by Rob Williams on June 29, 2006 in Linux
If you are intrigued by the Linux world, there is no better time than now to get in on the action. There has never been so much support, or a wide variety of distros to choose from. One of the most popular distros in recent years have been SuSE, due to it’s ease of use.
Hostname configuration… You probably will not have to touch this part.
As always, AppArmor is included, although it’s for a real poweruser who genuinely cares about application security. Probably for business use more than personal use.
For even more security, a firewall is included and is turned on by default. It includes the ability to specify which services can access the internet, and which can’t.
Under the user management, you can create a new group, and even password them if need be. You can add a new user also, and specify which groups they should be added to. All of these is incredibly simple and will save you from having to type it all up in the console.
Last up of note is the online update configuration. You have the ability to have YaST automatically download the updates for you, or not.
There’s really never a conclusion when it comes to an operating system. They are so vast, and new versions come out before anyone has a time to conclude on them. In addition, no operating system is perfect, which is quite apparent. It will -always- be that way. Regardless, SuSE is a great choice for a distro, especially if you are a Linux newbie looking to get into it.
That aside, I cannot say I am as impressed with SuSE as I used to be. In fact, it almost seems to be getting worse in terms of bugs. One reason I did not evaluate 10.0 is because I had some weird problems that would not go away.. and that’s just for normal OS operation. 10.1 fixed those problems I had before, but introduced some new ones… the online update for example. Because the online update halted during the first install, I ended up having to reformat and start fresh.. and just hope that it didn’t happen again. Since SuSE is known as being a great OS for beginners, that’s not a very welcoming thing to happen.
Even after the second install, which proved successful, some things didn’t work so well. MonoDevelop for instance, worked up until you wanted to create a new project… then it would just crash. Though trying it in another installed distro proved to work just fine. Overall, SuSE just seems to be quite buggy, but chances are you may not run into the same problems I have. Or maybe you will.
Pesky bugs aside, SuSE does continue to become more user friendly. YaST is top notch in terms of customization and tweaking and I wish more distros had such an in-depth power tool. In fact, YaST would be one of the main reasons to pick up SuSE, or OpenSuSE… it’s a great addition.
If you choose to pick up the retail box, don’t worry, you will not be wasting your money. Before making that jump though, you may want to check out OpenSuSE first and see if it suits your fancy. If it does, you may want to pick up the retail version for the support, manual and additional programs not found in the free version.
Next time a major port of SuSE is released, you can be sure I will revisit it and see how things have evolved. I am hoping that with 10.2 or beyond, that the problems I experienced will be fewer. Between two installs I ran into a few bizarre problems, and I am assuming I will not be alone in this.
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