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Thread: Switching from M$ Windows to SuSE Linux

  1. #1

    Default Switching from M$ Windows to SuSE Linux

    Background:

    I have an old SuSE Linux box running SuSE 9! as my Web, FTP, SSH and Samba servers. Its been switched on 24/7/365 since version 9 was released!

    I have a WinXP Pro box that is allso getting old.

    Both are working without issues at present.

    However both will need replacing eventually and as WinVista and Win7 replace WinXP my SuSE Linux 9 samba server has compatibility issues with logging in these windows versions when creating maped drives for the transfer of data etc back and fourth.

    Seriously thinking of replacing both computers with one SuSE linux box but i have questions:

    Does SuSE Linux support 4 or 8GB memory?

    Does SuSE Linux support the latest AMD Quad Core Processors running a 64bit version of SuSE?

    Should i get an AMD mobo with ATI or nVidia Chipsets?

    Should i get an nVidia or an ATI graphics card

    Some of the next questions may seem stupid but i need to be sure, as i'm not a regular linux user. Since i installed SuSE 9 on my current box and set it all up all i do with it is add an occasional virtual host for web hosting and a little perl / cgi scripting.

    Can i burn Windows ISO images to CD's and DVD's for use on M$ windows computers (Avira's RescueCD, Hiren's BootCD?

    Can i burn windows applications and service packs etc to discs for use on windows computers?

    Can i edit these M$ Windows iso images before burning to disc (add additional directories containing windows executables, Anti Virus, Anti Malware tools etc)?

    Are there any Internet browser issues with online banking?

    Are there any browser / OS issues when using credit cards online that are registered with clicksafe and securecode security services?

    Are there any browser issues with internet radio streaming, currently use ie8 with wmp as its pluggin to listen to bbc radio 2, 3 and classic fm?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Switching from M$ Windows to SuSE Linux

    Quote Originally Posted by akwe-xavante View Post
    Does SuSE Linux support 4 or 8GB memory?
    If you're using a 64 bit processor, it should automatically load a kernel that will use that memory. Incidentally, 32 bit processors will support more than 4 GB (contrary to popular opinion, judging from a few Web searches) as long as PAE is/are enabled and properly utilized by the kernel.

    Does SuSE Linux support the latest AMD Quad Core Processors running a 64bit version of SuSE?
    Works like a champ.

    Should i get an AMD mobo with ATI or nVidia Chipsets?
    I'd recommend NVidia as slightly less problematic (personal opinion), though you'll have to install the vendor's driver for maximum performance. Suse makes this easier with a one-click install.

    Can i burn Windows ISO images to CD's and DVD's for use on M$ windows computers (Avira's RescueCD, Hiren's BootCD?
    Sure. I burn Linux disks in Windows and vice-versa all the time.

    Can i burn windows applications and service packs etc to discs for use on windows computers?
    See above. An ISO is an ISO. ("ISO" stands for "International Standards Organization.")

    Can i edit these M$ Windows iso images before burning to disc (add additional directories containing windows executables, Anti Virus, Anti Malware tools etc)?
    I've heard that you can, but someone else will have to answer that. I've never done it myself.

    Are there any Internet browser issues with online banking?
    Depends on the bank. I don't have any trouble with Mozilla 3.5 in Opensuse 11.1. Try it on a friend's machine with Mozilla and see what happens, if you have questions. (It may not do any good to ask the bank -- most of them only "officially" support Internet Exploder.)

    Are there any browser / OS issues when using credit cards online that are registered with clicksafe and securecode security services?
    As far as I'm concerned, Mozilla is more secure, especially if you use a couple of add-ons such as ShowIP.

    Are there any browser issues with internet radio streaming, currently use ie8 with wmp as its pluggin to listen to bbc radio 2, 3 and classic fm?
    Now, this one you could have trouble with. (Speaking from experience.) As a general rule, if they use Flash, you'll be OK. If they use an *older* Windows codec, you'll be OK. But the latest/greatest Windows codecs are very difficult to get working under Linux.

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Switching from M$ Windows to SuSE Linux

    My answers are inline...

    On Wed, 2009-08-26 at 18:16 +0000, akwe-xavante wrote:
    > Background:
    >
    > I have an old SuSE Linux box running SuSE 9! as my Web, FTP, SSH and
    > Samba servers. Its been switched on 24/7/365 since version 9 was
    > released!
    >
    > I have a WinXP Pro box that is allso getting old.
    >
    > Both are working without issues at present.
    >
    > However both will need replacing eventually and as WinVista and Win7
    > replace WinXP my SuSE Linux 9 samba server has compatibility issues with
    > logging in these windows versions when creating maped drives for the
    > transfer of data etc back and fourth.
    >
    > Seriously thinking of replacing both computers with one SuSE linux box
    > but i have questions:
    >
    > Does SuSE Linux support 4 or 8GB memory?


