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  • A desktop review

    This page was last modified on Mon, 16 Aug 2004 17:06:24 GMT

    SUSE 9.0
    a desktop review
    My experience installing Linux and some throughts...
    When you finish this article, You may want to read the round 2 HERE

    GNU Free Documentation License - Copyright (c) 2003 Walter Cédric.

    Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document
    under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2
    or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation;
    with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover
    Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled
    "GNU Free Documentation License".

    -> this page is getting bigger and bigger with the time, I will also start soon a SUSE section and divide this page into smaller sections.

    I decide to buy the professional edition instead of downloading all cd from ftp.suse even if I have a 2MB internet line. You must support company like Suse or Mandrake which develop linux distributions and buy their package. All versions or patchs can be acquire freely and download from their FTP or HTTP mirror..

    If you still hesitate about Linux, I would recommend You to try a Live Eval of Linux. A live eval is a set of applications and a fully functionnal Linux (nearly 2Gb) compressed on 1 CD and It does not require a hard disk to start!

    * Knoppix live cd, the fastest and first version, highly recommended since Divx, DVD, NTFS drive are recognized as default.
    "KNOPPIX is a bootable CD with a collection of GNU/Linux software, automatic hardware detection, and support for many graphics cards, sound cards, SCSI and USB devices and other peripherals. KNOPPIX can be used as a Linux demo, educational CD, rescue system, or adapted and used as a platform for commercial software product demos. It is not necessary to install anything on a hard disk. Due to on-the-fly decompression, the CD can have up to 2 GB of executable software installed on it." fromwww.knoppix.net

    You can use knoppix and have a home on USB disk. K, Knoppix, Configuration, Create Persistent home dir, then boot with the option:
    knoppix home=scan

      *Gnoppix live cd
    "Gnoppix is a linux live cd based upon Debian GNU/Linux 3.0 (woody). It can be compared to Knoppix but GNOPPIX uses GNOME as desktop environment." from
    http://www.gnoppix.org/faq/index.html
    * Suse live cd which did not convince me at all, this bootable cd take too much time and user interaction to initialized itself: more than five minutes are required. Moreover NTFS drive are not recognized.
    * Mandrake Move live cd was developed to work with a USB stick to save user data permanently. This is another step for Linux, you can take any PC in the world, insert this CD, restart it and have a runnable Linux system and tools you're familiar with.
      * Pclinux review
    "PCLinuxOS 2K4 Preview 4 is a live Knoppix style cd based on Mandrake 9.2 that runs entirely from a bootable CD. Data on the CD is uncompressed on the fly, allowing up to 2 GB worth of system and programs on one CD
    including a complete X server, KDE 3.1.4 and Gnome 2.4, and large packages like OpenOffice 1.1final and Mozila 1.5 plus plugins. Since it runs solely off the CD, PCLinuxOS makes an excellent portable Linux demo or system rescue disk, but its completeness makes it a good general purpose desktop as well. PCLinuxOS should work on most modern computer hardware. Recommended memory to run is 256mb or more."
      * GeeXbox turns your PC into a dedicated media player. It boots a version of the Linux kernel, and then uses the popular mplayer to allow you to play DVDs, VCDs, or regular audio CDs. It also allows you to play pretty much any multimedia file from your hard drive, and can mount Samba shares as well. Best of all, the ISO is a mere 4.3 megabytes...
    Download it HERE
      After knoppix...welcome flonix
    "a linux system that can reside on a USB key!!!! (use less than 60Mo). It is based on knoppix and let you start linux everywhere if you can boot on USB!
    You can:
    - play dvd, burn CD, watch and edit pictures, scan, browse internet,
    word processing, sync a Palm PDA,
    read PDF files, start a webserver and more....
    read more here:
    http://linuxdocs.tuxfamily.org/flonix/doc/wakka.php?wiki=EnPresentation

    * can be download freely

    Test system:

    One more time, here is my system, The Linux experience you will have is very depending on hardware (and also drivers).....

    Mainboard Nvidia Nforce 2 ASUS A7VN8X deluxe
    2 integrated ethernet card
    6 USB - 2 Firewire
    On Board soundcard
    Harddisk IBM 120Go UDMA 133 (primary master)
    Harddisk IBM 80Go UDMA 133 (primary slave)
    CDR/RW 16x IDE noname
    Geforce FX 5600 256Mb MyVivo Athlon XP 1700 overclocked at 3200 with my watercooling
    512Mb DDR Dual Channel mode PC3200 (new)
    SUSE Linux 9.0 and the KDE 3.1.4 desktop  

    My Background:

    Can be read HERE and my experience with Linux? I am using Cygwin with ssh at work to connect to the HPUX development system, deployment, release management is done with ANT and bash scripts.So I am only a user but I use to write some FAQs in the past when I was using Linux at highschool (a small part is reproducedHERE, sorry it is in french ).

    My collegues ofXDreamTeam have installed a SUSE on a dual AMD64 Opteron server, and they will write a review soon.

    Some sentences you may hear about Linux:

    Linux user interface is ugly, Xp is better!
    Who can still says this?, look at this KDE 3.2 pictures

    (click to enlarge). KDE default user interface for Ark Linux, Conectiva, Knoppix, Lindows,
    Lycoris, Mandrake Linux, SUSE Linux, TurboLinux and Xandros.

