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Best distribution award goes to .... SuSE 154

ZDNet UK reports that people who voted for best Linux distribution at the LinuxWorld, chose SuSE. Congratulations SuSE! (and if I might add a comment, please improve the GUI installer, maybe even release a beta version before going gold).
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Best distribution award goes to .... SuSE

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  • I know we have to impress the suits and everything, but it seems like installers are the only thing anyone is interested in anymore. If the OS is designed correctly (or if you're really lucky), you should only install once.
  • Fixed. DAMN ISP!
  • by pb ( 1020 )
    I haven't messed with SuSE--the more than complete distribution. Apparently it's *so* big, we need *two* slashdot stories on it, wow! :)

    But--big deal. A survey where people pick their favorite distribution. Wow, I've never seen that before. That's about as cool as a Slashdot Poll!

    At least FreeBSD wasn't voted as the "best Linux distribution"--I think that'd get some attention! :)
    pb Reply or e-mail; don't vaguely moderate [].
  • An 80's song by Foreigner comes to mind all of a sudden.... ;-)

    The Tick - "Spoon!"
  • the only problem that i had with SuSE is that it uses a REALLY old version of libjpeg, and upgrading can be a royal pain in the ass... otherwise, it kicks ass... though it could get better at detecting video cards in the beginning, too...
  • Great news for SuSE but really means nothing as evryones criteria is different. We all have our own ways we want to use our system so different distributions will suit us, or you can always roll your own. Anyway congrats to SuSE, should be good for their marketing.

    "Patience is a virtue, afforded those with nothing better to do." - I don't remember

  • For current users of Linux, it does not matter if their personal choice in distributions is the best. In the end what matters is how well that particular distribution matches his or her needs. New users of Linux will use the distribution that best helps their needs and wants.

    Personally I like Slackware, but to each his own. That it what I love about Linux: the variety in choices. If one type doesn't satisfy you, find another. Anyway congratulations SuSe!

  • I've been running SuSE for a while, and while I will heartily agree that for the linux veteran it is by far the best distro, including hundreds of applications that most other distrobutions don't even think of, for the newbie it can be very difficult. My roommate installed it in his system recently and illustrated some of the problems.

    1. Yast2 pretty much sucks. A GUI install tool is nice, and I've seen it done well (as in Caldera), but the SuSE one holds your hand in the wrong places and glosses over the wrong places. Plus, the first time he ran it it blew up in his face just for running the "Recommended" setup. Once you got further into the nitty gritty (like, *gasp*, naming the partition on which you want linux installed) it went fairly well.

    2. Neither Yast2 nor my preferred Yast include any provision for sound. There are many sound cards now supported by the kernel, so it wouldn't even need to include commercial software like OSS to work for many people.

    3. This isn't quite as big a deal, but the CDs are very difficult to browse. There is no real standard directory structure, so looking through the CD to find useful software becomes a bit of a chore (add to that the fact that there are *6* CDs in the latest version!...)

    Beyond that, I've loved just about everything about SuSE; once it is installed it is truly a joy to run, and the wealth of useful applications and utilities is very nice.


  • umm, are you stupid? this wasn't two different people posting the same story, this was the same person accidentally submitting the thing.....get a clue, man.

    You are a disgrace to every thinking person in the known world.

    (mean, maybe, but i feel it needed to be said.)

  • The article sould have come from the "Don't let the fact that they've just won an award stop you from sticking the knife into them" department.
    "and if I might add a comment, please improve the GUI installer, maybe even release a beta version before going gold."
    Congratulating someone and then finishing off by saying something like this. I hope HeUnique doesn't start throwing any compliments my way.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    It's just a way of saying that the installer is weak. That doesn't detract from the fact they won the award. In fact, I think it offers CONSTRUCTIVE feedback.
  • Who needs five CDs
    Simplicity is the key
    Yggdrasil Linux
  • Six CD's, three install diskettes, and it optionally comes on DVD-ROM!

    You really should try it. I went SuSE over RH and Slackware, and I like it. It feels a little more, um, 'Solaris'ey than the others, but as soon as you get into the habit of using /opt it's fine.

    Word of warning! Recompile the kernel from the main-tree RPM (Not the SuSE sources) or it will spit the occasional German error into the log, and you don't want to see a kernel panic! I hit one, half drunk, and almost wet myself. 'Sie hast Corrupteded die Kernal! Sie ist a eine Moron! Gehen sie back to Microsoft!' or something to that effect. I was drunk, okay??
  • I'm being facetious, of course, but it does reflect at least somewhat on the integrity of slashdot/Andover that they weren't won over (or bribed) by superior moneyed interests and went with what they felt was actually the best product.

    I do have to wonder at people's insistence on these general rankings. Clearly SuSE isn't best for all people, since last I checked Slashdot isn't running on it.
  • by ak ( 7569 ) on Monday February 07, 2000 @01:08PM (#1297557)
    Why SuSE deserves it:
    + They came up with X servers for variety of cards -- back when X configuration for Linux/XFree86 was a pain {remember XF86Setup and xvidtune} they improved X configuration tools.
    { X servers, config tools: SaX, now iSaX }

    + 'YaST' does a good job of centralizing system admin. For most users -- though some of us may hate its SuSEconfig script that overwrites manual changes (unless told otherwise). It is much better than linuxconf in RH.

    + SuSE has a nice database of supported HW on their web page.

    + nice startup scripts with central configuration through /etc/rc.config {or in YaST for newbie}. 'rctab' is a great tool for editing /etc/rc.d/* scripts and changing the order of execution of
    the startup scripts.

    + Can't beat their price.
    { I am not considering {CheapBytes/FTP} users }

    Some quirks that SuSE needs to correct:
    - GNOME RPMs were late for 6.1 version.

    - GNOME RPMs are named differently preventing users from upgrading using non-SuSE rpms.

