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SuSE Businesses

Suse 9.1 Reviews? 406

Posted by Cliff
from the sharing-your-opinions dept.
Bruha asks: "There have been several reviews of SuSE 9.1 lately in the online press. However I'd like to hear what the buying public has to say about Novell's first release of SuSE since buying the company. I'm currently typing this article from SuSE 9.1 x86_64 and I have to say past a few quirks I'm really starting to love this distro and admire how polished it has become since 8.2 my last SuSE purchase. What are other's opinions of the software after trying it out and what problems and new things have you discovered? And if you're sticking with it after a move from another distro why did you decide to stick?"
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Suse 9.1 Reviews?

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  • by Space cowboy (13680) * on Friday May 14, 2004 @04:43PM (#9157103) Journal

    Be careful if you're going to put an Escalade 850x RAID card into an AMD 64 box and run SUSE linux on it. I've been having hell trying to get it to work with 9.0. The vendor is sending 9.1 around on Monday (so this story came a couple of days early for me :-) but certainly it doesn't work on the 64-bit 9.0 version. I'm hopeful the shift from kernel 2.4 to 2.6 will have an effect...

    The hardware is fine (works great in Windows), but the entire system can hang in 5 minutes once it's had Suse 9.0 installed on it. For some reason, the windows drivers are a lot better as well - the peak read and write speeds are higher :-(

    Just a cautionary tale - I'll be as happy as anyone if 9.1 fixes it though :-))

    Simon
    • by ncookperson (611202) on Friday May 14, 2004 @05:10PM (#9157368) Homepage
      I actually have 4 of the Escalade 850x cards in one system, and they have been incredible stable. You will have trouble (at least I did) and have the system hang if the firmware, driver, and 3DM version don't match up so make sure they all are running at the same level. Nick
  • by burgburgburg (574866) <splisken06.email@com> on Friday May 14, 2004 @04:43PM (#9157106)
    like ...This is like... Nothing...Nothing compares to Suse 9.1.


    Darl, just step away from my computer. I can write the review on my own, thank you.

    Go back to the basement.

  • More polished? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by vxvxvxvx (745287) on Friday May 14, 2004 @04:43PM (#9157109)
    I've always been in the minority when it comes to new things, or so it seems to me. You see tons of people notice huge speed increases when they try gentoo for the first time.. Yet, it didn't seem any faster to me. This is another similar situation. A lot of people have noticed a lot of improvement in SUSE every release that I simply never notice. The changes from 8.1 to 9.2 haven't been very great at all -- at least, not from my perspective. Probably, I just don't make use of these newfangled things. I did notice the new menus on 9.0 and I liked that, but for the most part SUSE 9.1 seems just like SUSE 8.1 to me.
    • by lewp (95638)
      Nobody notices a speed improvement when running Gentoo. Even throwing out GNOME and replacing it with Blackbox (which is cheating, by the way) doesn't make up for the fact that your CPU is pegged at 100% 24/7 compiling shit.
    • Re:More polished? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by paranerd (672669) on Friday May 14, 2004 @05:00PM (#9157261)
      ...notice huge speed increases when they try gentoo for the first time.. Yet, it didn't seem any faster to me.
      How far away from a Pentium I is your machine? The more modern the hardware the more boost gentoo and it's ilk provide.
      • Re:More polished? (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Pengo (28814) on Friday May 14, 2004 @05:22PM (#9157463) Journal
        Maybe something as simple as an optimized video driver make the system feel faster than a major generation jump in CPU.

        I installed a system for a friend, but running on integrated video (althlon 2200+) ran like crap until i tossed an nvida board /driver in.

        I just wonder if people who use gentoo know how to generally configure their system better?
        • Re:More polished? (Score:5, Interesting)

          by discogravy (455376) on Friday May 14, 2004 @06:36PM (#9157979) Homepage
          I just wonder if people who use gentoo know how to generally configure their system better?

          If they do -- and I would guess that it's possible, though not in some "they're WIZARDS!!!1!one!" kind of way -- then it's not because of anything other than that they kind of HAVE to: if every single piece of software is going to be compiled and optimized for your hardware, you're de facto going to have a better understanding of your system's hardware and it's relative configuration (as opposed to being a hardware wizard or general *nix guru) than someone who just slapped Debian Sarge or Knoppix or SuSE in there and let it autodetect everything on the install.

          Slackware and Debian used to (and Debian Woody still does...and will for the forseeable future, unfortunately,) have a reputation for being a bitch to install primarily because you need to know your hardware specs pretty well in order to install stuff correctly and to get everything working right.

      • Of course! Gentoo on my 3.2GHz P4 is much faster and more responsive than my old SuSE 8.1 on a 866MHz K6...
    • Re:More polished? (Score:3, Informative)

      by MeBadMagic (619592)
      you have got to be kidding me?

      Yast has allot more ability to configure network services in 9.x

      You don't think there is much difference between a 2.4 kernel and a 2.6 kernel?

      KDE from 3.1 to 3.2 is dramatically better/faster. Has tighter integration with PIM/kmail.

      from LILO to Grub.

      Now, it would be true however, that your 56k modem still isn't any faster.....
    • Re:More polished? (Score:3, Informative)

      by HidingMyName (669183)
      One slick little feature I've noticed on 9.0 is the new desktop launcher Icon in the SuS KDE Menu. The ability to start a new session without logging out a colleague who stepped away from the machine is helpful in my lab.
  • Contempt (Score:2, Interesting)

    by geomon (78680)
    That is why I am sticking with Red Hat. I have been with it just long enough to have 'familiarity that breeds contempt'.

    I'd switch to SuSE if they still produced SPARC binaries in modern kernels. They stopped updating that arch at about 7.1.

    • Huh? Red Hat stopped updating their Sparc version *years* ago. If I'm not mistaken, at version 6.2.

      • I use Red Hat on my workstation and Gentoo on my SPARC. I have spent so much time on the Red Hat distro and its peculiarities (as well as Gnome's) that it is too much trouble to switch at this point.

        As I said, if they still supported something other than just x86, I'd probably still use them. I have written positive reviews [linuxlookup.com] of their software in the past, so it isn't because they don't have a good system that I choose not to use them.
    • Re:Contempt (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Bodhidharma (22913) <jimliedeka@nOSpaM.gmail.com> on Friday May 14, 2004 @05:19PM (#9157437)
      I'm considering SuSE for my next distro. I switched to RHEL recently because I wanted a stable, supported machine that I didn't have to think too hard about keeping up to date. Today I had to mess around because makedev from up2date conflicts with something I had to add because RedHat doesn't include multimedia support. If that wasn't frustrating enough, I upgraded to their most recent XFree86 rpms. A ctrl-shift-alt-backspace locked up my machine. It's still down because I'm tired of dealing with it for today.

