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Review: SuSE 7.0 Professional

SuSE ships with a colossal number of packages and you may have a hard

time choosing from over 1800 applications. If you were looking to fill

up some space on your monster I-should-be-on-a-server hard drive then

SuSE has a solution, a full install that will take up 6.5GB.

There's a huge amount of software here and you've got plenty of

alternatives. Don't want sendmail? Well, there's postfix. StarOffice a

little too bloated? Then maybe you could try Abiword. Wanna try running

Windows applications, you could use WINE or Vmware.

Since I was already running SuSE 6.4 on my system I first tried the

upgrade. That went off smoothly enough and I was soon running SuSE 7.

All packages were detected and upgraded. Next, I tried a clean

installation which went off smoothly as well. I chose the default with

office install which is just the default installation with StarOffice on

top. No problems here either.

Post-installation hardware detection worked great except for the sound

card. My sound card, an Ensoniq AudioPCI, was detected but there was

some problem loading the modules. I couldn't figure out the problem and

subsequent installations didn't fix it. SuSE Linux also includes the

commercial version of the OSS modules. I was eager to try these out but

they don't support PCI sound cards. Everything else however worked fine.

The network card was detected and configured. Printer setup was a snap,

I was able to setup a remote windows printer and also print a test page

in a jiffy. Samba printing was something that didn't quite work right,

at least for me, in version 6.4 but in 7.0 it worked straight out of the


Once I booted into the system, it was a different story. If you're

expecting something really revolutionary then you're likely to be

disappointed. The kernel is 2.2.16 with the usual bunch of patches to

support USB and ReiserFS. These two were there in the previous versions

too. I've been using Reiser for a while now and it works really well.

SuSE 7.0 includes XFree86 4.0 but some reason it installed XFree86 3 as

well. More weirdness awaits, running the SuSE X configuration tool Sax

will configure the system to use XFree86 3 but to use XFree86 4 you need

to use sax2. Sax2 however did not quite work. By default it would start

up in some weird refresh rate and resolution combination leaving me

staring at a blank screen and the blinking green light on the monitor.