SuSE Linux 7.0

If you like to measure your Linux distributions by the pound, SuSE Linux Professional 7.0 wins hands down.

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.