      I wouldn't use linux at all if java were easier to set up on FreeBSD. I don't even like java but I need it for enough things that it's worth having.

      I must be a closet masochist because I keep going back to RedHat. I've messed around with SuSE, Mandrake, Gentoo and Slackware but I always felt there were compelling reasons to stick with RH. Those reasons are slowly evaporating. I really hope SuSE stays good under Novell's ownership.

      • I switched to RHEL recently because I wanted a stable, supported machine that I didn't have to think too hard about keeping up to date.

        Judging from your experiences, I'd say you didn't get what you were hoping for.

        Thanks for the heads-up. I am going to be switching to RHEL next week due to our company's requirement for 'supported' operating systems. Due to the fact that Novell has not done much to push their products our direction, I am stuck with RHEL now that RH9.0 is unsupported.
        • Re:Contempt (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Daemonik (171801)
          Shoot Novell an email and see if they'll send out a sales rep. If your company is interested in 'supported' operating systems then Novell, while new to Linux, has a longer support and retail history than RH.
      • Re:Contempt (Score:3, Interesting)

        by j_hirny (305473)
        Well, apart from license and money reasons, are there any grounds for using Linux on desktops? I know I sound trollish, but I'm writing it honestly -- I've just thrown away my Debian machine, since I had to spend too much time with it. For me -- who uses a word processor, IM, mail and web client -- Windows (in XP flavour) is just better. When properly set up, it simply works. I don't have to mess with setting up Java, I don't have any problems with unstable drivers, my system never ever hangs up, has not be
        • Re:Contempt (Score:5, Insightful)

          by jdray (645332) on Friday May 14, 2004 @06:34PM (#9157963) Homepage Journal
          I almost agree with you. It's that little "apart from license and money reasons" thing that gets me. Of course, apart from money reasons, I'd be using a PowerBook 17".

          Really, I can almost like XP, so long as I can switch the interface back to "Classic Mode" it's fairly usable. But if I don't like the way MS' designers decided that people should use computers, I'm out of luck for changing it. With Linux, I can do a lot at the command line, where I'm comfortable (if not talented), and when running KDE (which is most of the time), I can configure it to do a lot of stuff that I can't do (or it costs money to add the software for) on Windows.

          And, as far as the "just works" part, so do a lot of Linux distros. Pick any one of the major distros and you've got a fully-confgured, ready to run system about twenty minutes after starting your installation. The basic software is good (Open Office, Mozilla, Evolution, etc.), and a user that just wants to get by with whatever they're handed is not left wanting for much. And, mind you, I don't say that derisively. With any modern OS (okay, the major three: Windows, MacOS, Linux), the basic distro includes enough software for most users. On Windows you should really add MS Works and on MacOS add AppleWorks and the iLife packages, but without ranging too far or spending an exhorbitant amount of money, lots of functionality is at hand.

          But for me, supporting freedom in an OS is important. Microsoft would go a long way toward dowsing the fire of contempt that's burning at their door if they released their core OS (without any add-ons like Paint or Wordpad or any of the myriad extras they put into their distro) as Open Source and sold what are now XP Home, Pro and Server as commercialized add-on packages with support options.

          But that's just me. I'm really looking forward to what Novell is going to do once they've integrated SUSE, Ximian and their previous software (NetWare, NDS, GroupWise, etc) into one software line.
        • Re:Contempt (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Daemonik (171801) on Friday May 14, 2004 @07:28PM (#9158363) Homepage
          Well, apart from license and money reasons, are there any grounds for using Linux on desktops?

          1) Some people like configuring and building things from scratch, Linux gives them that power.

          2) No artificially forced hardware upgrades. Linux can still run on a 486 with 32MB of Ram and make it usefull again, will XP?

          3) Linux is being constantly improved on a daily basis. The next version of Windows won't be out till 2006. Maybe.

          4) Linux doesn't monitor your internet activity and report back to it's creators without your knowledge as a standard practice.

          5) Linux is being developed by people who love computers and programming, always eager to find new solutions to your problems. Windows is being developed by people who love your money and want to find new ways to seperate you from it.

          6) Linux is packaged and sold by dozens of companies willing to cater to any market and customize their software as necessary. Windows is sold by one corporation unwilling to change except for its largest customers. Your needs are immaterial to them.

          7) When you develop software for Linux the market is open to competition. When you develop software for Windows you're constantly looking over your shoulder for Microsoft to decide your enough of a threat that they need to crush you.

          8) Linux gives the user unlimited options to configure their system as they wish. Microsoft grudgingly gives limited ability to customize it's software and ties many of it tools to each other in convoluted knots meant to keep the user from straying to other vendors.

          9) Linux adheres to open, published standards whenever possible ensuring that your data is easily transportable to other programs or operating systems. Microsoft 'improves' published standards with proprietary unpublished changes that lock you into their software and make moving to other vendors or OSes a logistics nightmare.

          10) Linux doesn't make bold advertising campaigns about the new features that will be in it's next release, force VARs and developers to start training and preparing for those new features so that they can be ready to market and then slowly whittle down or outright dump those features because they have become unfeasable/obsolete/unprofitable as the release date gets pushed farther and farther back.

      • Re:Contempt (Score:3, Informative)

        by eviltypeguy (521224)
        My company has had quite the opposite experience. In fact, other than maybe price (not that SuSE is any cheaper, we ehecked) we have no complaints, and the update system has worked flawlessly, even today.

        We have nothing but good to say about RedHat, especially when it comes to running Oracle on RHEL. Oracle performs so much better on RHEL than other distributions it's not even funny.
  • There have to be more folks using this...

    How 'bout some links to the reviews?

    (I'm a long time Mdk Cooker fiend, but also past SUSE purchaser)
  • got a copy when (Score:5, Interesting)

    by funwithBSD (245349) on Friday May 14, 2004 @04:45PM (#9157122)
    in Vegas for Veritas Vision. (Sorry, does'nt that qualify as an oxymoron?)

    I a FreeBSD bigot, but I a very impressed so far.

    Stable, easy as BSD to install, the fact that you can tap into NDS, which is big at our company, and translate to LDAP is nice.

    Looks like a good stable of apps too.

    • I a FreeBSD bigot, but I a very impressed so far.

      misplace that "m" key there?
    • as easy as BSD to install?

      Good god, if that's your benchmark for easy, what does hard look like??

      (yes, I know it's not "hard" for meganerds, but wouldn't a better benchmark for "easy" be something like Fedora, Windows, or Xandros?)
      • Re:got a copy when (Score:4, Interesting)

        by JabberWokky (19442) <slashdot.com@timewarp.org> on Friday May 14, 2004 @05:53PM (#9157687) Homepage Journal
        It's whatever you're used to.

