Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

SuSE 6.0 First Complete Look

CmdrTaco posted more than 15 years ago | from the distribution-wars dept.

SuSE 125

Matt writes "Much hype has followed the release of latest version of SuSE (6.0), and judging by the review over at Ars Technica of this hot distribution the hype is well justified. While packing a big bang, SuSE incorporates tools like YaST, SaX, KDE, StarOffice 5.0, and so forth to get users of any experience level up on their feet and running productively. As a long time user of RedHat I find SuSE to be a worthy competitor, as well as a strong indication that distributions as a whole are continuing to do positive things to stimulate the growth of the desktop OS user base for Linux. Definitely a worthy read, check it out!" CowboyNeal swears by SuSE. I'm itching for a new Debian CD.

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

GNOME? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1987534)

Why doesn't SuSe ship with GNOME? GNOME is much better than KDE.

GNOME? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1987535)

Pretty sure it does. Why do you think it doesn't?

SuSE 6.0 is all that (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1987536)

As much as it pains me to say it, S.u.S.E. 6.0 is great stuff. I need a little more control over my install, thank you, but S.u.S.E. in much better than Red Hat IMO.

Aside from the fact that they don't ship GNOME, I think it's worth pimping to bew users.

SuSE 6.0 is all that (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1987537)

GNome is included. So back off! :)

Where've I been? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1987538)

Never heard of Ars Tecnica before. Looks like a cool site.

Lovely distro's (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1987539)

SuSE, RedHat, Debian, Slackware are all great distro's. I use dedicated systems for each. But it's a pity that the others like DLD (Deutsche Linux Distribution, www.delix.de), Turbo Linux (Pacific HighTech, www.pht.com) get less attention. The earlier Power Linux of LST software GmbH (already bougth by Caldera) was an early distro with very simple installation and management system called LISA. And German distro's in general are dealing very good with ISDN and ISP related matters.

SuSE 6.0 does ship with GNOME (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1987540)

I know, I have it. Unfortunately the version is a little old already, so you'll still have to download if you want 1.0.

I don't like SuSEconfig (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1987541)

I don't like SuSEconfig messing up my configurations.
Well linuxconf is an option, so I'd like to see it included.

I like it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1987542)

After using Slackware for several years and after installing RH-5.x systems at work
I went on and ordered SuSe 6.0 for personal use.

Now after I've been really using it for few weeks I must say it's really good. Yast may
be the killer app for configuration/administration currently available for Linux and sax is
very nice tool after been bored editing XF86Config by hand.

Also nice feature is that it uses shadow passwords by default - now need to mess with pwconv
etc like with RH.

Few things bothering me though... Why they have to rename .rpm's so different from
RedHat? When you're used to RH's quite logical way namig packages it's really hard
to find is some particular package installed in SuSe (I've been running rpm -qa | grep fooBar
many times). And after dealing with .rpm packages I have begun to fear .tgz packages.
You really don't dare to break dependencies etc.. For an old Slackware user keeping everything
at bleeding edge by shamelessy throwing in newest tar balls this is really annoying situation
- am I the only one?

KGNOME is best (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1987543)

You should probably RTFA (article) before posting. Me, personally, I use both KDE and GNOME apps. I find GNOME a more pleasant environment FOR ME. But I find that KDE is slightly more stable. So, I use the GNOME environment (with E, the fastest window manager i've found [yes, even beats blackbox on my system]), and I run my gtk-based and qt-based apps. Licq is a great program, kpilot is great. So you all go have flame wars and stuff, I'll enjoy my freedom of having more choices.

SuSE is a proprietary software trap (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1987544)

You can't make copies of SuSE CD's to sell to
friends like Red Hat - YAST is not GPL even.
They ship nethack which has a license forbidding
commercial redistribution
They don't clearly label what is and is not free.

SuSE should read "SuitSE"

I like it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1987545)

'I have begun to fear .tgz packages'

I'm assuming your refering to binary software tar'd and gzip'd.. .tgz doesn't dictate that it's a 'package' or a 'binary package', no more than .tar.gz dictates a binary package or the need to 'fear'.

'For an old Slackware user keeping everything at bleeding edge by shamelessy throwing in newest tar balls this is really annoying situation
- am I the only one?'


You're the only one if you're (excuse me) stupid enough to just blatently gzip -cd file.tgz |(cd /; tar xf -) a binary distro 'bleeding edge' release... you want it or anything THAT BAD you get the src (bleeding edge is more suited for developers) then keep your bleeding edge stuff in a 'special' directory, one you can rememeber... your libs, your bin.. how bout /usr/bleed yah.. then you can have /usr/bleed/lib, /usr/bleed/bin all that fun stuff... don't forget to add /usr/bleed/lib to your /etc/ld.so.conf and wallah.. anytime you want to put your bleeding edge stuff on your slackware system you configure with --prefix=/usr/bleed ... when you get tired of bleeding edge.. you rm -rf /usr/bleed all done.. (and rm the line out of ld.so.conf of course)

so no i dont see your problem, maybe you shouldn't be so careless as to dump binaries all over your system...

Fred-er-ick

SuSE 6.0 - (Not) ready for 2.2 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1987546)

The SuSE folks released 6.0 in Germany a couple of days before Christmas. This was quite likely the reason for them not to wait any longer, because people expected to have the new distro to play with over the holidays. :) And I don't know if it would have made much sense to wait much longer then necessary with the international release, after all it would have lead to two distributions with the same version number, but quite different kernels.

It's strange, though, that they don't explain how to print with 2.2.x, after all, it's not that complicated to get the printer to work...

SuSE USA dead in the water (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1987547)

After a year or so, 2 (two) CEO's they have still to make any impact on the US market. The SuSE distro is released in GERMAN first, by an anal-retentive bunch of Europeans who have (yet again) failed to understand the importance of North America.

SuSE has been eclipsed by Red Hat to an extent that they will probably never catch up.

