| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 25, 24 November 2003
SUSE LINUX 9.0 FTP Edition
Several users have suggested that DistroWatch should be slightly more "newbie-friendly" by providing some more basic content in an easy-to-understand language. Since SUSE has just released their complete 9.0 distribution to the FTP servers (and mirrors), perhaps a simple installation walk-through for those who have never done it will be useful.
Firstly, you have to meet some basic conditions before you can start:
Now follow these steps:
- You have to have a broadband connection. There is no way to install the FTP edition of SUSE LINUX via a modem connection, even if you have plenty of patience.
- If your broadband connection is of a PPPoE type (i.e. requires username and password to log in), you will not be able to proceed with installation. A good workaround is to buy a broadband router with a built in DHCP server; they are inexpensive, easy to setup in a web browser and save you plenty of time and hassles.
If you've never installed Linux before, you will be pleased to know that SUSE's 9.0 installer is now able to resize a Windows XP partition, create some empty space and setup your boot loader to dual boot Windows and SUSE. Once you get to a stage where the installation program starts downloading and installing the necessary files, you can take a long break - even with a broadband connection and a fast mirror, count on at least 3 hours before the default installation with KDE and OpenOffice completes. Also please note that SUSE no longer ships the NVIDIA driver, which you will have to download and install separately if you want 3D capabilities. The NVIDIA module compiles cleanly on SUSE Linux 9.0, but you will have to install the kernel sources (with YaST, SUSE's configuration utility) before attempting to compile the NVIDIA drivers.
- Find an available, complete mirror before you start the installation (SUSE provides a list of German and international mirrors). Once you find one, you need to get its IP address by "pinging" the FTP server. This you can do by typing 'ping ftp.suse.com' (replace 'ftp.suse.com' with the mirror of your choice) on the command line (this command works both in Linux and in DOS) and record the numerical string you receive (in the ftp.suse.com example, this would be 188.8.131.52). Write it down, because you will need this number later. Be smart and don't use the main SUSE FTP server to install SUSE Linux.
- Besides recording your chosen mirror's IP address, you will also need to write down the exact path of the 9.0 directory on the server. In case of SUSE's main FTP server at ftp.suse.com, this would be 'pub/suse/i386/9.0', but each mirror is different, so get the right path from the mirror you chose to use. Write it down.
- Download the boot.iso image which you can find in 9.0/boot directory of your chosen mirror. On ftp.suse.com this image would be here. Its size is 22,708,224 bytes.
- Burn the ISO image onto a CD. In case you don't have a CD burner, you can initiate the installation from a set of floppy disks downloadable from the same directory as the ISO image. The process is considerably more involved, so read the README files (also available in the same directory) before you proceed.
- Boot from the CD, select the "Install SUSE LINUX" option and follow the instructions. They are logical with the only "gotcha" being the need to load the correct kernel module (hardware driver) for your network card. This is done from the main menu, but you will need to know the exact name of your network card's kernel module. Get out the relevant documentation and be prepared to search the Internet to find the answer.
- Once your network card module is loaded, you will be able to access the FTP server you chose previously. Just select "Network" as your type of installation, select "FTP" as your source, fill in the IP address and path you have written down in the first two steps and you are ready to go.
Once you get to know and enjoy SUSE, and end up using it on a regular basis, consider buying the full boxed product. Those in North America can take advantage of Amazon's current special on the SUSE Linux 9.0 Professional edition at US$38.95 (update: this special is no longer available and the price is back at US$64.99), which includes the most comprehensive documentation of any Linux distribution by far. SUSE LINUX is also rapidly rising in terms of usage, especially due to recent unpopular policy changes at Red Hat and apparent lack of quality control at MandrakeSoft.
Whatever you do, have a lot of fun :-)
Screenshot: SUSE LINUX 9.0 Download Edition
(full image size 264kB)
|Released Last Week
The ADIOS project has released ADIOS 2.00, a Red Hat-based live CD developed by the Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane: "ADIOS boot CD version 2.00 November 2003 now has support for LIDS (Linux Intrusion Detection System) and SELinux. The ADIOS live CD uses a compressed loopback filesystem and has support for UML (User Mode Linux) virtual machines. It is a custom installation of Red Hat 9 running kernel 2.4.22 and supporting X11 windows desktop environments of KDE, Gnome and IceWM. The ADIOS live Linux boot CD ISO images are located at the download site /iso/adios. Previous versions of ADIOS and addendums are also available. Before starting, read the ADIOS BootCD Installation Guide. Here is as example of ADIOS BootCD Resource web page."
A new version (3.3-2003-11-19) of the Knoppix live CD has been released. From the changelog: "V3.3-2003-11-19 (Updates) - vpnc (Open Source Cisco client); prelink; qt3-designer; lots of updated packages; removed, for space reasons: selfhtml, sodipodi, abiword, karbon."