    Moreover you can choose another desktop manager, instead of KDE, a lot of people prefer Gnome. If you still can't live without Windows, try this windows manager under linux http://www.xpde.com/index.php

    Suse (or Linux in general) is difficult to use!
    Not so much, in fact the tool YAST: "Yet Another Setup Tool" do a great job when dealing with the configuration of your computer, softwares and hardware can be configured in a hierarchical control panel. I found it even better than the equivalent of "Windows world". What can be disturbing is the organisation of files and program on disk. I would say that someone who never use Windows before will have the same learning curve and encounter more or less the same difficulties with linux, the only drawback I see is that no so much friends can help you (and give you tools for which you have no licence ;-) ) since Linux as a desktop is not so much floating around. Now if you are a Windows user like me (since 10 years), you will encounter some difficulties, I prefer to say "forget some bad Windows habits", like

    • Windows make no differences between upper and lower case filename, but Linux does! which is normal because we also make this distinction when we write letters and office documents.
    • Windows use drive letter and this is a pain to maintain especially when you need to configure software, Linux use a directory base mapping, symbolic links can be created on files or directories. Example: 2 documents folders can have different name but point to the same folder:
      For example you have a website which is located in a directory "MywebsiteV1.12" and you want to have only one reference in all program that use your homepage (typically in configurations files), all you have to do is to open a terminal and type:
      ln -s MywebsiteV1.12 httpdocs

      and use everywhere httpdocs instead of the path to MywebsiteV1.12in configuration files. The same apply if you want to alias office documents or media files (reference the same file under different names but always use the same target)
      this is a lot more powerful than the Window's shortcuts.

    • Windows has a limited command line size, and limited number of subdirectories.
    • Even on XP, you must sometimes restart your PC because the program XX has freeze and can not be terminate.
      Bill Gates said in an interview: "instability do not come from Windows itself, but merely from applications installed" For Me, a good OS must protect the user/itself from system crashing, XP isn't good at this, Linux is a little better.
      On Unix a # kill -9 pidProcess has a lot of chance to succeed and you can even restart some part of the system, without restarting the whole (restart the network server or the soundcard). Try also CTRL-ALT- ESC to kill graphically a process!

    Why choosing Linux now?

    http://www.mandrake.tips.4.free.fr/switchsuccess.html A very good article, how you can switch with success and what your motivation can be

    Here are the personal reasons why I am switching to Linux, You may find a lot of website which may present You better arguments:

    • Suse (replace with any Linux distribution) come with a lot of applications (= packages) to do almost everything, not all of them are of the same qualities, or can be compared to commercial applications, but in linux world they do not require any licences! (some of them are freeware, giftware, shareware through)
    • I want to live in a world where, I can search and solve problems instead of restarting the machine which is for me not a solution....(I am a developer and like challenges, restarting is like loosing a race fsor me) yeah as today 16.12.2003 I am FREE with LINUX, even if this freedom will have a cost (a relative complexity in usage at the beginning)
    • Virus threat, less virus are living in Unix world. At least till today.
    • You can still run Windows and Linux together thank to a great multi boot menu (no System commander, Partition Magic, old text based LILO required)
    • Real Multi users system, program are running with user right privileges.
    • Linux is gaining market place, I do not want to loose connection with the market reality.
    • The community is extraordinary! they develop at a speed never seen before, even If I am convince that too much project are started and do the same things with more or less success . Look at Mono (.NET platform on Linux) which already support 99% of .NET ASP. Ximian (acquired at the beginning of 2003 by Novell and Suse) will continue to support the effort of Mono development.
    • Linux is modular, there is like 120 distributions, 30 are dying per year and are replace instantly. Look at Flonix (Linux on a USB stick 64Mo, burning, browsing internet, webserver, GUI), or Knoppix ("From zero to GNU linux in five Minutes") this is great. Linux can be start on nearly all plattform (portability) and does not require good machine (Windows Longhorn will require 1Gb of memory (dixit Microsoft) so understand 2Gb to work flawlessy).
      Linux was first developed for 32-bit x86-based PCs (386 or higher). These days it also runs on Compaq Alpha AXP, Sun SPARC, Sun UltraSPARC, Motorola 68000, PowerPC, PowerPC64, ARM, Hitachi SuperH, IBM S/390, MIPS, HP PA-RISC, Intel IA-64, DEC VAX, AMD x86-64 , CRIS architectures. This includes Handled, celullar phone, gaming station like Xbox, Dreamcast.
    • Everything is free, thanks to the open source community: Apache is the best/most used webserver, Tomcat the best servlet runner. Of course, the open source community has to find now a economical model. I am convince that developing is like speaking, you can not stop people to talk or think.
    • Each days, I enjoy the use of CygWin under windows (for developing or maintaining this homepage), combining unix tools like: grep, sed, awk, and others...using ssh is now natural and I am feeling sad when I must start the poor Windows command.com terminal.
    • I am using products from the open source coomunitysince 3 years now, at work: mainly the Apache Fundation and their frameworks, at home a lot of tools: virtual dub, videolan, GIMP,... and this all under Windows 2000. I am totaly satisfied by these tools, so why not replacing also windows by a totally free and open source system.
    • I can install Suse Linux everywhere (on all PC I have, currently 3 desktop) and has no annoying licence scheme or registration process and even give it to friends as long as I give it for free.
    • There is a difference between "choice" and "apparence of choice", before choosing an OS (Operating System) was easy:

    - On one side Windows, which cover more than 90% of the market, is shipped with new PC, has many softwares of good qualities. All your friends (normal users not geek), companies or your office, are certainly running under Windows. This is good but you do not install Windows because it is your choice, you install it because it is common to install it.

