Linked by Andrew Davis on Tue 16th Nov 2004 07:00 UTC
Talk, Rumors, X Versus Y While Suse 9.2 Pro was announced close to a month ago, it was only made available for purchase recently. I was originally going to compare Suse 9.2 to something like RedHat WS 3.0. However, both Novell/Suse and RedHat seem to now be offering a corporate desktop solution and a "desktop for the masses" solution.
Order by: Score:
Not a proper comparison!!
by Matti on Tue 16th Nov 2004 07:20 UTC

FC3 is freely available, SUSE 9.2 is not available freely not even on ftp ;)

RE: Not a proper comparison!!
by Eugenia on Tue 16th Nov 2004 07:24 UTC

And how's that not proper? What matters is how the products behave to the user, not how much they cost. Cost IS something to consider of course, but from the moment you might have access to both (like Andrew), you do want to know what's best anyway. And so he compared them.

fast forward
by rabbid hamster on Tue 16th Nov 2004 07:25 UTC

fast forward to the end of page 4 (conclusions) :

"Which one am I going to use? I don't know yet."

ok, thank you, bye bye

ftp
by tobaccofarm on Tue 16th Nov 2004 07:26 UTC

SUSE 9.2 is not available freely not even on ftp ;)

SuSe 9.2 will be avaible as an ftp install.Novell will wait untill they have sold a couple of boxes first for obvious reasons.When i use Linux i favour Debian.Nevertheless SuSE has made an awfull good successor to 9.1 that will in my opinion score significant on the desktop/laptop market.

SuSE
by CaptainPinko on Tue 16th Nov 2004 07:30 UTC

i thought suse was over-hyped until i tried it. Now, it's the only linux desktop i would use (except LTSP but thats fro special situations. As a side note: for cheap DIY servers I recommend Debian.

nice article!
by christian paratschek on Tue 16th Nov 2004 07:37 UTC

@rabbid hamster: just a small hint: it's also a valid result if you don't get any clear results. the world isn't black and white. but of course it's a lot easier to post such a stupid comment than to write a complete article...

christian

RPMs for SuSE
by Stefan on Tue 16th Nov 2004 07:38 UTC

There's a great site offering tons of useful RPMs for SuSE, but be warned: The most of the content is german.

http://packman.links2linux.de/

Suse does have a freshrpms-like repository
by seguso on Tue 16th Nov 2004 07:40 UTC

Suse does have a freshrpms-like repository, it's just a bit hidden:

ftp://ftp.gwdg.de/linux/suse/apt/SuSE/9.2-i386/

Here you find a lot of packages (mplayer, xine, kernels, and much more). The repository is organized in folders. Browse them first, to understand the packages you need (and in what folders they are). Then, you'll have to install apt and apt-libs (from the dir called "suser-rbos" I believe). Then, add the directories you need to you apt/sources.list. Import the GPG keys, and you'll be able to use apt to install unofficial packages.

here is the line I added to my sources.list:


rpm ftp://ftp.gwdg.de/pub/linux/suse/apt/ SuSE/9.2-i386 suser-rbos packman-i686 packman base funktronics suser-scorot suser-tcousin suser-ollakka suser-oc2pus suser-jogley suser-gbv suse-people suser-guru suser-sbarnin rpmkeys ximian xorg wine


You usually have to wait a bit for the "base" directory to be filled with official packages, because suse 9.2 hasn't been released yet. So apt may fail when it deals with the base dir.

RPM repositories for SuSE
by Ironclaw on Tue 16th Nov 2004 07:41 UTC

Actually, there is an apt repository for SuSE as well. It's not run by SuSE but it integrates very well into their distribution. The address is http://linux01.gwdg.de/apt4rpm/ I wouldn't be surprised if they even have xine/mplayer/libdvdcss packages available for 9.2.

Once you do this, keeping the system up to date is a real snap, the only drawback is that you can't really use YaST for official package updates from SuSE anymore, but I really haven't missed that to tell the truth. I've simply enjoyed having a very current system with all of the tools I've gotten used to as a SuSE user over the years. Actually, I'm still on 9.1 here and I'm not sure that 9.2 really offers me anything I don't have access to through the apt respository. I'll probably eventually get around to getting a copy of 9.2 pro, but right now I'm not really in a hurry to do so.

Packages for SuSE
by Sukru on Tue 16th Nov 2004 07:47 UTC

SuSE is fine out of the box, but as the author says, it's difficult to find binary packages.

It's very nice to see mp3 play and windows programs run (via wine) on a fresh SuSE install. Also Yast2 seems more professional than the half-finished system-config-* packages, yet they are not enough. (I can live with the config files, as an old slackware user, and I can easily apt-get missing features).

I've tried many distros and os's (slackware, gentoo, debian, freebsd, solaris, mandrake, etc), nevertheless the cannot solve this problem. (debian does, but for some reason I do not like it).

