Home > SuSE, openSUSE > First Look At SuSE Linux 8.2 First Look At SuSE Linux 8.2 Eugenia Loli 2003-03-29 SuSE, openSUSE 36 Comments MadPenguin has the first review of SuSE 8.2. OSNews’ SuSE 8.2 review is coming this Monday, so stay tuned. About The Author Eugenia Loli Ex-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker. Follow me on Twitter @EugeniaLoli 36 Comments 2003-03-29 3:24 am I’m actually looking forward to trying SuSE 8.2 2003-03-29 3:46 am I’m anxious to try it out too. That’s great they fixed the K menu and online updater. We’ll get the real lowdown from Eugenia on Moday 🙂 2003-03-29 4:20 am I never had a problem using SuSE 8.1 update with yast2. I’ve installed it on countless machines and never had a problem. I know many people have, but I never saw it. I’m currently testing out Mandrake 9.1. SuSE has alway’s been my main distro, but I thnk MD9.1 has done several things right this time. Does Linus really use SuSE? I’ve alway’s wondered what he used, I thought maybe more of something like LFS, but his own deal. If he does use SuSE, how did you find out? 2003-03-29 4:26 am Two things about MadPenguin’s review; 1. Indeed, my PnP VESA-compliant monitor wouldn’t get autodetected either. More on that on Monday, as this seems to be a bug on the installation and not a weakness of SuSE. 2. Indeed, during installation, EVEN if you just tried to install the absolute defaults packages that SuSE has pre-selected, you get at least ONE dependancy dialog asking the user how to deal with it. I said in the past that this is wrong, and I still believe the same. ( http://www.osnews.com/story.php?news_id=1744 ) Checking more packages by yourself, you will get 2-3 more dialogs that ask the user how to deal with them. I find this weak. But wait for our review on Monday… 2003-03-29 4:41 am I hope they have at least fixed two things that really irritated me about 8.1: 1. gcc incompatibility b/w java and mozilla (yes, I know you could have downgraded to gcc 2.95 compiled mozilla, or used blackdown’s gcc 3.2 compiled java, but if I’m paying $80 for a distro boxed, I expect java and mozilla to work out of the box). 2. Lack of a progress bar, or feedback, with YOU. This is really irritating. I wonder if these 2 things have been fixed? 2003-03-29 4:58 am First of all, thanks for linking to us. I hope you enjoyed the comments on the 8.2 release. To answer a couple of questions posted here… 1. Linus does indeed use SuSE Linux at home (and Red Hat at work). He has stated this on several occasions, as well as in his book. 2. YOU has a progress bar now. Break out the champagne. 3. Java and Mozilla seemed to work ok right out of the box, but I didn’t really badger it too much so I won’t say for certain how compliant it all is. We all know SuSE is known for doing things their own way 4. I agree with Eugenia in regard to both things said about the installation routine. The user should not be prompted like that for dependency checks… never really thought of it in that light I guess, but you are correct. It should autofetch dependecies from the packagelist. Thanks again for the link! MadPenguin 2003-03-29 5:39 am While, i liked reading the review I think there was far too much focus on the positive and far too little on the negative. From waht i read SuSE seems to have just simply updated standard packages like KDE, GNOME, Xfree etc. slightly polished their tools and barely added anythign new. As far as look-n-feel goes it seems identical to my 8.1 setup apart from the fonts. YAST does not use crystal icons and I do not think they are using a consistent theme to make Qt and GTK apps appear to fit in. more on this here: http://kde-look.org/content/show.php?content=3952 YAST still seems to have poor usability as before. This is not because SuSE does not know how to design a good interface, it is because they are using the EXACT same layout for their tools in text mode and graphical mode, EVERYTHING uses the same layout. Therefore, they don’t take advantage of better metaphors, mor effective guis etc. It is good they have consistency ebtween text and gui tools, but i think it hurts them more in the long run. SuSE really nees to improve their desktop product a lot more to effectively compete with Mandrake 9.1 and Redhat 9. Note: I find Mandrake the best so far, but I think their defaults suck. – no icons on buttons, yes when you click columns to order there is no down or up arrow, nothing – no zoom on icons – no fading handles for taskbar applets – too many apps displayed on taskbar by default – too many desktops by default (IMO it should only e 1 by default, most people don’t use VDs – no drop shadows on menus, infact no GUI effects are displayed by default – windows are by default traversed in VDs. what is the point of virtual desktops if you still have all the clutter. Anyway, I disabled this from the Kontrol Center. – KDE’s extended previews are not enabled by default and Konqueror doe snot have previews for everything enabled or folders to reflect their contents – sound is set to “mute all” by default – devices have cryptic names You get the idea. LOTS of POOR, but thankfully EASY TO FIX DEFAULTS. Apart from that I don’t have much to complain about. Everything seems to work, except Kmix which for some reason displays a blank window, but i used Aumix instead. 