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SuSE Businesses Linux Business

Upcoming SuSE 9.0 Professional Reviewed 204

molarmass192 writes "Open magazine has the first review I've seen of the upcoming SuSE 9.0 (or should that be SUSE 9.0 now?) Professional distribution. To summarize, they are impressed with the upgrades to Yast (it's fully integrated into the KDE control panel), Samba integration, Winmodem support, network configuration management, and performance. It's not the most thorough review I've ever read, but it's an interesting look at what to expect for those who have preordered SuSE 9.0."
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Upcoming SuSE 9.0 Professional Reviewed

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  • Oh Suse Q (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 22, 2003 @06:31PM (#7285266)
    "Oh SUSE Q, oh SUSE Q!
    Oh SUSE Q, Version 9.2, SUSE Q."
  • ... that perhaps the most secure and enterprise-friendly Linux release gets previewed on the same day Steve Ballmer slanders Linux as non-secure?
  • by numbski ( 515011 ) * <numbski@hkGINSBERGsilver.net minus poet> on Wednesday October 22, 2003 @06:36PM (#7285304) Homepage Journal
    Unless they've changed something, they have a habit of having everything including the kitchen sink included.

    I guess that's good. Most everything is behind a version or two by the time it hits your hands though (in the past).

    Perhaps I'm simply spoiled by the FreeBSD ports collection (any good package manager really) where I run cvsup to get the ports collection current, then I can either build from source or pkg_add -r pkgname and install the binary quickly across a network.

    Don't take this a knock though, SuSE was the *nix that I learned on, and it's still awesome. Just seems somewhat unwieldy to bundle so much software in that is going to go out of date so quickly.

    Great for situations without net access though.
    • I purchased 8.0 pro when it came out and ran it for some time, yast2 did an execllent job in keeping the system updated but I soon wanted upgrades to applications on my system. I soon moved on to other distros where I could upgrade on the fly. Slackware 9.1 with swaret keeps me happy now.
    • by reallocate ( 142797 ) on Wednesday October 22, 2003 @07:35PM (#7285779)
      Agree that SuSE is a great distribution, and the FreeBSD is good enough to spoil me, too.

      Remember, tho, that it's a European product. All those binaries are in there because, first, it's a great selling point, and, second, because bandwidth costs more in Europe. Systems like ports or emerge are only viable when bandwidth costs are negligible. That's why all those European Linux magazine stick CD's and DVD's on their covers.
      • by Anonymous Coward
        I am only sure about Germany, but flat-rate DSL connections are available pretty much everywhere in the coutry, for reasonable prices. I also know that the Scandinavian countries have decent connections as well, supposedly faster/cheaper than in Germany. Former east european countries may be behind a bit tho. But in general it wrong to say European internet users lack cheap bandwidth.
    • by Kaimelar ( 121741 ) on Wednesday October 22, 2003 @08:23PM (#7286111) Homepage
      Perhaps I'm simply spoiled by the FreeBSD ports collection (any good package manager really) where I run cvsup to get the ports collection current, then I can either build from source or pkg_add -r pkgname and install the binary quickly across a network.

      Don't take this a knock though, SuSE was the *nix that I learned on, and it's still awesome. Just seems somewhat unwieldy to bundle so much software in that is going to go out of date so quickly.

      This is why I love APT for SuSE [linux01.gwdg.de]. A simple

      sudo 'apt-get update; apt-get upgrade'

      and I have the current versions of everything -- just like using the ports tree in FreeBSD. Check it out, you might find it interesting. And it respects the RPM database, so you can still use YaST or install/remove RPMs manually if you want.

  • It's great! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by pumpknhd ( 575415 )
    People may ask why we should shell out money to pay for open source programs...well, open source doesn't mean free source. Someone had to put in their time and energy programming this stuff. And since most of us haven't contributed to the source code, we could at least support those who have. :)
    • Yes we should support people who produce open source, and not just the big projects like Samba, Apache, Rsync, etc. I have software included in the SuSE professional edition that I wrote.