Needless to say, this in only my opinion.

re:John (IP: ---.we.client2.attbi.com)
by tobaccofarm on Tue 16th Nov 2004 07:52 UTC

I'm sure you agree that most of the audience on osnews is capable of making a well thought decision on which Distro to choose based on given and tested facts ( ideally by them selves).As an other reader allready stated : no result is a result as well.The conclusion is the one you draw yourself,merely a simple pros VS cons observation.

nice review
by Bitterman on Tue 16th Nov 2004 08:02 UTC

It's alittle different and doesn't appear biast.

The install time I would have took a fat point of SuSE though 2x as long as Fedora is a bit excessive. Fedora loses a point on the APM thing though. I guess this is it folks.. we're at the point where there is not a whole lot seperating distro's anymore. Yast and anaconda, apt-get and yum. Personally I'd still side with Fedora (and do) because of things like SElinux , exec-shield, and the huge repo's. The price is nice too =)

DKMS
by David on Tue 16th Nov 2004 08:04 UTC

To get third-party modules to recompile automatically when running a new kernel, try DKMS (Dynamic Kernel Modules Support). It works very well for me and the VPN-modules I use.

http://linux.dell.com/projects.shtml#dkms

both are so fat now
by d.ph on Tue 16th Nov 2004 08:08 UTC

yeah i think both distros RH and Suse are now so fat compared with itself in early days.
perhap they have been stuffing a lot of junk food, slackware is much more slim and quick

RE: both are so fat now
by Eugenia on Tue 16th Nov 2004 08:17 UTC

I will have to agree... FC3 requires 192 MBs minimum to run Gnome in a usable way, while Arch Linux runs the same way with only 96 MB. Sure, SELinux takes quite some memory away, but still, there are so much patching going on and a gazillion daemons running on FC3 and SuSE, that are just not usable on many company PCs today. I remember in UK, my company's employees would run on 3-4 year old PCs of the current time. This market is just not accessible for RH/SuSE.

Re: Not a proper comparison!!
by Anonymous on Tue 16th Nov 2004 08:29 UTC

You're right about being not proper, he missed to compare the (printed) documentation. You're not right that SUSE 9.2 will be not available via FTP.

Good...
by Rickard on Tue 16th Nov 2004 08:39 UTC

Nice article imho...
If *I* had to choose between suse and FC, I would go with FC.
Why? It's free and have more packages...

RAM is cheap
by David on Tue 16th Nov 2004 08:40 UTC

RAM is cheap enough for most people to have at 256-512MB, even if you're running on an old computer. You can easily get 256MB extra RAM for ~$40.

I'm not sure it makes that much sense to try very hard to minimize the amount of daemons and stuff just to reduce the amount of available RAM on a standard installation. Functionality is much more interesting.

Those with too little RAM can install XFCE (comes with RC3 if I'm not mistaken) and turn off a few daemons if they want.

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for reducing unnecessary size and complexity. But there has to be some kind of reasonable balance between features that most people expect of a modern OS and the amount of resources it chews.

Re: Ironclaw
by Anonymous Penguin on Tue 16th Nov 2004 08:45 UTC

You can use both apt and YaST, there is no reason why not.
Both are frontends for RPM. Both check dependencies, although I have found apt to be better at it, in some occasions.

RE: RAM is cheap
by Eugenia on Tue 16th Nov 2004 08:53 UTC

>I'm not sure it makes that much sense to try very hard to minimize the amount of daemons and stu

No. but what it does make sense is to optimize. currently, the open source desktop code at large out there is heavily unoptimized.

>Those with too little RAM can install XFCE

xfce doesn't cut it for non-geek/office use.

>You can easily get 256MB extra RAM for ~$40.

Not all computers can be upgraded or find cheap memory for. I have here two Pcs that won't take more than 128 MBs of RAM. Plus, companies don't want to upgrade, they always buy full solutions.

In other words, I would like to see optimizations at every level of the OS. Especially Gnome/GTK, requires it because it heavily unoptimized atm (I am not the only one who claims this btw, even Gnome devs agree with this)

Re: Rickard
by Anonymous Penguin on Tue 16th Nov 2004 08:55 UTC

"If *I* had to choose between suse and FC, I would go with FC.
Why? It's free and have more packages..."

Actually the "more packages" bit is not true at all.
Take any SuSE release a couple of months later: *tons* of sources have been added to apt4rpm and the number of available packages can only be compared to Debian (I use both, therefore I should know)
Besides SuSE is a lot more user friendly: almost everything works out of the box.

Re: RAM is cheap
by Ringheims Auto on Tue 16th Nov 2004 09:18 UTC

I agree with you, in the case of "modern users" who use the PC as a VCR more or less. BTW I also think this is a good market for Linux, cause it is obviously also designed as a client for (complete) novice users. We installed Mandrake on our boss' private PC, and I think he's doing well.

Also I found that OSX in fact does a very good job at scaling at installation. I installed it on an old iMac recently, with no expectations, and it configured greatly and now runs at a quite decent speed.
Some of the distros might learn something from that, lots of them have overly bloated KDE's wich is hardly runnable at 2-300 MHz, but run great on those machines using IceWM.

