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SuSE 8.1 Personal
Reviews Views Date of last review
3 14055 02-18-2004
Recommended By Average Price Average Rating
33% of reviewers $67.50 4.3

Keywords: SuSE 8.1 Personal

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Old 09-06-2003, 02:12 AM   #1
Registered: Jul 2003
Distribution: openSUSE Linux, Apple Darwin UNIX
Posts: 66

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Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: $35.00 | Rating: 8

Pros: GNOME 2.2, easy to use, Yast installer, and Sax2 XFree86 configurer.
Cons: Seems to favor KDE over GNOME (makes it easier to install KDE than GNOME).

Installed easily on my PC with AMD Duron 1.3 GHz, and FIC AT31 mainboard using the <<nomce>> boot option. I've been very happy with it right from the start. The thing I hate most is that it wanted to install KDE with a graphical install, and didn't even give me the option to install GNOME at all. Then after KDE was installed, I found that I could install GNOME 2.2 through Yast, but by then the default desktop manager was already set to KDE, so now to start GNOME I have to specify <<startx gnome>>. <<startx>> starts KDE. I think that's extremely annoying as I hate KDE and love GNOME, and I don't know how to change it. This is a horrible distribution to use if you want to make a custom kernel (or do ANYTHING involving kernel source at all for that matter). The kernel source is not on the CDs. It's also not in Yast. The only way to get it is to download it from the SuSE ftp site, and if you have a modem like me, that takes way too long! It should be on the CD like every other distribution! I found that the kernel source wouldn't compile anyway, even after I spent eternity downloading it with my modem. Interestingly, if you have a Lucent WinModem, and try to install the correct RPM from for the SuSE 8.1 kernel, RPM tells you that there is a dependency problem because it says you have the wrong kernel version for that RPM, which isn't true, so you have to just ignore the dependency and install anyway, and the Lucent WinModem will work perfectly. What is really interesting is that once you spend eternity downloading the kernel source with your modem (if so equipped), once you install the kernel-source RPM, the dependency problem for some reason magically goes away with the WinModem RPM. So, in short, we have dependency issues, and also dependencies on RPMs that don't come on the CD. Once I gave up on trying to compile the SuSE kernel source, I downloaded kernel 2.4.21 from, and eventually got that working (it at least compiles). Unfortunately SuSE uses an odd kernel that includes things that the kernels do not include, so even if you include everything that you should in your kernel config file, you will still get two or so error messages at boot time relating to SuSE specific crap, such as <<ioctl TIOCGDEV is not known by the kernel>> and a related message <<blogd: console=/dev/console, stdin=/dev/console, must differ, boot logging disabled>>. In other words, if you want to, or don't want to but have to make your own kernel, I don't recommend this distribution! Other problems are that it recognizes my DVD drive as my CD burner drive, and my CD burner as a regular CD reader drive which I don't even have, and it also shows another CD drive that doesn't exist. Needless to say, MPlayer and XCDRoast don't work. Also, many icons on the screen such as the one for don't actually do anything; you can click on them all day long if you like, but nothing will open, and even if you install the programs through Yast, many still don't open. And, the final thing that annoys me about SuSE 8.1 is that it mounts drives in the /media directory instead of the /mnt directory like normal distributions do. What I do like about this distribution is that if you do manage to install your WinModem driver, install GNOME 2.2 through Yast, and download the OS X themes for GNOME and the window manager, you've got a pretty sweet system pretty easily. If you like to do things the easy way and play with what you're given, this is the distro for you. If you like to mess with things and change them, this distro sucks!
Old 02-17-2004, 07:36 AM   #2
Registered: Feb 2004
Posts: 3

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Would you recommend the product? no | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 3


in my eyes, the SUSE distribution is one of the worst out there. It seems to me that those SUSE guys love patching already running code. Except for kernel patches there is a whole list of applications and modules that get modified by SUSE. Example: Apache webserver. SUSE simply adds new config scripts and penetrates http.conf!
Tried to do a SUSE update with yast (via ftp). When update was completed a whole bunch of kernel modules where broken (e.g. NVIDIA TNT ethernet driver, vmware module, ...). Ever donwloaded some tar.gz package and tried to compile it on a SUSE distro? ALWAYS read README first because you'll ever have to do some special tunes to your platform to get the code compiled!
So please: Keep your hands off this distro!
Old 02-18-2004, 10:29 PM   #3
Posts: n/a
Would you recommend the product? no | Price you paid?: $100.00 | Rating: 2

Pros: Difficult to tell at this point
Cons: NOT ready for Prime Time IMNHO

Where to start...

Our first experience with Linux was the retail purchase of SuSe Office Desktop. Considerable research has been done over the past year to determine the viability of moving our small Biz to Linux to escape the death hold of Microsuck's Windoze O/S which has more security holes than Swiss cheese and is riddled with Bugs.

After considerable research it appeared that SuSe Office Desktop would be a viable means to migrate to Linux with a CLAIMED user friendly graphical interface and EASY installation. We opted for the full retail package to obtain installation and operational support as this is a small Biz that depends on our PCs to be reliable, secure, productive tools. Our goal is NOT to become Linux programmers or spend countless days trying to learn Linux command line code, or re-invent the wheel.

