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Old 11-13-2004, 08:33 PM   #1
ubuntu-addict
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Release Cycle?


Does anyone know how SuSE's release cycle works? How long do they support each version of their OS. Ubuntu is great and all but I want an OS that is mainstream....but I don't want to have to buy and upgrade every year. Every 2 years would be good.
 
Old 11-14-2004, 01:06 AM   #2
ojasom
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i don't know about their continued updates to a version, but i do know that you can still get everything you need for suse 7.0 and up at pretty much any ftp web site. take a look at

ftp://ftp.suse.com/pub/suse/i386
and
ftp://ftp.suse.com/pub/suse/discontinued/i386

you will have to do an ftp install with the boot disk from the directory.
 
Old 11-14-2004, 11:47 AM   #3
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I've been worried about the same recently. SuSE is putting out new 'versions' about 6 months apart around April and October ever since I've been using it (8.2, 9.0, 9.1 and now 9.2).

What I'm not sure of is how long they keep maintaining those older versions, eg with security patches etc? Eg, I used to have 2 machines, one on 9.1 and one on 9.0. The 9.1 machine would get a patch for some security issue with a library, but there wasn't always a patch for the same thing with 9.0. There seemed to be less and less patches available for 9.0 as time went by.

Anyone have any idea how this works? How long is a single version suppported?
 
Old 11-15-2004, 07:03 AM   #4
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SuSE support ends two years after initial release.
 
Old 11-15-2004, 10:13 AM   #5
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Thx - that's good to know.

I guess the follow up to that is does support mean all fixes? Or security fixes? Or 'critical' security fixes?

Does anyone know how 'support' is defined?

answered my own question. Check out SUSE's comparative guide.
Security fixes only.

Last edited by wiresquire; 11-15-2004 at 10:16 AM.
 
Old 11-15-2004, 10:51 AM   #6
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Right. The way I read this is that SuSE will support enthusiast releases with security fixes for up to 2 years after initial release. Everything else is under a 6 month cycle. Which means (IMHO) that if Suse 9.2 came out last week, all 'other updates' for 9.1 ceased at that point, except for security updates which will continue for another 1.5 years. This is the major problem (for end-users) with such short cycles.

Last edited by Harryc; 11-15-2004 at 10:52 AM.
 
Old 11-15-2004, 12:58 PM   #7
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I would rather have Novell remove the download option and support each for say...4 years. Although I guess it is specificially for enthusiast users that don't mind upgrading every 2 years.
 
Old 11-15-2004, 05:40 PM   #8
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My machine still has enough things that aren't working or are partially working that upgrading every 6 months to get those fixed because the updates are in newer versions of SUSE becomes expensive.

I'd rather see a 1 year cycle with updates included. I don't get how releasing so frequently helps SUSE, except maybe to 'claim' another version. I guess "9.2" sounds better than "9.1 SP1"
 
Old 11-16-2004, 02:02 AM   #9
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Quote:
My machine still has enough things that aren't working or are partially working that upgrading every 6 months to get those fixed because the updates are in newer versions of SUSE becomes expensive.
What kind of things aren't working? Normally you can fix most things without upgrading.

Quote:
I'd rather see a 1 year cycle with updates included. I don't get how releasing so frequently helps SUSE, except maybe to 'claim' another version. I guess "9.2" sounds better than "9.1 SP1"
They say on their site that the product is targetted at the enthusiast market. If they ever became a major competitor to MS on the mainstream desktop they would probably release a product with longer support cycles. People using SuSE right now are considered early adopters.
 
Old 11-16-2004, 12:12 PM   #10
wiresquire
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Quote:
Originally posted by ubuntu-addict
What kind of things aren't working? Normally you can fix most things without upgrading.
Oh, things work, then they don't work, then I do an online update and something breaks. Have a good laugh at this. I've been experiencing stuff like that for the last 2 years.

Quote:
They say on their site that the product is targetted at the enthusiast market. If they ever became a major competitor to MS on the mainstream desktop they would probably release a product with longer support cycles. People using SuSE right now are considered early adopters.
There's enthusiast, and then there's 'regressions'. I have run into many problems and managed to stagger my way to solving with a lot of help from forums such as this, but there's a *lot* of people that just couldn't or wouldn't.

So I'm wondering just what is that boxed version for? Do they expect "Average Joe" that walks thru <insert local computer store that sells SUSE> to buy it. Just what exactly is an 'enthusiast'? What else would I buy that's for enthusiasts ?

Why am I paying $45-$79 each 6 months ? You're right that they're not competing with MS. Over the same 2 year period, I would have spent less than that for a full retail version of Windows XP Pro! But I guess that's not for the enthusiasts?

And I have spent an *awful lot* of time maintaining and debugging the system. I bought SUSE so I wouldn't have to roll my own distribution, compile kernels etc. I guess I'm questioning my own decision of Linux distribution.

Wow! What a rant.

No offence intended - I'm a bit frustrated.
ws
 
Old 11-16-2004, 03:02 PM   #11
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On that link you sent me to, you were using kernel 2.4 with 9.0 right? 2.6 has much much much better support for laptops. So a couple of things.