    - SuSE keeps on changing files in a package from
    one version to next. This is not documented so is painful for people who wish to upgrade. {i.e. el cheapo ftp from suse guys}
    e.g. nkita and nkitb contain different tools in
    6.1 and 6.2 some tools cross over from nkita to nkitb in new version!

    - SuSE was late in upgrading to libc6. {6.1+}

    - During 6.3 release -- Their mirrors contained incorrectly marked rpms e.g. ppp-2.3.10 contained
    ppp-2.3.8 ! They need better use of RPM naming and consistency of its contents.

    Overall I liked SuSE more than RH. Besides it gives a good competition to front runner RH. That is always good. :)

    - ak
  • I've only "used" two different distros, but I've installed even more and fielded questions from other people who have been running them. I installed SuSE once, and I hope that I never have to again. Yes, it's installer is very powerful and can be customized as you see fit, but I like RedHat(6.1) & Mandrake (7.0)'s system of installing.

    RPM is a great way to add onto an existing Distro as well. I like that. SuSE is a good solid, stable distro but I would like to know how it beat out Debian, RedHat and Mandrake.

  • Congrats! If you're in the US, do us all a favour and get piss drunk tonight, kay? I'll be sure to have an extra Heineken, just to help you celebrate!
  • I agree, SuSE is very deserving of this. I mean, SuSE provides us with a powerful hacking platform. It comes with so many options, the hacker can tailor it to his or her needs with minimal work. The time saved allows for more free time to hack with. Bravo SuSE!
  • I tried installing a new machine with the GUI (I swear I didn't know I was going to get a GUI. I just popped in the first CD like I always do...).

    It omits a few questions that I find essential. I fogot which. One thing I do remember is that it tells me that the root password that I've been using for way too long now has illegal characters. Jee, and I've been using those illegal characters all those years, and NOW it tells me!

    Booted the other CD and installed the system.

  • Really? My copy of 6.1 shipped with 6a, with an option to install 6b. No problems compiling Enlightenment from source, nor the newest GTK.. What release are you using?
  • I just recently got my paws on a second-hand Digital Alpha, and in the process of (re)installing Linux on this beast, I found that the only distribution that would work correctly was SuSE.

    This isn't exactly true. Let me expound: RedHat 6.1 wouldn't let me partition my hard drive the way I wanted it to be. At least, not by default (I'm sure the 'expert text' mode would have allowed it, but after booting an Alpha 50 times, you don't want to do it again). Debian wouldn't even boot. I tried every tangled conglomeration of kernel boot parameters I could find, and nothing worked. The debian-axp mailing list was of no use.

    Out of frustration, I finally turned to SuSE, which I had never used before. It installed like a charm! And every time I had a problem, the suse-axp mailing list was there to help me. Now I have a running SuSE-AXP system that's blindingly fast. It's so fast that I have trouble tearing myself away from it to sleep at night.

    There are some things that I feel SuSE is missing. Most importantly, RedHat's very nifty printtool. I miss that bugger. I'm going to see if I can get it working on SuSE tonight.

  • I installed 6.3 . Installing anything using RPM's complains about missing. Installing the newest libjpeg from rpm breaks just about everything. KDE goes nuts, you cant install mozilla, upgrade enlightenment or any of the easy stuff that you should be able to do using RPM's.

    I'm not sure why they use such an odd set of libraries...
  • The bad news: Yeah partitioning choices would have been nice. Having the DVD version also forced you to use YAST2. Since I couldn't partition the way I wanted, I told it to just use the empty 7 GB of unformatted space after my C: Drive. Sorry YAST 2 says...can't do that. OK, whatever SuSE programmers. So I exit and waste some time creating empty partitions for YAST 2 to overwrite. The *really* bad news: After installing between my C: and my existing extended partition everything seemed to be OK at first. But SuSE's install changed my EPBR slightly causing a serious problem. First Partition Magic operation was disabled due to the partition error, and after correcting this, my entire extended D through H drives were obliterated. Yast needs to be fixed quickly. This partition record corruption is scary and they aren't warning customers, many of whom are using Partition Magic. Powerquest says its a known problem with SuSE installs. Sent complaint to SUSE, got no reply. The good news: I got lucky and I eventually recovered my EPBR, most users are out of luck. I had no problem getting my $50 refunded for the overpriced DVD. Mandrake 7.0 is ten times better than SuSE
  • Having just installed the newest (6.3) version of SuSE on my home PC - I would like to congratulate SuSE on their excellent distro. Only 1 problem I had with YAST2 - installing LILO in the Boot Sector of the Hard Drive would crash it. (Although it is documented by a last minute errata sheet included in the box.) I had to download the latest XSVGA Server for X to support by Nvidia GEForce 256 but it has been smooth ever since. Another small complaint is that if you select ('Install Almost Everything') it seems to default X to the German Language? There is no Spoon.
  • This isn't a real surprise for me. I've been using suse from version 6.0 (i've had 6.0, 6.1, 6.2 & 6.3 till now) and I think it's better than RedHat. I've seen somebody mention the X efforts from SuSE as as comment, but that isn't the only thing.
    For users with ISDN SuSE is the best distro available. Also, I think it's both great for workstations and servers. Yast is a really great tool for administrating your computer if you don't like editting scripts, but that can still be done. The last time I editted my YaST warned me with a message like:
    You seem to have editted your /etc/ You can find my version in /etc/ (or something like that).
    I do have some experience with redhat, but I think SuSE just outperforms RedHat on a couple of points.
  • I suspect Europeans love SuSE because its half dozen CD's save DAYS of download time over those state owned and/or regulated wires. Sometimes throwing in the kitchen sing is a good thing. API
  • I'm very dissapointed that they could vote for that as their favorite distribution. I tried Suse 6.2 recently, installing it on both my laptop and home workstation. The hideous ordeal of getting everything to work properly made me question my faith in Linux itself. Happily I reinstalled Caldera 2.3 on my system in enough time to resurrect my optimistic high hopes for where Linux is going. Now to Suse's credit, I guess it's a hobbyist delight, with the most software being thrown in of any distribution. After looking over all that, I discovered plenty of 'neat' applications and scientific gnuware which is great for some people, but does nothing for me. The install was not intuitive at all, and it didn't even configure X... I had to do that as an afterstep. Even then, it was very difficult to get the setting right for ATI card (a very common card everone). After many wasted hours I did get it running. I've been playing with Linux since way back when Slackware was still the best game in town, and I have to say installing Suse brought back visions of those days but worse. Maybe I would have agreed with the best 'best distro' designation if it were renamed 'best distro for geeks', indeed for those who love to spend hours in front of their screen tweaking and configuring, Suse it for you. For everyone else though, throw it back.