The quality of the distro is irrelevant when competing against IBM, Dell and others who have purchased into Red Hat.

Forget it SuSE, you aint gonna catch up. Why not help Red Hat instead?

Great! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1987548)

Now they just need to change their name to something 1/10 as cool as "Red Hat" and they'll get some press.

Mixing capitals with lower-case is the perfect way to get ridiculed in the mainstream press (assuming they pay you any attention at all).

SuSEconfig can be turned off :-) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1987549)

That's the beauty, you have choice!!!! (let's see Micro$$oft imitate that!!)

But still.. you CAN'T copy Yast (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1987550)

Soo kind of Suse.. put gut gigabytes of other poeples software on a CD and sell it with one of your own commercial (Yast) programs.. brilliant!

SuSE USA dead in the water? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1987551)

Yet another Red Hat employee posting as anonymous coward?

The truth is that IBM and others support Caldera and SuSE as well. Red Hat was successful in the U.S., nobody can deny that. But just as slackware became less and less important, Red Hat will lose its dominant position (unless they manage to come up with a better product, but that does not seem to be very likely).

Maybe they end up as good server distribution? Right now Red Hat simply is the worst choice for a desktop workstation. All other distributions ship more and better software.

XF86Config?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1987552)

Uhm, yes it's 'old', but what the poster was refering to was editing XF86Config by hand, the utility your refering to that is old is xf86config (the little script to setup a XF86Config file), even the XF86Setup utility newer, pretty, nice? heh.. still generates a XF86Config file... have you not noticed that when running it? you save it when your done, and on a re-run after a previously saved XF86Config, XF86Setup will prompt you to use your old XF86Config file as defaults...

What nouns? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1987553)

It's also the reason MicroSoft changed to Microsoft.

So what does S.u.S.E stand for?

SuSe 6.0 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1987554)

I've got it, installed it, tried it. It's nice, StarOffice5.0 is nice, I don't like how YAST checks/changes permissons. I didn't like having to manually change all the permissions to get ppp to work as a user (wasn't like that on 5.1 or 5.2).

But, I have Debian 2.0 on my other drive, and that's what I use most of the time. As much trouble as I had with dpkg and dselect at the beginning, I like it much better than YAST. It is much easier, IMHO, to upgrade with this system than with YAST. And I don't think YAST is open-source is it?

Anyway, I'm eagerly awaiting the Slink CDs to arrive at the distributors to upgrade.

What nouns? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1987555)

Systems und (and) Software Engineering

Debian beats SuSE (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1987556)

I use Debian on my server (www.happypenguin.dhs.org) and I love it. It is *very* convenient, properly configured and does 90% of set up for you. Of course I must agree that SuSE is second best, particularly on a workstation, especially if you compare it to crap like RedHat (yuck!).

Re: Distributions from an Open Source POV (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1987557)

I am in fact recommending SuSE to my friends just because they attempt to use the best software regardless of the license.

I keep thinking someone needs to start a pro-choice software movement to go against the pro-"free" software movement. The pro-choice group would fight for the developer and/or user who wants the choice of what to use while the pro-"free" group would fight for the un-written software which does not have a voice otherwise.

I will not attempt it; I do not want to become famous. :) Seriously, I don't.

Sean Farley

Racist (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1987558)


This just demonstartes the endemic rascism in America today.

Enjoy your day ya bunch of bigots.

/boot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1987559)

/boot is a standard directory for the kernel image, initial ramdisk, and system map.

It also means that you can have a separate /boot partition for LILO to access ( like I do). This is necessary, because LILO on top of most PeeCee BIOSes can only access the first 1024 cylinders of the HD. Because you may well change your kernel, the /boot partition has to be wholly within this 1024 cylinder limit, so that no part of data that LILO needs could end up outside the limit.

I have a 10 GB 7200rpm IBM HD (lucky me...only GB£200 - might get another...), which has more than 1024 cylinders. I have to have a separate /boot partition below the 1024 cylinder limit.

I think it's cleaner to having everything that's in boot in boot anyway.

ls /boot/

./ ../ chain.b module-info-2.0.36-3 initrd-2.0.36-3.img module-info-2.2.2 system.map@ initrd-2.2.2.img os2_d.b System.map-2.0.36-3 initrd.img@ vmlinuz@ System.map-2.2.2 lost+found/ vmlinuz-2.0.36-3 boot.0300 map vmlinuz-2.2.2 boot.b module-info@

P.S. anyone know what the module-info file shown here in a Redhat 5.2 installation is? I haven't found it in the docs, and 2.2.2 and 2.0.36 get along fine without it. It seems to be a different to that produced by depmod, which lives elsewhere anyway. ( The module-info-2.2.2 file shown is empty, I just touched it for completeness)






Racist (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1987560)

While I don't agree with the original poster's rationale (it's done in German, then translated to English.. well no shit!), I do think the U.S. appetites determine those for most of the industrialised world. Remember Amiga? Atari ST? Very popular in Europe for YEARS, and then when the PC started getting popular... they died.
I realize that some still use them, but what is the 'World Standard'? It doesn't run GEM or WorkBench, that's for sure...

Rich

Licence purity of Redhat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1987561)

Redhat 5.2 ships with Netscape 4.07 which is a proprietary
piece of software. It's right there in the RedHat/RPMS
directory so I don't see how it is segregated from the rest.
Same for xv. There used to be more proprietary stuff in the
Redhat distro though (anyone remember that crappy
Redbaron browser?).

subscription? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1987562)

what exactly is that?

Oh, and will SuSE 6.1 have GNOME 1.0 too? I'm certainly looking forward to kernel 2.2.x and KDE 1.1...

Stupid moron (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1987563)

The whole European market is much larger than your small north america.

I really should not have replied to this obvious troll.

