Home > SuSE, openSUSE > SuSE 9.0 Professional ReviewedSuSE 9.0 Professional Reviewed Eugenia Loli 2003-10-23 SuSE, openSUSE 39 Comments“SUSE unwraps a must-have desktop distribution for power-hungry power users wanting more than the latest and greatest in 32 bits.” Read the review at Open Mag. About The Author Eugenia LoliEx-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker.Follow me on Twitter @EugeniaLoli 39 Comments 2003-10-23 2:11 am Oh my God! What a title..SUSE is God send. When I read about Suse, it always gives me the feeling I am reading about Apple. 2003-10-23 2:16 am I downloaded the LiveEval Cd for 9.0 the other day and i have to say that i am very impressed with SuSE and planning on purchasing the boxed version. I have always been *fairly* impressed with SuSE, now I am just really impressed. I really appreciate it’s level of refinement and professionalism, something not found in a lot of other Linux distributions. 2003-10-23 2:35 am I have had much better luck with SeSE products versus Mandrake’s. I Cannot wait to try SuSE 9.0. 2003-10-23 2:46 am As the only distribution of linux that has worked out of the box (ie, without any further configuration) on my laptop, it gets many thumbs up from me. Though, oddly, the LiveCD has been giving me issues with the screen resolution on first boot up. I have to wonder if anyone else is having similar problems. 2003-10-23 2:47 am I have used suse in the past all the way up to 8.2 on my desktop but went to rh9 because it was so beautiful.I downloaded the suse9 live eval and must say that overall it seems to be alot like 8.2 but with a heavy dose of polish. Its really slick. I haven’t seen the new Mandrake yet but I think its safe to say that Suse9 raises the bar yet another notch.The Linux desktop is progressing at a fairly rapid pace overall. It IS impressive…. 2003-10-23 3:34 am Are there gnome 2.4 rpms out for Suse? What tool do Suse have for updating software? 2003-10-23 3:37 am I use suse for my binary systems where it would take too long to install Gentoo on. This update seems to be a big step forward for Linux Desktops everywhere 2003-10-23 4:11 am I am a relative linux noob, although I do use Linux to run servers, and do webhosting. I have had help in these areas, I havent done it completely alone. I use Redhat 9 and 7.1 at work, and thats been ok. I am going to use gentoo for the servers soon however.Back to Suse. I have tried many variations of Linux, Gentoo, RH, Mandrake, Debian, Slackware, Ark, Evil Entity, etc. ALmost all were fairly recent.I am using Suse 8.2 on this laptop to write this. It was the ONLY distro that actually worked right from the beginning (using an FTP install). I tried for four days straight to get Gentoo to work right on it with no luck. Debian didnt work, Mandrake 9 didnt work, nothing else was set up and just plain worked right except Suse. I was impressed. For the first time, I am willing to pay (gasp) for a distro. And I dont mind, I finally found something I liked. HOWEVER: I want to get Suse 9.0 pro. I want to know if I really am going to get good support. Isnt that what I am paying for in the end? I want to get answers (not all the time, but at least once in a while) to my questions when I am stumped. How will they help me? 2003-10-23 4:44 am maybe ill download the live-eval. Im still waiting for the mdk 9.2 isos( proably another week) and have nothin much to do until then. 2003-10-23 5:45 am is there an apt implementation for SuSe, and does it work well? 2003-10-23 5:45 am > Are there gnome 2.4 rpms out for Suse? xThere are no 2.4 rpms. It seems that SuSE doesn’t like Gnome at all. There was even no Gnome-Update for SuSE 8.2.SuSE is really a great Distro (especially for newbies), but this is really a shame. Thats why I switched to slackware, and I am really happy about that.> What tool do Suse have for updating software?They use Yast. A great update tool and package manager. 2003-10-23 5:47 am I’ve unfortunately not been impressed with SuSE. I’ve tried to live eval cd’s to no avail. Even with two different mobos, although both are biostar’s if that matters. 2003-10-23 6:18 am I wanted to learn RH but I don’t like this fedora thing so I’m thinking about switching to something debian based. 2003-10-23 6:36 am See title. These were all very different hardware-wise (different chipsets) and I had no problems.