  • by redd ( 17486 ) on Monday February 07, 2000 @01:45PM (#1297579)
    With regards to people saying that different distributions meet different peoples criteria, I have to agree. 1) At home, I have 64k of bandwidth - I don't want to have to download anything. SuSE's 6 CD's helps a great deal here. 2) At work, on my desktop, I have 100 megs of bandwidth and a local mirror. apt-get (debian) is my friend. 3) On work servers, I use redhat, because it's got the cleanest, fastest install of a "minimum" system, and I know it's gonna work. 4) for hacking, I use slackware, cause you can install a REAL minimum of software and learn loads just by building everything yourself. 5) To newbies, I recommend corel, cause it installs SO cleanly and effortlessly, and can be upgraded to a debian mirror quite easily. that's 5 distributions I use on a regular basis!
  • I'd bet on that.
  • I recall reading that Corel has broken packages after install and an improper/old libc6?
  • that more people voted for SuSe, not that it is the best. Unless of course everyone who voted has also tried all of the other major distributions.
  • It's insistence on installing X. I've got SuSE 6.3 installed on this machine (my not all singing and somewhat dancing P166) with X, lovely, fine. I have an old 486 dx4/100 though and did just a console install, and SuSE bitched incessantly about X missing, plus it claims certain dependencies which are total lies. If you install X there is a lot of stuff it says it depends on, when in reality, depending on the WM you run, you don't need it. Plus it insists on installing the ESound daemon if you let it, which is pretty dumb given my machine has no sound.

    The person who said that you should be able to configure sound easily is right. In RH you just run sndconfig and you're away. With SuSE I had to compile sound directly into the kernel. Totally ruined the unofficial "smallest kernel" competition I was having with a friend who runs RH.

  • I find all these "the best distribution" awards are really popularity contests and not really designed to show what is the best. But really, is there a best? More importantly, should there be a best?

    I dont think so on both counts. Every distribution has quirks, pros/cons, etc that turn some users on, some off, and make some indifferent. Not to mention that having one "best" distribution that *ahem* "everybody" would use would be a Bad Thing(tm) for various reasons.

    In the end, SuSE is a quite popular distribution, but the best? No, I dont think so, and I'm glad its not.

    -- iCEBaLM
  • Are you sure about that. I couldn't find a 6b RPM for any version of SuSE (I'm running 6.3).

    I manually installed it from the Red Hat RPM into a different directory. It works ok now, but everything else is linked to 6a, making a real upgrade a real pain.

    That's the only beef I have about SuSE, though.
  • ... and keeps on tickin'. &nbsp That's SuSE for ya! &nbsp I am running 4 different Linux distros (Red Hat 5.2, Caldera 1.3, Mandrake 6.5, SuSE 6.1) on 4 different machines on my home lan, plus a 5th machine has NetBSD 1.4.1, and all I have is kudos kudos kudos for my SuSE on my laptop. &nbsp I have recompiled the kernel a hundred times, installed a million apps, re-installed Netscape, oh.. &nbsp about a billion times, reinstalled KDE twice... just really did everything I could to it, 'cause this is the distro I learned on, and the damn thing keeps on going! &nbsp Unbelieveable!

    Thank you Europe for this... :-)

    P.S. - The one thing I do miss is something like Red Hat's sndconfig utility...
  • by timothy ( 36799 ) on Monday February 07, 2000 @02:10PM (#1297602) Journal
    Re: /'s comments, including "Why not LinuxOne?"

    I doubt the slashdot guys are likely to accept bribes for good press. Maybe for a chance to visit the moon -- not for a few bucks.;) Credibility (along with relevance, timeliness and interest) is their stock in trade.

    And / points out: "Clearly SuSE isn't best for all people, since last I checked Slashdot isn't running on it." Well, right -- no one says that slashdot (or anyone) is required to do whatever's currently most popular, or grabbing the most press ... the beanies sort of capture some small slice of opinion in some small slice of time. Slashdot has evolved to use what it does, and I know the authors use a variety of distributions (lots of Debian, seems like). SuSE has at least one advantage over most other distribs. that a lot of poeople have pointed out, which is the vast quantity of included software. If you don't want or need it, POOF - ignore it, it's gone! But if you want a few GB of software without tying up your modem till next Xmas, well, it's all there for the taking.

    Rankings like this are as useful as you want them to be. They won't tell you what *you* should like, but they might give you an idea of, say, what it might take to convince your boss to try it, or what distrib. might be interesting to try next time you feel like experimenting, or ... whatever you want to use them for.

    Just thoughts,

  • Ahh ... ... sure, you don't see duplicate stories that often ... but how about:

    • spelling errors
    • problematic grammar
    • bad facts

    Of the two, I think I would hold, who is the webfront for one of the largest communication companies on the planet, to a much higher standard than /.

  • The six CD's is what sold me on SuSE. I run Linux primarily on my laptop, so I can't count on having a network connection. Having a couple of gigs of utilities lying around in my laptop bag really comes in handy sometimes. It's amazing some of the stuff you find in a SuSE distro.
  • The six CD's is almost the best with SuSE.