        Interesting story; I was installing 9.1, and a friend called. I told him that I had just started the install, and he we chatted about Linux for a bit. He said that he had to reinstall Windows about a week ago. As I was getting off the phone, I mentioned that I had about 45 minutes left on the install. He was surprised and a little smug as he told me that it took only half an hour to install Windows, versus about an hour for SUSE. I told him that in that hour, all my office software, development platform, some games and a web and database server would be installed off a DVD packed with software. I asked him how long it took to install Windows, plus Office, plus his games, plus everything else.

        He was still installing his software, a week later. He had lost some of CD keys, and/or missing some CDs.

        --
        Evan

  • by IANAAC (692242) on Friday May 14, 2004 @04:46PM (#9157141)
    and I love it so far. I'm using (or rather, plan on using) it for MIDI and audio. I tried for a bit on 9.0 and while I got everything I wanted to work properly, the new kernel is miles ahead as far as audio goes. Everything just works. Some apps I use jack, others I use alsa. But what I've got going now is: Rosegarden, Ardour, Specimen, Fluidsynth/QSynth and Audacity. They're all great programs.

    I do wish, however, that there were an app like Sonar or Cubase (and no, I haven't and won't consider running those under Wine.

  • So Far so good. (Score:2, Informative)

    by maddmike (131437)
    The install is a breeze.

    Both Gome2.4 and KDE3.2 work very well.

    I've had some issues with my Haupauge card though.

    The 2.6 kernel seems to be working fine.

    I can see myself using this quite a bit.
  • ...it takes a long time to compile.

    Oh, he said buying public. Cheaparse bastards like me who compile the source don't count, I guess ;)

  • by william_lorenz (703263) on Friday May 14, 2004 @04:50PM (#9157174) Homepage
    It's been a while since I tried SuSE; I use Fedora Core 1 right now and soon to follow with Fedora Core 2. Despite the hype, I still believe in Red Hat. ;) Some of the things I love the most about my Fedora system include:

    • Beautiful boot screen and polished feel.
    • Easy installation from freely available CD-ROM images.
    • Automatic hardware detection via kudzu, at install time and when adding new devices.
    • Updates released regularly with the Fedora Legacy Project [fedoralegacy.org] providing updates for older distributions.
    • Many pre-built RPM packages are available on-line from projects such as Samba and otherwise.
    • Many great console & X11-based applications included by default.
    • Files and configurations are in logical places.
    How does SuSE compare on some of these points? If I recall correctly, their installer made me select my network card myself, whereas Fedora did it on its own without me having to open up my machine.
    • by geomon (78680)
      From the topic:

      "And if you're sticking with it after a move from another distro why did you decide to stick?"

      How does this poster's comments fall into the category of "Offtopic" when the topic asks for the information?

      Moderators on drugs, that's all it could be.

    • How does SuSE compare on some of these points?

      Beautiful boot screen and polished feel.

      SUSE has a nice soothing look, rounded curves, synced Qt, GTK and framebuffer looks. Theres a simple progressbar with a "Press F2 for details", and even the detail view of boot is on a subtle pattered background and rounded corner view. Very nice.

      Easy installation from freely available CD-ROM images.

      SUSE has a downloadable Live CD (like Knoppix) or a FTP install disk. In the case of the latter, you download packages on demand rather than downloading all the packages. Considering the professional version weighs in at 8 CDs and 4 DVDs, there's a damn good reason (actually, 2 double sided DVDs, one side is 64bit, the other is 32bit).

      The professional edition comes with quite a bit of commercial software. A DVD video editor, SQL Anywhere Studio, etc. That version is not downloadable, of course. That's pretty much the difference between personal and pro.

      Automatic hardware detection via kudzu, at install time and when adding new devices.

      SUSE uses yast, which does the same thing. I recently swapped a hard drive from a dead laptop into a completely different brand, and upon bootup, it found everything from the correct video and sound settings to the modem and network.

      One nice thing is that yast embeds in the KDE Control Center and has a standalone X and curses version... all with the exact same menu and interface layout. If KDE+X or just X is available, it uses it, if not, it runs just fine. Handy when you're using the same tool to poke around your desktop in the Control Center and then later to work on a server.

      Updates released regularly with the Fedora Legacy Project [fedoralegacy.org] providing updates for older distributions.

      I'm not sure how EOL works. I was running 8.2 (still am, on the non-dev servers), and online_update works just fine.

      Many pre-built RPM packages are available on-line from projects such as Samba and otherwise.

      SUSE uses rpm.

      Many great console & X11-based applications included by default.

      Ditto. I've been using the professional version since I moved from Red Hat (server) and Mandrake (desktop), and I've set everything up for a workgroup, web and mail servers, my system and a fileserver right from the packages available on the disks. With two exceptions. lame and MPlayer are missing and not complete (respectively). You get a warning when running the latter, telling you about that, and when you run anything that wants lame, they've patched it so it tells you about Qgg and explains that, due to patent reasons, they can't include lame. And they give you the URL for "more information"... which is where you can download it. I used Packman for rpms for both. All codecs for MPlayer and a nice working lame. I note that the SUSE notices silently disappear after lame is installed. Slick, and a nice solution for a frustrating situation.

      Files and configurations are in logical places.

      SUSE was the first LSB certified distro. I've been using *nix for a little over two decades now. It feels perfectly fine. YMMV, but I'd imagine that RH is LSB by now.

      --
      Evan

  • It's good.... (Score:5, Informative)

    by jeffmock (188913) on Friday May 14, 2004 @04:53PM (#9157197)
    I'm running SUSE-9.1 64-bit on a Tyan S2885 dual opteron motherboard with two SATA drives in RAID-0, just great... Boot from the DVD in rescue mode and it even finds /dev/md0 with no fiddling.

    As a longtime redhat guy, I've found the new distribution for me.

    jeff
  • Wrong crowd... (Score:2, Informative)

    "I'd like to hear what the buying public has to say..."

    And you're asking Slashdot?

    Seriously, my only experience with Suse was my attempt to install it. Failure! It wouldn't recognize half of my hardware, including my network card. So I couldn't install it via the network install (which seemed to be the only way I was allowed to do it). I gave up and installed Mandrake in record time - it recognized everything right away and has worked beautifully.

    And people claim Linux is easy to install/use/learn. If Su
    • This guy gives an honest review of SUSE (it wouldn't install), so it gets Flamebait? WTF is up with that? That's useful information. It's saved me time and money.
      • WTF is up with that?

        The moderation system has gone completely to shit.

        They just modded some poor poster as Offtopic when the information went directly to the question posed by the article.

    • by lewp (95638) on Friday May 14, 2004 @05:08PM (#9157332) Journal
      Try using non-shitty hardware.