Is YaST like AIX's SMIT? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1987564)

IBM's AIX uses an object database to hold most of its configuration. Unix purists HATE this, but evidently it works well enough with SMIT (their X based config tool) or smitty (console) that IBM hasn't gone out of business. :)

Is YaST like this, in that it uses BOTH a configuration tool AND a settings database? Or is YaST just a tool to manage standard Unix text files (like LinuxConf)?

SuSE kicks all tail for a Desktop system (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1987565)


I am not a big fan of YaST. It works, but I just don't like it. However, Linuxconf support for SuSE has been growing and should soon equal RedHat support.

However, Yast + Sax + KDE + Star Office is a combination that RedHat simply cannot compete with at this point. Rushing Gnome out the door certainly hasn't helped matters. What happened to RedHat renewed quality attitude? Bunch of garbage, I strongly suggest staying away from RedHat 6.0. It will probably be worse than RedHat 5.0. SuSE is of so higher quality and easier to use, RedHat pales in comparison.

MOre RedHat FUD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1987566)

I get more and more the impression RedHat pays some people to post stuff like this on /.

They *do* clearly label things free/non-free, you get even a warning if you install non-free packages in Yast.

They don't have proprietary care system parts like Calderas Netware stuff, and they fund a number of free sw initiatives, most notably being the main contributor to XFree.

Just stop posting this crap, it harms RedHat IMHO more than SuSE.

CD Images (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1987567)

Does anyone know where I can find CD ROM images for the S.u.S.E. 6.0 distribution - preferably ready to burn? Or is there somewhere a detailed description on how to make such images?

I would like to burn myself a S.u.S.E. distribution since that is somewhat cheaper. I only found an image for a trial version which seems to be somewhat incomplete...

Actually good: US version with even fewer bugs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1987568)

The fact that new version appear in Germany first has the effect that the US version is even more mature: Bugs are discovered in the Ger version and fixed for the US one.

Especially in the case of 6.0 (change to glibc) this is an important issue.

As for RedHat: Compare them, and you'll see that SuSE is technically far ahead of RedHat, so it still has a chance.
Siemens ships its workstations only with SuSE, and SAP is expecte to announce SuSE support at CeBIT as well, so the race is still open.

And then, I won't help RedHat, as they have used FUD tactics quite extensively recently, which doesn't make them worthy of my support...

SuSE in English coming later (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1987569)

The difference between the English and German versions of SuSE is the manual (as in book) that comes with it. I routinely buy the German version and install it in English, absolutely no problem at all - the language is the very first question asked.
There are a whole lot (12, I think) of other languages available but the book comes in English or German.

SuSe 6.0 permissions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1987570)

Enter the changes into /etc/permissions.local and they stay.

US version with even fewer bugs? no - same bugs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1987571)

as I say a bit further up, the only difference between the distributions is the accompanying book. The software is identical and can be set to one of 14 languages as soon as you start installing.

SuSE website and support excellent! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1987572)

I don't know if you have seriously looked through the SuSE web site!?

SuSE offers the most comprehensive technical database, which is also shipped with the distro. Other than with other distros, you don't have to dial in to the net or read through tedious howtos to fix a problem. This is very important esp. in countries with higher telco costs.

The database is kept up to date and maintained very well, unlike RedHat, where you usually have to consult 'errata' lists.

e-mail support
SuSE answered my emails within several hours(!!!), even without me providing my reg number.
With RedHat, I've heard about response times of weeks.
What's more, SuSE employees can be found on mailing lists (even non SuSE ones) answering questions, which is quite unusual.

All in all, I consider SuSE (private) support and website, while not very stylish, frankly the best of all.

Av

SuSE and Gnome (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1987573)

I am also waiting for SuSE 6.1 and told them this 4 weeks ago. Gnome will be there as well of course, it's Word Perfect 8 I am hoping for.

Re SuSE online support (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1987574)

Eric,

SuSE actually has the most hardcore information online of
any of the distributors. Problem is it's in German. Luckely
I can read German (highschool classes were not a complete
waste on me) and it's a wealth of information that is not
available elsewhere. Check out
this [www.suse.de]
to see what I mean.

About the small contrib section: There just isn't an awful lot to
contribute to the 5 stuffed CDs! It's simply a consequence of
the completeness of the suse distro.

If SuSE hired more English translators then they would
seriously kick butt. Same goes for the German magazine
c't too, if they made an English edition it would sell like mad.

Clean SuSE Solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1987575)

The SuSE system offers the cleanest solution with respect to config files.

These, and only these, are stored in /etc.
init scripts are needed to start up a system and they are executables, so they belong in /sbin.
SuSE is AFAIK the only distro that is consequent in this respect: rc.config as a cetral config file in /etc, init scripts in /sbin/init.d and SuSEconfig to map rc.config settings to the init scripts.

That the way it should be!

true, but (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1987576)

I completely agree about the RedHat part. (IMHO Redhat is a piece of junk). You are also absolutely right that "ordinary" (read: newbie) users would be better off with SuSE rather then Debian (or, to my knowledge, any other distribution).
However, users with a little experience using Linux would have no problem with Debian. I started using Debian thinking that it must be the most difficult to use distribution. It didn't take me long to dismiss this misconception. In fact, in my opinion, (which I admit may be biased) there is nothing better then Debian.

GNOME? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1987577)

SuSe will ship with everthing under the sun. And they are trying to ship everthing over the sun also as soon as they can reach there. I think they ship their distribution with 4-5 cdroms.

No - they ship fixed versions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1987578)

SuSE ships fixed CD-ROMS. They do so also
in Germany. I recently bought another SuSE 6.0
for a customer and it included updates and fixes.
My SuSE 6.0 was from the first batch and it had
a few minor issues which are updated in the meantime.

So the delayed shipment for the US version indeed
results in a better tested product.
Needless to say i'm happy with it.

YaST is like Linuxconf, except (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1987579)

it actually works.

Suse encourages to copy and give away CDs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1987580)

"But does Redhat allow other commercial distributors to include some of their enhancements (e.g. xconfigurator or whatever it was called)?"

