| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 11, 18 August 2003
SuSE's dangerous arrogance
In two recent interviews with popular technology publications, SuSE's CEO Richard Seibt chose to demonstrate a high degree of arrogance. In response to CRN's question about Windows to Linux migration, Seibt insisted that "Linux means two companies: Red Hat and SuSE, and nobody else." In another interview for ZDNet, the suggestion that choice meant more than the two alternatives met with another strong denial from Seibt: "If you ask [the hardware vendors], they will tell you they want to support two distributions." While in the context of the topics discussed these statements sounded more like "wishful thinking", rather than solid facts, they also represent a dangerous shift in the world of commercial Linux distributions - from peaceful coexistence with other Linux vendors and communities to a cut-throat, Microsoft-like way of competing, where facts and truths are less important that profit margins and elimination of any competing product at all cost.
First, let's get the facts straight. SuSE is nowhere near to being the second most widely used Linux distribution in the world. Granted, there are no reliable statistics to prove it, but of the many polls that occasionally appear on popular web sites, SuSE rarely does well. Take this recent Slashdot poll as a good example. Slashdot is of course an enormously popular web site, which has the ability to generate tens of thousands of votes in a few hours, but of the distributions presented in this one, SuSE, with 7% of all votes, only succeeded in beating Conectiva and Linux From Scratch. Our own page hit ranking, which is essentially a long-term poll of visitors' interest, SuSE is well behind Red Hat, Mandrake, Gentoo and Debian, and only very slightly above Slackware. Moreover, German visitors browsing DistroWatch visit the Mandrake and Red Hat pages more often than the SuSE page. Another interesting indication of SuSE's acceptance came to light earlier this year when we were looking for a dedicated server hosting DistroWatch. While about 95% of web hosting companies offer Red Hat as the only Linux choice and the remaining 5% also offer Debian and/or Slackware, of the 200 or so hosting companies we looked at, none offered SuSE as a choice of OS.
SuSE has several other things going against it. Firstly, there is little doubt that SuSE's reluctance to provide ISO images for download limits its exposure. Worse, SuSE is very selective about its markets and although it is well accepted in large parts of Europe and North America, there is the vast Asian continent where SuSE is virtually unknown. Secondly, many US-based journalists seem to be of the opinion that SuSE is a dominant distribution in Europe, while ignoring substantial parts of the old continent, such as the Spanish provinces of Extremadura and Andalusia, which have exclusively deployed Debian-based LinEx in all of their public administration offices as well as schools. A similar effort is under way in Norway with Skolelinux, which is also Debian-based. This point is not to be underestimated - we are not talking about a few dozens of computers in companies that can afford the expensive SuSE Desktop licenses - we are talking about tens, if not hundreds of thousands of Debian-based systems, with no other operating system on them! Now, this is the true success story, which SuSE will not match in hundred years, Mr Seibt!
Thirdly, SuSE's refusal to include general public in its beta testing is another sore point. If you have ever experienced the spirit on Red Hat's and Mandrake's mailing lists during their respective beta testing periods, than you know the feeling - being part of the process, talking to the developers, seeing the bugs fixed in front of your eyes - all these experiences provide not only valuable lessons for all who take part, they also create an emotional attachment to the distribution one helped to test and debug. A distribution is not just a box with media and manuals in it, it is a process. The regular distribution flame wars on public forums prove that we do get attached to a our favourite operating system.
Unfortunately, it seems likely that the wide acceptance of Linux will undermine the purity of the original ideals that have initiated its development. Yes, profits are important. Yes, there should be companies that benefit from Linux so that they can contribute to its continued prosperity. But is it necessary to resort to dirty tricks and outright lies? Is arrogance of top executives of commercial Linux companies slowly becoming the order of the day? I certainly hope not, Mr Seibt.
|Released Last Week
CRUX 1.2 has been released. Changes: "GNU coreutils is now included and replaces fileutils, sh-utils and textutils; GTK+ 2.2.x (i.e. glib2/gtk2/atk/pango) is now included in opt; /etc/ports/clc.cvsup is now included in and installed by opt/ports (i.e. no need to download it yourself anymore); opt/ports version 1.0 with driver script support (i.e. cvsup it not the only way to download/publish ports any more); default kernel is now 2.4.21; glibc message catalogs are gone; about 50 other package updates." See the changelog for the complete list of changes.
Yoper Ydesktop 1.1
A new version of Yoper Ydesktop has been released: "Yoper Ydesktop V1 has just had its first major update since its 1.0 release. This new release is tagged 1.1. With this update two CDs are now available for free download. This update includes the following new features: Gentoo(TM) Portage integration, Kerberos support, Evolution mail client (on CD2), GNOME 2.2, experimental update function for Yoper V1 users. CD1 is the standard i686 optimised kde-3.1.3 based desktop." You can find the release announcement here.
