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on 18 April 2005
My interest in linux began with an serious upgrade to my main computer system then running Windows XP Pro. XP refused to work with the upgrade and I was faced with having to purchase another license; in the future I realised this was going to be expensive with a home network.
So I chose to try out SuSE 9.2 Pro and Mandrake 10.1. on different computers as dual windows/linux boot. Three months on none of the family are using windows, SuSE 9.2 was the winner of our little competition.
We prefer SuSE with its multiple tasking virtual desk tops allowing multiple internet browsers open on broadband so we can cut and paste documents into Open Office. An excellent MS office replacement which will read MS word/excel files. On the internet its faster with Firefox, more secure with its builtin firewall, the linux popup/virus free internet environment is great. While we surf we listen to music playing on Amorok on another virtual desktop which can be customised with hundreds of themes.
SuSE 9.2 and linux is more stable you don't have to reboot every time you load/remove software from the 3.4 GB on the supplied DVD/CD's. Software is widely available on the net and FREE! It runs very happily on our medium spec machines of 1.4Ghz CPU, 256 mb ram,2x20 GB HD. It can be run side by side with Windows as a dual boot system, which allows you keep your old system. The Yast setup tool is easy to use.
Come in the water is nice and warm, have some fun.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 28 April 2005
Quite honestly this collection of Linux software does what is says on the box - it gives you pretty much everything that you need to use a computer. Unless you are into games that is.
I've loaded it onto a raw disc without any problems and I've also used it as a second boot option on a dual boot computer. It should be noted though that it's a whole bunch easier if you are running Windows to instal SuSe Linux using it's own boot options. I tried to do it first with Partition Magic and Boot Magic, then end result being a computer that I couldn't boot back into Windows. I formatted, re-installed Windows and then installed Linus without Partition Magic, accepting the Linux defaults and bingo, a dual boot system without any probs. It really is as simple as Windows to instal - possibly simpler to be honest. I love the interface and I love the fact that whilst being pretty much as easy as Windows to use, it doesn't treat you like a complete idiot.
The downside is that of course there are no where near as many utilities and fancy programs as Windows. But as I originally stated, if you have a need for a system that will give you everything for running an office, surfing and media then this will work brilliantly. If like me you want some other bells and whistles, then you'll probably want Windows as well.
Buy this if you are curious about a world without Windows - it's simple to instal, easy to use and covers all general needs. To get all the programs that SuSe have packaged, in Windows would cost thousands of pounds. That makes this a bargain.
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on 2 December 2004
My previous experience of Linux has been to install Suse 8.0 on a machine with WIndows XP. I was hugely impressed with Suse 8.0; it installed very simply alongside XP and made dual-booting very straightforward - no need for Bootmagic or any other additional software. I found it difficult to install Suse 8.0 into a Windows home network, though. I still found this difficult with an upgrade to Suse 9.0.
Suse 9.2, however, is another leap forward in simplicity and ease of integration. I installed it on a MSI motherboard with an Athlon 64 processor and it immediately installed the 64 bit version of Linux. Unlike Windows XP, Suse Linux also recognised the Realtek ethernet chipset out of the box and connected to my broadband router without any difficulties. The standard automated installation is now set up to recognise and connect to any Windows-based network - including wireless networks. Hey presto, my son's machine appeared on my screen as if by magic. It worked for me straight out of the box.
Suse Linux seems rock solid, although I also think Windows XP is solid these days. It is highly configurable - much more so than XP - and comes equipped with a vast number of different user interface options if you want to vary its appearance. It comes with a huge number of applications - more than one office suite, games, photo editing software, hard disk audio recording, video recording, you name it it's probably included. I had previously opurchased StarOffice 7.0 as an alternative to MS Office, but the open source version (OpenOffice, included with Suse Linux) is just as capable and opens all my Word and Excel files.
I was interested in Linux as an alternative to being dependent upon Microsoft, and Suse 9.2 has finally achieved that for me. I would encourage anybody who is interested in trying out new software to consider this package - you might be surprised to find that with one purchase you have acquired not only an alternative OS but also more Linux applications than you have for WIndows. (P.S. Unreal Tourmanent runs on Linux out of the box as well - as do a number of other games.)
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on 30 December 2004
Where do you start with a Linux distro review? With the installer? YaST is better than ever and will even install the 64-bit packages if it detects a 64-bit processor. Hardware support is improved but again if you have bleeding edge hardware best check it's supported. The nice thing is that if it is supported it's all done for you and there's no need for driver CDs or any configuration. If it's not then either you're stuck as I was with a laptop without ATI graphics 3D support (I blame ATI not SuSE for this) and a cheap PC videocamera (no great loss), or you can download drivers like with the Epson printer/scanner I was using. One thing to watch out for is that if you don't have a DVD drive you won't find all the packages on the CDs any more. You may not notice unless you need a specific and relatively obscure package.
