Suse Linux - SLED 10 installation experience

Feb 14, 2008

Judging by the reviews on the net, both uBuntu & Suse seemed attractive. While I liked the spirit & energy associated with uBuntu, the server edition I had does not come with a GUI. I need the GUI as well as the LAMP server for developing websites. I opted to install Suse Linux Enterprise Desktop (SLED 10) for my new PC mainly because I got the DVD.

Basic Installation

The installation was fairly straight forward as booting the PC with SLED10 DVD started the process. I have increased the primary paritition (hda1) from default 10GB to 20GB just to be safer. Otherwise, I have followed standard settings, opting to install both Gnome & KDE GUIs.

The motherboard I've opted for my new PC was 'Asus P5GC-MX' as Asus usually comes with linux drivers on CD. Suse Linux automatically detected & installed almost entire hardware, except the network card. The linux drivers on motherboard's CD helped. As I installed the driver from CD (following the guidelines in CD) Suse Linux automatically took over and completed the network installation from there.

Handling music, video & photos

Helix Banshee - a music player and F-Spot - a photo browser were automatically set as the default with a few good choices such as amaroK, Kaffeine & Real Player were available (Helix is an open source effort of Real Player).

When I connected my Cannon Powershot to PC, the F-Sport automatically starts and offers to copy the photos from Camera to PC.

DVDs were not played because of licensing issues. It took some effort to install codecs and a full version of 'Totem' movie player to play DVDs. The video files stored in PC are played without a fuss.

Apache, MySQL & PHP

Most of the work I do needs mysql & php. So Apache-MySQL-PHP are a must without which a PC will be largely a documentation tool for me. Since SLED is an 'Enterprise Desktop' it didn't came with Apache.

I followed the step-by-step instructions on how to install apache, PHP and MySQL on Linux provided at The instructions were highly helpful with only minor deviations needed to suit my requirement.

Networking with windows

I have a combination of Linux & windows PCs and assign fixed IP. The Samba integration article at TweakHound helped me to set many things straight in my Suse Linux.

Installing additional packages through YaST

A point to note is, SLED 10 with SP1 is said to be compatible with Open Suse 10.1. So choosing ver10.1 on the popular Packman list in Additional YaST repositories helped adding new packages without a hassle.

Browsers, Mail Clients & Instant Messengers

Firefox is installed by default. I've quickly added the web developer, color picker, screen grab plugins which have become part of main tool set for my work. Shockwave is installed by default, so flash animations runs straight away.

The Evolution Mail & Calendar suite seems to be the best fit. I didn't find the need to move to any other mail client.

Gaim is my default choice of instant messenger. It connects to Yahoo, MSN & AOL. The only growse is, I can't make it connect to Google Talk. Resorted to browser based Gtalk gadget for the purpose.