[TriLUG] Tony's third report on Suse--taken again from Lockergnome's Penguin Shell newsletter
Thu, 6 Dec 2001 04:37:14 -0500
When I first received the Suse box, I couldn't imagine why it contained 7
CDs. I knew that application development for Linux has stepped up with the
increased profile of commercial distributions. But 7 CDs is 4550 Mb - 4.5
gigabytes of applications. I really just couldn't have imagined. That tells
you how long I've been living on freely downloadable versions of Linux
Well, the answer is simple. If there's something you want to do in Linux,
Suse has a program to do it. Web, office, multimedia, graphics ... it's all
here. With 3200 applications, I couldn't possibly hope to get through all of
them in the week this distro review will last. But I can hit the high points
in the various application categories.
Suse strongly favors the KDE desktop, though it provides a total of 13
different desktop environments and managers. Konqueror, the KDE browser, is
prominent in this package. But Suse has skimped nowhere. The browser
packages also include Mozilla, Netscape 6 and my current favorite, Galeon.
KDE is heavily favored in the email packages, as well. KMail is the default.
Evolution is available, but only in a .12 beta version. A quick check of the
Ximian site shows that Evolution is not yet available for Suse 7.3. Balsa
and Pine are also available in the stock installation.
StarOffice 5.2 comes front and center in Suse. As could be expected, KOffice
also has a strong presence. Suse also includes Suse Fax, an application for
faxing from Linux.
The multimedia selection in Suse is very beefy. CD audio, mp3 and wav files
are supported with kxcd, XMMS and alsaplayer. If you're a Linux-type DJ,
Suse offers GDAM and terminatorX, both fine mixing programs. Broadcast2000
is a full-featured, broadcast-quality audio editor. MIDI is supported with
ALSA and kmid. Suse throws in two drum synthesizers, as well - TK-707 and
On the video side of the multimedia packages, motv supports TV cards as well
as webcams and kradio works with FM tuner cards.
Burn lots of CDs? Suse comes complete with X-CD Roast for quick CD recording
and duplication. For heavyweight CD recording tasks, you can turn directly
to cdrecord and cdrao.
Gimp, the Gnu Image Manipulation Program, has really become the standard for
graphics in Linux. It's here in Suse 7.3 Professional. And, much like Gimp,
Sane is the new standard for scanning programs. Suse includes both Sane and
its prettier cousin, XSane to meet your scanning needs.
I have to admit to being a bit dizzy from the array of packages available in
this version of Suse. Maybe that's because my flavor of the week last week
was the downloadable version of Slack. That change would qualify, I think,
for distribution vertigo. Uncharacteristically, I did go for the full
install this time around, too. Or maybe it's just that I've been pretty
comfortable the past few years with my freely downloadable installs. That
might qualify as living in a cave. If I'd just stick my head out once in
awhile, I might find that, contrary to popular opinion, Linux really does
have a "prime time" application base.
We'll wrap it up with Suse tommorrow and, workload permitting, I may dash
off the first real Lockergnome-type report ever written in Japan.