    - On the other side, alternatives OS: Mac, Linux, BeOS (I am also a big fan of BeOS) are installed by people who want to try something different, (remember the moto "think different" from Mac corp). Geek users accept some instabilities because they want to improve the system, or even help at the source code level. End users give a try or installed it at home because they discover it at their universities.

    This was before, before mean "Linux without good support of hardware ( I remember installing Mandrake 9.0 and fighting 10 minutes to find a USB driver for my Microsoft mouse), without good desktops manager (Now this time is over thanks to KDE and Gnome), without a huge base of applications" Now this is slowly changing, On the server side, there is already a big change, HP, IBM and major actors are now committed to Linux and that is great. Now you have the choice, because now you can hesitate between Linux and Windows and/or even dual boot both (It has never been so easy as today because dual boot is integrated in many Linux distributions)

    SUSE home for the version 9.0 is http://www.suse.com/us/private/products/suse_linux/i386/index.html
    SUSE has a page which present 10 reasons to choose Linux Suse http://www.suse.com/us/private/products/suse_linux/i386/10_reasons.html
    SUSE has also a FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) page here: http://www.suse.com/us/private/products/suse_linux/i386/faqs/index.html

    Choose a file system
    ext2 or ext3 or ??? a good articles can be found here:http://www.linux-mag.com/cgi-bin/printer.pl?issue=2002-10&article=jfs

    Installation

    Great menu everywhere for installing the OS, 10s after having insert the CD (and choosing a resolution with F2 - default is 1280x1024), the linux Kernel is loaded and guide you through the installation process.

    Personnaly what I dislike is the number of "package" (understand application, with strange name and strange revision number) given, like 10 tools to do the same task...I know I do not want to see any new Microsoft take the advantage under linux, but why the open source community does not concentrate on GUI. A user will remember that the GUI was horrible even if the program has done its job. That is my point of view. As a developer, I do not care but as an end user....

    I decide to install everything, this take nearly 3 Gb of hard disk, Yes it is much but do not forget that XP take alone 1.2Gb without any office, photoshop, and so on. In this case the installation took 37 minutes, too long? You can also send complaint to hard disk manufacturer!

    The partition manager compute the best option depending on your configuration, in my case I reserved 80Gb for Suse but on my secondary disk. By default linux want to modify the primary disk (and move windows data if needed), I switch to manual mode and only say click on "use everything" of the second disk. YAST then install then a small graphical boot manager on disk 1. This allow me at boot to start Windows if it is needed.

    One page display a resume of all settings choosen, you may change the value of each section by clicking on the topic title. No technical words at all, You must only choosing some options in selection boxes.

    Due to the huge number of Linux tools, you must also deal with 5 cd or one double face DVD, each disk may copy data during 15 minutes depending on options you have selected. (I forget to say that my CD drive is an old 16X). The estimated time to complete installation is quite accurate.

    After completing the first disk the system restart and continue on CD2, a windows show you the list of package copied in realtime, you must just wait (Suse is made of more than 7000 packages or programs).

    The system asks then for the root password, You can use the whole keyboard layout (letters, numbers, special characters) except accent (éà è) and umlaut (öüë), I choose a highly complex root paswword and write it down, till I have time learn it. Some word about security, program on unix system are running under user privileges, that mean that a potential virus MAY only destruct your data, and no data of others users (most of Unix virus try to replace some binary executable to gain a higher level access or may install a trojan horse)

    The 2 integrated networks card were detected automatically (mainboard ASUS nforce 2 desluxe has a 3COM and Nvidia 100MB network card),

    The system then ask if you want to download new packages and security upgrades from internet. This is higly recommended. No compagny in the world can ship a perfect code, this is True even in Linux world. I am pretty convince bugs handling is better in opensource paradigm, because nearly all users can see the source code (OK, I admit NO all users are developers, but there is a lot of great skilled developer which in their spare time review code, not to speak about university students which may have a lot of time :-) ). On the other side, take any business compagny:

    • They first try to reproduce the bugs and know how many users are affected (which is OK),
    • Worse, They try to minimize effects resulting of a bug (to avoid some political problems with clients, but correct the bug as fast as possible in the background),
    • They speak about money all the time (but I am happy to get paid as a developer ;-) ), can we ship in delay? can we not correct this for the next release?

    In opensource world, Linux developer consider this as a hobby and may try to correct everything or at least move the delivery date.

    Back to the installation, I choose stand alone, because I do not want to use this linux box as a server. In Mandrake, this is a little better, since you can choose the security level: (Mandrake install may activate the firewall for You during the install), or block installation of some packages which can help a hacker (like ssh, webserver, VNC).

    I strongly recommend You to deactivate auto login, security come always at a cost, I do not want that somebody simply restart the computer to gain access to my data and read private documents: Yes you will have to enter your password at each restart. Password is limited to 8 characters...which is somehow strange The password length is limited to 8 character because the default password encryption methd is set to DES (most compatible but SUSE also allow md5 or blowfish which have no length limit but at the cost of more cpu power and the loss of backward compatibility across other systems or old software). You can change this underYast - Security and Users Password settings

    Finally the release note of suse 9.0 is displayed, You can read it to be sure that nothing has changed since the manual printout.