Yes, everything that comes on the Official Redhat cdrom is freely redistributable.

:-) my next Linux will be SuSE 6.1 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1987581)

'nuff said

RedHat redistribution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1987582)

Does RedHat allow you to redistribute their changes as your own.

Incorrect (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1987583)

Red Hat used to be proprietary a long time ago. They fixed themselves around 5.0. Xv comes with source, so they decided to include it. Netscape went under a free license, so they decided to include the most recent version. The only other thing are the binary X servers, which are also excusable.

Freedom (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1987584)

Once SuSE becomes free software, I'll consider it. So long as it's a proprietary piece of crap, I won't let it into my system. I have this thing called ethics, you know. I will do everything in my power to prevent the core operating system from being proprietized by evil companies like SuSE.

Is YaST like AIX's SMIT? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1987585)

SMIT was a horrible idea. When I had an AIX workstation on my desk, I was afraid to touch sys-admin tasks, because SMIT would make changes to system files, and often give up in the middle, leaving me to do hours of research to figure out how to undo what it had done. Maybe it has been improved since '95, but I was sure glad to get rid of that machine.

SuSe 6.0 - ppp (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1987586)

this is only from 2nd hand, so don't sue me if it's not correct:

add the user(s) you want to allow to dialout to the group dialout, I think that's what it is for.

my $0.02
--
weasel@netalive.org

Nothing beats SuSE!! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1987601)

BTW, SuSE does ship with GNOME, as well as KDE, WindowMaker, Afterstep, Bowman, Icewm, Enlightenment, Blackbox, fvwm2, fvwm, fvwm95, qvwm, a mac-alike, CDEsim (I think there are a couple more, but I never use them)
It also comes with almost anything you could download on the web (except WP8 :-( unfortunately)
SuSE's most endearing feature is it's SuSEconfig script that inserts and removes programs to/from your menus when you install or uninstall with YaST. (in about half of the window managers)
Not only that, everything works in SuSE!! I have used Caldera, RedHat, Debian, Slakware, TurboLinux, LinuxPro and SuSE, and SuSE wins, period.

Not for 'ordinary' users (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1987602)

As a web admin, Debian may be as good as SuSE for you, but as a normal user SuSE beats anything else hands down.

Especially the average RedHat user would be much happier with SuSE...

Distributions from an Open Source POV (1)

Eric Green (627) | more than 15 years ago | (#1987603)

While we are busily dissecting distributions based on technical merit (and I agree, SuSE 6.0 measures up quite well on technical merits), there are other issues that must be taken into account. The one I'm going to mention right now is this: How well does the distribution meet the goals of the Open Source movement?

Red Hat passes -- they release everything as Open Source, and the only proprietary software is segregated elsewhere.

Debian passes, by definition almost.

Mandrake is a revision of Red Hat Linux that includes the QT library as a standard system library. The GNU General Public License allows linking GPL'ed software against standard system libraries. Thus KDE itself is not a problem, but the "old" QT license does present a license, since it is not Open Source. Thus Mandrake does flunk the Open Source "purity test", even though they do not violate the GNU General Public License. The "new" QT license, which does not apply to current versions of QT but, rather, to the next version of QT, will solve that problem.

Pacific Hi-Tech has some other problems. I have a copy of their latest boxed set and it includes programs that violate intellectual property rights if shipped as Open Source products in the United States -- 'ssh' and 'pgp'. I have recieved no response from their sales director about whether they have properly licensed these programs from the appropriate property right owners.

Caldera is not particularly interested in passing any "purity test". They have quite a bit of proprietary software mixed in with the Open Source software on their CD. Still, they do release much of the software that they write themselves as Open Source (if you connect to the Internet via PPP, much of the PPP code in the kernel is courtesy of Caldera, and the entire COAS project is apparently GPL).

SuSE tries to hold themselves out as being Open Source friendly, and has made many important contributions to the XFree86 project. However, they do not appear to be willing to release the YaST tool, a fundamental part of their install process, as GPL'ed software. Instead, they release it on a license that prohibits commercial redistribution (other than by SuSE).

Those are the distributions that I have installed recently or otherwise have first-hand knowledge about. Anybody have info on other distributions and and how they support the Open Source concept?

-- Eric

Many criteria for making a choice (1)

Eric Green (627) | more than 15 years ago | (#1987604)

Choice is good. And just as you choose your distribution based on technical merit, others choose theirs based on other criteria, such as support, ease of obtaining, or adherence to Open Source principles.

-- Eric

Distributions based on Internet presence (1)

Eric Green (627) | more than 15 years ago | (#1987605)

Another thing that many look at, when purchasing a distribution, is the scope and usefulness of a company's Internet presence.

Internet presence is comprised of a number of things: FTP site, mailing lists or publically-exported news groups, mirrors, and web site.

Turbolinux:
http://www.turbolinux.com gets you to PHT's web site for TurboLinux. This is a rather bare-bones web site that has few links to the Linux community or even to the Linux Documentation Project. PHT was advertising for an "Evangelist" whose responsibility it will be to improve the web site, so hopefully that'll help.
Their FTP site is a mess. TurboLinux is there, as is a number of contributed Japanes RPM's, but otherwise there is nothing to attract the discerning hacker to PhT's FTP site.
PHT currently has no mailing lists (at least, none that are mentioned on their web site). They have a single newsgroup, which apparently is only accessible via DejaNews.
--------------------------------------------
Caldera Systems Inc.:
http://www.calderasystems.com

Web site: Caldera has long had one of the better Linux distribution web sites. Their new web site does not have the wide variety of links to the Linux community that the old one had, but still is chock-full of information. The only complaint I've heard is that Caldera is slow to update their web site when security fixes and such come out.
Ftp site: Caldera's FTP site is not as comprehensive as that of some vendors, but has all of the essentials in a well-organized manner, including a small but available "contrib" section. Caldera also mirrors a number of other sites, such as the Sunsite archives. Their Caldera OpenLinux Lite (OpenLinux minus proprietary software) is available for free download.
Mailing lists: Caldera has an extensive set of mailing lists, upon which their employees regularly participate.