@westyvw — You pay for a double-sided DVD, 5 CDs and over 1100 pages of printed manuals in the form of two fat books.The server + service configuration in YAST is real nice now. A simple click to activate samba client and I got my Samba server on Linux + my W2K share. Samba Server works similar.Nvidia drivers work for me, Samba 3-rpms, Firebird, kopete-rpms and the usual small stuff — that’s how much I tried out so far… 2003-10-23 7:23 am I’ve been using SuSE for a year now at home, and I’ve used versions 8.1 through to 9.0. I have to say I’m generally satisfied with it and it has excelled over every other version of Linux I’ve tried including RH9. It’s the only distro that has satisfactory support for my modem (the Speedtouch USB DSL); I never could get Mandrake (9.1) to work with it.As for GNOME, well the version of GNOME 2.2 supplied with this version is pretty good and actually it seems faster than the version supplied with 8.2, and the appearance has been tidied up a bit. Usually one of the Linux mags like Linux Format puts it on their cover disk after a while (it did this with 2.2 and KDE 3.1 when they came out) but the online GNOME update hasn’t been updated since version 2.0!The only problem I’ve had with 9.0 is that, after about four logins, I could not log into any desktop or WM from KDM; I had to start a failsafe session and then start the GUI manually, which does not make things too difficult (and on a single user system, it logs you in automatically, so you get straight to failsafe), but given that this is a boxed product which I paid 35 quid for … it’s a big problem when an important part of the user interface is broken. This is the first version of SuSE Linux I’ve had this problem with. But it’s still worth the upgrade IMHO. 2003-10-23 7:27 am I tried out the pro version yesterday and was amazed to find I had several issues with it.First: If you have a nForce based motherboard, don’t bother. SuSE does NOT support the nForce out of the box which means you intergrated network card will not work (Had to install an old stand alone network card). Ditto with nvidia graphics drivers as they’ve removed these..you now have to downoad them like anyother distro…but that’s not such a big deal.Also had KDE crashes and extreme slowdowns..something I have not seen with any other distro out there.My biggest complaint has been and still is the almost total and complete lack of pacakges (read: people actually using the distro) and support. Both can be almost impossible to find.Nutshell: Best LOOKING distro out there but the lack of out of the box nforce support killed it for me. The continued lack of packages and a large and active user base just makes it somewhat exotic.Want to love it, but can’t do it yet. Installed the new mandrake and it’s hardware support is the best, bar-none. Surprise SuSE got beat by them in that area. 2003-10-23 7:32 am http://linux01.gwdg.de/apt4rpm/ 2003-10-23 7:33 am After trying Fedora rc3, I have to agree with Eugenia, Gnome rocks. Now, is a real shame that Suse is “forcing” the users to use KDE.At least, they should let you decide what you want to use, since for a newbie (me included), is just to hard to install certain packages in any Linux distro.I had a real hard time trying to install xfce on SuSe 8.2, until I gave up.Tried to install Gentoo and Slackware, same results.The Linux conmunity really need to fix that geek mentality. 2003-10-23 9:04 am Sounds like the Suse distro to take Windows out of my computer for EVER.. and Ever. Amen. 2003-10-23 9:30 am They’ve always had a complete Gnome, and have always installed the two and given the choice at login to pick which you want. However with the two to chose from they’ve concentrated on KDE while Redhat/Fedora concentrated on Gnome (the RH8 KDE had issues – looked gorgeous though).Also you should remember they’ve got to fully test, integrate and package Gnome 2.4, Fedora is still in beta-testing, whereas SuSE 9.0 is in final.I’m sure Gnome RPMs will turn up in a month or so, and then you can use it to your heart’s content. YaST has an auto-update feature AFAIK which should take all the pain out of it for you. 2003-10-23 11:57 am >>The Linux conmunity really need to fix that geek mentality. <<The “geek mentality” is that you want both (all) Desktops Environments. Almost all other