    YAST, then dectect hardware and set a graphical resolution.

    ATTENTION, always use the test button to validate any refresh rate and resolution before applying changes, otherwise you may have a black screen at the next logon! If it ever happen, the only way is to reboot and choose "safe mode", logging as root, go to /etc/X11 and open the file X86Config....or rename the previous backup done by YAST (backup named X86Config.YAST). I have also done this mistake

    Choose "safe mode" in booting menu
    logging using user root
    # cd X11/etc
    rename the old X86Config to X86Config.old
    # mv X86Config X86Config.old
    then restore the YAST backup if it exist
    # mv X86Config.YAST X86Config
    CTRL-D
    or type Exit
    restart the PC

    Manual upgrade of all drivers to the their latest status
    In my case I went to www.nvidia.com and download all latest rpm (rpm are like setup.exe in windows world),

    To resume: Suse has now a very good and reliable installation system. YAST is now mature, detection of most hardware is good (at least on my system). I think it is even easier to install SUSE than an equivalent Windows system, mainly because partiioning is better support in YAST

    How to install RPM

    There is many ways to install RPM. In facts, choose the one you prefer. Note that you must be loogged as root to install any application.

    Method 1: With Konqueror: click on RPM filename and after the download completion right click and choose "install packet with YAST"
    Methhod 2,3,4,5 can be found on this page http://portal.suse.com/sdb/en/2002/04/wessels_packageinst.html

    Install divx codecs and drivers

    For some legal issues, SUSE can not deliver Divx drivers in the distribution, but they can be download at www.divx.com/divx/linux/
    This internet page propose binary version of all major Linux program http://packman.links2linux.org

    One of the best player can be found at www.xinehq.de , Caffeine (installed as default) is only a frontend GUI and use the runtme libs from Xine.

    Emulation

    You can use one of the following to use some of your windows applications: www.winehq.comand for directX games www.transgaming.com (even without recompiling the game!!!) and this even without installing Windows! Vmware www.vmware.com is a commercial alternative but required a fully licensed windows images. MORE TO COME...

    Killer apps

    These applications are installed as default,
    Open Office (OO), which can open nearly all Microsoft office documents, GUI is not as good as MS Office but it do the job. Some powerpoint made with MS Office have some strange alignment, but MS Office represent correctly document created with OO.
    GIMP a program for manipulating 2D images (like photoshop), run also on Windows because of the porting of GTK (open source 2D library)

    from www.gimp.org in about the GIMP

    This is only a very quickly thrown together list of GIMP features. This is only the tip of the iceberg.

    Full suite of painting tools including Brush, Pencil, Airbrush, Clone,etc.
    Tile based memory managent so image size is limited only by available disk space.
    Sub-pixel sampling for all paint tools for high quality anti-aliasing
    Full alpha channel support
    Layers and channels
    A Procedural Database for calling internal GIMP functions from external programs as in Script-fu
    Advanced scripting capabilities
    Multiple Undo/Redo (limited only by diskspace)
    Virtually unlimited number of images open at one time
    Extremely powerful gradient editor and blend tool.
    Load and save animations in a convenient frame-as-layer format.
    Transformation tools including rotate, scale, shear and flip.
    File formats supported include gif, jpg, png, xpm, tiff, tga, mpeg, ps, pdf, pcx, bmp, and many others.
    Load, display, convert, save to many file formats.
    Selection tools including rectangle, ellipse, free, fuzzy, bezier and intelligent.
    Plug-ins which allow for the easy addition of new file formats and new effect filters.
    Over 100 plugins already available.
    Supports custom brushes and patterns
    Much, much more!


    Playing DVD, MP3, all tasks can de done under Suse without having any licence!!!! I recommend you to donate some money to the authors if you like their programs (so that they can pay their homepage hosting at least)
    Opera Opera is a religion. All those features, mouse gestures, keyboard shortcuts, embedded mail client, drag-around panels, skins, GREAT standards-support, it's so fast, easyness of bookmarking, the "magic-wand"... and the list goes on and on...It is not open source but I like it so much.

    Files manager

    I am a big fan since 1991 of Norton Commander (I was using NC 1.0 on floppy disk), In windows I am usingWindows Commander a lot to order million of files.
    http://www.rmonet.com/commander/ This page contains nearly all file commander clones of Norton Commander.
    http://www.xnc.dubna.su/ XNC 5.0
    http://krusader.sourceforge.net/

    Forums and Help

    French
    www.linuxfrench.net
    www.linuxquestion.org

    English
    http://librenix.com/ news site on linux
    Great forums

    Others reviewsyou can submit me a new linkHERE

    http://www.unixreview.com/documents/s=8925/ur0310l/
    http://www.arstechnica.com/etc/linux/index.html
    http://madpenguin.org/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid=503
    http://www.newsforge.com/article.pl?sid=03/11/11/1929234
    http://www.osnews.com/story.php?news_id=5157
    http://www.linuxnetmag.com/de/issue9/m9rh_suse1.html Suse vs Redhat
    http://www.internetwk.com/breakingNews/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=17300233

    How to/tutorials

    http://www.usalug.org/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?p=8161 Step by step install of SUSE 9.0 using FTP (non need to download and burn the iso's)
    http://homepages.ulb.ac.be/~secollet/ Linux on HP Compaq NX7000 (that's my notebook at work)

    Links

    http://distrowatch.com/index.php?language=EN "This site is an attempt to provide a basic feature list and a package comparison table of major, minor and regional Linux distributions"

    Links with reference to this article

    When you finish this article, You may want to read theround 2 HERE

  • A desktop review

    SUSE 9.1
    a desktop review
    installing and/or migration to Linux SuSE 9.1

    WORK IN PROGRESS, running SuSE 9.1 since tuesday 11 May 2004....
    SuSE 9.1 soon running on compaq nx7000 notebook

    GNU Free Documentation License - Copyright (c) 2004 Walter Cédric.

    Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document
    under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2
    or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation;
    with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover
    Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled
    "GNU Free Documentation License".

    Test system:

    One more time, here is my system, TheLinux experience you will have is very depending on hardware (and also drivers).....

    Mainboard Nvidia Nforce 2 ASUS A7VN8X deluxe
    2 integrated ethernet card
    6 USB - 2 Firewire
    On Board soundcard
    Harddisk IBM 120Go UDMA 133 (primary master)
    Harddisk IBM 80Go UDMA 133 (primary slave)
    CDR/RW 16x IDE noname
    Maxtor USB/Firewire onetouch 250Gb
    Geforce FX 5600 256Mb MyVivo Athlon XP 1700 overclocked at 3200 with my watercooling
    512Mb DDR Dual Channel mode PC3200 (new)
    SUSE Linux 9.1 and the KDE 3.2.2 desktop  

    What does SuSE 9.1 brings?

    I wont go through the list of changes and goodies shipped in this release sinceSuSE itself has also a great pageHERE (professional edition) andHERE (personal edition). Note that SuSE is selling at a very attracting price the personal edition (49$) with limited server capabilities and no commercial programs.

    beautifulDesktop.jpg
    beautifulDesktop.jpg

    Migration from 9.0 to SuSE 9.1

    This time I retrieve the SuSE professional DVD from colleague and did not buy it, as I prefer to wait for another major release. But wait this is a major release ofLinux, I think that the release number is really not so well adequate and do not reveal the number of changes does both in kernel (2.6) and desktop (kde 3.2)

    If you copy the DVD, You will get no support from SuSE directly (but you will always find help on internet), also a great help section is provided in electronic format, downside it wont be readable without a working SuSE.. FTP online update is due around the 6 June 2004....

    Since I have a running version of
    Linux, I decide this time to update the previous SuSE 9.0 through the YaST menu (Boot and choose Update System), after 21 min update, I was booting into my new desktop with my old settings. The boot time seems to take forever, it "SEEMS" to me that it is a loooot slower.

    With this version, SuSE and Novell are now showing us their commitment to the open source community and have alsoGNU their famous configuration tool: YaST. This is also a strategical move since they want that the maximal number of third companies develop new modules for it (IBM,....). That is a good news since a lot of people always complains on the licensing scheme of YaST. In the meantime, YaST is now a lot more polished...understand the ubiquity of the YaST logo and eye candy colors. Even the installation process has been redesigned with fancy graphics.

    YouInPaleBlue.jpg
    YouInPaleBlue.jpg

    Coming from Windows?

    - In order to help users to make the transition to Linux, drives (in Linux world, it is better to say devices) are a now stored under the famous icons "My Computer" and mount a lot more faster than under the 9.0. I only regret that the system choose so bad name as default (Is it needed to display a cryptic UUID in the name of devices????).

    myComputer.jpg
    myComputer.jpg

    - Dual Booting Windows and SuSE is as easier as before, and has not changed. the boot loader grub with its fancy colors is a lot better than M$ one. That should at least convince You to make a try ;-)

    - SuSe is now earlier hiding, during the boot, all ouput statements done by the kernel. I must agree that nearly no one can understand all barbarians technical terms, I still recommend to press sometimes the key 'F2' to newbies, seeing if a devices did not init. may be valuable under certains conditions. (mainly hardware crash)

    - the most disturbing things for a newcomer is that you do not need to double click on folder or file to do an action, to approach the windows phylosophy, go the KDE control panel, in  "peripherals", "mouse", and checked the radio button "Double-click to open files and folders (select icons on first click)". Maybe SuSE should set this as default...

    - During installation, the auto login feature is checked as default. Forget this bad windows habit. If SuSe is already login the system automatically, start YaST, in "security", "Edit and create groups", select your user and click on button "Expert Options" and select "login settings", uncheck "auto login". Remember security come at a cost.

    What I dislikes

    • I was one more time catch by the death black screen, (I must be really dumb because that is the second time ) the autodetection of monitor (my SAMSUNG 191N was detected as SAMSUNG 4N) lead to a black screen, Maybe SuSE, should always test (with SAX2, the graphical display adapter cntrol panel of course) what it has autodetect and ask the user to confirm the detected settings.
    • Icons in the taskbar are a little bit oversized as default, bigger and it look like a desktop for kids who need to click on big icons in order not to click beside :-)
    • DVD playback is still not working (but in Knoppix, and Lindows it is), one more time You will have to hunt for the library libdvdcss2 (packman is no more providing binary rpm, you must compile them now due to a change in germany).
      Here you can find a tutorial and ALL library for XINE (with libdvdcss2) Daily xine RPMS
    • Since SuSE is a big supporter of Reiserfs, why not providing a graphical tool for repairing devices? with a expert system? one more time typing some cryptic commands may discourage a lot of users.
    • Impossible to write on NTFS drive, I have not found any captive rpm for SuSE 9.1.
    • Packages conflicts....why not embeding apt-rpm? or providing always package statically compiled in order to avoid dependancies?

