Home > SuSE, openSUSE > SuSE 9.1 Professional Review SuSE 9.1 Professional Review Eugenia Loli 2004-07-19 SuSE, openSUSE 39 Comments Bob Ratliff of IPKonfig reviews SuSE 9.1 PRO (with screenshots). About The Author Eugenia Loli Ex-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker. Follow me on Twitter @EugeniaLoli 39 Comments 2004-07-19 9:18 pm “The inclusion of the nVidia GeForce drivers in its online update link is very handy. Now, if only ATi would get on the bandwagon and open its drivers up so that they could be included.” NVidia never opened up their driver, you still have to agree to their EULA. 2004-07-19 9:43 pm “With the system that I installed it on, everything worked just fine except for the audio–which I found out later was not the fault of the hardware or SuSE. It seems that ALSA, or the Advanced Linux Sound Architecture package, is not working correctly yet with Kernel 2.6. ” I find this kind of odd. The author simply dismissed this ‘problem.’ This is a linux distribution…not to mention its the professional version. I think one would expect that all the various package compatabilities would be checked and verified by Suse. I mean the packages are beign provided by Suse. This is the FAULT of SUSE and SUSE alone. They chose to include ALSA which is incompatible with the Kernel 2.6. They should either have used an earlier kernel, some other sound package, or at the very least displayed a warning stating the incompaitibility at install time with possible options to get your sounds working anyways. Yamin 2004-07-19 9:54 pm i use suse 9.1 with kernel 2.6 without problem form the sound 2004-07-19 9:57 pm “At which point do we stop faulting everyone on the planet for not being GPL and start faulting Linux (desktop) and Linux distributors for refusing to use any and all closed software. Free like communism. ” nobody said it was supposed to be gpl. free /open source isnt communistic just like proprietary software isnt facist. if free software is communistic then ibm,MS,sun,novell,hp,ca and others are communistic too. they all have used open source software. “They chose to include ALSA which is incompatible with the Kernel 2.6.” completely wrong. oss was replaced with ALSA in 2.6 kernel which is the default sound api in kernel 2.6. talk about stuff you know please 2004-07-19 10:07 pm Sound works fine in 2.6.7 something kernel(as well as the default 2.6.5). The only weird thing about the sound is that it tends to start with the volume all the way down. SuSE does include the “proprietary” NVidia driver. So to say that Linux distributors arent including proprietary software is completely false,, they include a bunch of stuff from film editting to DB stuff,, like sybase (demo though). I think the reviewer just wants to be able to install the ATi driver as easily as the nvidia one,, meaning put it on the stinkin ftp site for yast online update (it may be there for all I know) The only thing I have a problem with is Firewire,, and that is a kernel issue. I’ll stick with SuSE until Novell does something stupid (been using it since 6.2),,, maybe they will, maybe they wont, who knows. 2004-07-19 10:08 pm What was this guy smoking? ALSA isn’t compatible with Kernel 2.6? Ummm… ALSA is BUILT-IN TO kernel 2.6. OSS (the old sound system) is the depricated one. ALSA works flawlessly with kernel 2.6, considering that it is the default, built-in sound system. 2004-07-19 10:10 pm Am I the only person who thinks that the best people to branch the open and closed sourced worlds is Apple? They use whatever is the best and will let them do the most fastest, whether its open or closed… and they work nicely together. 2004-07-19 10:13 pm I agree,, but what does that have to do with suse 2004-07-19 11:00 pm I think Jeff was referring to the “Free like Communism” thread… I think he was trying to say that there is a model out there that seems to work. 2004-07-19 11:11 pm On the sound front my audigy card isn’t supported by suse 9.1 for amd64. It’s a listed bug, but the built in sound on my mobo works fine. The audigy has worked perfectly in every other disto I’ve used on this box; gentoo, mandrake and fedora. The lamest thing about suse 9.1 is the extreme lack of video codecs. This combined with the fact that there don’t seem to be ANY good community sites for new/extra packages makes for a lot of unnecessary compiling. As an addendum, I was thrilled that flash worked out of the box, but dissappointed to find that it only works in Konq. Firefox, epiphany and mozilla are flashless. 2004-07-19 11:23 pm These screenshots look horrible… no wonder people get scared from Linux when they read a review where the author has made their Linux box look like a pile of crap. 2004-07-19 11:25 pm In the year 1991 at Helsinki, Finland, Linux Torvalds, […] This guy is mistaken. 2004-07-19 11:25 pm SuSE Linux Professional positives: 1. Wide range of hardware support for both new and Legacy hardware. 2. Includes two OS (32-bit and 64-bit). 