Pick a Free OS

SuSE 7.1 Professional: what 7.0 should have been...

So coming back to our review, XFree86 4.0.2, which is included, is a big release as it's the first X release to include support for font anti-aliasing. Match that with KDE 2.1.1 and you get beautiful anti-aliased fonts. Time to say goodbye to those horrible-looking jagged bitmap fonts. You can configure and test it right during the installation. Sax2 did a good job of detecting our graphics hardware, which was a Matrox G400. SuSE has always had the best X support and the comprehensive options available are proof of it. The setup on an 815-based board worked too.

Other than graphics hardware, the sound and network cards were detected flawlessly and configured right there during the installation.

KDE 2.01 is the default GUI provided. And default does mean a lot here because SuSE has chosen to give GNOME a cold shoulder. The only way to get GNOME to install is to do a detailed selection during installation or do a manual install. We tried the manual install, and guess where SuSE puts GNOME - not the first or even the second CD. GNOME is way down on the third CD! Please guys, we know you prefer and support KDE, but please don't try to ram it down our throats. KDE is an excellent desktop and we'd appreciate it if you let KDE do the talking.

Next highlight is the kernel 2.4 and glibc 2.2.0. Both are welcome additions to Linux installation. Good thing here is that full backward compatibility is maintained in spite of the new glibc. None of programs compiled on the older glibc failed to work here. If you're not quite sure about kernel 2.4 then kernel 2.2.18 is also included and can be selected for installation.

Post-installation, SuSE did give us a shock. It wiped out all the startup scripts in /sbin/init.d. This isn't as bad because in compliance with the LSB, SuSE had moved the scripts to /etc/init.d. So this wouldn't have been a problem if we hadn't over-written the new inittab file with our old, but customised inittab file. In any case there was a README pointing us in the right direction. There's also been a change in the runlevels as part of the LSB compliance, so now runlevel 5 becomes network with XDM instead of runlevel 3 as in previous releases.