    What I like

    controlPanel.jpg
    controlPanel.jpg

     

    patchUpdate.jpg
    patchUpdate.jpg

    What I like/dislikes

    • The default install provide a lot less user choice: only one chating system (Kopete) instead of the plethore in SuSE 9.0
    • No 3D hardware installation as default, you need to complete the installation and then in YaST grab the latest proprietary Nvidia/ATI drivers. It is only annoying.
    • YaST warn You of conflicts and dependancies but do not propose a "real" alternative, either "do not install" or "continue with risk of instability", why not:
      • Adding a third possibility: "download the missing dependancy now" or
      • Propose a UUID link on which user can click to locate the ressource (through a UDDI server), normal users don't want to write down the name of some library libdvdcss2 -1.0.6.7 p23.rpm is a pain to retain !
      • Export the list of dependancies to resolves in a new windows to shows You which library are missing, or has been installed in realtime
      • Do nothing an find a better approach...
    • The only "GOOD" repositories of RPM are not given by SuSE. (understand full of rpm not approved by companies : dvd support, win32 codecs,....) but I think this is common to all distributions: without volunteers building rpm, it will be quite difficult to live in a wwhole linux world, or at least at the beginning since not all users want to know how to compile sources versions of their favorite programs.

    What I would like to see

    • The ability to download any program through YaST (even non free or non supported: codecs,aMule and others), why not like ineclipse having internet page providing a XML descriptor for installing new packages and that YaST can understand?. I mean this can be a great step forward for the average user.

    • Better commitments ofNvidia,Linux can be a great playing plattform if hardware manufacturer develop or give some technical help to the community for improving drivers.

    Exploring Multimedia capabilities:

    • Noatun is no more installed as default, Kaffeine (another interface to the famous XINE multimedia engine) is present but no interesting codecs are installed. Multimedia is, at least for me, UNUSABLE, and you need to quickly install MPLAYER/Kplayer with the full range of codecs if you want to read any DIVX, XVID, Indeo contents... I was searching Kplayer in /opt/kde3/bin/ and in YaST installer, but didnt find it. That's bad! You can find the latest version at sourceforge
      www.sourceforge.net/kplayer

    mplayerRunning.jpg
    mPlayer running with a special skins

    • Inserting a blank CD and K3b pop up and propose You to do your compilation

    • Gimp 2.0 is also included with SuSE Linux Professional, this version 2.0 has a new GUI and nicer icons.

    preliminaryConclusions

    WORK IN PROGRESS, running SuSE 9.1 since tuesday 11 May 2004....

    With SuSE 9.1, you get a high quality distributions, and even if all thecons and drawbacks apply to this new release. It is definitelyworth the update! Suse is getting even better with every release. Novell buying them has it seems already a positive affect with how the applications are running.

    Even if this release is nearly filling all my expectations I am already excited about the future of SuSE, when will the version 10.0 be shipped?

    Links

    http://linux01.gwdg.de/apt4rpm/ how to set up atp 4 rpm for SuSE.

    RPM
    http://packman.links2linux.org/
    http://rpm.pbone.net/
    http://www.suserpms.cjb.net/
    http://guru.linuxbe.org/

     

  • Freedom: GPL wins in court battle

    Some people are trying to redefine freedom, and limit our liberty; but  they loose miserably...

    A US federal judge has ruled against antitrust claims that the General Public Licence promotes unfair competition, and in doing so has promoted its cause.

    On Monday, US Federal Judge John Daniel Tinder, dismissed the Sherman Act antitrust claims brought against the Free Software Foundation.

    The claims made by Plaintiff Daniel Wallace included: that the General Public License (GPL) constituted a contract, combination or conspiracy; that it created an unreasonable restraint of trade; and that the FSF conspired with IBM, Red Hat, Novell and other individuals to pool and cross-license their copyrighted intellectual property in a predatory price fixing scheme.

    ....


    Read more here
     
  • FreeMind - free mind mapping software

    The version 8.0rc2 is available here
    FreeMind is a premier free mind-mapping software written in Java. The recent development has hopefully turned it into high productivity tool. We are proud that the operation and navigation of FreeMind is faster than that of MindManager because of one-click "fold / unfold" and "follow link" operations.

  • Freemind for Joomla! 1.2.1

    Freemind.for.joomla.logo 

    Freemind for Joomla is a content plugin that easily display mindmap in your articles

    Version 1.2.1

    NEW: Logging is working is debug mode (written to /logs/plg_freemind.php)
    NEW:  New applet using java if you don not like flash (the flash applet is way nicer)
    NEW: Tested with Freemind 0.8.1 and 0.9RC7
    NEW: Add documentation in administrator plugin panel with links to wiki, forums, download

    Support: If you require support for this component please visit the Support Forums.

    Documentation: Official documentation available at Cédric Walter Wiki.

    Do you like this extension? Rate it at Joomla Extension Directory (JED)

    Download Visit the version manager HERE

    Always use the latest version subscribe to the download RSS feed-icon-14x14[26]

  • FSF releases the GNU General Public License, version 3

    BOSTON, Massachusetts, USA—Friday, June 29, 2007—The Free Software Foundation (FSF) today released version 3 of the GNU General Public License(GNU GPL), the world's most popular free software license.