Re:Not a proper comparison!!
by Claus on Tue 16th Nov 2004 09:30 UTC

When people think of Linux then most think free. The $'s signs are twinkling in their eyes. When what they should be focusing on is that it is open source. Why is that important? It is important because that seems to be the only way to get some competition and innovation into this market segment. Just today some EU org endorsed the OASIS office (open source) file format.
I'm happily paying for SuSE. I hope others are too and that it will help the movement stay afloat. If some it becomes salary for people that do actual work rather than collecting investment profits - then even better.
I just received the boxed SuSE 9.2. But SuSE has not yet started posting updates to it, the ATI driver won't be ready until some time december and packman is currently in progress on providing add-ons. Besides SuSE just today posted a ton of KDE updates for 9.1 - updates that became KDE well. I think it now runs the best that it has ever done. So - I'm going to wait a little with replacing 9.1 with 9.2.

Re: Claus
by Anonymous Penguin on Tue 16th Nov 2004 09:42 UTC

"I'm happily paying for SuSE. I hope others are too and that it will help the movement stay afloat. If some it becomes salary for people that do actual work rather than collecting investment profits - then even better."

Exactly. And the value for money you get is very hard to beat.
Take for instance Pro Update version. For $60 you get 5 CDs, 2 DVDs, a huge manual...

apt-get ao Mplayer working on SuSE 9.2
by Metro on Tue 16th Nov 2004 09:51 UTC

I'm new to linux but I managed to install Mplayer and have apt-get working.

To Mplayer I instaled:

From this link:http://packman.links2linux.org/?action=128

1 lame-3.96.1-pm.1.i686.rpm (Lame)
2 w32codec-all-20040916-0.pm.0.i386.rpm (Win32-Codecs)
3 MPlayer-1.0pre5-pm.2.i686.rpm

To having apt-get working:

From this link:
ftp://ftp.gwdg.de/pub/linux/suse/ap...PMS.suser-rbos/

I agree that SuSE should have things more organized.

I'm learning: Linux and writing english:)

Great site Eugenia you have here.
Congrats:)

RE:RE: xfce doesn't cut it for non-geek/office use. @ Eugenia
by Andrewg on Tue 16th Nov 2004 10:04 UTC

I seem to remember an article here recently where HP chose XFCE for its thin client http://www.osnews.com/story.php?news_id=8398.

XFCE doesn't seem very geekish to me.

Concerning Mozilla
by Finalzone on Tue 16th Nov 2004 10:52 UTC

A note to the author,

Mozilla is already included in Fedora Core 3 so you don't need to reinstall it again. Simply change the default user on Preference --> More preference --> Browser.

Requirements
by Luke Chatburn on Tue 16th Nov 2004 11:00 UTC

Memory requirement figures taken for Linux applications aren't reliable as they include other additional allocations (see the Linux Kernel Mailing List for more info, because I really can't remember ;) ). The Kernel deliberately allocates as much memory as it can to applications to try and give them room to grow without requiring new allocations every time.

And while it is true that modern distros don't run well on 150MHz machines with 64MB or less memory with KDE and all the latest desktop applications, that's because the machines really aren't capable. You can't happily run an as-you-type spell checker, with i18n support, a dozen services, an e-mail application, a fully-featured office application, an instant messenger and other stuff on a machine like that.

It's like complaining that DVDs are wrong because your old video player won't play them.

Machines of that spec are now about 8 or 9 years old. If you want to keep using them, that's fair enough. In my humble opinion you should run windows 95 on them, or whatever came with it, and realise just how much operating systems and applications have developed since then. There have been many advances and many new features, and I find them very useful. Which is why I have them running on my 4 1/2 year old machine, which has no trouble at all.

You can buy a machine which is 50% faster than mine (with more memory) for $199 from Walmart. I would humbly suggest that you consider it, before saying that distributions are getting too large and slow.

I like my features. I need my features for work.

My vote goes to....
by Atari Assassin on Tue 16th Nov 2004 11:27 UTC

SUSE.

The reason why is cause I find Yast to be an over all better layout for FULL machine configuration. Its a one stop shop that has the same look in either GUI or CLI/Ncurses.

I really don't see that from the FC/RH camp and thats a big thing in my eyes next to being able to install apps easily. Personally, I use slack for my desktop but used both FC1 and SUSE 9.1 at work.

this is my vote from a "out of the box" stance.

Also, the new XFCE4 beta really makes it shine and I don't see why a novice can't use it.

RE: RPMs for SuSE
by nonamenobody on Tue 16th Nov 2004 12:13 UTC

There's a great site offering tons of useful RPMs for SuSE, but be warned: The most of the content is german.

http://packman.links2linux.de/


Most of it is translated into English too (hint: click the Union Jack or go to http://packman.links2linux.org ).

The repository also includes yast sources, so the you can add it as a yast source. Once it is a yast source, the only problems you are likely to have with dependencies will DeCSS. The packman website has details of how to get the source tarball, build it into an RPM and install DeCSS (not much use for SUSE personal users who don't get a compiler) - see http://packman.links2linux.org/?action=122 .

