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Distribution Watch: SuSE Linux 8.0 Beta - page 4

Meet SuSE 8.0, The Beta

  • April 18, 2002
  • By Kurt Wall

The default desktop included the trash can, icons for the CD-ROM drive and, oddly, a second CD-ROM. As near as I could tell, the KDE configuration genie treats my combined CD/DVD-ROM as two drives. There were also icons to start Mozilla, Konqueror, and StarOffice, as well as a link to the SuSE support operation. The panel across the bottom included SuSE-customized versions of the standard KDE panel items.

Opening a terminal window so I could start writing this review, I got the Tip of the Day. In fact, each time I opened a Konsole session, I got the Tip of the Day. This quickly grew tiresome, but I chalked it up to the warts associated with a beta. The menus were pleasantly complete and offered a wide selection of applications for graphics, multimedia, development, system configuration, games, and so forth. A few GNOME-specific applets were scattered through the menu, too.

My chief complaint with KDE3 was how slowly it started up, taking almost 30 seconds from login to a fully-rendered desktop. This compared to about 15 seconds (still much too long, IMHO) for GNOME. Sawfish and MWM, by contrast, started almost immediately, but, of course, they were hardly usable without menus.

GNOME's eye candy continues to get prettier and prettier. The default desktop for mere users includes icons for SuSE tools, the floppy drive, Nautilus, The Gimp, a trash can, and the Galeon web browser. The ubiquitous panel was centered at the bottom of the screen. I noticed that many of the applications I tried to start didn't -- likely an artifact of the beta. More confusing was that the GNOME menus were a hodgepodge of KDE and GNOME applications -- one usually encounters KDE applets and applications buried deeply within GNOME menus and vice versa. The mixing and matching might appeal to you, but it confused me. GNOME seemed responsive and snappy compared to KDE3, but my laptop is fast enough that even Windows98 seems quick.

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