      Honestly, half your hardware? I've seen eMachines where one or two things didn't work. But half? You wouldn't happen to be using a PDP-11, would you?
      • Mandrake won't recognize my USB keyboard.

        I have no idea if it will recognize anything else, because I HAVE NO FREAKING KEYBOARD.

        And for the record, Gentoo detects it fine; it's a MS USB keyboard, not exactly a strange piece of hardware.
    • by jbn-o (555068) <mail@digitalcitizen.info> on Friday May 14, 2004 @11:49PM (#9159507) Homepage
      I had a similar experience with a recent attempt to install Debian. I've been using Fedora Core 1 since it came out and a colleague said I should try Debian. I want very much to not have to follow technical issues anymore, I'm simply tired of doing things that way. I don't want to give up my software freedom and I don't think I should have to. So I tried installing like a novice would do. My previous experience with Debian was fine (Debian Potato) but the installer was nowhere near what a novice should be expected to deal with.

      Debian's installer (which appears to be textual, although in a lot of languages that look like they're using the right glyphs) is still not very good. Fedora Core's installer was a breeze to deal with (the graphics for things really do make things easier to handle and navigate). Not only was Debian's installer still asking questions it didn't really need to ask (my hostname? I know what this means, but this is far too technical and not completely necessary since my DHCP server dictates my hostname, also other GNU/Linux installers don't do this) but the disk partitioner isn't as nice as the Red Hat/Fedora Core's partitioning interface.

      The showstopper for me was the dodgy networking interface software--the installer appears to proceed along two stages: the stage where you boot off the CD, and the stage after the minimal system has installed and the rest of the system is downloaded from Debian servers on the Internet. The first stage appeared to go well, identifying my wireless and wired networking hardware.

      The second stage did not recognize my networking hardware and then the installer asked me if I wanted to configure PPP. There was no apparent way to tell it that I wanted it to use the same interface it had just used before rebooting and to go get Debian packages using that interface. I don't need PPP at all. I'm sure if I really cared more about this issue I could have done something to fix this and keep installing, but I wanted to go through this as a novice might, not as a longtime Unix user with some years of experience using the Linux kernal.

      Given this constraint, I figured I had wiped a hard drive for nothing. I reinstalled Fedora Core 1, updated it, and then kept using the machine. FC1 doesn't identify my hardware correctly (kudzu thinks I am removing and reinstalling my wireless device), the network configuration profiles don't work correctly (I can't use the GUI to remove profiles or make a profile for an unencrypted wireless network connection and also have one with a WEP key), and the USB hotplug support is lacking (USB hard drive, USB key, and Griffin iMic support are not really working smoothly enough for novices to use). However the vast majority of the system works well enough for me to do a lot of real work. Other things that don't work well are things that will not work well in other distributions too (/dev device labels are a sign of a programmer's interface, not a user's interface -- use device brand names instead so I see "iMic" never /dev/dsp1, sound config is not easy and should not be necessary at all for the end-user, generally not enough focus on apps that "just work" and not enough work on documentation and too much focus on adding silly features that appeal to a few geeks and make the app hard to use).
  • Glorious (Score:5, Informative)

    by JabberWokky (19442) <slashdot.com@timewarp.org> on Friday May 14, 2004 @04:57PM (#9157236) Homepage Journal
    I don't have time to play around with settings or trying to get stuff working. I got 9.1 Pro at Frys during lunch. That evening, I popped out my hard drive with SuSE 8.2, left in my data drive (backed up), and put in a new drive for the install, mounting my data drive as /home. A little while later, I went to sleep, and woke up the next morning at 6am and started my work day.

    Everything works. That pretty much sums it up. Printing, seeing the network, burning CDs, listening to an NPR stream. Perfect. No extra configuration, aside from downloading lame and the full MPlayer from Packman (both of which SUSE can't distribute).

    --
    Evan

  • by grahamkg (5290) on Friday May 14, 2004 @04:57PM (#9157237)

    I've been testing it since Monday May 10, and it seems to be okay. It is biased toward KDE, but one can fairly easily configure SuSE to be KDE- and GNOME-free, with Enlightenment as the WM.

    One little item to note is that not all packages are recognized in YaST. I typically will generate a list of apps using the command:

    rpm -qilp *rpm > suse_9.1
    to allow me to browse descriptions of the packages and see what files are included. (Understand this can be a very large file.) Notably when I wanted to install a couple of rippers, they did not appear through YaST. Hmmm... Installing them manually:
    rpm -ivh <your_favorite_program.rpm>
    worked just fine. They then appeared in YaST as having been installed. This is a trivial issue, but it is annoying.

    Bottom line is that SuSE 9.1 seems to be fine so far!

  • Since 6.1 (Score:5, Informative)

    by MeBadMagic (619592) <mtpenguin.gmail@com> on Friday May 14, 2004 @04:59PM (#9157258)
    I've been a SuSE fan since 6.1.
    The main sticking point for me was at that time it was the only distro that could recognise and auto-configure 2 seperate video cards for multi-head X right out of the box. It follows standard (mostly) structure so other software is easy to compile. It seems like there is the Redhat way and the Common way. I would by far recommend SuSE for newbies as the YaST tool (install/admin) is very, very easy to use. Network browsing is impressive to have working right out of the box.

    I'm having allot of fun!
    • 6.1 was my first Linux too; the first and only distro I bought in box form, actually.

      I'm having allot of fun!

      I love this line ("Have a lot of fun!"), because it's obviously translated from the German expression "Viel Spass!" (literally: 'a lot of fun'). :-)

  • by riggwelter (84180) on Friday May 14, 2004 @05:05PM (#9157306) Homepage Journal
    SuSE 9.1 is lovely, it's polished, friendly, YaST is now Free (we've wanted that for so long), and even the box feels nice.

    Once the usr local bin [usr-local-bin.org] GNOME updates are ready (I'm getting there...) it'll be even better.
  • by theantix (466036) on Friday May 14, 2004 @05:08PM (#9157330) Journal
    I was highly frustrated to see they didn't bother to include Ximian Gnome on the CD -- it was KDE or nothing. I have two network cards in my machine, and I was dissapointed to see that even though only one card had an cable plugged in it made the dead card primary so I couldn't access the internet. Of course, because it did that I got to play with YaST2 a little bit, and it was an impressive tool.
  • I love SUSE 9.1. The one issue that annoyed me to no end, but was probably a good thing, was port 6000 for X11 is disabled by default starting in 9.1. This prevents xhosting to a machine without ssh. This is a necessary requirement for me, and it was relatively easy to fix.

    The newest rendition of YAST is even better than 9 which was sweet.