Note to the author, when googling, if at first you don't succeed, remove the quotes. Yes, a google for "xine for suse 9.2", returns no results, but neither does a google for "xine for fedora core 3". If you google for xine for suse 9.2 you will find xine a package from packman (in english), is about the sixth result. In fact, if you use google a little more wisely, e.g. xine "suse 9.2" rpm you will find it is the third result.

FC3 and Thinkpad
by Cosmo on Tue 16th Nov 2004 12:18 UTC

The author's problems with power management on FC3 are likely to be solved by passing "acpi=off apm=on" to the kernel. Ignore me if I'm wrong.

My take
by Thom Holwerda on Tue 16th Nov 2004 12:26 UTC

My vote goes to neither of these two. I tried them both recently (SuSE 9.1 from that free Novell DVD, and FC3), and both they did anything but impress me. They feel so... big, clumsy and messy. Large selections of software, messy menues (I recall FC3 having 20 (!!) main-menu entries). That sort of nonsense doesn't please me (being a BeOS/OS X fan).

That's why I'm pretty happy with my x86 running Ubuntu. They seem to get the idea for a decent desktop: less default packages. And adding the packages you want is easy enough with Synaptic. Another distribution going this direction is Cobind, by the way. That one didn't impress me as much as Ubuntu does, but it's still decent.

This may come as a shock to people who always try to portray me as being anti-Linux/OSS, but my x86 has been basically Ubuntu-only for a big while now ;) .

RE: nice review
by D on Tue 16th Nov 2004 12:29 UTC

While the installation itself took twice as long, getting it up and running took only 1/6th the time. I'll take a slightly longer isntall to save myself 10 hours of config time, wouldn't you?

D.

v Great, really nice informative review!
by anonymous on Tue 16th Nov 2004 12:37 UTC
Re: Great, really nice informative review!
by Anonymous Penguin on Tue 16th Nov 2004 12:50 UTC

There is a difference between speaking up and old fashioned good manners. After all Eugenia is our host and her reviews are by far not the worst here.

If it worked
by MattPie on Tue 16th Nov 2004 13:58 UTC

I'd just be happy if FC3 didn't hang at "Configuring kernel parameters..." every boot.

re:nonamenobody
by Morty on Tue 16th Nov 2004 14:00 UTC

>not much use for SUSE personal users who don't get a compiler
Since you already have told of using yast to download packages from packman, would not a personal user do the same ting and download a compiler from suse's yast sources?

my 2 cents...
by Dave on Tue 16th Nov 2004 14:12 UTC

personally i simply prefer fedora as i have found more rpms are made for it in the net in general than suse has. however i really wish that fedora/redhat would do something about their aweful and terribly broken system-config-packages utility. I know there is talk about creating a yum front end and using that instead but I haven't heard how far this has gotten off the ground so far.

I switched a few years ago
by ac on Tue 16th Nov 2004 14:30 UTC

from RH to SuSE during the "broken KDE" episode, and have been very happy with it. I recently installed FC3 to see how it was progressing, and while it's just as nice from and end user perspective, it feels very primitive in comparison to the SuSE polish, especially in regards to system configuration and maintenance.

SuSE's YaST is very complete, easy to use, and powerful suite to configure almost everything, while Fedora offers what feels like a random collection of unintegrated tools that cover some tasks well and others not at all. Since YaST is GPL, I assume it is only corporate pride (and Qt's GPL license) that keeps Red Hat in the dark ages.

Great Article
by Anonymous on Tue 16th Nov 2004 14:54 UTC

Thanks for a very well written article. I can understand why your torn. I presently run Gentoo - it took me probably 3 full days to setup fully but it's fast and clean... although I have a soft spot for distro's that install within the same 24-hour period.

I personally find Fedora very slow and clunky and the feature/release cycle has very little testing/patching involved before it's released to general public.

I'm leaning towards SUSE 9.2 myself.

SuSE 9.2 on laptop
by Frottage on Tue 16th Nov 2004 14:55 UTC

Just a quick experience.

Installed SuSE9.2 on my Gateway 505 laptop and everything went smoothly. The touchpad works, the external usb mouse works, the display was properly configured for the widescreen display, and the wireless support worked as well (although I did need to dring the interface down and back up after configuring the wireless settings in yast to get it to work.) Side note: I replaced the minipci wireless card that came with the 505 (had a/b support) with an intel 2200BG minipci card (b/g support) to get the associated g speeds

I have to say I was impressed with how smoothly the install went on the laptop. I expected problems and so far it has been as usable as I could have hoped. Yes, you need to get apt (well apt-get) and update to get the wincodecs, decss, et al, but having used 9.1 on a desktop, I already new what I was in for there.

v "Which one am I going to use?" Neither.
by Anonymous on Tue 16th Nov 2004 15:35 UTC
Thanks for the Review
by brockers on Tue 16th Nov 2004 15:37 UTC

Good review overall. It was straightforward, covered the issues most Linux users are actually concerned with, and was fairly un-bias. (bravo on this point.) Thanks for doing it.

