SuSe 6.4 review

This edition includes a new and improved graphical installation tool, YaST2 (Yet another Setup Tool), which closely resembles that of Caldera's OpenLinux. The automatic hardware detection works well, as does the Network configuration which has full DHCP support. Choice of automatic or manual partitioning is available, with the option to use existing partitions if performing an upgrade.

Software selection comes with four options: 1. the Minimal option will give you only a text-based environment; 2. Default will result in the basic software being installed on your computer, including a graphical interface; 3. Almost Everything will install more than 6GB of software to your hard disk; and 4. the Detailed Selection will allow you to choose the packages to install.

The installer configures the Linux loader, allowing SuSE 6.4 to easily co-exist with Windows.

The major drawback with YaST2 is that it requires at least 64MB of RAM to run. Below that and you're stuck with YaST1, which is more cumbersome and less clear.

The six CDs that make up the CD Edition (the release is also available on DVD) contain the operating system as well as over 1500 programs. Some of the more popular applications included in the distribution are: VMware (30 day trial version), WordPerfect 8 (download edition), StarOffice 5.1a and Netscape. Other newly included applications are Broadcast 2000 - a video editing system, and Moonlight 3D - a 3D drawing program. SuSE Linux has been rpm compliant since release 5.0, so working with rpm files is not a problem.

The default window manager for the release is KDE, which has been redesigned by SuSE for the 6.4 version. This KDE environment is very user friendly and has easy window management. Drag-and-drop is also supported.

For more advanced users, the extended 2.2.14 kernel provides sup-port for up to 3.5GB of RAM. The ReiserFS journaling file system adds redundancy, for powerful and stable file serving. This is done by storing transaction logs of all disk writes and dynamically organising the file system, making it more efficient than existing Linux options. Improved firewall scripts provide increased security, as does a new kernel module, secumod.

The new X windows server XFree86 4.0 is also included, but since it has not yet been sufficiently tested, it is not being installed as default. There is better support for graphics cards and USB devices in this release.

Included with the release is a new, quick-install manual for beginners. It has step-by-step instructions, supported by screen shots, to guide new users through the YaST2 installation process.

The SuSE Linux handbook is included and has new chapters on notebook computing, desktop configuration and masquerading (a popular means of allowing several networked computers to access the Internet through a single machine).

Ensuring that customers are not left in the cold, the package comes with 60-day installation support by telephone, fax and e-mail. This is another great and promising release from Europe's largest Linux distributor. For more information visit, www.suse.de/en/

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Rodney Gedda

PC World

Most Popular Reviews

Follow Us

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Shopping.com

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Latest Jobs

Shopping.com

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?