OS’s have only one and they focus on that. As long as GNOME and KDE is so different in their underlaying systems, I think it’s a necessity that an OS/distribution have only one DE and focus on that.The problem here is only that I preferre SuSE and GNOME 2003-10-23 1:41 pm I have SuSE Linux 9 Pro in my possesion, and I can say it realy is a pleasure to use.I found at least one thing I am not happy with. The supplied Xine engine is stripped of the most usefull codecs, for copyright and other things.I think it’s bullshit because Mandrake 9.1 download edition included a full version e.g. all codecs.And the fairly inmature (as a web browser) Konquerer is the deafault browser, although it renders the pages I visit pretty shtitty.As you kan see these are just a bunch of minor things.The Nvidia driver en MS TT fonts can be installed with the first time you run YOU (YaST Online Update) thats good.Just my 2 cents. 2003-10-23 1:44 pm A link to this review has been available from SuSE’s web site for the last week or so. There was another review posted here a couple weeks ago that was better (I think):http://madpenguin.org/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article…I’ve heard a some complaints about SuSE 9.0 not including the latest version of GNOME, but this IS a German disto, probably funded in large by the German government, who I also believe has adopted KDE as their “official” desktop. 2003-10-23 2:19 pm I don’t think you should blame SuSE for not including certain codecs…I think you should blame the people that hold patents on these codecs. The fact that Mandrake offers these codecs with their download version is nice….but this makes mandrakesoft somewhat vulnerable to legal actions. 2003-10-23 2:33 pm I plan to get 9.0. If that review were the only one I’d seen, I’d avoid it like the plague. The review reads as if it had been written by one of the less intelligent members of the SuSE sales staff. 2003-10-23 2:38 pm Does it come with a vpn client? I checked on the suse web site and the package list only includes packages for setting up a vpn server but no client. I still haven’t figured out how to setup a vpn client under Linux.Since the review article talks about using mozilla as an email client, I’m wondering if it has spell checking compiled in? It’s a shame if it doesn’t. 2003-10-23 2:50 pm Not to mention its illegal to supply them in Germany, which is where it is based, differnt laws, different Country’s 2003-10-23 3:41 pm “The review reads as if it had been written by one of the less intelligent members of the SuSE sales staff.”That matches because most comments are written by the less intelligent members of OSnews readers too.😉 2003-10-23 3:47 pm “but this IS a German disto, probably funded in large by the German government”On what is this assumption about large governmental funding based? Your imagination? 2003-10-23 3:50 pm So far so good with SuSE. Converted me from RH and Mandrake. The only problem I have is that they are including an old version of SANE, 1.0.10, instead of the latest as of May, 1.0.12. Any one know why this might be? I can always install the newer version compiled from source, but I am sure I am not the only one with an HP5400C scanner? That just got included in 1.0.12. 2003-10-23 5:20 pm I’m considering switching from RH 9 but I’ve got a few questions. I’ve built RH into a dedicated audio workstation including ALSA, Jack, Ardour, etc. I know that this is possible with SUSE but what is compiled into the default kernel? Does it have the low latency patch? ALSA? Also, how is the ATI video support. I’ve got a High Definition home theater PC setup plugged into my stereo and I want to run it at 1280×720(widescreen as an audio workstation as well. 2003-10-23 5:42 pm I have to say I’m impressed with SuSE as well. 9.0 is the first version of SuSE I have ever used, I’m more a RH user, but thought I’d give SuSE a go. I’m not a huge fan of KDE and it’s Keramik theme. I found a nice clean theme to use and KDE is actually very nice. Yast2 is a sweet piece of the pie. I love it! 2003-10-23 6:12 pm I guess you did’t know that Alsa came from SuSE The kernel 9.0 uses has a lot of backporting in it. ATI support is the same as it is on RH one would think, but to be sure check out suse.com and also have a look at their hardware database. 