Linux MLD 7
Japan's Linux MLD, or Linux Media Lab Distribution has announced a new release, version 7. New features include automated installation, which can be initiated from within Windows (see screenshots), installation to FAT or NTFS file systems, availability of ext3 journaled file system and network installation. Upgraded packages include GNOME 2.2 (the default desktop environment), Mozilla 1.4, OpenOffice 1.0.2 and many others. The distribution comes with several boot loaders and even the ability to setup Windows NTLOADER to boot Linux. MLD7 supplies a highly up-to-date Japanese language environment, Wnn 7 input method editor, several Heisei, DynaLab and DynaFont Japanese fonts, as well as an English-Japanese and Japanese-English dictionary. More detailed information is available in this announcement (Japanese only). Linux MLD7 will be available in Japan on 5 September and the retail price is set to ¥13,800.
Conectiva Linux 9 Upd1
Conectiva has released an update to Conectiva Linux 9. The Release Notes (in Portuguese) contain a long list of bug fixes and package updates; among the more interesting ones are updates to KDE 3.1.2, Linux Kernel 2.4.21, PHP 4.3.2, ethereal 0.9.13, openldap 2.1.21 as well as the inclusion of BitTorrent. The updates were previously available via apt-get or BitTorrent, but the complete collection is now also available on a single ISO image. Find more information about the release on Conectiva's updates page (in Portuguese).
TrX Live Firewall 3.6
The TrX Live Firewall projects has announced the release of version 3.6: "TrX 3.6 comes with Debian Woody 3.0, XFree86 4.3, KDE 3.1.3." TrX is a Debian/Knoppix-based firewall designed to work completely off the CD-ROM, with configuration data stored on a floppy disk or a hard disk partition. There are no release notes; but visit the distribution's home page to get the full package list, see some screenshots and browse the brand new user forums.
Oralux 0.04 has been released. What's new? "Based on Knoppix 3.2 (2003-06-06); the preferences (volume, type of keyboard,...) are selected via the talking menu; preferences and documents may be saved; the ISO image is lighter (378 MB); the CD may be ejected or not ejected before the system is halted; a few bugs have been fixed." Oralux is a GNU/Linux distribution for visually impaired persons, where a visual desktop is replaced by an audio interface; find out more on the distribution's web site.
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Onebase Linux 1.0
Onebase has announced that instead of 1.0 beta2, 1.0 final will be released: "We are sorry for the wrong announcement of release date for 1.0 beta2, as we have decided to release version 1.0 stable rather than having another test version. Also kindly note that the release date for this is yet to be announced.
|Web Site News
New mirror and language
Many thanks to Florin Veres in Cluj-Napoca, Romania for providing a new DistroWatch mirror as well as translating parts of the site into Romanian. DistroWatch is now offered on 11 mirrors and the site's navigation menus as well as some content has been translated into 21 languages.
New on the waiting list
- Augustux is a live CD distribution based on Debian and Knoppix. It has full support for the Aragonese language, used in the province of Aragon, North-East of Spain.
- Boten GNU/Linux is a Peanut Linux based distribution intended for home users. It provides a fully localised GNU/Linux environment in Hebrew. It's especially made for those new to Linux, though aimed to please all users, experts and newbies alike. Boten GNU/Linux can be installed in a UMSDOS partition as well and can run on 386 systems all the way up to the latest x86 machines.
- Luinux is an Internet Gateway for your home network equipment (PC, VideoConsole, TV, oven, ...). Luinux comes preconfigured so, ideally, you just have to install it and play. Once installed in your server PC you get a Debian-based installation with the following features: easy installation; Debian-based, once installed it is easy to keep it updated; journaling file system; ethernet hardware autodetection; easy backup to ISO; Internet connection sharing; firewall router; traffic classifier to prioritise important traffic; intrusion detection system; transparent http cache; system statistics via web interface; secure shell support; NTP date adjustment; instant messaging server; NetBios network file sharing; Internet file sharing.
- Oralux is a Knoppix-based GNU/Linux distribution for blind or visually impaired people. Its user interface is based on Emacspeak, an audio desktop created by T V Raman. Emacspeak offers a complete and powerful desktop. The CD includes Flite, a free Text-To-Speech software available in English and French, but other languages might be included upon request. Oralux provides visually impaired users with the ability to peruse available documentation, send and receive email, browse the Internet and other common tasks.
DistroWatch database summary
- BRLSPEAK is a Braille and Speech Mini-Distribution of GNU/Linux.
- MIKO GNYO/Linux is a Japanese Linux distribution (web site in Japanese).
