden their user base worldwide even more. The new version, 8.2, is coming out in about a week from now, but OSNews had early access to it so we were able to evaluate it. Read more for our experiences with SuSE Linux 8.2 and check out a few screenshots too.
Order by: Score:
Good to see them making Progress
by dwilson on Mon 31st Mar 2003 03:42 UTC

SuSE 8.1 was the first linux distro I used for an extended period of time. It wasn't good enough to make it my primary OS, but I used it whenever I could. I am glad to see them making progress as 8.1 had some real showstoppers.

Score
by Anonymous on Mon 31st Mar 2003 03:48 UTC

You say that Mandrake 9.1 stole the show, but you give SuSE 8.2 the same score as Mandrake 9.1 -- 7.66/10.

RE: Score
by Eugenia on Mon 31st Mar 2003 03:53 UTC

Yes, Mandrake was lagging behind in the previous round of releases, 6 months ago. With their new release made a nice come back and they showed that they are strong, by making the strongest release of the three companies. But that does NOT mean that they were able to surpass RH or SuSE still. They caught up and their presense became strong. But the overall experience, based on a number of categories in the scoring, decides for the final score.

SuSE has some nice stuff that Mdk doesn't. And Mdk has some other nice stuff, that SuSE doesn't.

Re: Score
by Anonymous on Mon 31st Mar 2003 03:59 UTC

Ah, yes, I see what you mean. Good points.

In any event, this is very nice review of SuSE 8.2. I especially like how you gave us both KDE and GNOME screenshots and how you insert comments into the screenshots, like pointing out how your monitor was detected in yast but not sax2. I think your reviews are getting better and better -- these latest ones seem very well-rounded and point out some of the positives along with some of the negatives, and you pick up on some interesting things, like the context menu for the trash can.

Good job, Eugenia!

I also look forward to your RH 9 review -- as I sit by waiting to download the isos tomorrow morning from my RHN account. ;)

RE: Score
by Eugenia on Mon 31st Mar 2003 04:00 UTC

Thank you Anon. ;)

Sorry, it's tainted by association.
by datako on Mon 31st Mar 2003 04:06 UTC

SUSE are associated with SCO.

SCO are trying to destroy the open/free source movement.

This may seem simplistic, but unless we make enough noise about it, others will be encouraged to follow the SCO path. Too many legal eagles will destroy what we are building.

Number 3 for a reason
by Sean on Mon 31st Mar 2003 04:08 UTC

There is a reason that Red Har is No. 1 and it isn't name recognition. They make a great distro that is more polished than Mandrake's. There is also a reason that SuSE is No. 3. Their distro costs $40 for the personal and $80 for the professional. What's worse is that, in the fast paced world of Linux where there are easily 2 new versions each year, you don't get updates. For a year of SuSE, I would pay $80 for the personal edition or $130 for the professional edition. Since Windows tends to be updated (at least in paid form) every 2 or 3 years and the full version costs $200, I end up paying $66-100 per annum for the original copy and $33-50 for upgrades. At least if SuSE came out with upgrades for the personal edition it wouldn't be a total loss. Until, SuSE gets better pricing or offers a downloadable version (like Red Hat) they will always be second, if not third, fiddle. It is really a pitty too since they make a nice product.

next install
by tempest on Mon 31st Mar 2003 04:14 UTC


I have been lazy lately, about getting SuSE installed, and now that 8.2 is out, it finally gives me the insentive to do so. Being pretty much a linux n00b this looks like a good distro to start with.

and sean, SuSE does provide a downloadable version (though it is somewhere in the 7.3 version range.)

My first too.
by chicobaud on Mon 31st Mar 2003 04:16 UTC

SuSE has some nice stuff that Mdk doesn't. And Mdk has some other nice stuff, that SuSE doesn't.

Yes, I can't decide if I upgrade my SuSE 7.3 Professional + DVD included to SuSE 8.2 (installed software running just fine on KDE 2 and glibc ?.?) or if I buy the Mandrake 9.1 ProSuite (version 'CDs only' plus the Mandrake 9.1 DVD).

Anyone knows if Mandrake ProSuite (CDs + DVD version) includes StarOffice 6 ?
Hard choice.

SuSE Linux 8.2 (professionl)
by Jim on Mon 31st Mar 2003 04:20 UTC

I just though I would point out that the review is of the 5 disk professional ($80) version. The Mandrake 9.1 review was based on the free download version. SuSE scored 1 less on install and 1 more on features. The 7 disk Mandrake PowerPack is $70, the DVD version is $60.

i don't understand your pricing concerns sean
by Anonymous on Mon 31st Mar 2003 04:21 UTC

it wasn't too long ago when

redhat pro was $199

suse pro was $79


now redhat pro is $149

suse pro might be the same as it was before.

what's your point?

RE: SuSE Linux 8.2 (professionl)
by Eugenia on Mon 31st Mar 2003 04:30 UTC

>The Mandrake 9.1 review was based on the free download version.

Actually, I am afraid you misread. My review of Mandrake 9.1 was based on the Standard Edition (the ones that sells at around $40 ) and not on the free download edition.

I have been Waiting For Your Revew....
by Robert Follett on Mon 31st Mar 2003 04:33 UTC

I have been eagerly awaiting for your review. People love to bash you but I have come to respect your reviews as well as to value your insight. OK, that's enough "polishing your apple". ;)

I am a long time SuSE user, since 6.0 I think. I have faithfully purchased every distro since 6.4. However, I was VERY disappointed with SuSE 8.1. While it looks great, it had a TON more issues than 8.0! Nothing I could not over come, but I like to tear an OS appart, I break things a lot and I have multiple boxes (samba servers, DNS servers, etc). It takes a LOT of tweaking to get SuSE 8.1 running right and everytime I would break something or reinstall or whatever, I had to jump through all those hoops again. I would even have switched back to 8.0 but 8.1 has much better RAID support.

