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Thread: openSUSE vs SLED

  1. #1
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    Default openSUSE vs SLED

    I'm thinking of putting SUSE on a work computer. Thankfully I'm a SysAdmin and I largely have the freedom to put whatever software on my computer I choose, even though we're largely a Microsoft-only shop. The company isn't going to purchase a copy of SLED for me, so I assumed my only option was openSUSE.

    I'm curious what I'm missing out on. What are the advantages of SLED over openSUSE? And given that openSUSE just had a new release (one that I'm quite fond of) does SLED need to catch up (such as adding LZMA compression to their RPMs, and other package management improvements)?

    I need my desktop to work in Active Directory, and I've read some people having issues getting openSUSE 11 to do exactly that, which concerns me. I need my desktop to talk to an Exchange server for calendar, contacts and mail.

    If SLED provides enough advantages, I'm tempted to purchase a copy out of my own pocket, even for a work computer. I'm also wondering I can just download and use it. If the cost of SLED basically covers support (which I might be able to forgo) does the license actually forbid running the software without paying for it?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: openSUSE vs SLED

    Essentially SLED is intended for businesses that want something to last for several years without having to update things too often (except security updates); OpenSUSE is intended for users who expect to update at least once every two years and try out things as soon as possible after they appear.

    You can purchase support for SLED but not for OpenSUSE.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: openSUSE vs SLED

    Quote Originally Posted by enderandrew View Post
    I'm thinking of putting SUSE on a work computer. Thankfully I'm a SysAdmin and I largely have the freedom to put whatever software on my computer I choose, even though we're largely a Microsoft-only shop. The company isn't going to purchase a copy of SLED for me, so I assumed my only option was openSUSE.

    I'm curious what I'm missing out on. What are the advantages of SLED over openSUSE? And given that openSUSE just had a new release (one that I'm quite fond of) does SLED need to catch up (such as adding LZMA compression to their RPMs, and other package management improvements)?

    I need my desktop to work in Active Directory, and I've read some people having issues getting openSUSE 11 to do exactly that, which concerns me. I need my desktop to talk to an Exchange server for calendar, contacts and mail.

    If SLED provides enough advantages, I'm tempted to purchase a copy out of my own pocket, even for a work computer. I'm also wondering I can just download and use it. If the cost of SLED basically covers support (which I might be able to forgo) does the license actually forbid running the software without paying for it?

    Thanks!
    Yes, openSUSE is and always will be ahead of SLED in terms of new features.

    As for the cost, you can run SLED 10 without paying the license, using a 60(?)-day demo. The "demo" refers to updates. If you don't buy a license, not only will you not get Novell support, but you won't get any updates from Novell.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: openSUSE vs SLED

    Just to correct what john_hudson said, you can purchase support for openSUSE via purchasing the boxed set.

    As for openSUSE vs. SLED: I'd recommend signing up for the 60-day eval. of SLED to see if you like it. The differences are that SLED is older (kinda based off of openSUSE 10.1, but still a little different), has an older packages, but everything is throughly tested and 100% stable. I too am a Network Admin (prolly the same thing your company calls Sys Admin - at my company Sys Admins deal w/ nothing but the SQL servers, and even then only the databases themselves - I handle the servers) and my company is also "mostly" Microsoft, although we utilize Xen (via Citrix XenServer Enterprise) for visualization, and I have a couple of SLES (SUSE Linux Enterprise Server) boxes running VMware-Server since they don't have HW Virt. and can't run Windows on XEN. At work I have two desktops at my desk - my "main" machine is a Dell Precision Workstation (Core2Duo) running XP x64 Edition, and my "second" machine is a single-core AMD64 running SLED. At home I have a "homebrew" Core2Dual running openSUSE 11.0 - I want to keep up w/ the latest and greatest, plus I think openSUSE makes a nicer home system, and I also have an older IBM Thinkpad R40 w/a Intel Pentium-M 1.3GHz running SLED.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: openSUSE vs SLED

    Thanks. I think openSUSE 11 was a big jump over openSUSE 10, so I think I might wait for SLED 11 before trying that then. I'll stick with openSUSE for now.

    I've yet to try really integrating a Linux box in a Windows network (other than samba shares with my triple-boot box at home). Does anyone have any good advice to help with AD and Exchange integration?

    We do have Linux and Solaris servers here at work, but I think I'll be the first employee with a Linux desktop. I intend to show it off the in the IT department so people can see what I'm always talking about.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: openSUSE vs SLED

    Well, I have my "second" desktop which is SLED joined to our Domain - just select "Windows Domain" as the authentication method in the install process - worked seamlessly - it's not AS integrated as a Windows machine, but it works, and I can access all of our corporate shares, and print to any of our network printers. I don't have our SLES VMware Host servers joined to domain, simply b/c they don't need to be - they just need to be IP accessible - however the Windows Guest servers on them obviously are.

    As much as I love Linux, both on servers and on the desktop, I don't think I could function at work w/o Windows on my main workstation - that could change though as we are about to start streaming some key apps to the desktop via XenApp (formerly known as Citrix Presentation Server), and of course there is a Citrix ICA Client for Linux (it's installed by default in SLED, but easily installed on openSUSE as well). So, theoretically, I could publish myself some of my key apps that have no Linux counterpart and access them via Citrix, but I think I'll keep my current dual-PC set-up. I have Dual monitors, which function as dual monitors on my Windows PC, and my secondary monitor is attached to a KVM so I can "switch" my secondary monitor to the Linux box.

    Alot of the "windows guys" at work are starting to become more interested in Linux for various reasons, so it's definitely nice having that box there I can switch over too and show them something, but I do admit I spend probably 90% of my desktop time on that Windows PC :-(

  7. #7
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    Default Re: openSUSE vs SLED

    One of the systems I support is a Citrix server with some apps pushed out through it, so I'm certainly familiar with it.

    Eventually I'm going to run into some apps I can't install on my Linux box, so I plan to put an XP VM on top of it. But I'm curious how far I can get with a Linux-primary desktop at work with all the crazy Windows-only proprietary apps I have to support.

    When I do the install, and it asks me to create a user account, you said I can select "Windows domain" for authentication. Can I type in my AD account info during the install process, or do I still have to create a local account on the computer during the install?

  8. #8
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    Default Re: openSUSE vs SLED

    You can supply your AD credentials during the install process.

    Best of luck man! Let me know how it works for you - seems we are in similar work situations, so I'm definitely curious as to how it works out for you!
    -jayson

  9. #9
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    Default Re: openSUSE vs SLED

    I have a more basic question. My school district is a MS shop and I have been trying to get them interested in opensuse. I have been unable to surf the internet (never tried anything else and don't care to) when I connect to the district wi-fi.

    If I change to AD authentication, will that do the trick of getting me out on the web? Just as important, what will happen when I try to use my non-Windows LAN at home?

  10. #10
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    Default Re: openSUSE vs SLED

    I'm guessing your school network uses a proxy server. Your box likely isn't configured for that proxy.

    I've plugged an openSUSE box into our network at work. I didn't turn on AD, but I set the proxy settings to "Autodetect" and opened Firefox. Firefox then prompted me for my active directory credentials for the proxy. Your proxy may not even prompt for a password.

    With autodetect, I could use it here with a proxy, and at home without a proxy.

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