      When it's displayed in Yast there's a field for Author name / Homepage. Do you think those fields give me credit? Do you think I even got an email from SuSE? Do you think I might have received a free boxed copy?

      Nope.

      I only noticed as a colleague pointed it out to me when setting up a SuSE professional box to install

      • That's why I no longer feel guilty about downloading Gentoo instead of buying commercial distributions. SuSE is my favorite, and I've bought a couple of their versions; but they go out of date really fast. When they change one of the base libraries (glibc?), you're forced to update almost everything, and that's a real pain when you only have a modem connection.

        I sometimes think that the commercial linux vendors should offer free copies to open-source developers. But I also fear that that might be most o
    • Re:It's great! (Score:1, Informative)

      by jester42 ( 623276 )
      • And since most of us haven't contributed to the source code, we could at least support those who have. :)
      Excuse me, but this is real bullshit. You don't pay the programmers, you only pay for somebody who takes open source projects and makes a nice compilation of programs. Plus you get the media, some handbook and installation support.
      • Re:It's great! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by big tex ( 15917 ) <torsionalityNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Wednesday October 22, 2003 @07:25PM (#7285693)
        Bzzzzt. Try again.

        As a SuSE user who has been buying boxed sets since 6.1, I know that I am helping to support KDE, ReiserFS, and so on. SuSE supports full-time KDE developers, so I _am_ paying the programmers.
        Plus, I really like YaST, so I pay for it.

        Also,it's more than "some handbook". It's a frickin' set of doorstops compared to any other reference manuals that I've seen come in a boxed set.
      • Re:It's great! (Score:5, Informative)

        by kris ( 824 ) <kris-slashdot@koehntopp.de> on Thursday October 23, 2003 @01:18AM (#7288017) Homepage
        Excuse me, but this is real bullshit. You don't pay the programmers, you only pay for somebody who takes open source projects and makes a nice compilation of programs. Plus you get the media, some handbook and installation support.

        Suse happens to pay programmers that work on the Kernel, particularly the ISDN interface, the RAID drivers and many other areas. Suse also sponsors reiserfs, several KDE subprojects and a lot of other projects. That's you money at work.

        Kristian
  • Couple more reviews (Score:5, Informative)

    by jubalj ( 324624 ) on Wednesday October 22, 2003 @06:37PM (#7285317) Homepage
    Actually there are atleast two more reviews of SuSe 9.0
    Mad penguin review [madpenguin.org]
    german review [pl-berichte.de] (translation [altavista.com])

    - Jj

  • by Anonymous Coward
    I've got a copy of Libranet 2.8.1 on my spare computer here. 128 Mb RAM, 366 SillyCelery, nVidia 32 Mb card, running KDE. It's snappy. It's slick. It works. It sets a very high standard. OK, OO takes 37 seconds to start up, but otherwise it's OK. Libranet sets a very high standard.

    That compliment does not come easily. I typeset annual reports in WP Win, use Paradigm database manager, dream in Excel macros, am a regular customer of InfoUSA mailing lists, use and despise WinWord and Netscape, and li
  • by Billly Gates ( 198444 ) on Wednesday October 22, 2003 @06:46PM (#7285389) Journal
    I use to use SuSE in the past. It has become quite slow and bloated, even on my athlonXP.

    I switched to Freebsd because its slim and lightening fast. I have a hunch its mainly its own version of xinet and yast that slows things. I wonder if it could be faster and if it is, if I should switch?

    • I use to use SuSE in the past. It has become quite slow and bloated, even on my athlonXP.

      I know what you mean, but the problem was not SuSE, it was KDE. Newer versions of KDE are much better, or you could use one of the lightweight WMs and enjoy the related performance boost.

      I don't know how that compares to FreeBSD though.

      • Well, if he was using KDE under SuSE *and* FreeBSD, then his perception of speed differences was not due to KDE.

