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Introduction to Linux - A Hands on Guide
This guide was created as an overview of the Linux Operating System, geared toward new users as an exploration tour and getting started guide, with exercises at the end of each chapter.
For more advanced trainees it can be a desktop reference, and a collection of the base knowledge needed to proceed with system and network administration. This book contains many real life examples derived from the author's experience as a Linux system and network administrator, trainer and consultant. They hope these examples will help you to get a better understanding of the Linux system and that you feel encouraged to try out things on your own.
Click Here to receive this Complete Guide absolutely free.
Distribution: PCLinuxOS 0.93 and 0.92, Vector sometimes
Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 10
Smooth installation, excellent hardware detection, easy to update and use.
Difficult to edit config files by hand, SuSE does many things differently to other Distros.
Availability - SuSE 8.2 pro is available as an ftp install - free, a boxed set - expensive or via E-bay and other sites in a stripped-down version cheaply (all commercial software is removed from the CDs and DVD). The latter version is the one I am reviewing, although I have also installed via ftp.
Installation - this really is a breeze. The installation is graphical and very polished. The only possible problem is partitioning. Yast2 really seems to have a mind of its own in this area. You always have the option to reject any suggested partitioning and do your own. You may well have to do this unless your whole hard drive is unused. After a basic system install, the machine reboots to allow you to set up a root password, users and finally hardware and X configuration.
The system - SuSE 8.2 uses the 2.4.20 kernel, KDE 3.1, XFree4.3.0, Open Office 1.0.2 etc - pretty up to date packages, only Opera is old - 6.03
Performance and stability - really excellent marks here for SuSE. It is tempting to assume such a smooth and polished distribution that comes with oodles of software must be bloated and a resource hog. Not at all. On an Athlon XP1600+ it runs extremely quickly, KDE is very responsive and about 85% of my 512 meg of ram is free - not bad. Extra marks for SuSE including a gui tool to enable UDMA on any drives on the pc - without having to run hdparm and then put a line into your config files - very polished. In fact, the words polished and smooth are the two I would use to describe the whole SuSE distro. Literally everything works, and works well. The default look is very professional, although I prefer Lush icons in KDE - easily changed.
Package Handling - SuSE is RPM based. I can almost hear cries of "dependency hell ...." already. However, the supplied 5 CDs or 1 DVD contain the most extraordinary amount of high quality packages. Time after time I have seen a package I wanted to try discussed or reviewed online only to find it on my installation media already. The only package I have downloaded is the 0.98 beta 14 of XCDRoast. As there is a SuSE 8.2 specific rpm, that was no problem either. A mention here for the central tool in the whole distribution - Yast2 (yet another set-up tool 2). Yast2 pretty much handles everything in SuSE, network, hardware, software, users etc. Once you get used to using it, it really does an excellent job. Nvidia users should also note that running the Online Update allows them to download their graphics drivers and enable 3-D acceleration without editing their /etc/X11/XF86Config-4 file - very neat.
Conclusion - A really excellent comprehensive distribution that is easy to install, run and update. Convenience does not seem to have been gained at the expense of system performance. The only possible problem from my point of view is that Yast2 is such a centralised tool that it makes manual configuration a little tricky. SuSE also has a habit of using its own names for common files e.g. it has a whole top-level directory called media where you will find all your mounted filesystems. Minor quibbles compared to the sheer quality and feel of this distribution.
Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: D/L | Rating: 8
things work, very nicely done, great comprehensive distro
easy install, things work, updating is ok(i've had no problems with rpm dependencies, but i am not "cutting edge" or looking for the latest stuff)
i have gentoo, libranet and suse 8.2 up and running, i am using gentoo
the most and i would likely pick libranet over suse, but those wanting to stay "mainstream" linux would be hard presed to beat suse for ease of use.
Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: $39.95 | Rating: 8
Easy for Novice Users to set up on Windows Partition Drives. Lot's of eye candy.