- L.A.S Knoppix (Local Area Security) Linux is a 'Live CD' distribution based on Knoppix but with a strong emphasis on security tools and small footprint.
- NordisKnoppix is a version of Klaus Knopper's Knoppix, supporting Nordic and Baltic languages.
- Number of distributions in the database: 167
- Number of discontinued distributions: 22
- Number of distributions on the waiting list: 58
On page hit ranking
Yes, there is little doubt that those distribution high on the list do get more hits, simply because they are perceived as popular, which equals "good" in many minds. I am reluctant to remove the listing completely, because it has been an integral part of the site since its early days and has generated plenty of interest (as well as some cheaters on occasions). But as an experiment, I have removed the hyperlinks (and with them the easy access to the individual distribution pages) from the list and anybody wishing to access one of the distribution-specific pages will have to get there via the navigation menu.
- "I wonder how Page Hit Ranking scores would change if the listing was moved away from the front page, replaced by, for instance, an alphabetical list of distros? This whole PHR thing seems to act like a snowball - the distros displayed at the top keep getting "hit" due to their "popularity" according to PHR, while those at the bottom... You get the idea."
On hyperlinks in user comments
The URLs will autoparse in comments - as long as you leave spaces on both ends. This idea has been taken from OSNews, but I am not sure if this is the best way to go about it. Maybe I should make the PHP code more intelligent so that URLs inside HTML tags will be left untouched and only URLs not enclosed in HTML tags will be autoparsed. Any other ideas or suggestions?
- "I don't know how to embed links properly into the comments... Care to share the secret?"
That's all for this week, keep well and see you next Monday,
1 • SuSE's arrogance -- maybe not (by Wilbur Pan at 2003-08-18 13:07:11 GMT) |
I reread Richard Seibt's comments. From a single end user standpoint, I would agree that his comments make no sense. Personally, I've been using Gentoo after trying Red Hat and then SuSE. (By the way, I liked SuSE better than Red Hat.) Gentoo fit my needs.
But if you look at his comments from the corporate/business user standpoint, I would agree that Red Hat and SuSE are the only two distributions that I would consider, for the simplereason that these are the only distributions that seem capable of providing the type of end user support that the corporate environment would need. I love Gentoo, and I love the support that I get on the Gentoo forums, but I would not run a business on this level of support.
I am hard pressed to think of another distro that can provide the level of support that Red Hat and SuSE can at this point in time. Mandrake is too close to their financial crisis for me to be able to confidently think that they will be around in 5 years. Gentoo, Debian and Slackware are too DIY at this point in time. LinEx is well supported by the Extremadura and Andalusian governments, but I don't think that they are particularly interested in supporting a business' IT needs.
Again, on a personal level I would agree that there are many choices beyond Red Hat and SuSE. However, in the corporate environment, the situation is much different.
2 • RE: SuSE's arrogance -- maybe not (by ladislav at 2003-08-18 14:08:25 GMT)
Seibt is trying to convey two messages. One of them is a message to businesses saying that if they want to deploy Linux, they should choose either Red Hat or SuSE -- simply because there is nothing else. This is wrong - rather than deploying either of them at no small cost, a business could consider a less expensive distribution (you can buy commercial support packages for Debian and probably for other distributions too).
The second message is to hardware vendors saying that they don't need to worry about any other distribution except RH and SuSE. Of course, the hardware manufacturers prefer to support as few distributions as possible, but this is not up to them (and certainly not up to Seibt), this is up to the market to decide. We are the ones who need the drivers. Both you and I have a preferred distribution and we shouldn't have to switch them just because Seibt thinks so.
3 • Distro support (by Benjamin Vander Jagt at 2003-08-18 15:43:48 GMT)
Don't forget Xandros, SCO *spit*, Lindows, and Voodoo.
By the way, does SEL qualify for any sort of mention? I mean, for the most part it's just a kernel, and I'm not sure if it would qualify for a "distribution". Would one have to shove it in a Red Hat and package it that way? (Hmm, a funny picture comes to mind. Anyone wanna draw Colonel Sanders wearing a red hat?)
4 • SuSE (by Anthony Boyd at 2003-08-18 20:13:24 GMT)
I agree with Wilbur Pan, I think SuSE really IS one of the few companies with dull, stodgy, corporate-level support contracts. I also think it's fair for SuSE to not offer .iso files -- the GPL doesn't require this, and I think the lack of .iso files is what keeps SuSE from pulling a Mandrake.
Finally, SuSE's releases are VERY clean. People talk about the high quality of "German engineering" when they talk about SuSE. I personally switched to SuSE after getting tired of Mandrake's repeated bugginess. Of course, in 8.2 SuSE released a beta of GCC, and the latest Mandrake is heavy emphasis on stability. So things are fluid to a certain degree. But I still think that SuSE's beta system is working well. Their releases are very stable.