        (and I suspect the difference probably isn't the kernels either, but related to the default packages and services the respective systems install by default)
    • Well, Yast doesn't run as a background process with the exception of "auto-updates" which I disabled. Yast is ok but I prefer to configure my setup manually and keep all my configs backed up in CVS. I also use inetd instead of xinetd. Another thing is that as of 8.2 (could have been 8.1) SuSE provides a kernel optimized for your CPU instead of a generic i586 one. This default i586 target probably explains the slowness you noticed. As for switching, if you're comfortable and happy with FreeBSD then why bothe
      • I'm a happy SuSE 8.2 user who switched to FreeBSD and cancelled a 9.0 preporder. (The jury is still out, tho.) I'm noticing no subjective performace differences between the two.

        I believe the installed kernel isn't replaced until the first online update. Is that update available to people who haven't purchased SuSE?
        • I wonder if it has something to the with the Professional vs. the Standard distro. I know for a fact that there's are at least 2 kernels on the DVD included with the Professional distro, one being an Athlon specific target. I never used the CDs so I don't know if that's the case on those.
  • Torrent (Score:3, Flamebait)

    by Unregistered ( 584479 ) on Wednesday October 22, 2003 @06:50PM (#7285428)
    Does anyone have the torrent for the live-eval cd yet?

    Also, do they actually think that people buy it since they can't download an install iso instead of just using a differnet distro like drake?
    • Freeloaders (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Also, do they actually think that people buy it since they can't download an install iso instead of just using a differnet distro like drake?

      Actually they *know* people buy it whether or not they'd offer a free ISO download. Also what's this obsession with ISO downloads? SuSE install images would span at least 7 ISO image files. They offer the entire FTP/SAMBA-based install set of files for free download, about 6GB worth, so the total download btye-count to get yourself a freeloader's install-base is abou
      • I download the ISO's so that I can use them as virtual CDs in many situations. Right now my Linux\Distros directory has RedHat, Gentoo, Slackware, Debian, SuSE, TinyLinux and Smoothwall in it. That's a lot of GB just full of ISOs and accumulated driver sources. I keep that HD formatted to fat32 so that I can use it read/write in Lin/Win.

        Mount them after booting from a floppy and installing the system
        Mount them with alcohol and share them in windows (or indeed FTP as you suggested)
        Mount the ISOs as virtua

    • I bought it for good support, reliable updates, and great documentation. It's worth 60 bucks.
      • I am happy with my current distro (gentoo), but when new users ask me what distro to recommend, i feel like i can't recommend SuSE as most new users don't want to go through all the trouble to do the FTP install an don't see the reason to pay for linux which they can easily get free elsewhere.
        • SuSE adds value by delivering more than 1000 pages of excellent documentation (beats getting half-baked advice rom the web);a well-tuned configuration; and a working update system.

          If people don't think that's worth paying for, that's their decision. I suspect SuSE figurs they havent lost a sale, anyway, since people who expect Linux to cost nothing, as well as being free, aren't much of a market.
    • Re:Torrent (Score:5, Informative)

      by np_bernstein ( 453840 ) on Wednesday October 22, 2003 @08:35PM (#7286197) Homepage


      I've never understood why people care about the iso thing. You can do a ftp install off of two floppies, or burn the ftp/http/etc install cdrom and use that.

      FTP Install Instructions [suse.com]

      • From your link:
        "This SuSE Linux 8.2 installation tree is suitable for installation via ftp, http, nfs, smb or hard disk."

        I don't think that's the same version the rest of us are talking about. ;)

        They don't have 9.0 available for free download yet, and they usually don't make the new versions available until the software on them is horribly out-dated.

        That's what other people are complaining about.

        And that's what they mean when they say "Does SUSE expect people to pay for it instead of just using somethin
    • Ah.. torrent? The live-eval's already on most of the mirrors they got, right from the suse page. And anything with a .gov or a .edu gives out enough speed for me to get a copy in 12 minutes...
    • It tends to come out after the box, however. And it doesn't include the entire distro. It's mostly just a bootstrap to get the installation going, the rest is downloaded over the net.