3. Can be distributed across a network at no additional charge unlike Windows. 4. Both Server, Client, Networking tools. 5. Thousands of included software both Open Source and commercial demos to help transition Windows users to GNU/Linux. This includes tools not provided in Windows such as Antivirus and Spam software. 6. Integrated Firewall with GUI frontend, encryption tools, etc. 7. The most user friendly and extensive help docs I’ve ever seen for any distribution including Windows. 8. Graphics driver support for both NVIDIA (“fetchnvidia” to fetch driver updates and install via YaST Online Update). ATI drivers provided by Novell through SuSE FTP portal ( ftp://ftp.suse.com/pub/suse/i386/supplementary/X/XFree86/ATI/suse9… ). 9. Lower TCO than Windows. 10. Java (JRE), Flash Media Player and Wine included. 11. Plug & Play support. 12. OS and software online update monitoring with SuSE Watcher. 13. Ability to update GUI desktops (KDE, Gnome, etc), software or entire OS with the help of YaST Online Update and “Change Installation Of Source”. Similar to Apt-Get. 14. Integrated YaST Package Manager installer in Konqueror browser for. 15. Auto dependency checker to ensure no missing files or corruption prior to installation. 16. Integrated partition manager that supports both FAT and NTFS partitions. 17. Includes support for multiple processors both AMD and Intel. Also support for Hyperthreading and updating to latest tweaked SuSE Linux kernel 2.6.5-7.95. 18. Auto-repair utilities, file back up, etc. I could go on for pages but you get the idea Negative: 1. Lack of popular codecs due to licensing issues causing complaints from customers outside of Germany (SuSE Linux AG). Can be quickly resolved with replacing of Xine and it’s GUI front end tools Kaffeine and Totem but really customers shouldn’t have to do this. Thankfully both Novell and Red Hat have been listening and are working with Real Networks to include a Linux port of RealPlayer 10 with it’s universal codec support in future releases. The player will be offered shortly to the Linux community as a free download including the open source player Helix. 2004-07-19 11:45 pm Indeed, it hurts the eyes. The reviewer could have saved it in .png or .jpg format, and it would have been quality screenshots. 2004-07-19 11:58 pm 1) Screenshots should’ve been with a near-default install, instead of a highly customized desktop 2) Screenshots should’ve been PNG or JPEG, not GIF (ugh) 3) ALSA doesn’t work with Linux 2.6? WTF? If it doesn’t, that’s SuSe’s fault. 4) n00bs won’t know what Samba is, or why the heck it is needed to access a home network. 5) “I know a lot of people are wanting to switch to Linux for gaming purposes because of the promise of true multitasking–which will give a tremendous boost to the speed of the game and, in a lot of cases, to the frame rates.” True multitasking? Huh? Windows 2K and XP have “true multitasking”. Maybe he means SMP or HyperThreading? Windows has those, too. 6) “Now, if only ATi would get on the bandwagon and open its drivers up so that they could be included.” Uhh… if they aren’t included in SuSe Pro, that’s SuSe’s fault. 7) “The sound apps are very well written and very efficient. Sound quality depends on the hardware, of course, but the features of the software rival those of some of the commercial packages that I use in Windows.” I thought you said sound was broken? 2004-07-20 12:13 am I use SuSE 9.1 myself and enjoy the distro but wow, I think it gets more reviews than windows 2004-07-20 12:16 am nothing new here, how about a review of the new progeny componentized debian or something that hasn’t already been reviewed a dozen times. 2004-07-20 1:38 am Free like communism I’ve probably said this a hundred times here, but I’ll mention it again. I am tired of hearing OSS being compared to communism. The statement alone shows a gross misunderstanding of one or the other (or both) concepts. With OSS, I can donate my work to society because I want to. I can also choose to release that work under a license that forces others to respect my selfless wishes by not allowing them to take my code and limiting acces to it. This is as contrary to communism as anything can be. If OSS was communism, then some governing body would come to all the OSS developer’s homes, force them to work for a small pittance (or nothing at all), and then steal their code for the good of society. The important thing to note is that one I do of my own free will, and the other is imposed upon me; a very significant difference in my opinion. 2004-07-20 2:33 am “All in all, I feel that SuSE Linux is the Lincoln of Linux.” hear hear. And as for “free as in communism” – communism was state ownership of everything. Does the state own linux? 