After seeing a number of documented issues with SuSe 9.0 we elected to go with version 8.1 of Office Desktop, the only version available AFAIK. This move was prompted by a recent Windoze automated security update that completely hosed our primary Biz PC despite claiming to have been a perfect "update". Since we were unable to remove this "perfect update" despite Windoze claiming we could, it was time to finally break free from the disaster called Windoze that has cost Biz more losses than the national debt...

So we purchase Office Desktop, read over the Quick Install Directions, check hardware and software compatibility, read up on issues in the numerous Linux newsgroups, etc. Seeing as though we have been running W2K we need to repartition our HD to install Desktop Office 8.1. SuSE includes Acronis 8.0 for the purpose of resizing W2K and XP NTFS partitians. We install Acronis without difficulty and add the required FAT16 partition but no matter what we do, Acronis 8.0 will NOT allow us to resize the NTFS partition to make room for SuSe 8.1 Office Desktop. So three hours of frustration lead to the purchase of another new SCSI 15K drive @ $300 which was installed and used exclusively for the SuSE Office Desktop install.

During the initial install SuSe could not find our properly installed PCI based USR5610B modem nor could it properly configurate our network used for our cable modem. We spent an additional four hours trying to resolve the installation issues using YaST2 where we entered the correct configuration info. to no avail. No matter what we were unable to configure our mail and Net services.

After working most of the night to install Office Desktop with little success, we wait another three hours until it's convenient for SuSe to provide phone Tech Support between the hours of 9-3 PM Pacific time in the U.S. (Better hours than banks ferchristsake!) When we get thru the SuSe rep tells us we MUST go online and registered our product before we can obtain Tech SUpport for INSTALLATION ISSUES. Well exactly HOW do you go online when you can't make mail or Net services function during the initial installation??? Nonetheless the German CSR makes it perfectly clear this is the ONLY means to obtain tech Support.

So we fins a means to log on to the Net using another WINDOZE based PC and enter our product info. into SuSe's registration database. Then we call SuSe Tech again, and again, and again, and again until we FINALLY get thru. We provide our software registration number and the CSR gentleman confirms it is now registered. We explain the problem with configuring mail and Net access and are told that NO SUPPORT IS PROVIDED FOR THESE OPERATIONS UNDER SuSE TECH SUPPORT POLICY so we are sh*t outta luck!!!!


Since then we have once again used a WINDOZE based PC to e-mail SuSE Tech Support - TWICE begging for installation assistance as our Biz PC is crippled at this point because we have NO MAIL or NET service. We have NOT received ANY response from SuSE despite the fact the Support Request (sic) was marked CRITICAL.

Here is what SuSe CLAIMS for Office Desktop:

"SUSE LINUX Office Desktop
Speedy, Stable, Versatile - SUSE LINUX Office Desktop
You are looking for a work environment that offers easy, comfortable, and effective handling? A solution that can be configured in a quick and straightforward manner and on which office applications for Microsoft Windows can be utilized? A secure alternative based on Open Source technology?

Now your vision of a stable and versatile office environment is about to materialize ...

... at greatly reduced license prices!

SUSE LINUX Office Desktop 8.1 $129.00

SUSE LINUX Office Desktop allows you to benefit instantly from the stability and security of Linux on the desktop in companies and at home without any previous Linux experience, while continuing to use and process existing data with accustomed applications such as Microsoft Office.

The mature and user-friendly technology of our SUSE Llinux 8.1 enables the migration from your previous Microsoft Office System to SUSE LINUX Office Desktop in a few steps.

Like all other products of SUSE LINUX AG, the new Office Desktop is quick and easy to install. Moreover, the migration is possible without any technical experience even alongside a preinstalled Windows XP. The partitioning tool Acronis OS Selector allows you to resize Windows XP or 2000 Professional partitions rapidly without losing data, thus making room for SUSE LINUX Office Desktop. More details on Acronis OS Selector:

Acronis OS Selector - Installation and Configuration Guide (PDF)
Acronis product page.
You can choose between KDE 3.0.4 and GNOME 2.0 as graphical desktop environment.

The unlimited compatibility with your old data from your Windows system is a new and trend-setting feature of SUSE LINUX Office Desktop. You are free to choose: continue to use MS Office by simply installing it in SUSE LINUX Office Desktop, or use the new StarOffice 6.0, which enables you to read and write all MS Office formats. Apart from the MS Office programs, you can also install and use a number of other Windows programs.

Exploit the latest Linux technology and the communicative possibilities of Office Desktop to facilitate your office operations: "

There is no way on the face of this Earth that Desktop Office is ready for use by the general public if:

1. In can't properly configure mail and Net access

2. SuSe provides NOT TECH SUPPORT WHATSOEVER for the RETAIL PACKAGE installation.

MAybe PC geeks in the open source community think the mediocre graphical interface SuSE and others have applied to Linux is going to move Linux to the desktop, but I'm here to tell ya that as much as we absolutely desire to use Linux, we are not able or willing to lose days of productivity trying to fix basic INSTALLATION ERROS that should be properly handled with an automated install, and ferchristsake, handled with IMMEDIATE RESPONSE from SuSE and all other distro suppliers charging substantial fees for this software and TECH SUPPORT.
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