Why do I like Linux so much? Simple, it doesn't crash! Yep, hard to believe for all you Microsoft Windows users out there who have to suffer the indignaty of yoour system crashing, right when you don't want it to. I've been running SuSe Linux for about 2 years now, and so far it has not once crashed. However, there is a price to pay for this stability, and thats complexity. Linux is far more complicated to use and operate than a Microsoft product will ever be. Yes, with SuSe and most others you do get a X windows inteface, and this is straightforward enough to use. However, most of the hard work that you will need to do is through a console window, essentially the same idea as the DOS window. So yes, you do have to remember several commands, but this is too hard to pick up. The most awkward part, and the most daunting, is the actual installation. I bought the CD version, which came on a massive six CDs, and with an installation manual the size of a house! A bit of an exageration, but the manual is an absolute must even to get the basics running. So far, I have not been able to configure a lot of my hardware, though this is mainly because i have not tried. Having said that, if were easier, I probably would have got around to it by now. You start of with a very DOS-like program to install with, and it is an absolute must that you know every detail about your system, especially the make and model of your monitor. Unlike Windows, that has a very simple install procedure (the sit-back-and-relax procedure), Linux has to be told everything, and in fine detail. It knows nothing, until you tell it differently. Having said that, Linux is far superior to Windows. And it will always be that way. For a programmer it is ideal, especially for programming in 'C', Java, and other such as Eiffel, Maude, Gofer, etc. The power of the system is absolutely amaizing , and the user base is now so large and diverse that if you don' t know how to do something, it won't take you long to find someone who does. The reason for my choice of SuSe over others such as Caldera, RedHat and Corel was that my department (the Comuter Science department at the Univeristy of Wales, Swanea) has the same OS installed on their UNIX machines, so it was the obvious choice. Plus, several friends already ran RedHat, and had many problems with it. Plus, SuSe came in a nice box, with good support for the installation, which as I have already said is a must. All in all, if you are an experienced user, it may be worth checking out Linux, especially SuSe. It'll hardly cost anything (the software is actually free, you just pay for the 'distribution'), and its power is amaizing. Plus, you get all the software that you could ever need bundled in with package. An excellent OS, but only for the more experienced user.
SuSe is far better than redhat. I have used both at work and personally I would rather use SuSe than Redhat. Particulary for servers and non XWindows systems. I have found that there are some serious problems with using redhat 6.1 on Dell PowerEdge servers with SMP kernels. (SMP is dual-processors for the non techical people) My main problem was that drivers for a network card refused to be loaded as a module on the redhat kernel. This proceedure worked fine on a SuSe installaton. The main problem with SuSe is that the default installation is pretty big, and serious customisation is needed to get this working in a machine with small HDs. The SuSe support is very good, and the manual is OK, obviously translated from the German edition.
The whole open source revolution was started 25 years ago by Unix which has evolved into this beautiful beast most people call Linux. Geeks fantasise about Linux but at the end of the day it comes nowhere the ease of use of win 9x or NT. The KDE interface works wonders but most Linux users use the terminal window, using a mouse is for wimps according to them... Installation is still a pain even thought it has really improved from previous incarnations. Don't expect plug-and-play though, you'll need real technical knowledge of your PC for an easy installation. Creating a partition is only the start, Linux rarely recognises hardware properly especially sound and graphics cards. Software support is good though with some excellent programming tools. Linux is also free and you do get the satisfaction of not contributing to Bill Gates's fortune if you are so inclined. All in all if you have some technical knowledge and want to try a different OS Linux is your best bet. After installation Linux rarely gives problems and the SUSE version is about the best.
