Home > SuSE, openSUSE > Quick Look At SUSE Linux 9.1 Personal Quick Look At SUSE Linux 9.1 Personal Eugenia Loli 2004-04-17 SuSE, openSUSE 71 Comments MadPenguin takes a look at the upcoming Personal edition of SUSE Linux 9.1. About The Author Eugenia Loli Ex-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker. Follow me on Twitter @EugeniaLoli 71 Comments 2004-04-17 5:42 am Anonymous He bitches about SuSE not being able to play DVD’s but Mandrake can? Umm, last time I checked, Mandrake doesn’t ship libdvdcss. Anybody want to correct me on that? And second, he was expecting make, gcc, and friends to be on there. Hello??? This is aimed at home users. Home users don’t compile their own software, sheesh. 2004-04-17 6:01 am Anonymous I agree that SuSE should not ship with libdvdcss for legal reasons, however he is _right_ saying that this belittles the overall experience. Regarding the compilers, I will have to agree with the author: Linux, no matter how friendly you make it, the user will need to compile something at one point or another. You want a scenario? Here it is: ::::::::: User installs SuSE 9.1 Personal by wiping out his Windows. Sudenly, the girlfriend brings over the “Kill Bill Vol 1” DVD. Girlfriend is insisting on watching it on the PC (“now, or I am leaving you”). User pops in the damned DVD and gets that greasy error message. Girlfriend starts to lose patience. User sudenly remembers that VideoLAN and its surrounded libraries should be able to play DVDs. User goes to VideoLAN’s web site and tries to find binaries that will work with his newly released SuSE Linux Personal Edition 9.1. Of course, he finds none. He goes to the MPlayer web site and then to the Xine one. No binaries anywhere that work with his new version of SuSE. Downloads the source of VideoLAN to compile it. Ooops! No frigging compiler and NO alternative to play DVDs on this specific version of the OS, not even by buying a third party proprietary application! Girlfriend gets her DVD back, and leaves user. User is alone with his SuSE, not even the porno movies are working with this OS. And he doesn’t have a gf anymore. Next day, he puts Windows back. :::::::: It’s as simple as that and you can laugh all you want. What SuSE offers with this product is problematic. There is no expandability, even if the user wants to pay cash to buy external third party apps. In other words, it is either the PRO version of SuSE or nothing. The Personal edition product is a joke IMHO. 2004-04-17 6:24 am Anonymous > There is no expandability, even if the user wants to pay You can install the SUSE 9.1 FTP version packages. 2004-04-17 6:26 am Anonymous Can you set it up as a repository so it will pull out the dependancies automatically? And also, is the FTP version immediately available upon the release of the box? 2004-04-17 6:34 am Anonymous > Can you set it up as a repository so it will pull out the dependancies automatically? You can add additional “source of installation” directories within YaST for YOU, so AFAIK yes. > And also, is the FTP version immediately available upon the release of the box? No, some weeks later. 2004-04-17 6:38 am Anonymous > What SuSE offers with this product is problematic. Btw, why is nobody beating Mandrake for its Discovery product (higher priced than SUSE in comparison)? 2004-04-17 6:39 am Anonymous There is no expandability, even if the user wants to pay cash to buy external third party apps. I suppose they can buy the Pro Update version – all that is is the Pro version without the Pro manuals. 2004-04-17 6:43 am Anonymous Btw, why is nobody beating Mandrake for its Discovery product (higher priced than SUSE in comparison)? Maybe because nobody ever buys Mandrake boxes, they all download it (either for free or from the Club) instead? That may seem a far-fetched explanation, but I recall figures where Mandrake said that only a tiny percentage of people actually buy. That said, I did see some comments about that on Slashdot the other day. 2004-04-17 6:45 am Anonymous The author is pondering why encrypted DVD’s are off limits. Because the only existing decryption software also allows copying of encrypted dvd. And copying encrypted dvd’s is illegal according to a recent verdict (321studio). But couldn’t suse modify libdvdcss to allow playing but not copying? I agree it’s a major showstopper that Linux cannot play copy protected DVD’s. 2004-04-17 8:02 am Anonymous No eugenia, if your girlfriend insists you can just install unofficial precompiled packages with apt. Just like you would do with redhat, mandrake. With redhat, you use freshrpms, with mandrake you use plf, with suse you go to ftp://ftp.gwdg.de/pub/linux/suse/apt/SuSE/9.0-i386/ download and install apt, and configure /etc/apt/sources.list with something like rpm ftp://ftp.gwdg.de/pub/linux/suse/apt/ SuSE/9.0-i386 suser-rbos packman-i686 packman base kde kernel-of-the-day funktronics depending on the packages you need. Not as easy as mandrake (you just use drakconf to add the ftp source) or freshrpms (whose apt package is already configured), but you don’t need to compile anything. 2004-04-17 8:21 am Anonymous To me, that sounds like a lot of fuss, and a lot of cryptic crap to be found on random FTP servers. A newbie that would just want to start off with SuSE Personal after using Windows for many years, he would be completely in loss in that stuff. Face it, Linux does not have ease of use of BeOS binary application installation as found on BeBits.com or for Mac OS X as found on VersionTracker.com or as found on Download.com for Windows. Face it. You ask new users to get dirty with command lines “to configure apt sources” on random FTP servers. To me, that’s laughable for a *desktop OS* as SuSE and Red Hat and Mandrake are pitching their products for Personal, Fedora and Mdk Community, respectively. This is what I call SUB-PAR desktop experience. Yes, I do too use Linux and FreeBSD, but I use them as workstations, NOT as desktops. While Gnome is able to offer me some pretty good usability these days (as opposed to the past), the _overall experience_ of the OS, is still sub-par when viewed strictly “as a desktop”. 