2003-10-23 6:50 pm I have been having more issues with SuSE 9, on my machine, than other version of SuSE before. I love many of the new features, but must complain about the stability versus their last three releases. I cannot log out of the Gnome desktop and have to kill X every time. Also, some of the spit-n-polish seems to be missing. In 8.2, SuSE added nice user icons to the login manager. Now, by default, they are the standard KDM icons. (not a biggie, but still… I like to see the little extras. That, to me, shows some real attention to detail…. which I have always really liked about SuSE.)I agree with most other people here and would really like to see Gnome 2.4 added as an update, as soon as they are able. I think that if there were just a few things fixed… I would continue to use SuSE on my “every day” computer. As for now, it will remain on my test box and SuSE 8.2 will be used on my primary machine. 2003-10-23 7:21 pm >>”but this IS a German disto, probably funded in large by the German government”>>On what is this assumption about large governmental funding based? Your imagination?Maybe I was a bit indirect the first time.Just for you…KDE, one of the major interfaces designed to make Linux slick looking and easier to use, has been upgraded, an effort that includes the first results of work FUNDED by the German government.http://news.com.com/2100-1001-982816.html 2003-10-23 7:58 pm I have to say I’m impressed with SuSE as well. 9.0 is the first version of SuSE I have ever used, I’m more a RH user, but thought I’d give SuSE a go. I’m not a huge fan of KDE and it’s Keramik theme. I found a nice clean theme to use and KDE is actually very nice. Yast2 is a sweet piece of the pie. I love it!I hope they will make Plastik as the default theme in the KDE 3.2Here the Plastick SuSE 9.0 RPM 2003-10-24 4:58 am http://www.suse.com/us/private/products/suse_linux/i386/multimedia….You will find some information about the audio-readiness there… 2003-10-26 12:07 am Why in the world are so many people complaining about SuSE 9.0 not having Gnome? I have used Gnome (on Red Hat 9.0), and though it looked kind of pretty, I was disappointed in all other areas. KDE has a much better system of modifing the itself (the KDE Control Center is great!). Anyways, I’d like some people to tell me why Gnome is better then KDE (i.e., what Gnome can do that KDE cannot). And as for Mandrake, I’ve used Mandrake 9.0 and was pretty disappointed. One of Mandrakes main points was/is supposed to be an easy installation, but SuSE’s installation is just as easy, if not easier.Can’t wait till I can get SuSE 9.0! 2003-10-28 1:32 pm I found the same problem with KDM being unable to start any window managers when I upgraded from 8.2. I think the problem stems from keeping your old /home directory which – I’m guessing – must contain a configuration file for X in 8.2 that causes X to crash in 9.0. (I haven’t had a chance to dig around yet so I may well be wrong as to the cause.)As a workaround, I tried again and reinstalled SuSE 9.0, this time overwriting rather than updating the old instal and creating a new /home. (My old /home was on its own standalone partition so I left it untouched on the new instal then mounted the partition and copied my files across into the new /home directory. On my laptop I avoided this problem by simply backing up the files I wanted to keep from /home first then copying them into the new /home on a clean install. If you don’t keep /home on a separate partition, this will probably be the easiest way to do it).A bit annoying that the upgrade process did not detect and update any configuration files in /home accordingly but this workaround should hopefully enable you to login to KDE/TWM/etc from KDM without any problems and without having to use failsafe sessions.This niggle aside, my first impressions of SuSE 9.0 are very positive. They’ve simplified the default KDE desktop menu to get rid of some of the bewildering clutter that marred earlier versions and it’s got to be a strong contender for an intuitive desktop distro a newbie would comfortably use.My one minor gripe is that after rebranding their site and packaging, they’ve forgotten to rebrand the distro itself. Fans of the old-style chameleon logo will find it is still there on the splash screen and default backdrop. It’s a tiny, cosmetic matter but it grates!