I do agree that Seibt does sound arrogant. But I think maybe just toning down his rhetoric would be a solution -- no need to overhaul what is otherwise working.
5 • Not necessarily a flame war. ;-) (by Benjamin Vander Jagt at 2003-08-18 21:24:39 GMT)
I've personally had the opposite luck with SuSE. My HP LJ4 and HP DJ 842c printers print garbage, my USB keyboard doesn't work at all, the nVidia drivers install, but everything starts up with a warning that it's going into Mesa mode, it oversyncs on my NEC MultiSync 3V, it refuses to install over SMB, Tux Racer spazzes out and crashes X on ATI video cards, XMMS hangs, none of my older sound cards work, some of my newer sound cards sound like they're echoing down a sewer pipe, and Pegasus II cards aren't automatically loaded. PlaneShift won't build on it, but then again, PlaneShift seems to only build on Red Hat and Gentoo. (Oh, I forgot, I installed a GeForce 4 Ti 4200, and now I get lines over everything.)
I have always said that I wish I could use SuSE. It has a serious cache of software, including some nice 3D rendering stuff. Also, for whatever reason, hdparm -Tt consistently gives the best scores when I'm using SuSE. It's truly nice to use, but I have never had a computer that liked it.
6 • RE: SuSE's arrogance (by Anonymous on 2003-08-19 06:28:31 GMT)
Do you really think that web polls on Slashdot or visits to distrowatch.com represent the distributions companies' and governments' market share? They only reflect the home desktop.
7 • RE: SuSE's arrogance (by ladislav at 2003-08-19 09:23:11 GMT)
Do you really think that web polls on Slashdot or visits to distrowatch.com represent the distributions companies' and governments' market share?
No. That's why I also gave an example of SuSE's availability on dedicated web servers as another indication of its relatively low level of deployment.
8 • Suse (by andrej at 2003-08-19 13:08:06 GMT)
Referring arrogance of Mr.Seibt, it is out of question that there are no facts supporting what he said, it is true that my first linux was SuSE and I like it very much, especially for its easy installation. Although I had some ptoblems with making my monitor work (no HW support for this piece) the rest was O.K.
Wilbur Pan is right talking about corporate customers, there are 100s of 1000 of companies now using mail, word and excel on their PCs nothing else. For this use SuSE is perfect (but not the only)and has the support, this is only due to policy of the company.
Basically, what Mr. Seibt said was completely against all rules and ideas of linux (as a whole), but let companies like SuSE take over as much Windows users as they can. DO you really think that someone who ever used linux (suse or RH) would change back to Windows?
So Mr. Seibt.... the idea of taking place of windows was good, but turn off your attitude.
9 • PHR & Links Embedding (by Grunt on 2003-08-19 14:55:04 GMT)
Hey there, Ladislav!
I already thanked you in the reader feedback area of the previous DWW as soon as I noticed the change, but I guess no harm will do from doing so again. :) I'd say some changes are already visible - some of the distros at the top keep staying red since the removal of links.
"I am reluctant to remove the listing completely"
Well, moving the PHR list onto a separate page and placing a link to it somewhere in the "Site Navigation" table at the top of the front page wouldn't exactly qualify as "completely removing" it, would it? ;) This way PHR would both persist as an information source, AND would affect the actual results much less... (Persistent little bugger, am I not? ;) ).
"Maybe I should make the PHP code more intelligent so that URLs inside HTML tags will be left untouched and only URLs not enclosed in HTML tags will be autoparsed. Any other ideas or suggestions?"
Hmmm... How about adding a simplified links embedding? Something akin to tags used in forums/messageboards :
[url=http://blah.blah.blah]Check this out, guys![/url]
Also, I can see you're quoting people in italics in the "Reader Comment Area". Based on your above statement I figure that PHP code is leaving " "as is" as well? (we'll se about that AFTER this post is... well... posted), so how about :
[i]this text is in italics[/i]
The exact format of the tags (be that original HTML tags or simplified ones) is irrelevant, as long as there will be some piece of text somewhere on the website documenting what tags are supported.
10 • Links embedding and italics (by Grunt on 2003-08-19 15:00:32 GMT)
Er... Seems like HTML tags for italics idea worked, kind of... :)
In the post above, "I figure that PHP code is leaving " "as is" as well?" it should obviously read : "I figure that PHP code is leaving "" "as is" as well?"
11 • Links embedding and italics (by Grunt on 2003-08-19 15:08:48 GMT)
Er x2... Seems like the posting script has its own way with ANYTHING enclosed in "less than"/"greater than" (namely - it's slapping those two signs AS IS into the page, without conversing them into "& lt;"/"& gt;" - spaces intentional - so the browsers obviously ignore the contents between them)...