    Its better than *icrosofts vision of information at your fingertips. Here it is for real.

    If only they could improve the setup of X and sound.
    I think that is the only place where they are lagging after the "other" so called operating system :-)
  • this is the second time I've seen *really* shitty biased copy from that guy. Who the hell is he anyway.
  • Here we go with the "When I was your age..." vein of sob stories. Cry me a fucking river. If you really feel that way, go back to Slackware 2.0, or Yggdrasil, or another old distribution.

    While you're complaining about the "corruption" of Linux, I'll be happily writing C code for my programming assignments in Cooledit with it's nice syntax highlighting, writing reports and proposals in Maxwell, playing MP3s with XMMS, making some *damn* purty graphics with the Gimp, playing Quake, watching TV with XawTV, playing SNES games with snes9x, and eagerly awaiting news that I'm (hopefully) a beta tester for Corel Draw 9. It's called progress. Cope.

    What'll you be doing?

    Probably complaining about the influx of "EVIL CORPORATIONS!!!" and "clueless idiots". Here's an idea, buddy. Stop trolling.

    I know it's a troll, but I've spent the last three minutes typing this and I really can't stand people who are really like that. Yeah, I'm venting.
  • As a Linux newbie myself (be nice, please), I have to disagree with SuSE being for vetran users. I've installed Storm, Debian, Red Hat, Mandrake, Caldera and SuSE. I think of all of the distributions so far, SuSE has been, in general, the easiest to use and setup.

    As far as the main points there though, I have to agree with everything else. Caldera is the only distro to recognize my Sound Blaster PCI 128 sound card (yeah, it's cheap - no reason to put a good card in with a suckass pair of speakers though). And browsing the CDs isn't difficult, it's damn near impossible for a newbie to understand. I'm still trying to get my sound and NIC to work.


  • All he said was "improve the GUI installer". That is by no means constructive feedback. Constructive feedback actually gives information that can help improve the system. "improve the GUI installer" only says that the poster is dissatisfied with the installer, but nothing about what aspects of it are poor or suggested ways of improving. It's only a useful statement if the authors of the software know exactly what weaknesses the poster is referring to, in which case the comment is completely unnecessary.

    If the flaws in the installer are obvious (which is implied, as no specific flaws are cited), then something as general as "improve the installer" is useless except as a simple vote. Good feedback tends to be appreciated, but that was not good feedback.
    Kevin Doherty
  • . . . and if I might add a comment, please improve the GUI installer . .

    Oh, fuck you. You can't just make the announcement without including a complaint, can you? For God's sake, not everyone is so stuck in their M$ mindset that that can't install an OS without GUI widgets.

    We all know that was bought by VA a short while ago, so now is Slashdot obligated to start knocking anything that doesn't use the VA kernel?

    Btw, have you seen the VA web site? LOL! Click on "About VA". Not only do they unecessarily put that paragraph in GIF form, but it's twelve separate GIFs. I guess that Linuxers are too l33t to use font and heading tags, huh? Not everyone has bandwidth pouring out of our asses, you know. I'm reading this on a 28.8.

    Just wait. The next site revision will just be a collection of PDFs.

  • This new poster here
    His posts are a joy to read
    I think I like it


  • I've just put a flute in my ass

    Dude, I hate to break it to you, but -- that's not a flute. And the guy that sold it to you, he's probably still walking behind you, isn't he? Now you see the truth... The flute is not magical.

    Give it a few minutes.

  • Being new at this Linux thing, I'm glad to hear that it wasn't JUST my ignorance that made installing SuSE 6.2 annoying and that seasoned users have the same trouble. Installing the normal commandline shell was dead easy (and a joy to use, I might add), but configuring X was useless. And the oft-praised SuSE helpdesk was no use either: `Your soundcard is not supported, read the instructions on the box.' Whereas they should've said `download the latest version of XFree as an RPM from our website', which, when I figured this out by myself, solved the problem. It's going to take just a little bit of extra effort before Linux is ready for a mass market, I guess.
  • I think that the installer is one of the more important thing in the distribution. Anyone with tons of "l33t skillz" can actually make slackware work, but if you want a linux desktop environment that actually works, you have to go with something that has a decent installer. Go redhat!
  • I tried using Red Hat on a server at work, but it pretty much sucked for two reasons: one was that as the machine was server it wouldn't be running X; the monitor only did 640x480 and configuring RH was awkward. If you don't have X, or if you only have telnet access, text only config tools are particularly useful. I could have survived with that, but then I bumped into the other problem: RH has no direct ISDN support. SuSE does, and it worked out of the box, so the server runs SuSE.

    One thing that annoys me slightly about SuSE: they split some of the packages up across /var, /usr and /etc (eg: apache and mysql). I (and a number of others I talked to) would much prefer them to just be left in /opt (or /usr/local), like KDE is, for example.

    We've got SuSE on a number of machines, and it's been fine. Upgrading was no problem - boot off the new CD, select upgrade and it just does it. You can of course upgrade a running system, but it takes longer (have to stop/start things).

    Multi-lingual support is very good too. There are plenty of people around here who don't speak much English (southern Germany). Und dann gibts ja au' no' Schwäbisch!

    If 6 CDs are too many, you can get it on a DVD. (No, you don't need DeCSS to read it!) Either way, that's a lot of packages - although it's a bit confusing for anyone unfamiliar with Linux in general, who is trying to choose what they want.

    I'm quite happy with SuSE, but I'm not sure I'd recommend it for beginners (unless they wanted to dive in at the deep end). I've not tried 6.3 though - I've heard that YaST2 is much nicer, but I've not had cause to upgrade yet. I'm still fine with vi!

    -- Steve

  • hey ho

    earlier today I bought SuSE 6.3 on DVD due to the fact that I managed to lose SuSE 6.1 Install disks 3 and 4 8)

    I've literally just finished installing 6.3. I've yet to reboot. Tapped in my network details and here I am!

