Linked by Leo Spalteholz on Wed 9th Jun 2004 07:59 UTC
SuSE, openSUSE I'm sure everyone is sick of reading reviews of Suse 9.1 by now but perhaps this one is a little different. This is not an ordinary review in the sense that I don't provide lots of colourful screenshots, or ramble on endlessly about the included software versions and other trivial things. Written from the point of view of a Debian user trying to switch to an "easier" distribution, I concentrated on how Suse stacks up compared to some of the traditional Debian strengths.
Order by: Score:
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by Duffman on Wed 9th Jun 2004 08:11 UTC

Try mandrake 10 official

SUSE
by Anonymous on Wed 9th Jun 2004 08:18 UTC

I agree with you completely. You may want to check out Mepis @ www.mepis.org. It is debian based, but very easy to set up and use.

Arch Linux
by lol on Wed 9th Jun 2004 08:19 UTC

Try Arch Linux, much better than debian.

No your all wrong
by Anonymous on Wed 9th Jun 2004 08:21 UTC

Slackware. Its just so obvious. ;)

Try this RPM resource page!
by Felix on Wed 9th Jun 2004 08:21 UTC

The following site provides SuSE RPM packages for many great programs like Xine, MPlayer and so on:

http://packman.links2linux.org/

There you will find also the most important codecs for watching movies.

What the heck?
by Anonymous on Wed 9th Jun 2004 08:22 UTC

It is pretty funny to read an article that starts off how world + dog would be bored by the the gazillion of SuSE 9.1 reviews by now, but then the seasoned Debian user, who presumably read through all these SuSE-reviews as well is incapablbe of installing video support. If the author doesn't manage to do so, at least he could have picked any of these SuSE reviews for reference, since even the lousiest of them would have pointed him to the Packman packages. No need to search the web with his pre-knoqwledge. Doesn't sound too seasoned after all, imho.
From a two-page "review", I expect more than lamenting about how the appearence of an icon does or does not make sense + how the author is not able to get his video playback working for 1.5 pages, where he should have been able to.

Yast isn't the fastet beast on earth, then again, what are you people doing, really?! "Normal" people don't install/uninstall software on a daily basis. There are only so many applications you will need and then some -- so what's the point?! Btw, when complaining about speed, it's always nice to know the system specs.

Please stop posting empty submissions, they are even more annoying than another dozen SuSE reviews.

You are all right
by aargon on Wed 9th Jun 2004 08:23 UTC

You are all indeed right, you should try the blahblahix distro! It is even based on a distro that was based on another distro that might bave been based on debian.

Get real guys, if someone wants to know what other distro's there are that have no relevance to this article then they can real all your previous shameless plugs for the distro god blessed you with.

linux commercialism
by xmb on Wed 9th Jun 2004 08:25 UTC

i myself still cant really believe about how crappy all the suse stuff is

there are user guides of updating suse between releases, via yast and apt-rpm... cause u cant just add another source to either and upgrade with the knowledge that it will update the system and not fuck something up

yast feels from the root on fucked, made as a configuration / package manager without any real-useful-logic, rather suse needs (as any distro) such a manager, but they dont seem to care about it

packages are sloppy too, dunno if its still like that, but the apache packages required a couple of X libs, for some reason

the list of 'why' questions exceeds the list of rational answers =)
s/why/crap therefore =)

for me, suse is the biggest crap i've ever seen, the only thing its good for is installing linux and X without any tech knowledge or so

and suse has been and is commercial... so figure out

Leave Suse, go Mandrake!
by Laurent on Wed 9th Jun 2004 08:38 UTC

I totally agree with you! I'm running Debian on a PC and Mandrake on my Dell laptop. This is the second time i give a chance to Suse on my laptop (9.0 and now 9.1), and one conclusion : Suse sucks for the basic task you expect it to accomplish! My external PS2 mouse never worked well, the
XFree86 config file was always crappy when generated by Sax. DVD protected multimedia etc.
On the other hand Mandrake has always worked and detected every hardware flawlessly on my laptop and just works fine!
So for me, Mandrake is a far better choice for userfriendly-newbie linux use!!!

Windows shares ?
by Kevin on Wed 9th Jun 2004 08:49 UTC

I love it when people think that the ability to access a Windows partition is a sign of quality from a distro. Now, when are we going to read a review in which somebody says that right after installing Windows 2000/XP/2003, they accessed a linux or BSD partition without hassle ?

@Leave Suse, go Mandrake!
by Woollhara on Wed 9th Jun 2004 08:54 UTC

Funny I did the oposite ;)

Leave Linux, go Windows XP
by Tigor on Wed 9th Jun 2004 08:55 UTC

So you can play all your favourite Videos without installing obscure codec packs. And when you want th "open source experience" install Media Player Classic.

PS: Is there a way to skip all this "Linux reviews", maybe this will leave more room for interesting OS-news.

@ linux commercialism
by Woollhara on Wed 9th Jun 2004 08:57 UTC

"yast feels from the root on fucked, made as a configuration / package manager without any real-useful-logic, rather suse needs (as any distro) such a manager, but they dont seem to care about it"
You're kidding right? Or you don't know what you're talking about! YAST has still some quircks and is a bit on the slow side but it is the best configuration tool of any linux distro... and no Mandrake Control Center is not as good.

Bad vibes
by el chupacabra on Wed 9th Jun 2004 09:00 UTC

Debian and SuSE are really just different flavours of Linux. If you can do one thing with Debian, and cannot do the same thing with SuSE -- you're probably lack basic Linux/Unix knowledge. That's just fine, and there's nothing wrong with it. You use whatever distro you find comfortable. The only question is: why go public with your problems/lack of knowledge? Debian is really a fine distribution, but most people agree, that their users are very arogant, and not really educated. This article just adds to this negative perception.

For all those of you, that find it really entertaining telling whole world: "I can't do it!", please remember, that every OS/Distro is as good, as its user is.

@ Leave Linux, go Windows XP
by Woollhara on Wed 9th Jun 2004 09:01 UTC

"So you can play all your favourite Videos without installing obscure codec packs. And when you want th "open source experience" install Media Player Classic. "

I didn't know WinXP could play Quicktime, Real Player and encrypted DVD out of the box...


"PS: Is there a way to skip all this "Linux reviews", maybe this will leave more room for interesting OS-news."

You mean like discussing how late Longhorn is going to be ;)
Sorry I couln't resist.

RE: Leave Linux, go Windows XP
by Anonymous on Wed 9th Jun 2004 09:06 UTC

Tigor, you must be 12 and your daddy set up your XP system for you. You can't play many videos on XP by default.
There is no DVD support either and if you want to play Divx and alike, you will need the exact same obscure Codec packs for Windows as you would for Linux. Go ask your daddy about it.

Windoz Shares..
by xmb on Wed 9th Jun 2004 09:07 UTC

shares != partitions

in the meaning... setup a samba server and there you go

linux commercialism
by xmb on Wed 9th Jun 2004 09:10 UTC

woolhara, no i aint kidding =)

its manages configs and packages, cool, what i say is that the quality of how it does it (the user side and code quality) is just miserable

YADR (Yet Another Distro Review)
by Hyriand on Wed 9th Jun 2004 09:11 UTC

So how is this different from other reviews? All the ingredients are there:
1) installer
2) First boot, desktop slick or not
3) hardware trouble and fixing that
4) missing apps and/or codecs and fixing that (or not)
5) Post-install configuration
6) Distro-'war' in the comments

Yup, I'd say this is a pretty conventional review after all. Choice of distro is a personal thing anyway (one of the reasons there are so many..).

Also, I think it's quite useless to write a review after a couple of days of use. How a distro works after being installed for a long time is much more interesting, in my (not always) humble opinion, but those usually turn into stories longer than Lord of the Rings and contain the stuff you don't really care about.

Oh well.. Guess there's nothing that can be done about this. Or maybe there is, how about a rating system for articles?

about video codecs
by dukeinlondon on Wed 9th Jun 2004 09:13 UTC

It still beats me that Suse and Mandrake don't licence these codecs (along with the css) and distribute them separately as they do with the flash plugin or other realmedia player. There is nothing wrong with that as long as they don't keep users from getting them elsewhere.

At least that'd help those who are just starting to get these things set-up easily.

Debian users
by Seo Sanghyeon on Wed 9th Jun 2004 09:14 UTC

el chupacabra, please elaborate. In what ways Debian users are arrogant? I am a Debian user and I am very proud of it, but pride and arrogance isn't same.

We have something in common...
by Anonymous Penguin on Wed 9th Jun 2004 09:17 UTC

The author and I both have tried Debian and Suse.
But that is where the similarity ends, because if it is true that I am leaning more and more towards Debian, my view of SuSe is not (yet) quite as negative and, sorry, shallow.
He could have used apt4rpm + synaptic, which are ideal for a Debian user. Suse apt used to be a mockery of Debian apt, but these days I find them almost on a par (to be honest SuSE apt has some features which make it even better than its Debian counterpart) If he had set his sources.list correctly he could have found all he was looking for in no time.
The mouse issue: I have exactly the same mouse and it works fine, first attempt.
About starting Yast when you want to install/uninstall software: no need for that: put in your Panel the applet called: 'Preferences' and at the bottom of the choices you'll find one called:YaST2 modules. So just launch the one you need.
I could go on...
Having said all that, I have been disappointed by SuSe 9.1 when compared to 9.0, which was close to perfection (only minus: rather sluggish): 9.1 is even more sluggish and quite buggy, IMO.Also I find the out of the box look and feel inferior to 9.0. A silly example: what happened to the 'Quick Browser' item in the K menu? It took me about 5 seconds to add it, but I doubt that a new user knows how to do that.

Not really a review
by El Pseudonymo on Wed 9th Jun 2004 09:30 UTC

This "review" is really not very comprehensive. The fact that Suse, like most other distributions, does not ship full-featured multimedia/codec support is well known.

Leaving the legal impediments aside, you have to consider that development in this domain advances fast, the 3 month or so release cycle of Suse is too long to always offer recent versions of multimedia applications. So basically get your packages from third party source or (better yet) compile yourself.

Regarding the package management: Yes, yast is not fast. But apt-get neither is. But a bit of psychology must be mentioned here. In apt-get, you invoke your command on the shell and then do something else useful. So you perceive apt-get not as slow. Whereas with yast (or other graphical managers), you wait for the different dialogs and selections to appears, watching on status bars, etc...
So it is perceived slower because you wait on it.
For a list of installed packages: rpm -qa : This appears quite fast to me, don't know what the author wants.

Regarding the network configuration thing: His reasoning appears a bit flawed to me. For sure before setting the ip address of one device, you first have to know which devices you have in your system. Sure, you do not have to detect the devices, you can also read them up somewhere (you <=> your computer program). But think: What is a frequent reason for changing an ip address? It is because you inserted new network hardware. So detecting network hardware as a preliminary step make sense (Especially as detection takes about one second). If you really do not want detection, you can use ifconfig or set it up in the configuration files.

As for some commentaries which go like "My keyboard/mouse/... does not work with Suse -> do not use Suse."
This is a rather unhelpful way of giving advice, because one small sample (yours) does not say anything about the general state of affairs. To give good avice on this issue would be to collect a database of many users who contribute their experiences.

(Btw.: It took endless hours to configure keyboard and related stuff for a relative of mine in debian. With some configuration the umlauts worked on plain bash but not in X11, sometimes they worked in plain bash and in an X11 shell, but not in other X apps, sometimes they worked never, and so it went on and on and on...)