-------------------------------------
Red Hat Software
http://www.redhat.com

Web site: Red Hat, like Caldera, has always had an information-filled web site. Their web site tends to be a bit less organized than Caldera's, with confusing menu bars (some actions are on left, some actions are on top), but with a bit more information. They also have a large selection of 3rd party links like Caldera used to have.
Red Hat has recently decided that their web site is a "portal". As far as I can tell, this just means that their web site is slower than it used to be because it pulls in some headlines from slashdot and freshmeat.
FTP site: Red Hat has reorganized their FTP site within the past six months into a group of FTP sites. It is very difficult to get into Red Hat's FTP sites any time after 12pm Eastern Time, but Red Hat does have a large group of mirrors. Red Hat has the largest selection of contributed software in binary format of all the commercial vendors, but many of the RPM's are of dubious quality (unless I know the person who packaged the RPM, I usually rebuild them from the ".srpm").
Mailing lists: Red Hat has an extensive set of mailing lists. Volume on these lists is so huge that Red Hat employees rarely monitor or participate in them. I can't blame them, it's almost a full-time job just to read them, much less participate in them. Still, the volume means that almost any question is swiftly answered by five or six different people.

----------
Debian GNU/Linux

Web Site: http://www.debian.org
Debian's web site ranks with Red Hat and Caldera's. They have an excellent bug tracking system, a reasonable amount of documentation, and other things of that nature. The documentation section is not as extensive as that of Redhat or Caldera, unfortunately, though the Debian Documentation Project is attempting to remedy that. Their links section also does not attempt to be as comprehensive as Red Hat's, but does give a good selection of sites like the LDP HOWTO's etc.
Mailing lists: Debian has a HUGE number of mailing lists. Often any given mailing list is monitored by the developer responsible for that particular area of Debian development.
Ftp site: It is a bit disorganized, but all of the right bits are there. Debian has one of the largest collections of contributed software on the net (a few less than Red Hat, but theirs are high quality and generally work, unlike random stuff downloaded from contrib.redhat.com). Their FTP site is currently on the verge of being overloaded -- as of 1pm Eastern it had 179 out of 180 users.

---------
Mandrake Linux
Web site: http://www.linux-mandrake.com
Their web site is nothing to write home about. The best that can be said is that it has all the right bits, and appropriately punts to Red Hat's web site where their own leaves off.
Mailing lists: Mandrake has two mailing lists, one for "newbies" and one for "experts".
FTP site: Unknown. The general public does not have access to the Mandrake FTP site. There are, however, a large number of mirrors and an excellent page telling whether a given mirror is in "sync" with the master FTP site. They also direct you to the appropriate Red Hat FTP sites for contributed software.

------
SuSE Linux
Web: http://www.suse.com
There have been many complaints about the SuSE USA web site, i.e., that it does not contain as much content as the German or British versions, that it is usually out of date, etc. Clicking on the "Europe" web site will generally get you more/ better information. The only thing on the USA web site that's anything other than pure "web brochure" is their Knowledge Base page. The USA site doesn't even have a link to updates/security alerts, unlike the European web site.
Generally, SuSE's web site is brochure-ware, whether U.S. or European. It is not the comprehensive set of resources that typify the Caldera, Red Hat, or Debian web sites.
Mailing lists: SuSE has an active English-language mailing list, as well as an English-language announce list. SuSE employees regularly monitor and participate in these lists.
FTP site: Their U.S. FTP site has very poor connectivity. At 1:40pm EST I am getting 50% packet loss. This is not unusual. Their FTP site has the SuSE Linux distribution, but they just recently added a "contrib" section. There are very few files in the "contrib" section ( 1 (one) file as of 3-10-99 1:44pm EST).

Conclusions:
Caldera, Redhat, and Debian pretty much come up a tie at the top on the Internet presence scale. Mandrake comes in below them because so much of Mandrake is just links to Red Hat's site. SuSE and PHT have disappointing web and FTP sites, and PHT lacks even a mailing list for support.

-- Eric

SuSE 6.0/6.1 (1)

TedC (967) | more than 15 years ago | (#1987609)

I've got a SuSE subscription, so I got 6.0, but the release that I'm really waiting for is 6.1, which will have the 2.2.x kernel and KDE 1.1, and should be out in late April or May (my estimate, BTW).

TedC

subscription? (1)

TedC (967) | more than 15 years ago | (#1987610)

what exactly is that?

SuSE automatically sends you the new versions when they come out. It's cheaper ($35 vs $50) and you can cancel anytime. Not a bad deal.

BTW, I assume 6.1 will have GNOME, since SuSE tends to throw in every window manager and desktop in existance. It will be nice to have a stable, tested distro with both KDE and GNOME.

TedC

Hellrot Linux! (1)

TedC (967) | more than 15 years ago | (#1987611)

:-)

Good review (1)

mackga (990) | more than 15 years ago | (#1987612)

I'm a rh user, but this review really piqued my interest in Suse. RH 6.0 will have to be damn good to compete with this distro. I may order both, just to see - one on my work machine, the other on my home box.

PHB... Slashdot's demograph (1)

On Lawn (1073) | more than 15 years ago | (#1987613)

You know, for the longest time I've had a nagging question about Slashdot. Why is it that a site devoted to the manager hating free floating hacker produces so many posts that look like email from a four year old boss throwing a temper tantrum?

(Do this... Do that... what your doing is crap... you can't use that product... etc.)




^~~^~^^~~^~^~^~^^~^^~^~^~~^^^~^^~~^~~~^~~^~

SuSE USA (USA: a country somewhere west of here) (1)

peel me a grape (1399) | more than 15 years ago | (#1987614)

just because it says "eval" - it doesn't expire or break after a certain time frame Damn, I chucked mine when I saw that.

