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The Tide Really is Turning!!!

Posted: Thu Aug 18, 2005 6:23 pm
by dishawjp
Hi All,

In the past, I've posted that the IT Department at the college I work for is a bunch of hopeless Windroids. About a year ago, my boss (the VP for Finance and Administration), who knew that I had been advocating switching to Linux, at least on our servers, asked me if RedHat was anything like Linux and would it be something I thought would be an improvement over MSWindows for our servers.

I guess that those of you who know me can imagine my response to that question. Hell, my feelings about MSWindows vs. Linux are no secret at the College or to anyone who knows me even slightly. I even got the College to host the Syracuse Linux Users Group
a couple of years ago and waive a policy charging for use of campus facilities by groups not directly affiliated with the College.

A bit later, maybe a few weeks or so, my boss told me that the VP for IT told him that a switch to Linux on our servers was "inevitable" but wouldn't happen for at least three years. Well, in March or April of this year, I was asked to set up a new IT space for Linux server test racks. Needless to say, this was about the highest priority on my todo list and it was operational within a few weeks.

Finally, today I was asked by the #2 man in IT if I would be willing to run Linux on my desktop at work!!!!!! I was given the choice of SUSE 9.3 Professional, OpenSUSE 9.3 or Novel Linux Desktop.

This year, Christmas came in August! YEEEEEE HAAAAAA!!!!!! The only (minor) drawback is that I was asked to keep my work computer dual boot with Win2K. Just "in case." I guess I can spare a few GB for Win2k on my 120 GB hard drive, especially since my network drive space is virtually unlimited. At least for a few weeks until I can demonstrate that I have no need for MS and MS dependent programs.

Because no one else was willing to try NLD (some other administrators and faculty were willing to try 9.3 Pro and OpenSUSE) and IT hoped to eventually make NLD the default desktop for the College, I was asked if I would give NLD a shot. So I agreed. As part of the deal, I will also be given a full set of 9.3 Pro CD's for use at home. I will also be asked to demo NLD for others at the College considering a switch to NLD on their desktops.

Anyway, I just had to share this news with someone. I hope this long post doesn't bore you too much. I'll probably be posting a lot of questions here on NLD and SUSE in a few weeks and hope that you will all bear with me as I fumble my way through a new Linux. Being an "old fart," and not a very bright one at that, especially when it comes to computers; one who moved to Linux only because MSWindows was just too darned difficult to keep running properly, doesn't particularly qualify me to lead a conversion effort. But with your support, I just may be able to make a difference.

But the real story is that we must be winning. Even IT departments who are thoroughly indoctrinated by MSWindows and their FUD are finally seeing that Linux is the IT solution for the future and that Microsoft can offer only poor, temporary, and stop gap IT solutions. Linux may not be on the brink of world IT domination, but it has certainly gotten the attention of IT departments and we may be nearing a tipping point.

Thanks for listening (errr,,, reading),


Posted: Thu Aug 18, 2005 7:23 pm
by worker201
Any particular reason they seem to be so pro-SuSE? It's a good distro, but hardly the only or best.

Posted: Thu Aug 18, 2005 7:35 pm
by dishawjp

The reason that I was given is that we're a Novell shop (Netware, Groupwise & etc.) and that Novell was SUSE/NLD, so that is the direction we were going to go.

I guess that one of the big things was that the Groupwise and other Novell clients were built into NLD.

I have no experience with SUSE/NLD and am a bit concerned about my ability to do everything I need/want to do at work, especially within NLD. What little Linux knowledge I do have is all RedHat/Fedora, but ANY Linux distro has to be better than MSWindows.


Posted: Thu Aug 18, 2005 8:07 pm
by cdhgold
Suse has been my primary distro of choice for a while now as I am also a Novell follower I have also had NLD installed and will load it again if needed to help you out. (it is only not loaded now cause i did something stupid as root when experimenting) Will do whatever I can to help you out just as I have been helped out on here (gotta love the open source community).

Posted: Sun Aug 21, 2005 5:15 pm
by Void Main
Wow! Congrats!! :)

Posted: Tue Dec 06, 2005 9:16 am
by cdhgold
how has your Suse and NLD work been going? any updates? any thing I can help with?