RE: Not really a review
by El Pseudonymo on Wed 9th Jun 2004 09:39 UTC

A quick addendum to my own post: Of course the biggest problem in the past with yast was that it wasn't free software. But that has changed, to my best knowledge yast is licensed under the GPL in Suse 9.1. Maybe somenone who has the distro can confirm that.

@xbm
by Woollhara on Wed 9th Jun 2004 09:46 UTC

"its manages configs and packages, cool, what i say is that the quality of how it does it (the user side and code quality) is just miserable"

Yep I had some weird behaviour when configuring my network card but overall I trust it more than I would trust the Mandrake Control Center although it's not an inconditional trust!. Maybe by open sourcing it a dev group will formed around YAST ready to tackle some of its shortcomings.

It seems that a lot of the configuration tools out there uses python, perl or some other combinations and they feel slugish.
I don't think it's because they are the best tools for the job but rather the developer of the day assigned to these tools prefered one language over the other.
So the well known "use the best tool for the job" becomes irrelevant.

To some extend I doubt in Redmond a developer will decide to use python or perl over C just because he/she feels like it!
(as much as I dislike MS you need some consistency and policy to move forward).

RE: Leave Linux, go Windows XP
by Tigor on Wed 9th Jun 2004 09:47 UTC

Well my daddy said, i can go to www.quicktime.com, www.real.com and even to www.divx.com, to download the needed player/codecs in a perfectly legal way. The legality is in my opinion questionable with this ripped codecs.

PS: i would really enjoy the "Next Generation Windows" and the exciting new features. but i fear after a few posts the usual Linux here, Linux there blabla will suffocate every discussion. But you can alway disabuse me ;)

Suse's quirks
by doggedblues on Wed 9th Jun 2004 09:48 UTC

I have inherited a Suse server and I am experiencing some of the same issues that this guy has.

http://packman.links2linux.org/

To everyone who is telling this guy to visit the pacman page, you will see that the number of packages available there is very limited compared to Debain's repositories or Mandrake's contrib and plf repositories.

Additionally, there is no easy way to install software from the command-line with the officially supplied tools. And running yast through the ncurses interface is not the same thing as apt or urpmi.

I have been given a Suse server to look after and while it has been reasonably stable, it is full of funny and not so funny quirks.

Instead of putting Apache's directory in /var/www where most distributions put it, Suse puts in /srv/www/htdocs. Ok, fair enough, I can adapt to that.

But sofware installation of stuff that is not on the CDs is a huge pain as are a few major things. By default, it makes all new users part of the same "users" group, which means that all users have read and write access to each other's directories. If you go to Yast and choose the paranoid setting for file permissions, this still does not change the default behavior and users can still read each other's files.

Can someone tell me how to fix this, other than me creating my own /etc/skel settings? Why don't they do it like Mandrake or Redhat or Debain,where each user is self-contained unless you otherwise tell it to share stuff with other users?

I want joe user to belong to the joe group by default and nothing else.

I need help from a Suse user who can provide a workaround for this issue. Thanks

Emacs
by Chris on Wed 9th Jun 2004 09:55 UTC

Your choice of kernel/distro. Graphical environment optional.

@ Tigor
by Anonymous on Wed 9th Jun 2004 10:04 UTC

"Well my daddy said, i can go to www.quicktime.com, www.real.com and even to www.divx.com, to download the needed player/codecs in a perfectly legal way. The legality is in my opinion questionable with this ripped codecs."

That's what your daddy said, fair enough. But as is with most juveniles, did you actually *listen* to your daddy and followed the links he supplied you with? No.

If you had done so, you would have found perfectly legal and (free) offerings for Linux as well. You need not install Real Player, it is preinstalled with SuSE. As for Quicktime, there are legal freeware players, I didn't care about much, but you will find them on tucows.com, for example. Divx.com holds version for all operating systems, free.

command line install
by andy on Wed 9th Jun 2004 10:05 UTC


Additionally, there is no easy way to install software from the command-line with the officially supplied tools. And running yast through the ncurses interface is not the same thing as apt or urpmi.


yast -i <package>

And yes, a simple "man yast" could have told you that.

RE command line install
by Anonymous on Wed 9th Jun 2004 10:14 UTC

not only yast, but simply:

rpm -i blabla.rpm
rpm -i *.rpm -- this will tell you about missing dependencies as well, if you have one/a bunch of RPMs and something is missing...

how is this different to any other rpm distro?

@andy
by doggedblues on Wed 9th Jun 2004 10:19 UTC

"yast -i <package>

And yes, a simple "man yast" could have told you that."

Thanks for the info. I am new to Suse. This still does not resolve the issue of adding additional non-suse repositories to my installation sources. I am not at work now, so I don't have Suse at hand to see if "man yast" also resolves that.

If so, where are these repositories, other than the useless packman stuff.

@anonymous...
by doggedblues on Wed 9th Jun 2004 10:23 UTC

"not only yast, but simply:

rpm -i blabla.rpm
rpm -i *.rpm -- this will tell you about missing dependencies as well, if you have one/a bunch of RPMs and something is missing...

how is this different to any other rpm distro?"

This is different from any rpm distro in that urpmi will resolve dependencies for you and download them from an online repository. I also have not seen a large repository of rpms such as Mandrake's contrib or plf which you can find at easyurpmi.org.

If there is, please enligthen me. I have been using Linux for years, you don't have to explain to me that rpm -i package will install it, but if you can give me more Suse specific info, I'll be thankful.

Notice that no one has answer my question about the default user permissions. And yes I can manually assign groups and so forth, but it's a pain in the ass when you are dealing with hundreds of users, particularly when you want a default /etc/skel setup that makes sense.

@doggedblues
by Anonymous Penguin on Wed 9th Jun 2004 10:26 UTC

"Installation of stuff that is not on the CDs is a huge pain"

http://linux01.gwdg.de/apt4rpm

What is wrong with you people?
by Elastojap on Wed 9th Jun 2004 10:34 UTC

Haven't any of you ever used Arch Linux? It bitch-slaps all the others into obscurity.

RPM and the distros based on it suck my fat balls. Debian is (officially) painfully slow at updating packages. Gentoo takes 10 years to install. Arch Linux even out-slacks Slackware.

If all you're gonna do is fight over whether RPM or Debian is better, then you might as well just install Windows and be done with it.

@ doggedblues
by Anonymous on Wed 9th Jun 2004 10:37 UTC

Oh, ok. Well I am pretty new to apt myself, but you can install it for SuSE as well, plus synaptic. This isn't an obscure procedure either, there are RPMs for it. Whilst I did do so, I didn't actually install loads of stuff with it subsequently, because apt + synaptic happened to be the last things I wanted on my system for now. Though, as I take it from a SuSE forum it works fine. You can edit the list of repositories to your liking, I simply copy/pasted mine from some user entriy in a thread, I don't know whether this specific one is "any good" by common standards, it holds like 10 (?) repository entries.

Re: Debian users
by Syntaxis on Wed 9th Jun 2004 10:48 UTC

There are so many Debian users that you could make any gross generalization you like about them and easily find a few examples to make your case. The same is true of all the major distributions.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faulty_generalization

@Elastojap
by Anonymous Penguin on Wed 9th Jun 2004 10:57 UTC

Do you like your Arch: enjoy it, and once and forever, you Arch users, STOP annoying users of other distros. You are MUCH worse than any Winbloze fanboy.

okay
by bitterman on Wed 9th Jun 2004 10:57 UTC

*warning this message may be interpreted as zealot plug*

If someone is unhappy with Debian doesn't Fedora seem like the next logical move? You got your apt-get, eye candy, new packages and multimedia repositorys (no deps to worry about) all of which he complained about. Sounds like a fit to me. Fedora doesn't put "experimental" or "unstable" packages in its distro, It's kinda like Debian testing but with security updates. I don't know, everyone plugged thier distro and what seemed obvious to me (because of the articles complaints) wasn't mentioned.

@Anonymous Penguin
by doggedblues on Wed 9th Jun 2004 10:58 UTC

Anonymous Penguin (IP: ---.ldst.cable.ntl.com)

Thanks for pointing me to apt-4-rpm. I was familiar with it from my days with Red Hat, a distribution that suffered the same ills, only solved in this sense by Fedora, but I wouldn't deploy Fedora on a serious server.

Still, you will notice that I mentioned in my first post that Suse did not have any "officially supported" tools to do what apt-4-rpm does. They need this badly and they need it quick, in my humble opinion.

Other than this and my issue with default user groups, I am not all that displeased with Suse 9.1

Reviews Ignoring Linux Market Differentiation
by enloop on Wed 9th Jun 2004 11:04 UTC

This review, like most others these days, reflects that fact that the Linux market is differentiating itself. Howver, the reviews do't reflect the fact that different Linux flavors are targeting different kinds of people. SUSE is after one kind of customer, Debian another. Reviewers need to address how well distributions meet the needs, abilities and interests of their intended users, rather than incorrectly assume that they (the reviewers) represent "The Typical Linux User".

One flavor doesn't appeal to everyone.

That said, if the reviewer had purchased SUSE, he might have found some of his answers in the several hundred pages of printed documention that comes in the box. Dunno if that's part of the FTP download.

He should also acknowledge that blinding speed in configuration utilities, like Yast, is not that important to folks who use it once during the initial setup and rarely after that. i.e., most office/home users. Some people like computers because they want to fiddle with them. Some people think fiddling with computers is no more entertaining than cleaning the refrigerator. For the latter, any configuration tool is only a necessary evil.

dogged
by bitterman on Wed 9th Jun 2004 11:07 UTC

Thanks for pointing me to apt-4-rpm. I was familiar with it from my days with Red Hat, a distribution that suffered the same ills, only solved in this sense by Fedora, but I wouldn't deploy Fedora on a serious server.


I wouldn't use fedora for a 'serious server' either, though I'm not sure why apt-4-rpm would be any better if its unsupported.

Apples and Oranges
by z1xq on Wed 9th Jun 2004 11:15 UTC

Both Suse and Debian are good distros. I have used both and I realize that they both have strengths and weaknesses. Suse is more challenged in the software selection and Debian is a bear to set up. Comparing these two distros is comparing apples to oranges as both have different target user bases. Suse is for the home or enterprise user who wants a painless install that is up and running quickly while Debian is for the geek.To compare these distos is irrelevant and surely a waste of space...and certainly my time.

RE: Leave Linux, go Windows XP
by flatman on Wed 9th Jun 2004 11:18 UTC

"Leave Linux, go Windows XP"
This person is an idiot who is abusing the forum. If you don't like Linux, idiot, then don't read about it. Notice that my comment will probably be moderated down while this blatent troll stands.

@bitterman
by doggedblues on Wed 9th Jun 2004 11:18 UTC

"I wouldn't use fedora for a 'serious server' either, though I'm not sure why apt-4-rpm would be any better if its unsupported."

That is precisely the point I was trying to make. I gues I wasn't sufficiently emphatic. In fact, this is the point that I am making all along. Suse doesn't have a good, OFFICIALLY SUPPORTED, software installer. Debian and Mandrake do.

Unfortunately, I cannot switch distributions right now as the server that I am tasked to support runs well, even though it makes simple things such as the above difficult for me, and the company had standardized on Suse prior to my recent arrival.

@doggedblues
by andy on Wed 9th Jun 2004 11:23 UTC

Thanks for the info. I am new to Suse.

Apologies for being a bit rude. But next time please use "I don't know a way" rather than "there is no way".

