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SuSE Linux 7.1 PowerPC Edition

Fans of suse linux, one of the most popular Linux distributions, will be pleased with this new easier-to-install release for PowerPC Macs. Consisting of more than 1,000 packages on six CDs, SuSE Linux 7.1 includes a 500-page manual, a 2.4.2 Linux kernel, K Desktop Environment (KDE2), Advanced Linux Sound Architecture, and better USB support.

Disk-space requirements vary from 150MB for a minimal system install to 6GB for the full install. Installation is straightforward; the simplified YaST2 setup tool lets you interactively configure printers, sound devices, network cards, IP routing, security, and system services.

KDE2, a popular Linux window manager, is now the default desktop. It includes KOffice, an integrated office suite; KIO, KDE2's network-transparent I/O architecture; ARTS (Analog Realtime Synthesizer); and Konqueror, a full-featured Web browser, file manager, and document viewer. Alas, the XFree86 3.3.6 X Window System is still the default server, even though the distribution includes XFree86 4.0.2. Some other bundled program packages are also slightly outdated, including one that lets you run Mac OS 9 (but not OS X) alongside Linux.

Macworld's Buying Advice

A huge collection of packages and a simple setup tool make SuSE Linux a useful alternative to Mac OS for desktop and server apps. The 7.2 release, which should be available when you read this, should fix the only problem: outdated packages.

Simple Setup: You can configure most hardware and services using the powerful YaST2.
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