In the post above and the one above that one, "I figure that PHP code is leaving " "as is" as well?" it should obviously read : "I figure that PHP code is leaving "[here come the opening and closing HTML tags for italics, except the script is parsing them in a funny way, so you can't see them, he-he]" "as is" as well?"
12 • Back to Suse... :) (by Wilbur Pan at 2003-08-20 14:23:36 GMT)
Regarding ladislav's comments:
On considering a cheaper distribution and/or Debian support: I looked at the Debian support options links on their webpage and again I would be concerned about continuity of support if this was my business. Most of the consultants operate on an hourly basis. A business environment would require a higher level of support than that. What I would be looking for in a corporate environment is a multiyear contract for 24/7 support. This would be more than a single consultant can provide on his/her own.
On hardware vendors: For my education, are there any Linux drivers that will only work with one distribution and not others?
I do agree that Richard Seibt's comments have a considerable amount of FUD in them, but I think that at this point in time, there is a core of truth to them.
And I should probably take time out for a compliment -- your website was probably the single most useful source of information for me when I was getting started using Linux. In fact, it was through DistroWatch that I first found out about Gentoo, which is what I use personally. Thanks!
13 • More about Suse (by L Gandolfo at 2003-08-21 19:01:02 GMT)
Is Suse arrogant? My opinion is most definitely yes, mainly from the point of view of a home user.
Apart from the fact that their OS is far from perfect (one more reason why they should be more humble)-against the stability of Debian or Slackware, and besides the reasons mentioned by you, which are in my opinion all very valid, I have a couple more reasons: it is made very difficult to run Suse 8.2 as root. Well, I paid good money for it, and I find that I have the right to choose how I want to run my OS.
My system is only a few months old and it looks and feels almost obsolete. Only way to upgrade it is with apt4rpm, which they stubbornly refuse to support.
Is there any interaction with the end users, an official forum or anything like that? You can dream it.
They have been given a good lesson by KMlinux, which I find better from many points of view (pity that it is meant only for German users-especially the impossibility to install English Openoffice instead of German Oo, which cannot be removed)
Give me Libranet everyday: it gives me the freedom, the stability and the MIGHT of Debian!!! (and an excellent support and a very nice forum).
14 • Debian. (by Edward.C on 2003-08-22 00:44:40 GMT)
One w o r d: Debian!
15 • Arrogant? Maybe, Accurate though... (by Beasley at 2003-08-22 04:10:13 GMT)
The comments about SuSE do hold up in the corporate world. Dealing with the systems I deal with on a daily basis, and for the abilities I need (HA, Oracle, etc) Red Hat and SuSE ARE the only games in town. From a home user, or small shop standpoint, there are many very nice distro's. For the enterprise customer, who wants Oracle, Veritas, Tivoli, and other enterprise software, it is Red Hat and SuSe here in the states. Not too long ago it was only Red Hat though, so the competition is nice. If you want to get really technical on it, SuSE is United Linux at the enterprise level, so if it is SuSE certified, it should work on Conectiva, Turbo, and (I shudder to think of it) SCO. Here in the states at least, his comments are not nearly as arrogant as some things I have heard from Red Hat sales reps... As for me, I run a bit of everything, but SuSE and Red Hat are the mainstays in most of my systems because that is what I have to deploy at the enterprise level.
One last thing to consider, most software that is certified on one or the other will work flawlessly in other Linux environments. The problem is, when you do have an issue, even if it is totally a result of the application code, and has nothing to do with the distro, they may well refuse to support you. This is why Red Hat has mattered here in the corporate market for so long, and why SuSE is starting to matter as well now. Sure it will work elsewhere, but for how long? When your mission critical apps are down, and it costs you thousands of dollars per hour, do YOU want to explain to your CIO that you saved a few grand with distro X, and that is why your application vendor wont handle your support calls?
I am all for competition in the environment, but I see little signs of a change in this particular arena in the near future.
16 • SUSE is the MSoft-wanna-be of the Linux World (by CJoe on 2003-08-22 07:45:40 GMT)
Go to LinuxIso.org and check out which of the distros put their ISOs. SUSE is not there.
SUSE is one of the "free rides" companies: they take advantage of the work of "n" developers and put -as far as they can- a Trade Mark on other's work.
They block their distribution putting another license tag to their YAST.
SUSE's prepotence and bad attitude is wel known. They want a kind of MicroSoftish linux dominance.
In fact, I fin this rather disgusting, greedy and they can put their distro to rest in peace.