Still can't get nVidia's driver to install
I am new to Linux. I had been tired of the conflicts Windows and other windows programs have with each other. Why can't we all just get along? Anyway, after a little research I narrowed my choices down to SuSE and RedHat. They appeared to be the most user friendly to users new to linux, and were both readily available at my local Best Buy. If only I had a broadband connection. Anyway...
The installation is easy. I stuck Disk One in and the boot screen pops up asking what I would like to load from, CD or Hardisk, and whether I would like to install. The installer loads the appropriate drivers and off you go. In about a half hour I had everything I needed to start up the system. I went with just the basics, KDE, OpenOffice, and a few games. Since then I have added programs using Yast2 with great ease.
Once installed configuring of the printers, modems, etc was for the most part a snap. SuSE picked right up on both my DJ695 and my Oki6W. Sound Card and Network Cards were recognized immediately. Not so was my US Robotics PCI modem, even though it was a hardware modem I could not get it to work. That is probably due more to how new I am to Linux than anything else, never the less, it was nearly a setback. I bought an External Modem, and I was online in no time. As far as my video card goes, I'm having problems installing the nVidia drivers. I am able to download the drivers using YOU(Yast Online Updater), but it freezes at 50% when installing. The other problem I am having is getting a driver for my CDRW. I can't get it to write to a CD at all. I get driver Errors in K3b.
I have now completely removed my Windows OS and reinstalled SuSE as my sole OS. For some reason I had more difficulty with that. It took three or four tries at installing before it was installed w/o problems. One time I couldn't change my resolution from 1240x1048(something like that), way too much screen space for my 17" screen, I needed a magnifying glass to read it! Another time it wouldn't load past the grub screen. Eventually everthing loaded and now I'm glad I'm rid of windows.
AMD Duron 1000
20GB Hard Drive
Cheap Sound Card
Cheaper Network Card
Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: $169.00 | Rating: 8
very fast, clean and stable
networking and sound support suffers a little
I am having considerable problems configuring SuSE to communicate with a windows machine (i don't blame it) i also had several problems getting an apparently supported chipset (VIA8235) to work under ALSA - gave in and installed my old C-Media - sounds better than it ever did in windaz!!!!! The display configuration in SuSE is fantastic!!!!! Couldn't have been easier, automatic hardware detection and installation was very easy (with exception of VIA8235). The only problem i have found is that the network is rather hard to configure (as opposed to mandrake 9.0-9.1)
Bulky, not 100% compatible, different layout than other linux distros, not very transparent, lack of web forums.
I use SuSE rigs with Windows XPs (a mixed environment). I was having network difficulty with the stable Samba 2.2 versions (need XP registry hack). After upgrading Samba to beta version of Samba 3.0 using apt-get all XP clients can connect to Samba server. SuSE is strong in dealing with Windows network (printer network, file sharing, desktop sharing, and Exchange server).
Installation is easy and mostly graphical. Automatic/manual partition including NTFS resizer. NTFS is readable. Software selection from weatlh of package collections and hardware configuration: video, sound, TV, printer, scanner, modem, NIC, peripherals (keyboard, mouse, joystick). Other window managers are checked (Sawfish, Windowmaker, icewm, etc). Gnome is available.
I like the optimized kernel for my athlon boxes. It seems run faster than few Pentium rig and notebooks running windows XP and other distro. I always make a dual boot linux and windows on those machines. Data exchange with many windows format is easier with linux this way.
Standard truetype fonts and Windows fonts also installable during setup. Anti-aliased fonts are immediately available for KDE environment and applications. Installing additional fonts e.g. Vera's family are fast and easy and accessible via Control Center.
SuSE's YaST2 is fantastic. This tool is among the best for configuring hardware, software, security, network, and other settings. Paired with Sax2 for configuring video aspect (resolution, colors, 3D, card/monitor, also input devices) these two GUI tools are hard to beat.
I have to avoid some other distros because hardware drivers are still a big issue (e.g. for my Canon printer/camera, Epson scanner, and Logitech webcam/peripherals. nVidia drivers work well and 3D is easily enabled and work with 24bit colors. SuSE has among the best hardware detection/compatibility and I heard it has a good collaboration with some hardware manufacturers.