A new version of SystemRescueCd has been released. From the changelog: "The system can be installed on an USB stick (128 MB or better); added network tools: iptraf, nmap, pppoeconf, netcat; added support for i810-FrameBuffer (for Dell laptops); updated QtParted to 0.4.1_pre4 (many bugfixes), QtEmbedded to 3.2.3; DAR (Disk Archiver) to 2.0.0; Clam-AntiVirus to 0.65; Ntfsprogs to 1.8.0, ChkRootKit to 0.42b; removed the warning at kernel boot about cud driver; added testdisk, unace, smartmontools, ren, rename; made ISO smaller (removed translation files); an HTML version of the manual is available from the CD-ROM; fixed problems in the FI (finish) keymap." See the distribution's web site to find out more about the project.
Puppy Linux 0.7.8
This is a new release from the Puppy Linux project: "Puppy live-CD version 0.7.8 uploaded. The ISO is now 41MB, and has the 'kitchen sink' in it, including Mozilla web browser and Scribus desktop publishing. Release notes: To run Puppy, just burn the cd-puppy.iso to CD and boot up your PC from the CD. This version of Puppy runs in a 48M ramdisk. Yes, Mozilla, Scribus, everything, the entire filesystem, is in the ramdisk, so no application has to ever be loaded off the hard drive. This means speed, speed, speed! Puppy so far has been developed on a Redhat 8.0 host, however I am now going to investigate rebuilding Puppy from scratch using Slackware 9.1. Slackware is designed to run on a minimum 586 class CPU. Also, I plan to design Puppy to run on PCs with very little RAM, as little as 32M. I'm reluctant to predict anything, as this is basically a fun project and I follow whims, but roughly this is what to expect in the next release." See the complete release announcement.
Debian GNU/Linux 3.0r2
The second revision of Debian Woody has been officially released: "This is the second update of Debian GNU/Linux 3.0 (codename 'woody') which mainly adds security updates to the stable release, along with a few corrections of serious bugs. Those who frequently update from security.debian.org won't have to update many packages and most updates from security.debian.org are included in this update. Please note that this update does not produce a new version of Debian GNU/Linux 3.0 but only adds a few updated packages to it. There is no need to throw away 3.0 CDs but only to update against ftp.debian.org after an installation, in order to incorporate those late changes. Upgrading to this revision online is usually done by pointing the 'apt' package tool to one of Debian's many FTP or HTTP mirrors." See the the official announcement for a complete list of changes.
SUSE LINUX 9.0 Download Edition
As reported in last week's DistroWatch Weekly, SUSE LINUX 9.0 is now available for FTP/HTTP installation directly from remote servers. The usual download rush has made many mirrors hard to access, but you can try your luck by searching for an available one on these lists of German and international mirrors. Installation is not difficult; first download the boot.iso (21.7MB) and burn it onto a CD, then boot from it and let the installation program guide you through the process. If you get stuck, you can refer to our earlier review of SUSE LINUX, which includes instructions for FTP installation and other helpful hints.
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
College Linux 2.5
College Linux has announced an imminent release of version 2.5, based on Slackware Linux 9.1: "CollegeLinux 2.5. is scheduled to be released on the 30 November next. Still finishing the last details, but it will be worth the wait."
|Web Site News
New on the waiting list
- ViruX. ViruX Linux Live CD is a Swedish distribution based on Linux from Scratch and Knoppix. The ViruX web site is in Swedish. The addition of ViruX has brought the number of distribution in the DistroWatch database to 200.
Removed from the waiting list
- AnNyung. AnNyung is a Korean Linux distribution based on Red Hat Linux.
- LIIS Linux. LIIS Linux is a Latvian Linux distribution based on Skolelinux.
- gnUserLinux. gnUserLinux is a new Debian-based distribution by Bruce Perens. It's pronounced "User Linux", the gn is silent but present in the written form. The name is meant to mean "GNU Linux with the User in the middle." Find out more in What Would UserLinux Look Like? and UserLinux – The Leaning Linux Tower of Babel? by LinuxWorld.
- Correction: KDLC is a Vietnamese Linux live CD based on Mandrake, not on Knoppix as we incorrectly reported last week.
DistroWatch database summary
- BlueSock Linux has not updated their web site since the release of beta 1 on 20 June 2003.
- Number of distributions in the database: 200
- Number of discontinued distributions: 25
- Number of distributions on the waiting list: 71
On categorising distributions
This is an updated list which will be used to create a searchable database of distributions based on various categories. Some of the suggested categories have been rejected; as an example, categorising distributions based on memory requirements is difficult since many distributions provide minimum requirements for various usage scenarios. Other rejected suggestion was an "ease of use" category, which is too subjective to have any useful meaning and "speed" category, which would require some extensive benchmarking (and watch for the flames if Gentoo happens to end up on any position other than the very top :-)).