2004-04-17 8:29 am Anonymous Yes, that’s true. What’s really a shame is that Lindows and Xandros (and Ximian) have managed to improve this situation, but these others (Red Hat etc) haven’t bothered to do something similar. 2004-04-17 8:32 am Anonymous <blockquote>To me, that sounds like a lot of fuss, and a lot of cryptic crap to be found on random FTP servers. A newbie that would just want to start off with SuSE Personal after using Windows for many years, he would be completely in loss in that stuff. Face it, Linux does not have ease of use of BeOS binary application installation as found on BeBits.com or for Mac OS X as found on VersionTracker.com or as found on Download.com for Windows. Face it. You ask new users to get dirty with command lines “to configure apt sources” on random FTP servers. </blockquote> I agree with that, but now you have changed your point. 🙂 I was just saying you don’t need to compile. Second, the freshrpms+fedora approach is not difficult. You don’t need to use the commandline at all, nor know about ftp servers. 2004-04-17 8:41 am Anonymous >I was just saying you don’t need to compile. Unfortunately this is not completely true, even in the best of the cases. There will always be cases where the user will need to use a compiler on any Unix. It is the nature of it. I even used a compiler to compile Bochs on Mac OS X the way I needed it to. > Second, the freshrpms+fedora approach is not difficult. You don’t need to use the commandline at all, nor know about ftp servers. The last time I ran Synaptic on Fedora, it was hell. I had to know the freshrpms URLs and I had to use that terrible preference panel Synaptic employs in order to add that repository. I remember that I had to do 2-3 things to set it up, and it wouldn’t setup because of bugs and other weird stuff that I can’t remember now (it was months ago). Personally, I hate Synaptic. Its interface is wrong (despite its make over after I seriously shouted to its developer a year ago) and the reason it’s wrong is because the whole apt philosophy with the dependancies is wrong. There should not be such things as “dependancies” in the first place. For this issue, refer to my other comments here: http://www.osnews.com/comment.php?news_id=6574#219117 As a user, I want a nice webpage that has screenshots and info about the application I am interested in downloading, read a few comments about the app, and then decide if I want it or not. And if I decide that I want it, I just want to click its .pkg file (or whatever suffix it has for the OS in question), download it on my desktop, run it, have a quick little wizard to ask me if I want to install for ALL users or for only the current user, and then just install and have its icon automatically be placed on my menu (or on an [~]/Applications folder). Yes, it sounds a lot like BeOS/OSX/Windows, but that is not out of luck that these OSes stil have better desktop experience than any Linux or other Unix. Here’s what’s the kidn of thing I want: http://www.bebits.com/app/1438 2004-04-17 8:51 am Anonymous Here are more examples of application presentation that make sense to a desktop user to decide if he/she wants/needs an application: http://www.bebits.com/app/313 http://www.bebits.com/app/1330 http://www.bebits.com/app/2929 Now, that’s beautiful! And you are telling me about “configuring apt sources” on /etc/apt/ adding random FTP servers about random apps that he will need to know beforehand in order to decide if he/she install them? Pffft… I wonder when the Linux distros will wake up and offer something as nice as BeBits. Lindows is trying hard with their CnR, but CnR is mostly a way for Lindows to make an extra quick buck and that’s not forgiving. As for Xandros’ Networks, it sucks. It’s ugly and it feels like a patchwork. Lycoris’ online app site is a bit nicer, however they only offer about 50-60 applications altogether with it, which is of course laughable as Linux has about 20,000 apps. In other words, something nice as the integration of non-dependant apps Mac OS X brought to Unix should be done with Linux as well, and in order to be done even better, something as nice as BeBits should be utilized (VersionTracker is very slow/ugly/commercial site compared to BeBits) 2004-04-17 8:55 am Anonymous >The last time I ran Synaptic on Fedora, it was hell. I had > to know the freshrpms URLs Yes, but you only need one URL (and can use a search engine of course), whereas in windows you need to know the urls of all the programs. > and I had to use that terrible preference panel Synaptic > employs in order to add that repository. Last time I checked, I didn’t need to do that unless I wanted to use a precise repository that is not freshrpms’. > Personally, I hate Synaptic. I completely agree with this and with the rest of what you say. Then again, I usually agree with anyone who says something is too difficult. 