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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.
Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 9
Overal outstanding Linux dektop distribution.
No DVD playback
SuSE Linux 9.1 Professional
The purchase of SuSE 9.1 Professional provides you with five CD-ROMS, two double-sided DVD's, and two manuals. One for the user and one for the administrator. The documentation is EXCELLENT to say the least. All of it is placed inside a very nicely designed and well constructed box.
I installed the 32-bit version first from the 5 CD-ROMS and then the second time from the DVD-ROM. Installation is incredibly easy. The process is streamlined and even the most inexperienced user could have SuSE up and running on their system in no time. The installation interface is neat and clean, the graphical installation is very comfortable on the eyes. I preferred the DVD install, as I did not have to change from one disk to the next during the package installation process.
I installed the 64-bit version on an AMD64 Athlon FX-51. If you want to install the 64-bit version, you need a DVD-ROM drive in the minimum. The installation disk is the same as the 32-bit version, but using side B of the DVD. Other than that, install was the same for both versions.
During install, SuSE sets up everything for you! All you really have to do is click "Next" and "OK". SuSE Linux 9.1 Professional uses YaST (graphical setup program) for the installation. It will automatically select partitioning schemes for you, and can even resize your Windows partitions if you have them (I had Windows on the 32-bit system). It will even warn you if your Windows disk needs to be defragged before the resize/format is carried out. You also have the option to change everything that YaST selected fir the installation. Don't like the selected partitioning scheme? Change it!
The default software install selection will get you up and running with some multimedia and game programs, a very nice office suite (thanks to OpenOffice.org), image manipulation, and various other "standard" programs...web browsers, email, etc. It does not end there. If you want, you have the option to install just over 4GB worth of programs onto your system. I opted for manual package selection, as it let me select programs and libraries I knew I would need later. All I know to say about manual package selection is HOLY CRAP there is a ton of software to choose from. From Blender to Ximian to TuxRacer...this installation has it all, so to speak. I was very impressed by all the software provided out of the box.
The 32-bit system is an AMD AthlonXP 3200+ with 1.5Gb DDR400, a CD-RW and CD-ROM, SB Live! 5.1 sound card, and an ATI Radeon 9600SE video card, and a 120GB ATA133 hard disk, all tied into an MSI K7N2 Delta-L mobo. The 64-bit system is an AMD64 Athlon FX-51 with 2Gb DDR400 with ECC, a DVD-RW and DVD-ROM, SB Audigy2 ZS sound card, and a GeForce FX 5950 Ultra video card by Asus, a PCCHIPS TV/FM tuner card and a 120Gb SATA hard disk, all tied into an Asus SK8N motherboard. My 64-bit system also has a CrystalFontz 634 character LCD panel mounted on the front.
All hardware was detected properly and installed without a flaw during the YaST install on both systems. There was, however, an annoying message saying something about my SATA raid controller, but I had already read that this message in in error and SuSE already has an update out to fix it. Thus, I knew to ignore the message. SuSE does not install with 3D support for video cards enabled. That's for you to do after you get the drivers from your video card chipset's manufacturer. Another thing I was impressed by was the selection of monitors you can choose from during the install if it does not automatically figure out which monitor you are using.
The rest of the setup is easy, basic password setup and user accounts. One note to remember, you can change everything about the install that YaST selects for you. I do not, however, recommend this unless you know a lot about your computer or the computer has a "mission", i.e., DHCP server, and you are fine tuning it.
Now that install is completed, the first thing I noticed is that I didn't have sound. After looking at the volume control (kmix), I realized that volume was at zero by default. So if you install SuSE 9.1 pro and do not get sound, check your volume sliders first. The first thing I did was get on the internet and download video drivers. My 32-bit system performed better than I ever expected it to, and my 64-bit system is inexplicably fast. With vendor-supplied drivers for video, I was off to check out some multimedia capability. SuSE 9.1 Professional comes loaded with a bunch of multimedia software, if you select it during install. If not, you can use YaST to install it after your system install is complete. Anyway, I was jamming to MP3's (burned them to a disc before install so I was ready) and watching video clips like it was cool, and I wanted to try a DVD. I inserted the DVD and BOOM....no dice. This was the only thing I could find about SuSE that ticked me off. On the box it says it can play DVD's, but I don't remember seeing it say anything about not being able to play encrypted DVD's. I'll have to give the box a better look. But here's the thing, i cannot even play unencrypted DVD's. As soon as I try, all included DVD software tells me it can't play DVD's due to some legal reasons. So I go to the SuSE website listed in the message and find out that some crappy law passed in Germany prevents SuSE from including a viable DVD player with their distro.