Btw, what's your objection to the ncurses interface? Yes, "yast -i" will be faster if you know what you require, but the menu system lets you browse what's available when you're not quite sure.


This still does not resolve the issue of adding additional non-suse repositories to my installation sources.

Haven't got a SuSE box to hand, so I'm not sure. But there's certainly a screen in the graphical and ncurses interfaces to set your installation source(s). I don't know of any non-SuSE repositories though.

There's 4 GB of stuff in the SuSE FTP repository (excluding sources). If you can't find what you look for in there, Packman offers additional packages specifically for SuSE, although unfortunately not in the form of a yast-repository. And of course there's always install-from-source ...

@doggedblues
by Anonymous Penguin on Wed 9th Jun 2004 11:24 UTC

I partially agree with you about the lack of officially supported tools to install software, but I believe that SuSe does this on purpose: this way they don't have to take responsability for what hits the apt servers.
But I have also good reasons to believe that apt has SuSe' unofficial blessing: there is a link to apt in Konqueror and this time it is quite remarkable that the component 'base' contains the same identical packages as the official CDs.

@ doggedblues
by Anonymous on Wed 9th Jun 2004 11:26 UTC

Now that you are saying that this is a server you are concerned about, I am really, really curious what uber-neccessary stuff you need that is not already on the suse CDs server-wise where suse is big-time into the server market whilst 99% of the other distros are not.

I know your pain, just in a different way.
by Tim in VA on Wed 9th Jun 2004 11:42 UTC

I went through dependency hell trying to give the Fedora Core releases a chance. I was coming from a solid and well-supported RedHat 9 experience. I've been doing admin work for fun and for pay since my first installation of Slackware 10 years ago. I know how to find my way around in a few distros, but mostly am interested in getting set up quickly with a minimum of hassle. It can be disappointing to struggle to build something equal to, or better than, what one had before. Fedora 2 in particular really had me steamed, and that's no way to be. I found a home with Redhat Enterprise Linux 3.0 and the "extra" rpms from FreshRPMS/DAG. Even my mplayer and xine installs are lovely. I like the idea that support will be around awhile, and I like the backported 2.6 kernel features (I'm in the minority here, I think.) The great thing is, there really is a distro for everyone - - it's really about what you need or want to do with your Linux boxes.

RE: Leave Linux, go Windows XP
by Anonymous on Wed 9th Jun 2004 11:43 UTC

This person is an idiot who is abusing the forum. If you don't like Linux, idiot, then don't read about it.

You're complaining about that? Have you ever read Windows or MS comments? 90% linux zealot trolling. This is nothing.

SuSE install tools
by andy on Wed 9th Jun 2004 11:45 UTC

I partially agree with you about the lack of officially supported tools to install software

What do you mean by that? Yast is a very good installer: it does all the dependency and download management you could ask for, it has decent interfaces both in X and on a text terminal, and it's under the GPL now.

Access to apt or urpmi repositories is no use if the packages in there aren't made for your distribution.

re: Article
by Bas on Wed 9th Jun 2004 11:49 UTC



I must have used almost every OS in the world, ok exept for
some rare ones, i did not instantly love Linux but i can not live without it these days. Suse Linux is a great distro but its really made for desktop and it to commercial for me.
But from a business perspective you can not get anything better.
Mandrake and Xandros, even Lycoris (whoops where is the article??) and Linspire are trying to do that to.

ps. i am running the Linspire 5.0 alpha right now and its the best kernel 2.6 based distro out there. It reconizes every hardware piece know the men and it fast.

Suse is german (ok before they got bought by Novell) and its the same as german cars, overall good but sometimes it uses to many electronic and bloated feautures that often do not work well in the beginning. With Novell behind Suse and Ximian in the house i think Suse will become the most important operatingsystem (besides Windows) in the IT industry in a couple of years. I bet Novell and SAP are talking right now..

CD-MRW Support
by Turkey on Wed 9th Jun 2004 11:54 UTC

None of the reviews that I've read have mentioned whether SuSE 9.1 supports Mount Rainier rewrite out of the box, although SuSE seem pretty quiet about it, too (despite employing the maintainer). I'd really expect reviews to cover this kind of stuff, especially since the current generation of distros is likely to be the first which doesn't require kernel patching and extra userland stuff just to make things like CD-MRW work. It is news!

So, any reports of success, anyone?

128mb enough ?
by Andrea on Wed 9th Jun 2004 12:03 UTC

The author forgot to mention what are the spec of his machine.

http://www.suse.com/us/private/products/suse_linux/prof/system_requ...
> At least 128 MB are required for the installation with YaST2
> in graphical mode;
I have 128mb of RAM and it told me he needed a swap partition to run the installation program. :/

Running OpenOffice and FireFox with SuSE9.1 it is really slow...I mean a lot of disk accesses when I have to switch.

Also my fan is running often even with only a terminal windows open...

My specs are:
celeron400, 128mbram, toshiba satellite
(My swap is located at the end of my hdd)

I don't have those problems with NT4...

Can't upgrade to 256mb...128mb is the max.

In my little experience running SuSE9.1 with 128mb is frustating.

why
by MamiyaOtaru on Wed 9th Jun 2004 12:05 UTC

Why do we care what the 'expert reviewer' du jour thinks? It's always the same.. Most 'reviews' of a distro are actually reviews of its installer, with maybe a bit about installing packages.

I suppose if he is compiling kernels he can't be totally clueless, but I for one find it hard to take any review seriously when it's written by someone who can't get his mouse wheel working. Especially after using linux for "four years."

It's almost as bad as the pridctalbe stream of "try this distro!" posts. What, are you waiting for someone to try your beloved distro and heap praise on you for recommending it? If there's one thing less useful than yet another ewak review, it's a one line endorsement by a random stranger on the internet. Thanks for trying to help us out though ;)

I really shouldn't stay up all night, it makes me cranky

@ Elastojap
by Hyriand on Wed 9th Jun 2004 12:06 UTC

You are an arch linux user? Sorry to hear that.. I was hoping arch linux users were smarter than that...

@Andrea
by Bas on Wed 9th Jun 2004 12:22 UTC


i am sorry to see this but why do you have to start about
Suse 9.1 not running fast on a !celeron 400! notebook?
Its just the way it is. Buy a better/faster notebook.

In this case it have little to do with you internal memory but a lot with processor, video, and harddisk speed.

Suse can run on a celeron 400 mhz but with kde up , openoffice and mozilla running things get a little slow, thats normal.

Do not start about NT4 its old , run XP with Openoffice on
your notebook and then come back again.


@andy
by Anonymous Penguin on Wed 9th Jun 2004 12:36 UTC

"access to apt repositories is no use if the packages in there aren't made for your distribution"

You have just discovered the hot water: did you follow my link and did you notice that it was about apt *for SuSe*?

A Computer Engineering student that as been using Linux for 4 years and still can't fix his Linux installation. Troll or newbie?

I always thought that most Linux distros were very similar (as in software). This is very weird that someone would change from one distro to another.

re: Apples and Oranges
by Anonymous on Wed 9th Jun 2004 12:53 UTC

"Debian is a bear to set up."

The new Debian Installer makes it much, much, MUCH easier to set up. It's still text based, but it is dead simple. The developers have released 4 betas and are now working on a test release candidate. You can download a 110 megabyte Sarge base install iso to check it out.

http://www.debian.org/devel/debian-installer/

You can choose whether you want 2.4.26 or 2.6.6 kernel and then install Sarge, which is pretty much up to date (KDE 3.2.2 for example).

I encourage anyone who has thought about Debian but been scared off try the new installer. It rocks and will bring Debian to a whole new user base of people who thought the old installer was hard.

@Anonymous Penguin
by andy on Wed 9th Jun 2004 12:58 UTC

"access to apt repositories is no use if the packages in there aren't made for your distribution"

You have just discovered the hot water: did you follow my link and did you notice that it was about apt *for SuSe*?

Nope I didn't, but I did now. Great effort!

But what's the point? Yast already provides the functionality that apt does, with good X and ncurses interfaces.

Rather than providing existing packages through a new installer, the effort would better be spent on a Yast repository with stuff that SuSE doesn't provide. The Packman archive is nice, but it would be great if it could be accessed through Yast.

You are RIGHT!
by mcg on Wed 9th Jun 2004 13:06 UTC

I agree with you.DEBIAN GNU/LINUX,FedoraCore,Slackware,MepisLinux(Based on Debian) etc. are free!Free as freedom!You don't have to be club member,you don't have to preorder or to search ftp sites so maybe you'll find them.When they released you download straight!I don't understand why ppl like to buy Suse and Mandrake?Let's take from both distros away controlcenters then there is no use from both.when you use those distros you learn Suse and Mandrake you don't learn Linux.Mandrake community or official the difference is community was beta or rc.Right?then why they sold to the people?Because the noticed people are not downloading and testing so they made up to release the beta or rc under name of community and they sold it and as well they made the users to test it!Then they released the official version to sell to the people again!When we compare to prices and stability package management and so on,I say DEBIAN GNU/LINUX FEDORACORE(FEDORACORE uses SElinux PERFECT!)SLACKWARE!MEPIS,KNOPPIX etc.

RE: SuSE's quirks
by Donald Grayson on Wed 9th Jun 2004 13:08 UTC

To everyone who is telling this guy to visit the pacman page, you will see that the number of packages available there is very limited compared to Debain's repositories or Mandrake's contrib and plf repositories.

Mandrake and Debian have always been community oriented distro's while SuSE has always been a business oriented distro. SuSE does not encourage 3rd party software repositories because of the destabilizing effect incorrectly compiled software can have on their products. When customers complain to SuSE's support network that package X isn't working they don't usually mention that they installed package Y which broke X's dependencies.

Instead of putting Apache's directory in /var/www where most distributions put it, Suse puts in /srv/www/htdocs. Ok, fair enough, I can adapt to that.

SuSE is LSB Certified and that means their filestructure follows the defined standards as set in the FHS 2.2.

But sofware installation of stuff that is not on the CDs is a huge pain as are a few major things.

You intend to install non-certified software on a production server at your company.......right, carry on. Do you at least attempt to install these packages to a test server first or are you installing directly to your production server?

By default, it makes all new users part of the same "users" group, which means that all users have read and write access to each other's directories.

The way Yast is structured it requires a group to be pre-existing before a user can be added to it. I don't see a workaround for what you want using Yast. Have you tried writing a bash script for useradd?

<p>But I have also good reasons to believe that apt has SuSe' unofficial blessing: there is a link to apt in Konqueror and this time it is quite remarkable that the component 'base' contains the same identical packages as the official CDs.</p>

Apt4RPM support in SuSE is a result of SuSE's UnitedLinux connection to Connectiva. I doubt that it will ever be fully supported.

For that matter, I don't see what Apt4RPM does that Yast doesn't when you are only installing the RPMs that SuSE officially distributes.

RE: SuSE's quirks
by andy on Wed 9th Jun 2004 13:22 UTC

SuSE does not encourage 3rd party software repositories
Which is a bit of a shame. They still do provide instructions on how to do it though:

http://portal.suse.com/sdb/en/2004/02/yast_instsrc.html

because of the destabilizing effect incorrectly compiled software can have on their products.

Anyone using non-official packages has to be aware that that might break things and that resulting problems can't be blamed on the distribution.

