Home > SuSE, openSUSE > SuSE Linux 9.1 Professional for x86 and AMD64 SuSE Linux 9.1 Professional for x86 and AMD64 Submitted by Jem Matzan 2004-05-13 SuSE, openSUSE 29 Comments Here’s a review of SuSE 9.1 Professional. The review includes several screenshots and covers the new software included with 9.1 and a performance comparison between the x86 and the AMD64 editions. About The Author Eugenia Loli Ex-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker. Follow me on Twitter @EugeniaLoli 29 Comments 2004-05-13 7:59 pm Nice review. I received 9.1 a few days ago. I am impressed to say the least. I have both a 64bit and 32bit machines to install Suse on. The AMD64 bit port is well done and posed little problems on my end (just getting dvd video to work, even non-encrypted ones). The 32 bit port recognized my laptop’s wireless card and posed no other problems. Now that Suse is owned by Novell I was expecting a solid system. This is now 100% Quality Assured, every app I have tried works well and no crashes at all. The added bonus of not having to buy an additional 64bit port made everything even better, as I had to buy two seperate copies of 9.0. 9.1 feels more like a 10.0. The installation is much quicker, YAST seems blazingly fast and doesn’t suffer from any sluggishness. I am thinking about buying some Novell stock too. These guys mean business. I just wish there was some sort of legal dvd player available. If anyone knows one let me know. 2004-05-13 8:36 pm That’s because it’s out right now. When the official release of Fedora Core 2 occurs in less than a week (hopefully), you’ll see a bunch of reviews of it as well. I don’t mind the multiple reviews because it gives a better view of the product than just a single review. 2004-05-13 8:39 pm Mainconcept has posted on their forum support site that if you have a valid MainActor license it will work with the Linux version to enable full functionality. Basically removing any water mark that would be present on final output. The only issue is that the Linux version is still in development so it may lack certain codec support found in the Windows version. Though this should not stop those that are familiar with compiling their own custom plugins. If someone is looking for an OSS editor that supports more film formats than Mainconcept is willing to provide then take a look at Cinelerra or Jashaka. Jashaka is still in development but it looks as though developers are using Discreet’s Smoke as an example to work from. A lot of professional editors and animators are contributing to this project. Both Cinelerra and Jashaka have some what of a steep learning curve since they are intended for film editing and not home editing. Blender3D is included with SuSE Linux Professional 9.1 but as an animator I find it severly lacking. The only reason I think they included this into the SuSE Linux release is because it’s the only 3D Open Source animation program. There are though a lot of proprietory software ported to Linux that is used in film and game studios and much better to use. For those that have the budget consider XSI, Maya, Houdini, Shake or even Maxon’s Cinema4D. I’ve heard several reports that Cinema4D works on Wine and is best for those on a really tight budget. Gimp 2.0 is also included with SuSE Linux Professional which is great for those that don’t want to either purchase Photoshop or run it on Wine. I just wish someone could compile more film plugins for GIMP that are typically found in the less eye candy app Cinepaint. Such as offering support for ILM’s OpenEXR, Cineon, IFF, etc. As for the DVD playback commented in the review it’s been brought up before. When comparing video players I really wish Novell would aquire mPlayer and make it the standard player. After all it supports the widest variety of codecs compared to Kaffeine and Totem. Novell would of course need to provide valid licenses but the added cost could be included as part of the retail packaging. As a final note after testing a variety of Linux distros I have yet to see one that offers as much as Novell puts into SuSE Linux Professional. What typically comes standard in SuSE Pro is an added cost for Red Hat clients. Not to mention the simple fact no other Linux developer, including Microsoft or even Apple are offering both 32-bit and 64-bit OS/apps in one package. Definately offering the best of both worlds for those either considering upgrading their hardware or those already running networks with 32-bit and 64-bit systems. When comparing costs for what is included Novell definately beats the competition hands down with their SuSE Linux Professional 9.1. 