    “Since we founded the free software movement, over 23 years ago, the free software community has developed thousands of useful programs that respect the user's freedom. The programs are in the GNU/Linux operating system, as well as personal computers, telephones, Internet servers, and more. Most of these programs use the GNU GPL to guarantee every user the freedom to run, study, adapt, improve, and redistribute the program,” said Richard Stallman, founder and president of the FSF.

    Version 3 of the GNU GPL strengthens this guarantee, by ensuring that users can modify the free softwareon their personal and household devices, and granting patent licenses to every user. It also extends compatibility with other free software licenses and increases international uniformity.

    Jeremy Allison, speaking on behalf of the Samba team, states that they see the new license as “a great improvement on the older GPL,” and that it is “a necessary update to deal with the new threats to free software that have emerged since version 2 of the GPL.”

    I am currently looking at the GPL version 3 and all my Joomla components will be available under that licence soon.
  • GIMP 2.2.10 is out! NVU 1.0

     GIMP is the GNU Image Manipulation Program is a freely distributed piece of software for such tasks as photo retouching, image composition and image authoring. It works on many operating systems, in many languages.

    Version 2.2.10 of the GNU Image Manipulation Program is now available. This is a bug-fix release in the stable 2.2 series and it contains a new splash screen to celebrate the 10 anniversary today of GIMP.

    Windows binary can be grab here while linux version are available at the main site

     And because I was searching for a long time an alternative to Frontpage (I have an old version of 1997!) and/or Dreamweaver  which is open source and  WYSIWYG, I am very pleased to use since 2 weeks now, NVU: A complete Web Authoring System for Linux Desktop users as well as Microsoft Windows and Macintosh. Make a try You won't regret it :-)

  • Gimp 2.4 is available

     GIMP is the GNU Image Manipulation Program is a freely distributed piece of software for such tasks as photo retouching, image composition and image authoring. It works on many operating systems, in many languages (77).

    Version 2.4 of the GNU Image Manipulation Program is now available.

    The release note contains the list of new features and some nice screenshots. You can download this semi professional tool at no charge

    GIMP  run on any NT-based version of Windows (NT4, 2000, XP or Vista download HERE), and also on Macintosh  (download HERE)
    Windows binary can be grab here while linux version are available at the main site

    Some useful links to finish this small blog post GIMP Documentation

  • GuestBook for Joomla! version 5.1.3

    Version 5.1.3 of the oldest and maybe the most famous GuestBook for Joomla! is out

    BUG: Title of page was missing in front end.

    NEW: "I wan't to let the visitors enter their email address, but I don't want it to be shown on the front page." A new setting in back end just allow that, "Hide user email in front end"

    NEW: A donate button has been add in the back end under "About"

    NEW: A new statistics page, that give you an overview of user rating. New statistics can be added easily, I just wait for your ideas ;-)

    guestbook.for.joomla.statistics

    NEW: Add a new menu entry "Support" that goes directly to the GuestBook forums.

    NEW: Add a new menu entry "Documentation" that goes directly to the GuestBook WIKI.

    Download HERE

    New features, bugs or support, go to my forums

  • Java is free software

    Java Will be release under a GPL licence!

    From Joshua Marinacci Blog

    "The big announcement today: Java will be open sourced under the GPL. I think it makes a lot of sense because it protects Sun's interest in preventing forks and also the community's interest in knowing that Java will forever be available in the public sphere. The GPL has always provided an option to fork just in case someone takes the code in a bad direction. Historically having this option available ensures that it never needs to actually be used, letting the community grow and thrive.

    So what does this actually mean? What is the benefit to open source Java? How will things change? Here's what I think will change and what won't. I say this as my own opinion, not an official statement from Sun. I also say this as someone new to Sun, coming to Sun two years ago from an open source background. I'm sure that engineers with more experience than I will have different opinions. So with that, let's hear it:

    How will open source change Java

    • Real bugs will be fixed faster and non-bugs will be closed faster than ever.
    • Java won't fork. Few developers will have incentive to fork Java. It's a lot of work for little gain. Branches for new features or new platform support: yes. A true fork: no. Not even MS has much to gain from this anymore.
    • The JCP will grow and change. As before, big decisions about the future of Java will go through the Java Community Process. However, with more interested developers the ranks of the JCP will grow and change in some very good ways.
    • Java will have first class support on Linux, Free-BSD, and other 100% open operating systems. This is huge. Hugely, huge. I'm hoping we'll finally get a KDE look and feel as well.
    • NetBeans will open the entire JDK sources all at once. It's true, we're working on it for NetBeans 6. With the new editor infrastructure this will be possible. You might not actually want to do this, but it should be possible if you've got enough memory.
    • We will see lots of small crazy experimental versions of Java that add different things. Imagine a JDK with Find Bugs, MySQL, SwingX, JDIC, JInput, JOGL, Java3D, Tritonus MP3, jSDL, KDE-Java, Gnome-Java and a bunch of other cool libraries pre-integrated. We might even see an entire downloadable VMWare virtual harddrive with Ubuntu + Super JDK + NetBeans preinstalled for the ultimate prefab development environment.
    • More adoption of Looking Glass. Now that Java can be freely run on Linux desktops out of the box, there is incentive to ship Looking Glass bundled in with the OS. There's a lot of good 3D cards out there. Let's use'em!
    • More 3D Java Games for all platforms. I expect that people will start shipping an optimized copy of Java embedded in their applications. The end user will never need to know that Java is involved. JOGL + Java3D is now available for Win, Mac, and any copy of Linux with the right X configuration (which is more common than ever).
    • Burnable Java. Imagine a tool that burns a photo slideshow application preloaded with your photos, plus a copy of Java, straight to a CD. Hand the CD to your Mom, she pops it into her computer, and the photo slideshow starts right up. You'll never need to worry about the version of Java because it's shipped with your app. You don't need to worry about the OS because you code against Java, not against native APIs. (hmm. perhaps 'burnable java' isn't the right name for this. :)
    • Java will grow to fill every available computing niche and finally achieve the goal of total world domination.