@Donald Grayson
by Anonymous on Wed 9th Jun 2004 13:27 UTC

Packman is not the oh-so-great repository. As far as I am concerned, I reffered to Packman because of the video playback-stuff. That is what Packman is reffered to in 99% of the cases, if I assess this correctly. There wasn't more criticism in this review beyond video playback and the "icon" issue...
Btw, this icon *does* make sense, even if there are no updates available. Only, the author was kinda in a rush to get his review out of the door. Next time, actually try to click the icon, then you will find that there is a use to it beyond indicating the availability of updates.

Benefit of Doubt
by xeta prime on Wed 9th Jun 2004 13:29 UTC

For a while now I have been a MEPIS(Debian based)user. Yet, every time a new distro is posted or reviewed on Distrowatch I'm like a kid in the "PC" candy store...I want to try this and this and that one. I've tried SUSE and I have to say agree with some of the writers views. As I continue to sort through distros for "the one" my main likes are; ease of install, speed of install, packages included and do they "work". Pretty simple. I do like having my drives all set up on first boot, my mouse working and detected correctly. All the little quirky, silly things that are come pre-configured save me time. Which could save me money. I can't tell you how sweet it is to boot up a system already loaded with software...Gimp, Open Office(though I prefer Koffice these days) etc, etc, etc. I don't have to install MS Office, Photoshop, winzip, vuepro and other faves. A fresh Windows install with packages takes hours where MEPIS for example zooms in and comes full of goodies. I still have to fix somethings but how can you beat the price. SUSE just takes too much of my time to get it the way I want it. And if I mess up MEPIS because I'm tweaking too much it re-installs fast and has the option to save my root/home folder. That's not only MEPIS I know, I just know SUSE takes up time. Now I haven't tried 9.1 and I am tempted as I said I want to know what's new and generally I will follow what makes my life easier and better. Once you have a good apt-get sources list, apt-get dist-upgrade or synaptic work great for updating your system. I had to learn how and I still don't know very much but that's part of the journey too...

Oy, time for coffee

Linux RULES!!!

Keyboard Config
by DrillSgt on Wed 9th Jun 2004 13:35 UTC

"One of my mayor gripes with Suse is with the Yast2 configuration program. While it is nice to have all the configuration in one place, the whole thing felt quite cobbled together and is missing important features. The hardware section has an icon for setting up the mouse, but nothing for the keyboard. How is anyone supposed to know that to set up the keyboard they need to go into the KDE Control Center instead of Yast?"

Ummm..the keyboard config is in the hardware section, and it is labeled keyboard. I don't have any idea about the FTP install however as I buy the professional version. The FTP install could very well be different with what it allows you to configure through there.

RE Keyboard Config
by Anonymous on Wed 9th Jun 2004 13:59 UTC

@ DrillSgt -- I just checked with my bought 9.1 pro install -- there is no keyboard entry either in Hardware -- maybe a bug report is due..?!

I messed up...
by DrillSgt on Wed 9th Jun 2004 14:15 UTC

I stand corrected on the keyboard config as I just looked again. I was thinking of SaX2. You are correct there is no entry in Yast directly. I apologize for my confusion. Too early and not enough coffee yet ;)

Is this guy for real?
by Dark_Knight on Wed 9th Jun 2004 14:16 UTC

I really have problems with this article. I find it very hard to believe a guy who claims to already have 4 years experience with Linux would find SuSE Linux 9.1 difficult to install and configure. Though actually it's not suprising when you read the beginning of his article where he himself drove his Debian system into the ground basically due to his own user screw ups.

The cordless keyboard and mouse issue I also found hilarious since I have the same dam keyboard and mouse which was auto-detected by YaST during my installation in both the previous SuSE 9.0 and SuSE 9.1. It's a Logitech Cordless Freedom Keyboard that came with the Cordless MouseMan Optical 4 button mouse (if you include the cordless wheel). Oh, yeah the scroll on pages works by default. Though just like when I used this Logitech cordless keyboard with Windows XP the special feature buttons didn't work by default. In XP I had to download the software from Logitech but Logitech doesn't offer support for Linux. So for SuSE Linux I went to http://www.kde-apps.org/ did a quick search and found a nifty little utility called Media-Detect which works with such keyboards and mice. Guess this guy missed that site during his years experience but make you wonder what he really did to screw up the installation himself.

The complaints he had with YaST and the desktop made me laugh again. First YaST and SuSE over all is not slow. This is most likely due to the hardware he had which he failed to list which may have been improperly detected or configured by the user. The latter I would presume since he already stated he screwed up his Debian system over time with constant user end issues. I've tested SuSE on two older systems Celeron 1 GHz/512MB RAM/Geforce FX 5200 and a Celeron 500 MHz/128MB RAM/Geforce 2MX and both ran SuSE Linux fine even back at version 9.1. YaST also partitioned WinXP (NTFS) quite smart and my dual boot systems worked fine under the 2.4 kernel and 2.6. If this guy spent any real time with SuSE and YaST he would of seen it offers better hardware plug & play detection than any other distro only comparable to Windows XP. Installing programs with YaST is a breeze since it has an auto-detect dependency checker built in which gives advice to the user when an error or conflict is detected. YaST is found in the SuSE start menu but I guess this was not easy enough for the writer of the article to locate. So what about the KDE Control Center....not good enough either? SuSE Plugger and Watcher has no place on the toolbar? Well if you don't like it then just remove it by right clicking your mouse on the toolbar. Oh that's right you some how screwed up your hardware configuration. Besides being able to remove the icons do you really know what they do and why they are running?

Multimedia support also made me laugh. Crap how many times do we need to hear people wine about not being able to have codecs that Windows doesn't even come standard with out paying for? I didn't realize Quicktime comes with Windows. Though I did notice that I have no difficulty surfing sites that require support for codecs such as Flash, Quicktime, AVI, etc. The first thing I did to test this was to go to movie trailer site and streaming radion stations to test both Kaffeine and XMMS. If I require any licensed codec not included due to cost of licensing issues then I can easily download the codec from the developer or another not so legal developer like those for MPlayer. Anyway, the point is it can be done and those that bitch really have no clue or interest in the legality of licenses for codecs.

What I'd like to know is did this guy really explore SuSE or did he just set out to bash it in typical Troll like fashion being a Debian user? Seems to me that he made several points that either make him seem very computer illiterate or that he's out to be a Troll against SuSE because of his love for Debian. I've said it before and I'll say it again. I've used Windows since it first came out and tested a variety of distros both RPM and Debian based. SuSE Linux is the only one I've found that gets it right on so many levels. It's the only distro I really felt comfortable coming from Windows to Linux. The reasons this guy had issues with SuSE are clear to me and they had nothing to do with the distro itself.

Arch Users
by Lovechild on Wed 9th Jun 2004 14:17 UTC

Arch users are the new Gentoo users - which in turn replaced Debian users as the most zealoty distro fanatics.

I mean they are all fine distros, but is this distro bashing needed?

Re: Is this guy for real?
by Dark_Knight on Wed 9th Jun 2004 14:28 UTC

I really hate there is no way for a user to edit their post once it's posted. Anyway, in the second paragraph I meant to say "if you include the scroll wheel". In the third paragraph during the comment about the test systems it should be " and both ran SuSE Linux fine even back at version 9.0.".

As I apply yet another patch to my "other platform" X-tra P-lump clients, I wonder how many more times I can patch this proverbial tire before it falls completely apart.

Yet another lost opportunity to install a distribution of Linux.

RE: Is this guy for real?
by Anonymous on Wed 9th Jun 2004 14:36 UTC

>I really have problems with this article. I find it very hard to believe a guy who claims to already have 4 years experience with Linux would find SuSE Linux 9.1 difficult to install and configure

I have years of Linux experience as well and bought two previous versions of SuSE (full store-bought boxed sets) and never did get either one working right. The CD-Rom completely stopped working and my USB mouse & keyboard only worked if I unplugged them, rebooted and plugged them back in. I don't find his experience with SuSE unusual at all.

@Donald Grayson
by Anonymous Penguin on Wed 9th Jun 2004 14:49 UTC

SuSe apt4rpm happens to offer about 1,500 packages on top of what you find in the CDs, and many of them are very useful.

It seems very simple to me why it is needed.

RE:Moving from Debian To SuSE Linux and Back Again
by Anonymous on Wed 9th Jun 2004 15:04 UTC

When you next try to change from Debian, give Slackware 9.1 a try, because this was the only Linux distribution that recognises ALL of my hardware without a hitch.

RE: Moving from Debian To SuSE Linux and Back Again
by Anonymous on Wed 9th Jun 2004 15:32 UTC

"A Computer Engineering student that as been using Linux for 4 years and still can't fix his Linux installation. Troll or newbie?"

Newbie for sure. Familiarity with Linux does not equal familiarity with rpm. Familiarity with Debian does not equal familiarity with rpm. Familiarity with apt does not equal rpm.

Additionally, these distros that include control centers, such as Yast or Mandrake Control Center are not all that they are cracked up to be. These control centers do accomplish their purpose in placing system administration/configuration all in one place, as well as greatly simplifying those tasks for newbies.

There is a price though. The distro makers make certain assumptions for the users, which the user may not know. For instance, if you set up just one network card via dhcp in Mandrake, a dhcp server will be installed. The Mandrake Control Center will then wish to setup any additional network cards as having their ip addressed assigned from that server. That works well if you expect it and know it has occurred. If you don't, you can spend hours tracking down the config file which must be edited to allow static addressing of your other cards. And this is just one example. Another is Nvidia drivers. Yes the control centers may find and load them, but have no way to add additional options you may wish to use, in the XF86config.

Other posters have included links to third-party Suse repositories that would have solved the author's problem installing the video codecs. But how would the author have possibly known those repositories existed? Even if the author did know of those repositories, that doesn't mean the author would have known how to add those repositories in Suse.

I guess I just can't understand why so many posters are ragging on the author, thinking familiarity with Debian translates to familiarity with Suse.

Strange behaviour...
by BrownJenkin on Wed 9th Jun 2004 15:33 UTC

It's nice to see that, when someone talks about a linux distro. Everyone try to say : "hey linux xxxxx is better than yyyy, yyyy sucks!". I believe that's the worst manner to convert users to the penguin.

Never tried directly Debian, i've tried Slackware, SuSE 9.1, Red Hat since the valhalla release, Mepis and other live distros. Every distro has strenght and weakness, but the most important thing is: it's linux, not ms.

Kind of a whiner
by kngrthr on Wed 9th Jun 2004 15:35 UTC

These are just your personal observations not a real review,just sounds like your whining.

same results for me
by escapenguin on Wed 9th Jun 2004 15:50 UTC

I wrote a similar review shortly before this was posted.I tried out SUSE 9.1 Pro for the same reasons: I wanted to try out an "easy" distro since I managed to trash Gentoo, and see if I wouldn't have to fuss with all the little settings. I tried to be as unpretentious as possible, but it's hard to do when you've used distros that like you said, just work, such as OpenBSD, Debian, and Gentoo.

I experienced all of these problems and more. I think the largest problem I had with SUSE (that's so easy to do with other distros) was trying to add outside software. While I eventually stumbled upon the packman site and managed to get everything working with Mplayer, it definitely took a lot more work than I ever had to do with any distro. Dependency hell is still there, as I soon found while attempting to install Python2.

Texstar just released a new PCLinuxOS LiveCD that absolutely trounces this distribution. Once I discovered dependency handling is centered around apt, SUSE was immediately wiped from the drive. I have to give SUSE credit in that I guess if you just use the default setup, it's wonderful, as the office suite and miscellaneious customizations are top-notch.