I really do love SuSE. I think it is by far the best commercial program there is. It's great for people with dial ups 'cause you don't need to download software, it's got over 2000 programs! They pay close attention to the desktop (not enough in some areas, but more than many). YaST makes life MUCH easier. Anyone that I have ever introduced to SuSE has loved it too. Plus I am super familiar with it.

With all of that said, if this is the best they can do then perhaps they should only put out a new release once a year. Now I may give in later, but for now I am thinking that until SuSE puts some "Must have" in a release I won't purchase it. Something like SAMBA support from YaST and maybe a foot massager too.

Further, I would like to see SuSE push for a stronger presence in the US. It would be nice to work with something other than Red Hat in the computer room. RH may be the defacto standard but it currently has no Admin Tools. Let's face it, the CLI is powerful but the GUI has it's place too. Especially with redundant Admin tasks.

Maybe these distros are getting mature enough that you won't see gound breaking differences between releases. Non-the-less, there is still room for improvement.

man!
by Brandon Auch on Mon 31st Mar 2003 04:41 UTC

man! u made me not want to try SuSE 8.2 anymore ;)

ur making it sound like its crap.

RE Tainted
by Iconoclast on Mon 31st Mar 2003 04:45 UTC

SUSE are associated with SCO.

I completely understand what you are saying, but personally I think it is wrong to fault SuSE for the imbicilic actions of SCO. They are two separate companies.

I'm sure that SuSE views SCO in the same way one would a rube and cretinous cousin-in-law that always farts near the potato salad at family reunions; with utter contempt.

Re: Number 3 for a reason
by Jim on Mon 31st Mar 2003 04:45 UTC

what's your point?

I don't know what the release rate is for most distros but if it is twice a year you are looking at an anual cost of $160 for SuSE pro.

Windows is traditionally released every 2 years. You can buy an OEM version of XP home for $100 and XP pro for $160.

An anual cost of $50 or $80 depending on home or pro.

Parts of this could be up for depate, but overall I believe it to be a valid point.

RE: man!
by Eugenia on Mon 31st Mar 2003 04:46 UTC

Get the Personal edition of SuSE. This way, you will be able to evaluate it for yourself with the minimum of the cost.
SuSE is all you expect from it, minus the problems I mentioned... ;-)
But that doesn't make SuSE a bad distro. The rest two big distros are on the same show on par, while the distros below the big 3, are all much worse in the user experience/features. So, if you want Linux, SuSE *is* a viable choice.

RE: man!
by Brandon Auch on Mon 31st Mar 2003 04:54 UTC

Eugenia, i've used SuSE since version 6.4. i've bought every version except 8.1. all professional. thats about 450-500 dollars i've given them! i love SuSE. my favorite distro. although since mdk's 9.1 release its starting to slowly win me over. but i'll see for my self when i buy the professional upgrade edition.

btw, i was hald way being sarcastic, half way not ;)

so i feel i've had a lot of experience with SuSE ;)

Sounds solid
by Jay on Mon 31st Mar 2003 05:15 UTC

Thanks for the review and screenshots, Eugenia! I'm waiting for my 8.2 Personal Edition to arrive. As a matter of fact, I really like these leaner, low cost editions of distros. It's an affordable way to support the companies, for onr thing. Also, and I have no facts and figures to back this up, they also may be somewhat more trouble free.

@"Sorry, it's tainted by association" - SuSE released a statement saying they were very disappointed by SCO's actions. SuSE has nothing to do with their trolling for money. You shouldn't make statements like that when you don't have any idea what you're talking aboute

SuSE was inittialy based on Slackware...
by zm3ssiah on Mon 31st Mar 2003 05:44 UTC

SuSE has become a big company and they bring out a cool distro, but they started from Slackware. I will not spent money on this one, and certain is that MDK 9.1 has won me over. I've used Slackware before, but this days it doesn't matter to much anymore which distro I use, aslong as I have all my favourite software on it. And MDK 9.1 dl edition provides everything I need. Plus I have a separate partition where I work on a linux distribution for the desktop, but not for the Bob Joe general user, just for experienced users, without fancy looking eye-candy config tools or stuff like that, just 2 things: Speed & Stability....
just my 2 cents...

re: RE Tainted
by datako on Mon 31st Mar 2003 06:06 UTC

I'm saying don't eat SUSE's potato salad because their rube and cretinous cousin-in-law SCO is farting in it ;)

Good review, Eugenia
by stopdabombing on Mon 31st Mar 2003 06:06 UTC

Your review was very thorough (unlike some "recent mini-reviews" from other people we've seen here...). I respect your opinion and your fairness.

Unfortunately, I don't understand your point system - given the number of unacceptable problems you describe with 8.2, I can't imagine why you gave it such a high score. Face it, if XP gave you as many problems, you'd give it a 3 out of 10. I think you unconciously are "nice" to linux because you got so much criticism from the zealots. Sorry, but from your review, I'm not going to try 8.2. I'll go for Mandrake 9.1, and I'll take a spin with RH 9., but SUSE is out of the running for me... crashing GNOME, please...

I think the really exciting release cycle in linuxland will be this time but next year - April 2004. Kernel 2.6 will be out, KDE will be cleaned up, GNOME will catch up, KOffice will finally catch up (a bit!) to OOo, we'll have a few more linux apps, and some of the bugs will be worked out. So, based on the poor showing of SUSE 8.2, I say we have to wait another year before more can take linux seriously ;)

RE:  Good review, Eugenia
by Eugenia on Mon 31st Mar 2003 06:14 UTC

> I respect your opinion and your fairness.