2003-03-29 5:48 am >As far as look-n-feel goes it seems identical to my 8.1 setup apart from the fonts. The fonts used on SuSE 8.2 are really nice. I don’t know how they did it, but their quality of rendering “Sans” font used all over the place is better than Red Hat’s (special parametres to the font engine maybe specifically for this font?). > I do not think they are using a consistent theme to make Qt and GTK apps appear to fit in. Actually they do. Keramik for Qt 3 and Geramik for GTK+ 1 and 2. So under KDE you do get a consistent desktop. 2003-03-29 5:52 am Thanks for the compliment on the review, but I am wondering if you have tried the 8.2 release yet? From the sound of it you have, but what you are describing is from the 8.1 release… For instance, the QT theme used in SuSE 8.2 is Keramik and the default GTK theme is Geramik. In example, When I loaded Mozilla, it was set to the modern theme, but when I changed it to classic to test if the theme was consistent, it loaded with the Keramik look just like konqueror. GIMP also proved to load with the Geramik theme to add further proof. So I’m not sure where you are getting your info from that the GTK theme is anything other than Geramik. I agree with you that YaST is the basically the same in layout and look (though it has a few more tools), but it gets the job done. I haven’t had the opportunity to try RH9 yet, but I will when final code is released. As far as the desktop is concerned, what you are talking about is all personal preference. Some people may like the way it looks, while you may not. I really cannot comment too much on that because the needed functionality is there for most users. I also agree on the “cryptic names” thing. Most Linux distros could benefit from having friendlier names for devices, even if it is some sort of symlink to the *actual* device. Finally, let me say that I’m not trying to start any kind of argument here, so don’t take it that way. I respect what you are saying but don’t agree with some of it. I AM really interested to know if you’ve tried the 8.2 release yet though… 2003-03-29 5:55 am I jumped the gun too fast! it seems they have done more than the review mentions, but they usally put up their new distribution information about a month before release and they jsu put up the specs TODAY! That’s why I did not think it would be more than a little bit of cleanup. Can’t wait for your review Monday! Pleas do compare it to RH 9 and mandrake I really want to know your thoughts on how it ranks. Currently I am using Mandrake 9.1, but soon I will have SuSE 8.2 (I am in their subscription plan, but i will quit it since I think it is more reasonable to upgrade every 2-3 versions). if i were not, my money would probably have gone to mandrake though. 2003-03-29 6:50 am The SuSE 8.2 product pages has more screenshots: http://www.suse.com/us/private/products/suse_linux/i386/index.html Can anyone say what SuSE changed on OpenOffice.org? I read about a new setup routine and added Templates somewhere. What else, new look? And got the personal edition cheaper or the professional update more expensive? They don’t seem to have the same price anymore. 2003-03-29 7:02 am I remember trying 7.1 and there were 2 versions back than too. 2003-03-29 8:19 am Me again. Seems that only the English Personal Edition is cheaper than the Professional Update. Not the same for the German versions. And only the German SuSE 8.2 seems to include templates for OpenOffice.org. 2003-03-29 8:58 am Of course it is the same with the German version: http://www.edv-buchversand.de/suse/search/actionpage.html?soft_neu 2003-03-29 9:14 am You skipped “Update” when reading my above comment? My point is that the English SuSE Personal is 10$ cheaper than the Professional Update. 2003-03-29 1:42 pm Back in the early days, my first real exposure to linux was with an early version of SUSE. I used their products up until 7.1 where RedHat caught my eye, being the only one I could get my hands on. SUSE 8.1 looked tempting but the number of issues that people encountered seemed overwhelming so I looked elsewhere. Currently I’m on RedHat 8.0 which is nice and stable but lacks the application support I desire as well as a decent KDE. Mandrake 9.1 appears to be a good substitute for me until SUSE becomes readily available (my distributor isn’t shipping it till April 28th). Overall, a great and unbiased article. Thanks MadPenguin! I really hope that this SUSE could cut into some of RedHat’s mass of marketshare. Cheers, matt 2003-03-29 1:51 pm I often when possible, buy the Personal Editions of distros…I think it’s a good way to support them. This time, you get a nifty SuSE T shirt! 