The only hardware that did not work at all was my LCD panel. And I don't think it's going to until LCDProc comes out in 64-bit, if ever.
Well, there is only one con and everything else is pro. DVD playback is neutered, and that is a major fallback with me. I think SuSE needs to figure out a way to put DVD platback into their disribution.
Sleek, stylish, nice KDE enhancements, YaST, Sax2 and a compliment of other tools and programs make this distro the nicest I have tried to date. I became a Linux user in January of 1997, and I have tried every major release of every major distribution since, and some not-so-major distributions as well.
Ease of installation: 10 (my dog can install this distro, I swear)
Installation GUI: 10 (best I have seen yet)
Software Selection: 10 (over 4Gb if all is installed)
Cleanliness: 10 (nice fonts, crisp graphics, no clutter)
Documentation: 10 (best I have seen yet)
Hardware support: 10 (high-end hardware supported)
Multimedia, Sound: 10 (great assortment of audio software)
Multimedia, Video: 6 (no DVD)
I give SuSE 9.1 Professional a 9 out of 10 because of the lack of DVD playback. Otherwise, it would have been a 10 of 10. Good job SuSE team! SuSE replaced my other distribution (I will leave unnamed because it is still an awesome distro) as my Linux Desktop...on all 5 PC's in my house.
I also fixed the DVD issue by using xine off the net instead of the SuSE version, and I built RPM's for the x86_64 version...I will post as soon as the person hosting it for me has it up on their site (which provides all sorts of DVD playback software for linux)
Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: D/L | Rating: 8
Noob-friendly, Hardware support, Stability
Generic setup: Expensive, unless you have friends!
This is a review for noobs who are looking to convert to Linux from Windows.
When you boot from CD, YaSt starts, its setup manager. It will ask you only several questions, but allows for you imput, if you force it. It comes with an autonomous partitioning software, which will set up either a single or dual-boot. For advance partitioning, though, it also functions adequately. With this distro, the software selection is bountiful, although some of it is out of date and needs updating. However, if you have any errors in the setup at all, it will most likely be in the boot-up.
After you do a kernel install, it will reboot to the kernel to continue the software installation. If the installation was interupted, however, you will be greeted with a dysfunctional (broken) command line to play with. For a noob, a normal command line is hard enough.
However, if the auto-boot did not configure properly, you're going to have to figure out grub first. Windows tends to create major problems in Lilo, but they still cause some in Grub, Suse's default bootloader. I personally had a tough time trying to get Suse's auto-bootloader to function- but with no windows (clean hd,) it would be streamlined.
Once you get into a GUI, you have a choice of desktops, like most distros, although which one you choose is up to you. windows will be most familiar with KDE, but i'm not going to start a flame war with GNome here. THe auto-detection of your hardware is efficient and effective, although, like most linux, isn't perfect. For advanced features like surround sound, 3d acceleration, and wireless networking, it requires a lot of configuration.
Finally, there is a great amount of good Documentation that comes with the Suse package. However, Suse has that copywrited, and so you will have to pay for it. It comes with this distro, and is very helpful for noobs, but still costs money.
Final Rap Up: Noobs, if you have money, order suse.
PS: The Suse Distro itself is GNU, so you can copy it from your local Linux Guru. You're just payin for the pretty packing (literally).
Would you recommend the product? no | Price you paid?: $69.99 | Rating: 5
Support, Service, and Documentation
Whether or not I recommend this product depends on your reason for considering it. Do not expect much help from their tech support service, and carefully read the details of which topics it covers before you purchase SuSE Linux. Their answers to my questions have helped me far less than any information available on this forum. They usually just point me back to their deceptively empty support database. On the surface, it appears filled with information for every topic, but most of it is outdated and obsolete.
Also, I find the documentation lacking. The user's guide provides mostly general information about the various included applications. The administrator's guide include primarily technical information for advanced users. In itself, that's great. Unfortunately, none of the resources offer worthwhile assistance to an intermediate computer user. My previous experience with other operating systems covers anything from the user's guide, while my lack of Linux experience prevents me from benefitting from the technical information from the adminstrator's guide.