KDE is much more polished than some distros. I like the SuSE's theme but resizing windows sometime harder than Gnome+Metacity. Thankfully Gnome application run without problem in KDE desktop. Although Evolution is somewhat buggy it close to Outlook perfection and can connect to Exchange (KOrganizer is also compatible with Exchange 2000).
I like wine for running few windows applications. Although Crossover Office is available (on another box with additional cost for installing MS Office XP and some other windows applications) it is not a viable choice for me.
Multimedia and graphics are very good with SuSE: sound, music, video, picture are handled mostly well. Some grip in playing DVD are solved after apt-get upgrade. K3b is working after easy setup for burning/ripping CDs. MainActor can edit video, RoseGarden, MPlayer (not the original package=need few plugins), XMMS plays MP3/Oggs, Audacity, NoteEdit, QMidiRoute, ALSA-this-and-that, webcam, radio, moTV, etc. Graphics tools like: Gimp, Digicam, Kooka, Blender (3D), etc. are also very good alternatives.
Security is excellent: SuSE Firewall, iptables, automatic YaST Online Update, Amavis, Samba-vscan, etc.
Office applications (KOffice and OpenOffice suits) are available and very useable: productive out of the box right away after Linux installation: Word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, calculations, graphing, flow charting, equation editors, accounting, printing, publishing, etc.
Internet and communication is a breeze: Konqueror & Mozilla (Flash and Java enabled), Kmail, Evolution, Kopete/Gaim, GnomeMeeting, FTP server/clients, download manager, Samba, VNC, ssh, wireless LAN, PDA, etc. are good and mostly work.
What I like about SuSE is a whealth development packages: Kdevelop, Anjuta, Kylix, QTdesigner, Umbrello, Quanta, tons of compilers (C/C++ Common C, Java-this-and-that, Ruby, Phyton, Perls, Fortran, etc.)
Server side is also strong as in Linux in general: Apache and other server applications, works with: SAP, Oracle, IBM servers, OpenExchange, SLES.
Pluses: SuSE is easy, secure, private, professional, complete, and cheap too.
Minuses: Bulky (tons of apps), not 100% compatible with other OS (windows), somewhat different than other linux distros (layout), not very transparent (YaST), lack of web forums.
Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: D/L | Rating: 10
Fast, consistent, reliable, stable, user-friendly & logical
Needs simplify and make faster configuring X (change resolution, enable 3D)
Suse Linux 8.2 is a distro that just "works." It has excellent, fast and poweful configurator, Yast2. Yast2 is a logical and centralized configurator that let's you do almost all important and critical tasks regarding hardware and software. You can even use text inside Yast2 to configure some certain files or tasks, like adding entries to Lilo or Grub (bootloader). Hardware detection and configuration in Suse (through Yast2) is excellent (my US mouse configured flawlessly).
Suse 8.2 comes with excellent software, kde 3.1.1 which is very customizable and consumes little resources; it hardly uses my swap (1.1 gb) and only uses about 50% of my ram (512mb) for heavy tasks (like burning isos). Gnome 2.2 in Suse is just fine and feels natural to the eyes, but is less customizable than kde 3.1.1. Suse comes with K3b (cd burning utility) which is way simpler, faster and better than Nero. It comes with Sylpheed (an email client) which is fast and easy to configure. It has tens excellent applications that let you do all kind of tasks. The performance of those applications is consistent, reliable and stable. No lock-ups, freezes or crashes. X in Suse 8.2 is very stable, I have never had a crash or freeze.
I have been in the Linux quadrant for over 2 years, tried various Linuces (Red Hat, Mandrake, Debian, Gentoo, Slackware, Vector, LFS, Crux, Knoppix, Morphix and other lesser known), and found Suse to be better.