17 • SuSE (by mdekkers at 2003-08-22 08:19:44 GMT)
I find the article on SuSE lacking insight into how the corporate world decides about IT issues. A lot of my work involves dealing with CIO's, CTO's, IT Directors and Boards. For them, there are only two distro's in town: SuSE and RedHat. And increasingly, we find that customers are turned off by redhat for a variety of reasons. For a corporate customer, technology is not as important as some other things, such as: will the supplier of my hardware support the OS I want to run on this. Contrary to popular belief, businesses do not run their datacenters on white boxes, they run on brand names. And installing Debian on your newly purchased IBM x440 8 way - cool as it may be - is a surefire way of losing any glimmering of hope to get your box supported by IBM, not even mentioning the "who is going to support this OS" question. Oh, yes, is debian Oracle Certified? Nope - and that is a big issue for corporate IT shops. Oracle Certification for a specific hardware/software combination can cost upwards of $2 million a pop, so that really only leaves the big players in town. Extramadura is a great project, and a fantastic case study, however, they are the exception rather then the norm, and counting the size of the deployment has nothing at all to do with distro popularity. Where is your count of deployments in investments banks, for example? I have worked on a 1500 node blade deployment running SuSe linux - is that counted? nope. Do the architects visit Slashdot, and post on a poll as a measure of market share? nope. Do *all* these people check out market research companies for market share size, based on reported earnings, vendor shipments, distributor details. Yes. Anyway, contrary to what many of you believe, SuSE has the *largest* contingent of dedicated developers doing open source work, about twice as much as redhat. SuSE works with the community in an interesting way, where they develop directly on the project involved (as opposed to working in secret isolation, like Ximian or RedHat, and then dumping the patches upstream), they then integrate their distro (one of the cleanest around), beta test with their *customers*, and deploy. The full distro is then made available a month ofter release. Commercial customers cannot use Gentoo, they cannot use Debian, they cannot use LFS, they are stuck with RedHat or SuSE, like it or not. And frankly, between RedHat and SuSE, SuSE is by far the better Open Source citizen. Their licenses are clear cut and simple to understand, their deals are good, and they don't force you to keep paying them every year, like redhat does for advanced server - talk about microsoftian. I have the personal experience of dealing both with redhat as well as with SuSe, and SuSE are way, way, way better and nicer to deal with.
18 • A little geography goes a long way (by Alex Reina at 2003-08-22 09:01:35 GMT)
DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 11, 18 August 2003: "...the Spanish provinces of Extremadura and Andalusia..."
Extremadura and Andalucía, both rightly parts of Spain, are not provinces. They are what's known in Spain as "Comunidades Autónomas" or autonomous communities as a rough translation would have it. In fact, there are 17 of these in Spain, all divided in provinces internally. They represent one of Spain's greatest assets: cultural diversity. Some even have their own language (Cataluña, País Vasco and Galicia), which are also official languages in Spain.
Extremadura is made up of 2 provinces, while Andalucía has 8. The first has an area of about twice the size of New Jersey (41,000+ sq kms or 16,000+ sq miles). Andalucía, however, is the largest autonomous community in Spain, roughly the size of South Carolina (87,000+ sq kms or 33,000+ sq miles).
Please treat them with respect.
19 • Suse, beta testing with their 'customers'??? (by L Gandolfo at 2003-08-22 11:29:50 GMT)
Could please Mr/Mrs Mdekkers tell me more about Suse 'beta testing with their *customers*? This is absolutely unknown to me and I'd be extremely grateful for any further clarification. Unless he/she is talking about corporate customers of course.
20 • RE: SuSE (by ladislav at 2003-08-22 13:17:31 GMT)
Commercial customers cannot use Gentoo, they cannot use Debian, they cannot use LFS.
Says who? SuSE's CEO? Sorry, but I don't share his and your views. There is absolutely no reason for a small (or even medium-size) business to go with RH or SuSE's expensive enterprise editions where they'd be much better off with Debian or Slackware. In fact, I'd say that even many large enteprises would do well with a free distribution in most areas of their operations.
21 • SUSE - my two cents worth (by vara at 2003-08-22 14:59:00 GMT)
Before I start let me say that I currently run SUSE and Red Hat and have used Debian and Slackware. SUSE is a great product and has worked very well for me. As mentioned in other posts, I believe that for the corporate/business users then the real choices are SUSE and Red Hat as they offer the support big business requires but the other distro's lack.
Recently, I have started to become disenchanted with SUSE. The main reason is the lack of freely available .iso's. I don't mind supporting Linux but sometimes I would like something for free. Just like apache or mysql or any number of numerous software out there.
The comments of SUSE's CEO have further left a bad taste in my mouth. I'm also not too fond of Red Hat anymore. Linux is meant to be a good thing, but these companies are looking more into how to make money from Linux than how to co-exist with making money and the open source spirit.
