This pages is for Suse Enterprise Desktop 10.
Suse Enterprise edition 10 was released during June 2006
User Story 1: on an IBM Thinkpad T43, 2GHz, 1MB memory, 80 GB hard drive
After trying and failing to install Ununtu 6.0 onto my lovely new laptop to make it a dual-boot system (see UbuntuDapper, user story 5), my next challenge was to try the same with a DVD of Suse that I found lying around the office. I had already partitioned my hard drive into three sections (one for Windows, an ext3 bit for Linux, and a large FAT32 section for files that could do with being available to both operating systems), so the first challenge for the install process was to work out what was going on, and not overwrite anything in the Windows bit. The DVD found and correctly identified what it should install where without needing any prompting from me, although it didn't explain this very well. Being a timid individual I stopped at this point, booted back up into Windows, and made absolutely certain that the size of each partition was correct, and I wasn't going to lose anything vital. Then I went for the whole hog, and let the installation process grind through to its conclusion, which took about 30 minutes. Upon restarting, I was pleased to see that my computer had beeen fitted out with a nice new boot menu that worked perfectly.
My first impressions of Suse were very positive. Everything looked nice and seemed to 'just work'. When I took my laptop home with me that evening it even found and connected to my home wireless network without grumbling. The only problem seemed to be installing new software using Suse's Yast admin interface. After fiddling about a bit it became apparent that Yast itself had not installed properly. This was swiftly remedied by performing an update install from the original DVD, but obviously this isn't perfect. I'm not sure why Yast failed to install correctly the first time around, but I was warned about it (I ignored the warning obviously). The 3D desktop environment also caused my system to crash, but I'm not really too concerned about having fading icons and windows. The best thing about Suse from my point of view is that it's easy and reasonably intuitive to perform regular user and admin tasks without being bothered by the command prompt. Being brought up on Windows I do not expect to have to type code into a command prompt whilst using a graphical user interface (Linux afficionados may snort with contempt at this point), and whilst using Suse I've only had to do so at one point (and that was with some clear instructions). I like Suse. I suspect that the couple of glitches I've encountered should be ironed out in the proper release, and in any case they are not show stoppers. Whilst not quite as slick as Windows, I think this operating system offers a genuinely usable alternative. I've not yet put the paid-for support to the test, but will report back once I have.