The review I'd like to see
by Donald Grayson on Wed 9th Jun 2004 15:55 UTC

First, most reviews are prefaced with the standard, "I have used distro X for ? years but I decided to give distro Y a shot for 4 days". This is a rediculous basis for a review as 90% of it will be filled with bitchiness because some nagging little thing isn't done the way the reviewer has always done it before.

What I want is a review by a long time user of that distro detailing how the new version has changed and improved from previous versions.

SuSE 9.1 is very different from SuSE 9.0 in more ways than if the installer detects your mouse and keyboard.

For instance, SuSE seems to have dropped Apache 1.3 for Apache 2. PHP was segmented into more than a dozen sub-modules, how can the begining admin understand which module is the right one for their needs?

SuSE decided to default to the use of submount, an issue which has confused a great number of previous SuSE users and something that should have been discussed more. In some ways it's as controversial as GNOME and spatial file viewing.

If you're going to complain about YaST then pick something other than package installation because YaST does about 50 other things. How well does it handle partitioning? What's the LVM management like? Samba config? MTA? Proxy? Firewall? How about the VNC Remote Administration setup?

Essentially, if you're going to do a review, do something usefull and don't just rehash what everyone else has already said.

Installing foreign software
by El Pseudonymo on Wed 9th Jun 2004 16:22 UTC

It appears a bit strange to me that quite some posts here find fault in Suse (yast), in that installing "outside" software is hard, especially that dependencies are not resolved gracefully. Yup, that is the very nature of "outside" software! You can not criticize that.

If you want to install software on your distribution which is not covered in its repositories, why not use source packages? That is the intended way!

Once you go slack you never go back.
by NixerX on Wed 9th Jun 2004 16:29 UTC

Suse Sucks....I been saying that forever! No apt no swaret not even a sensible method for building from source....it blows. Basically you have to "re-learn" Linux. I mean who puts the Cdrom and floppy under /media when /mnt already exists. Stupid.
-Nx

Author's Reply
by leo on Wed 9th Jun 2004 16:30 UTC

Sorry, I don't have much time to reply to all the comments (holy crap there's a lot of them) so I'll just say a few things to the general points I found in the comments (not real quotes).

"The packman site has all this" - Yes, but 1) A new user wouldn't know about this and 2) It's still just some random site, there is no assurance that it will be there tomorrow.

"Use apt4rpm, it will solve all problems" - I considered this, and actually did install it, but had several problems with it.
1. There was no "official" suse sources. Suddenly I'm moving to an installation method that Suse doesn't support, if anything goes wrong I can no longer depend on Suse's support department. Not an option.
2. Why do I have to install a package manager from some random third party site just to get decent installs of my software? This is an integral part of the system!

"Suse is meant for begginners, you should analyze it from that point of view" - Suse Personal Edition is meant for beginners. Suse Pro, which is basically the FTP version, is not. It includes compilers and servers and is most definitely meant for the advanced user. The speed of configuring and ease of software installation IS important. It just detracts so much from the overall perception of the OS if something as simple as changing an IP address takes a long time.

"You've been using Linux for 4 years and can't get your mouse wheel working? You must not be qualified to write this review then." - I clearly stated that I wanted an easier distro than Debian. Yes, I can get my mouse wheel working by editing XF86Config-4 by hand but that does not excuse Suse's graphical tools from not doing the job.

And @ Dark_Knight:
I agree that the reason my Debian installation was screwed up was mainly my fault. I recompiled the newest kernels with probably not enough knowledge about configuration options, ran a bunch of programs that were pulled directly from CVS, and ran some experimental packages. However, this does not make me unqualified for a SuSe review and really has nothing to do with it.
Your hardware working has nothing to do with mine not working, even if it is the same hardware.
Yast is slow in performing common tasks that would be fast in Windows (like changing an IP address).
The Yast software installation, while great for installing the packages on the CD, is limited otherwise, I explained why in the article.




eth0?
by Yannick on Wed 9th Jun 2004 16:31 UTC

suse is the _only_ distro that cant detect my network card!!!

thats really sad - i thougt id try it but now...

Re: Authors reply
by teknishn on Wed 9th Jun 2004 16:52 UTC

I've got 2 installs of Gentoo and 2 installs of SuSE, one desktop and one server of each. So far I'd have to say SuSE is by far the most polished and user friendly distro I've seen. I've had zero problems with it.

When it comes to getting your media codecs I have to ask, how is going to Packman.de and getting the necessary stuff different from any other rpm based distro? Fedora, Mandrake you name it, you have to go hunt this stuff down on all of them. This is a problem with non-apt rpm based distros, not SuSE. Gentoo, Arch, Debian-apt don't have these problems because they have public, not corporate, repositories that say here I am and also here are all your dependancies that don't worry or care about copyright or dmca violations. What would be nice is if they offered a single rpm that enabled EVERYTHING on the video and web browser front for a fee or something. Like $10 bucks or whatever and here you go so the newbie can avoid a hassle.

I've found SuSE 9.1 to just work and work well for basic everyday desktop or server needs. I personally don't like it as a Linux power user. I prefer the way Gentoo empowers the skilled admin whilst providing the ultimate (IMHO) package management system. I also have zero tolerance for rpm hell. I really hate rpms as much as I hate Windows, but thats another subject.

SUSE 9.1 Pro is Slower Than Windows XP Pro
by Robert on Wed 9th Jun 2004 17:09 UTC

This is the fouth time I give SuSe a chance 7.2, 8.1, 9.0, 9.1 but still very slow compare to Mandrake 10 and Fedora 2
Why It is Slow???
Ener Slower than WinXp? Why???
Thanks for the help , please let me know
Robert, Please Contact me at Citidate@yahoo.com

Re: Authors reply
by leo on Wed 9th Jun 2004 17:22 UTC

When it comes to getting your media codecs I have to ask, how is going to Packman.de and getting the necessary stuff different from any other rpm based distro?

Very true, I should have mentioned this in the article.

Also since people have said that I didn't include my hardware specs, here they are:

Athlon XP 1600+
256MB Ram
Realtek 8139 Network Card (8139too)
3Com OfficeConnect Network Card (tulip)
Logitech Elite Desktop Combo (Mouseman Optical cordless mouse and Cordless Keyboard)
Geforce 2MX 400 64MB Video

I didn't include the specs in the article because I didn't think the information was particularly relevant. The only hardware I had problems with was the mouse and keyboard, which I mentioned.

On another note: I managed to basically fix my Debian installation. It needed some serious spring cleaning of the cruft that had accumulated over the years.

Re: Authors reply
by leo on Wed 9th Jun 2004 17:29 UTC

Forgot the soundcards:
AC97 Builtin Sound (disabled in bios)
Diamond Monster MX400 Soundcard (almost as crappy as the onboard sound ;) )

RE: Re: Authors reply
by M on Wed 9th Jun 2004 17:32 UTC

Just wanted to say thanks for your time and effort. Your experience was very much like mine although I went from gentoo to suse and then back to gentoo. Suse didn't really *work* like gentoo and debian do. Nothing against suse. I did like the centralized management for most things, although it was clunky at times. It is great for someone starting out on linux, but for someone who has run linux for a while (5 years for me) it wasn't what I wanted. Personal opinion, that's all. Once again, thanks for your time!

RE
by Anonymous on Wed 9th Jun 2004 17:32 UTC

For mission critical systems i use OpenBSD, besides that
i personally think SuSE linux 9.1 is the best currently
avaible linux desktop derivate.

Re: Author's Reply
by The Mad Installer on Wed 9th Jun 2004 17:38 UTC

Don't take very many of these comment personal, I don't believe for one minute that one person who has commented here has enjoyed the perfect Linux install without having some, or many, problems.

I am retired and my hobby for the last four years has been the search for that elusive perfect Linux install. I have installed more distributions of Linux than I can remember. I buy CD's by the hundred packs. I have three test computers running 24/7. I have no life. I am obsessed. I live on coffee and soda crackers.

What day is it? I mean, what day is it?

I have never found a Linux distribution that didn't display some shortcomings.

Out of all these hundreds of tries, I have come to one conclusion: it doesn't exist! IT DOSEN"T EXIST! But it might be out there -- it could happen! So I will keep trying. I will go on.

The best one can hope for is that you get an install that nearly does it all, and that whatever it doesn't do is an easy fix.

Just remember: The definition of insanity is making the same mistake over and over and expecting different results.

The Mad Installer -- OUT!

PS: Wanted, good cheap CD burners. I keep wearing them out.
:-/

Re: The review I'd like to see
by leo on Wed 9th Jun 2004 17:40 UTC

First, most reviews are prefaced with the standard, "I have used distro X for ? years but I decided to give distro Y a shot for 4 days". This is a rediculous basis for a review as 90% of it will be filled with bitchiness because some nagging little thing isn't done the way the reviewer has always done it before.

I tried to stay away from nagging at little differences, I don't care about how KDE looks or what applications are installed by default. My main complaints were with the software installation system and Yast which are not exactly little things.

Sorry I didn't discuss more Yast issues, most of the things you list don't apply to my setup.

RE
by Anonymous on Wed 9th Jun 2004 17:40 UTC

Our mission critical systems use a mix of Redhat EL3 and AS2.1. I myself use RH9 which when tuned and updated properly is the best desktop distro (IMHO). peace! ;) >-

Re: The Mad Installer
by leo on Wed 9th Jun 2004 17:49 UTC

Wow..
Take it easy man.. I thought retirement was supposed to be about relaxing on the beach with a Corona. We don't want to find anyone slumped over their keyboard because their install of UltimateHardcoreEasyLinux 9.32 didn't recognize their soundcard for the umpteenth time ;)

Thanks for the comment. Maybe you should write the review to end all reviews. ;)

Cheers,
Leo

From Debian to Suse 9.1
by Mojo on Wed 9th Jun 2004 18:08 UTC

Well, i went the other way ... =)
Been doing debbie for a while workstationwise but went for Lizzard King 9.1. Downloaded and installed both Mplayer and Ogle, both doing their jobs perfectly after installation with Yast. On graphics and programming tools, its all what one can want with the default install. Language, fonts, keyboard logitech coordless, no glitch. As for a simple install with all the needed candy, it works just as one would like it. It would be nice to have Mplayer and Ogle or something alike on the default install though. On the other hand its an easy komplemetary install.

Re: Woollhara (IP: ---.demon.co.uk)
by Anonymous on Wed 9th Jun 2004 18:09 UTC

I didn't know WinXP could play Quicktime, Real Player and encrypted DVD out of the box...

Any you would want real player because????? Any quicktime....thats a tough one to download and install.

Real Player Sucks Ass

@bitterman
by Anonymous on Wed 9th Jun 2004 18:15 UTC

Fedora doesn't put "experimental" or "unstable" packages in its distro, It's kinda like Debian testing but with security updates.

What are you smoking? Selinux, 4K stack, etc.

Fedora is a testing ground for new technologies that are going to be incorperated into Red Hat's commerical branch.

Fedora is HIGHLY experimental!

@ Leave Linux, go Windows XP
by jeff on Wed 9th Jun 2004 18:46 UTC

Honestly I can completely see the point of this post. Most of the problems that people complain about in Linux Distro reviews are all problems that Windows has overcome for the most part or does at least solves these problems in a much cleaner way. Don't get my wrong Linux has many advantages over non open source OSs such as Windows but I honestly think it could be much better than it is currently. With all problems it seems Linux desktop users having still I'm beginning to think that Linux is much further that I expected from being a replacement for Windows on the desktop. An interesting point may be that I almost never hear about people complaining about linux or particular distros when it comes to comand line usage and non graphical usages of linux. I guess when it comes to GUI and destop usage that Linux still has some improvement to be made until people can satisfied for the most part.

whats wrong with Debian?
by Anonymous on Wed 9th Jun 2004 19:02 UTC

why move from debian ??
whats the bad in debian ??