Looks like it's Debian and Slackware for me in the future.
22 • In reply to 'vara' about free Suse isos. (by L Gandolfo at 2003-08-22 15:38:25 GMT)
If you have just a bit of knoledge of German to go past the installation, try Kmlinux. It is what Suse could have been and it is not, I believe you'll love it.
Of course, once installed, with Yast you can change language and any other setting.
I have also found out how to solve the problem with Open Office. Quite easy in fact. If you would like further info write me an email.
23 • Business vs. non-business (by BusyGuy at 2003-08-22 19:17:52 GMT)
I fear that a subtle point was missed in your missive.
Seibt, when stating there was desire by vendors for two Linux distros, he was saying that competition is essential. If business-grade Linux was restricted to either Red Hat or SuSE, then vendors would find themselves in the same trap they suffer under Microsoft. Seibt was merely stating the obvious –as vendors commit to Linux (based on the demands of their customers), vendors want choice between equals.
Seibt’s statement about it being SuSE, Red Hat and nobody else is merely a statement of fact. As good as other distributions are, the only ones actively considered by businesses are SuSE and Red Hat. Anyone arguing otherwise has not been paying attention to commercial buying trends.
As for polls on websites . . . so many problems here. First, be aware that these polls are most commonly answered by members of the community and assorted hobbyists. This group is as far, far cry from the business buyers to which Seibt was referring. Second (and this comes from professional experience in survey design and research, especially online), these polls are meaningless. They are unscientific and merely popularity polls for an unfocussed group. So ignore them, especially when discussing business Linux.
As for SuSE not submitting commercial distributions for general public beta . . . I cannot fathom why this would be a problem. I’ve managed software production for commercial vendors, and the madness of a public beta would do little for a company like SuSE who’s main focus are enterprise buyers. Indeed, I applaud them for looking out for their customers and business interest by having focused, regulated beta cycles. Besides, how many people in the community have a z900 in their den ready for beta testing the latest mainframe SuSE distro ;->
So, lighten-up dude. I think you misinterpreted Seibt’s statements. SuSE is a friend of business Linux buyers and the community. Thanks to them there are Opteron and Athelon64 distros, and other goodies for use to enjoy.
24 • In reply to 'BusyGuy' (by L Gandolfo at 2003-08-22 19:51:30 GMT)
'Suse who's main focus are enterprise buyers'...
Ah, but I bet they would weep if they were to loose the majority of their home users. In fact I know from very reliable source that they can use every cent they can get.
And if not, if their main source of income are corporate users, why don't they put some sort of fully working iso for download, for instance an installable version of their LiveEval Cd or their previous version, like libranet used to do and is doing again.
25 • Enlightened by Mr Seibt (by ladislav at 2003-08-23 04:28:23 GMT)
Following the feedback to "SuSE's dangerous arrogance", as well as posts on Slashdot, OSNews and other sites, I've done some serious thinking. I have concluded that my analysis of Mr Seibt's talk was completely wrong and that there are, in fact, only two distributions - Red Hat and SuSE. As a result of being enlightened by Mr Seibt's interview and also by many readers who wrote to me and kindly pointed out my gross misunderstanding of the whole situation, some important changes on DistroWatch will come into effect next week.
Firstly, I am going to migrate this site to SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 8. The truth is that DistroWatch.com is a business and as I have been kindly reminded by many readers, I cannot run the DistroWatch.com server on Debian or Linux From Scratch - I can only run it on either Red Hat or SuSE. Luckily, SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 8 costs only $749.00 and this price includes a generous Maintenance Program valid for one whole year! Even better, after the first year, the cost of the Maintenance Program drops to $699 per year, but I am sure that by then SuSE will have released a new version with some special pricing for its valued customers.
The bad news is that I will have to find a new web hosting company, because my current one does not offer SuSE Linux as a choice of OS. I will search around to see what I can get, so if you find DistroWatch.com off-line in the near future, please don't panic. I don't expect the downtime to last for more than 6 weeks, but I will keep you updated via the forum on PCLinuxOnline.com.
The second big change on DistroWatch.com is the removal of all Linux distributions, except Red Hat and SuSE. There is no need to cover the rest any more, really. From next week on, DistroWatch.com will specialise in Red Hat and SuSE only and it will bring you all the exciting news from the industry's only two players. We will follow every move and every word by the senior executives at Red Hat and SuSE and these will be duly reported and analysed by our staff. These will be exciting times and I expect the readership to at least triple once we start bringing you the exclusive coverage of all the happenings in the world of Red Hat Linux and SuSE Linux.