2004-05-13 9:00 pm Does suse have any tool such as apt-get or urpmi to install software? Victor. 2004-05-13 9:03 pm Yes, I have to agree with everything said about SuSE 9.1… It is definitely the best Linux distro that I have ever used and seems to run so much “snappier” than any other distro that I have used before. It has to be one of the best values out there, right now. I also am looking forward to the new Fedora Core 2, but will remain a bit skeptical after my experiences with FC1 and also some of the test releases of FC2. ?????? We’ll see, but either way, this is the year and I am sure of it that I will be able to make my move to a complete Linux setup at home and now at work also. Gotta love it!!!!!! 2004-05-13 9:20 pm Yes just click in a .rpm file in Konqueror browser, it will show all details and a button to install it with YaST (BTW, YaST is really fast!!!) SuSE 9.1 will be my 1st “real” linux desktop, by real i mean that it wont leave my hdd, and it will be used much more often than my Win… OS i’m starting to get used to it, and can now do almost everything at least as fast as i did in win2k. still need my games every now and then, though… :/ 2004-05-13 10:25 pm Good to hear from the Suse Linux users here that Suse is getting even better with every release. Novell buying them has it seems already a positive affect with how the apps are running. 2004-05-13 10:39 pm I could not get SuSE 9.0 AMD64 to find my second 512MB RAM stick. It worked just fine with the first stick, but would not run in X with both sticks in. Even though it would run in Safe Mode, it would not shutdown cleanly. I then installed FC1 in the same machine and FC1 recognizes and uses both RAM sticks without the slightest hiccup. I would really like to run SuSE in this computer because of YAST2. I can configure and maintain SuSE but FC1 is very difficult and I need help from my more knowledgeable friends. But I REALLY want the full GB of RAM. Anybody have any ideas what to do? Thanks. 2004-05-13 10:48 pm Yes just click in a .rpm file in Konqueror browser, it will show all details and a button to install it with YaST (BTW, YaST is really fast!!!) SuSE 9.1 will be my 1st “real” linux desktop, by real i mean that it wont leave my hdd, and it will be used much more often than my Win… OS i’m starting to get used to it, and can now do almost everything at least as fast as i did in win2k. still need my games every now and then, though… :/ Well, but does it solve all the dependencies automagically or do i have to manually search for all the dependencies? Also, where do i find rpms for Suse? I haven’t found any “suse repository”, or something like that. By the way, it’s great Yast is fast… that’s a very good thing. What kind of hardware have you got? (i’m thinking about upgrading my machine pretty soon) Victor. 2004-05-13 10:50 pm Try http://linux01.gwdg.de/apt4rpm/ A full how-to on how to set up atp 4 rpm for SUSE. 2004-05-13 11:12 pm Or you could use Red Carpet for your package management needs 2004-05-13 11:52 pm Well, but does it solve all the dependencies automagically or do i have to manually search for all the dependencies? Also, where do i find rpms for Suse? I haven’t found any “suse repository”, or something like that. if by automatically you mean download them, i guess not , it only tells what the possible fixes are… YOU (YaST Online Update) works really well, to update everything, and so far as repositories… still haven’t had much chance to find anything. I’m running in a nforce2 board with a sata raid controller (no raid atm) and a ATI vga card. Detected everything onboard (sata, sound, etc…) and i’ve also managed to install the ati vga 3D drivers Only thing missing is my damn usb adsl modem, but i think i’m buying a router :[ IMHO SuSE 9.1 its an exceptionaly good and usable distro for linux noobs (like me); after playing with it for a few days i just like it more and more. Inacio 2004-05-13 11:58 pm Victor, Yast auto-checks dependencies and will pop up a help window guiding the user on recommendations. SuSE Linux can automate a