      Also, do they actually think that people buy it since they can't download an install iso instead of just using a differnet distro like drake?

      Anyone who has used SuSE won't switch to a toy like Mandrake.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I wonder which distro will reach version "X" (10) first. In my eyes, to be hounered the "X" title, the distro must
    • Ship with Kernel 2.6, with support for the most obscurest hardware.
    • Gnome 2.6 (that means decent file dialog and banishing gconf-editor and metacity)
    • KDE 3.2 (Yes, KDE 3.2 alpha is pretty good, surley an XP beater. The Crystal SVG 0.9 theme is perfect!)
    • Use a package manger like urpmi, yum, apt-rpm (not apt-get, that uses a non standard package format)
    • Has the command line stripped out with
    • Do you even remember OS X 10.0? It's not the uber-leet 10.2 we all know and love today. Yes, it was leeps and bounds ahead of previous macos versions, but it didn't play dvds, it was slow as shit on older hardware, and it still looked and felt as clunky as os9. a lot has changed since then.
    • What are you talking about? Gnome 2.6 will not be dropping metacity or gconf-editor, since they serve their purposes very well. What exactly is wrong with them? If you want new features, request them, but don't just badmouth them. Sounds to be like you prefer KDE anyway (IMO Crystal is butt ugly, but I really like Plastik!).

      Also, since when is debian a non-standard package format? It's used by more than just debian these days, and who sets these standards anyway? I don't see your problem with apt-get, espe
    • Has the command line stripped out with EVERYTHING

      You had me going until then, but this last one makes me say "no thanks." Just today in the lab I had to pull up the command shell in XP. Why the double standard?
    • by PReDiToR ( 687141 ) on Wednesday October 22, 2003 @08:19PM (#7286088) Homepage Journal

      Working on the assumption that you didn't put this in just to troll ...

      Has the command line stripped out with EVERYTHING, I MEAN EVERYTHING possible for the GUI, NO EXCEPTIONS, not even for Emacs zealots)

      There you go, spoiling it. You described the perfect OS until you said that.

      The command line is NECESSARY you dolt. Necessary, as in, can't live without. As in no matter how pretty you make your OS it still runs on text, and you have to get to that text sometimes. If you want nothing but pictures, grab the funnypages. In this world the command line lets you fix problems that arise in ways that they never teach you in college. Its the command line that keeps people like me in employment while kids straight out of university are still scratching their heads over how to write shell scripts.

    • I have no complaint with anything you say *except* the line about the stripped command line. You need that. Even OS X has emacs and nvi preinstalled. Other handy things are there too. ssh, openssl(for checksumming), and telnet.
    • Has the command line stripped out
      So, with a GUI, how do I do

      for i in $(find ~/altimetry ~/SSH-anomalies -name "*.gif" -type f); do convert $i `dirname $i`/`basename $i .gif`.png; done

      Show me that GUI, and I'll abandon the command line.
  • Hardware detection (Score:5, Interesting)

    by rpozz ( 249652 ) on Wednesday October 22, 2003 @06:54PM (#7285460)
    I dunno if it's mentioned on the /.ed review, but when I tried out the live-evaluation CD, it auto-detected every single piece of hardware in my machine and configured it automatically withou asking me a single question about it. Why the hell can't windows do this?!
    • by Angram ( 517383 )
      I had a similar experience, but I was a bit let down when it taunted me with Windows (XP) drives. It found them all and added them to my desktop, but since they're NTFS, they won't open. Exactly what the benefit of adding unusable links on the desktop/workspace is, I don't know.
      • Note that the final release of SuSE 9.2 will contain a 2.6 kernel for testing. I think 2.6 supports read/write to NTFS volumes, maybe they're just setting up the desktop ready.
        • The newest kernel, that I've used anyway (2.6-test8-mm1), can write safely to NTFS only over existing files and only if the resulting file is the same size as the original file. This may be useful to some, but I'm not optimistic that safe NTFS writing will be coming anytime soon.
    • by Phoinix ( 666047 )
      The question is

      Why the hell can't Debian do this?
  • Sounds sort of like the reviewer never actually used previous SuSE versions, but just copied marketting blurb claims. He makes a big deal about how new it is that SUSE 9.0 does....exactly the same thing that the 8.2 I'm running at home does.

