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SUSE Linux 9.2: Let the Branding Begin! - page 3

Differentiating Novell and SUSE

  • December 16, 2004
  • By Bill von Hagen

SUSE 9.2 offers the same sorts of installation choices that it always has in the past--a minimum system, a minimum graphical system without GNOME and KDE, a standard system with Gnome, and a standard system with KDE. You can select a "Detailed selection" option to see details about what any of these contain or to add your favorite packages to the default set for each selection.

The detailed selection screen is your ticket to doing things like installing both GNOME and KDE or your favorite obscure applications. Disk space is cheap, and my time is valuable.

I'd have like to see an "Install Everything" option as found in the old Red Hat Linux distributions, but that's not really possible since SUSE 9.2 provides so much stuff, including development versions of libraries that you'd expect to conflict or at least confuse a dependency-checker.

As you'd hope, SUSE 9.2 does a great job of detecting dependencies and adding necessary packages if you get overly excited about adding packages that aren't part of its default selections. It also does a great job of identifying conflicts and making it easy for you to resolve them.

I only encountered two real problems with any of SUSE's package sets (which I augmented frantically). The first was a conceptual one--why is emacs not a default part of these package sets, at least KDE and GNOME? Bloat can hardly be the problem in these cases. However, that was easily corrected, and I noticed that SUSE also provided emacs alternatives such as XEmacs, qemacs (a fast, tiny, emacs clone), ue (the venerable Microemacs), and zile (which, in classic emacs form, stands for "Zile is Lossy Emacs"), so I installed all of those, too. What's a little disk space between friends?

The second problem I encountered was with the fact that the "Minimum graphical system without GNOME and KDE" didn't include the wireless-tools package. I guess I wouldn't expect that by default in a minimal system, but since this was the suggested installation for my boat anchor laptop and that machine is wireless, I expected SUSE to figure that out and tell me about it somehow. Maybe that's asking too much--it at least shows the kinds of expectations that I have for a SUSE install, which are usually satisfied. It was easy enough to add this package after the fact--at which point (after entering my SSID and WEP key), all was well.

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