My specifics (self-built):
60 GB Maxtor 7200rpm
Radeon 7000 32mb sdr
Dlink (rtl8139too) nic
17" Samsung 763mb
Microsoft USB mouse
Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: D/L | Rating: 10
very easy to install, nice console window border, very easy to use
does not have make + gcc on 1st cd
works bloody well on my slow machine and
has nice graphics. i am new to linux and at first i was duel booting with xp but i got sooooo fed up with xp going so slowly and rebooting all the time. now i just installed suse and wiped all my disks clean and my cheap computer works much better
My cheap computer:
Pentium 3 450mhz
388mb ram(makes it faster)
and much more...
human support somewhat limited and hard to understand them
have tryed many distros but seem to always end up with suse. didn,t like 8.1 as well as suse 8.0, but 8.2 is my favorite, the desktop and text looks so much better than on the other distros. the online update works now, where i had somewhat problems before. if i move suse 8.2 from one rig to the other, i don,t have this online update problem that i get with red hat. i do upgrade a lot too, and red hat is not user friendly this way. there are many linus systems i like to use , but this is my favorite.
Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: D/L | Rating: 6
Slick, professional, healthy user base, corporate interest
Still not easy enough for the average Windows user to install.
Firstly, let me preface this piece by pointing out that I'm a *nix newbie, but an experienced IT professional in other O/S's (don't let's start, now! ;) )
The installation routine was very slick, very polished; much more so even than the 7.1 Pro distro I bought and tried out a scant 24months ago. Unlike others, I didn't have any problem with the partitioning of my existing (and still, for the time-being, needed) Windows XP Pro machine, with me manually picking the areas I wanted used and SuSE dividing them up, accordingly.
All my hardware was detected this time (7.1 couldn't find anything hanging off the USB port - scanner, camera, printer, joystick, etc.) although I've had a lot of work to do to get my printer to /actually/ work; it's been necessary to manually remove the "auto-detected" settings from YAST2 (SuSE's setup program) and then do a great deal of messing about with modules, removing and reloading, etc. before it would work.
Getting the printer seen across the network -- a breeze in XP -- so that my girlfriend who is a "normal" Windows user could use it was another challenge although I can't criticise SuSE specifically for this, this seems to be a general Linux thing. There was a very steep learning curve attached to achieving this and although I was already previously aware of SAMBA and what it could do, it took me about a week of casual (evening) tinkering before I was able to figure it out.
The scanner, an Agfa Snapscan Touch was detected and identified by SuSE, but isn't yet actually supported by the SANE scanning software provided with this distro. Some research on my part using search-engines and other forums like this have revealed that this particular model of scanner /isn't/ yet supported by SANE - just my luck :(
SuSE seem to have gone all-out, it appears, to appeal to users like myself (crossover Windows users). They appear to have considered a solution to /everything/ from the essentials (mail, news, web) to more user-specific stuff i.e. Palm Pilot conduits, etc.
Unfortunately, this is where it falls down slightly; it doesn't all work straight out of the box (so to speak), or at least mine didn't. For example, a hobby of mine is home-video and I have a goodly collection of vids on my Windows partition. It seems, however, that the default installation of Mplayer provided with SuSE 8.2 Pro doesn't have appropriate codecs to play back much of my Windows-created media.
A great deal of time was subsequently spent trawling the web, posting to Usenet, asking for advice on boards like this, etc. before a solution was found and even then, it's a tad flaky, doesn't like certain codecs (the Morgan one, I think it is) and isn't as slick as, dare I say, the monster that WMP9.0 has become with all its bloatiness and "artist protection" rubbish.
Granted, Mplayer is not of SuSE's making (and with respect to the developers of Mplayer, it's a /huge/ leap forward compared to the what was out there 24 months ago) and with some perseverence can be made to work.