2003-03-29 2:05 pm I thought your review was very good. It did not sugarcoat anything. I’m all excited about the K Menu, YOU update and AA fonts!! 2003-03-29 2:24 pm I was going to buy this anyway! Yay! 2003-03-29 4:16 pm I’m happy that they finally fixed the Menu. That was one of the most irritating minor issues with SuSE. I have been a long time user of SuSE, and currently I’m running version 8.0 with lots of customizations now… I find SuSE to be most stable and have the most reasonable configuration tools (meaning that they’re not too broken) as compared to RH and Mandrake. 1. What version of Mozilla is included? Is it compiled with Xft (from the screenshots, it doesn’t appear so). I hope they include at least version 1.2.1, but 1.3 would be better. 2. Is the VPN usefull for connecting to networks as a client? I had the need to do this under Linux, but at the time when I was looking it appeared complicated. In the end, I ended up purchasing a copy of Win4Lin from NetTraverse so that I can use a VPN client under win98 ( (Win4Lin allows you to run Windows 98 in an X-Window). 3. Do they include the java from Blackdown or Sun? I guess this is minor since it’s easy to just download them. 4. I have a laptop and I have to connect to different types of networks. Does Yast have the capability of configuring multiple network configurations for a single ethernet device? For example, I need to use dhcp at school, but at home I use a static address. 5. How well does the OpenOffice quick start work? Is this a feature that SuSE added, or is this a standard new feature in OpenOffice. 6. Which version of Evolution does it come with. Is it stable. 7. How is the Gnome-2.2 Desktop. Is it configured by SuSE, and does it function. 8. Does wireless work? I know these are lots of questions, but maybe a few can be answered. Thanks. 2003-03-29 4:38 pm I don’t like of SuSe because I cannot download an iso image of the same version of the box package, like Red Hat or Mandrake. I think that force people to buy a boxed version every 3 months is bad. I prefer buy a linux box when I can test the downloaded version before. And there is no exclusive feature that there is no equivalent in Red Hat, Mandrake, Conectiva, etc. Here in Brazil the SuSe box is very expensive for us. 2003-03-29 4:51 pm 1. 1.2.1 and no. 2. Don’t know, I can’t test that here. 3. There is java and it works ok, not sure from which vendor. 4. Yes 5. Pretty quick I would think. 6. 1.2.something, I need to check it out. 7. Configured by SuSE, regarding the looks of it. And its 2.2.1-pre in reality, not just 2.2.0. 8. Dunno, there is a wireless pref panel, but I haven’t installed SuSE on a laptop (I don’t have an x86 laptop more than 300 Mhz) so I can’t say. 2003-03-29 5:52 pm check out http://news.com.com/redir?destUrl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%… that’s news.com’s coverage (streaming video) of the upcoming Suse 8.2 release. I just ordered my copy and I get a free t-shirt to boot. hehe 2003-03-29 6:32 pm One question on OpenOffice and AA fonts. I am running SuSE 8.1, RedHat 9 (beta), Mandrake 9.0 and Libranet 2.7. In all of these distros, except for SuSE, the AA fonts were enabled in OpenOffice as soon as I launced/setup the program. SuSE still had way ugly fonts (although the desktop/intenet, etc. fonts were fine). Are AA fonts automatically enabled in OpenOffice in SuSE 8.2? Thanks if anyone can answer this! 2003-03-29 7:03 pm Does any know if they have put PySol back in? It was missing from SuSE 8.1. What’s the new OCR software like? Can we have more features on the progress meter in YOU (this is something I requested from SuSE, along with other improvements in YOU (like speeding it up a bit)) 2003-03-29 7:39 pm Does anyone know when will SuSE 8.2 available in stores (here in germany)? 2003-03-29 7:41 pm Thanks Eugenia. I can’t believe they didn’t compile Mozilla 1.2.1 with Xft support! That’s the main reason to upgrade Mozilla to version 1.2.1 or 1.3. It’s time consuming to recompile Mozilla, and what kind of impression would this leave for a novice Linux user. Mozilla with Xft is great, but without Xft it’s ugly! This is such a stupid mistake on SuSE’s part, it makes me wonder if it’s political (Konqueror over Mozilla). All SuSE supporters should protest. 