🙂 2004-04-17 9:00 am Anonymous >whereas in windows you need to know the urls of all the programs. This is why I talk about something like BeBis and not about random apps that can only be found via Google. BeBits has 99% of the BeOS apps ever released. If you need to find an app that you know that exists for BeOS, you WILL find it on BeBits, because it has made itself the No1 software repository for BeOS apps so developers go there and submit their apps (like freshmeat, but even freshmeat doesn’t have all the linux apps released, BeBits has all BeOS ones when compared). Everyone who has ever used BeOS there is no chance that he/she doesn’t know BeBits, so it is the ONE place to go. Even Be, Inc. was linking BeBits.com from the browser that was coming with the OS so people wouldn’t miss it, EVEN if BeBits.com had nothing to do with Be, Inc. These were the days… 2004-04-17 11:05 am Anonymous Lycoris’ online app site is a bit nicer, however they only offer about 50-60 applications altogether with it, which is of course laughable as Linux has about 20,000 apps. Well, it’s now 250, but that’s still a joke. Their problem is they don’t have Debian to fall back on – Xandros and Lindows can just grab the existing debs, make sure they work and then stick them straight in. Lindows is trying hard with their CnR, but CnR is mostly a way for Lindows to make an extra quick buck and that’s not forgiving. How hard would it be for someone to write a web-based delivery system that worked like CnR but interfaced with the standard Debian repostories, I wonder? 2004-04-17 11:14 am Anonymous With each release of different linux distros I am being more and more turned off by the platform. It seems to me that rather than being better than microsoft and offering more innovation at every turn they have “all” gone “windows like” and are more focused on being “easier” and more basic at each iteration. Personally I have come to really dislike both gnome and kde although I like gnome a bit more. They both look exactly like the windows toolbar and frankly windows has a better implementation of this in my opinion. Why do they do this? Its great that they are providing methods for making applications easier to install which is long overdue but at the same time rather than making this functionality somehow trully better than how windows does it they are doing the same as the other companies. They are all tied to their own specific dirstros. So with each one you seem to get tied to their method of doing things??? And of course to a certain degree theres mac which does seem to have an innovative desktop. I’ve never used it but from screenshots I’ve seen it looks impressive. And I know that theres a few projects to implement the BeOS interface on top of linux but I still wonder where the innovation is with that. I wrote a small reivew of my experiences with xandros a few weeks ago and one of the reasons I tried that distro is because I was dissatisfied with Suse and Mandrake and Red Hat. They all seem to offer the exact same things now with the only exception being different themes. I’ve seen arguments here about open source software versus closed source software. Personally I dont have much of an opinion on it as there are great pieces of free software available and its nice to be able to see the source code. At the same time I have to say that I have seen certain areas where closed source beats open source in innovation. I saw a thread on here a few weeks ago where they talked about interface design. I think they said that MS employs several specific interface designers. So why is it that the linux communittee doesnt do this??? Sure linux is stable and has advantages but I have to say I personally find Windows more “useable”. And again ive heard that macosx has a great interface as well. SO what gives? 2004-04-17 11:50 am Anonymous “BeOS/OSX/Windows, but that is not out of luck that these OSes stil have better desktop experience than any Linux or other Unix.” This is probabably a wornout point and I have never seen a BeOS or an OSX desktop. Still, in my small business we had to purchase an application which had to be run on Windows and we had to network this brand new Windows XP box – believe me, not an easy task at all. After having been away from Windows since Win95. Help texts and dialogues are very cryptic to a newcomer and it all burned down to clicking blindly on one blue globe after another and see where it might lead us. In the end we hit the correct blue globe and network connection was established automatically without further interference. Userfriendly? If your are a regular Windows user, probably YES. If you are a newcomer to Windows (or generally unexperienced with computers ), NO, An obvious option would of course have been to read up a bit about Windows and networking but it would have been even more sensible if the dialogues had been geared towards clueless users in the same way as the GUI networking dialogues on our SuSe Linux workstations. It’s of course possible that Windows can be more userfriendly in other areas. 2004-04-17 11:57 am Anonymous Really how many reviews do we need on a release thats not even out yet? I don’t mean just on OSNews but on the internet as a whole. 2004-04-17 11:59 am Anonymous I tried 9.0 a few weeks ago (my PC is 1GHz AMD K7 512MB RAM) with the FTP installation and it was unusably slow. It took about 2 minutes to boot and another 3 minutes for KDE to load! Maybe it didn’t install properly but I wasn’t gonna go through another few hours on downloading a new FTP installation to find out. I went back and installed Libranet 8.0 and then dist-upgraded to Sarge. Pitty, Suse seems like a really nice distro. Plus, when will they sort out the legal issue with DVD playback? 2004-04-17 12:12 pm Anonymous Ya I’ve noticed there certainly are alot of linux reviews. I think its the enthusiasm that the communittee has for the product with the people wondering what “new” stuff will be available. This is why I said that I read these reviews and with a few differences in themes they all seem like the same distro. I rememeber when Suse used to be the “cutting edge” now it just looks like all of the others. The only different I see in any of them is that some of them are fast then others. But I personally dont like either kde or gnome although I like pieces of each. But I find it trully annoying that they look so “windows like”. I guess though that this is part of the point and by doing this they hope to adopt new users. For me though one of the reasons I looked at linux is because I was tired of windows lack of innovation. And while I hear linux is more stable than windows I have had about the same stability experience with both. SO what does suse plan for the future? Now that they are owned by Novell I wonder what novell will do with them. I understand that there is talk that they will somehow combine kde and gnome into one environment which I consider a very good thing. 