Mailinglist Archive: opensuse (3378 mails)

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Re: [SLE] If not SuSE, what other distribution?
  • From: Keith Winston <kwinston@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 22 Apr 2002 10:08:08 -0400
  • Message-id: <20020422100808.A1883@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
On Mon, Apr 22, 2002 at 05:04:38AM -0400, joe lerch wrote:
> I have been using SuSE since 5.3, never really took the time to look at any
> of the other distributions. Are there any other distributions near SuSE in
> completeness and ease?
>
> I have grown used to YaST and liked being able to use it for everything, and
> enjoyed having all the various software included ready to install and run. If
> you are a seasoned SuSE user and had to pick another distribution which would
> it be? Do any others include all the KDE and gnome , and allow you to easily
> switch between them? Is SuSE a one of a kind type of distribution, if so why?

I have installed and used many distros over the last 5 years and I
always come back to SuSE for many reasons. As you mentioned, YaST is
unequaled for admin tools, no other distro includes as much bundled
software, or has the quality and polish of SuSE. That said, I do use
other distros in special situations, and if I was going to run another
distro, it would be Slackware, but I would only recommend Slack for
advanced users. Here are some short thoughts on other distros (from my
experience and *opinion* only, take it as that and not gospel):

Red Hat -- widely used, lots of 3rd party apps, aimed at servers, non
standard compiler, printing system in chaos (at least through 7.2),
gnome oriented.

Mandrake -- good GUI tools, everything non-standard (rpms and
dependencies all suffixed with -mdk), custom apache patches included
that were rejected by the apache foundation, config files drake-ized
(lots of unusual extensions), not very stable in my experience, kde
oriented.

Debian -- ultra conservative (new 3.0 still uses 2.2 kernel by default),
not many tools except for the excellent apt, the only distro with
as much software as SuSE, difficult installer, free software only in the
base (though you can add non-free), very stable, many packages out of
date, interesting social contract.

Slackware -- Small, tight distro (compared to the biggies), simple
package system (.tar.gz), nothing obfuscated, easy to figure out how
things are put together, lots of manual configuration required (no sound
setup tool, no printer setup tool), uses vanilla kernels (good or bad
depending on your viewpoint), BSD-style init, fewer packages available
but does include KDE and gnome.

E-smith/Mitel SME -- small, server only distro based on Red Hat,
completely integrated system with web front end for most admin, Apache,
MySQL, PHP4, Perl, Qmail, Imp/horde (webmail), ProFTPd, BIND (caching
only), SSH, NTP4, DHCP, Samba, Squid, Netatalk, firewall, other optional
for cost add-ons. Easy to set up, very stable, the only distro I've
used with a quality level matching SuSE. No development tools, more
difficult to add other packages but it can be done.

FreeBSD -- I know, it's not Linux, but since I ran it for a while...very
fast kernel on Intel, lots of software in ports system, weak setup tools
(sound and printer manually), fewer developers, difficult to set up
PCMCIA, less hardware supported, server oriented, BSD-style init.

Storm -- Debian based, out of business.

Those are the ones I've personally used.

Best Regards,
Keith
--
LPIC-2, MCSE, N+
I can C for miles and miles
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