SuSE Linux 7.1 PowerPC Edition

Fans of SuSE linux, one of the most popular Linux distributions, will be pleased with this easier-to-install release for PowerPC Macs. Consisting of more than 1,000 packages on six CDs, SuSE Linux 7.1 includes a 500-page manual, a 2.4.2 Linux kernel, K Desktop Environment (KDE2), Advanced Linux Sound Architecture, and better USB support. Disk-space requirements vary from 150MB for a minimal system install to 6GB for the full install. Installation is straightforward; the simplified YaST2 setup tool lets you interactively configure printers, sound devices, network cards, IP routing, security, and system services. KDE2, a popular Linux window manager, is now the default desktop. It includes KOffice, an integrated office suite; KIO, KDE2’s network-transparent I/O architecture; ARTS (Analogue Realtime Synthesizer); and Konqueror, a full-featured Web browser, file manager, and document viewer. Alas, the XFree86 3.3.6 X Window System is still the default server, even though the distribution includes XFree86 4.0.2. Some other bundled programs are also outdated.

OUR VERDICT

A huge collection of packages and a simple setup tool make SuSE Linux a useful alternative to Mac OS for desktop and server apps. The 7.2 release should fix the only problem: outdated packages.

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