At the server end of things hardware support is excellent - I installed it on an IBM dual Xeon based server and this has no problems whatsoever with either the gigabit LAN or SERVER-RAID. In fact this version seems more geared up to enterprise level computing - some problems I experienced with previous releases and allocating large memory chunks have disappeared. SuSE had kept the 2.4 kernel up to date with current hardware in previous releases by porting across features from 2.6 but I am very impressed with the real thing.
This version seems speeded-up from previous releases, again probably due to the 2.6 kernel. It doesn't quite beat Windows XP on start up times but Gnome and KDE look good and run very nicely. In fact this is the first SuSE distro I have used where the Gnome environment looks to have received some considerable attention. In previous releases it was never as polished as KDE. In this release KDE behaves very much like Windows XP which would suit someone migrating across from Windows. Not to lose the security edge against Microsoft the excellent SuSE firewall (a topic in itself) is now turned on by default and there is an on-line update utility.
This is the second Novell release but the first that carries the name. Whether for some this will be a put off I don't know but it shouldn't be.
So for me SuSE 9.2 should provide the basis of reliable systems that just work. Should you buy it over any of the other Linux distributions? Hard to say, I switched over from RedHat some time ago but there's nothing here to send me away and quite a lot to rave about.
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on 3 May 2005
My first linux distro was 7.2 professional. Since then I have used SUSE Linux 8.2 Pro, and now I've used 9.2 for a number of months. While the 7.2-to-8.2 visual curve was pretty big, 8.2-to-9.2 is more about the fundamentals of the OS rather than desktop eye candy.
Connectivity is really well spoken for. All popular types of networks (and networked devices) can be connected to. Configuring a wireless network is easy as pie, as is using a bluetooth device.
The only caveat, as usual, is hardware support. It's always best to ensure your hardware is supported before parting with cash. However, if a driver has been developed for your hardware, you are pretty much guaranteed that SUSE will have included it in their distribution.
I use this distribution for my work and it means I can be much, MUCH more efficient in my daily activity than I could with a stock Windows installation. As a web developer and software tester, there is no environment like KDE that offers an all-round approach (excluding Directory Opus, perhaps) where FTP accounts, web passwords, meta-contacts using one or another instant messenger, an integrated mail/calendar/contacts client, web browser and office package fit together so well. In fact, I could go on about how much time it saves me, but given the reviews above, why bother?
This is a solid release, too. The only other word of warning I would offer is that, despite SUSE offering a KDE upgrade (from 3.3.1 to 3.3.2), I would approach this option cautiously. There is a buggy software sound component (aRTs-based) that means sound in the KDE environment might not work after the upgrade.
How you would handle this scenario depends on your linux knowledge - but would usually mean either keeping up with ever-newer patches, or simply reverting back to the stock KDE installation that came with this version of SUSE. In my opinion, SUSE isn't really so much a tinkerer's Linux OS as it is a good platform for productivity. But with YaST, system configuration is handled easily, and this forms a core reason why you are probably considering SUSE anyway - you can set it up using a GUI and use it productively, without worrying about the nitty gritty of Linux.
The manuals are well written and it's a cinch to install. The Delta RPM method of releasing software updates (where only part of a software package is upgraded, reducing download size/time) is also a boon. The only reason why I wouldn't award this 5 stars, even given the above, is that I think general performance is a bit slow.
On an (admittedly aging) Pentium 3 1GHz laptop with 1GB RAM & 30GB hard drive, I have found boot-time to drag a little. This seems down to three areas, two of which may well be hard to resolve - udev and NFS. The third is purely subjective: the kernel and boot process just feel a little bloated. Things seem to take longer than they might if the software was a little more optimised (I know this - I've had Gentoo on this machine).
But, despite all of this, I really would recommend SUSE 9.2 to both a beginner and a seasoned linux user who needs productivity from their linux box. For the hardcore geek, it's probably got more than enough to tinker with, but I suspect the slightly lethargic boot-time performance might be a turn-off.
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on 17 May 2005
I started with SuSe 6.4 way back - after a short excursion to Red Hat 7.2 & 7.3 I migrated back to SuSe 8.0 and was rather pleased; easy set up, stable system, (windows)user friendly configuration. Summer '04 I decided to upgrade my running 8.2 System to SuSe 9.1(2). From 2 Network cards only one is initiated on start up - at random that is, from 2 hard drives only one is found - strangly not at random, the floppy drives spins up during boot and will not stop for 15 min. The SuSe support's comment was similar to a shrug with the shoulders. As I needed the internet for my work, and one of the networkcards was used to access the internet, I switched back to 8.2 and as that became unmaintainable due to the lack of upgradable packages I switched to Debian Sarge. To sum up - the hardware support of the system has gone down, the support is unmentionable, the maintainability decreases to zero as only Security fixes will be downloaded from a certain point from there one must "acquire" a upgrade disc from SuSe. Should the user seriously be willing to work on Linux, Fedora, Debian or Ubuntu are alternatives with a far better cost performance
2 people found this helpful
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