    Anyway, just to add my 10p: SuSE is great, because it *works*. None of the ole redhat shite (I can't believe poeple put up with redhat. I have to use it at work, and it's dreadful at best. Seriously. Probably worse than that, and I've given it every chance since 4.2 (as in evaluate *every* version since 4.2))

    SuSE "works". Promise. Drop in the CD/DVD, install, and it drops into a sensible shell. You don't even need to reboot on the latest version. And to be frank. the installer is precisely 1,023,473,121 times better than the DIRE redhat effort, provided you're not phased by a little german (if you're US citizen, you'll need switch the language to english on the first screen. If you're a moron, stick to windows - it's all you deserve).

    Debian's good (providing you don't mind a 2.0.x kernel for a stable distro for the next month or two) as is Slackware (which I'd also recommend without pause but *please* avoid redhat. I can't emphasise this enough. And if you *do* have to install it, *promise* me you'll do a "minimum" and compile the rest from tarballs.

    Having said that, I wish redhat very success - some of the stuff they come out with is utterly fantastic - but the distro (generally) is dire. Great ideas, but the implementation sucks.

    (I mean that the "further up" the distro chain you go, the better redhat is. Gnome support is great, as are highre level OS functions - it's just lower down the OS that it's piss-poor)

    Anyway, sorry about the rant; it probably won't do any good, if not for the fact that SuSE is European (and NIH), and RedHat is US. Which is a shame.

    Do yourself a favour - install SuSE: and never look back! 8)

  • impressive. got root? we do. goy poot? we foo.

    shazam! oh mighty isis!
  • What are you talking about? This posting is about a ZDNet UK article, although it's not clear who actually conducted the vote. All Slashdot did is mention it.
  • I have to agree with this. The latest Linux Magazine had a head-to-head review of all the major distros. They claimed to have three different results, for beginners, intermediates and experts. However, Corel won for all three and Debian and Slackware lost of all three.

    I'm currently using Slackware, and as far as I can see, I'll stick with it indefinitely. I was not expecting it to come in first, but I didn't expect it to come in dead last by a wide margin in *all* categories. Slackware is the only distro that DOESN'T have unique features. It's the closest you could get to a "standard" linux without rolling your own.

    I still see a need for reviews, especially for newbies, but I don't see a need for reviews or awards that tries to fit every distro into a one-size-fits-all category.
  • SUSE has the OpenSound System included as one of their PAY options on the 6CD set. I think it's on CD#4. Anyway, you just run oss-install.. and boom :) Done :)
  • Re Getting Sound

    Assuming you've got SuSE 6.1 or newer (heck, it might even work with the older stuff), getting a soundblaster PCI 128 to work is *very* easy.

    Su to root, and cd to /etc

    edit conf.modules, and there should be a section pertaining to sound, with commented out soundcard modules list a little down from the top...

    uncomment out the appropriate card the lines for the es1371.o -- it will be commented as sb/pci 64/128 when you reach it.

    exit, and you can usually count on sound working right after that (it did on my system anyway).

    Just a note, the soundcard has no hardware support for midi iirc so you may have to find a different prog for that.

    Hope this helps.

    Female geek in human clothing
  • Interesting, my favorite distrib is Slack also, been using it for years now, and by no means should be come in last against any other distrib.

    Slack is small, extremely easy to download, the install can be daunting for non-experienced users, but its lean, mean, has great defaults, the init scripts are clean, etc.

    I'd suggest something about Slackware users and this train of thought, but I'd get moderated down. :)

    But really, having no centrally "best" distribution is a Good Thing(tm), those commercial apps that I notice are only for "Red Hat Linux" will start having to be more standardized.

    -- iCEBaLM
  • it doesnt mean you have to follow the trend you fucking retard. Do whatever you like - linux may be moving towards the im an idiot crowd, but there are plenty of coders who dont give a shit and code on UNIX because its the best platform there is..and lets face it - linux *is* one of the best unix development environments there is. The influx of money helps a lot of us who get free webspace at several free sites, get listings on freshmeat and have instant help via irc channels run by companies such as VA. and damn - i like having a friendly distro like redhat which i can whack on a box with the minimum of fuss that can be turned into a real unix dev environment without too much trouble - just install a couple of rpms, run a few scripts and delete off the redhat crud and youre all set.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    There were terminals in the corner of the show floor where you could make your selection. Is that what they were using to count votes for this award? I found it impossible to make some selections due to what seemed to be a software bug. For example, I was unable to vote for Debian as best distribution.

    Not to take any glory from SuSE, but I'd not take this one too seriously.



  • Yeeeee Haaaaa !!!! Yes, I like SuSE.
  • ups,
    just replace the comma in front of gz with a dot in the 2nd URL.


  • Please stop spreading misinformation about Debian. The Debian Slink distribution is not tied to a 2.0 kernel. You can compile, install, and run a 2.2 (or 2.1 or 2.3) kernel with no special tools.

  • Well everybody is complaining about sound configuration... How the heck can I do that just as simple as typin "alsaconf" on the console and then active "rcalsasound" on the boot script???

    Must be my fault then I guess 8^)

    I love the SuSE distribution because it fits my needs but its not everyones distro... Its TOO complete to fit everyones needz ;)
  • This is true with SuSe, plus if you missed something in the install you can go back and choose what you missed of one of the SIX cd's.
    This also helps people who have a low connection so they dont have to download some things of freshmeat.

    "Your village called there idiot is missing"

  • Anyway, just to add my 10p: SuSE is great, because it *works*.

    SuSE is a great distro, BUT RedHat installs on my IBM 365 laptop while the three times I've tried SuSE it failed.