Bobby

@morty & @ac
by nonamenobody on Tue 16th Nov 2004 15:46 UTC

Since you already have told of using yast to download packages from packman, would not a personal user do the same ting and download a compiler from suse's yast sources?

Yes they would, but they would have to wait for the SUSE binaries to become available on FTP.

If I were recommending SUSE to a friend, I would recommend they spend a little extra and buy SUSE Pro (by the same token, I would usually recommend XP Pro, over XP Home).


I assume it is only corporate pride (and Qt's GPL license) that keeps Red Hat in the dark ages.

That is one part of it, but there is another important part. YaST, and more specifically SuSEconfig, is a tool that you either love, or you hate (personally I love it).

IMHO It is the engineering behind SUSE (which SuSEconfig is at the centre of), that really sets SUSE apart from other distros. I'm not saying other distros aren't engineered, just that they aren't engineered the same way SUSE is.

SUSE 9.2 on laptop #2
by Anonymous on Tue 16th Nov 2004 15:58 UTC

I installed SUSE 9.2 on a laptop last weekend. Can't remember how long it took to install exactly, but it was less than it took to back up all my data ;) (it didn't seem as long as an hour, but I might not have installed as many packages as the reviewer)

As usual there was no DVD video support, but after installing the old rpms I'd downloaded from the packman site (mentioned above) for 9.1 it worked fine.

The Gnome setup is much more refined than it was in 9.1, but it is still only 2.6. Bluetooth now works out of the box.

So far I am very impressed with SUSE 9.2, it is very polished and the defaults are sensible. I haven't had any problems, but its only been installed 3 days!

I think that both FC and SUSE (& other distros) are reaching a point where any one of them will work as your main desktop, and you choose based on your personal preference and which one you are used to.

I also have WinXP on another partition for games, and after installing SP2 it is slower to load (from power off) and less responsive than SUSE; both KDE and Gnome look better and respond better.

Some good points
by Rivieracadman on Tue 16th Nov 2004 16:35 UTC

Good article, but I have to disagree. This is simply a counter argument from my perspective. Don't get me wrong I like both distros (In fact I use both daily), but out of the box SUSE (2.6 kernel) is drastically faster and more responsive then FC3 for me. (Kernel compiles break packages in some cases so I don't do them, check out LFS notes on 5.1) I have also found that SUSE has a much better "first time user expiriance". Devices being more visible, better fit and finish accross the board, and since I work on a Windows machine during the day, moving back and forth is much more intuitive the way SUSE has set things up.
In FC3 you can't tell if your using KDE or Gnome on first boot. They are both configured with the same bulky dark ugly RedHat desktop. Menus and toolbars consume a large portion of screen real estate even at high resolutions. Bulky bland plastic ugly looking icons. It reminds me of when Red Hat first moved to Gnome, except the toolbars were smaller then. In all it takes some time to tune to desktop in KDE and/or Gnome to get to where you need to be to get some work done. Not to mention searching for programs like Mozilla that should have high menu placement.
SUSE is also easier to get hardware excelleration up and running correctly. You can even get the Nvidia drivers directly through Yast. Although I prefer ATI cards, you can have hardware excelleration up and running in a matter of minutes on Nvidia cards, and 3D support up and running for ATI by just grabbing the download from ATI's homepage.
That being said, I have found that development is easier to set up on FC3. Especially when using toolkits like FLTK. I had some issues trying to get FLTK and eFLTK to work correctly in SUSE the last time I tried, and forget about FLWM. (yes I have a hack to get it to compile) My other Prefered desktop XFCE is also a pain to set up in SUSE when compiling from source. I don't think I ever checked to see if there were packages already available.
I never did like Red Hat package installer though, Yast is great, weither you install source or RPM packages everything goes smoothly, and it is set up from the start. There is no opening up a terminal just to get a simple package installed. I don't mind installing from the terminal, but when installing something simple like a theme or icons, I shouldn't have to drop what I'm doing to open a terminal and install it. You would think the Red Hat developers would wire in a utility to handle RPMs by default in Gnome, but they don't. Do a standard install, track down Mozilla and go on the web, find an RPM and click on the link. You will have to save it to disk and install it later. I have gotten so frustrated with Red Hats installer I'm now using Apt-RPM on my FC machines. They really need to look into Yast or Mandrakes package manager which are both very good allowing easy searching, indexing, and source configuration.

Just from my personal view take it as you will ...

My two cents: FC3
by John on Tue 16th Nov 2004 16:43 UTC

I tried this on my dev box (dual P3 866 on an Asus CUV4X-D mobo, ATI radeon, SB Live 5.1) and was completely unimpressed. The system would not get past the boot stage after install no matter what combination of noapic, nolapic, acpi=off, pci=usepirqmask, disable MPS 1.4 in BIOS I tried.

I did try Ubuntu and got a little further - it booted and was usable, but eventually it became unusable after the system decided to disable irq 11 and take with it the mouse that was plugged into the USB controller that was using irq 11.

