Newbie with Newbie Question(s)

I am currently working for a company who is entertaining the thought of using Suse11 for user’s PCs rather than the current mix of Windows 2000 and XP machines.

They are very particular about using Novell based softare/systems and that will be a must if they choose to go that way.

My (general) question is…is there a way to limit and almost “lock down” what the user’s can do with their machines. Currently the “security” policies here where I work are VERY strong. For instance, users are not even allowed to use the *right-click *function.

I would like to know if there is anything built into the Suse11 O.S. that can give them the ability to limit particular users if they so desire.

Thanks in advance.

If you are a company, you need to assess your need for support. The boxed edition of openSUSE comes with initial but not ongoing support. If your company is likely to need ongoing support, you need to consider SLED, the enterprise desktop and possibly SLES, the enterprise server.

However, to answer your question, whatever version of SUSE you choose the basic security in all Linux systems is many times better than anything you get in Windows if you are prepared to implement it properly.

But you need to bear in mind that part of this security is a different philosophy as regards users. In Linux a user cannot do anything other than use the system files; they cannot modify or install any of the system files; only root (the sysadmin) can do this.

But all their data and preferences are stored within their own folder, normally called /home/<username>. This means they normally have a lot more freedom to customise their own desktop because these changes will have no effect on any other user’s desktop unlike in Windows where certain preferences apply across all users.

If you have a reason to limit the changes you want to allow users to make, perhaps because their screens are on show to customers, then you can do this by removing various options.

This may be easier if you select Gnome as your desktop since KDE has traditionally provided many more user options than Gnome. If you select SLED or SLES, you will be expected to use Gnome anyway.

I recommend you look into the “Enterprise” solutions – SLED & SLES. Comes with the full bag of support for business.

See: Linux OS | SUSE Linux Enterprise
I’m sure one of their engineers will be glad to address your questions.

And, they have their own forum.
Novell Users International (NUI) | Novell User Communities look for the forum link.

Good luck:)

Thanks to both of you. This at least gets me pointed in the right direction.

I’ve got a “test machine” on my desk right now with openSuse 11 loaded on it with the Gnome desktop selected. I’ve been using it to “play” with the O.S. as I have very little experience with anything LINUX-based.

I will look into both of your suggestions.

Thanks again.