Posted: Wed Dec 07, 2005 7:26 pm
by Master of Reality
Ive been using SuSE 64bit on my laptop, and i found it to be pretty great for compatibility with hardware and excellent for everything except package management... although i did just install the smart package manager so i expect better results (not like i have to download and install much anyway, suse comes with almost everything i needed).

Is NLD much different from SuSE?

Posted: Thu Dec 08, 2005 9:13 am
by cdhgold
main differences I have seen in my limited usage of NLD is some package diferences such as novell apps that aren't in suse itself like the ifolder client( which i use everyday). NLD also uses Red Carpet as it's primary package managment/ update mechanism .. there are fewer packages in NLD as Novell set it as the "business" dsitro optimzed for that usage so less variety of software but is more optimized i guess. if on a Novell network especially NLD more suited for "users" where Suse more for geeks like us who like to mess with things.


Posted: Fri Dec 09, 2005 12:18 pm
by dishawjp
how has your Suse and NLD work been going? any updates? any thing I can help with?

Thanks for asking.

I'm settling quite nicely into SUSE. There are a lot of things about Fedora that I like better like system-config-<whatever> as compared to YaST2 and also apt-get as opposed to YaST2. I'm not a YaST2 fan I guess. I spent a fair amount of time on and some time on and have managed to plow my way through the worst of my issues.

Some of the config files are different. I still haven't figured out how to assign a hostname other than the default. In RH/Fedora it was a simple edit of /etc/sysconfig/network and then adding the new name to /etc/hosts, but that file doesn't even exist in SUSE. I like to set my network interface (eth0) to user control and "no" to onboot, by editing my /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/eth0 file in FC/RH, but again, SUSE does things differently.

Surprisingly I did have issues accessing my Novell network drives. I had to learn about, then find and install ncpfs, then put a ridiculously long line into my fstab, and then alias a ridiculously long mount command to "net" and still had some time out issues. I am still having some trouble setting permissions in shared network directories, but nothing that I can't overcome.

I haven't gotten evolution to play nicely with Novell's Groupwise e-mail client, but can access my work e-mail through a web interface so that's not a show stopper.

But let me tell you, compared to having to boot to and work with Win2k every darned day, SUSE is pure unadulterated heaven! I now have Linux at home, in my office at the College and in my court office. Life is good and got a hell of a lot better when I finally got past EVER having to use MSWindows for ANYTHING.


Posted: Fri Dec 09, 2005 1:18 pm
by cdhgold
as far as accessing the novell drives goes there is an article in the current nov/dec 05 issue of novell's "connection" magazine that goes over SP1 for OES that mentions and has screenshot of a novell client for linux with same look, feel and function of the windoze(not a typo) client. that should ease theose problems. haven't had chance to investigate this as i just read it bout 1/2 hour ago. in case you don't get the magazine here is a link

here is the link to the client on sourceforge ... p_id=59230

Posted: Fri Dec 09, 2005 3:44 pm
by worker201
Here's how you change the hostname in Slackware - see if this helps you out at all. Maybe not, but it might lead you in the right direction - perhaps browsing through your rc files will yield a better answer.
Slackware, on the other hand, initializes the hostname during execution of the rc.M script at boot. It looks for a hostname in the file /etc/HOSTNAME and, if that file's not available or readable, places a default hostname of darkstar (which, IMHO, is a little more inspired than Fedora's bland default of localhost.localdomain). /etc/HOSTNAME only needs a one-line entry:

The rc.M script breaks the line up to extract the host name from the domain name.

Posted: Fri Dec 09, 2005 3:55 pm
by Master of Reality
Thats using BSD style init scripts... Suse doesnt use them.... (but the underlying stuff is the same)

You can set it from the console with # hostname bleh
or you can go to Yast -> Network services -> DNS and Hostname and set it here

Posted: Thu Dec 15, 2005 9:52 am
by Calum
i should know the answer to this, as i also had that problem in suse, and i did fix it (before returning to fedora)

but i have forgottewn (sorry!) :-(
but i got the answer off the internet, a good googling should sort you out.

as i remember suse has its own directories like /etc/sysconfig but called something else.

sorry, i know that's really vague.