I've had similar problems with FC2 and Arch, so my conclusion is that kernel 2.6.x isn't quite ready for primetime on the systems I use. If anyone has a magic bullet for making a distro based on 2.6 work with the CUV4X-D mobo I'm all ears.

Back to Slackware and kernel 2.4 for me. I do have to rebuild the kernel to enable SMP, but after I do that it just works.

-j

My vote goes to e) none of the above
by slash on Tue 16th Nov 2004 16:47 UTC

Don't know how SuSe is, but I'm pretty sure it is very similar to Fedora with the added "benefit" of not having iso's to download. Now here is my beef with Fedora: Too Bloated, Windows mentality for Unix, Short support life, changes too much between releases, and small package repository.
Back in my Windows 95 days, I remember I had to reinstall it every year due to instability. If you know what you are doing, Windows no longer has that problem but I remember it used to be a major pain in the butt. Now, I find myself upgrading Fedora every 6 months, not due to any particular problem with the system, just because there is a newer release.
No thanks, I'd rather just stick with Debian or FreeBSD. They have everything I need and will last a few years.

a few things
by Bitterman on Tue 16th Nov 2004 16:50 UTC

I agree RAM should not be an excuse, the PC I had that couldn't upgrade past 128mb of RAM was a pentium 233 from 1997. If that is what you are still running no new distro will run satisfactory. You'd be better off with an old M$ windows box.

Config.. maybe it takes you 1/6th the time to config SuSE but who's to say it wont for someone else. For instance I would get rid of SuSE's bubble/shiny color desktop. It's just too many colors, and looks like chaos. Changing a theme/icons isn't hard just saying its preference.

Testing
Everyone says over and over Fedora doesn't get tested, None of these people run Fedora. FC test 1 came out early july thats 5 months, most distro's come out every 6 months. I fail to see the problem other than biased opinions or uninformed comments.

"Since YaST is GPL, I assume it is only corporate pride (and Qt's GPL license) that keeps Red Hat in the dark ages."

Well fedora rushed to put connecter in once that was GPL'd so a pride thing might not be it. Maybe the system-config-* tools are going to be a gnome standard in which case all distro's will have them some day. Maybe thats why? I think ubuntu already uses system-config doesn't it? If thats the case than I agree with standardization of tools, Its modular aswell, so you don't open up 250mb's of ram you only open the conf tool you need at the moment.

great article!
by david on Tue 16th Nov 2004 16:52 UTC

this was definitely a refreshing review. i, too, am horribly exhausted with the screenshot-laden "reviews" i see out there. this one was very much to the point: can it do what i need it to and what does it take to get me there.

there's no need for a choice to be made; the beauty is that the author lets the reader make the choice for themselves.

@SLASH
by Halo on Tue 16th Nov 2004 16:54 UTC

You could try Gentoo. It is very up to date and you never need to reinstall. You just do an "emerge world".

oh the other thing
by Bitterman on Tue 16th Nov 2004 16:55 UTC

I forgot someone said he counted 20 menu's in FC3, how come I only have 12? 9 folders. I hope next time this user says he's used FC3 he installs it first to help the credibility along.

great review. Thanks Andrew.
by johnMG on Tue 16th Nov 2004 17:00 UTC

what david just said ;)

My problem
by Bitterman on Tue 16th Nov 2004 17:02 UTC

The thing I hate most about using Fedora is that when I install a new one I get these pop-up messages on certain websites like slashdot and osnews. These pop up's come up saying.
"fedora sux0rz uze debian/ubunto/gentoo"
Does anyone know how to get rid of these annoying popup's in fedora/suse threads? Should I file a bug report?

Re: Fedora Core 3 vs. Suse 9.2 Professional
by Anonymous on Tue 16th Nov 2004 17:10 UTC

Now is it just me, or does it seem like a waste of time to compare a Professional Linux distribution like Suse 9.2 Pro with a perpetual beta Linux distribution like Fedora Core?

The Fedora zealots are gonna be screaming bloody murder over this question, but I do think it's a fair one.

SUSE 9.2 Pro very disappointing
by simo on Tue 16th Nov 2004 17:15 UTC

I tried out SUSE 9.2 Pro last night, under VMWare.

Now hopefully the failings I saw were due to being run under VMWare, as 9.2 appeared to be a complete dog, especially when it came to getting Xorg and mouse working!

I actually bought SUSE 9.1 Pro and quite liked it but got fed up with KDE, so tried Fedora Core 2, which being RedHat-based, I knew would have a nice version of Gnome (SUSE's Gnome is very disappointing, especially being from the Ximian guys!)

I didn't have much confidence in FC2 as I tried FC1 on VMWare and it seemed like it wasn't even as good as RedHat9, and nowhere near RHEL 3ES.

Well I was surprised, I'm a total convert to Fedora now, with FC2 being on my main desktop machines at home and work.

I downloaded FC3 and will be trying that out on VMWare before putting it on my laptop to replace RH9.