As with any Linux distribution, be certain to choose your hardware carefully. Unfortunately, their supported hardware database isn't as concise as I would prefer for buying separate hardware components to ensure compatitbility.
I haven't explored the software too deeply yet, but it looks like they include everything and more. I find KDE far more convenient to use than MacOS 9, MacOS X, or Windows. I also like GNOME, though I haven't explored it as much.
The installation is easy. In fact, it's much easier than installing Windows.
Overall, I scored this a 5 because SuSE receives a 0 for customer service and 5 for quality of software. If they didn't claim to offer great service, I'd probably give them about an 8.
Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: $89.95 | Rating: 9
EASY for newbies like me. And I'm paralysed from neck down, and type with my mouthstick.
Glitch's in YaST, Handicap feature in KDE 3.2
I started off by downloading the ISO and burning the 9.1 Personal Edition. I was so impressed that I ordered 9.1 Professional, so I could get extra software without searching the web over. I was not disappointed.
This IS my first ever Linux system. I have replaced Windoz XP on my Mom's desktop, my desktop, and my IBM Thinkpad. SuSE's website said unlimited installs, and no serial numbers or activation. They are for real! Bye Bill Gate$, I'll watch your stock price fall as this catch's on.
Everything was detected and installed (hardware) on my desktop and the Thinkpad (Including a Netgear MA 301 wireless network card on Thinkpad). Everything on Mom's machine EXCEPT for an older Netgear USB MA-101 WiFi network device was supported.
Please don't flame me about other distros, I paid my money, I'm VERY happy, and it ain't broke (so don't fix it).
YaST installer has some issues, but it might be me :-) Had problems with Firefox 0.9.3, but today, SuSE had an update, YaST detected version 0.8 on my machine, and it downloaded, and installed. Nice.
I had problems with sticky keys, but KDE website has a work around that's great. Because I type one peck at a time locking modifier keys is a must. That's one reason I have not started using Linux before. With KDE and sticky keys I can open terminals , and still peck one key at a time. BTW - I only know five or less command's (Grin)
All in all, try the personal on an old machine just to show Winbloz user's KDE, and what they can do with Linux. Tell them about stability, small file sizes, etc. I did a FULL install on my desktop, and only used five gigs.
I've a long road ahead, but SuSE 9.1 Pro has converted me!
Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: D/L | Rating: 8
yast, easy install, documentation, tons of software
sound problems, configuration of grub, minimal install not so minimal
This is an excellent distro for newbies, and not so newbies.
Installation is almost just clicking "next", defaults are great , but it always give you the power to change them (more than my previous Red hat at least).
Working with partitions is easy, it detected all my hardware (i don't have something too special either), it reboot just once through all the process (before installing all software), so once it finish you have a fully functional linux. Something that I also find very usefull was that when it install the software tells you how much time is left to change disks, and not all the process, so you can change disk and go to eat a snack with peace of mind.
Working with yast for adm task like updating your kde is easy. You are well covered with software (after all, with 5 disks you can't expect less). Documentation is good, include a lot of how-to's from tldp.
It seems like a bed of roses, but it isn't (at least not completly).
First draw back I found was the sound (and reading forums it seems that is a very common problem). Volume was too low so I had to adjust it everytime, eventually I solved it, but I don't remember how :P. Then setting up my 3d acceleration take me too much time and effort.
Trying to change some configuration from somewhere else than yast is hard, to say less. When i tried to change my grub.conf I found a file almost empty and without any comment, seems like SuSE puts in a lot of files all the info that should go within grub.conf. When I tried to do a minimal installation, it was too big, compared to mandrake minimal for example.
Bottom line, a great distro to started into the linux world, but if you like to "do it by yourself" and wish learn how everything really works inside, I recommend you a distro like gentoo
Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 8
Display "blinks" at every X minutes (X = time to automatically shut the monitor when not in use)
SuSE Linux 9.1 Professional has an advantage in terms of possessing handfuls of software that are necessary for my everyday studies. It has office programs, development programs, games, multimedia, image editing, and others.
Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: $45.00 | Rating: 10
Easy to use, gorgeous, easy to use, easy to use
Lack of DVD playing software by default
Best distro I have seen thus far. Very polished GUI and YaST is so easy an untrained monkey could use it.