You can't copy SuSE CDs???? (1)

Roberto (1777) | more than 15 years ago | (#1987615)

Go tell that to the cuys at www.cheapbytes.com, who have been selling them for many months.

SuSE doesn't mark what's non-free?
When you select a package, it will display a description that includes the license. It will even show popups in some cases!

You are just parroting something you heard somewhere else.

/boot, SuSE not the only one (1)

Roberto (1777) | more than 15 years ago | (#1987616)

I have a Red Hat 4.2 system here that does the same thing.

In fact, if I remember right, the FHS *requires* the booting kernel to be in /boot.

Other than that, isn't it a bit paranoid that because their choice of LILO configuration doesn't match yours they are "forcing" you to something?

Upper and Lowercase (1)

Roberto (1777) | more than 15 years ago | (#1987617)

So, now we know the *real* reason for the failure of NeXTStep!!!!

BTW: my guess is that SuSE used to be S.u.S.E, and in german the nouns *must* be capitalized.

Try! (1)

Roberto (1777) | more than 15 years ago | (#1987618)

Get those $1 CDs from cheapbytes and lo and behold! YaST is in all of them.

Gee, wonder how that happened.

Please go and check the YaST license.

If you didn't read the article... (1)

Roberto (1777) | more than 15 years ago | (#1987619)

...why are you commenting on it???

:-)

Linuxconf is not Red Hat's (1)

Roberto (1777) | more than 15 years ago | (#1987620)

As far as I know, it's mostly written by Jacques Gelinas.

Read "man lilo.conf" or use yast (1)

Candy (2257) | more than 15 years ago | (#1987621)

You can put the kernel wherever you want. The matter is tell lilo about it. The best choice is to use yast for this task.
Regards
Tobias

Be *VERY* careful with Staroffice 5.0(1) (3)

Candy (2257) | more than 15 years ago | (#1987622)

Ok, soffice 5.0(1) is nice an has a high potential for getting a impressive Office app some day, but so far somebody should teach them how to deal with pointers, exceptions and memory allocations.
Soffice crashed my whole system more than once by uncontrolled memory allocation / memory leaks. I suffered severe data losses, as it messed up my filesystem. Make sure xosview is always running while soffice is.
You should try creating a text with more that 5 pages, chapter numbering and some pictures in it. You will experience twice as many crashes as pages are in you text. The best thing is some behavior I call it the "Crazy Cow Mode". When soffice plunges into this mode you will experience the strangest things. From pictures vanishing after clicking on them to text boxes having a undeterminable size. Only a soffice restart can help here
Jeez, it is not usable.
Best Regards Tobias

Good Read (1)

pridkett (2666) | more than 15 years ago | (#1987623)

Before you people go outright bashing SuSE for shipping KDE, if read the article, they also ship with GNOME. Anyway, not gonna feed the troll anymore...

I found the article to be pretty insightful. As a user who loves playing with the different distros and whose current box has packages dating back to RedHat 4.1 (or so) I gotta say this makes me consider using SuSE instead of RH 6.0 when it comes out to redo that system. In any case, I suppose I'll wait for the RH 6.0 review before I make my decision. The article was fair and even handed and highlighted a lot of the excellent things about SuSE that no one else has, like Star Office and Mesa (with 3dfx support).

Anyway, looks like it will give RH 6.0 a good run for its money.

SuSE 6.0 - (Not) ready for 2.2 (1)

mschmitt (2947) | more than 15 years ago | (#1987624)

I bet all you guys who start screaming immediately "SuSE doesnt ship with Gnome!" after someone says "SuSE ships with KDE", are the same people who answer every question being asked with the usual "RTFM".

Seriously... SuSE released their 6.0 just a few days before the first 2.2.0pre kernels came out. I find this practice not very professional. They should have been waiting a few weeks for 2.2.0 to appear. So we have a new distro relase number with an old-fashioned, yet rock steady kernel.

The bad thing(tm)? SuSE claim their distro is 2.2-ready, but they dont have a clue on how to get 2.2.x to work. "If you want to print, use 2.0.36", they say on their site.

Im printing with SuSE and 2.2.3. Strange, huh? ;-)

And, another bad thing(tm): Beginning with 6.0, they put the kernel image into some /boot filesystem, which seems quite non-standard to me.

Patronized by SuSE (1)

mschmitt (2947) | more than 15 years ago | (#1987625)

I consider the /boot issue mentionend in my earlier post even worse. They are trying to tie users to their own distributed kernels.

Untar a stock kernel, compile. The machine will come up with the original SuSE kernel.

If it wasnt for the great localization support, I would have already turned my back on SuSE.

/boot - tnx you guys for telling me the truth. ;-) (1)

mschmitt (2947) | more than 15 years ago | (#1987626)

See subject

too many choices (1)

W84thend (3549) | more than 15 years ago | (#1987627)

Mandrake Power Pack or SuSE?
Mandrake Power Pack or SuSE?
aargghhhh!@*&*^##%.

I can't make up my mind.

german stuff (1)

kampi (7720) | more than 15 years ago | (#1987632)

> After a year or so, 2 (two) CEO's they have still
> to make any impact on the US market. The SuSE
> distro is released in GERMAN first, by an
> anal-retentive bunch of Europeans who have (yet
> again) failed to understand the importance of North America.

What's your point? North America is more important than anything else? Now, YOU get emacs, bash andsoforth running with german umlauts, 8bit charset and stuff. I'd like to see RH or any other us-distro shipping databases of typical german providers so you just choose one and PPP works. Now, you go and get ISDN stuff working fine...


get the point?

regards
kampi

big tarballs (1)

TZA14a (9984) | more than 15 years ago | (#1987634)

>I wish *nix developers would learn from the Win >developers that you need to just make a big >tarball or archive of some kind with ALL the >necessary shit in it so I can just install it and >run it.