Suse 9.2 Professional vs Windows?
by Adurbe on Tue 16th Nov 2004 17:28 UTC

I would like to see a realistic, newcomer review, of windows vs suse, lets face it thats its competition not FC3 or any other distro for that matter.

Or better yet a UNBIASED review between Mac and SUSE :-D niche vs niche

Anonymous
by Bitterman on Tue 16th Nov 2004 17:34 UTC

"Suse 9.2 Pro with a perpetual beta Linux distribution like Fedora Core?"

Fedora has been in testing longer than SuSe 9.2 mind explaining why SuSE "professional" is so much more rock solid when its had less testing and uses the same software? I mean a whole community has been testing FC3 since june. when was suse 9.2 beta released to public for testing? a couple weeks ago in late october? Yes thats much more thorough testing than FC3's public beta release 5 months ago.

Trolls suck

@bitterman
by ac on Tue 16th Nov 2004 17:42 UTC

<<Its modular aswell, so you don't open up 250mb's of ram you only open the conf tool you need at the moment.>>

YaST is modular; the main YaST app is just a lightweight structured launchpad to start the individual conf tools. The integrated feel comes from the UI design so all the tools feel like they are parts of the same app.

I agree that system-config-* could eventually achieve the same thing. But for right now, the install/configure parts of Fedora are pretty much the same as RH Linux five years ago compared to how much more refined SuSE 9.2 feels.

v Re: Bitterman (IP: 63.193.183.---) - Posted on 2004-11-16 17:34:50
by Anonymous on Tue 16th Nov 2004 17:50 UTC
re: Halo
by slash on Tue 16th Nov 2004 18:07 UTC

"You could try Gentoo. It is very up to date and you never need to reinstall. You just do an "emerge world"."

Well, I might give Gentoo a try in a few years, but I think at the moment they are still working on making it a real operating environment. At the moment, I see it more a technology preview rather than a production usable distribution. They need to work out some things: like define their base OS, create better documentation, have more binary packages available, and differentiate between a stable source repository and a bleeding edge source repository, and finally have life-times of 2 years for their stable repository.
I think open-source on the desktop has reached a point where I just don't care to be on the bleeding edge. I'd now rather get a few years of use out of my system, on the desktop and server side, just worrying about minor bug and security fixes rather than whole-sale upgrades of modules. I would like something to come out and have the minimum amount of changes to it for at least two years. Linux/Unix is damn stable and secure. I don't want to waste my time doing meaningless updates to a system.
Anyways, once Gentoo does have a well defined base system, and a stable branch that they support for a few years, I will definately give them a good look.

bugs
by Bitterman on Tue 16th Nov 2004 18:09 UTC

Bugs get sorted out, sent upstream and release versions change, thats how development works. Major release versions aren't changed. you can check rpm -q package --changlog |head -n 10 to see what changes are made. I've never had a package break due to upgrade on a Fedora system, and I've been using it since FC1. Even if I did there are 'rollbacks' for up2date so if something is wrong I can go back to the old version just as quick. No sweat.

@bitterman
by Anonymous on Tue 16th Nov 2004 18:11 UTC

> when was suse 9.2 beta released to public for testing?

Which shows how few you know about the SUSE engineering process. The answer is, there is never a pulic testing.

RE: If It Worked....Nvidia?
by enloop on Tue 16th Nov 2004 18:13 UTC

You haven't, by any chance, tried to add a proprietary driver? Say, from Nvidia?

Go to the Fedora site and search for their docs on udev. In it, you'll find some things to do to get Nvidia working.

Also, do an update, or at least update udev, prior to installing the Nvidia driver. RedHat says all FC3 users need to update udev ASAP.

Why this stuff is not in the release notes is a Really Good Question.

anon
by Bitterman on Tue 16th Nov 2004 18:18 UTC

"Which shows how few you know about the SUSE engineering process. The answer is, there is never a pulic testing."

Well I read beta reviews of it, thats what I'm talking about. You might even find a few on this site if you look.

@eugenia:
by AdamW on Tue 16th Nov 2004 19:14 UTC

Since I know you think MDK is one of those horrible bloated distros full of the 'patches' you bang on about so much, here's my top screen, sorted by memory usage. Total memory is 512MB. Evolution and firefox are sucking it, as they do. X is running in about 50MB, not too shabby. So what would you say, in that list, is a horrible bloaty MDK patched process? BTW, I don't heavily mess with my system. I didn't even customise the package selection, on this install; I couldn't be bothered.