    I'm forced to use a number of distros from debian to Red Hat to Suse and frankly I stick with SUSE for my desktops and servers.
  • Suse Lemon 9.1 (Score:3, Interesting)

    by kallex (545693) on Friday May 14, 2004 @05:10PM (#9157363)
    My Zoom external serial modem won't work in 9.1, did in 9.0 My Audigy Platinum Sound card is silent in 9.1, worked fine in 9.0, even though it configures correctly. Since I cannot connect to the patch site to get the patches, it sits there as a pile of crap on my HD waiting to be deleted...soon. Phone help is a joke as well as online help. If I were a Linux geek it would be a nice puzzle to muck with for hours on end, but my two days of frustration are enough for me...
  • by dago (25724) on Friday May 14, 2004 @05:13PM (#9157393)
    I've been using suse since 7.x, altough now I'm running gentoo on my main computers, it is easier to install/manage on lab machine and servers.

    Best :
    - no problems to update

    Good :
    - linux 2.6
    - default desktop background in gnome are mountains
    - nice(r ?) ooffice
    - dependencies management with yast (ok, not really new, but still really nice)

    Bad :
    - gnome 2.4 (and not .6)

    Rest is not new from 9.1 but still annoying :
    - multimedia stuff (codecs, ripper) : it's why I switched to gentoo
    - habits of having library.rpm and library-devel.rpm sucks for devel. machine, no way to install directly all the devel, afaik.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    ... seriously.

    i bought suse, i like it, but nothing is as slick as apt, or as refreshing as not having to worry about yast overwriting your manualy configured settings.

    oh and don't get me started on rpm, rpm just has to go.
    • +5 Troll.

      First of all: rpm is both a format an a tool. Both are fine. The format used in debian is deb and the tool used in debian is dpkg. Both are fine too.

      Suse's apt-get equivalent is yast. But if you don't like yast, just install apt [sf.net].

      Second: yast md5sums all your configfiles and refuses to overwrite any modified files:

      dexter:~ # SuSEconfig --module apache
      Starting SuSEconfig, the SuSE Configuration Tool...
      Running module apache only
      Reading /etc/sysconfig and updating the system...
      Executing /sbin/con

  • sweet so far (Score:5, Interesting)

    by dnamaners (770001) on Friday May 14, 2004 @05:13PM (#9157402) Journal
    I Just put 9.1 on and would give it a 9 of 10 (i have yet to see 10) on install and initial setup.

    This was installed on my most recent box (3 ghz P4 w HT). I did this up as a dual boot box with XP like i tend to do when testing.

    As I am just getting into it I can't give a full review but the install process was very smooth and the whole thing has a polished feel and look. But be sure to pre partition your drive unless you don't mind reinstalling windows ( I just installed over my existing debian linux after I took a image of my partion and MBR). The system right after the install was at about 90%. It setup grub correctly and did not mess up windows. I have to say I like the the boot up menue and the linux boot up sequence, simple but functional or as detailed as you like.

    It after system setup it recognized my local ntfs and fat32 partitions and mounted them but is having trouble with my USB and 1394 drives so far. The graphics settings were usable but a bit low for my card (radeon 6800) and need minimal tweaking to get the right color depth and resolution. Network and other peripherals worked right from the start. All the major applications appear to work and I have most every app. I want but firefox and wine. I have not yet tested playing media yet as all that was not the drives that don't yet work. All said this was probably the smoothest install I have ever had. Ill bet I will like this more than red hat.

    Closing impression is that I am still debian (and knoppix) at heart but this is a very nice desktop all the same.
  • by UnderScan (470605) <jjp6893@netscapBOYSENe.net minus berry> on Friday May 14, 2004 @05:21PM (#9157448)
    Jem Matzan of thejemreport.com reviewed SUSE 9.1
    SuSE Linux 9.1 Personal Edition Review [thejemreport.com]
    SuSE Linux 9.1 Professional x86/AMD64 [thejemreport.com]

    Jem has lots of great info at his site.
  • by chris88 (62904) on Friday May 14, 2004 @05:21PM (#9157456)
    I was sick of spending my time fooling around with stupid little system things. I spend all day doing that at work, I don't need to waste time doing it with my desktop. So I picked the newest distro I could find (still like as close to bleeding edge as possible).

    SuSE specific (I think); I don't know why they included things like RealPlayer and Acrobat considering how old they are, and that there are much nicer and less crashy incarnations of these in mplayer/xine and KGhostView (Although I understand there's probably licenseing problems with ram's and mplayer).

    Both my monitor (Sun 17" Flat screen) and video card (r128) don't work quite right. The monitor wasn't recignized, so I entered in the -exact- values as was in the manual, and I still can't get a good refresh rate on the higher resolutions. Not a problem in Gentoo. Don't want to touch the XF86Config because SaX2 has warnings all over not to play with it. My video card doesn't do hardware acceleration even though I had it going in Gentoo.

    Konq. also crashes consistently if I try to log into a Samba share. I've had to set my username and password in the configuration as the username to browse with. Which makes it very inflexible. Esp. when I need to use many different usernames throughout the day.

    Not really SuSE's fault, but I hate KDE. Too many damn options, KMail is terrible compared to Evo. Hard to scan mail because the text is so close together, can't search the bodies of messages in IMAP, LDAP address books will crash KMail every once in a while and I don't care for the way it handles multiple identities.

    KWallet also does a terrible job at remembering things, very hit or miss.

    Little more nitpicky, I find qt redraws windows a lot more than gtk2 did.. Opening new tabs in Konq. does it and Kopete does it with it's message alert. Drives me nuts.

    The KDE is my fault, I know I could install Gnome.

    On the less negitive side (I like complaining), lots of updates coming in on my SuSE Watcher (like windows update). Most of them seem reliabilty related which makes me happy. KDE also feels incredibly fast. Even OpenOffice feels integrated and speedy.

    Overall I'm still getting use to it. I'll definetly keep it for the long haul, even if I end up using Gnome. Nothing pises me off more now than trying to make my desktop work when I could be screwing around with -real- problems.
  • I like it (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 14, 2004 @05:27PM (#9157504)
    I have been a RedHat user until it switched to Fedora. I took that chance to try Mandrake 9.2 for a few months.

    Eventually my brother wanted to switch too and he runs more of a server environment. He felt the Mandrake product life was much too short for him (less then a year if I recall right). SUSE doesn't seem to have solid dates. But considering they still support 7.x stuff I'm not too worried.

    We bought the Professional box.

    PRO:
    - More stable then Mandrake.
    - KDE, etc. was polished.
    - Surprisingly nice set of games.
    - My SATA HD was properly recogniced. I think it installed it as a SCSI drive (which surprises me...).
    - Much better product life then Fedora or Mandrake.
    - YAST more stable then Mandrakes update. YAST is just as stable as up2date in RedHat. I've had issues with mirrors for Mandrake giving unreliable service.
    - Windows partition properly recognized and configured. No problem (just like Mandrake).