Thank you, I indeed tried hard to write a good review for this particular article. ;)

>crashing GNOME, please..

Only gnome-panel is crashing all the time. And when it crashing, it is automatically reloading itself, as Explorer or Finder does on Win and OSX.

> I'm not going to try 8.2

I suggest you give it a spin, buy the cheap version in addition on trying mdk and rh.

>Kernel 2.6 will be out,

kernel 2.6 is coming on July, so distros might release on September or October with a 2.6 kernel.

>and some of the bugs will be worked out.

and new ones will be created. This cycle never stops my friend.. ;)

>we have to wait another year before more can take linux seriously

According to Mike Harris of Red Hat, that time would be in 2 years *minimum*, as he said 2 days ago.. ;-)

Linux Marketshare Rankings...
by Chris Cheney on Mon 31st Mar 2003 06:25 UTC

How are you coming up with the rankings for the dists according to marketshare. Since all the distributions are free the best I can see that you could come up with is sales figures for Mandrake, RedHat, and SUSE. Those numbers would be very low compared to how many people/machines use those versions of linux, and then also Debian would of course not have a rank at all since it isn't generally sold. You can of course find some online retailers to burn you a copy of it. I agree that the four listed are the probably the most commonly used, I just don't see how anyone could possibly come up with even a close to accurate utilization ranking.

RE:  Linux Marketshare Rankings...
by Eugenia on Mon 31st Mar 2003 06:33 UTC

Red Hat is undoubtly the no1 linux distro, with the most users worldwide. Every time they have a release and we write anything about them, they get more comments, more page hits etc on sites.
Then, it is Mandrake, following behind RH.
Then, the unclear part is if it is Debian the No3, or SuSE. They are pretty close to each other, but pretty far from both Mdk and RH.
All you have to do is to follow sites, discussions, forums, our own statistics when we post stories about these distros, polls etc etc. It is just obvious having a bit of experience with all that...

Following these big 4 above, you will find Slackware, Gentoo and Lycoris. Then, following closely are Lindows and Xandros.

The rest of the distros, all of them, won't make more than 2-3% of the Linux market if you sum them up.

RE: RE: Linux Marketshare Rankings...
by bytes256 on Mon 31st Mar 2003 06:35 UTC

Where does FreeBSD fall into the rankings, just out of curiosity...i know it's below the big 3...and somewhere in the top 10...but i'd be intested to see where it lands.

One thing SuSE does right
by Anonymous on Mon 31st Mar 2003 06:37 UTC

is how it places its files and directories.

It is quite unfortunate that most Linux distros insist on lumping everything into /usr. This directory should only be used for Unix System Resources, not audio/video players, desktop environments, etc.

The fact that SuSE puts optional components in /opt automatically puts it higher in my book since this is the way Unix was designed to function.

It also makes it much simpler for partion purposes. You ought to take file system layout into account in your reviews, Eugenia.

RE:  Linux Marketshare Rankings...
by Eugenia on Mon 31st Mar 2003 06:40 UTC

FreeBSD I would think -- and that is only a guess though, as FreeBSD is NOT a Linux -- is near Debian and SuSE's userbase (at around 10% each of the Linux market) regarding the userbase numbers. Maybe even a bit bigger too, but definately not as big as mdk (which is far ahead of both Debian and SuSE, but also behind RH).
But that's just a guess here, freebsd is not a linux, so I don't have a solid point of reference.

RE:  One thing SuSE does right
by Eugenia on Mon 31st Mar 2003 06:43 UTC

>You ought to take file system layout into account in your reviews, Eugenia.

Only if it is *too* different and worths noting. There are a lot of things that we did not and we could not discuss on a review. Only the most important things...
The other day I had a guy IM'ing me and telling me that I need to say how the kernel itself performed, with numbers, and how it was exactly compiled. ;)
As you can see, you can never make everyone happy. But we can make the majority happy, and this is what I aim on a 2-3 page review.

SuSE 8.2 Review
by kjbetz on Mon 31st Mar 2003 06:46 UTC

Nice review...

Also to point it out... the person making the price comparisons, etc... SuSE does have a "Professional Upgrade" package for returning users... it is $50.

Also SuSE does have a free version out there, they have FTP install option which is free. I've been using 8.1 this way and have been enjoying it greatly.

Another SuSE 8.2 Review...
by kjbetz on Mon 31st Mar 2003 06:49 UTC

Here's another look at 8.2 for those of you interested:

http://www.madpenguin.org/article.php?sid=126&mode=thread&order=0

financials...
by pnut on Mon 31st Mar 2003 06:50 UTC

market share, smarket smare...
found this interesting:
http://www.redhat.com/mktg/q4fy2003/chart1.html

Profits went away this quarter (if I'm reading it correctly)... actually, the difference in profits is quite SMALL- less than a cent per share difference--
What matters more to me is that their R&D is up 14% over last quarter... and 30% on the year
That can't hurt linux...

re:financials
by pnut on Mon 31st Mar 2003 07:09 UTC

R&D up 5 million bucks for Red Hat over last year...
Just looked at Microsoft... R&D up 81 million for them....
little more than an order of magnitude difference (I expected closer to 3 orders of magnitude, so not too shabby)

re: financials
by GetOutofHere on Mon 31st Mar 2003 07:20 UTC

but how much of the R&D is spent on just the operating system, which btw is what redhat is spending on.