    Namely it set up dual boot with Windows XP and mounted the NTFS file systems read-only.
  • I'm a SuSE 8.2 user, and while YaST is very, very nice, I still feel it's missing one feature. In Windows XP, it automatically detects wireless networks, and configuration is as easy as clicking on network "so-and-so."

    I know about programs like airsnort, but when will a distro build this feature in? Wireless networking is still a major pain in Linux :(
    • Have you tried Mandrake 9.2. It features wireless network configuration and automatic detection during installation. Redhat 9.0 also has WiFi features.
    • nope. Thanks for the info! Is the detection only during installation, or can I access it in Mandrake Config (or whatever it's called)? I've really been wanting to install Mandrake on my laptop.
    • I've found it far more of a pain in Windows, especially when using WEP. In Linux I just type my WEP code into a file in /etc; it stays there, doesn't get "lost" etc. In Windows all the adapters I've ever used come with a really stupid utility without which the card doesn't work in various ways but which interferes with the "other" (built-in) bit of Windows' wlan support and screws things up.
      All the adapters I've tried have been auto-detected under Mandrake 9.2, knoppix 3.3 and gentoo, except the ADMtek-bas
  • by jamesots ( 214246 ) on Wednesday October 22, 2003 @06:58PM (#7285494) Homepage
    I've just installed SuSE 9.0 on my laptop this evening. I wasn't sure if it would be worth upgrading from 8.2 as the changes didn't seem that major, but I like to support SuSE since they do such a good job, and I've bought every version since 7.2 so it seemed like a shame to stop now...

    Anyway, I copied all my important data onto the server downstair, stuck the disk in a did a full install. (I've always done an upgrade before, but I thought it was about time to have a clean sheet again).

    I was really impressed with the installation - went really smoothly, and detected nearly all my hardware straight off, with only the Wacom graphics tablet not detected. It was improved over previous versions in that it gave options for connecting to networks and authentication via LDAP and stuff like that. One of the last things it offered to do was connect to the internet to get the latest updates, which I allowed it to do. It also got the proper NVidia drivers and the MS TTF fonts.

    I did the usual fiddling to get the display exactly how I like it, copied the data back from the server and I have a fully working system again.

    Now I'm starting to notice the improvements. The first thing I noticed was the considerable improvement in boot speed. The next thing I noticed was how the fonts were all looking really nice without me having to change any settings. (Although I have now changed to Bitstream Vera because I prefer that).

    Then I plugged my camera in, and a new icon appeared on the desktop for it automatically. (I tried to ages to get 8.2 to do that).

    My samba connection to the server is working without me having to fiddle with any settings.

    I'll admit it's early doors yet, but so far things are looking really good, and I'm very pleased I upgraded.
    • Then I plugged my camera in, and a new icon appeared on the desktop for it automatically. (I tried to ages to get 8.2 to do that).
      Don't know what which one of us is the exception, but it worked perfectally fine for me in 8.2. Maybe different camera model support?
  • by rixstep ( 611236 ) on Wednesday October 22, 2003 @06:59PM (#7285504) Homepage
    I think I'll wait to see what Steve Ballmer says. Odds are he'll discover that SuSE/SUSE is just as insecure as all the other Linuxes.

    Better safe than sorry.
  • Of course the sources will be available but they won't offer an installable distribution for free.

