SuSE Linux 7.0
In summary, it looks like SuSE 7.0 Professional has most of what Linux users want in a distribution and then some. The “Default with Office” had almost everything I would want in a desktop system. All of my hardware was detected and set up except my IDE-CDR, which would require a kernel recompile to burn CDs with it. I did have the initial problem with my ATI video card and YaST2, but the install had a workaround for this. I did not call SuSE support, but the package includes 90 days of installation support via telephone, e-mail and fax. SuSE's web-based support database is pretty comprehensive as well, although apparently 7.0 is still too new to have many entries. I recently did a 6.4 install on my iMac, and several of the issues I had there were covered in the database. If you are accustomed to a Red Hat-based distribution, some of the configuration tools and file locations, as well as the init scripts are a little different, but not a big issue in my book. For the $69.95 US they are asking at SuSE Shop, it's a steal compared to some other OSes.
Stew Benedict is a systems administrator for an automotive manufacturer in Cleveland, Ohio. He is also a freelance consultant, running AYS Enterprises, specializing in printed circuit design, database solutions and utilizing Linux as a low-cost alternative to commercial operating systems and software. He has been using and promoting Linux since about 1994. When not basking in the glow of a CRT, Stew enjoys time with his wife, daughter and two dogs at his future (not too much longer!) retirement home overlooking Norris Lake in the foothills of the Smokies in Tennessee.
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