Comparison to Mandrake review
by Anonymous on Mon 31st Mar 2003 07:36 UTC

In my opinion because Eugenia found nothing revolutionary new in SuSE 8.2 she concentrated on finding and describing bugs to fill the article. Compared to her Mandrake review you must think that SuSE is plagued by bugs and Mandrake is flawless. Or she simply used SuSE a longer timer before writing the review than Mandrake?

> The two stage installation procedure hasn't changed significantly

So what about the network configuration and YOU update before first boot?

> Now, if I "Edit" the Red Hat partition and give it an empty " " mount point (in order to give the "/" to another partition that I want SuSE to get installed), would that render my Red Hat Linux 9 partition unbootable, or these mountpoints are only relevant for SuSE's installation/point of view?

I fail to see where other distributions differ here. Of course you define the mount points for the system you install.

> SuSE's default booting procedure is fully graphical, it doesn't take too long, and it is indeed beautiful.

Missing here that it hides the boot messages: http://www.madpenguin.org/images/reviews/suse82/splash.jpg

And i missed a part describing advertised OpenOffice.org changes (easier setup, better integration, quick start).

> However, the default installation of Gnome does not include all the needed libraries. [..] manually finding and checking glib and other libraries

I'm sure you're talking about the devel packages or how could you run Gnome with glib installed!? Btw, which distribution installs all development packages by default? With which did you try this too?

> The main new feature on Yast2 is now the ability to save networking locations

That was already part of SuSE 8.1. It's advertised as "improved", not as "new".

> Even Trash's contextual menu is full of irrelevant options while this was fixed ~2 months ago, supposedly.

Please learn about the stable and the development branches of KDE.

RE: Comparison to Mandrake review
by GetOutofHere on Mon 31st Mar 2003 07:44 UTC

Give her a break man. I think you should write your own little mini-review and I'm sure she be glad to post it.

@Eugenia
by Datschge on Mon 31st Mar 2003 08:03 UTC

> Red Hat is undoubtly the no1 linux distro, with the most users
> worldwide. Every time they have a release and we write
> anything about them, they get more comments, more page hits
> etc on sites.

And the world is populated by about 6 billion Englishmen who all prefer English as their language, and also the internet is only in English. Nice try. ;) In all fairness, the only country where Red Hat is something like a clear leader is the US, this alone doesn't justify "undoubtly the no1 linux distro, with the most users worldwide".

nyet, nyet.
by James Warkentin on Mon 31st Mar 2003 08:24 UTC

Looks like SuSE still haven't gotten their act together, but who really expected them to? I think Eugenia should save her efforts until the following have been fixed in Linux distros in general:

1) get rid of f***ing Xfree. Want performance? Want high performance? So do I, so let's toss that bloatware first of all.
2) modern driver model and installation method. Nobody should have to recompile software to use a new driver, EVER.
3) Modern package management system. I'm talking about an InstallShield clone, not some broken RPM crap. I don't want to manually edit a config file just so my f***ing glibc libraries don't clobber one another, and I sure as hell don't want to have any dependency problems.
4) Proper USB support. When I plug in my 5-button Intellimouse Explorer, it should work. No reboot, no fiddling, no wasting my time. Capisce?
Oh, and while Linus and the boys are at it, why not encourage them to fix the device namespace so it makes just a modicum of sense? If my removable USB drives keep changing their damned names so my shortcuts f*** up regularly, then something is seriously broken. If Windows has no problem with this same issue, then Linux shouldn't either.
5) drag and drop menus. I'd rather not edit a config file just because the gay default Start (or K, or Foot, or whatever floats your boat) menu is all cluttered. No thanks. Windows does this perfectly, at least until WinXP, and it's really not so much to ask for Linux to behave reasonably too.
6) Proper Control Panel clone, not a few loosely affiliated programs that, together, accomplish half of what they should. Editing config files, for the inattentive, is a THING OF THE PAST on 95% of the desktop machines extant. Makes sense to me.

I've got a million more gripes that haven't been solved in the distros of today, and I'm losing patience. WinXP makes my machine crawl almost like KDE on Red Hat 8. Where's the desktop alternative??!
OpenBeOS is a year away.
This is so depressing.

gde or knome?
by Anonymous on Mon 31st Mar 2003 08:54 UTC

So now we have the 3 major distros attempting to make kde & gnome look the same (presumably for a more integrated look) while the develpers, (kde & gnome), are making the two work together better.
Why do we need both?

@ Eugenia on "mountpoint/partition/install"
by Fil on Mon 31st Mar 2003 10:09 UTC

Hi Eugenia,

Could you tell us more precisely how you finally managed to choose "/" as mountpoint during install? Did you give another muontpoint to RH and/or how did it work in the end? Any problems or bootloader config changes were needed (to RH or your MBR bootloader) after installation of SuSE 8.2?
Many thanks, oh ... and quite critical review (read informative on both good and bad) as always! -:)

Quick question to Eugenia
by o_pet on Mon 31st Mar 2003 10:30 UTC

I find your reviews quite thorough and interesting reading.

However, a couple of times in your various SuSE reviews you have mentioned Konqueror crashes. I have used SuSE since 7.0 and I don't think I have experienced a Konqueror crash yet. There are some not so good things to say about Konqueror, but crashes with SuSE - no never.

So I'm curious, how and when do these crashes occur?

Olav

SuSE and Mandrake
by korben on Mon 31st Mar 2003 11:20 UTC

I've bought every release of SuSE for about two years now but seeing how slow they evolve between each version I decided to put all my bucks on Mandrake and become a Platinum Member. I really like MDK 9.1 and hope they survive these financially hard times. SuSE today is one step behind Mandrake, no doubt about it.