RE: Bad Vibes
by igodit on Wed 9th Jun 2004 19:03 UTC

I agree that Debian users can be arrogant, well that pretty much sums up the behaviour of Linux users to Windows users. Strangely enough Debian and Gentoo users appreciate the complexity of the distros because of the control they have from the initial stages of its installation and not for the ease of use.

It is unlikely for a Debian User who has build debian from the base system to have difficulty in using any other Distro of Linux.

I have heard numerous complaints about SuSE 9.1, I'm a little suprised, even though I'm a Debian User myself, I do like what SuSE has accomplished.

RE:@ Leave Linux, go Windows XP
by Anonymous on Wed 9th Jun 2004 19:09 UTC

"Most of the problems that people complain about in Linux Distro reviews are all problems that Windows has overcome for the most part or does at least solves these problems in a much cleaner way."

And Windows comes with it's own set of problems. No OS is perfect.

"Don't get my wrong Linux has many advantages over non open source OSs such as Windows but I honestly think it could be much better than it is currently."

Windows could be much better as well.

v RE: RE:@ Leave Linux, go Windows XP
by Aesiamun on Wed 9th Jun 2004 19:13 UTC
@ Donald Grayson
by doggedblues on Wed 9th Jun 2004 19:18 UTC

"SuSE has always been a business oriented distro. SuSE does not encourage 3rd party software repositories because of the destabilizing effect incorrectly compiled software can have on their products".

And this is the difference with Mandrake and Debian. They support your use of third party software, which is a very liberating thing. And guess what, if it doesn't meet your needs, then you uninstall it and no harm done. I have no idea what "destabilizing effect" you are talking about because both distributions are very stable,all of the contrib and plf packages are signed. If a package doesn't meet your needs, you remove it.

If you are telling that a Suse server could melt from installing third party software that is plainly ridiculous and you don't expect Suse to package the Plone CMS or the egroupware stuff, do you? Yet both packages are extremely useful and extremely stable.

"You intend to install non-certified software on a production server at your company.......right, carry on. Do you at least attempt to install these packages to a test server first or are you installing directly to your production server? "

I do use a staging server, but cut the crap. Suse does not "certify" any of the software it ships with. If you have problems with "OpenOffice", they will try to help you, but they don't certify anything. Otherwise, kindly point me to these certifications.

This server that I am referring to is a terminal server for a computer lab and also our groupware server, which means that, yes, I do have to install non-Suse packaged software, such as egroupware. Why? Because phpprojekt which is what Suse ships sucks and OpenExchange, Suse's product, is too expensive for this small non-profit. Not to mention, that we do not do proprietary software as a matter of principle, unless it is absolutely necessary.

We have moved to free software and are helping sister organizations do the same. Therefore we need to lead by example.

re. Mad Installer
by Tim in VA on Wed 9th Jun 2004 19:23 UTC

Mad Installer, you made me chuckle. I nodded my head with every line I read. I wonder what's wrong with me sometimes . . . why not install Windows, curl up in the fetal position, and expire? Well, WE know why, DON'T WE!? Hey, it took me hours to get my RHEL 3 install where I wanted it, but, oh, what joy now. I've been forced for health reasons to administer my company's network from home for about 10 days now (radiation treatments), but, with TSClient and a VPN connection, man, it's like being at work - - without all the interruptions. Ah, well, I'm preaching to the choir here, but you and others know where I'm coming from. : ) Life is too short to argue over which distro is "best." Get one, be nice to it, be happy.

@teknishn
by doggedblues on Wed 9th Jun 2004 19:29 UTC

"Fedora, Mandrake you name it, you have to go hunt this stuff down on all of them. "

You must have not had heard of easy urpmi. It's ok now you know.

http://urpmi.org/easyurpmi/index.php

urpmi libdvcss will give you dvd playback out of the box.

urpmi gmplayer will install mplayer with all of the proprietary codecs, if that's your box of cholocates. Easy and simple.

Re @Leave Linux , go Windows XP
by teknishn on Wed 9th Jun 2004 19:38 UTC

Ya, Windows has overcome simple problems like getting a Logitech mouse to work.

It simply hasn't gotten over Virus, Worms, Trojans, Spyware, Adware, BSODs, poor multitasking, poor stability, reboot mania, peformance degradation over time, Rebuilding whole OS at least once a year.........did I cover everything there?

Good grief ppl lets be realistic here.

v RE:RE: RE:@ Leave Linux, go Windows XP
by Anonymous on Wed 9th Jun 2004 19:39 UTC
Ranting
by Finalzone on Wed 9th Jun 2004 19:57 UTC

Hard to believe some of comments are all about x distro sucks, y is better. Frankly, that does not encourage some newbies who want to try any Linux distros. Time to grow up and be professional.

v RE: Ranting
by Aesiamun on Wed 9th Jun 2004 20:00 UTC
RE: RE: Ranting
by Finalzone on Wed 9th Jun 2004 20:05 UTC

Ah I see what you mean. At least it is nice to read what to do and not to do. I probalbly live too much in a professioal world.

RE: leo and Tim in VA
by Mad Installer on Wed 9th Jun 2004 20:22 UTC

Leo, thanks. I am sure a review from me would end all. I'm just not sure what all it would end. Every time I opem my mouth its nuclear vomit -- literally.

Tim in VA, I did radiation and chemo both, man. It's no picnic and I understand. It's all in the attitude. Hang in there, man. My retirement was for that very reason. I'm a seven year servivor and still kicken. On top of all that, I'm one of those Vietnam Vet who brought back a case of Hep-C (no cure). It never ends.

"Life is too short to argue over which distro is "best." Get one, be nice to it, be happy."

That's a great line, Tim. Can I steal it.

One other note. If it wern't for all those different kinds of hardware, this Linux stuff would be easy. We need to protest and make the hardware people make hardware that fits the OS instead of trying to make the OS fit all the different hardware.

Mad Installer -- OUT!

@ Mad Installer
by Anonymous Penguin on Wed 9th Jun 2004 20:38 UTC

Mad Installer, you are great.
That is how I started my linux experience.
Not that I have stopped trying distros, I have just calmed down a bit.
With SuSe 9.0 I felt I had found the ultimate OS, not just the ultimate linux distro.
And now I got this disappointment of 9.1 not being on a par (IMO).

RE:RE: RE:@ Leave Linux, go Windows XP
by Anonymous on Wed 9th Jun 2004 21:28 UTC

"What he said is a fact, not supposed to be taken as an insult."

You're right. Windows couldn't be better as well:

http://news.com.com/IE+flaws+used+to+spread+pop-up+toolbar/2100-100...

From a total noob
by Anonymous on Wed 9th Jun 2004 21:38 UTC

I have been using Linux for a year... I am not in the IT business or programming business. I have tried Mandrake 9-10, Fedora Core 1&2, Mepis, debian, red hat and SUSE 9 & 9.1.

Red hat was fine except all the media stuff was missing. It installed well.

Mandrake 9.1 was great, 9.2 Blew and 10 fried my NTFS partician and hung the whole damn computer up. I had to reimage the drive.

Mepis couldn't install my microsift intellimouse or my NIC card (gigabyte).

Debian, kept hanging on install and I never could get it to work.

SUSE 9 & 9.1.... both installed perfectly buy run flawlessly on both my desktop and lappy.

The proofs in the using.... ok... go ahead and flame me for being a noob... but My SuSE runs and I am very satisfied!

Re: From a total noob
by Anonymous Penguin on Wed 9th Jun 2004 21:55 UTC

Anonymous, you are not a noob.
Anybody who has been using linux for a year, installed quite a few distros (especially Debian), is not a noob.
Have faith in yourself and the others will have faith in you.

Re: Author's Reply
by Dark_Knight on Wed 9th Jun 2004 22:40 UTC

Leo,

Re: "I agree that the reason my Debian installation was screwed up was mainly my fault. I recompiled the newest kernels with probably not enough knowledge about configuration options, ran a bunch of programs that were pulled directly from CVS, and ran some experimental packages. However, this does not make me unqualified for a SuSe review and really has nothing to do with it."

Actually it does have everything to do with it. Linspire is based on Debian and so is many others but SuSE, Mandrake, Whitebox are basically based on RedHat because they use the RPM (RedHat Package Manager). If you had stated your several years experience included using another RPM based distro then I would be more understanding. Not all distros are the same either. To prove this I had trouble with installing Maya in Mandrake but have no issues installing in RedHat or SuSE. Of course Maya uses the RPM extension and it's officially supported on RedHat not SuSE or Mandrake. Though why then did I have no issues or trouble installing it on SuSE but Mandrake gave me several errors?

Re: "Your hardware working has nothing to do with mine not working, even if it is the same hardware."

If we use the same hardware and the same OS then we should experience the same troubles with the installation correct? I'm running SuSE Linux 9.1 Professional with the same keyboard and mouse you described but did not have any issues during the installation or with using the hardware. That's why I found it difficult to understand your complaint was one for the keyboard and mouse configuration.

Re: "Yast is slow in performing common tasks that would be fast in Windows (like changing an IP address)."

First why are you comparing SuSE to Windows when you said you are a Debian user that is going back to Debian since you are dissatisfied with SuSE? Anyway, configuring a large network is the only thing that should take you any time. You could of experienced a net connection issue because SuSE may have improperly detected your Ethernet card. I had this issue with my HP card even back in 9.0 but also with Windows XP that detected it was a Realtek Ethernet card and not my HP hn230e model. When I later tested a SOHO Ethernet card SuSE auto detected it correctly and set up my DHCP by default to auto-detect my ISP. No matter what OS you use you are going to some time run into difficulty with setting up some hardware.

Re: "The Yast software installation, while great for installing the packages on the CD, is limited otherwise, I explained why in the article."

SuSE could of included Apt-Get or some other similar web search engine like Kio-Apt. Those programs can be downloaded from the net and installed but really it's not necessary. There's a few ways to do things with SuSE regarding programs. You can either add an HTTP, FTP, etc rpm site to YaST or just obtain the program developer site. If you see a program (package) from a developer's site that is compiled for rpm then simply click to download it in the Konqueror browser. Once downloaded YaST will detect the package and display a button in Konqueror "Install with YaST". One click on that opens a window requesting the root password for YaST to install the program for security and away she'll go. Auto-checking for package corruption or dependency issues. SuSE is the only distro I seen that does this other than Linspire. Though Linspire seems since I last tested it to allow even limited users the ability to install programs with out the use of an Administrator (root) password. Anyway, did you miss this integrated browser feature when you reviewed SuSE?

I and many other poster are not trying to jump down your throat. It just that it would be nice in future to see reviews by people with a wider range of experience, someone that has a little more patience and an open mind to make a constructive review.

Re: Author's Reply
by Dark_Knight on Wed 9th Jun 2004 22:42 UTC

Sorry for the bold print screw up Eugenia. Missed placing one "b" and more got bold printed than I wanted.

debian = server, suse = desktop
by Bjorn on Wed 9th Jun 2004 22:56 UTC

well debian is for the server, they dont have any gui programs like suse have yast.

i dont know how many desktop users that use debian, but if you have a look at http://lists.debian.org/debian-desktop/2004/06/threads.html there dont seems to be that many.