2004-04-17 1:16 pm Anonymous Another thing I would like to add to Eugenia’s comments is that we really need a global change in the way dependencies work. For example, here’s the case: I don’t have an internet access at home. I have Mandrake 9.1 installed and I want to use Gimp 2.0. So I give a direct URL to Gimp 2.0 binary to my brother so that he could download that from his work. He brings that binary home and after trying to install it I come across the dep. problems I cannot solve being a long time linux user because I have no access to internet to download dependencies. In other words, you NEED internet to be able to install MOST if not all of apps on Linux. No internet – no apps – no accomodation of Linux in 3rd world countries. I don’t need internet to install any version of Photoshop or Dreamweaver in XP. I want to be able to install my favourite Gimp in any or a decent version of my linux box without the need for internet connection. For example Opera (shared) does this. It does not need any deps to install. I download ONE file, click it and it installs. I think I made it clear that we need a different way libraries work to make it point and istall like Eugenia mentions. A Bebits like site is a doable thing with a little automatization: send your binary, description and a screenshot to site admin and it gets published. Countributors could make this even a larger place than Bebits. I hope we come across a good sollution for this problem in a forseable future. Thanks for your time 2004-04-17 1:29 pm Anonymous This is why I talk about something like BeBis and not about random apps that can only be found via Google. BeBits has 99% of the BeOS apps ever released. If you need to find an app that you know that exists for BeOS, you WILL find it on BeBits, because it has made itself the No1 software repository for BeOS apps so developers go there and submit their apps (like freshmeat, but even freshmeat doesn’t have all the linux apps released, BeBits has all BeOS ones when compared). I don’t see how the BeBits thing is SuSE or anyone company’s fault. Some of the main reasons BeBits is such a huge repository for almost every bit of Be software in my opinion is because: 1) the number of BeOS users is incredibly limited in comparison to Linux, MacOS, Windows, etc., so a “common” gathering point is much more likely to happen on it’s own 2) BeOS Developers chose to use a standard site to submit and “notify” users of their projects, of their own choice 3) Users chose to support BeBits by continuing to visit and perhaps even submit original content or notices about new BeOS software I think the reality Eugenia is that something like BeBits exists simply because BeOS has a better community of people. I wonder when the Linux distros will wake up and offer something as nice as BeBits. Lindows is trying hard with their CnR, but CnR is mostly a way for Lindows to make an extra quick buck and that’s not forgiving. As for Xandros’ Networks, it sucks. It’s ugly and it feels like a patchwork. Lycoris’ online app site is a bit nicer, however they only offer about 50-60 applications altogether with it, which is of course laughable as Linux has about 20,000 apps. It will probably never happen, and you know it. As long as ideology seperates the various Linux distributions, the dream of a centralized repository for any Linux distribution is a pipe dream at best. If anything, distributions like Debian, Gentoo, and Slackware are somewhat even more to blame than the major commercial distributions. Because, even though the other major commercial distributions (SuSE, RedHat, etc.) had almost all standardized on RPM, LSB, etc., they continued to tout their own “better way” of package management and other things. While many people think that these “better ways” is what give these other distributions “appeal”, in reality they’re only helping to further fragment an already fragmented community when it comes to standards for installation, file locations, linking, etc. Until major community leaders for non-comemrcial distributions like Debian are willing to lay down their idelogical differences and standardize on the same things the major commercial distributions are doing (like attempting to be completely LSB compliant and using RPM, etc.) developers are going to be left in a bind. Without a standardized base environment, how can a vision for a centralized repository really happen? The Linux community is mainly the one to blame for this, and I think you would probably agree. 2004-04-17 1:43 pm Anonymous @Amiroff In other words, you NEED internet to be able to install MOST if not all of apps on Linux. No internet – no apps – no accomodation of Linux in 3rd world countries. I don’t need internet to install any version of Photoshop or Dreamweaver in XP. That’s not always true. Sometimes applications require the latest version of a Service Pack to be installed, the latest version of Internet Explorer, the latest version of DirectX, the latest version of a video driver from your video card manufacturer, or for some smaller applications, a certain version of the .NET framework or visual basic runtimes. Good applications usually have these on a CD along with the application, but they can’t always do this due to legal restrictions. There are a few reasons Linux applications have dependency issues (and it has NOTHING to do with package formats): 1) developers often use third party libraries that are not part of the LSB or of a standard desktop environment such as GNOME or KDE 2) Linux applications