RE: nyet, nyet.
by Matthew Baulch on Mon 31st Mar 2003 12:18 UTC

James, you had some valid points amoung your words. Unfortunately, I doubt that many of us would have continued to read through your ideas. As soon as someone uses harsh words that require '*'s and use 'gay' as a pejorative, a great number of us will just roll our eyes and skip through to the next article.

Come on, this is OSNews; not comp.linux.advocacy (where Wintel flamers hang out). Let's keep a little objectivity.

@James Warkentin
by smoketoomuch on Mon 31st Mar 2003 12:42 UTC

nyet, nyet.
"1) get rid of f***ing Xfree. Want performance? Want high performance? So do I, so let's toss that bloatware first of all.
2) modern driver model and installation method. Nobody should have to recompile software to use a new driver, EVER.
3) Modern package management system. I'm talking about an InstallShield clone, not some broken RPM crap. I don't want to manually edit a config file just so my f***ing glibc libraries don't clobber one another, and I sure as hell don't want to have any dependency problems.
4) Proper USB support. When I plug in my 5-button Intellimouse Explorer, it should work. No reboot, no fiddling, no wasting my time. Capisce? blah blah blah...."

to continue...

5) I also want to get rid of the file permission system - I want proper viruses like real operating systems have, with apropriate virus scanners.
6) Throw away that crappy journalling file-system of linux! I want to install it on my fat32 partition. It would fragment like hell that way, so I would be able to use my favorite applications: defrag and scandisc.
7) I WANT THE BSOD BACK!! Comprende? Fools...

Well then!
by AntiEugenia on Mon 31st Mar 2003 13:02 UTC

Actually included some information for a change, that's a bit different. If you haven't clued in already though, Eugenia, I should be the first person to break it to you..going from 8.1 to 8.2 -is- an incremental release. If this suprised you, you probably need to cut down on the valium.

Of course hey, no distribution is great unless it bumps its version number up really high, right? Like Redhat bumping it to 9 to keep up with Mandrake, when the only big change they're making is changing the threading system in the kernel..which is more likely just a cheap pot-shot at other distributions, attempting to fragment things up a bit so that it's not so easy to compile for other platforms.

Uh, no
by Erwos on Mon 31st Mar 2003 13:28 UTC

"Like Redhat bumping it to 9 to keep up with Mandrake, when the only big change they're making is changing the threading system in the kernel..which is more likely just a cheap pot-shot at other distributions, attempting to fragment things up a bit so that it's not so easy to compile for other platforms."

1. Compilation is not changed at all for the new threading model. One of the major benefits was that it was totally compatible with the old thread implementation.
2. Only a few programs break on it, but that's when they do ugly things with threads that they should _not_ be doing, or make assumptions (which they should also _not_ be doing). WINE, for example, gets broken, but they're quickly moving to the new thread model and not whining about it... they've wanted this model for a while since it lets them better implement the Windows API.
3. The new threading model is much higher performance.

So, are you ignorant, or do you just hate RedHat?

-Erwos

OO and MS fonts
by smoketoomuch on Mon 31st Mar 2003 13:38 UTC

hmmmm... a minor correction (?). You wrote in the review: The nice thing about SuSE's implementation of OOo is that when the "SuSE Update" application fetched Microsoft's Web fonts, these became available immediately to OOo, even if OOo doesn't use Fontconfig normally." I just did urpmi msfonts and urpmi msfonts-style, and all the fonts show up in OpenOffice (Times New Roman, Tahoma, Verdana etc.) automatically in Mandrake. It was the same, I believe, in MDK 9.0 too.

SuSE Linux 8.2
by Roberto J Dohnert on Mon 31st Mar 2003 14:39 UTC

I like SuSE, I have used SuSE since 8.0 before I was on RH. The only problem I have with SuSE is that it gets my DVD-ROM and my CD Writer all mixed matched. It will mount my DVD-ROM under /dev/cdrecorder and my CD Writer as /dev/dvd, It doesnt really make thast big a difference I just change the Directories in /etc/fstab. But my main thin is that if I try to take the DVD-ROM off of SCSI emulation it will not play Audio CDs at all. But even with those faults I find SuSE to have more UPs than DOWNs. It is a rock solid distribution, I think YAST is perfect as a systemwide control center, to install RPMs I usually use the command line. Most of the time I use APT-GET, yes you read that correctly Im using APT-GET on SuSE Linux. Nice review, very fair but I think I might wait until the next kernel revision before I update, for right now KDE 3.0.5 works just fine and I havent been locked out of anything yet. Most source code for any application will compile and run on KDE 3.0.5.

Is the version of kde included 3.1 or 3.1.1 . Your review says it is 3.1.1, but suse's home page says it is 3.1 . Please clarify. As for kde, 3.1.1 is a great bugfix release which improves stability grately. Next thinng is that whether fileutils is included is not.

re: Datschge
by dwilson on Mon 31st Mar 2003 16:07 UTC

And the world is populated by about 6 billion Englishmen who all prefer English as their language, and also the internet is only in English. Nice try. ;) In all fairness, the only country where Red Hat is something like a clear leader is the US, this alone doesn't justify "undoubtly the no1 linux distro, with the most users worldwide".

Only a fool would argue that Redhat is the most used distro. And what do languages have to do with it? Redhat has multiple languages (as do all distros I've used). Redhat is one of the few large linux corporations that is making a profit right now, Redhat has thousands of business clients, Redhat puts the most money into linux of all the distro makers and still comes out ahead. I would think Redhat's sales numbers speak for themselves, but I guess not.

