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Old 06-22-2002, 10:04 AM   #1
LQ Newbie
Registered: Jun 2002
Location: Gold Coast, Australia
Distribution: Slackware8.1 & WinblowsXP
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Should i buy SuSe?


I'm currently running Mandrake 8.2 and its been pretty good so far, if a little easy. I can get SuSe 8 for AU$100 but i want to know if its worth it. I'm still a bit of a newbie so books are good. I've hearn that this distro comes with 3, are they any good a beginner like me?

What are your expierences with SuSe?

Is it easy to use?

Is it a little bit more challenging?

And most of all is it worth me spending AU$100?

Thanks for your help!

Matt Dwyer

PS: I've heard that SuSe is the #1 distro - is this true?
Old 06-22-2002, 01:03 PM   #2
Registered: Sep 2001
Distribution: Gentoo
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SuSE does a fairly good job at hiding the system from you, so it isn't much good if you want to learn about Linux. The graphical tools make life easy as far as they go, but they tend to interfere if you make changes manually.

I found installing any software on it that wasn't in SuSE RPM format already was nightmarish.

PS: I've heard that SuSe is the #1 distro - is this true?
That very much depends on how you define #1. Personally I consider Debian to be MUCH better, but Debian really isn't aimed at newbies.
Old 06-22-2002, 01:16 PM   #3
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I did learn alot from the books - but that was 7.3. They are good if you want some knowledge to get you started.
Old 06-22-2002, 08:32 PM   #4
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Distribution: *buntu (usually Kubuntu)
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Should you buy SuSE

Just a quick 5 pence worth from a total linux nugget, (that's nugget of shit BTW).

I am currently running xp/SuSE 8.0 personal version.

I was told that it should be ok for me to start with, but have found out that that is total crap.

I should have bought some books first. Most of my minimal linux knowledge has come from surfing and phone calls to my brother, who is an IT bod obsessed with the "brilliance" of linux.

He runs RH 7.3 and despite a goodly amount of knowledge, it still took him about 4 hours to configure my usb dsl modem, (the alcatel one that seems to be quite popular in europe due to ease of connection under satan's software).

I, for various reasons, would love to be able to move away from satan, but for straight out of the box ease, you can't fault it.
You get what you pay for.

I don't pretend to be able to understand ms books/manuals etc, but the two manuals that came with the SuSE 8 seem to be badly written (or translated) with various typo's and with suspect proof reading in evidence i.e. written and proof read by a german, judging by the amount of untranslated phrases and sentences.The kind of errors that would show up if the original text was written in german, and then edited and proof read by a native german speaker.

The install was an absolute breeze, and auto configuration went v smoothly excluding the modem and the onboard sound chip (82801BA/BAM AC 97 - intel 8x0 series) which worked fine on installation, but, was subsequently disabled to stop my machine hanging mid-boot. A driver problem I feel.

Surfing around various forums, magazine sites, etc, etc, I venture to suggest that it depends how confident you are in linux and more specifically with command line inputing. If you are happy/experienced with that, the Slackware seems to be very flavour of the month with the purests'. They seem to revell in doing everything config and set up wise in x/shell/whatever.

Just because SuSE 8.0 isn't easy enough for me, shouldn't stop you giving it a try, as I said, if you are confident, why not download it from somewhere, bollocks to the manuals and save the hundred bucks.

Sorry, I suppose that's about 2 quids' worth.


p.s. There doesn't seem to be as much distribution specific help/advice out there for SuSE as there does for Red Hat or Mandrake, but then i'm probably looking in all the wrong places!

Last edited by bigjohn; 06-22-2002 at 08:42 PM.
Old 06-22-2002, 11:04 PM   #5
Registered: Jan 2002
Location: Denver, Colorado, United States
Distribution: Gentoo, Debian, Rubyx
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My two cents

I used SuSE for a long while and I've moved away from it now for a number of reasons. Since I refuse to be a distribution diva I'm just going to relate my experiences as objectively as possible.

1. SuSE in my experience is a very easy install. A couple of GUI aided tweaks here and there and you're basically up and running. The downside of this is that traditional (and more powerful) methods of configuration are very difficult with the way SuSE sets itself up. You end up doing *everything* through a utility called Yast and everything you don't do through Yast seems to cause problems. One of the reasons that I stopped using SuSE was my frustration with this management system.

2. RPMs. I could ramble on about how ridiculous the dependency circle jerk gets but I won't. Essentially a tool to simplify installations it has morphed into a nightmarish world of guesses, broken installs, etc. Granted, most of the big distros are firmly invested in RPM so it's nearly inescapable for newbies. Let's just say that while the installer will dance around sprinkling perfectly installed applications at your feet installing them on your own can be painful.

3. SuSE is really big on locking their versions down. If you buy x.x you're pretty much there (as far as the GUI management tool is concerned) until you buy a new version. An earlier poster commented on the fact that non-SuSE RPMs are difficult to install and this is very true. So, in order to upgrade things you need to kind of work around the management system. I helped someone install KDE3 on their SuSE 7.3 box and it was a nightmare. Something to consider...

