Thursday, 27 July 2006

Getting used to SUSE

My first experience with Linux was Slackware running the 1.3 kernel, but I didn't understand it well enough to do anything apart from play. Following a traumatic experience with NT4 crashing a disk and not being able to recover, I made the leap to Mandrake Linux (version 8.0 I think). It wasn't perfect, but was good enough.

Over the years, I've upgraded through 9.0, 9.1 and to the 10.x. I've tried to support Mandrake (now Mandriva) by joining the Club; a concept that I was never really persuaded was useful.

With the purchase of a new PC earlier this year, I upgraded to the latest "Club" release of Mandriva. It was... okay. I hated the "cute" Christmas theme and battled to remove it. After years of being mostly satisfied with Mandake/Mandriva, I started to get frustrated at the clunkiness of some of it.

So for the first time in several years, I tried out different distros. To put things in perspective, I spend all my working day doing computers - Solaris, AIX, Linux and Windows. I enjoy it, but when I get home, I just was something that works. This ruled out the more hardcore distributions. On the other hand, I didn't want my choice of software limited to a few choice apps.

I downloaded Ubuntu, but wanted something a bit more feature-full without me needing to do a lot of extra installing. I'd been hearing good reports of SUSE 10.1, so did the DVD download. I'm on my third attempt at installing it, and I've learnt a lot of lessons. So far, it's the best I've used and I think it'll stay.

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