RE: replies
by Eugenia on Mon 31st Mar 2003 16:19 UTC

>Could you tell us more precisely how you finally managed to choose "/" as mountpoint during install? Did you give another muontpoint to RH and/or how did it work in the end?

Yes, I had to give Red Hat an empty mountpoint and then give SuSE's partition the /

>Any problems or bootloader config changes were needed (to RH or your MBR bootloader) after installation of SuSE 8.2?

Yes, I had to go to YaST, install LILO, move the current grub setup to lilo, tell lilo to install on the hda3 instead of the mbr, then reboot with a floppy to beos, and then install the boot manager I need. Then, all worked fine but it was an important inconvienience and a bug.

>However, a couple of times in your various SuSE reviews you have mentioned Konqueror crashes.

No, I can crash konqueror on ANY distro, not just SuSE. And on *different* setups, linuxes, or even machines. Konqueror just ain't stable for me.

> So I'm curious, how and when do these crashes occur?

Many different ways. Under SuSE the other day, it crashed when I selected a file on the icon view. As simple as that.

>Is the version of kde included 3.1 or 3.1.1 .

3.1.1.

To Iconoclast....
by root on Mon 31st Mar 2003 16:31 UTC

Nice one!

RE: nyet, nyet.
by zm3ssiah on Mon 31st Mar 2003 16:37 UTC

Man, you gotta be joking. Control Panel clone, InstallShield Clone, what more? How about WinXP clone and if possible running on top of a Linux Kernel. By the way, do you know what Linux is? Linux is a KERNEL for a UNIX like Operating System. That said, distributions are so to say, each of them a separate OS, because each of them is compiled diferently, the kernel is more or less altered and so is the software. Now WinNT and XP are built on one philosophy which looks like this: they also have a kernel, hardware compatibility layer, and then on top of that is the GUI and all the stuff. Drivers are modules, and with all the running versions of glibc and the precompiled kernels you have to compile from time to time a module. Big deal. And there is lets say in Mandrake a Control Panel alternative, wich is: Control Center. And if you are so demanting, take this into consideration: Linus and his guys to this job 4 FREE! You can't get everything for free. I always was pleased with various Linux distros, and when I wasn't I got to Slackware Linux. You might wanna try Slackware.. Its stable, but you'll have nightmares after using it. Man, just stick with what you can handle. And if you want something compatible and cool, then turn to FreeBSD, but be carefull, its hard to use. Compatible in the sence of working with its own software, no stupid glibc and stuff like that, That said, I'll sugest you stick with Windows, provided that you can do your job with it. Use wathever you can to get the job done, and basta. Using Linux and wanting it to be some Win alternative, but more like a clone is stupid. Clones don't help, they make things worst. Until then...bye bye..
Just my 2 cents...

Konqueror
by Adam Scheinberg on Mon 31st Mar 2003 16:39 UTC

I have been using MDK9.1 for a week now - I ripped a bad ogg file using KAudioCreator. Simply selecting the file would crash Konq and hang the process at 99.x% or the CPU until I completely restarted. Even Ctrl+Alt+F1 root login killing the process didn't work.

Once I found the problem, it was simply to fix. However, these kinds of things are what holds Linux back and pushes Windows forward - not how well does it work, but when there's a problem, how easy is it for an idiot to fix?

a couple things I want to say
by Break-It-To-Me on Mon 31st Mar 2003 17:25 UTC

1. Red Hat is considered to be #1 distro. Well, a quick look at http://distrowatch.com/stats.php?section=independence confirms this: 52 distro are based on Red Hat. It may not be the best, but it is certainly popular.

2. False claim: when there's a problem, how easy is it for an idiot to fix? NONSENSE! Idiots do NOT fix problems. They CREATE them. Fixing the problems requires people with intelligent processing power. Get over it! There is no such thing as idiot-proof.

noatun
by Robert Renling on Mon 31st Mar 2003 17:28 UTC

well Adam , it's fairly easy to crash the arts subsys and noatun by using oggs with ogg-id tags or ogg's with id3 tags.. it's reproducable even.

And Rhythmbox is Really easy to crash if you try to load more than 67gigs of ogg's .. no don't ask ;D
but the net-rhythmbox branch isn't as unstable so i'm content for the moment.

But really I'm getting this feeling things are stagnating.. it could just be me...

Problems w/reviews
by Anonymous on Mon 31st Mar 2003 17:39 UTC

Any article which claims to be a review is lacking in usefulness unless it includes benchmarks or how fast the system is.

It's not really that hard to run these, Eugenia. Just keep your partition sizes the same and use the distro's preferred filesystems. Really, your work would be much more useful if you'd do this. Something as simple as telling us a glxgears, some simple network/server tests, etc.

Why is it that no reviewer will say which system is the fastest? For me, this is the most important priority. How fast does it boot up? What services are enabled by default? How well do the graphics perform? What compiler, etc.

My priorities in seeking a distro are:
1) Speed
2) Security
3) Filesystem (are the configs, libraries, and apps in good places?)
4) GUI tools
5) Price


Stuff like the appearances are not very useful since they can so easily be changed. If you don't like a distro's fonts, just download David Chester's freetype. Bad icons? www.kdelook.org or art.gnome.org or themes.freshmeat.net

Too often Eugenia's reviews focus on such minor issues as the default icons or the KDE/GNOME themes. I run several distros and my user settings are all exactly the same on them. Linux UIs are much easier to equalize for users than their performance.

Another thing...
by Anonymous on Mon 31st Mar 2003 17:42 UTC

I believe that SuSE is ahead of Mandrake in popularity, actually.