  • Debian packages are much easier than the alternatives. apt-get does all the work - even finding and downloading the package file. RPM's are only slightly easier to work with than tarballs, and as more of the "easy-to-use" distributions realize this (Corel, Stormix), more packages will be available for Debian.
  • I recently (two days ago) decided to get "back into" Linux, and searched out an old Red Hat 4.1 CD. It was a little out of date, not recognising FAT-32, LS-120, my NC, my graphics, etc. So, rather than try and download all the neccasary upgrades, I decided to go out and buy a brand new distribution.

    I stood in the shop um-ing and er-ing between Suse 6.3 and Red Hat 6.1. Suse came with more CDs, so I plumped for that. :)

    The installer (YaST 2) only did half a job; it got as far as trying to configure the graphics card (where it changed over to the German language for some reason) and not much further.

    I managed to get most things working eventually (SaX really is easy) but no thanks to the useless manual (500 pages of wasted paper) or thier multitude of unnavigable CDs.

    "SuSE Linux 6.3 features a new, revised easy installation" it says on the box. Pah!

    (I suspect it was because I only had 1GB left to install it on, and it would probably have installed a lot more smoothly if I had had space for everything).
  • I agree completely.

    I am a relative neophyte, having run a couple of versions of redhat, and one less than satisfactory attempt with Debian (It may have been my hardware at the time, but I never ever did get on the internet through Debian...)

    But, after experiencing Linux through Redhat, and learning enough to get x running and do the internet thing, I found SuSE to be very nice, easy to work with, most of the things I care about very easy to set up (x and internet access) and even successfully for the first time arranged for other users on my computer to have dial up internet access without being logged in as root. I know, I know, big deal.

    Well, it was for me, and that's my point. I am a Personnel Director, not and IS director, so, am very non-computer technically talented. But, I love SuSE. msc

    "Hey ya'll, hold my beer and watch this!"
    -- Last 5 seconds recorded on black boxes installed in SUV's in Texas...

  • I installed SuSe 6.1 on virtual PC 3.0. It worked pretty well considering it was my first linux install. I had to learn a few things to get it working right, but that was to be expected. (I do have some unix experience)

    I had to figure out about the boot partion and lilo. I did have to configure X manually (load additional video driver) and then reconfigure Xserver. Also had to configure DNS too. The manual they provide is pretty good. It runs well (X could run faster though. i'm on a 400 mhz G3, and its kinda sluggish in a way emulated NT isn't)..

    Yast configured most stuff out of the box..Its was a good experience though, and I've got my "running Linux book" and am going to town learning what everything is (they're is a lot of stuff going on in linux and it isn't really intuitive). This is the price of power.

    Next up is linuxPPC when they release a new version (CD Bootable it is rumored)
  • Okay, I bought a GeForce 256 card and the install script won't work, I'm a total newbie to linux, so I dropped it there, but I'd like some help if you (or anyone else can), it just says something to the effect of (I know) bad command or file name.

    As for why I chose RedHat over SuSE: It was there, and there wasn't three new versions before I installed it.

    If I had to buy a distro, it'd be SuSE, because of the massive amount of stuff on there.


    When I got home with my New 6.1 box, I read on-line that 6.2 was out. I wasn't happy. It just left a bad taste, even though I know that's the hazards of buying open-source (or any, for that matter) software.

    I dunno, so, while my next linux installs will probably be SuSE until I get a faster net connection, I'm not happy about using 6.1, and no, I don't have the measly 30 bucks to get a new copy, because I want the manual.

  • I used to use Slackware, but I couldn't get X working properly (Maybe it's easier now?). I went to RedHat 5.2 it was pretty good and stable. I then got the GPL CD for RedHat 6.0 and found it was pretty dodgey, so I went down to the computer shop and there was a RedHat 6.1 boxed set for $199 but the sales guy (who never tried any Linux before but wants to) said there is a new SuSE 6.2 just come in and it was only $99, but since at that time I had my heart set on RedHat I didn't want to buy SuSE. Then I went to another computer shop and found the Deluxe Edition of Mandrake 6.1 for $79 and so since I knew it was compatible with (and optimised for Pentiums) RedHat. So I decided to buy it, it came with Star Office 5.1 and heaps of other cool stuff and now I don't need windows at all (except at work because they make me use it 8( ). Anyway Mandrake rocks, but I don't think I'll upgrade to 7 just yet.
  • I agree with all that - except running "alsaconfig" is not too bad.

    I just installed 6.3 for the first time on two machines, one laptop, one desktop, both microns.

    Things that went wrong:

    1)the pcmcia start script hangs the laptop, even devoiding a reboot. After the first part of the install (both installers) I had to drop to single user mode and comment the script out.

    2)the dhclient init script did not work right from a symbolic link. Had to hack it.

    3)What? "default" installation includes no lp? (print spooler)

    4)choosing too many checkboxes in yast2 can be harzardous to your health. Just get the box booting first before you load it up.

    5)Consider 1GB of disk space a bare mininum. What's eating it all up? Auto-partitioning makes too big of a swap space.

    On the plus side:

    1)God, I love staroffice!

    2)sax rocks!

    3)It beats redhat anyday.

    Pardon me while I go format my NT box now...
  • I do find suse to be pretty good, but youre missing some other flaws:

    Most RPM's are written for redhat so anything using rc.d's need to be rewritten for suse, which is a pain.

    I can usually find new rh-rpm's faster than suse ones. They're simply released faster because of the number of people using them.

    As for pluses:
    Yast's heirarchial installer is beautiful.
  • >> "a" == api writes:

    a> I suspect Europeans love SuSE because its half dozen CD's save a> DAYS of download time over those state owned and/or regulated a> wires. Sometimes throwing in the kitchen sing is a good a> thing. API

    I don't think that is important: I pay by the hour for Internet access (in Switserland) but it's only the equivalent of 35 dollarcent per hour (and the ISP is free) so downloading the ISO still is much cheaper than buying the distribution.

