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Old 05-23-2011, 12:31 AM   #1
jsgroup
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Switching to OpenSUSE 11.4 Newbie


Hello everyone, newbie here, need your advice.

I'm thinking of switching from Windows Xp to OpenSUSE 11.4 (Desktop). I notice very good response to it. However, I do realize the software to do certain jobs like downloading or even office suite might be different. So maybe someone (or sometwo) can give me some advice on:-

What's the best :-
1. Downloader - For general downloading (usually use IDM on windows)

2. Office suite - i use microsoft office in windows.

3. Media player - I use Gom and VLC on windows.

4. Browser - I use mozilla in windows

5. PDF reader and converter (word to PDF)

7. Sound, Image, Video Editor (or producer)

8. Defrag - i use deffragler in windows (do i even need one in opensuse?)

I think that's all for now.

Please give me your advice or suggest a better option, thanks.
 
Old 05-23-2011, 09:07 AM   #2
SL00b
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Mozilla comes already packaged in the installation disk/ISOs, and you don't need to defrag, so there's two issues you can check off your list.
 
Old 05-24-2011, 02:57 AM   #3
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1. cant recommend anything, there are some but I never use them (and I did/do use IDM on windows)

2. try libreoffice on windows and see how you and it get along. Also, depending on what you actually use in office there might be individual apps that fit you better. Many can be tried on windows

3. vlc exists on linux There are many players around the kde desktop, i dont know for sure which come preinstalled on suse but they are most likely in the huge repositories - i suggest you try the ones that come with the suse install first. Quick list of what comes to mind: Dragon, mplayer/kmplayer, xine, bangarang, xt7 , codeine etc. Many are front ends to shared system tools, so trying several isnt too heavy on the system

5. if it is for word then you dont need a convertor, the office suites on linux can save to PDF straight (note that recent versions of word on windows can too, with an additional microsoft download). There is also a print-to-pdf driver

6 < no 6?

7. will let specialists answer that, as I know nothing.

8. no major need. Files can get fragmented in some cases and there are tools for that, but it is far rarer and not a day to day concern
 
Old 05-25-2011, 08:45 PM   #4
jsgroup
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Smile

SL00b : Thanks for the information.

iphigenie : Thanks for the details, is Libre better than OpenOffice?

New Question : Do I need to change my hardwares? like monitor and burner, or (maybe) my mainboard to best fit a linux system? Do I need a graphic card or will a built in vga mainboard is sufficient? Thanks
 
Old 05-26-2011, 11:08 AM   #5
DavidMcCann
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsgroup View Post
Is Libre better than OpenOffice?
LibreOffice will eventually replace OpenOffice in all Linux distros. At present they are identical. It's simply that the Linux community doesn't trust Oracle with OpenOffice, so they created a new version.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jsgroup View Post
Do I need to change my hardwares? like monitor and burner, or (maybe) my mainboard to best fit a linux system? Do I need a graphic card or will a built in vga mainboard is sufficient?
Linux will work with any monitor, motherboard, or disk drives. You are actually better off with motherboard graphics, as the cards need special drivers to access all their features.
 
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Old 06-04-2011, 11:40 AM   #6
Peverel
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Just a few added remarks. I haven't tried 11.4 yet, but 11.3 worked more or less out of the box: screen, keyboard and disks all OK, also ethernet and even my printer, which is an ancient HP with parallel interface connected via USB. Wireless can be a pain, though. Security was not easy to handle, I could never prevent the screen from locking when a screen saver started, though it could be done in 11.2. Maybe they have fixed this.

Most software you are likely to want is a available in repositories (together with a great deal you won't). I use Mplayer with Smplayer front end for video, but as iphigenie says, there are lots to choose from. If you install the gcc compiler suite, you can download source and compile the programs yourself, usually not too onerous a task.

Libre Office is reasonably consistent with Word (better really) but gives a few quirks on other peoples Word files. Make sure you set it to save in a Word format if you want MS users to read your files.
 
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Old 07-09-2011, 12:31 AM   #7
jsgroup
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Thanks everyone, a new question, if it we're you, which linux system will you choose? earlier i mentioned i want to use suse 11.4, but i would like to know an opinion from someone already using linux (whatever linux they are using), Thanks for the answers.
 
Old 07-09-2011, 03:16 AM   #8
John VV
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opensuse has some issues with multimedia , most distros do .
Except for Ubuntu they paid $$$ to be able to use the video codecs


personally i would like a cross with suse and fedora
fedora moves just WAY too fast BUT uses the SELinux kernel

Arch for a very experienced user , same for LFS or Slackware


but opensuse is not bad , i am sticking with it for a while . Soon to be upgrading to 11.4 in a few months ( end of summer)
 
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Old 07-13-2011, 07:10 AM   #9
dEnDrOn
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1. Downloader - i use down them all with firefox,ktorrent for torrent downloads

2. Office suite - i use libreoffice

3. Media player - I use VLC

4. Browser - I use mozilla

5. PDF reader and converter (word to PDF)-nothing specific comes with Linux

7. Sound, Image, Video Editor (or producer)-I don't use any but you can get lots of them

8. Defrag - NO
 
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Old 07-13-2011, 07:14 AM   #10
dEnDrOn
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for finding alternatives to your windows softwares,you can browse these:
The Linux Alternative Project
Windows and OS X Software Alternatives | Linux App Finder
Linux Software Alternatives
 
Old 07-13-2011, 07:15 AM   #11
dEnDrOn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsgroup View Post
Do I need to change my hardwares? like monitor and burner, or (maybe) my mainboard to best fit a linux system? Do I need a graphic card or will a built in vga mainboard is sufficient?

you can do that if you wish to,but not compulsory definitely !
 