lot of things for you while also providing tools Linux Gurus are familiar with. The developers have done a lot of work creating friendly GUI tools making the transition to SuSE Linux even easier. As for your question regarding SuSE rpms you can install apt4rpm for SuSE Linux (see Zeke post) or use the links below. Note: there are 4 CDs of included programs so you should be able to find what your looking for there. The programs are also included on the double sided DVD. SuSE RPM Links: http://guru.linuxbe.org/ http://packman.links2linux.org/ http://rpm.pbone.net/ http://www.suserpms.cjb.net/ 2004-05-14 12:20 am be careful using apt4rpm. I tried it in 9.0 and broke the system.. make sure you run the “SuSeconfig” every time you apt-get something or else you’ll regret it.. however even then it broke my system… Since yast is GPL now (i guess the source was available before it was GPL’d) someone should make yast work like apt. So i could just run yast -i packagename.rpm and yast will do everything else for the user. if you’re installing packages in suse the “yast -i *.rpm” command worked great in 9.0 (assume it works the same in 9.1) and it takes care of the suseconfig for me. 2004-05-14 12:26 am on a spare machine with athlon xp 2400, 1gb crucial ram, 80gb hd, nvidia fx 5700, asus a7v8x-x motheboard, sb live platinum with live drive, 16x pioneer dvd-rom, lite-on 52x cd-rw, mitsumi 3.5″ floppy, and an old dell 17″ crt…and ms mouse and keyboard. all went smoothly but it wanted to make the onboard network card into an “asus” nic and it would not work….had me confused until i went to asus site and realized i had forgotten it is a realtek nic and manually changed that and set to static networking settings and all is well. hops onto a windows network no problem. not bad for linux so far…i have limited experience with linux and i would say it is better than the few versions of redhat i have played with over the years since v6.2. installed easily and recognized all fairly modern equipment. i remember putting redhat on once and it would not work with a brand new nvidia vid card that was out at the time. xp pro is still light years ahead of it for my uses. 2004-05-14 12:32 am m running in a nforce2 board with a sata raid controller (no raid atm) and a ATI vga card. Detected everything onboard (sata, sound, etc…) and i’ve also managed to install the ati vga 3D drivers What’s your processor and how much ram have you got? Victor. 2004-05-14 12:36 am Yast auto-checks dependencies and will pop up a help window guiding the user on recommendations. SuSE Linux can automate a lot of things for you while also providing tools Linux Gurus are familiar with. The developers have done a lot of work creating friendly GUI tools making the transition to SuSE Linux even easier. Hmmm… Mandrake has a nice GUI, and also does solve install dependencies. So, don’t you think Mandrake is better? Or Suse has got other advantages? Victor. 2004-05-14 12:45 am “Hmmm… Mandrake has a nice GUI, and also does solve install dependencies. So, don’t you think Mandrake is better? Or Suse has got other advantages? ” Mandrake 9.2 didn’t have source for the default kernel on the disks, or I was unable to find them. I really hate it when stupid things like that are left out that make other things difficult. I also had an issue with kdm not being able to do a shutdown on Mandrake 9.2. Maybe it was an awful release, but one of those machines was quickly reinstalled with Slackware. Never tried Suse. I’ve heard good things though. 2004-05-14 12:54 am my cpu/ram is xp3200+ with 512Mb i must say that although a fresh install of a Win2k/XP may seem a litle faster then my current SuSE (KDE) desktop at first, my 6 months old windows system is very slugish atm, so i’m happy because i think that a linux desktop can’t get much slower… just a thought 2004-05-14 1:08 am I have tried installing Mandrake 10 community on my box before, I have to admit that the Galaxy GUI is not really ugly but compared to BlueCurve of Fedora CORE, Galaxy still needs 50 years to catch up. Another thing I don’t like at Mandrake is the control center somehow looks useless and stupid compared to YaST, SaX of SuSE. I’ve tried many distros, and I go to the conclusion, none distros can beat the YaST, so if SuSE runs stably on your box, then you should stick with it, don’t waste your time on other distros. 