  • Because I haven't got an Internet connection, I have upgraded to SuSE 6.3 by only using CDs that were bundled with some German magazines, like PC Intern and Chip. I had to use some dirty tricks in DOS to let the single SuSE63 "evaluation" CD boot YaST1 - YaST2 just could only install a fresh SuSE 6.3, not upgrade from SuSE 6.2. There's definitely some work in there.
    By the way, is there a way to customize SuSEconfig (which is automatically started by YaST)? It always overwrites manually edited files in the /etc dir with YaST's general settings, and personally I don't need it to always regenerate the HTML help database.
    Overall, I do enjoy running SuSE and its wealth of applications. It has weird directories like /usr/doc/packages instead of /usr/doc, but in itself it is a beautiful system. SuSE really tries to deliver something complete. (OSS can't be upgraded together with a new kernel version, though.. then you need a real 4Front license, and my cheap isapnp AZT2320-card is fully supported by OSS only)
  • By the way, is there a way to customize SuSEconfig (which is automatically started by YaST)? It always overwrites manually edited files in the /etc dir with YaST's general settings, and personally I don't need it to always regenerate the HTML help database.
    Yeah, and it's even documented! ;-).
    Seriously I'm not in linux atm, but look in one of the "master" config files in etc.
    If my memory serves right, it's rc.config. There's one option "ENABLE_SUSECONFIG=yes",
    and if you read the comment, you'll figure out.
    OTOH, you could try an educated guess ;->.
  • ISDN in europe if far more used than in the states
    and SuSE has the best tools for configurating ISDN

  • Good or not, but as long as they do not GPL the YAST, it is not going to run on my machine.

    I consider it utterly inexcuseable to put any other licence than the plain old GPL onto such a crucial pieces of software as installers and system-configurators. Especially installer: Since you cannot install a system withouth it, in effect YAST-licence becomes a licence of the whole SuSE distribution. This is imoral.

  • Well, ok, it can be upgraded to a debian mirror by someone who knows what they're doing! :-)

    I certainly had to intervene when upgrading to potato.. it required some hacking, mainly whilst switching between "conf.modules" and "modutils", but then again anyone going from slink to potato will have the same problem.

    Dunno about libc's, the machine that went through this is to my right, and the person behind it isn't complaining about much. Only problem I found is that when upgrading you lose corel's "hacked" version of KDE where you can dock the taskbar into the panel (is this opensource? I hope so, cause it's cool).
  • I am pretty sure it beat out RedHat, Debian and all the others because the competition was held over in Europe. SuSE is a German-based distro, while none of the others are. BTW- SuSE 6.1 ruled, SuSE 6.3 sucked. Why??? For starters, the directory structure is wacked and it screws up most of the poorly configured GNU-Autoconf applications, making compiling a pain in the ass. Or maybe I am just dumb.
  • ESR believes passionately in Open source and I see nothing wrong with that. Why do you mock someone how has worked so hard for the Linux community! And anyway I think you'll find he runs Red Hat [].
  • Starting with SuSE 6.0, sound support was already compiled into the kernel-- you just had to know where to look..

    At least that's what their webpage told me... After a couple man-years hacking away trying to get my antique SB16 to work, I just installed (and bought) a license to OSS!

    It's a good thing too. By the way, what is "C" code?

  • Thanks, I'll try it when I get home tonight.

  • I don't think that is important: I pay by the hour for Internet access (in Switserland) but it's only the equivalent of 35 dollarcent per hour (and the ISP is free) so downloading the ISO still is much cheaper than buying the distribution.

    In Germany it's more like $2 - $3 per hour for telephone charges alone. At ISDN speeds you're talking about 145 hours (assuming app. 4 GBytes) which costs at least $300. And that's to say nothing of having my bandwidth tied up that long, which even if it weren't expensive, would justify it for me to pay $40 for the full distro with docs, support, etc

  • You're right about that. I checked out the license for YaST2 over the weekend (totally on the spur of the moment) and was relatively disgusted that it was a custom roll-your-own license that restricts distribution, therefore fails the <a href=" delines">Debian-Free guidelines</a>.

    Pity, as with it the way it is no-one would want to hack it and make it work better, even if the rest of the distro is tolerable.
  • I suppose LinuxWorld voters are mostly comprised of new users, and those who would do personal computing such as internet browsing and writing documents, storing files, listening to mp3, etc.

    Of course, that cannot weigh against the SuSe distribution, since making it easier and friendly for people is extremely good for free software (some prefer calling it open source). That is one of the necessities for reaching the masses out there.

    After all, most of the Linux users are now interested in normal, everyday, personal computing! It's almost the same user profile as Windows or Mac users! Still, we may hold the largest developer/user ratio. And that's just why Linux has the best technical support! 1 out of 20 people using Linux will be highly skilled in computing, either as a developer, as an artist, or as a webmaster, etc. And although suse's graphical installer is far from perfect (as I understand), it does appeal to the typical Linux user.

    On the other hand, I don't know if slashdot people are biased towards SuSe distro, but personally I like the Debian distro because it's highly geared towards developers, and I am a developer! I think, among developers, Debian would get the highest vote. We should also not forget that it's outstanding as *the* free distribution, so to speak, but that's not the only reason to go for Debian.
  • I have to agree having used and installed RH(I've been using it since version 1(!) and had 6.1 on one of my desktop boxes), OpenLinux, Debian and Suse 6.3. SuSe clearly provides more features and a more complete package of software than any of the others (I admit I haven't tried all of them).

    The one drawback to SuSe is their installation utilities, YAST 1 & 2. YAST 1 provides a somewhat flexible TTY based installation, but still prevents you from specifying exactly what you want to install. At least it allows you to specify more than one partition. YAST 2 is easy to use, but completely brain dead in its approach to partitioning (let alone package selection). I started to install using it, but after seeing what I would be forced to do, installed with YAST 1. RH 6.1 has a much better installation tool, too bad you can't mix and match. In fairness, I haven't seen Debian's last 2 releases and only installed OpenLinux once at a customer site last summer (hated it). One "feature" all of the Linux distributions' installation tools seem to share is brittleness. None of them recover from mistakes well.

