Q

Straightforward desktop use with SLED 10

Open source software and applications expert Bernard Golden recommends checking your printing and file server infrastructure to make sure they are compatible for the Linux desktop.

I have already moved most of my company's server applications to Linux. Now, I want to test commercial desktops. SuSE and Red Hat are on my list. Are there others I should check? If I decide to roll SuSE out to our users -- now running Windows XP -- are there any gotchas I should watch out for?

In my experience, SuSE is pretty straightforward to use. The KDE desktop (default choice) is similar enough to

Windows XP that an average user can get going very quickly. As an example, my 6 year-old son sat down at SuSE 10 and was able to browse (we use Firefox on both Windows and Linux), create OpenOffice documents and more without much trouble.

You will probably need to look at your printing and file serving infrastructure and make sure it's working for Linux clients -- but that's an issue for you, not for users. The file manager in SuSE is similar enough to Explorer that learning it isn't much problem.

This was first published in June 2006

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