But, unfortunately, it's the few rough edges like this that ultimately prevent Linux from going mainstream, and by mainstream, I mean appealing to the average schmo with kids, a mortgage and a Windows XP box bought in the High Street last Xmas. Frankly, despite supporting a fair number of people /just/ like that, I wouldn't even recommend XP (despite it being the simplest, stablest desktop OS M$ have ever released). I'd not trust some of them with Mac OS-X, either, but then, some people ought not be allowed out on their own! ;)
Anyhow, I digress. SuSE 8.2 Pro is not the only distro I've used; I've already mentioned an earlier version of SuSE, but I've also experimented with (recently) Mandrake 9.1. The machine I re-imaged with Mandrake I found I quickly blasted away and put SuSE 8.2 Pro on in its place. Why? Because despite some of the aforementioned shortcomings with SuSE, Mandrake was even less complete and exhibited a number of serious hardware-management problems (it was a laptop with integrated everything) that my limited knowledge was not able to resolve. SuSE was duly installed and /all/ the major problems went away (although a few minor ones are still outstanding).
For someone with a little over half a clue (I'd put myself into that category), it's a very rich and rewarding OS; it's feature packed from the start (although why /anyone/ would want four different mail clients, I don't know!) and installation and management are a /lot/ easier than in the past.
Seriously, I'm sitting here now, typing away quite happily, my machine is just as stable as it is when running "that other OS" and I'm able to do 75% to 80% of the stuff I can do with that OS.
Sure, I still have some stuff to fix and some bugs to work out, but I'm sure it'll come, over time.
In summary then, a very full distro with lots of "out-of-the-box" functionality which will likely satisfy the needs of experienced PC users (with a lot of time on their hands) wanting a new challenge.
Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: $90.00 | Rating: 8
Clea install, easy configuration
Seems like the supported hardware database is old
Well, my pros and cons just about sum it up...
Good distro, lots of built-in choices for the X window system (KDE, Blackbox, Windowmaker, gnome). I like the YaST2 configuration, although it is kinda centralised. And I find the /media/ idea very good (I have a /media/mp3 and a /media/divx for multimedia files I keep on my disk). If only my SB live worked without problems (Sigh!). Kinda makes me long for my previous pc, a celeron, where everything ran smoothly under 8.2
Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: $45.00 | Rating: 9
Setup, YaST, intergration with DEs and WMs, lots of apps
only adaquate hardware support, annoying mascot
This is my first rating, if you like it, send me your money. If you hate it and want to kill me, send me your money anyway.
SuSE Linux 8.2 Professional
Okay, I'm going to rate this according to categories, if you don't like it that way, I heard pressing "alt-left" works well.
Ease of Use: 8.5 out of 10
Very easy to use, GUI or not. YaST does an excellent job of handling common system tasks like installing software, setting run levels, and it also provides hundreds of pages of help documentation. Very intergerated with the KDE enviroment, which is a major plus for beginners.
9 out of 10
Usually the opposite of the previous category. Not SuSE Linux 8.2 pro though, I would recommend this up to intermediate users. I'm no expert myself, but from what I've heard, once you get more experienced, Slackware, Debian, and Gentoo are much better distros.
Hardware Support: 6 out of 10
I can't speak for every thing it supports, obviously, but let me tell you what it supported on my system
Supported my processor (duh)
Hard drive (duh)
My DVD drive is detected as my CD drive without doing any config editing
My real CD drive doesn't exist.
Floppy works fine.
I have no sound, even though it says I do.
Printing only works on some apps.
/* Intermission so Squall can rest his poor fingers... and finish his essay due tommorow */
Wow, tons and tons of programs, some useful, some trivial. Everything from a full featured office suite to a tomagachi emulator. It's great. Wide choices of programs in every category, ESPECIALLY development tools for C++, Java, and obsolete languages like FORTRAN. Good if you're a developer, good if you're not.
Fun Scores: Don't actually count
Geeko sucks. Let's just leave it at that.
To be honest, you won't impress the hardcore hackers by using SuSE
It took me 5 months to find out it was "S- OO- S U H" not "S OO SEE"
Eye Candy: 10/10
as much as I hate KDE, it looks real nice. This is good if you like that stuff because SuSE is thoroughly intergerated with KDE. (DESTROY KDE! GNOME RULES ALL!!!!) update: Me likes kde again! new version kick ass