2004-05-14 1:38 am I have tried installing Mandrake 10 community on my box before, I have to admit that the Galaxy GUI is not really ugly but compared to BlueCurve of Fedora CORE, Galaxy still needs 50 years to catch up. Another thing I don’t like at Mandrake is the control center somehow looks useless and stupid compared to YaST, SaX of SuSE. I’ve tried many distros, and I go to the conclusion, none distros can beat the YaST, so if SuSE runs stably on your box, then you should stick with it, don’t waste your time on other distros. Hmmm… well… you can always theme Mandrake the way you want, i suppose (haven’t used it yet). And if control center will let me do the basic stuff (i don’t think i’d spend too much time configuring things), i think it would be just fine… Having a (graphical) tool that handles install dependencies, on the other hand, is very very useful. Victor. PS: I’m not trying to start some flamewar… i just want to install Mandrake or Suse on my machine, but haven’t decided which one yet. 2004-05-14 1:38 am Re: “Hmmm… Mandrake has a nice GUI, and also does solve install dependencies. So, don’t you think Mandrake is better? Or Suse has got other advantages?” Victor, Both look similar on the surface but SuSE just works not only faster but better. For example I have yet to see a Mandrake release that allows major film apps such as XSI, Maya and Shake to install with out causing dependecy issues and lock ups. SuSE Watcher which monitors the OS and installed programs is a very handy tool. As well SuSE Plugger which is the closest thing you’ll find in Linux comparible to Windows Hardware Plug & Play. The other thing to consider is cost. When looking at the commercial retail versions from Red Hat, Novell (SuSE) and Mandrakesoft you’ll notice Novell offers the lowest price for not only the their software but also their support services. If you compare the free versions I would choose SuSE Personal over Red Hat’s Fedora any day. I could go on and on with the advantages of choosing SuSE Linux but I have to get back to work 2004-05-14 2:40 am SuSE really does KDE right! I just got my copy of 9.1, and its absolutely incredible. Installation literally asks like two questions, and it boots up to a *very* polished KDE. Everything was autodetected, and the only thing that took even the slightest bit of work was downloading the firmware for my cheapo wireless USB dongle. Never had to open a command line once! They’ve got a great KDE-ified OpenOffice, and they appear to have a tweeked version of Plastik with larger buttons (nice for my display). I’m very impressed. 2004-05-14 6:51 am I’ve used SUSE since 7.x (as well as other distros) and currently have 9.0 Pro version on my box. Being a Gnome fan and reading that Personal does not include it, has anyone used Gnome with 9.1 Pro. Is it the latest, Gnome 2.6? If not, how easy would it be to upgrade. Can Gnome be added to Personal. Thanks. 2004-05-14 7:42 am It’s GNOME 2.4, and there’s a screen shot of it included in the article. -Jem 2004-05-14 2:19 pm Haven’t gotten around to SUSE 9.1 yet, but I’m running Mandrake 10 Official (not Community) on one of my boxes and I have to say that I’m impressed. It’s very polished and everything seems to work properly “out of the box” (of course, urpmi is the second-best software install utility out there behind Debian apt-get, so that’s a plus). If SUSE 9.1 is even more polished than Mandrake 10 Official, you can color me extremely impressed. From all of the reviews that I have read, that seems to be likely. If the next-gen of YAST has true automagic dependency handling it would be hard to beat. I’ll probably stick with Slack and Debian on my main box, but the “desktop distros” are just getting better and better! 2004-05-14 2:32 pm on a spare machine with athlon xp 2400, 1gb crucial ram, 80gb hd, nvidia fx 5700, asus a7v8x-x motheboard, sb live platinum with live drive, 16x pioneer dvd-rom, lite-on 52x cd-rw, mitsumi 3.5″ floppy, and an old dell 17″ crt…and ms mouse and keyboard. That’s your spare machine ? 2004-05-14 4:09 pm For some reason Suse 9.1 refuses to go into standby mode when I close the lid of my laptop although I have activated this feature in the powermanagement setting of yast thingy. 2004-05-15 3:24 am Are you going to do a review of SuSE 9.1? I hope so. I like your reviews.