    I prefer to put /, /usr and /home on separate partitions. This way, I can blow away everything except /home and still keep MY stuff untouched. I suppose you could put everything on just / & /home and achieve the same thing
  • While it's true that a single install is always desirable, it isn't always the case. In the modern office Linux may have to be instaled several dozen times because there are several dozen machines to install it on. This makes ease of installation desirable.

    There is also the possibility of hardware problems requiring a reinstall (I have seen numerous hard drives die).

    So, from an idealistic standpoint, Linux should have to be installed once, but from a more realistic standpoint, even a bulletproof OS needs a simple installer, because there are other reasons to install it.

    Of course I reinstall Linux every few months on my machine, but I'm trying out every distribution I can get my hands on, and I like to start fresh each time as it is a fairer test.
  • I am pretty sure it beat out RedHat, Debian and all the others because the competition was held over in Europe.
    The publication reporting this is European (ZDnet UK), but the competition was at LinuxWorld Expo, in NYC.
  • y3w 4r3 gn0t 3l33t V/\/l3ss y3w c4n m4k3 X w3rk
    1n 5l4ckw4r3 0.99pl4


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  • Hmm. I went crazy trying to find a libjpeg that kept SuSE 6.2 and Enlightenment 16.0 and various other stuff happy simultaneously. Eventually I faked it for E 16.0 by creating a symlink called "" and pointing it at the SuSE supplied "". If an RPM wants some other version of libjpeg, using a similar trick seems to be the workaround.
  • Not exactly. The installer is also the way you upgrade. Given the way Linux advances, you have to install lots of times. Unfortunately, upgrades are one of the places SuSE isn't quite as strong as they might be (I keep a list of about 20 things I have to do every time upgrade, things like relinking /dev/mouse, selecting US paper sizes, and integrating my changes to /etc /files).
  • i just bought suse 6.3, and after installing, uninstalling, partitioning and eventually running OpenLinux with Win98 on the same machine, i felt quite confident in my ability to install linux. little did i know. 6.3 comes on a dvd packed with so many installations that my 6 gig HD couldn't hold them all. eventually i resorted to installing the default package and nothing else, figuring i could upgrade later. well after over 18 hours with yast and yast2 i still could not get kde configured to run properly. after 3 e-mails to tech support (i paid $50 for that priveledge) rereading the hundreds of pages long manual, purchasing SuSE 6.2 for dummies and SuSE Unleashed, i still couldn't solve my configuration problems (although i had narrowed it down to a hardware problem with my video card (surprise surprise)). i had checked the distribution box though, and my video card was listed as supported hardware. just as i was about to give up the ever handy altavista came to my rescue (after running across several distressing discussion posts from people with my same problem) with an obscure link to my video card (ati rage 128). turns out the link led to the SuSE support archives and low and behold i found out that "unfortunately the X server [for the ati card] is missing on the US version of SuSE Linux 6.3" but i could download the driver (xrage.rpm). after all of this i definately not recommend SuSE to the faint of heart. although my problem may be obscure, i still have gotten no response from tech support, and their only US number is long distance. buyer be warned i guess.
  • I've been a SuSE user for about two years now, off and on, and only lately more on than off. I became committed to SuSE's distro when it configured X for me (6.1, maybe? Kernel 2.2.5 is all I recall for sure) and I didn't have to go through the migraine of getting it configured and running myself.

    If anything, 6.3 may be too easy to install ... I prefer a commandline prompt, and wasn't given the option to boot to ASCII during the much-too-simple-to-screw-up graphical install.

    Yes, this is a mighty step forward in getting Linux to the masses; installation was quick and painless, with minimal intervention required. And while I'll continue to fret about the dumbing-down of software to the lowest common user, the fact is that Linux installs have to be simplified if it's going to take over the desktop.

    My first Linux install was an old Yggdrasil system, kernel 1.0.something, on a 20MHz 386SX with a whopping 4Mb RAM. Sure, it was a pain (don't even ask how long it took to recompile the kernel on that thing), and it was something that I honestly have to admit that the average user wouldn't have the patience to do.

    The patience factor has now been taken out of the equation. All anyone has to do now is answer a few simple queries, swap out some CDs, and they've got a system that boots straight to X. The most complicated thing an end user is now expected to know is how to get into BIOS to make the system boot from CD.

    And still ... I worry. I don't want to see Linux get dumbed down strictly for the purpose of competing with Microsoft -- if that happens, Microsoft wins anyway.

    I see the results of lowest-common-denominator coding every day -- I wouldn't have a job in tech support if Microsoft wrote code that encouraged users to think about what they were doing as opposed to making them helpless the first time their mouse conks out. Point and click is convenient, but it's also mindless.

    The long and short of it is - huzzah for SuSE, who IMO deserves the best distribution recognition; it's the most reliable release I've used, a straight up config is easy, and all the tools are there for the more complex configurations ... just make sure they stay there.

    ikaros, anyone who says ignorance is bliss has not seen our call center stats.

  • Dead on right, nullspace. I make a point of referencing a SuSE preference only when asked about which distribution to use, and even then I prefer not to say what I perceive is 'wrong' with other distros but what's right with my choice.

    I think the only right response to the question of Linux vs. Windows is Linux without having to qualify it further. Distributions are for simplifying installations, and should be treated as siblings, not rivals. If the Linux community fragments into RH vs SuSE vs Corel vs Debian vs FreeBSD vs Slack vs whatever, Gates wins.

    ikaros, off to learn the esoterica of maintaining one's own domain.

Receiving a million dollars tax free will make you feel better than being flat broke and having a stomach ache. -- Dolph Sharp, "I'm O.K., You're Not So Hot"