SuSE Linux, the international technology leader and solution provider in open source operating system (OS) software will release the first fully engineered version of Linux for the Apple PowerPC, IBM RS 6000 and Motorola PreP in mid-June. Of great interest to Mac users and professionals is the inclusion of the Virtual Machine (MOL) MAC on LINUX in the distribution, making it possible to start the MacOS in Linux and switch from one program to the other. In addition, the Mac user also has the option of using standard PCI hardware, such as network cards or TV cards. "Now, with SuSE Linux for PowerPC, Mac users can experience the speed and power of Linux and have all the benefits of more than a thousand applications that accompany our superior distribution," said Volker Wiegand, President of SuSE Inc. "Our PowerPC distribution is one more step in SuSE's plan to provide businesses with a version of SuSE Linux that runs on all popular computing platforms." At MAC World 2000 in San Francisco, SuSE presented an "engineered sample" of the new PowerPC Linux distribution. The interest, as well as the beta version download figures from the SuSE FTP server, confirmed the high demand for Linux from PowerPC users. The completed SuSE Linux for PowerPC contains a graphical installation tool, complete network and server functionalities, development tools and various graphical desktops. With more than 1000 programs on 4 CD's, SuSE offers the most extensive distribution for the PowerPC. In addition to databases, firewall scripts, web servers and mail programs, there are other interesting applications such as the video editing system Broadcast 2000, or the powerful image processing program, GIMP. For the installation, the Linux newcomer is guided step by step by YaST2, the SuSE installation setup tool. Automatic hardware detection considerably simplifies the configuration of sound, printer, modem, ISDN card and graphics ca rd. During the installation with YaST2, even network and Internet settings can be configured. When installing software, users can select automatic or manual configuration. In addition, YaST2 starts the KDE desktop, a functional desktop bringing advantages both to newcomers and professionals. For example, existing HFS partitions on the computer are automatically displayed on the desktop. A fast selection menu is also included, as well as a menu-driven overview of all programs installed on the computer. SuSE Linux for PowerPC expects to start shipping from mid-June onwards. The complete package, which has a recommended retail price of EUR 46, includes a comprehensive handbook and 60 days of free installation support. About SuSE: Founded in 1992, SuSE Linux is the international technology leader and solution provider in open source operating system (OS) software, setting new standards for quality and ease of use. Its award-winning SuSE Linux 6.3 and the newly released 6.4 include thousands of third party Linux applications supported by extensive professional consulting and support services, excellent documentation, comprehensive hardware support, and an encyclopedic set of Linux tools. Designed for Web and enterprise server environments and efficient as a home and office platform, SuSE's distribution, surrounding features, effective configuration and intelligent design result in the most complete Linux solution available today. SuSE Linux AG, headquartered in Germany, and SuSE Inc., based in Oakland, CA, are privately held companies focused entirely on supporting the Linux community and Open Source development. With a workforce of over 380 people worldwide, SuSE has offices in Germany, all over Europe, in Venezuela and in the US. More than 50,000 business customers use SuSE Linux worldwide due to its stability and high quality. SuSE received the "Show Favorites" award at LinuxWorld Expo 2000 in New York in February 2000 and March 1999. Further awards: Reader's Choice Awards: Linux Journal, 1/99; PC Professional 4/99; Computer Bild 6/99; PC Intern 4/99; PC Magazin 4/99, PC Answers 8/99. SuSE contributes considerably to Linux development projects such as the Linux kernel, glibc, XFree86TM, KDE, ISDN4Linux, ALSA (Advanced Linux Sound Architecture) and USB (Universal Serial Bus). Additional information about SuSE can be found at http://www.suse.com or http://www.suse.de/en/
Here's why I think you shoul and shouldn't use SuSE 6.4: Pros; + Doesn't burden you with uneccessary features and works well on low cost hardware + Well designed e.g. boot up scripts work like SunOS and are easily extendible to other software + European so support local business Cons; + Found it hard to install graphically, previous experience helped when I had to go to text mode (this was a normal PC not flashy at all) + Need some UNIX experience to get going (esp. in installation) + Ironically, for the experienced, setup graphically can be too restrictive At this stage SuSE is moving towards being more user friendly, but still has its roots as an enthusiasts OS. This should be great, but tricky to implement as they have discovered. Personally, I would persevere (being using SuSE since 5.2) as things generally have only got better after installation which only needs to done once at best.