2003-03-29 7:43 pm > That’s the main reason to upgrade Mozilla to version 1.2.1 or 1.3. I upgraded it last night. There was no XFT support, except if you compile it bny your self. And if you do that, you break Galeon, 2003-03-29 8:06 pm > I upgraded it last night. There was no XFT support, except if you compile it bny your self. And if you do that, you break Galeon, Curious, did you upgrade from mozilla.org? Mandrake 9.1 and Yoper have Mozilla compiled with Xft, so SuSE could have done the same (and left out Galeon). IMHO Mozilla without Xft support leaves a bad impression of Linux to new users. 2003-03-29 8:13 pm >> All SuSE supporters should protest. Use the feedback form on SuSE web site, Euguine should do this mention her monitor not being recognised too. I have had some good response in past, when I used SuSE’s feedback form http://www.suse.de/cgi-bin/feedback.cgi >> IMHO Mozilla without Xft support leaves a bad impression of Linux to new users. I have to agree with that. 2003-03-29 8:45 pm About Q2: I currently have a VPN connection set up on a 8.1 box without any problems. You can get the client from here: http://pptpclient.sourceforge.net/ It seems 8.2 will be great. I found the part about YOU weird in the review. It has been working fine for me since I used it for the first time in SuSE 7.3. Make sure you can make active ftp connections or you’ll need to set it to passive (I believe there is a SDB article about it). 2003-03-29 11:45 pm Eugenia, you are aware there’s no font called sans, right? It’s a standard alias, but each distribution picks what font to use when the alias “sans” is chosen. In Red Hat 8/9 and Mandrake 9.1, which both use fontconfig, it’s defined in /etc/fonts/fonts.conf. So it’s perfectly possible SuSE’s “sans” font is not the same as Red Hat’s “sans” font. In Mandrake it’s aliased to Nimbus Sans by default, I *think*, though I’m not sure. The other possibility is that they included the hinting patch to freetype2 by that bloke whose surname is Chester (I forget his first name…David?), which will be rolled into freetype2 main for 2.1.4. 2003-03-29 11:52 pm eugenia has a good point. if you compile moz with xft support, you have to use galeon 1.3.x (development release). personally i’m happy with this, but there’s quite a lot of galeon users who aren’t happy with the 1.3 branch yet. and since SuSE appear to have feature-frozen a while ago, it’s possible only 1.3.0 and 1.3.1 were available at that point, both of which are ropey. Mandrake’s decision was to compile Moz with Xft support and use Galeon 1.3.3, but it’s certainly not a clearcut decision, there are arguments in favour of keeping Moz’s native freetype interface so Galeon 1.2.x will compile. btw, if you play with /usr/lib/mozilla/defaults/pref/unix.js (possibly replace “mozilla” with the exact version) enough, it’s possible to get non-Xft moz looking pretty nice. 2003-03-29 11:56 pm Here is another Mandrake idiot who cant wait to get stuck into SuSE. Once again you dont have a clue what you are talking about. The world does not need to know about your stupid stupid decisions and the bullshit you based them on. I’m feel really sad for you that that SuSE’s icons are not to your liking, but you are critisizing the distro with the most consistent and professional looking interface of all. If you want ugly, stick to Mandrake. 2003-03-30 1:58 am I understand your point. If you compile mozilla with Xft, Galeon users are shafted. A solution would be to have a separate set of mozilla libraries just for Galeon, the stable version that is. I’m sure a Linux distributor could figure out how to do this (I could even figure it out). I have a very strong view on the subject because mozilla happens to be the most stable and standards compliant browser for Linux, and as such it should be one of the default browsers. Furthermore, users from other OS’s know of Mozilla by the name of Netscape, and most don’t know of Galeon. The web surfing experience on Linux is drastically downgraded when the text is illegible in the browser you’re using, and that’s precisely the case with mozilla. It’s really just horrible when Xft support is left out and quite beautiful when compiled in. Once you see it with Xft, you don’t want to go back. IMHO, leaving out Xft is far more damaging to Linux as a desktop OS than leaving it in and breaking Galeon. 2003-03-30 3:19 am The only solution is the Galeon guys or who ever does the package for galeon, to statically link the mozilla gtkembed needed libraries. This way, no matter what a user might do to mozilla, galeon will keep working. the way it is now on ALL linux distros with galeon breaking if you upgrade mozilla, it is a big mess. There are no recent suse packages for galeon, and i have no time to compile stuff, neither I want to. Therefore, the Suse guys, should just put the needed packages to their YOU, so people can update ASAP.