2004-07-20 4:02 am I’d like to see a review of the just released FC3T1. Especially on a box with Intel 845 (integrated LAN and GPU). I tried it – but web access didn’t work. The browser hung forever with “connecting to …” whereas LAN access worked fine. Nice to hear that Realplayer will step up to the plate. This is a very important turf for Linux to conquer – legitimately. Any one has any details – like which media formats will be supported? DVD’s? Encryption? Codecs? Maybe such features can be purchased? 2004-07-20 4:58 am A true Real Player port or another WINE monstrosity ? 2004-07-20 5:26 am Hey guys. Seems that I’ve raised an issue here with my review. When I said that the sound was borked, I was refering to getting sound to work with certain games such as quake3 and Enemy Territory. I should have went a little further in detail with that statement. ALSA is what causes the problem with that and they have stated that it will be fixed in the next release. Also, as far as the ATI drivers, I was refering to the ease of install for ATI drivers such as Nvidia’s. Not open source. Bad choice of words on my part. Thanks for the comments though. Criticism can only make me a better writer. Bob Ratliff email@example.com 2004-07-20 5:56 am I’m flabbergasted that nobody has a problem with the fact that scroll wheel mice don’t scroll or autoscroll in Konqueror or many other KDE apps. I personally won’t live without such a function, so I wiped out SuSE and went back to Windows. Why does SuSE feel like it’s stuck in 1999? And why is it so slow? Even WinXP is faster on my older hardware than this massive beast. 2004-07-20 6:09 am I have myself also recieved the offer Novell had for its software(s). I had a dual boot Slack/XP and I decided to install Suse,which I did,replaced Slack for a weekend with Suse.I have to say that I never seen in my life such an easy install,especially for a Linux distro.Not like Slackware have a difficult install procedure.But,what I want to say is that EVERYTHING hardware worked from the moment I booted in SUSE.Moreover,since I have a Ti4600, I was kindly advised to download the nVidia driver,which Yast did.So,played with Suse for a weekend,I’m really impressed,but Slack came back on my drive because I’m a gnome gui and Slack’s speed is still unmatched among serious distros.OK,there are factors and factors,but for me Slack was and it is the fastest. Bottom line,if you have a good system ,something like a P4 and 512MB ram , then you could try Suse,I know that KDE can be customized not to eat so many resources, but I guess I’m kinda lazy.Overall,very impressed with Suse.The price tag (90 eur) is very good for what you get. 2004-07-20 10:05 am Leaving aside for one moment that *actual* communism has never existed, the idea behind it has never been that everything is free, or indeed that everyone’s work is stolen off them. In fact Marx argued that it is under capitalism that the wealth workers create is stolen – hence profits. The chief tenet of communism is that workers own and control all they create, and that wealth is then distributed under the tenet of “from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs”. Seen in such terms, much of the philosophy of OSS can indeed be seen as having something in common with socialist and communist ideals. On the other hand, widespread accessible computing ensures a vibrant organic base for new enterprises and inventions, and thus sits quite comfortably within a market economy.</dialectic> As for SuSE 9.1 Pro, the very capitalistic 90 euros has put me off so far, even the 60-odd euro upgrade (it has a smaller manual) has mase me decide to wait before getting it 2004-07-20 10:37 am i too managed to get the SUSE/Novell offer, though it has not yet arrived. but seeing as i do not yet have a 64bit system i downloaded SUSE 9.1 Personal Edition and installed (with help) it. everything works fine, but i did have problems (cos Im a windows n00b) installing the latest versions of Firefox and Mozilla because their website does not upload .rpm versions for us learners to download. other than that i am very impressed. next task is to try and install UT2k4 and NWN. Dimble 2004-07-20 11:26 am Hi Bob. I think I know the reason of the problem you are having. KDE uses a sound daemon called artsd. Apps that want to use sound have to go through artsd or you have to kill it before you can hear the sound from the apps. So this is really a KDE-compatibility issue rather than SuSe issue only. Other KDE-based installation will have the same problem. Kay. 2004-07-20 12:02 pm Hey.. check out how I am scrolling with my Logitech MX 700 + Suse 9.1 Pro… *rittt* *ratttt* … wow, that’s plain crazyness, innit..?! 2004-07-20 12:38 pm I don’t know how detailed the documentation is with SuSE Linux 9.1 Personal but it should contain information about adding sources (YaST>Software>Change source of installation). You can add things like the SuSE KDE and Gnome YaST Source mirrors to update them to the latest version. This includes the ability to add other sources such as from http://packman.links2linux.org/ or http://rpm.pbone.net/ to gain access to other software such as Firefox, MPlayer, etc. More detailed info can be found here ( http://www.linuxforum.