often cannot statically link these third party libraries or include their own versions because of: * licensing restrictions (GPL, etc.) * static linked code attempting to dynamically open other libraries is unreliable * ABI differences in the runtime environment (GCC2 vs. GCC3 C++ differences) * space constraints, can you imagine every app statically linking everything? It would make binaries 1mb or greater each, instead of being a few hundred kilobytes 3) Microsoft being a monopolistic vendor provides almost every library Windows App / Game developers use, therefore it’s very easy to make sure everything a user might need is already installed. Linux has no monpolistic overlord. It does however have the LSB, which as long as applications use the libraries specified in the LSB it should work on any LSB compliant distribution. The only problem with that right now is that the LSB is mainly aimed at the very base system environment and to my knowledge does not yet include desktop or video/audio related libraries. 2004-04-17 2:43 pm Anonymous Shawn, while I see most of your points here are a few things I should add: Sometimes applications require the latest version of a Service Pack to be installed, the latest version of Internet Explorer, the latest version of DirectX, the latest version of a video driver from your video card manufacturer, or for some smaller applications, a certain version of the .NET framework or visual basic runtimes. That’s of course true but not for every app on earth as it is on Linux. And these apps generally deliver needed things like IE , DirectX (most games come with it) and even if they don’t then you can freely find them on any Magazine CDs or at least go download that ONE binary file again. It would make binaries 1mb or greater each, instead of being a few hundred kilobytes I agree with all my fate to download a 20 Megs app ONCE than having to download 20 dependencies which are 1 meg each. Because this keeps me away from headaches. The problem is that On windows, BeOS, Mac you always know what libraries you must have to be able to run this or that app, so you can download them and burn them say to CD. Actually these dependencies you pointed out like IE, DirectX, Video Driver, .Net libraries don’t have dependencies themselves. But in Linux you never know are you done with dependencies or not. You can prefetch all the deps you might need but actually all of them have their own dependencies. Of cource things like apt solve this but I just want to be able to install one app which comes on CD or which my friend gave me without the need to be connected to internet. I mean you download Gimp, then libgimpprint, then sane-backend or something like that and later you realise that you need FOO to install libgimpprint And this loop is endless. * static linked code attempting to dynamically open other libraries is unreliable * ABI differences in the runtime environment (GCC2 vs. GCC3 C++ differences) But somehow MacOSX manages this and does not have a dep. problem while still protecting its Unix architecture, stability and security. Cannot we do that too? Microsoft being a monopolistic vendor provides almost every library Windows App / Game developers use, therefore it’s very easy to make sure everything a user might need is already installed Well I have almost every development library installed on my MDK box but unfortunately a small WM called openbox still needs lots of dependencies which I only can install via internet. Noone ships them on CDs or they do not come with Openbox in this example. So, to install Openbox which is nearly 900 Kb I need to install > 10 Meg development libs. I am not a guru and I don’t know how can we solve this problem but Linux usage is a great pain for me when I am without internet or on dial-up, be it Mandrake or Gentoo, you know what I mean. Thanks… 2004-04-17 3:24 pm Anonymous Hmmmz… I’m not very happy with Suse anymore. I used Suse 6.4 quite a long time. Now that I’ve a box with a PCI ATA RAID adapter, I bought Suse 9.1 Professional a while ago. I wasn’t able to install in on my raid controller. Both because the kernel modules for HPT372A are not existant and secondly Highpoint has no driver yet. The package ended up on the shelf and me being pissed about Suse support and having lost a lot of money incl. the international phone calls to UK. I’m happy with Gentoo now (yes, it runs with it after patching a few files) ^^ 2004-04-17 3:46 pm Anonymous My favourite distro (and operating system) is Suse (Pro) Now when it comes to Kaffeine/Xine/Totem, they aren’t just missing Libdvdcss, they are so badly mutilated that I must still find out what they can actually do. This is unfortunately a point against Suse: Mandrake or Debian for instance miss only Libdvdcss, which also a kid could install. However: sorry Eugenia, but I don’t agree with you: installing apt and synaptic is only a matter of installing literally 4 apps. Then for your sources list you don’t have to go to etc/apt and edit it manually: just write in synaptic the components you need, in this case packman and packman-i686. It seems pretty simple to me… Synaptic might be ugly (personally I don’t care), but it makes things really simple, IMHO: not a lot more difficult than Click & Run (which I like very much) Re Beos: I like it as well, but what can we do if they committed suicide? Probably if it were open source it would still be thriving today. And I am afraid that with Zeta they are going to committ suicide again: how many people are willing to pay 100 Euros=$120, except for a few amateurs? 