Review: SuSE Linux Professional 9

SuSE fine-tunes its professional desktop Linux distribution.

SuSE has always been one of our favorite Linux distributions and this release is no disappointment. It fine-tunes SuSEs offering and bundles a lot of value into one package. Experienced Linux users will appreciate the powerful bundled tools, while newbies will like the ease of use and stress-free installation. This version comes with five CDs, a DVD, and both users and administrators guides.


As always, SuSEs install is one of the best around. Theres no need to worry if youve never installed Linux before, since the SuSE installer, called YaST2, is graphical--youll never be taken to the command prompt. If youre running Windows already, you can resize your NTFS partition and make room for a dual boot setup. You can also opt to go with the default installation or choose more advanced partitioning, as well as pick and choose your software packages.

YaST2 gets a serious thumbs-up from us. It does a good job serving newbies, as well as power users that want more control over the install process, and it provides some of the best documentation around. Its definitely one reason why we feel comfortable routing folks who are new to Linux over to this distro. The Pro version we installed had a 375 page manual for users and an even larger one for administrators. You dont have to look at the manual, but its there if you need it. If its your first time with Linux, it will give you a great overview of what to expect from your new OS.

Unfortunately, our test system only had a CD drive, so we had to swap out the CDs as the install progressed. If your system includes a DVD drive, you can install the whole thing right off the one disc.

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