0. Become a Visual C++ developer annoyed by bugs
1. Go to microsoft.com
2. Find the Visual Studio 97 Service Pack
3. Wonder why they offer VB-only and VB+all
Service packs only...

"Most customers use more than one product, so it's
easier for them." -urgh

SuSE 6.0 CDs (1)

NYC (10100) | more than 15 years ago | (#1987635)

The only place I know that has cheap SuSE 6.0 CDs ($1.95) is at Linux Central

http://linuxcentral.com/products/lccd/suse-6.0-g pl/

I took awhile for the cheap, english version CD to come to market.

--Ivan, weenie NT4 user, Jon Katz hater: bite me!

SuSE 6.0 - !(Not) ready for 2.2 (1)

cloudmaster (10662) | more than 15 years ago | (#1987636)

Seriously... SuSE released their 6.0 just a few days before the first 2.2.0pre kernels came out. I find this practice not very professional. They should have been waiting a few weeks for 2.2.0 to appear. So we have a new distro relase number with an old-fashioned, yet rock steady kernel.

On my SuSE CD's there's an option to select between 2.0.36 and 2.2.0.pre-something. They had waited for a while, but it was uncertain if 2.2.0 would ever officially come out, so they just went for it. I'm running 2.2.3 on my suse 6.0 box right now, and everything works beautifully. 223 compiled nicely with egcs (which also came with SuSE 6.0, finally), all I had to do is download the kernel source. That's not too much work. :)

BTW: Gosh damn that's a beautiful install. I'd reccmend everyone that likes linux check it out, if for no other reason than to see one possible good direction distribs could take.

--Danny, ex-slackware user

Suse encourages to copy and give away CDs (1)

Hanno (11981) | more than 15 years ago | (#1987637)

Hi,

you're a misinformed troll and bad at that, I might add.

The handbook of every Suse distribution since I started using it (somewhere around 4.x) had a nice and well worded foreword that explained quite exactly what Linux is about and how the community works.

In this foreword, they also encourage you to give away or copy the CD and that you do not need to buy a second CD to install the distribution on a second computer.

They do not allow you to make your own commercial distribution and include yast with it, though. But does Redhat allow other commercial distributors to include some of their enhancements (e.g. xconfigurator or whatever it was called)?

You've never used SuSE 6.0 (1)

jbell (12681) | more than 15 years ago | (#1987639)

Because if you had used it, you would know that Gnome is indeed included. It may be a slightly older version, but who can expect to keep up with dynamic production on a static distribution?

I have used Debian, Caldera, and Redhat, but now use Suse exclusively, because IMHO, it has the best, most flexible install, and administration of any of the others.


I would guess that if you HAVE tried suse, you did the streamlined install, which does not, if I recall correctly, install gnome.


--Jason Bell

Lovely distro's (1)

jbell (12681) | more than 15 years ago | (#1987640)

In case you may not know, Suse is a german distribution. ;)


I have not had luck using YAST to configure a PPP setup, but I prefer to roll my own scripts anyway, so it was not a big deal for me.




--Jason Bell

I don't like SuSEconfig (1)

jbell (12681) | more than 15 years ago | (#1987641)

Linuxconf is a Redhat program, so I'm sure they may have restrictions prohibiting it from being included in other distributions. It is available for download though, and will work on Suse.

As for YAST messing up your configurations.....Yast is the only configuration tool that I know of that is not all or nothing. You can either turn the whole thing off, or tell it specific configurations that you do not want it to modify, and it will leave them untouched.


--Jason Bell

What nouns? (1)

jbell (12681) | more than 15 years ago | (#1987642)

You are wrong. Why are you giving english words for a German distribution?

SuSe is mixed capitalization, because it is an Acronym for "Gesellschaft für Software- und Systementwicklung mbH" which roughly translates to (You were close though) "Company for Software- and System-Development"

This was taken from the Suse FAQ (english version) found at The Suse FAQ Page. [suse.com]

Your meaning does make sense, if Suse were an english speaking company....


--Jason Bell

Nothing beats SuSE!! (1)

josepha48 (13953) | more than 15 years ago | (#1987643)

I agree totally!!!!!!!

linuxconf (1)

josepha48 (13953) | more than 15 years ago | (#1987644)

you can download it off the web....

I like it (1)

josepha48 (13953) | more than 15 years ago | (#1987645)

XF86Config is very very old....

XF86Setup has been out for a while and it is better than XF86Config.. I can't wait to get hot sax :-)

SuSE 6.0 - (Not) ready for 2.2 (1)

josepha48 (13953) | more than 15 years ago | (#1987646)

most distros have a /boot directory now.. RH 5.1 did when I tried it.. Slackware has it.. they may or may not put the zImag efile there (vmlinuz) but they have it.. slackware put the vmlinuz file in the / wheil RH 5.1 I was never sure where make install put it.. didn't care either as long as I could boot :-)

get a clue (1)

josepha48 (13953) | more than 15 years ago | (#1987647)

IBM is supposed to be distribution independant.. or so they say..

SuSE is released first in german cause it is made in Germany .. they probably need transulators, and help transulating ..

RH is not ALL THAT.. it is usually bleeding edge, which sometime meanse things don't work... (glint sucks)

I must have missed Dell buying into Redhat. I thought that they were going to distribute linux, adn were working with Redhat....

yet you can download it off there site (1)

josepha48 (13953) | more than 15 years ago | (#1987648)

hmm you can download yast off there cite put it on cd and sell it.. yes you can it is being done...

by several distributors... duh... go to ftp.suse.org/pub

SuSE considered harmful (1)

Waldmeister (14499) | more than 15 years ago | (#1987649)

Well, SuSE is in Germany very popular, but I don't like it.
It's a good idea to hide system administration behind an easy interface, expecially for new users. But yast demands to be exclusive, it doesn't cooperate with other tools or manually edited config files. The complete configuration is stored in one file, /etc/rc.config and everything is regenerated from there. Poor one who edited something manually. OK, you get a warning if some files had been touched manually and you can disable rc.config, but I think that this is not the right way.
There are other tools which do that job better. My favourite is smit for AIX. The interface just collects the data an passes it to a command line driven program and documents that in a logfile. So you have hidden everything below a nice interface, documented the changes and you can see what happens.
There are some other points I dislike with SuSE Linux (not only since 6.0, which is already available in germany for some time), for example the braindead command completion in tcsh. Ever used that with "cp fubar.c fubar.c.bak"? But I think YaST is a good example how you get patronized by SuSE.

