SuSE 8.0, RedHat 7.2 and End Users

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This is more a reflection on the state of Linux and end-users than news, per se. I have purchased both SuSE 8.0 (with the KDE desktop) and Red Hat 7.2 (with the Gnome desktop) and tried installing them on my Toshiba 1735 laptop (point one, I know, I would have more success working with a desktop machine). I first tried Linux on a test machine a few years ago, using, (I think) Red Hat 6.something. I found it difficult to understand, let alone install. I found both SuSE and Red Hat to be much better designed, and easier to install.

The problem for Linux, in general, is that it is still too difficult.

The two areas I have had great trouble in is a D-Link DWL-650 wireless network card. Red Hat found it fine, SuSE was a no go, and a search of the web found a discussion what was wrong, but no clear instructions on how to fix it. Much reference was made to editing configuration files, but I could find no clear examples. Both distros also failed to work with the Lexmark E210 laser I have, even though numerous sites (including Lexmark’s) indicate it should be able to work. There still exists a real stumbling block for finding you through an install of Linux and getting it up and running.

Even small things, like extracting a file, were chore. I downloaded a file that was in tar.gz format, and it took an hour of poking around to figure out that I had to go to a command line and run gunzip and then tar. It is going to be hard to migrate people to the Linux Desktop if they have to go to the command line.

A real plus that I saw was video worked much better in both distros. The video was recognized (ATI Rage Mobility) right away, and configured with no problem. I have read some of the other postings on Living Without Microsoft, and seems there is a feeling like the Linux distro companies seem to really be focusing on the Server space, rather than the Desktop.

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