NETXPRESS: Linux experimentation continues with SuSE and Debian

August 03, 2003|SHEILA CLARK

If you've been reading my columns throughout July, you will notice that I am actively seeking an alternative operating system. My alternative OS happens to be in the world of Linux. I have explored a little more than a half-dozen flavors of Linux products and I've enjoyed the journey immensely - well, for the most part I have.

At the beginning of July, I gave a run-down of some of the different products I have tried and my personal experience with each of those. Today, I want to share with you two more Linux products that I've added to that growing list: SuSE Linux Pro 8.2 and Debian 3.0.

My experience with SuSE didn't start off so great. It didn't like the chipset of the motherboard I had, so another had to be purchased before I even got a chance to check it out. But after that, things got a little better.


Installation wasn't as user-friendly as I'd hoped, but with a little Linux know-how, you could get by OK. SuSE Pro is a more corporate-oriented product but it had a lot of fluff, too. For instance, it includes several products that do the same thing and it came with a nice variety of games.

The Yast2 feature is great. This package manager is SuSE's flagship component. Yast2 goes out and gets the software and any file dependencies and installs in onto your system. Yast2 also gets any updates or security patches and applies those as well.

My experience with SuSE is still ongoing, but currently, I personally wouldn't recommend it for a Linux newbie.

As for Debian 3.0, this is definitely not one I would recommend to a Linux newbie. For me, this one had the most non-user-friendly installs of them all. After some trial and error and a load of persistence, installing it was a breeze, but getting to that point was just short of a nightmare.

Debian prompted for about a dozen or more things during the installation. I guess the other Linux products have me spoiled with their auto hard-drive allocation tool, X and KDE. This Debian installation was just a raw, plain Jane, command line, but that is ideal for use on servers.

In conclusion, both seemed great for more experienced Linux users or in a business-oriented environment.

Net buzzz

* has released a fully-licensed DVD playback decoder called the Lindows DVD player. The player will allow commercial DVDs as well as Microsoft Windows Media, QuickTime, and other such multimedia content to be played easily and flawlessly on computers running LindowsOS. Click-N-Run Warehouse members can buy Lindows DVD player digitally for just $4.95, and for non-members, the cost is $39.95.

Please note that a one-year membership to the Click-N-Run Warehouse costs $49.95. Membership provides access to more than 1,500 software programs with the addition to substantial discounts on commercial Click-N-Buy software. Learn more at

* will launch a Japanese version of their LindowsOS 4.0 at the end of August. Read more at

* Security experts are keeping a close eye on the potential for a large-scaled hack attack due to the serious RPC vulnerability in Windows. Read more at

* Microsoft is opening the Windows source code to more national governments due to the increase in the popularity of its rival Linux. Read more at

Live MSN chats

Aug. 4: Rock group Smash Mouth chats at 9 p.m. Go to

E-mail me at; fax me at (859)236-9566; or write me snail-mail at The Advocate-Messenger, P.O. Box 149, Danville, KY 40423-0149.

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