Old 07-13-2011, 07:17 AM   #12
dEnDrOn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsgroup View Post
which linux system will you choose? earlier i mentioned i want to use suse 11.4, but i would like to know an opinion from someone already using linux (whatever linux they are using)
i played with many linux distros before i landed with Fedora...
Every distro has its own pros and cons,you need to know which suits you best and the best way to know that is just keep playing with them........
 
Old 07-15-2011, 02:39 PM   #13
gargamel
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Hi there, and welcome!

I'll try to answer you questions, shortly, but would like to start with a general remark. In Linux, there is more than one "desktop environment". You can choose the one that you like best. The different desktops differ in many respects. They are different in look and feel, functionality, memory usage and power consumption, to name a few.

OpenSUSE is one distro that comes with a good selection of excellently pre-configured destkops. My advice is, that you try them all, and then stick with the one you like best. This is something, that's initially a bit puzzling for users coming from a Windows environment. But it is what Linux and free software is all about: Freedom of choice. Time-consuming, yes, but satisfying.

Important good thing: Almost any Linux program runs in virtually every destkop environment. So choosing a desktop doesn't prevent you from running a program written for another one, as long as you have the relevant libraries installed.

Now, I prefer KDE, and my answers are based on that.


1. Downloader
KTorrent for Bittorrent downloads.
rsync from the CLI for peers that support it.
Wget or lftp from the CLI for FTP downloads.
Or just an arbitrary browser. Meanwhile they are all capable of doing reliable downloads.

2. Office suite
LibreOffice
Other than has been said, it's already a bit different from OpenOffice.org. The majority of the original OOo developers now support LibO, including well-known corporations. It's more feature rich, faster and has better import filters for MS Office.
However, if you need the maximum compatibility with MS Office on Linux, I'd recommend Softmaker Office. It is not open source and not free, but really inexpensive.
Both packages, LibO and Softmaker Office, are available for Windows and Linux, so you can check them out in the environment you are used to.

3. Media player
VLCis available for Windows and Linux, so you can use it with OpenSUSE, too. However, VLC is plagued by security issues, quite often. Luckily there are other options, such as MPlayer (also available for Windows, AFAIK).
My personal favorite is Kaffeine. For playing videos and sound there are many other options, and quite a few are included with OpenSUSE 11.4, but independently of the desktop environment Kaffeine is probably the best Linux program for watching tv via DVB-T (or -S or -C).

4. Browser
You can stick with Mozilla Firefox/Seamonkey etc. They are available for Linux, too.

5. PDF reader and converter
For the reader, my favourite ist Okular, but there are also others, such as Evince.
For conversion I use various command line tools. For Word to PDF you could use LibreOffice or Softmaker Office. To be honest, if the Word document is complex, includes many tables, and macros etc., the results are not always usable without manual tweaking, but for the documents I work with I can report immediate success for an estimated more than 90%.

6. ?

7. Sound, Image, Video Editor (or Producer)
For video: kdenlive (powerful, complex), Avidemux or OpenShot should give you a start.
For sound: Ardour is used by quite a few professional musicians. Although there are other interesting options, I'd start with Ardour.

8. Defrag
As has been said, this is not something to concerned about, usually, at least in typical Linux file systems, such as ext4, than it is in Windows file systems, such as FAT32 and NTFS. Personally, I have NEVER had the need to defrag my disk, in over eight years of using Linux, now.

Regarding you question about other options for a distro: I have tried quite a few, and OpenSUSE 11.4 is one of the best I have seen. Finally up to the level of quality, SUSE used to be acclaimed for in the time before they were acquired by Novell, again. The only distro I love even more, is Slackware 13.37. But for the start and for the things you want to do, OpenSUSE might be easier to handle. Recent incarnations of Sabayon look also very interesting.

Have fun!

gargamel

Last edited by gargamel; 07-15-2011 at 02:41 PM.
 
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Old 07-23-2011, 09:29 PM   #14
xjonquilx
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1. Downloader - For general downloading (usually use IDM on windows)

Gwget (Gnome) or Kget (KDE) are both excellent download managers that are very similar to what you're accustomed to in Windows.

2. Office suite - i use microsoft office in windows.

LibreOffice or OpenOffice is the Linux answer to Microsoft Office. The interfaces are similar to Office and they're capable of reading/writing to MS formats as well.

3. Media player - I use Gom and VLC on windows.

VLC is native to Linux, so no issues there! I also like Banshee Media Player (which is similar to Windows Media Player only with a LOT more features) and SMplayer.