RE: Problems w/reviews
by Eugenia on Mon 31st Mar 2003 17:46 UTC

Performance of SuSE is the same as of Red Hat's and Mandrake's. There is nothing really so much different on SuSE, to make us run benchmarks.

>Just keep your partition sizes the same and use the distro's preferred filesystems.

WRONG. Hard drives are faster in the beginning of their drive, so the distro that will be instralled there, it will have the fastest fs.

Additionally, my linux installations are scattered between 9 machines, so I can't compare apples and oranges.

If you want an OS that 'feels' fast, use BeOS. I can tell you right up front, that none of the Linux distros have better user responsiveness than BeOS.
If you want a fast server machine, use FreeBSD or Linux. If you want a good all arounder, use Windows XP or 2003 Server. In my mind, this stuff are clear and I think people already knows all that. Therefore, if SuSE is 1% faster than Red Hat on SOME things and 1% slower on others, doesn't make much of a difference IMHO to make me spend a week trying to benchmark something that doesn't make much of a difference.

If you want, run your own benchmarks and we will publish it for you.

Partitioning
by Anonymous on Mon 31st Mar 2003 17:52 UTC

" WRONG. Hard drives are faster in the beginning of their drive, so the distro that will be instralled there, it will have the fastest fs. "

I didn't say that. I meant that you should let the distro wipe out your partitions and allow it to choose for itself how much space and in what manner things will be partitioned.

And yes, there is a difference in the performance. I dislike quite a few things in Mandrake but IMO it's speed is second only to the source-based distros, followed by Debian, Red Hat and SuSE.

Konqueror
by Anonymous on Mon 31st Mar 2003 17:56 UTC

Also, Eugenia, your experiences with Konqueror are unlike anyone else's I have ever seen. I have access to hundreds of machines of differing capabilities and configurations and have not experienced the problems you are having with Konqueror on a variety of distros. I think you need to get some more reliable hardware.

Running tests
by Anonymous on Mon 31st Mar 2003 17:58 UTC

"to make me spend a week trying to benchmark something that doesn't make much of a difference. "

Is it that hard to run glxgears for a few seconds and report the results? Is it that hard to see how the webserver performs?

Answer: no it isn't. For someone who gets paid money to assess the performance of computers, it's something you should certainly do.

RE: Konqueror
by Eugenia on Mon 31st Mar 2003 18:00 UTC

All my hardware is fine, thank you very much.
Refer to our operating system review guideline article and its comments, where I explain that I ALWAYS find _real_ bugs easier than anyone else. It just happens to me. I use something and I find bugs that the whole QA wouldn't be able to find normally.
Eventually, these bugs are fixed after my input, but when new versions come out, I find new ones.

It is either a curse, or a gift. I don't know... Point is, that even my husband doesn't let me use his programs, as I also find bugs to his apps too.. ;)

RE: Running tests
by Eugenia on Mon 31st Mar 2003 18:02 UTC

> For someone who gets paid money to assess the performance of computers, it's something you should certainly do.

WHAT are you t alking about??

I am not paid money to do osnews!! I do it 100% for FREE. In my FREE time.

Are you new around here??

OSNews belongs to David Adams, and he is the sole owner of osnews and the only one who receives money from the advertising. All the rest of us here are VOLUNTEERS and we are NOT getting paid.

YOU
by Daan on Mon 31st Mar 2003 18:04 UTC

Has YOU gotten better now? I have SuSE 7.3, but when I run You, it starts downloading a list of packages to upgrade, but as it processes this gets slower and slower, after some time about two package descriptions per minute, and then it crashes because Linux runs out of memory :-(
Because of this it was impossible to install, for example, Kopete, as many newer programs need a newer libstdc++ and thus I switched to Debian. But for the rest I always found SuSE a really great distribution, and the review looks quite good too, though as I really liked SuSE I find it not so nice that this review is much more negative than the one of Mandrake, though the score tells Mandrake and SuSE are about as good.

Paid
by Anonymous on Mon 31st Mar 2003 18:07 UTC

Well, I didn't know that you weren't paid to do reviews. But weren't you paid before when you were the editor?

AAR, I still think you could at least run glxgears for a few seconds. It's not that hard.

RE: Paid
by Eugenia on Mon 31st Mar 2003 18:08 UTC

>But weren't you paid before when you were the editor?

NO, never! I was NEVER paid to do either benews or osnews or any other site I ever ran or participated.

Re: Paid
by Roberto J Dohnert on Mon 31st Mar 2003 18:56 UTC

After reading Eugenias Bio under Contact Us, it explains all this. Furthermore, I dont know what her status is now but if she still is not a US citizen it would be illegal for her to get paid because it is a job and she is not allowed to work. When and if she ever decides to become a citizen of the US then it would be okay if Mr. Adams decided to pay her.

Bugs and crashes and money
by Daan on Mon 31st Mar 2003 19:22 UTC

What I don't really get, is what it matters if Eugenia gets money for testing a distribution or not. Fact is that it does not cost a thing to view the site, and then it does not brother me if the author of an article earns money. Please do not respond to this, I do not care.