    CON:
    - No ATI support out of the box. I guess ATI has no 2.6 drivers yet (so not SUSEs fault).
    - Kaffee/Xine which is the build in Media player in Konquerer just downright sucks. Which per SUSEs manual is because of copyright issues. I now manually installed Xine (off the web RPMs) and it's hosed now. I have to tinker with it a little. I didn't have that problem in Mandrake/RedHat though (Mandrake was fine out of the box, RedHat it was easy to install).

    In general I'm happy. The Media player in SUSE is a big disappointment. It's a tad bit more polished then Mandrake.
  • Nooberly (Score:2, Funny)

    by Beardydog (716221)
    I am the biggest Linux noob on the face of the planet. *shame*

    That being said, I've completely given up on ever installing drivers for my graphics card. NVidia seems to have special instructions for SuSE users, which is disturbing in itself. After gimping it up for a while I actually installed the source stuff like I should have in the first place (I did an FTP install), and it still doesn't work.

    I think I found a few forums talkinga bout the same problem, and one of them seemed to solve it, but with st
  • by Mustang Matt (133426) on Friday May 14, 2004 @05:47PM (#9157634)
    For a desktop OS I'm sure it's grand. But don't put it anywhere near my servers. *I* want to control my configuration files. I don't want yast overwriting them every time I try to get package updates. BTW, unless suse has additional mirrors, the time to do updates was incredibly slow with yast last time I checked.

    Thanks to a hard drive failure the last Suse machine I had was put to rest as debian replaced it.
    • Same old bad information. Yast will not overwrite your configuration files and yes you can easily spend many hours hand editing files as you please. But, its best to learn the system.

      As for additional servers, they have plenty enough now.

  • by Roger W Moore (538166) on Friday May 14, 2004 @06:46PM (#9158038) Journal
    I bought SUSE 9.1 thinking that it might act as a good replacement for RedHat when it went the Fedora way (I was a manager of a ~300 desktop Linux cluster so I was looking for something 'production' ready that fitted with an academic budget). So I will admit that part of my problem was just learning the differences between the RedHat way and the SUSE way. However, that aside, I found one serious and extremely annoying bug.

    First I thought to really test the system so I installed it with XFS formatted LVM partitions (these were all options given by YaST). The installer looked great and it seemed to work like a treat....until it came to the reboot where I got a "Kernel Panic: no root device". To cut a long story short I tracked it down to the boot image disk not having 'libc' installed in the correct directory so that 'insmod' could not run to insert the required modules.

    At this point I was not impressed since this is a fairly major bug to have escaped notice making me wonder how rigourous their testing was but, hey, I'm a generous guy, the installer looked really cool and the install options were somewhat on the bleeding edge. So I fixed my ramdisk image and emailed their support address with a description of the exact problem......time went by with no response. So I emailed them again....and again....and again....still no response, in fact I'm still waiting for any acknowledgement of the email let alone a fix! (and no, my email does work - I did test that!)

    To add further irritation the machine crashed after a few months of uptime...and when it came backup something had magically re-broken the ram disk. I tried to track this down through crontab and the rc scripts but no luck (possibly partly due to my unfamiliarity with the SUSE setup). Now I just have a cron entry that copies the fixed image back every hour....not a really sensible or reliable solution!

    When Fedora Core 2 comes out this week I'm dumping SUSE. It's the only time I've ever paid for a Linux distribution and, while my experience was still way better than I've had with Windows and by no means horrific, for a Linux distribution I would rank it as my worst experience yet by far. To contrast that I've found Fedora far more like the "old" RedHat in terms of support, stability and longevity....not quite what the original RedHat press releases implied.

    • To add further irritation the machine crashed after a few months of uptime...and when it came backup something had magically re-broken the ram disk. I tried to track this down through crontab and the rc scripts but no luck (possibly partly due to my unfamiliarity with the SUSE setup). Now I just have a cron entry that copies the fixed image back every hour....not a really sensible or reliable solution!

      I don't believe you.

      SuSE 9.1 came out much less than a month ago.

      So unless you were in the beta (in whi
  • by sloanster (213766) <ringfan@@@mainphrame...com> on Friday May 14, 2004 @07:03PM (#9158156) Journal
    I've been using linux for some years, starting out with SLS in 1993, then moving to slack before the end of that year. I switched to redhat around 1997, and pretty much stayed with rh since then. I've looked at other distros, but always stayed with redhat.

    I liked fedora core 1, it works pretty well for me and runs my apps, but I was keeping my eye on the market and looking at alternatives as usual. This week I switched my work desktop from redhat/fedora core 1 to Suse 9.1 - I'm impressed by the fact that everything "just works" with suse, and that it comes with absolutely everything but the kitchen sink. I installed the nvidia drivers with one click in the yast menu, and will be installing ut2004 after finals...

    I'd tried mandrake numerous times over the years, and it always seemed "cute but flaky", whereas suse is more along the lines of "cute and solid".
  • by sixstring355 (80946) on Friday May 14, 2004 @07:56PM (#9158511)
    I'm a long-time Redhat user (also a long-time reader, first-time stander-upper). I've been bouncing back and forth between Fedora Core 1 and SuSE ever since Redhat EOL'd Redhat 9. Fedora core 1 is more familiar to me since I've been using Redhat products for so long. However, I can't help but be impressed with SuSE. They've produced a very clean, very user friendly distribution that actually eliminated some of the problems I'd had with Redhat 9. I'd heard from friends who tried it that Fedora core 1 was not a good choice for laptops so, when it came time to install Linux on my new laptop, I went straight to SuSE.

    I was pleasantly surprised at how much easier it was to configure my laptop's wireless card (D-Link DWL-650) in SuSE than it had been under Redhat 9. The graphical boot is beautiful and the default configuration is sleek and easy to use. I won't get into the whole default Gnome versus default KDE issue except to say that I liked the look of their default desktop better than the default desktop look of Fedora.

    I upgraded from 9.0 to 9.1 three days ago and so far my only complaint is that my Cisco VPN client refuses to build under it. I've tried and tried, along with several other SuSE users in my office, to get the client to build under the default 2.6 kernel with no luck. Googling for help returns only a few references to discussion groups in German that say (roughly translated) "konfoundit! Cisco VPN clienten builden broken! Sheizer!"

    I attribute the incompatibiltiy of Cisco's VPN client with SuSE 9.1 to SuSE's need to be on the bleeding edge. They're (arguably) the first big distro to release a version with 2.6 as the default and they've done an admirable job. Unfortunately, Cisco isn't going to get their ass in gear and support 2.6 until almost EVERYONE is using 2.6 as their default kernel. Oh, well.