    Okay, so maybe that last one is a stretch, but it's true that this will help to bringMore Java to More Places."

    The licence that Sun have now decided for Java are explained in a document called the "GPL license". Those terms included the most important one, which is that no-one may redistribute a version or derivative of this Sun Java code without making the source code of that version or derivative also come under the GPL.  (Yes Steve Ballmer GPL act like a virus ;-)).



  • Smugmug/picasa/flickr extensions for Joomla! now available at JED

    Joomla Logo Horz Color  Some of my extensions have been finally approved at Joomla extensions directory

    Smugmug Random Picture module

    Joomla! 1.5 Native A small module, highly customizable to display picture randomly from your Smugmug gallery. This module displays Smugmug photos using lightbox, lightbox2 or shadowbox.
    Category: Photo Channels
    Download
    License: GPL
    Type: Non-Commercial

    Smugmug Slideshow

    Joomla! 1.5 Native  This module is a front end for the myriad of parameter that can set for the Smugmug flash applet. A great visual and a lot of features are built into this widget. * Flash 10 widget * Code produced is XHTML 1.0 Strict * Tested in the following brows ...

    Category: Photo Channels
    Download
    License: GPL
    Type: Non-Commercial

    Smugmug Video Player module

    Joomla! 1.5 Native  Another small module, highly customizable to display video from your Smugmug gallery is ready for prime time! This module displays Smugmug videos using flash and Smugmug API.

    Category: Video Channels
    Download
    License: GPL
    Type: Non-Commercial

     

    photofeed

    Joomla! 1.5 Native This is a small content plugin for Joomla! 1.5 that allow you to inline a set of images from your favorite online gallery: Smugmug, Flickr, Picasa or any RSS feed in any article. FEATURES: * It can fetch photos from Smugmug * It can fetch p ...

    Category: Photo Channels
    Download
    License: GPL
    Type: Non-Commercial

    I also took the time to completely rewrite the front page of my wiki: a better layout and a dedicated page for each extensions.

    Joomtwitter is still on hold, as it contains the name Joomla! and thus require to ask for a license (I did ask last week, so it should soon be available in JED)

  • Some news about OpenSOurce

    Some people are scared by open source to say the least...
    GPL Sued For "Software Price Fixing"
    The Free Software Foundation (FSF) and the General Public License (GPL), the great enabler of the open source movement, were sued last Thursday for restraint of trade under the Clayton Antitrust Act (15 US Code Section 26) in the US District Court for the Southern District of Indiana. The pro se suit, filed by physicist, computer programmer and Groklaw gadfly Daniel Wallace, charges that the GPL “contract licensing schemeâ€? artificially fixes software prices. more at LinuxBusinessNews

    while other are excited by the future...
     How free software is leading to change
    ...
    Computer enthusiasts, professional and amateur, who are interested in intellectual stimulation rather than dollar signs have always existed, as exemplified by the emergence of the Homebrew Computer Club in Menlo Park in the mid-1970s and the creation of the GNU project for free software in the mid-'80s.
    ... more at dailypress.com

    and All  IT manager are encouraged to read this "A Guide to Open Source Software for Australian Government Agencies". a 975Kb PDF whitepaper

  • The future of mambo in GPL is Joomla!

     Joomla! is a Content Management System (CMS) created by the same award-winning team that brought the Mambo CMS to its current state of stardom. 
    The name Joomla! is a phonetic spelling for the Swahili word "Jumla", which means "all together" or "as a whole". It was chosen as the entire teams behind Mambo were unanimous in their commitment to protecting the interests of the creators and community, which was the true cause for the success and acclaim earned by that project.

    This name was chosen from thousands of recommendations by the community, and even went through an arduous review session by branding and marketing professionals who also felt that Joomla! was the best choice of the lot.

    What sets Joomla! apart from the rest is our dedication to keeping things as simple as possible, while providing the most features possible. Finally, non-technical people can have complete control over their websites without paying exhorbitant amounts for closed, proprietary software.

    Joomla! is more than just software, it is people. The community behind Joomla! includes developers, designers, systems administrators, translators, content writers, and most importantly the end users. We welcome you to our community, and look forward to the future with great excitement! from http://www.joomla.org

  • Traduction de la philosophie GNU

    Les différentes traductions réalisées, ont été effectuées par les membres de l'association APRIL, elles ont pour but de présenter l'informatique libre et la philosophie de Gnu en français. Vous trouverez dans ce site toute la philosophie du logiciel libre telle que la conçoit GNU. De nombreux textes sont déjà traduits. Vous pouvez consulter les documents de travail pour voir l'état d'avancement des traductions ou pour participer au groupe de traduction.  L'APRIL héberge aussi un mirroir du site de GNU.Je vous recommande surtout de lire cet article pour bien comprendre la phylosophie GNU: Le logiciel Libre