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Well, I see as I got on here, that I have already screwed up once today by purchasing SuSE 9.0 because I see the new kernel 2.6 is out, so I should have waited until SuSE caught up since I understand that 2.6 is more USB friendly.
However, that said, I am facing the question of which desktop to go with; Gnome or KDE. As a DOS and Win98SE user, which might I find easier to use? An internet search suggests that they are both of about the same vintage (originally) and therefore, does one predominate now? Is one easier to use than the other? If you prefer one over the other, why?
Don't worry about not having the 2.6 kernel in what you bought. You would have to wait a while to get it with any of the distros and anyway you can always upgrade yourself with the only expense being connection time and a little learning time!
Anyway, I think you might have sparked a long thread here. KDE vs. Gnome is probably just a matter of preference. I like kde, other people I know hate it and like gnome. You can have both on your system and switch between them to see which one you prefer.
As JKOBrien says, it is a totally subjective choice. I think you have laid yourself wide open to multiple choices - you'll find everyone has a different desktop that they like and even though you have said KDE or Gnome, people who like Fluxbox, Blackbox, Xfce, etc etc will also have their own opinion.
Far better for your purposes would have been to simply install and test both of them.
personal preference for certain. Unless the professional install is much different than the ftp install, kde is the default. unless your pc is 3+ years old, you should have no problem with either (and even then, the system may or may not be slower than you'd want it to be)
As far as the kernel goes, why not simply install it? SuSE 9.0 is an excellent distro and can only be enhanced by adding a new kernel to it. It's not like Windows where the only way to get better features is to upgrade the whole OS.
Ok thank you; another couple of questions (it would appear that the SuSE manual is not as complete as I thought when I looked at it after I got out of the store and that I need to visit a bookstore).
1. How do you install a particular browser (eg., Mozilla). There are apparently several included with the package, but it does not tell you how to get a particular one going.
2. How do you shut down the thing? I mean is there a shut down icon on the desk top? I see how to get back from KDE to YaST, but it is not evident to me that that takes you back to the log in screen where one can select the desired desktop and shutdown or restart.
Maybe I am making too much of this, but I see gaps in the instructions . . .
Can I install Firebird and Thunderbird? If so how? I am using them now in Windows, but again, the SuSE documentation gives you a selection of browsers, etc., but does not tell you how to go about activating a particular one. (Of course that presupposes my modem will be discovered successfully :-).
Mozilla (daddy mozilla) can be installed from yast. in the add/update software interface, seach for the mozilla. that's the easiest way.
i can't speak on thunderbird, but mozilla firebird is very easy to install. in fact, you don't really install it. download the package, unzip it to a directory that users have access to, then just run the MozillaFirebird binary file.
and the shutdown.... i think that's just the nature of x windows....
Thanks for the info on where/when to install Mozilla. Yes, I kind of like that about Firebird in Windows; nothing gets messed up when you uninstall it (delete it) and install the next version.
"and the shutdown.... i think that's just the nature of x windows...."
Well, what I mean is, how do you shut down the computer when you are through? It appears in looking at the SuSE book (I have not gotten to installing it yet) that YaST in the login screen has the option for power shutdown or restart, but how do you get to there, or do you need to, in order to shutdown?
by default SuSE will set you up with a graphical session manager (the login screen you mentioned) which will appear each time you exit KDE or Gnome or whatever desktop you were in.
If you are not using a session manager, try "init 0" or "shutdown -h now" (or -r instead of -h to reboot). This will generally need to be done as root.