2004-04-17 3:56 pm Anonymous I was wondering the whole time: does suse professional playback dvd from out of the box? I installed an suse 9.0,from ftp and it did not playback dvd, after some search i was able to install ccs and some other codecs, along with mplayer, and all is well. Why is it that windows has no licence problems with this? As well as other linux distro’s? 2004-04-17 4:02 pm Anonymous It’s called offering common standards for the end user. Standards is something Linux should promote. Each time I see some programmer or Admin bitch about not being able to use his/her command line in a distro intended for the home user or workstation I laugh. The majority of PC users are used to the simplicity of Windows, so why should Linux be any differant if it’s to attract those users? I think SuSE has come a long way to simplifying things for the typical user. SuSE Personal Desktop comes with the tools that a typical user would need. SuSE Professional is more suited to those working in networks (ie: System Admins) who need more complex tools. When reviewing distros it would be nice to once and a while see a comparison to other competitors such as Windows XP which is on a lot of computers. That way Linux can attract Windows users with the similarities and advancements instead of scaring them off with complex tools or a GUI that is not friendly. As for the multimedia issue I think it is lame that distro developers have not yet found a way to integrate DVD playback into the distro. There has to be a way to remove the ability to burn encrypted DVDs so as to protect the distro developer from litigation. They could also just include it but with a developer disclaimer of the legal implications if improperly used. Lastly, I find it difficult to take any review serious when they product has not been released as “final” and is still in development. People bitch, wine, etc when the reality is that the product isn’t supposed to be reviewed by the media before it’s actually complete. 2004-04-17 4:18 pm Anonymous Is it really reasonable to compare your average linux distro in terms of happy smiley features and such with either XP or OS X when you consider the size of say the Mandrake development team as compared to the Windows division? Even adding in the efforts of the relatively small kernel development team, and the small Gnome team and the small KDE team, etc. If Suse or Mandrake or the Fedora team were as big as the Windows division and had that much money to throw at it, does anyone think they couldn’t accomplish the same level of user friendliness? Especially with a nice campus with trees and a lake in the middle of it? Tell me this isn’t about resources…MS has lots of them, the average Linux distributor has squat… 2004-04-17 5:17 pm Anonymous As for the multimedia issue I think it is lame that distro developers have not yet found a way to integrate DVD playback into the distro. There has to be a way to remove the ability to burn encrypted DVDs so as to protect the distro developer from litigation. They could also just include it but with a developer disclaimer of the legal implications if improperly used. The only that’s lame is the software patent keeping them from legally include it. Your ire should be directed at the US and European governments. Not Linux distribution providers that are trying to prevent possible legal action being taken against them. Just because no one has sued a Linux distribution company that does include DVD code yet, doesn’t mean that they can’t. 2004-04-17 5:30 pm Anonymous For instance, Xandros has the famous ‘Four Click Install’ in which the user is only required to input information such as the machine name and root password. SUSE should take their competitors installers into consideration when designing future releases of their Personal edition software. It would go a long way to make the distro more ‘newbie’ friendly. If they do that I hope they have a advanced option to do it how it is done now, I kind of like it how it installs now. Kind of sucks they don’t have Mozilla. 2004-04-17 5:30 pm Anonymous @Amiroff That’s of course true but not for every app on earth as it is on Linux. And these apps generally deliver needed things like IE , DirectX (most games come with it) and even if they don’t then you can freely find them on any Magazine CDs or at least go download that ONE binary file again. I hope what you’re saying is that like any operating system not every application has dependencies other than the base system. The same is true of Linux applications. As long as they stick to the LSB, they have no weird external dependencies if you’re running a half-way decent distribution. Actually these dependencies you pointed out like IE, DirectX, Video Driver, .Net libraries don’t have dependencies themselves. But in Linux you never know are you done with dependencies or not. You can prefetch all the deps you might need but actually all of them have their own dependencies. Of cource things like apt solve this but I just want to be able to install one app which comes on CD or which my friend gave me without the need to be connected to internet. That’s more of the fault of the person who wrote the software, for not making it very clear what you need to install it. They should have a very clear and concise list of what’s required in the documentation, along with links on the site where you get the software to everything you’ll need. * static linked code attempting to dynamically open other libraries is unreliable * ABI differences in the runtime environment (GCC2 vs. GCC3 C++ differences) But somehow MacOSX manages this and does not have a dep. problem while still protecting its Unix architecture, stability and security. Cannot we do that too? That’s because Apple is in complete control of the environment. One copy, “one distribution”. The Linux world is many distributions, many organizations, and many companies. Additionally, the ABI problems are nothing we can really do anything about. As a developer, I have to statically link libstdc++ with the binaries I release so that it works on gcc2 and gcc3 systems. But, I can’t statically link libc because it causes problems. GCC3.3 or 3.2 I