If we left out any category that you would like to see included, please comment below.
- Package management (RPM, DEB, TGZ, SRC...)
- Parent distribution (Red Hat, Debian, Slackware...)
- Architecture (Intel, PowerPC, Alpha, AMD-64...)
- Target hardware (i386, i586, i686, old hardware...)
- Target focus (Server, Desktop, Firewall, Security, Multimedia, Educational, Children...)
- Language (Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Korean, Spanish, Portuguese...)
- Installation type (text mode, graphical, live CD, floppy-based...)
- Free download (yes, no)
- Default desktop environment (KDE, GNOME, IceWM, Fluxbox...)
Last week's call for a volunteer coder to take over Timesavers has resulted in 4 applications. One of the applicants has already started investigating the file layout and he seems to have accepted the challenge, so things should start moving forward shortly. We'll keep you up-to-date with the progress.
That's all for today, keep well and see you next Monday :-)
1 • Basic conditions (by Anonymous on 2003-11-24 09:23:58 GMT) |
A work-around if you have plenty of hard drive space and time (for modem endless) is to download the installation tree (you may skip suse/src/) to a local hard drive or another computer. Then you can point the installation to there or set up a NTFS/Samba server for it. This is also a good way if you have access to a big pipe somewhere and can burn the tree to DVD/CDs to take it home.
2 • Official announcement of Debian GNU/Linux 3.0r2 (by W T Zhu on 2003-11-24 09:23:58 GMT)
It seems that http://www.debian.org/News/2003/20031121a cannot be opened by Internet Explorer, which returns an error code 406 (NOT_ACCEPTABLE). However, This announcement is "acceptable" by Mozilla (Firebird) for Windows :-) Interesting.
3 • I.E. Errors (by madhunter at 2003-11-24 09:30:39 GMT)
In my opinion, the more websites and pages that don't load with Internet Exploder the better! :)
4 • Feedback on Categorizing the distributions (by Sundar at 2003-11-24 09:48:49 GMT)
Eariler, I was suggesting a feature to select and package and list all distrbutions including this package.
In this weekly edition, you mentioned different type of categorizing the linux distributions.
User should be able to select one or more packages from the packages screen, and click to list all distributions including/supporting those one or more packages. If this is done, your different type of categories you discussed in this weekly edition will become subset of the feature I am suggesting.
5 • ie errors on debian news page (by ray carter at 2003-11-24 14:28:45 GMT)
Interestingly enough, when I attempted to use IE to access the aforementioned page - it worked.
6 • Timesavers (by Warpengi at 2003-11-24 17:27:18 GMT)
It's great to hear a positive response on the Timesavers request. Another feature suggested at one point was download mirrors for Timesavers members. Any chance this is being worked on?
A how-to section might be a good idea if you are going to do more of the same type of article at the start of this DWW. Keep up the good work.
7 • No subject (by DaveW on 2003-11-24 18:27:53 GMT)
The distro categories look great. I can't imagine needing anything more. Congratulations.
8 • SuSE software management ? (by Leo on 2003-11-24 22:28:51 GMT)
I wonder how SuSE manages sofware installs, upgrades, etc. Is is thorugh YaST ? Do they have anything similar to urpmi ? How does it compare with Synaptic/Apt-rpm ? How about software availability ? Is it as wide as with RedHat and Mandrake ?
I know, a lot of questions, but I'd love to have some more insight. Because SuSE has some very serious appealing in many other aspects, except for the YaST Licensing ...
Many thanks in advance !
9 • SUSE Pro Price on Amazon (by Howard Coles Jr. at 2003-11-25 03:10:14 GMT)
The price is $64.00 US, not 38, the 38 price is the personal version. You can however buy the "update" version of Pro for 48 or so dollars direct from SUSE. It just doesn't come with as much Documentation.
10 • RE: SUSE Pro Price on Amazon (by ladislav at 2003-11-25 04:31:28 GMT)
You were late with the click. Had you visited Amazon.com yesterday, you would have been able to buy SUSE Linux 9.0 Professional for $38.95. Whether it was a mistake or a temporary special, I don't know, but that's what the price was at time of writing the article.
11 • Re: Timesavers (by ladislav at 2003-11-25 04:39:50 GMT)
There were no plans for download mirrors, just a maintained list of fast, up-to-date and working mirrors. This list already exists for most major distributions on their respective pages, although you need to be logged in to see it.
12 • RE: SuSE software management (by ladislav at 2003-11-25 04:48:29 GMT)
YaST doesn't compare well with urpmi or apt-get. Firstly, you cannot add third-party resources to it and you cannot use it to update the entire system (the above was true in pre-9.0 versions, but I haven't had a chance to investigate whether things have improved in SUSE's latest release). On the other hand, YaST does have the ability to automatically resolve dependencies of the officially supplied packages.