    If anyone has found or knows of a way to get the Cisco VPN client to build on SuSE 9.1, please post.
  • by capn_nemo (667943) on Friday May 14, 2004 @08:33PM (#9158691) Homepage

    BACKGROUND

    A little perspective: I was Apple from the ][ up to a PowerMac. Then I was Windows up until 98. I've been using linux, primarily Redhat, for over 5 years. I have a server running Redhat 9.0, and a desktop that's been running Redhat 7 -> 9.0. I switched to linux for three reasons: 1) it's significantly cheaper to build a machine and install linux (in terms of $, but not time); 2) although I've foobarred the OS more than once, it literally has crashed about 10 times in 5 years, and I've *never* lost my data; and 3) open source development is a fundamentally more sound way of development *for some things*, including the operating system, so I support it by using it.

    My choice, money no object, would probably be a G5 tower. Mac has done great things towards making the computer easy to use as a tool right out of the box. But for the reasons above, my considerations were limited to linux. Since Redhat stopped it's support, I decided to consider my options before jumping directly to Fedora. To give away the punch line, I chose Suse 9.1 as my new Desktop. Read on for more details.

    DESKTOP, NOT A SERVER

    I want a server that I can configure by hand, that has a minimum of software (No X), with uptime that averages around 45 days. Redhat's done a nice job of providing that. Combined with Bastille and a few other things, I've been very happy.

    But I use my Desktop computer on a day-to-day basis, and above all else, I just want it to work. I don't want it to crash, and I don't want to lose data, and I'm happy to upgrade regularly for my own benefit, but I don't want it to be difficult or slow me down. I'd like the installation of new software to be be relatively easy (though I don't mind compiling that wondrous open source software when need be).

    First, I looked at what several new distros provided. Now, you can upgrade any system all day long, but out of the box (or off the disc), Suse has the newest kernel, the newest KDE, the newest Gimp, the newest mozilla. By "newest," I mean relative to the other distros I checked out, and thus closest to what I could download the source for if I were the gentoo sort.

    INSTALLATION RESULTS

    Redhat 9.1 (for comparison), the installer crashed repeatedly when I attemped anything other than a stock install. And, they've ceased support.

    Fedora is running much older package versions than are available on the web (the 2.4 kernel? helllllloooooo). I decided against it just based on this. Also, I was particularly interested in switching to an "over the counter," distro. My logic is this: If they're spending the money to box it and put it in stores, they're also spending the money (presumably) to make it relatively easy to use.

    After ultimately finding the correct command line voodoo to get Knoppix to boot on my machine (already a bad taste in my mouth), I got it installed (once I found the command line instructions for how to do that - grrrr), the installation itself was painless - a giant copy, and then a reboot. At which point, my screen resolutions were wrong, my screen driver was wrong, I was utterly unable to convince the OS that my wireless card existed, let alone get it configured, and -oh- -my- -god- - WHAT is up with that start menu? Don't tell Eric Raymond about Knoppix, or his recent review of CUPS will seem but a pale and pleasant discourse.

    Mandrake is a close second to Suse, but it's still running older versions than Suse makes available. Further, I know Mandrake is back from the brink, but it still concerns me that support could evaporate, and I wanted a distro that was likely to last a while. I suspect Novell will work to see that happen with Suse for some time to come.

    Suse 9.1 Personal installed pretty easily. The installation appeared to be a Curses interface, which didn't seem very pretty, but it worked. Having had a framebuffer problem during initial boot, it may be that there's a nicer installation inter

  • by Afroplex (243562) on Friday May 14, 2004 @09:04PM (#9158883) Homepage
    Went down to Best Buy and just bought it after work. Typing in this reply on the freshly installed system.

    My system specs are:
    AMD Athlon 64 +3200
    Nvidia Geforce4 MX 420
    1 gig ram
    MSI K8T Neo with Via K8T800 Chipset motherboard

    Anyhow after backing up my data I put the DVD in. It was labeled 64 bit on one side, 32 bit on the other. I had put it the wrong way accidentally, but it was smart and told me "Cool system! But you are about to install 32 bit software on a 64 bit computer." Flipping it around I rebooted and went into Yast without a problem.

    It didn't look too much different from Suse 9.0 for the installer at first. I went with the regular install of packages plus the compilers. Network, video, and sound appeared at first to be found correctly - minus that there weren't any Nvidia 3d drivers (just 2d) included in the box. The 3d drivers had to be installed via the online update tool. Haven't tested it yet in Unreal Tourny 2004 or Neverwinter Nights.

    After the first reboot the audio didn't come up right. One more reboot (with me making no config changes) the audio came up right.

    I use Lotus Notes 6.5 at work, and I use the web interface at home. Trying that out turns out that Java wasn't installed in Mozilla or Firebird. It did come up with the download plugin, but you'll have to make sure you are root in the browser to have it install right. I'll see later if Yast has a package for Java.

    As for enterprise features that may come in handy with our Novell environment the installer had the option to authenticate to LDAP for users.

    Getting deeper into the details of the box I pulled up what version of the kernel is from /proc/version:
    Linux version 2.6.4-54.5-default (geeko@buildhost) (gcc version 3.3.3 (SuSE Linux)) #1 Fri May 7 16:47:49 UTC 2004

    Good, 2.6 as advertised. Going into other apps everything appeared to be very KDE based like in pervious versions of Suse. Doesn't appear to have much influence from the integration of Novell+Ximian. In the programs menu everything was not based on program names, but on purpose. For example Gimp 2.0 was labeled as "Image Editing".

    One of the few apps linked to on the desktop was Office, which opened up into Open Office 1.1.1. It still appeared to have a limited set of fonts that I've seen in other OO installs. That is more a limitation of OO than Suse.

    About X, SaX2 (Suse's X11 config editor) reports the version is:
    XFree86 Version 4.3.99.902 (4.4.0 RC 2)

    I was interested in seeing in SaX2 some config options for Tablets and Touchscreens. Might be a nice item for work's graphics department to try out.

    Other items included in the package were Rekall (a database frontend), Samba 3.0, KDE 3.2.

    Going through the manuals (remember those?) there were two volumes, each about 440 pages. One was the user guide that went into basic installation and the individual programs. Examples of programs with screen shots in the manual were Open Office, Gimp, KGPG, Xmms, gtKam, Mozilla, Audacity, and a full chapter on the command line toward the back. The admin volume went into the details such as troubleshooting the install or using logical volume manager (LVM). Other chapters were also on networking, ipv6, NIS, Apache, Samba, Squid, SSH, Kerberos, filesystems with acl's, and development in a 64 bit environment. Needless to say I was impressed with their manuals!