think is the first version to have a stable ABI for C++ programs. So, this problem is solved for all newer distributions for some time to come, but for older distributions, it’s too late obviously to do anything. The other problem you have to keep in mind is that modern *nix based architecture is designed to *not* statically link libraries. Everything is driven off a “shared code” concept. The last time I filed a bug with RedHat and I was doing static linking with a library I was told very plainly that what I was doing wasn’t supported and that GCC, GLIBC, etc. are not designed to allow intermixing of static and shared library code and that I should always dynamically link against libraries. The main points of not statically linking everything are: 1) some libraries are hardware related and are updated to take advantage of newer hardware (or architectures), if you statically link you prevent users from using newer hardware 2) wasted disk space, if all the programs in a Linux distribution were statically linked, you would need almost twice as much disk space as normal 3) ABI issues caused by the fact that not every distribution is yet LSB compliant or using GCC3.2 (or is it 3.3) These things are slowly sorting themselves out, but it’s a long road. Windows, has had a stable ABI for it’s binaries for a while, GCC is just finally getting there. 2004-04-17 5:30 pm Anonymous Eugenia is right. Two hours ago I was talking to my boss about exactly this. Linux is becaming very popular in brazilian corporate market (and others) and it’s time to became a corporate OS and not a geek toy anymore. Install a simple linux app can be a terrible experience. I was talking just about a new way of pack software, a standard folowed by every distro on Earth. This is a good starting point http://www.bitrock.com/products_installbuilder_screenshots.html . My english is not so good to explain how I think it must be, but… It must be has easy as in Windows/Mac and mantain a database of all installed apps, must give you an option to add a menu entry wherever you want, etc… 2004-04-17 5:41 pm Anonymous The kernel development team is not so small. There about 1000 engineers working full time on it. Even Linus is working full time on it now. 🙂 “If Suse or Mandrake or the Fedora team were as big as the Windows division and had that much money to throw at it, does anyone think they couldn’t accomplish the same level of user friendliness?” If SUSE, Mandrake, Red Hat, Conectiva and others stop to try reinvent the wheel and form a consortion, that dictate the standards in Linux desktops, then they would have the needed resorces to acomplish the task and make more money selling products and services in they respective countries/regions. 2004-04-17 6:09 pm Anonymous Repositories arent a fix. You will never(in linux anyways) have every single application avaliable. 2004-04-17 6:24 pm Anonymous you need the libs 2004-04-17 7:03 pm Anonymous That’s what http://www.autopackage.org is being developed for. 2004-04-17 8:00 pm Anonymous >>Umm, last time I checked, Mandrake doesn’t ship libdvdcss. Thank you so much for posting that! I’ve been wondering for weeks why I couldn’t play DVDs in Mandrake 10, when they worked right out-of-the-box on Mandrake 9.1. I did a urpmi libdvdcss, and now mplayer is playing DVDs flawlessly, and now I have one less reason to boot into Windows. I love the wealth of knowledge of the people on this site, your comments have helped me out more than a few times. Thanks again. 2004-04-17 8:34 pm Anonymous > I did a urpmi libdvdcss, and now mplayer is playing DVDs > flawlessly, So Eugenia, what do you think about mplayer, this jewel of usabilty? 😉 Don’t be shy, let it loose. 2004-04-17 8:49 pm Anonymous >>So Eugenia, what do you think about mplayer, this jewel of usabilty? 😉 Hey if it’s either Mplayer or Xine, give me Mplayer any day. At least I can figure out what all the buttons on Mplayer do. Xine’s developers should be punished (I’m talking physical pain here) for that atrocious UI. 2004-04-17 9:07 pm Anonymous I only like Totem as a movie media player on Linux (no matter what backend it’s using). Totem has some sense regarding its UI at least. Xine-ui, Mplayer or VideoLAN do not. 2004-04-17 9:08 pm Anonymous Then use a different one like Kaffeine. 2004-04-17 9:10 pm Anonymous I find Kaffeine’s UI terrible as well. Plus, it overwrites my Mozilla Xine plugin (originally is gXine) WITHOUT asking me that pisses me off so much each time, you can’t imagine. 2004-04-17 9:15 pm Anonymous In mplayer there are no buttons… or am I missing something? 2004-04-17 9:19 pm Anonymous You are missing the gmplayer UI portion of it (mplayer-gui) that comes on a seperate package. Besides, even if it didn’t have gmplayer at all, it would be even worse when judging it as a media player. 2004-04-18 2:37 am Anonymous I think Kaffeine has the best UI. 2004-04-18 4:19 am Anonymous “Sound, video (editing), DVD, TV – SUSE LINUX 9.0 delivers the most comprehensive collection of free audio software, ranging from applications for hard disk recording to virtual analog synthesis.” ….. Only to inform “9.1 Personal” users that: “Warning: This version of Xine lacks support for playing DVD discs for legal reasons. Please go to http://portal.suse.com/sdb/en/2003/09/xine_dvd.html for further details” once they insert a DVD! You must be kidding me! Are they serious? They offer a HOME version of their distro with limited Multimedia capabilities, knowing that the reason why people buy PCs is manly to play games, whatch DVDs, listen to music, surf the net, …. C’mon guys, please get serious. Why not develope and SELL some Multimedia Apps.? There is nothing wrong with that!!!! BTW, I don’t think Suse is serious when they talk “Desktop” 2004-04-18 4:34 am Anonymous Don’t they have any cheaper excuses? IMO they should stop promising stuff they can not deliver. It’s as