Onto the other thing: bugs and crashes. It is really easy to find bugs in complex software. I admit Kde has lots of bugs. If you extensively use split windows in Konqueror, you can expect crashes. If you switch to different interface plugins in Notaun, it can crash. But this is no real problem, as split views are not very handy because the views are so small then, and who switches between Notaun views daily?
It becomes a real problem when programs crash or do strange things at normal operation. Kopete crashes when starting with Balloon notification enabled. You have to edit the config file to fix it. Norton Antivirus crashed my WIn98 about half the times when booting. Win98 also crashes half of the time at runtime errors in Delphi programs running under the debugger. The Win2000 beta3 blocked the modem when you closed the Network Connections Explorer window while connecting. Linux does strange things when switching between vga16fb-consoles too fast. Aptitude does strange things when switching to/from debian unstable.
Now those things really matter, I think. For a Linux distribution, the main thing is if it works out-of-the-box, and if it is a bit user-friendly. SuSE 6.4 and 7.3 cannot configure my soundcard right. That's stupid. But wu-ftpd just *works* in SuSE, while it requires complex tricks to make it work in Debian. Those things matter. I find it annoying if things don't just *work*. I bet a user would care *more* if his sound and ftp-server work, than if a nice theme is installed.

Re: SuSE Linux
by Roberto J Dohnert on Mon 31st Mar 2003 20:39 UTC

Best distribution on the planet, Linus uses it, IBM distributes it, it can now run on Itanium. SuSE just rocks hard. It has setup tools other distributions only dream of. I cant wait to get 8.2

Fonts
by Mario on Mon 31st Mar 2003 22:59 UTC

You mentioned that the MS fonts were automatically placed in OO after installation. I think it is important to mention taht using mandrake and tehir fonts module, all the windows fonts fetched (after pressing get windows fonts) are also automatically included in every application with AA support, including OO. Using their tool you can also install separate fonts from cds, folders etc. which will also be included in all applications.

You should really check it out, it is very nice.

BTW: I too believe KDE has the worst context menus with very stupid options or options which can be combined or achieved in a more desireable way. On my Mandrake 9.11 install KDE gives me 20 options when I launch a context menu in the file manager and this does not include the many submenus. many of the options are completely irrelevant. And some can be greately simplified. Clicking emptry space asks me if I want to zip it in bzip2, tar, zzip etc. this should only come when i select something. In addition it should be combined into one item "zip" and when i click it it should give me a wwizard where I can define the way I want it, Windows and Mac greately surpass Linux in usability and sensibility, even GNOME is not up to par on this, but doing much better.

Forgot to mention
by Mario on Mon 31st Mar 2003 23:03 UTC

You keep mentioning that people should buy the cheaper edition and take SuSe for a spin. I think a much cheaper/better/faster way is to download the SuSE Live IS coming in about a month, it is exactly like a default suse install except slower and with fewer programs.

Re: Forgot to Mention
by Roberto J Dohnert on Tue 1st Apr 2003 00:58 UTC

Try the cheaper version because SuSE 8.2 Pro is $79.00 where as the Personal edition is $39.00, so in case you think that it stinks you havent wasted your money. But you wont think it stinks, once you go SuSE you will never go back.

Re: Running tests
by Jay on Tue 1st Apr 2003 05:43 UTC

" Is it that hard to run glxgears for a few seconds and report the results? Is it that hard to see how the webserver performs?"

Run them yourself, for God's sake!

If I had a dollar for every time someone said Eugenia gets paid for OS News, I'd have enough to buy that RISC OS PC waiting for me over in England :-)

Eugenia's "gift" to find bugs and crash programs is legendary. It's impossible to pin down, but being Greek surely must have something to do with it :-D

Although there are no big advances, I'm looking forward to receiving SuSE 8.2 and Red Hat 9. They both sound like solid implementations. Linux is getting pretty sophisticated in the external sense. KDE 3.1 is, to me, a big step forward. Red Hat's BlueCurve has put it in its own league. Then there are distros like Lycoris, with thier painstakingly done artwork and look. There's alot of stuff going on with Linux and it's all good.

Why buy, why Live ISO..?
by Anonymous on Tue 1st Apr 2003 06:48 UTC

Do an FTP installation. Then you can still go and buy it, if you like it.

I Will buy SuSE 8.2!
by Fabrice on Tue 1st Apr 2003 08:46 UTC

Hi all!
For 3 monthes I did a FTP Installation of SuSE 8.1. I tried to find in this distribution all I need (and all I already had under Win)... nnd found it. I use today 90% SuSE and 10% Win. Thank you to the Linux world and to SuSE for the good job.

I will buy SuSE 8.2 to support this work.

Fabrice, Berlin

Yes... FTP Install....
by kjbetz on Tue 1st Apr 2003 14:29 UTC

As I mentioned earlier... the FTP install is free and good... I think the only thing it doesn't include is some of the propriety software included in the the box versions.

I've been using a FTP install for about 2 months now as well and I love it. Great distro.

check it out, SuSE is free and good!

v Review
by gn2 & suse user on Tue 1st Apr 2003 19:38 UTC
Re: Number 3 for a reason
by Danny Backx on Tue 1st Apr 2003 22:10 UTC

What about YOU (YaST Online Update) ? According to the
8.2 web pages, it is part of the Personal version.

I've been using it for months. I think it does exactly
what you ask.

> At least if SuSE came out with upgrades for the personal
> edition it wouldn't be a total loss. Until, SuSE gets
> better pricing or offers a downloadable version (like
> Red Hat) they will always be second, if not third, fiddle. > It is really a pitty too since they make a nice product.

>Number 3 for a reason
by aherm on Wed 2nd Apr 2003 00:15 UTC

>Since Windows tends to be updated (at least in paid form) every 2 or 3 years and the full version costs $200, I end up paying $66-100 per annum for the original copy and $33-50 for upgrades.

http://www.koreanville.com/officesuites.html
Add another $699 for the office XP box and go figure!
With spying software attached.


I mean I got everything with SuSE box, all my favourite apps and sources included, no string attached. Well, at least the bugs is free. Cannot say that with XP.