    Absolutely. If not using 32bit, you'll have to use PAE mode, which
    means your still restricted as far as single process size goes to signed
    32bit max. But the sum total of multiple processes can go use the whole
    segmented memory space (same as Windows Server Enterprise in 32bit mode
    except SUSE is free instead of $$$$$).

    >
    > Does SuSE Linux support the latest AMD Quad Core Processors running a
    > 64bit version of SuSE?


    Yes.

    >
    > Should i get an AMD mobo with ATI or nVidia Chipsets?


    ???

    >
    > Should i get an nVidia or an ATI graphics card


    If this is server, I'd get neither. If it's a workstation, you have only
    one good (?) choice today... that's Nvidia.

    I'm weird, I have an 8-way workstation. That's a TREMENDOUS amount of
    power. You get at LEAST 4x the processing power just by using Linux
    over Windows.... so while putting ENORMOUS amounts of CPU is typical
    behind a Windows implementation, you can usually do with less for Linux.

    Why do I have 8-way?, because I often do simulations with 10+
    virtualized machines running (some of which are Windows Server
    instances).

    A typical dual core processor is usually more than enough for even do
    just a few virtual machines (memory usually matters more).


    >
    > Some of the next questions may seem stupid but i need to be sure, as
    > i'm not a regular linux user. Since i installed SuSE 9 on my current box
    > and set it all up all i do with it is add an occasional virtual host for
    > web hosting and a little perl / cgi scripting.
    >
    > Can i burn Windows ISO images to CD's and DVD's for use on M$ windows
    > computers (Avira's RescueCD, Hiren's BootCD?


    Yes.

    >
    > Can i burn windows applications and service packs etc to discs for use
    > on windows computers?


    Yes.

    >
    > Can i edit these M$ Windows iso images before burning to disc (add
    > additional directories containing windows executables, Anti Virus, Anti
    > Malware tools etc)?


    Depends. If you could do this with Windows, chances are you can do the
    same with Linux.

    >
    > Are there any Internet browser issues with online banking?


    Yes. Microsoft does NOT want to use universal standards and therefore
    encourages the use of proprietary items when making web sites. You will
    NOT know when Windows based programs are inserting invalid non-standard
    elements into your web site design. And thus, many banks have
    primitive, simple login screens, etc. that are proprietary and only work
    correctly with MSIE. Technically, NOTHING prevents those banks from
    creating portable sites. Bad choice of platform and tools is the cause.

    >
    > Are there any browser / OS issues when using credit cards online that
    > are registered with clicksafe and securecode security services?


    Not sure... see above.

    >
    > Are there any browser issues with internet radio streaming, currently
    > use ie8 with wmp as its pluggin to listen to bbc radio 2, 3 and classic
    > fm?


    Same as above.



  4. #4
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    Default Re: Switching from M$ Windows to SuSE Linux

    Re: AMD/Ati Motherboards

    Motherboards with the AMD/ATI chipsets are the only one's that support DDR3 memory. At least, that's the way it was the last time I looked. If that's not important to you, nVidia is a good choice.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Switching from M$ Windows to SuSE Linux

    I have no problems listening to BBC Radio; I don't listened to Classic FM over the Internet because when I first tried they didn't support Linux. I emailed them about this but didn't get a reply. Probably worth emailing them to ask if they do now.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Switching from M$ Windows to SuSE Linux

    For editing .iso images, use isomaster.

    I think it's available from the packman repo. Great little app .
    HP dv6645, Nvidia 8400m-gs, KDE 4.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Switching from M$ Windows to SuSE Linux

    Thank you all for your help and advice thus far.

    At the mo the WinXP box is used for general office chores whilst listening to online radio! It's used for burning data and iso images to discs once a month and customer data to disc when recovering from corrupt / damaged drives etc. Manipulating iso images before burning to disc, adding additional tools to Hiren's BootCD and adding my own scripts to Avira's RescueCD. It's used to browse the net for solutions to computing problems / repairs. It's used for online banking and placing orders online with a credit card that is registered with SecureCode and ClickSafe.