simple as that. 2004-04-18 4:51 am Anonymous Your link says it is about patented codecs and copy protection. WinDVD, PowerDVD, Cinemaster, etc can play copyprotected DVD’s, can be purchased and legally used – but only on Windows. Why not Linux? Silly. I’m sure it’s just about money and that money can settle the issue. The windows players are about $40. Maybe $5-$10 of that is DVD license fee? I wouldn’t mind paying that to have the capability built in out of the box. The copy protection issue can be fixed in the code. 2004-04-18 5:33 am Anonymous In fact Lindows (oops, I mean Linspire) has already done this, and sells their own encyrpted DVD player – http://www.linspire.com/lindows_products_details.php?id=11804 2004-04-18 5:44 am Anonymous So how comes that RealOne or Windows Media Player can play DVDS? They are both free. But indeed, I do believe that it is a matter of paying a license fee. 2004-04-18 5:58 am Anonymous Thanks. I didn’t know that. I’ve just sent an E-mail to both SuSE and Novell about this. Maybe they already know. But now they know that we also know. 2004-04-18 6:13 am Anonymous Here is a nice SuSE RPM-Site, where you find everything you need for playing DVDs and other Media: http://packman.links2linux.org/ 2004-04-18 6:53 am Anonymous It is a nice site, I’ve used it and the packages have always worked. However, for the newbie – and they are what it’s all about – that have just purchased a boxed copy of Linux it’s a major disappointment that it cannot play (rental) DVD’s – especially now that it doesn’t shine either when it comes to playing video games. Then what good is Linux to a young non-geek? 2004-04-18 8:05 am Anonymous They can only play DVDs with the help of 3rd-party decoding software like WinDVD or PowerDVD. See http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windowsmedia/9series/player/sysreq… – it says: DVD playback requires compatible DVD decoder software 2004-04-18 8:31 am Anonymous I’m not sure what you’re saying… you can pull the pieces to play whatever DVD on Linux from many places on the web. Some codecs are for example here http://www1.mplayerhq.hu/MPlayer/releases/codecs/ and the decryption here http://download.videolan.org/pub/libdvdcss/. Besides from that all you need is http://xinehq.de/. Good luck. 2004-04-18 10:21 am Anonymous The following you find on SuSe’s Home Page: “Sound, video (editing), DVD, TV – SUSE LINUX 9.0 delivers the most comprehensive collection of free audio software, ranging from applications for hard disk recording to virtual analog synthesis.” The personal edition of SuSe’s distro is aimed at Home users, as far as i know. Home users want full multi media capabilities out of the box without having to fiddle around a frickin OS. Install it and run it sort of thing. Is this possble with Suse 9.1 Personal? NO! Is therefore SuSE lying? YES! 2004-04-18 10:46 am Anonymous Don’t know from DVD playback, but SuSE’s 8.2 Personal had terrific multimedia capabilties right out of the box. Realpayer and Mplayer both worked fine. My only problem with SuSE Personal (8.2) was they didn’t include Kernel-Sources with personal edition. Also if you got tired of KDE you were screwed since SuSE did Gnome like Redhat did KDE -poorly. 2004-04-18 11:52 am Anonymous Sorry, my comment was aimed at Alexander (IP: —.server.ntli.net), who asked why Windows Media Player & RealOne Player could do DVDs where Linux couldn’t. Answer: WMP/Real can’t play DVDs without 3rd-party decryption software either. So Windows & Linux – out of the box – are actually exactly the same. It’s just that only Lindows has bothered to make a legal, commercial decryption program available to its customers. 2004-04-18 12:22 pm Anonymous commercial decryption program available to its customers.” Let’s forget SuSe and install Lindows, or Linspire ….. 2004-04-18 2:03 pm Anonymous last night i spent few hours ( im newbie to linux) installing VLAN, just for libdvdcss, coudn’t find any rpm but nosrc.rpm with tarball packge, then i follwed the instruction i got from a big suse packges site ( sorry don’t remeber it right now ) .. and made a rpm but got another error, tried to compile the tar file but GCC was missing with my installation (pro) .. then i just dropped it,,, maybe i’ll add GCC later and compile it… i got every packge except libdvdcss… i won’t give up.. i got another problem after updated my system with YaST, 2nd time i tried to update some big packges i left 1st time it said counln’t write server list to disk… dunna why, anyway i modeified onlineupdate file not to update server list and use the local list… this is what i did 1st night after installing suse … was good experience for a newbie, enjoid it.. ps : sorry for bad english.. 2004-04-18 2:08 pm Anonymous http://packman.links2linux.org/ this is the site it got most suse packages.. 2004-04-18 5:25 pm Anonymous You can make your life even easier by installing apt4rpm See: http://linux01.gwdg.de/apt4rpm/ Also come and see us at linuxiso.org, SUSE LINUX forums, thread:Dependency Hell. 2004-04-18 6:10 pm Anonymous “IMO they should stop promising stuff they can not deliver. It’s as simple as that.” If you’re going to say that then you might as well be talking about MS as well. 2004-04-18 6:47 pm Anonymous “The kernel development team is not so small. There about 1000 engineers working full time on it.” As opposed to a 15,000 man Windows division. So what’s your point? 2004-04-18 7:56 pm Anonymous yeah i already got it, but didn’t use it for vlc though.. thanks … 2004-04-18 8:11 pm Anonymous You are welcome 🙂 vlc installs really fine with apt, with all the necessary dependencies to play any format. 2004-04-19 5:52 pm Anonymous Girlfriend gets her DVD back, and leaves user. User is alone with his SuSE, not even the porno movies are working with this OS. And he doesn’t have a gf anymore. This is they way you linux fucks like it anyways.