Installation was a breeze. It recognized my XP install and easily resized the partition and installed. Software selection was the only thing I had to modify in the entire install, and that is only because I wanted Evolution and all the games. The tools available in the Control Center and YaST enable you to change pretty much everything in the entire system.
I got a 21" CRT just after installing and SuSE immediately saw it and offered to configure it - which it did correctly. Enabling 3D support on my nVidia FX 5200 was as easy as running the online update. Worked perfectly the first time and after I installed Tribes 2 I was playing without a problem for hours. (Fun game, too) I honestly cannot see any downside to this OS. Novell has outdone themselves and I intend on converting as many people as I possibly can from Windoze.
My only gripe is not really with SuSE, but with the German government for that silly law that keeps them from adding DVD viewing software. Kinda going overboard, but maybe I'm just missing something.
I was nervous when Novell took over at SuSE, but my fears were totally unfounded. All I can say is "Way to go, Novell/SuSE!" I'm a SuSE user and it looks like that will not change in the near future.
Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 10
Easiest install yet
This was a gift from my Son.
Great gift, it is now my operating system of choice, OK so I only use it on 2 networked desktops, I'm not an Admin, just someone who likes trying out different Distro's.
Funny thing is I am now rationalising my multiboot system with SUSE 9.1 pro as my main OS.
It took a long time and many Distro's were tried, I've even taken Windoze off one of my machines entirely.
Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 9
Easy; Stable; Great Software; YAST; HW Detection.
Overly KDE orientated; DVD playback hassle.
After having tried several distributions I found SuSE and became content. SuSE 9.1 professional is a Great Operating System. It just has so many great aspects (see above) and relatively few cons. After fighting with MDK 9.2, Yoper 2.1 or Slackware I was so happy with the smoothness of everything I encountered in SuSE9.1. I just don't have time to sit hours in front of the computer and feel utterly frustrated because of cryptic error messages or disappearing sound or picture. I am just an ordinary Joe Public for whom computer is a tool :-)
Only thing I was a bit annoyed was the fact that I had to hunt DVD decryption software in the net. Is SuSE being a bit over cautious? And yes, I don't like that KDE is rubbed on your face. It is a very good DT but Linux is about choice.
I am completely satisfied with SuSE 9.1 pro and can recommend it for anybody.
Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 9
Easy to use. Stable. YaST. Most things just work.
Overly KDE based. Gnome doesn't work as well as it should.
SuSE 9.1 Professional was the first Linux distribution that I had - Previously I had simply used Live CDs, however I felt that SuSE really showed me how good Linux is and has really helped me move over from Windows.
I must say that I personally feel many will find it easy to switch from Windows to SuSE Linux because it is just so easy to use - from installation to general day-to-day use on the Internet, chatting online or writing documents.
It came with five CDs, and had plenty of applications - True some were somewhat out of date, however worked none-the-less. And it wasn't that difficult updating it.
People would always tell me how difficult Linux was to install, use and actually install programs on it - and with SuSE I found none of that! I was pleasantly surprised.
My only problem with SuSE 9.1 Professional is that Gnome isn't as good as it could be. If you can use KDE, then that's great and SuSE will be perfect for you - Personally however I really like Gnome, and would much prefer it if SuSE 9.1 had a working Gnome. The major problems I found was errors when starting, and also a lot of programs not working and it simply crashing; as well as things such as YaST not working.
Overall yes I would recommend SuSE to people who have not used Linux - It's a great distro for newbies, and really allows you to get a feel for Linux.
Distribution: RedHat 7.1,(planning to go for suse9.2professional/Mandrake 10.1official powerpack+
Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 0
easy install, nice hardware detection, easy and flexible partitioning
dialup modem not good,no user diaing, only wvdial works and that for superuser only.
Suse 9.1 professional seems o.k. I could install it easily with custom partitions. Everyone knows the advantages. I am giving some difficulties I faced. 1) when switching to GNOME desktop it says 'no internet site for linux, so gnome won't work properly. By adding linux to /etc/hosts it may be helpful.' But does not say how to add linux to /etc/hosts. 2)The modem light applet in the panel does not work. After clickng on it the modem dials, but then it says no ppoe on, no such file etc. Only wvdial works, that too in superuser mode. 3) No video player (Caffiene, Tottem, Xine) is able to play a movie on vcd, which can be easily played on Windows 98 SE,ME 2000,Xp, without any legal problems. These movies are not made by Microsoft. 4) The Internet connection dies down quite often and within about 5/6 minutes. 5) There is no g77 Fortran compiler.