1) It's not Linux's fault hardware manufacturers don't supply proper drivers for Linux.

2) As said, each product is supported for 2 years, you don't have to buy every version of SuSE. Upgrade every 2 years with cheap linuxcd.org CDs. You'll spend less than Windows that way.

Quote:
So I'm wondering just what is that boxed version for? Do they expect "Average Joe" that walks thru <insert local computer store that sells SUSE> to buy it. Just what exactly is an 'enthusiast'? What else would I buy that's for enthusiasts ?
No they don't expect Average Joe to buy it, how many people do you know that have come across a boxed set of Linux without having ever heard of it and bought it. The boxed version comes with support and 2 huge manuals, that's what it is for. Right now Linspire, Xandros and Lycoris (wouldn't recommend Lycoris atm) are 3 distros aimed at people like you, although they don't have a 64 bit distro yet.

Quote:
And I have spent an *awful lot* of time maintaining and debugging the system. I bought SUSE so I wouldn't have to roll my own distribution, compile kernels etc. I guess I'm questioning my own decision of Linux distribution.
Compiling kernels and rolling your own system are not the same thing.
http://www.linuxfromscratch.org/
You can try that if you want to "roll your own distribution"
 
Old 11-17-2004, 12:14 PM   #12
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Quote:
On that link you sent me to, you were using kernel 2.4 with 9.0 right? 2.6 has much much much better support for laptops.
Believe it or not, based on my experience with SUSE and several laptops, that's actually debateable. Later 2.6 kernels may be a different story, but I guess that's a topic for another day

Quote:
1) It's not Linux's fault hardware manufacturers don't supply proper drivers for Linux.
Agreed. I knew this going in buying rather 'advanced' hardware, and there's even components I don't think will ever be supported under Linux. Actually I ended up selecting this laptop on the basis that it was the most likely of the 64 bit laptops at that time to -eventually- work the best under Linux. And I still have 64 bits to play with in the future when the time is right.

Quote:
2) As said, each product is supported for 2 years, you don't have to buy every version of SuSE. Upgrade every 2 years with cheap linuxcd.org CDs. You'll spend less than Windows that way.
My problem is that with the newer hardware, for me to get things to work, I basically have to upgrade. Power management is important for longevity and has been an absolute disaster. I also like to support the vendor. This is what is making me question my choice of distribution, I guess. Maybe me and SUSE are just not a good fit?

Quote:
No they don't expect Average Joe to buy it, how many people do you know that have come across a boxed set of Linux without having ever heard of it and bought it. The boxed version comes with support and 2 huge manuals, that's what it is for. Right now Linspire, Xandros and Lycoris (wouldn't recommend Lycoris atm) are 3 distros aimed at people like you, although they don't have a 64 bit distro yet.
Re Average Joe and SUSE, I disagree. All over their website, FAQs etc, they make reference to Home Users and also to newcomers to Linux. I guess there's probably a bunch of people that must try this and be terribly disappointed or think that Linux sucks, which saddens me.

On the topic of distros, I have also have a problem. There's a lot of them - both those you mentioned and others like FC, Deb, Mandrake etc that I have considered. I was a RH user and blew it off when they wouldn't sell retail and went all 'go away retail' with FC. That's what led me to SUSE. Those distros above, I find it hard to consider for a lot of reasons such as financial stability and backing of the company, market share and 3rd party certification and support of their OS. Eg, I can imagine ATI testing on RH and SUSE, and there are plenty of other distros that have a larger install base than Linspire and co. etc. The same applies re software too. They go where the market share is. I'd put FC, Deb, Mandrake way ahead of those on that criteria. The intersection of the distro and my hardware also determines the likelihood that someone has come across a specific problem I have, or (more rarely) I can share a solution to something I've come across in the broader community.

Anyways, thanks for your excellent post. It's made me think and helping me analyze what I really want from a distro. Debian Sarge might be worth a closer look in a month or so
 
Old 11-17-2004, 02:55 PM   #13
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Quote:
On the topic of distros, I have also have a problem. There's a lot of them - both those you mentioned and others like FC, Deb, Mandrake etc that I have considered. I was a RH user and blew it off when they wouldn't sell retail and went all 'go away retail' with FC. That's what led me to SUSE. Those distros above, I find it hard to consider for a lot of reasons such as financial stability and backing of the company, market share and 3rd party certification and support of their OS. Eg, I can imagine ATI testing on RH and SUSE, and there are plenty of other distros that have a larger install base than Linspire and co. etc. The same applies re software too. They go where the market share is. I'd put FC, Deb, Mandrake way ahead of those on that criteria. The intersection of the distro and my hardware also determines the likelihood that someone has come across a specific problem I have, or (more rarely) I can share a solution to something I've come across in the broader community.
I am going to have to disagree with you here. I have seen more third party apps (e.g. StarOffice) certified for Linspire and Xandros than for Debian or Mandrake. The reason for this is they are for home users that have no prior experience with Linux and like buying fancy software. With Debian espescially and to a certain degree with Mandrake, these people don't want for the most part to have to buy expensive third party proprietary software. You see apps such as Crossover Office, StarOffice and many other commercial apps built specificially for the newbie distros.
 
  


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