Re: RedHat and SuSe - not a flame bait

From: David Efflandt (efflandt_at_xnet.com)
Date: 09/14/03


Date: Sun, 14 Sep 2003 19:30:03 +0000 (UTC)

On Sun, 14 Sep 2003, Timothy Murphy <tim@birdsnest.maths.tcd.ie> wrote:
> I'm not asking for a comparison of their merits.
> I'm currently running RedHat-9.0 on one laptop,
> and SuSe-8.0 on its twin.
>
> I should say that both RedHat and SuSe
> are official versions, paid for
> (very little in the case of SuSe,
> presumably because it is not the latest version).
>
> Now for my questions:
>
> (1) If I want to upgrade to SuSe-8.2
> do I have to pay for the upgrade,
> or is there somewhere I can (legally) download it?

I have not tried a System (version) Update in place (minor
version changes sometimes go easier than major version changes). I
usually back up anything essential and then install the new version from
scratch. When I updated SuSE 7.3 to 8.0 on my laptop (to get added
wireless support), I ftp installed 8.0 from scratch. But many things in
directory structure and scripts had changed. If you want to try a System
Update, it would be a good idea to back up anything essential first.

I did eventually purchase SuSE 8.2 Pro when I replaced a dead PC with an
old 333 Celeron discarded from work, but I have not updated my laptop from
8.0 yet. I also still have a K6-2/400 running SuSE 7.3 Pro.

Your choices to install SuSE versions from scratch for free, are to either
ftp install, or download the whole version dir tree. The only iso
available is liveeval, which runs from cd, primarily to test if a system
is compatible.

> (2) I didn't find any documentation on the 3 SuSe CDs
> like the RedHat Users Guide, etc.
> Is it there somewhere?
> (Nb I wasn't watching during the installation,
> so it is quite possible I was told.)

It sounds like you have SuSE Personal. The Pro version has more CDs or
can be entirely installed from 1 dvdrom.

If you install SuSE help docs, thy are usually available from SuSE help in
X. Depending upon what other docs you installed, look around /usr/share.
Check with Yast2 what you installed if you want to install more docs or
help. The suse.com or suse.de websites also have docs and searchable
knowledge base.

> (3) Is there a central URL for SuSe RPMs?

RPMs are RPMs, so many 3rd party rpms that work for RedHat or Mandrake
will work for SuSE. For system packages, you might start at ftp.suse.de
or ftp.suse.com and look for alternate mirrors.

> (4) Is there a SuSe equivalent to RedHat's up2date?

Online Update in YaST2 will update your existing packages. You should do
that regularly.

> I should say that I find SuSe and RedHat
> each have features I like --
> I hope (and trust) that they check each other out
> from time to time.
>
> Eg I found the login screen in SuSe better thought-out
> than the RedHat one, although not so pretty.
>
> One fairly bad point with SuSe was that
> it did not appear to have the Linux Wireless Extensions
> on any of the CDs, although there were referred to
> in the WiFi documentation,
> and seemed to be required to setup WiF.

Not sure what you are referring to, but I specifically switched to
PCMCIA_SYSTEM="external" instead of "kernel" in /etc/sysconfig/pcmcia to
use my wireless, because I am totally unfamiliar with kernel pcmcia. I
also wanted to use wlan-ng (because wvlan or orinico did not support my
WEP) and YaST2 knew nothing about wlan interface, so I had to write my own
/etc/sysconfig/network/ifcfg-wlan-pcmcia-0 based on ifcfg.template.

The first new major version of any distro may have some unforseen bugs to
work out of them, which is why there are subsequent minor versions. But I
have not ugraded SuSE 8.0 to 8.2 on my laptop yet, so I do not know if
wireless configuration is more support by YaST2 (or if related pcmcia
scripts and options still need to be configured with a text editor).

-- 
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