    Good for the desktop in the enterprise, perhaps also the end user at home if the install went well on their particular hardware. That is probably the sticking point to turn anyone off is how well the install goes. That's where buying the package with support comes in. In the "Support at SUSE" pamphlet in the box it says on one of the supported items: Installation on a typical private workstation [non-networked] or laptop equipped with a single processor, at least 128 MB RAM, and 2 BG of free hard disk space. Other support items are reising Windows partitions, conf
  • It's very very good (Score:5, Informative)

    by spiritraveller (641174) on Friday May 14, 2004 @10:40PM (#9159283)
    I'm a debian fan myself, but this past weekend I installed SUSE 9.1 on my dad's computer.

    Having tried a lot of different distributions in the past, I expected that I would need to help him out, or that there would at least be some sort of trouble with hardware detection or a bug of some kind.

    Wrong.

    I believe SUSE will be the distro that brings Linux to the masses. It is easier to install than Windows. OTOH, if you know what you are doing, there are options to finetune it exactly the way you want.

    Install went perfectly. The bootsplash screen and progress bar look great. There is none of this confusing text that people always comment on with Linux distros.

    Things that take a long time to set up on Debian, such as java and realplayer plugins work out of the box with SUSE.

    The SaX2 screen config program works amazingly well, letting you position the desktop on your screen just the right way. It autodetected my dad's monitor and videocard with no problem.

    The only difficulty was that he wanted to listen to preview files from a website that sells classical music (classicalarchives.com). The format is .wax. So, I had to install mplayer and mplayerplug-in separately.

    I have installed a lot of different distributions and this had to have been the easiest. We haven't run into a single bug yet.

    If I had to recommend a distribution to someone who had never used Linux before, who didn't want to take the time necessary to understand and learn about their system which is necessary with Debian... I would recommend SUSE 9.1 without hesitation.
  • by gasp (128583) on Saturday May 15, 2004 @12:42AM (#9159680)
    I love SuSE 9.0, and have been looking forward to upgrading to 9.1. It arrived in the mail today.

    The 32bit sides of the DVDs are not readable in my machines, but the 64bit sides are. Does me no good, my systems are 32bit. A big part of the reason I wanted the boxed Professional version is for the DVDs, and now I find them useless.

    So, I still have the CDs. I booted up and attempted to upgrade my system. No go. None of the partitions on any of my drives are identified. It shows "unknown" for every partition. Even if I manually select my root partition, it fails to mount it. Keep in mind this machine was set up from scratch with 9.0 and works just fine.

    I checked SuSE support, and it turns out that there is a bug in the SuSE kernel that prevents it from mounting XFS partitions. Amazing, all that testing and nobody tried to use XFS. There is a driver hotfix released as a workaround, but it can't handle root on XFS. Guess what, my root (and others) are all XFS.

    This means I can only install 9.1 if I'm willing to throw away my entire config and start over with a fresh install. Unacceptable. At the very least I'd like to be able to download a replacement CD1 ISO that fixes the problem. It's ridiculous to keep shipping a broken product that can't be installed as an upgrade by an otherwise satisfied customer.

    So here I sit, with 2 unreadable DVDs and 5 CDs that I can't install because apparently nobody ever tested a perfectly normal and supported configuration as an upgrade path. Sigh.
  • by oujirou (726570) on Saturday May 15, 2004 @05:39AM (#9160356)
    I have been using SuSE Linux on many machines at office and on all the machines at home since 8.2 came out, and I switched to using SuSE from RedHat, which I've been using since 6.0. Just can't say enough how I love the system, although it of course has its bugs and limitations, of which I will write as well.

    The specs of my hardware at home are rather common: nForce2 chipsets, some old Intel chipsets, some generic noname nVidia GeForces and some old S3 PCI cards to accomodate other monitors, a pile of generic 8139 ethernet cards, a D-Link ADSL modem, and the aforementioned TFT monitors, together with a Canon flatbed scanner and an inkjet printer. I have never had any problems installing the hardware, although I had to use a commercial driver [turboprint.de] to make my cheap printer work. In SuSE 9.1 installation of several monitors with SaX went absolutely smoothly and if I weren't so picky about DPI settings and such, I could have just used the default XF86Config it made during the installation. NVidia drivers were downloaded by the YaST Online Update application and installed in the background so that I didn't even notice the fact until I ran an OpenGL screensaver and it was really fast! :)

    The installation went smoothly as well. First of all, I am Russian, and I am oh-so-pleased to see my native language back again in YaST since it was missing in 9.0 due to some glitch. What's even better is that now SuSE ships with decent Unicode TrueType fonts with Cyrillics glyphs, so you don't have to stare at ugly bitmap fonts during the installationg, and, again, if one is not very picky, he or she would perfectly go with these bundled fonts without any need to install standard fonts from Microsoft Windows.

    And now for the surprising facts I have discovered so far. Maybe I wasn't reading reviews too carefully, but the default locale is now UTF8. We all remember how bad UTF8 was implemented in RedHat 8.0, and it never became better in RedHat 9.0. It mostly likely won't make any difference for people who don't use Cyrillic characters, but here (in Soviet Russia :) we have had The Encoding Hell for almost two decades now, resulting in U*IX clones using KOI8-R, DOS using CP866, Windows using CP1251 and MacOS using a crippled version of CP1251. You just can't imagine how complex is the task of making heterogeneous networks handle file shares with national characters properly! But surprisingly UTF8 as the default locale in SuSE 9.1 works very well and the only bad thing about it currently is that ncurses and groff think that Cyrillic characters are really two-character wide, thus resulting in slightly broken formatting. Nothing we can't live without. And I can now browse Samba shares from a Windows 2000 machine and see Japanese filenames just fine.

    Fellow font maniacs, beware! If you try to build the latest Freetype (currently 2.1.8) [freetype.org], which you most likely will want to do, at least for the sake of turning the bytecode interpreter on -- DO NOT DO IT. GTK1 and other applications using bitmap fonts will crash your X after this! I've investigated the matter and solved the problem. For the curious I can e-mail an explanation, but to cut a long story short now, the steps to take to make sure your fonts look pretty and no applications crash X, do the following:
    1. init 3
    2. Build and install freetype-2.1.5 or freetype-2.1.6 which are essentially the same. Yes, you will need an old version like this.
    3. Replace the following libs in /usr/X11R6/lib/: libXfont, libXft, and libXrender, with the ones from SuSE 9.0.
    4. Run SuSEconfig as root.
    5. init 5

    After that you should have no problems and crashes. I know that's by far not an elegant solution and will greatly appreciate other suggestions!

    Samba 3 on a SuSE 8.2 box and Samba 3 on a SuSE 9.1 box export file ownership and permission data! I don't know why this works and I

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