Is YaST like AIX's SMIT? (1)

Waldmeister (14499) | more than 15 years ago | (#1987650)

Yes and no.

YaST uses a text file with variables. But YaST creates the configuration files in /etc. I'm not that deep in this topic, but AFAIK you don't get a warning everytime an edited file will be overwritten. So you can deceide: you use YaST for everything or you disable it.

As you said, AIX has a binary object repository, but that is only used for AIX specific things like device configuration or package management. Almost everything else is done as usual with text files in /etc. And these text files are edited, not rewritten or yet created from some kind of database.

But - independently from using text or binary files - AIX has a complete set of homogeneous command line utilities for almost every administration task. And these utilities change existing text files, they don't overwrite them. Beside that, the set is much more complete than YaST is.

Okay, so you have a set of command line utilities with smit glueing everything together vs. a menu driven binary. I prefer the first approach. IBM did that years ago and it is still a very good concept.

Is YaST like AIX's SMIT? (1)

Waldmeister (14499) | more than 15 years ago | (#1987651)

For me it works just fine. I'm using smit since 1994 and AIX 3.2.5 and didn't run into trouble.
Modifying text files thought to be edited by humans with a stupid program isn't harmless. I remember problems with sam under HP-UX years ago. But that is nothing compared with the fun I had with SuSE Linux. :-(

Lovely distro's (1)

Fred M (18407) | more than 15 years ago | (#1987652)

SuSE, RedHat, Debian, Slackware are all great distro's. I use dedicated systems for each. But it's a pity that the others like DLD (Deutsche Linux Distribution, www.delix.de), Turbo Linux (Pacific HighTech, www.pht.com) get less attention. The earlier Power Linux of LST software GmbH (already bougth by Caldera) was an early distro with very simple installation and management system called LISA. And German distro's in general are dealing very good with ISDN and ISP related matters.

And I don't know why my previous comment was send as AC, but that's not true.

SuSE 6.0 (1)

mindfuck (19893) | more than 15 years ago | (#1987654)

I've got it running on a xeon dual processor IBM Zpro Intellistation in the lab and it looks great. SuSE includes gnome, but I haven't been able to get it to work, so I found out there's a site all SuSE users should check out: (all are mirrors of the same page) http://gnome.linuxbe.org/ http://www.tu-harburg.de/skf/Pub/ifmpc118.ifm.uni- hamburg.de/gnome.html http://ifmpc118.ifm.uni-hamburg.de/gnome.html very slow) Anyway, don't install gnome from the 6.0 distribution. Even after downloading all the latest gnome crap, I still haven't got it working, it seems to need so much add'l crap just to get it going. I wish *nix developers would learn from the Win developers that you need to just make a big tarball or archive of some kind with ALL the necessary shit in it so I can just install it and run it. Keep working fellas, you'll learn. But SuSE 6.0 is great and worth every dime! SuSE 6.0 is a major improvement over their previous releases, and is a 'must read' for any serious Linux nut. I think it's much better than Red Hype and includes several databases (Informix, Adabas, MySQL, Sybase, and several others, along with a couple of other window managers, like ICE - very simple but nice, as well as FVWM95, FVWM, and KDE. KDE is coming along nicely now, I wish the devlopers would clean up some of the file ops, like finish a working Explorer clone that has smb capability so I can dump my Win desktops completely.

SuSE 6.0 - (Not) ready for 2.2 (1)

mindfuck (19893) | more than 15 years ago | (#1987655)

They moved the kernel into /boot, a logical move. /boot is a standard directory on all distributions You can boot a kernel from anywhere you want to, so if you simply must have the kernel sitting in the root directory, you can tell LILO to find it there. That will keep you Windows converts from panicing when you don't see any files sitting in the root directory. I have the same xeon dual machine running 2.2.2, and will be compiling 2.2.3 today. So quit whining, download the kernel and start compiling. ;)

SuSE USA dead in the water (1)

mindfuck (19893) | more than 15 years ago | (#1987656)

Not true. In IBM's announcement of support for Linux they specifically made mention of the fact that they are supporting ALL of the major distro's to avoid favoritisms. And you clowns who keep saying "just everyone roll over and let Red Hype have all the pie" are annoying. You haven't really thought that through and are just spewing. You really don't want to think. You're happy that someone is succeeding, and that they are good at marketing, but just because a company is successful at marketing, doesn't mean they have good products. (Sounds familiar doesn't it ...aka Windows) SuSE is a very cool distribution, and they have done a good job. If someone points me to a better distribution, I will definitely check it out. Remember gang, for the price of these distributions, you can afford to buy several. Go buy one of each and then form an opinion. $50 and less for each. In fact, you can get Evalution (Lite) versions of SuSE for *FREE* for the asking. They have a single CD "lite" release that is great for building simple servers with, and just because it says "eval" - it doesn't expire or break after a certain time frame.

SuSE USA dead in the water (1)

trott (126432) | more than 15 years ago | (#1987658)

Once again the image perceived by the rest of the world of the 'average american' has been confirmed :)

See how easy it is to get people fired up?

Anyway...Irrelevant? Where have we heard this kind of reasoning before? So what about the millions of people who're using windows? We might as well giv up then, and all install NT on our servers, right?

Not to defend SuSe here, I'm using Slackware...But I always was under the impression that the general idea here was: I _do_ have a choice!
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?