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Funky-Penguin: SuSE 7.0 review

Sep 16, 2000, 17:01 (12 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Samuel Palmer)

[ Thanks to Rob for this link. ]

"It must seem unbelievable to Windows users that a Linux system comes with so many features installed as default, and at such minimal cost. Though this is true of most Linux distributions none come as fully-featured as SuSE 7.0, with 3505 packages and over 1900 applications to choose from. (I allowed 6GB and it still wasn't sufficient for a full install). From the box SuSE can be set up as a fullblown web server with 4 GB main memory expansion, as an element in a Beowulf cluster, or as an an ideal office desktop system, complete with all the software development and productivity tools you could possibly need (including Koffice Beta and video-conferencing). For the home user there are the full range of multimedia tools, including web TV if you have the hardware. SuSE offers endless scope for experimenting with your system, whether you are a developer, an administrator, a webmaster or someone who just likes to get things done. If you are not happy with one way of doing things SuSE provides you with at least three other ways to get there. Nothing is left out, and YaST can always be called upon to install the packages that suit your needs."

"SuSE is perfect for a certain kind of home user, the person who likes to prod and pick at things, to install and try everything. There are, for instance, more than 20 window-managers. Yet SuSE lacks a certain kind of cool, epitomised by the loveable lizard, earnest and likeable with a kink in its tail, but definitely not slick. SuSE sometimes feels like the country cousin of Linux distributions, still unused to the big city ways, but a lot closer to the roots, and better for that. What is truly impressive about most things SuSE is the thoroughness and attention to detail. No other distribution, with the honourable exception of Debian, provides such a clean and thorough method for package installation and removal, albeit still lacking an automatic update tool for security fixes etc. The network setup is straightforward and self-explanatory. There are sensible and useful guidance tools for setting up system security. You can select default fonts, or load new hardware on the fly ... and everything works, for like the country cousin, SuSE turns out to have more depth than you ever dared imagine. If you like to configure things in your own way SuSE is the distribution for you, and you won't have to make too many visits to the download sites because most things are there already, on the 6-pack, the DVD or in the copious documentation."

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