Saturday, February 05, 2005

Adventures in Linux

I recently acquired an old AMD Duron based PC and thought I'd give Linux a try. I'm a Mac OS X user and I've used RedHat 4 or 5 years ago. I thought I'd go with SUSE this time. I downloaded their "Network Install" boot disc and away I went. Installation was fairly straight forward. You have to load drivers for your particular network card. Next, you supply the IP address of the server you're installing from. Then, you give a path on said server to the SUSE packages. Once you've done that, you can choose the customary options such as Date/Time, disk partitioning, etc. Once the packages are read off of the server you are able to customize which ones you'd like to install or not install. Once you've made your picks the installer starts downloading packages. Here's the only bad part of my experience. I don't know if I just picked a bad mirror, but it took 6 hours to download and install 1.4 GB worth of packages. Once installed I was presented with the KDE desktop, which, I must say, is beautiful. From there you can start exploring the wonders of Linux desktop computing. Overall, I'm very impressed. This is a much better experience than I had with RedHat in the late 90's. A package manager/installer called YaST was included with the install and has made installing programs such as Firefox and Thunderbird a snap. There's so much more to tell, but in the interest of time, let me say this: If you are tired of being plagued by Windows and can't afford a Mac, then try SUSE Linux. You'll be happy you did.

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