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DistributionWatch Review: SuSE Linux 7.0 Personal/Professional - page 3

Geeko the Gecko? Urgh!

  • September 29, 2000
  • By Brian Proffitt

Functionally, the two editions of SuSE Linux 7.0 are identical. There is nothing stopping you from going out and grabbing any of the apps from the Professional version and putting them on your Personal edition. All you need is room on your drive and access to the applications.

Both editions now feature the Reiser FileSystem, a journaling filesystem designed to perform more efficiently than ext2. >From what I tested, it worked as well as, if not a smidge better than ext2.

As you might expect, the Professional edition contains many more server packages, as well as Java2 support, development tools, and ALICE, SuSE's automated installation solution for multiple workstations.

Most of the configuration tests were done in the Professional edition. All of the window managers and environments worked well and all had their own standard configuration tools. I had fun exploring all of the different environments, especially the beta KDE2 I chose to install. This was pretty stable, much more so than some of the earlier versions I have seen of this environment, and it makes me look forward to its official release.

Though not the "official" SuSE environment, the KDE desktop had a few features that made it fit better with SuSE, such as the neat touch of displaying a stark red desktop and red text when you are in root, as compared to the more sedate default blue tones a regular user sees. The KDE environment also includes Panel access to the SuSE configuration tools that allowed me to quickly access the network settings, for example, and tweak network settings that I'd entered incorrectly during installation.

SaX2 is provided to configure X, specifically XFree86 4.0, and it did a fair job, though for some reason kept warning me I was actually running XFree86 3.0, when I knew better. It also gave me a bedeviling time trying to get an 800X600 resolution, but with a little patience, everything smoothed out.

Printer setup went without a hitch and, much to my delight, so did Samba. Using a tool called kWin, I was able to mount a shared Windows directory in seconds, without hand-editing any of the hosts.* or smb.conf files, as I usually have to do.

In all, I found SuSE to be among the most user-friendly of the Linux distributions I have seen to date and it is likely going to stay on my desktop for some time to come. This ease of use is exactly what SuSE is aiming for, as I learned in an interview with Volker Wiegand, President of SuSE Inc., its U.S. division.


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