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=73978 ) Example: Source: FTP Server name: http://ftp.suse.com Directory on server: pub/suse/i386/supplementary/KDE/update_for_9.1/yast-source Example 2: Source: FTP or HTTP Server name: packman.iu-bremen.de Directory on server: suse/9.1 2004-07-20 2:57 pm The sound daemon for KDE is arts and there IS a setting in the KDE control panel under the Sound/Audio section that deals with setting a time-out for arts (in seconds). This setting will allow other non-KDE applications to gain control of ALSA if the time-out occurs. AFAIR the time-out is the time difference between the current time and the last time a sound request was passed to the arts daemon. I have set mine to 5 seconds which works quite well. 2004-07-20 3:15 pm If you have problem with sound and alsa, first try alsamixer (simple, ncurse based). KMix doesn’t work very well with alsa. 2004-07-20 3:42 pm I recently installed SuSE Personal on an old home PC so we can surf with fewer malware concerns. SuSE installs beautifully and came up with all hardware configured correctly, even a MS wheel mouse. This is actually easier than installing XP, especially if you consider that SuSE installed all sorts of useful applications as well. I was able to use YOU to patch not only my system but also all installed packages; this is a lot nicer than windowsupdate.Microsoft.com, which only addresses OS & Browser patches. With Windows, you have to keep ‘making the rounds’ to see which software packages have upgrades. I do wish that SuSE has installed apt as part of the base install. I’m trying to figure out if there is an RPM I can use to install apt for SuSE 9.1, but so far I haven’t found it. Any help from other readers in this regard would be appreciated. The BSD’s and most of the other Linux distros have tools to automatically install the prerequisite packages/ports from online respositories. This is a really cool feature. Perhaps I just haven’t figured this out yet on SuSE, but I would be nice to install (for example) Plone and have apt get Zope, CMF and whatever else Plone would need to run. So this is my only criticism of SuSE so far, it really is a polished distro and it looks like SuSE will be including apt in the near future. I just hope that Novell is able to leverage SuSE and Mono to provide an elegant and integrated set of products; they certainly seem to have the right set of tools. 2004-07-20 4:00 pm OK, ignoring any factual errors the reviewer made, there *are* some glitches with ALSA and SuSE… SuSE has a little “check hardware” wrapper that checks to see if sound is available when you start up sound apps like Audacity, and with my SB Live! card this constantly tells me that sound isn’t available, even when it is. Sometimes capture works, sometimes it doesn’t, it’s kind of a crap shoot. Often I have to run alsaconf manually (ick) to get capture to work. This is probably SuSE’s fault. Also, there’s something in my mixer called “AC97” that produces terrible feedback when it’s enabled– and it’s enabled by default. So a fresh install of SuSE results in this terrible screeching with my sound card. The ALSA mixer (and KMix for ALSA) is complicated and full of all these weird, unexplained features. On my computer at work (SB Audigy) capture is completely disabled with no explanation (?!) Thankfully, I don’t need to do this at work. Also, I don’t understand why KDE still relies on arts– isn’t ALSA designed to multiplex sound natively? I’m not sure what the advantage to using arts is anymore, and it has terrible latency and will often “pop” and “crackle” during the first few moments of sound playback. I would really like to see arts removed or replaced with GStreamer or JACK. But this is really the only serious problem with SuSE that I’ve ever had. I really think it’s the most polished distro available. 2004-07-20 4:03 pm Most GPL licensed is proprietary software. If you ever submit a patch for gcc you’ll be asked to give your Copyright to the FSF. If you’re looking for free software look at what other projects like PostgreSQL or xorg do, and use revised BSD license, not GNU’s proprietary and restrictive crap. 2004-07-20 4:20 pm http://linux01.gwdg.de/apt4rpm/ for apt in suse. 2004-07-20 5:05 pm I dont think this should have qualified for another review. We already had so many reviews already. 2004-07-20 6:19 pm Hmm not as forgiving as windows eh? Methinks Linux is not for the faint of heart! 2004-07-21 12:58 am Hey.. check out how I am scrolling with my Logitech MX 700 + Suse 9.1 Pro… *rittt* *ratttt* … wow, that’s plain crazyness, innit..?! Hey, I too, have the same mouse and SuSE 9.1 Pro, scroll isn’t a problem, but I am having a helluva time getting the forward and back buttons to work. Do you have them working at all? 2004-07-21 9:58 am SuSE was the main driving force for years behind developing/including ALSA… just for you to know.