6608 adamw 15 0 151m 50m 28m S 0.0 10.1 0:42.05 evolution
12046 adamw 15 0 109m 46m 35m S 0.7 9.2 1:21.09 mozilla-firefox
4256 root 15 0 114m 44m 82m S 3.3 8.9 1:53.21 X
15364 adamw 15 0 43688 22m 35m S 0.3 4.5 0:16.67 mplayer
15363 adamw 15 0 41500 19m 35m S 0.0 3.9 0:00.23 mplayer
5493 adamw 15 0 27544 19m 15m S 0.3 3.8 0:38.77 net_applet
5595 adamw 15 0 35152 17m 19m S 0.0 3.4 0:03.21 nautilus
8068 adamw 15 0 33024 15m 16m S 2.7 3.0 0:06.03 gnome-terminal
5593 adamw 15 0 21520 13m 16m S 0.3 2.7 0:02.21 gnome-panel
5609 adamw 15 0 18760 10m 14m S 0.3 2.0 0:03.40 wnck-applet
5293 adamw 15 0 18136 9048 14m S 0.0 1.8 0:00.75 gnome-session
8117 adamw 15 0 19756 8896 5580 S 0.3 1.7 1:31.59 btdownloadcurse
5615 adamw 15 0 18616 8720 15m S 0.0 1.7 0:00.52 clock-applet
5535 adamw 15 0 19964 8620 17m S 0.0 1.7 0:00.77 gnome-settings-
5527 adamw 16 0 9696 8368 3224 S 0.0 1.6 0:01.25 gconfd-2
6616 adamw 15 0 61444 8364 17m S 0.0 1.6 0:00.39 evolution-alarm
5589 adamw 15 0 12112 7800 10m S 0.7 1.5 0:04.64 metacity

FC vs. Debian Sarge
by johnMG on Tue 16th Nov 2004 19:21 UTC

How does Debian Sarge compare with these two?

@eugenia:
by Max Brand on Tue 16th Nov 2004 20:00 UTC

"Since I know you think MDK is one of those horrible bloated distros..."

Yep. The "Slackware ownz" crowd thinks that:

A) the whole world has broadband and should be happily downloading packages off the net that a certain skimpy distro simply doesn't have.

B) the whole world is populated by geeks who like to edit everything by hand, and that Linux should stay in the Dark Ages, and will always be only for IT professionals and hobbyists.

@bitterman
by Anonymous on Tue 16th Nov 2004 20:23 UTC

> Well I read beta reviews of it, thats what I'm talking about.

If one or two journalists make it a public test for you...

Re: My vote goes to e) none of the above
by Dark_Knight on Wed 17th Nov 2004 01:17 UTC

Slash,

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion but how can we see you as anything but biased and uninformative when you state things like this "Don't know how SuSe is, but I'm pretty sure it is very similar to Fedora with the added "benefit" of not having iso's to download". If you haven't tried a distribution let alone the latest release then you shouldn't be trying to make an opinion.

This type of ignorance is just as bad as those that comment saying Novell has never offered a free installation of SuSE Linux so they are strictly a commercial product. If the same persons would just take 2 minutes to read the SuSE Linux website they would see that they have always offered SuSE Linux Personal via downloadable ISO and SuSE Linux Professional via FTP install for free. The retail products come with extras such as technical support.

Xine in SuSE 9.2 Pro
by John McKinnon on Wed 17th Nov 2004 07:53 UTC

Xine is on 9.2 Pro's install DVD. Use YAST and search for Xine. The only things that need to be added are the css and dvdlibs (packman's work)if you want to play encrypted DVDs.
http://packman.links2linux.org/?action=124 for Packman's Xine libs in English. Link to libdvdcss is on this page.

re:Xine in SuSE 9.2 Pro
by tobaccofarm on Wed 17th Nov 2004 18:21 UTC

Xine is on 9.2 Pro's install DVD. Use YAST and search for Xine. The only things that need to be added are the css and dvdlibs (packman's work)if you want to play encrypted DVDs.
http://packman.links2linux.org/?action=124 for Packman's Xine libs in English. Link to libdvdcss is on this page.


That will not be enough.Xine itself is altered to prohibit you to play any encrypted dvd,even if you have installed all the above.At least this was the case on SuSE 9.1 professional.The only option is to deinstall xine-(lib/ui) and kaffeine altogether and install all the needed packages from the http://packman.links2linux.org site.If you want to keep up with the development of xines features you will have to update it from time to time anyway.

apt-get and synaptic? But, WHY?
by WebDragon on Wed 17th Nov 2004 22:19 UTC

for freshrpms all you needed was to add /etc/yum.repos.d/freshrpms.repo containing
---
[freshrpms]
name=Fedora Linux $releasever - $basearch - freshrpms
baseurl=http://ayo.freshrpms.net/fedora/linux/$releasever/$basearch/freshrp...
enabled=0
---
and then (yum --enable-repos=freshrpms list available)

This all comes with FC3. no sweat, no huhu.

The new Yum is a considerable improvement over the version that came with FC2 and I highly recommend trying it again.

There's also options for checking gpg signatures (you'll want to rpm --import http://freshrpms.net/packages/RPM-GPG-KEY.txt first as well, if you enable this) (see other examples in the /etc/yum.repos.d/ dir.)

Additional SuSE repositories + apt
by SHiFT on Wed 24th Nov 2004 21:32 UTC

very useful place: additional packages -- working xine + codecs + dvd support:
http://packman.links2linux.org/


apt for SuSE:
ftp://ftp.gwdg.de/pub/linux/suse/apt