The migration of DistroWatch.com from Debian to SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 8 will of course mean extra expense and as a result of this you will see an increase in advertising on this site. I doubt that either Red Hat or SuSE will be willing to provide us with some advertising revenue, since they will be covered exclusively anyway, so I will be contacting advertisers in the gambling and pornographic industries to compansate for the increased cost associated with the planned migration. Yes, I know - this might offend some visitors and I'd hate to lose them, but I am sure that many of you will understand that because there are only two distributions for the enterprise, I can no longer use Debian to host DistroWatch.com.
These are exciting times on DistroWatch.com and I really want to thank everybody who have sent in their feedback and made me see the light. The changes will come into effect shortly. If you still haven't joined our great Timesavers Programme, then now is the time as we will soon bring you all the great features, including detailed comparisons between Red Hat Linux Advanced Server and SuSE Linux Enterprise Server so that you too can make an informed decision about your company's Linux needs.
Once again, thank you all for your feedback.
Put the fun back into computing. Use Red Hat or SuSE.
26 • The SUSE-iso issue: arrogance, free-riders and lost academic space. (by Aldo Solari at 2003-08-23 06:33:02 GMT)
For a couple of years ago, I contacted SUSE complaining about the "ISO-issue". We do use Linux in a research laboratory/academic environment, a "space" which SUSE lost due their greedy and arrogant policy (no ISOs, YAST license, etc.). Their postmaster sent us a sort of "roman senator rethorical speech". We switched to both Red Hat, Mandrake and Debian.
SUSE is -like Caldera- a free-rider/scavenger corporation. It uses for free a core system worth hundreds of millions of dollars in R&D and, at the same time and it attempts to deny access to many of the tools it develops for the business community. YAST is just an example.
SUSE has shown a rather unethical and greedy approach, it exploits badly the open source community and it has lost most of the academic space it had.
SUSE is interested in making money with the work of many developers who devoted their time & creativity for the open source approach.
Within the academic space, SUSE is a distribution which can no longer be recommended.
Aldo Solari/fisheries researcher
27 • • Enlightened by Mr Seibt (by ladislav) (by monkymind on 2003-08-23 07:35:08 GMT)
LOL. Great news! One small suggestion is instead of supporting two distros perhaps pick only one. The added benefit would be Distroweekly could then become an annual newsletter. ;->
Love the site and the humour - keep up the good work.
PS FWIW perhaps enterprise linux could be moved to a separate "elite" section - away from the what everyone else uses.
28 • No subject (by Anonymous on 2003-08-23 09:58:17 GMT)
please stay the way you, reducing to distros would something
akin to M$ tactics.
BTW mainly Mandrake here, but some serious flirting with
various debian derived distro's
29 • 'Enlightened by Mr Seibt' (by ladislav) (by L Gandolfo at 2003-08-23 10:04:07 GMT)
Fantastic grand finale, thank you. I was almost crying with laughter.
Distrowatch is one of my favourite sites and I visit it several times a day.
30 • My take on German arrogance (by G.Floros at 2003-08-23 19:03:29 GMT)
Is SuSE arrogant? Is a BMW engineer saying he's made the world's finest automobile arrogant? I can't answer that. Haven't driven all cars in the world yet.
What I can say for sure having compared Mandrake and SuSE head to head is that if first impressions were important for me I would have quitted Linux altogether based on my first experience with Mandrake 9.0 NOTHING worked. But I said to myself, hey this can't be real! Why are all those people so excited about this Linux thing? Are they all raving lunatics with a taste for mazohistic activity? Then I went out and bought SuSE 8.2. I've created a rock-solid desktop out of it and I'm quite a happy penguin, doing some patchwork on the auto-update as I'm writing these lines.
So when I'm looking at the photos of the new M5 along a very happy German engineer I know that in his mind at least he's right. And there are the lucky few out there who'll probably second that
31 • About 'German arrogance' (by G.Floros) (by L Gandolfo at 2003-08-23 21:22:41 GMT)
'German' arrogance has nothing to do here. I lived in Germany, I adore it and I like the Germans very much too.
Besides, the issue is not with the 'Suse people', meanig Suse's developers and employees, whom I know out of personal experience to be very nice. The issue is with the management.
And managers can be arrogant all over the world.
Also the issue of quality is only a secondary one. I come from an experience almost identical to yours: first 'in love' with the beauty of Mandrake, but hardly anything worked.
Then 'in love' with the relative stability of Suse.
But I have moved on ever since, I discovered that there is life after the rpm distros: Debian based, Slackware and similar, source distros...
And yet Suse is still my second favourite after Debian.
That is why I care at all, otherwise I wouldn't be here wasting my time, I'd be doing something more meaningful.
Number of Comments: 31
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