You do have to make some considerations, though. What exactly do you want to do with your machine? If you're looking to learn about the innards of Linux then SuSE is not a good place to start. Some of the other commercial/friendly distributions do allow you to get down further into the guts but you really have to tinker with SuSE to have it accept your edits, etc. If you're interested in learning about the guts and the modem connection download speed is killing you you might want to try Edmunds Enterprises. They do $1 CDs of a pretty wide range of Linux distributions and don't impose a donation overhead on the cost of trying out something new like many of the other cheap Linux CD places often do. Spend $10 - 15 and you'll have a whole arsenal of different distributions to try. Hell, you can even buy live evaluation copy of SuSE for a buck or so.

Whew. However, if you're really just looking to replace Windows with a different operating system then SuSE might not be a bad choice. It comes with an obscene number of applications and is pretty trivial to maintain. If you just want to get day to day stuff with a stable base of applications you might really like it.

Anyway, that's my take. Hope it is helpful to someone.
Old 06-24-2002, 11:23 AM   #6
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Registered: Jun 2002
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Hi there,

I have been using SUSE for a few months now and I found that Distrib very difficult for two reasons. The first reason being that the documentation of SUSE 8.0 is scarce, especially when u want to install it on a laptop that is not partuclarly compatible. Finally, it is a bit like windows ; It is not at all fexible. You are set in SUSE's world and if you want to get out of it you have to pass from being a newbie( Which I am) to a connaisseur in a few minutes time.
My advice, to get it for what it's worth.
Old 07-05-2002, 04:16 PM   #7
Registered: Dec 2001
Location: NoVA
Distribution: Ubuntu, Solaris, OpenBSD
Posts: 492

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Don't buy it

You will get just as much value from Mandrake. Also, Mandrake is nice enough to let you donwload their ISOs. I own SUSE 8.0 Personal and would be happy to sell it for $20 but I wish I had spent my money on Mandrake 8.2 but I'll buy the next version of Mandrake. SUSE is a pain in the ass to update and Mandrake's update works flawlessly.
Old 07-05-2002, 04:40 PM   #8
Registered: Jul 2002
Location: Vukojebina, Europe, Earth
Distribution: M$ Lunix v6.66
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I was running SuSE from version 6.0 to 8.0 and i must say it's getting vorst every time. 8.0 is a dissaster! For version 8.0 is allready 93 of updates

I've been running linux for about 6 or 7 years now and i've tryed all kids of distributions. At start i was more into Slackware and that time there waren't any fancy graphic tools to congifure system and stuff... You have to do all by hand, that's why it was hard to learn. Now when i'm experienced in unix platforms (i work as a system admin on UNIX platform) i like to configure EVERYTHING by hand, because that's the only way i know what am i doing. So for me Slackware is still No.1. And SuSE has this nasty tool called YaST, ver. 8.0 of suse has only YaST2, which is a bit unuseful. System files are so messed around and weird... It's sure not ok for servers, but i guess it's okay for desktops?

What i want to say is that if u like to learn unix platform better use a distribution, where u can configure everything by hand, that's the only way you'll learn the system.
Old 07-05-2002, 04:48 PM   #9
Registered: Jan 2001
Location: Switzerland
Distribution: Gentoo
Posts: 376

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Well, here goes my Opinion: I have bought SuSE 8 and at first, I liked it a lot. The Installation was the easiest I ever saw including any OS out there. Yast is now pretty goot as well, but I think - if you're willing to learn, I would go for Slackware. I tell you why: I can't get my Mail and 3d acceleration working with SuSE. The 3d is not my fault. They have changed a few things with file places and so on which makes it sometimes hard to compile software (I remember not beeing able to compile the aqua theme for SuSE because KDE residing in /opt/).
All these problems are gone since I have slackware installed. Everything is where it is supposed to be and if you really want it, you can install rpm as well.
You might think of one thing: Do you have a fast internet connection? If not, you might consider buying a 7 CD set just for the sake of noi downloading everything. But if you have got bandwith, I wouldn't buy SuSE.
Old 07-07-2002, 10:57 AM   #10
Registered: Mar 2002
Location: phoenix,az
Distribution: red hat linux enterprise-centos
Posts: 766

Rep: Reputation: 31
pc magazine this month gave red hat 7.3 three stars, and suse 8 four stars. i agree. i am runing both, and both work well, but i have had red hat freeze on me, not with suse.
Old 07-07-2002, 03:25 PM   #11
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Registered: Oct 2001
Location: Bristol UK
Distribution: Arch Slackware Ubuntu
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SuSE 8.0 does everything it should - if you want to replace Win. It is easy to install, a dream to set up, a doddle to maintain. You'll still have to come to this forum though - but that will be the case with any distro. SuSE 8.0 gets 9/10 for ease of use (from me) but I also like Mandrake 8.2
Anywhere is as good a place as any to start.
Go with SuSE!
Then change to Mandrake.
I'm thinking of trying Slack next.
Old 07-08-2002, 04:11 AM   #12
LQ Newbie
Registered: Jun 2002
Location: Gold Coast, Australia
Distribution: Slackware8.1 & WinblowsXP
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Original Poster
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yeah im running mandrake, and changing to slack soon

thanks for ur input


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