6) There is no locate command.7) My HP Deskjet 640 printer is not in the list of supported printers. Finally, and this is most important is that there are absolutely no books available for Suse Linux. The books that exist on Linux are all based on RedHat Linux (rihgt from RedHat6.2- to 9 RedHat linux). These books are written by various people. I am not complaing. I only want that more and more people should opt for Linux. But to make that possible, More books on Suse Linux should be written at various reader levels. And unlimited high quailty Audio recording ( I have a creative Live! value Sound card) from analog deviceslike casstte decks should be provided. Also movie wathing on vcds is very common now a days. If for this purpose people have to turn to Windows why should they go for Linux in the first place ( apart from software gurus and hard core programers. I am a novice. I love and respect Linux. I already was having Red Hat Linux 7.1 Boxed pack professional Linux. I am having copy of Suse 9.1 professional Linux on 5 CDs, and am thinking to go in for 9.2 professional boxed pack version. This is the reason I have written such a boring and lengthy post. And I have not rated this product because I think I am not qualified to do it.
regards to Suse people and all users
Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: D/L | Rating: 10
yaST,sleek look,easy installation and administration.
Adding more installation sources in yaST
I have been using SuSE 9.1 for a 8 months now,and almost never had any problems.I think this is the best ditribution for anyone who wishes to migrate to linux from any other OS. The installation is very intuitive and convenient for both advanced users as well newbies.The beginners can just go ahead with the deafault set-up and get their m/c running..whereas the experts can fully tweak the setup to their needs.I always had problems with the X server with my earlier distros..with SuSE it's extremely good going. YaST is unbeatable as far as central system administration is considered...and for very few things you can't do from yaST (like changing the desktop theme) you always have the control centre. The GUI is extremely pleasant and attractive.,with meaningful error messages.If anything goes wrong you can have a look at a neat sys-log (in X) ..again from yaST itself.The software section is very rich including a very exhaustive collection of documentation, development tools and libraries. For the first time ,I was able to play games on linux with SuSE..!
On the flip side I do encounter some minor problems with xmms,clanbomber and kinternet..but they surface once in the blue moon and are not that serious. To sum-up I would say that this is a great desktop distro which surely drives out the fear /hesitation for using linux from minds of newbies like me .
Would you recommend the product? no | Price you paid?: D/L | Rating: 5
the "assistants" which (ought to) help you set every things up
problems with hardware, not updatable, configuration problems
I started to work with SuSe 6.4 way way back in time.
My Laptop and Server ran on SuSe 8.2 Pro without problems - then I decicded updating the Server and after installing 9.1 (note installing, not updating) only 1 of 2 HDD were recognised and only 1 of the 2 ethernet cards (funnily the card was choosen at random) were visible to the system, oh and the floppy drive started to run up for 5 min for no reason at all at boot time.
So far for my experiences on the server-side
On my laptop i also risked it and to my surprise it worked out rather well, except I travel a lot and everytime I reconfigured a network interface by hand (using some special parameters) it strangely would not take the configuration and the yast was no help in this case, more the opposite.
Now taking a subjective stand to the entire affair:
The installation works rather well,
the ammount of tools/toys coming with it is impressive and leaves not much open to wish for.
The automatic update is "usable".
The assistants (Yast, SaX ...) work well and make even the conf of a multimonitor system easy
In short if you want a nice Windows replacement system go with SuSe, if you want to do more and really do some "WORK" on the machine (ie Sys/NetAdmin, security auditing) then SuSe is a inpediment. I only give it 5 out of 10 as I also discovered problems updating packages to the newest (safer) version which often only worked with majoy problems (if it worked)
Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: D/L | Rating: 9
Pros: Since I am a newbie to Linux, and I have tried a couple others. I like the ease of use in installing and updating programs. Also this is the first Linux OS I've been able to get my wireless card working on. I can't rate it a ten because I haven't tried many others.
Con: Some of the programs I desire are not quite compatible with Suse, without having to install from source.