" Your PC has more to offer than the market-leading operating system reveals - more stability, more reliability, and more variety. In several editions for various user groups and needs, SUSE LINUX provides more than a mere alternative to the Windows family. With an installation routine that even newcomers can easily master, and with all advantages of the Open Source world."
http://www.suse.com/us/index.html

i dont find that for debian..
and the best way is to install knoppix and do an hdinstall and upgrade it to sid.

why cant debian, port some or make some gui programs. like porting suse's yast over. or all those "based on debian" distroes are porting gui programs from others distroes, why arent they at debians mirrors?

RE: Re: Suse's quirks
by Drill Sgt on Wed 9th Jun 2004 23:05 UTC

"Mandrake and Debian have always been community oriented distro's while SuSE has always been a business oriented distro."

According to Suse, Suse Linux 9.1 both standard and professional are for home use, not enterprise use. The enterprise desktop offering is called Suse Linux Desktop. At least that is the way it is listed on http://www.suse.com. Maybe it was in the past before they came out with the business offering, however the business offerings are now different.

SuSE better than yo mama
by AppleMan on Wed 9th Jun 2004 23:15 UTC

I'm not an advance linux user, but I had no problem installing running SuSE. I think the author lacks intelligence or is faking that he is an experienced Debian user. If you can't get SuSE to work right, how the heck did you make Debian work? Something is FISHY

I'd agree with the article
by mabhatter on Wed 9th Jun 2004 23:16 UTC

The point isn't necessarly that Suse is bad, but it's not as easy to use as other FREE distros...

I recently bought 9.0 pro after trying the Live CDs for about a year or so. Previously, I bought 7.3 pro a while ago, but it just didn't cut it...simple stuff just didn't work right, of course at that time I couldn't use it with internet due to my isp...so that made it EXTRA hard. I've had great success with Mepis and Knoppix and Gnoppix, so I figured I'd try out a "boxed" distro again. Actually, Suse is what I need to be using because I'd like to push linux in my area and there are lots of Novell shops in my area that could use the break.

Anyway, back to my point. many of the things that "just work" on a simple Live CD like Knoppix are quite user-unfriendly in Suse. There's really no point to that! simple stuff like configuring network cards is entirely non-intuitive from YAST. I tried installing a wireless USB adapter, there were linux drivers available according to google, but absolutely no mention on Suse's site...let alone figureing out how to get it going or what cryptic icon the config is under. I tried installing a generic RPM package from the OSNews a few days ago and it totally borked. True, there were dependancies to fix, but WHY? I've got 5 CDs of software AND an online connection to Suse's update service but still have to do it by hand?

I've used some Linux here and there for a while, but I'm not a Linux Guru yet, so I'm exactly Suse's target customer, I think. Now that Suse is pretty much the last dot.com distro still shipping in the consumer space, they really need to get with the program! This isn't about Suse versus anybody else, but rather Suse being a very poor example of a linux product in terms of medium/advanced usability. It's one of the Only distros big enough to actually get retail space...they can't just sick their head in the sand and ignore cutting-edge stuff anymore and expect potential programmers/administrators to wait around for "offical" releases. It's one of only a few distros you can point your boss to for as a trial of if you could move linux into your office...In many ways important to businesses it is "the" one. it's one of the few distros with the full line of SUPPORTED versions on all sorts of crazy platforms. [notibly: 64-bit Opterons, Itanium, IBM P-series, IBM 390, & even IBM iSeries/AS400!!] But if the Professional...sandbox, if you will...edition doesn't let you get right out there on the net and start exporing Linux and OSS to figure out how you can use linux for your own needs, then why would I want their other stuff?

@mabhatter
by andy on Wed 9th Jun 2004 23:57 UTC

I tried installing a generic RPM package from the OSNews a few days ago and it totally borked. True, there were dependancies to fix, but WHY?

There's no such thing as a generic RPM. Although they share a common file format, packages are distribution-specific.

That's because distributions differ in the directories where program files are meant to go as well as the names and versions of the packages that your RPM might depend on.

@Anonymous Penguin
by andy on Thu 10th Jun 2004 00:07 UTC

SuSe apt4rpm happens to offer about 1,500 packages on top of what you find in the CDs, and many of them are very useful.

But why oh why don't they offer the extra packages as a Yast repository?

Why require users to install a second package manager when there already is a powerful graphical one that can manage multiple installation sources and resolve dependencies? That's not doing anything for usability, is it? (even if you install synaptic or whatever on top of apt).

Hmmmmmmm............
by Rick on Thu 10th Jun 2004 00:16 UTC

.........maybe if you let go of a few cents for the CD's and did a local install things might work a little better?

@andy
by Zilu on Thu 10th Jun 2004 00:25 UTC

Quote ------
There's no such thing as a generic RPM. Although they share a common file format, packages are distribution-specific.
end Quote ---

there is generic RPM,u can install it in almost any rpm based distro, im sure i'v seen some packages at sf.net while ago and installed it ( don't remember which programe)

@Dark_Knight
by Philip McClure on Thu 10th Jun 2004 01:09 UTC

If you had stated your several years experience included using another RPM based distro then I would be more understanding.

Well, batman, I'm a Debian user and I have to agree with the author. When I started out using Linux, I tried RedHat, because that's what everyone was using. I hated it. Spending a weekend downloading RPM's over dial-up in a never-ending dependancy hell wasn't my idea of fun. So I thought I'd try this new, friendly distro Mandrake.

Well, Mandrake looked a little prettier, and it automagically set up my printer, but there I was--another weekend downloading RPM after RPM over 28.8 dial-up to get Windowmaker running . I have no problem with waiting awhile to download software, but at least give me a sign as to where it's going to end.

So I decided to go out and buy the latest version of SuSE (7.3 at the time) with 3 CD's full of software, I wouldn't spend all weekend tying up the phone again.

Well, SuSE didn't set up X correctly for my antiquated 15" generic monitor, so I went in and hand tweaked XF86Config and I was happy. Then we lost power in a storm and after I rebooted, X was all wonky again. So, I went in and tweaked XF86Config again and all was, once again, well with the world. Then, I wanted to compile some software, so I killed X to save some CPU, when it finished compiling I started up X again and guess what? It was all wonky again.

As I soon discovered, yast routinely overwrote hand-tweaked system files with whatever it thought they should be. If you couldn't figure out yast's intuitive interface to configure your system, you were up the creek without a paddle. Even though your hand-edited config files would work on all of the other Linux systems, you were pretty much screwed on SuSE if you couldn't make yast obey.

I'd read on several newsgroups and message boards about how all of the arrogant, uppity Debian users were so smug about how apt took care of package dependancies and how they would never go through RPM hell again. I hated those guys, but I was fed up with RedHat and Mandrake and SuSE and rpm in general. How many times during 48 hours are you supposed to type rpm -ivhvv blahblahi386.rpm?

And then I tried Debian. My hand-tweaked files stayed tweaked. My system did what I told it to do. If I wanted to install software, apt took care of all the dependancies. As far as being a beast to install...installing Debian was no more difficult than being able to read and follow directions. I didn't completely break my system by upgrading the OS like when rpm broke on a RedHat upgrade. Anybody else painfully aware how valuable cpio is?

I still use a RPM-based distro at work (Yellow Dog Linux) to support an old G3 we set up as a server. When I upgraded to version 3, guess what happened? RPM broke and I got to bring out my handy knowledge of cpio, yet again, to salvage another broken, rpm-based, OS upgrade.

SuSE was bewildering to me when I was a beginner, I can only imagine how confused I would be after learning how Linux works only to have every change I made to the system overruled because I didn't approve it through yast. SuSE is, at best, a set of training wheels. Just learn to ride the bike man.

Re: @Dark_Knight
by leo on Thu 10th Jun 2004 01:57 UTC

Look Dark_Knight, I was going to take your criticisms seriously, but now I think you haven't even read my article.

If you had stated your several years experience included using another RPM based distro then I would be more understanding.

I realize that my Debian knowledge doesn't necessarily translate into Suse knowledge. But I am reasonably familiar with the way Linux in general works and I certainly know enough to figure out how to install any distribution out there. So now you're suggesting I should have several years of experience on an RPM based distro before even having the authority to review one? Get real.

Not all distros are the same either.

Really? What a surprise. Do you hear that dripping sound? Thats sarcasm.

If we use the same hardware and the same OS then we should experience the same troubles with the installation correct?

No. Well maybe if we had the EXACT same hardware, down to the model number of every single component in our computers. Components interact in complex ways, you can't assume that because your keyboard model X was detected that the same keyboard would be detected everywhere else. It's not that simple.

First why are you comparing SuSE to Windows when you said you are a Debian user that is going back to Debian since you are dissatisfied with SuSE?

Well I couldn't really compare it to Debian because in Debian I would have edited the /etc/network/interfaces file by hand followed by an ifup ethx. Now I assume I can do something similar in Suse, but I wanted to review Suse's graphical tools, and compare their useability to something that a lot of people would be familiar with, Windows.

You could of experienced a net connection issue because SuSE may have improperly detected your Ethernet card.

No no no. My card was fine and my network was fine. My complaint was (which you would know had you read the article) that Yast went through the network card detection routine everytime I wanted to edit some network parameter like IP address or network mask.

There's a few ways to do things with SuSE regarding programs. You can either add an HTTP, FTP, etc rpm site to YaST or just obtain the program developer site. If you see a program (package) from a developer's site that is compiled for rpm then simply click to download it in the Konqueror browser. Once downloaded YaST will detect the package and display a button in Konqueror "Install with YaST". One click on that opens a window requesting the root password for YaST to install the program for security and away she'll go.

Umm.. It's like you're writing the article right back to me. Thats EXACTLY what I described!

Auto-checking for package corruption or dependency issues.

If you're installing packages from the CD, then yes. If you just clicked on an rpm in a webpage, that depends on other rpms that are not on the cds, then NO. That does not work.

SuSE is the only distro I seen that does this other than Linspire.

You haven't seen many distro's then.

Anyway, did you miss this integrated browser feature when you reviewed SuSE?

Well if you read the article, you would have seen that I described _that_exact_feature_.

It just that it would be nice in future to see reviews by people with a wider range of experience, someone that has a little more patience and an open mind to make a constructive review.

Deal, I write better reviews, you agree to read the articles that you comment on in the future.

Yast 3rd party repositories
by apt4rpm on Thu 10th Jun 2004 07:06 UTC

SuSe apt4rpm happens to offer about 1,500 packages on top of what you find in the CDs, and many of them are very useful.

But why oh why don't they offer the extra packages as a Yast repository?

Why require users to install a second package manager when there already is a powerful graphical one that can manage multiple installation sources and resolve dependencies? That's not doing anything for usability, is it? (even if you install synaptic or whatever on top of apt).


Provide a link of how to do it, is there a howto??
What directory structure is needed, what tools are
available besides create_package_descr???

I also tried SuSe 9.1 Pro after a few years of using Debs 'cos I needed to install a new *nix box for use by someone at work and thought SuSe would be easier for them ;)

But, heck, the install is just like Windoze - a lot of the time you don't know what's being configured, or why, or where the files are going (to that big SuSe special in /etc/ probably), and as for finding packages - dselect, the old veteran, wins hands down: you can see what they are, the version, the conflicts, and so on.

I wanted stuff like tkdesk and fte - where the hell were they in SuSe? And as for setting up my fav window manager fvwm instead of the heavy clumsy kde desktop, well, enough said.