    My Linux box is used for hosting a small number of local websites, some of which i have created myself. It's allso runs samba which is UserName and PassWord protected, this is used for transfering data and tools back and fourth from Windows computers via my LAN, that are being repaired in the workshop. It is allso used for creating bills, invoices and quotes locally and remotely online. A bill is created at the customers house online and printed out not only at the customers house but in the workshop too automatically(my copy), with the entered data online the box allso updates my accounts for me so i don't have it to do manually every month.

    Both boxes are getting old but they are still doing there jobs. The Samba server does now have compatibility issues with logging in WinVista and Win7 computers via a maped drive, i can overcome this at present but its a pain and time comsuming.

    The Linux box is switched on 24/7/365 burning electricity and the WinXP box is switched on 8 to 14hrs a day burning electricity, theres the investment in parts for boxes, screens etc etc to consider too.

    WinXP is an excellent product, WinVista and Win7 i don't rate at all but hey they keep me employed repairing them so i can't complain can i. WinVista and Win7 are not user friendly either, so much more work to do to get stuff done and your allways fighting the OS all the time.

    I believe that Linux and Macs are the way forward in the future and M$ has lost its way so i need to start using Linux more and if i can save money by using one computer instead of two then thats easier on my electricity bills, the environment and my investment in hardware and it clears part of my workshop too.

    It's important that i can edit and burn iso images for use on Windows computers.

    It's important that i can do Online Banking (I can use SuSE 9 with Konquerer, just tried it. Well i logged in OK and had a look around, no more).

    It's very important that i can place online orders using a ClickSafe, SecureCode registered Credit Card, (next time i place an order i'll have to remember to try and do it using my Linux box).

  8. #8

    Default Re: Switching from M$ Windows to SuSE Linux

    Quote Originally Posted by akwe-xavante View Post
    Are there any Internet browser issues with online banking?
    Depends on the requirements of the Bank. There are two potential issues:

    1. As mentioned before, some banks may require ActiveX controls or otherwise the browser to be IE.

    2. Banks requiring authorization using smartcard readers might cause you problems with drivers for those readers. Some work fine, some do not, especially if you have 64-bit Linux.

    Keep in mind you can always install XP under Virtualbox and keep it around for those critical issues like banking. This is also wise because if you virtualize XP and use it ONLY to browse banking sites, you can have really secure access, ie. by rolling back changes to XP disk image after each banking session, if you're that paranoid.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Switching from M$ Windows to SuSE Linux

    Quote Originally Posted by akwe-xavante View Post
    It's important that i can do Online Banking (I can use SuSE 9 with Konquerer, just tried it. Well i logged in OK and had a look around, no more).

    It's very important that i can place online orders using a ClickSafe, SecureCode registered Credit Card, (next time i place an order i'll have to remember to try and do it using my Linux box).
    You should be good to go, then. If you can log in to your bank with Konqueror under Suse 9, I can't imagine that the latest Mozilla under 11.1 wouldn't work. And I ordered something through ClickSafe just a couple of weeks ago, so I assume that it works as well.

    One tip: Mozilla 3.5 is very anal about security certificates, but unlike Internet Exploder 8, it will allow you to add an exception (after scaring you half to death and making you click a few times).

    Frankly ... don't take this the wrong way, just my opinion ... there is NO WAY on God's green earth that I'd ever, ever use Windows to do that type of secure online ordering, especially not on a machine that's connected to others. (Not talking about the Internet, but on a LAN with other machines looking at it.) No way.

    In fact, under Linux, I'll sometimes create a new, temporary user to browse sites that I'm not sure about. Once I decide they're safe, I'll delete the temp user and go back to my main login. I've also disabled group and other r/w in all home directories.

    This "on the fly" flexibility is what makes Linux so powerful, IMHO. It's not that Windows can't be made reasonably secure, because to be fair, it can. But it's so easy under Linux (a few clicks in File Manager - Super User Mode), I've been spoiled.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Switching from M$ Windows to SuSE Linux

    Quote Originally Posted by smpoole7 View Post
    In fact, under Linux, I'll sometimes create a new, temporary user to browse sites that I'm not sure about. Once I decide they're safe, I'll delete the temp user and go back to my main login. I've also disabled group and other r/w in all home directories.
    Isn't it safer to use NoScript and/or AppArmor? Especially AppArmor? The only attack vector with Linux+FireFox that worries me are security holes in FF that would enable privilege escalations (via buffer overflows, stack smashing or the infamous null pointer dereference) in which case it doesn't really matter what user you're running as. At least AppArmor can offer some protection there.

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