  • Heh. So much for "objective and unbiased." But as a SuSE fan, I do understand.
  • I would like to install Linux on my IBM 390e Thinkpad. But, what's holding me back is little to no wireless support. I mean, it's supported. But I can't find any devices that are "plug n play" with existing destros (such as Red Hat 9 and the like)
  • I'm switching over to SuSE since the professional Athlon64 version is within the budget of mortals. Red Hat's Advance Server 3.0 for workstations (the cheapest they've got with Athlon64 support) costs $792(!) which is out of my league.
  • hmm in wonder how this compares to sun's mad hatter which has also been getting alot of press these days
  • How they always try to blame the lack of support for NTFS, and windows not reading linux partitions, on linux? Wouldn't this be Windows fault for not bothering to admit there are other operatating systems in the world that people might need to use now and then?
  • Nice upgrade (Score:5, Interesting)

    by AaronW ( 33736 ) on Wednesday October 22, 2003 @09:50PM (#7286822) Homepage
    As a long-time SuSE Linux user it sounds like 9 is a nice upgrade. I've already ordered the upgrade from 8.2 to 9.

    My experience with SuSE was that 8.0 was good, 8.1 was buggy, and 8.2 has been quite stable. They addressed many of my complaints about missing modules in YaST in 9.0, which is good. I also like the fact that they're using GCC 3.3.1, which IMO is *much* more stable than 3.3 or the pre-3.3 SuSE included in 8.2 (although 3.3.2 was just released).

    I've already upgraded my SuSE 8.2 to use KDE 3.1.4 (which is available via FTP from the supplementary section of the SuSE FTP site (and mirrors), and have found it to be quite stable. It looks like SuSE 9.0 is basically just an evolutionary step from 8.2. I think the release number should really have been 8.3, although I guess they're under pressure from Redhat. I also like the fact that they backport a lot of features from the 2.6 kernel back to 2.4 (the SuSE kernel scheduler is basically taken straight from 2.6). When Linus came out with the interactive patch that makes X much more responsive I was able to verbatim take the patch and apply it to the SuSE Linux kernel.

    I also love the fact that SuSE comes on DVD. It's nice to not have to swap between lots of CDs when installing various packages.

    And finally, YaST is a great tool that always surprises me. Last night I went to enable telnet and rlogin support on a machine in our lab (security is no issue) in xinetd and Yast immediately requested that I install the appropriate CD and installed the RPM packages required (they were not already installed).

    -Aaron
  • This sounds a lot more like 8.3 to me.

    They upped from 7.x to 8.x when we got into KDE 3... there's no tremendous new version of anything important except YaST.

    • Re:9.0? (Score:2, Interesting)

      by ckuehnast ( 718332 )
      SuSE's version numers actually have a meaning - they are linked to the release date.
      9.0 just means "ninth year, first release".
      This explains why there has never been a SuSE x.5 or higher in all those years...
  • SuSE 9.0 sounds interesting. Maybe it's time I give SuSE a roll.

    On an OT note, that's a different approach to doing graphs, using two images and some rollover javascript. I must say, it didn't work for me. I kept mistaking them for adverts.

    Go ahead, mod this down now...
  • Sounds great, and I'm about to order it.

    But can anybody tell me the difference between the full professional version and the upgrade? As far as I can make out from the website, the only difference is that with the upgrade you don't get the user manual.

    Does it actually check during the install if you have a previous version? Hey, if it does that's fine with my, I have a full 7.3, I was just wondering though. I mean, if it doesn't, why doesn't everybody just get the upgrade version, or shouldn't I be say
    • Re:I want it bad (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Frodo420024 ( 557006 )
      But can anybody tell me the difference between the full professional version and the upgrade?

      I checked with my distributor, and the disk set is identical. No 'Check for previous version' sillyness. What differs are the manuals - you get an upgrade manual that (presumably) outlines the main differences from the previous version. I think this is in good Linux / Open Source spirit. The price diff is less than I'd pay for two Linux books at my bookstore anyway, and I'm very content to let the excess money go

  • by Frodo420024 ( 557006 ) <henrik&fangorn,dk> on Thursday October 23, 2003 @02:50PM (#7293417) Homepage Journal
    Just found this:

    Furthermore, no license costs are incurred for the installation on multiple machines or for software subject to the GPL (General Public License).

    on their 10 reasons to switch [suse.com] page. Cool.

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