Given the limits of YaST, many advanced users seems to prefer to set up apt for SUSE, available at http://linux01.gwdg.de/apt4rpm/.
13 • Suse 9.0 as a torrent? (by Joan Leach at 2003-11-25 12:52:02 GMT)
With Mandrake and Slackware going this route, I'm surprised Suse hasn't thought of it. I'm one of the unlucky ones with DSL/ppoe, as well as no credit cards. In the comments of another review, I saw that a torrent was available, and I pursued the new territory of p2p, if that is what Bit Torrent is. I downloaded it, but I was unsuccessful in getting it on CD. CDRwin said, the first line in the Cue file was blank. I think I may go with Suse, error messages stay on screen longer than with Mandrake. Or I may go with the new Xandros, any word on their complete pricing, ie. user group discounts and their new server version? Thanks for a great site by the way.
14 • getting the ip address for the ftp install (by falvious at 2003-11-25 13:19:58 GMT)
regarding the tutorial on installing suse from ftp, you do not need to find out the ip address of the mirror to install. when it asks you for the ip address during the install process just delete the 0.0.0.0 and type in the actual address ie ftp.suse.com instread of the ip address.
this saves a small bit fo work.
15 • RE: getting the ip address for the ftp install (by ladislav at 2003-11-25 14:18:44 GMT)
This was suggested before, but it never worked for me. Maybe it would work on those systems where the network card is detected on boot, but if it isn't (as in my case), you can't go this route, it seems.
16 • On categorising distributions (by Leo on 2003-11-25 15:25:21 GMT)
Thanks for the info on SuSE package management, Ladislav.
This inspired a suggestion for the categorisation: how about adding an entry (or sub-entry) for HIGH-LEVEL package management. RPM, Deb, Tgz, Src, these are all LOW-LEVEL categories. Deb without APT may not be very handy, same thing for RPM without URPMI or APT.
I am currently using Mandrake, and I wouldn't go back to a distro which doesn't have a good high-level package manager. Really. The back end, as far as it works, is not so important to me.
17 • Re: SuSE Software Management (by Warpengi at 2003-11-25 17:57:00 GMT)
YaST can update the whole system in 9.0. I am currently runnning 9.0 and installing a kernel patch as we speak. That said this is not even close to urpmi. As far as I know there is no command line use for YaST.
The essential (to me) software is here but hardware support is not as good as Mandrake. My Brother laser printer is not auto detected and I have had some sound problems.
18 • Re: SuSE Software Management (by Leo on 2003-11-26 00:23:09 GMT)
Thanks a lot Warpengi !
And in what area/s do you think SuSE has an edge over Mandrake ?. I am sure there are some, and this is why you run it. Stability ? Polish ? Just guessing from what I heard ...
19 • • Re: SuSE Software Management (by Warpengi at 2003-11-26 03:41:34 GMT)
I 1st tried SuSE on my test bed and yes the gui looks very nice and I wanted to try the configuration tools. Nothing like installing on your main system to really test-drive the os so that's what I have done.
I have given SuSE 1 week to see if it can improve on Mandrake. So far what I like about it is looks. The ability to download MS fonts during install is one reason for this. In Mandrake I can install MS fonts but it takes a bunch of configuring to get the MS fonts in use and then you open a window for a program you don't use often and the fonts are not so nice. YaST is very similar to Mandrake control centre and I can't say which I like better. Everything looks very nice in SuSE, of course that is a subjective opinion. It is fast and responsive, again very subjective. Having flash installed automatically is nice.
Is it worth the money when you can download Mandrake (and others) for free?This is only my 2nd day with SuSE so we will see how I feel in a week:).
20 • "As far as I know there is no command line use for YaST. " (by Anonymous on 2003-11-26 08:45:09 GMT)
"yast -i " including dependency checking. Only "yast" for fully funtional text mode configuration.
21 • Re: Re: SuSE Software Management (by Leo on 2003-11-26 14:27:36 GMT)
Nice overview Warpengi, yes, please drop a line in a week or so and tell us how you compare SuSE to Mandrake at this point. I am very interested. You sound far from opinionated and this is great.
One downside that I see in SuSE right now is that they got bought, and who knows what Novell is going to do with them ... maybe something cool, but you don't know until it happens. Remember the whole Corel story ?
22 • SUSE Educational (by Franz on 2003-11-26 15:57:30 GMT)
If you are a student in Canada or the USA, you can buy SUSE 9 Pro for around 50 US at http://www.ricis.com/edu/
23 • SuSE 5 CD Set Here For 9.99 (by Dennis at 2004-04-12 05:27:22 GMT)
You can get the 5 CD Set of SuSE 9.0 Pro here:
Number of Comments: 23
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