[Homestead] Linux---its current State Of The Art with new Suse
tvoivozd at infionline.net
Fri Sep 24 15:11:59 EDT 2004
Pegoraro's Fast Forward section of the Washington Post carries
foreknowledge of what OS (Opetating System)you will or should have on
your computer as Microsoft's war against the world consinues.
The new Suse appears to have made the most progress, and might even have
progressed to the stage where newbies can install and operate it
Fast Forward by Rob Pegoraro
*Linux, Still an Awkward Alternative*
*^_____ Correction^_____ *
In some editions of the Post, the review of three distributions of the
Linux operating system that ran in the July 4 Fast Forward column should
have noted that while many Linux distributions cannot be set up next to
a Windows installation without using separate disk-partitioning
software, the Mandrake and SuSE releases reviewed in that column include
that capability. The story also should have said that Red Hat Inc., is
based in Raleigh, N.C.
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(The Washington Post, Jun 27, 2004)
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*^___ Personal Tech E-letter^___ *
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/By Rob Pegoraro/
/The Washington Post/
Sunday, July 4, 2004; Page F07
The choice of software to run our computers can get awfully depressing.
On one hand, there's Windows XP -- expensive and woefully insecure, but
it works on almost every machine out there. On the other, there's Mac OS
X -- far more secure, but also expensive and restricted to Apple's own
Where's our independence from this pair? For a growing minority of
users, it comes in the open-source operating system called Linux. It's
either cheap or free (depending if you buy a packaged distribution or
download a version online), it's secure and it can run on any
And because its code is open for anybody to modify, users, not
marketers, can get the final say in this operating system's evolution.
But Linux doesn't offer up these rewards easily. At worst, installing it
means hours of thumb-wrestling the software into submission, first
tweaking it to work with a PC's hardware and then mastering the
inscrutable routines needed to update and manage this code.
The first problem arises because many hardware manufacturers provide
enabling software only for Windows, forcing Linux programmers to do that
work on their own. The second is a consequence of how Linux was first
crafted by hobbyists for other hobbyists.
With a lot of work by developers, those issues have improved greatly in
recent years, and Linux has gotten easier to find in stores (Wal-Mart's
Web site even sells desktop computers with it pre-installed).
To check up on Linux's progress, I tried two commercial distributions,
SuSE Linux 9.1 Personal ($30, www.suse.com <http://www.suse.com>) and
Mandrakesoft's PowerPack 10 ($85, www.mandrakesoft.com
<http://www.mandrakesoft.com>), and one download-only release, Fedora
Core 2 (fedora.redhat.com <http://fedora.redhat.com>), a community
project sponsored by Chapel Hill, N.C.-based Linux developer Red Hat
Inc. (Windows XP Home goes for $199 new, or $99 at the upgrade rate.)
All three incorporate the latest updates to the underlying Linux
software, differing mainly in the programs wrapped around that kernel of
code. All show the progress that has been made -- and the work that
remains to be done.
At one extreme, consider the "LiveCD" SuSE -- pop this in your CD-ROM
drive, reboot and you can run Linux right off that disc without touching
your existing Windows installation. It's a quick and painless way to try
out this system.
Mandrake's protracted setup routine, however, didn't configure a
graphical interface automatically and kept asking me to confirm
technical details like "mount points" that other distributions handled
on their own. (Mandrake's cheaper Discovery edition includes a LiveCD,
but PowerPack omits it.)
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