Now, this is only the beginning... Configure X? xf86config works all the time.

Install Suse on an box with 64 MB of Ram? No way - Yast complains and the install stalls.

Now as for debian, again, there's also apt-get - which rocks. Security updates? Debs wins hands down for ease of use.

Good old Debian! Long may it live.

@andy
by Anonymous Penguin on Thu 10th Jun 2004 08:31 UTC

Why doesn't SuSe provide what you can get from apt as a Yast repository?

Well, there are at least two reasons I can think of:

1) It would increase their workload enormously
2) Some of the apt packages are "too hot to handle", like all the libraries and codecs which allow you to play all sort of media, even copy an encrypted DVD.

@apt4rpm
by Anonymous Penguin on Thu 10th Jun 2004 08:38 UTC

I have already provided a link.

Here it is again:

http://linux01.gwdg.de/apt4rpm/

Re: Yast 3rd party repositories
by andy on Thu 10th Jun 2004 09:18 UTC

Provide a link of how to do it, is there a howto?? What directory structure is needed, what tools are available besides create_package_descr???

There's a mini howto here:

http://portal.suse.com/sdb/en/2004/02/yast_instsrc.html

I took a little look around; detailed descriptions can be found in the HTML docs that come with the "yast2-packagemanager-devel" package.

RE: Moving from Debian To SuSE Linux and Back Again
by apt4rpm on Thu 10th Jun 2004 09:26 UTC

But, heck, the install is just like Windoze - a lot of the time you don't know what's being configured, or why, or where the files are going (to that big SuSe special in /etc/ probably), and as for finding packages - dselect, the old veteran, wins hands down: you can see what they are, the version, the conflicts, and so on.

Learn how to use rpm and you have the same functionality

I wanted stuff like tkdesk and fte - where the hell were they in SuSe? And as for setting up my fav window manager fvwm instead of the heavy clumsy kde desktop, well, enough said.

Okay tkdesk is not there, but fvwm and fte are. Just use SUSE package
installer to find it. Or use apt!

Now, this is only the beginning... Configure X? xf86config works all the time.

Use sax2

Now as for debian, again, there's also apt-get - which rocks. Security updates? Debs wins hands down for ease of use.

Isn't that available on all distributions nowadays.
At least it is not Debian alone anymore.

@Anonymous Penguin
by andy on Thu 10th Jun 2004 09:29 UTC

Why doesn't SuSe provide what you can get from apt as a Yast repository?

I meant, why don't the "apt for SuSE" people provide their additional packages as a Yast repository?

That would save users the effort of installing and learning another packagae management tool and would integrate more seamlessly with what SuSE offers.

RE: Moving from Debian To SuSE Linux and Back Again
by apt4rpm on Thu 10th Jun 2004 10:01 UTC

Why doesn't SuSe provide what you can get from apt as a Yast repository?

I meant, why don't the "apt for SuSE" people provide their additional packages as a Yast repository?

That would save users the effort of installing and learning another packagae management tool and would integrate more seamlessly with what SuSE offers.


Yast is only available for SUSE. Apt is available for almost any distribution.
So, if you're running an installation with mixed distributions apt is a
good way to obtain a consistent package updater/installer.

However, no one stops you from contacting the apt repository maintainers
to help them in providing YOU repositories.

@apt4
by andy on Thu 10th Jun 2004 10:11 UTC

Yast is only available for SUSE. Apt is available for almost any distribution.

True enough, but it doesn't buy you anything. You still need a separate repository for each distribution, so you might as well use the "native" tools.


So, if you're running an installation with mixed distributions apt is a good way to obtain a consistent package updater/installer.

Now that's a bit contrived, isn't it?

@apt4rpm
by andy on Thu 10th Jun 2004 10:44 UTC

Yast is only available for SUSE. Apt is available for almost any distribution.

But that doesn't buy you anything. You still need a separate repository for each distribution, so you might as well use the "native" tools.

(Besides, Yast is GPL'ed now and its packager should work under any RPM distribution. Not that it would be very useful without repositories.)


So, if you're running an installation with mixed distributions apt is a good way to obtain a consistent package updater/installer.

Now that's a bit contrived, isn't it?

For most home and small office users will run only one distribution, but they will still have to deal with the added inconsistency of two separate package managers.

For larger organisations the consistency would only be skin-deep; administrators would still have to deal with separate dependency trees, repositories and configuration tools. Running a mixed-distribution environment is not a terribly good idea anyway, you'd need very good reasons to do so.

Interested to know what you'd think of FC2
by Tim on Thu 10th Jun 2004 13:42 UTC

Your review was useful. I've been a redhat and now Fedora Core user for years, and I'm always interested in how the other distributions work. I've wanted to try mandrake and suse, but I'm not interested in paying for linux (kind of defeats the intent of open source, doesn't it?). Anyway, I was wondering if you'd be able to try out FC2 and see what you think about it vs. debian and suse.

RE: No your all wrong
by albertvg_5 on Thu 10th Jun 2004 13:44 UTC

Along these five years I have the chance to prove Mandrake (first of all), Red Hat, Suse, Debian. I always prefer linux than Mac or Windows but, I couldn't feel perfectly integrated with any distributions and until now I have had Red Hat (8.0 and 9) (I like Debian too). Yestarday I installed Slackware, it's great!! Easy to install, robust and, the most important, simple.

@Philip McClure
by teknishn on Thu 10th Jun 2004 14:15 UTC

Let me get this straight. You churn out the longest blog of drivel in these posts thus far based on this???

"So I decided to go out and buy the latest version of SuSE (7.3 at the time) with 3 CD's full of software, I wouldn't spend all weekend tying up the phone again"

Are you kidding me? Seriously. You're talking about a crusty old version from many years ago. This article is about SuSE 9.1 not SuSE 7.ancient. That would be like saying that Windows sucks and its such a pain in the ass because I had so many problems getting Win98 to run stable.

Yep SuSE really sucks !
by Goth on Thu 10th Jun 2004 19:23 UTC

Welcome to the club of Linux users that know SuSE is even worse than Winblowz 95

YaST helps a lot when used in the right way
by Alex Bär on Thu 10th Jun 2004 21:38 UTC

All you say is correct, but there's much more to YaST and the SuSE configuration paradigm than you seem to have explored. Eg, YaST helps enormously with setting up RAID systems, firewalls and profiles for roaming laptop users, which is a SuSE development, BTW.

Regarding multimedia, I must, unfortunately, agree with you.

Nevertheless: Debian is too much of a religion for me, that's why I am using SuSE, Slackware and ROCK Linux (you might like that...). All three are down-to-earth and driven by user needs instead of philosophical debates.

By no means I'd say that Debian is a poor distribution in terms of technology, but I always had the feeling that for many things there's a specific "Debian way" to do it, which means, that things you learn are only useful on Debian, but useless on other distros.

I really think that part of your experience is caused by the fact, that you were just used to Debian for several years. In turn, all I just said about Debian may be caused by the fact that I just got used to SuSE over the years. However, I was able to do things on Slackware and ROCK using my SuSE experience, but I had difficulties to get what I wanted on Debian.

But in fact, one of the great things about Linux is, that there is more than one option. More than one product (distribution, ie), more than one vendor.

Perhaps Windows would be a good "distribution" if Microsoft wasn't the sole "distributor"... ;-)

Alex

IMHO
by b&it on Thu 10th Jun 2004 23:47 UTC

Hi to all.. Isn't this distro thing kinda like having a car? you like chevs, I like fords, mine is blue, yours is red. But underneath I use it to get from point A to point B. And maybe I have a hot rod too ,to get to point b first.No matter what I have for a car..it's just preferance & needs.You have a nice car too.
I run Debian/no windoze, just know Deb best.It works for me. I am a newbie-2 years Linux.
I am just happy to be able to run Linux instead of M$.

re:SUSE9.1
by Konstantin on Fri 11th Jun 2004 07:16 UTC

It was funny to read all this...Well WinXP is stupid thing, everyone knows this, but realy can play all...After 2min. of instal...Suse is beautyfull and shit.

use Slackware....
by renegadext on Sat 12th Jun 2004 13:55 UTC

Much easier than Debian with ncurses based menus but not the hassle and time consuming YaST

From Red Hat to Debian to Gentoo
by Ed Borasky on Sat 12th Jun 2004 15:35 UTC

When Red Hat announced that Red Hat 9 (Professional) was the last of their "commercial" desktop products, I looked at Mandrake, Suse and Debian. I finally chose Debian (woody) because of the volume of packages ... something like 8000, with a tad over 15,000 in the testing release. What I ended up with on a regular basis was a Knoppix hard-disk install updated from "sarge".

Then I discovered Gentoo. At the time, their repository only had about 4,000 packages ... it's about 7010 now and climbing daily. I was dual-booted for a while, and I still track Knoppix and its scientific derivative Quantian, but for my "production" desktop, I run Gentoo. I have a fair number of experimental packages ("~x86" in Gentoo terminology); on the whole I'm happy. There are a few things I want that aren't in Gentoo yet, but I build them directly from source.

I've never tried either Mandrake or Suse; I was used to going down to CompUSA and buying a Red Hat box set and decided I was ready to leave the "commercial" GNU/Linux world and join a community. Both Debian and Gentoo have a community approach.

@teknishn
by Philip McClure on Sun 13th Jun 2004 12:50 UTC

"Are you kidding me? Seriously. You're talking about a crusty old version from many years ago. This article is about SuSE 9.1 not SuSE 7.ancient."

Since you're obviously not quick enough to get the point, let me break it down further for you...

Running SuSE 7.3 was frustrating for new users back then, and nothing's changed with the newer versions, as the author of the article points out.

"That would be like saying that Windows sucks and its such a pain in the ass because I had so many problems getting Win98 to run stable."

Win98 was problematic getting to run stable, so are the NT4, Win2000, WinME and WinXP boxes I have to administer on a near daily basis. Looks like you have a talent for making pointless analogies.

Any other criticisms?

I bought SUSE 9.1 with high hopes that Novell's influence should have led to a more usable SUSE desktop. My experience was an utterly disappointing one.

Only one of the four mice I tried, and one only out of five screens were properly recognized, apart of many other problems. None of the items are exotic. I asked one of my Linux geeks - I have access to this truly admirable species - to look into the problem, and he put his honour into solving it. The first mouse took him an hour, googling and hacking around, but then things went fast. Watching him I calculated that, with something like a programmers week of time, SUSE could have provided a product with proper recognition for most mice, screens, and keyboards, and with many other of the problems I encountered solved.

Cosidering that this distribution costs about 100 Euros, I think that this lack of attention to a desktop user's needs bodes ill for Novell's future desktop endavours.

By the way, each one of the following distributions I tested recognized all hardware correctly: Xandros, Linspire, Knoppix, and MEPIS. MEPIS appears to me as harbouring particular promise for desktops, and Knoppix is of special interest to me as a scientist because of derivatives like Quantix. So it won't be SUSE for certain in any of my labs.

Unseasoned Debian user
by Anonymous on Fri 18th Jun 2004 16:03 UTC

There is so much nitpicking that it is pathetic.
-Yast is a great tool if you spend some time with it.
-Video is a pain in linux...period.
-Not all buttons on mice work the same in all distros - very minor XF86Config issue, if you knew so much about linux you should have been able to edit this yourself without dealing in Yast
Bottom line: This guy is just looking for stuff to complain about to defend Debian, if there were any "real" problems that would be something entirely different, but the issues that he exposed - for any seasoned user, should be a breeze to fix.