4. Browser - I use mozilla in windows

I'm not sure if you mean Mozilla SeaMonkey or Mozilla Firefox here, but they are both available in Linux as well as Opera and Google Chrome.

5. PDF reader and converter (word to PDF)

Most distributions come with a PDF reader by default. If you're picky though Adobe Reader is available for Linux as well. And LibreOffice/OpenOffice both are capable of saving to PDF.

7. Sound, Image, Video Editor (or producer)

Sound - Audacity is my favorite (there is tons of sound editing software)
Image - GIMP is the closest to Photoshop you can get
Video - Kino is my favorite (there is tons of video editing software as well)

8. Defrag - i use deffragler in windows (do i even need one in opensuse?)

Nope, no need for one. As others pointed out it's rare that files get fragmented on a Linux system.

Personally if I was just starting out on Linux I would choose one of the easy to use, popular desktop distributions like OpenSUSE, Mandriva, Ubuntu, Fusion, Mepis, Mint, etc. Out of these I must say my favorites are Ubuntu and Mepis. I also have a soft spot for Mandriva as that is the distribution I first started on. OpenSUSE is just fine for your first desktop distribution however - go with whatever OS appeals to you the most. Here is a quick rundown of what each of the aforementioned distributions is about:

OpenSUSE - Easy to use distribution focused on giving new users a choice in their OS installation. Gives you the option of what desktop environment and software you would like to install during the installation process. Uses RPM package management. Provides plenty of GUI configuration tools so you don't have to go in to the command line as much. Con: can be slower than other Linux distributions

Mandriva - A lot like OpenSUSE, this also focuses on giving new users a choice in their OS installation. Gives you the option of what desktop environment and software you would like to install during the installation process. Also uses RPM package management. Most configuration can be done via the GUI. Con: also can be slower than other Linux distributions; doesn't come with any repositories by default so you have to add them on manually

Ubuntu - Uses the homegrown Unity desktop environment by default although there are other flavors of Ubuntu available that use other desktop environments. Focuses on giving new users the best default Linux experience and uses the "best of the best" default software on installation. Almost everything is automated and/or can be done via the GUI. Uses DEB package management. Con: Unity is still in development so it can be buggy; can be slower than other Linux distributions

Fusion - This is a Fedora "spin" that focuses on making Fedora easier to use for new users. Features more GUI configuration tools than Fedora and also uses Gnome 2 as opposed to Gnome 3 (which is what Fedora uses). Comes with a good default set of software. Uses RPM package management. Con: I can't really think of any with this one.

Please note when I say a distribution can be "slower" it's still a lot faster than Windows... it's just "slow" for Linux.

I hope some of this information helps.
 
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Old 07-24-2011, 03:31 PM   #15
gargamel
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xjonquilx View Post
[...]

Personally if I was just starting out on Linux I would choose one of the easy to use, popular desktop distributions like OpenSUSE, Mandriva, Ubuntu, Fusion, Mepis, Mint, etc. Out of these I must say my favorites are Ubuntu and Mepis. I also have a soft spot for Mandriva as that is the distribution I first started on. OpenSUSE is just fine for your first desktop distribution however - go with whatever OS appeals to you the most. Here is a quick rundown of what each of the aforementioned distributions is about:

OpenSUSE - Easy to use distribution focused on giving new users a choice in their OS installation. Gives you the option of what desktop environment and software you would like to install during the installation process. Uses RPM package management. Provides plenty of GUI configuration tools so you don't have to go in to the command line as much. Con: can be slower than other Linux distributions

Mandriva [...]

Ubuntu - Uses the homegrown Unity desktop environment by default although there are other flavors of Ubuntu available that use other desktop environments. Focuses on giving new users the best default Linux experience and uses the "best of the best" default software on installation. Almost everything is automated and/or can be done via the GUI. Uses DEB package management. Con: Unity is still in development so it can be buggy; can be slower than other Linux distributions

[...]
Please note when I say a distribution can be "slower" it's still a lot faster than Windows... it's just "slow" for Linux.

I hope some of this information helps.
Generally a good characterisation of the distros, as far as I know them. However, I can assure you, that OpenSUSE makes not only a good, first desktop, but can carry you much farther. It is an excellent and very stable system for a server, as well. I've used it in corporate production environments as application, backup, database, print and web server, and it proved to be a very reliable system, if configured correctly and run on reliable hardware.

Regarding "speed" it would help to know, what exactly you are referring to. If you are talking of desktop responsiveness, then turn off services and "eye-candy" you don't need. Same advice as in Windows. If it's package management, you are talking off, then I this was an issue in version before 11.3. In 11.4 it's blazingly fast.

As to the *buntus: They are just different. They follow their own philosophy, which many people like, while others (like me) don't. If your goal is to learn Linux, then you would probably be better off with something more conventional. It's easier to transfer knowledge from another distro to Ubuntu than the other way round. But the choice is yours, and as I said, Ubuntu is probably the most popular distro, currently.

gargamel
 
  


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