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Re: Newbie Frustration

On 21 Nov 1999, Steven Pritchard replied to Walt Black:
>> I can get the x windows and KDE working but I can't
>> seem to print from any program.  The manual with SuSE
>> 6.1 sucks bigtime!
> I always thought the SuSE manual was pretty good, but
> I haven't looked at it in a long time...
> Keep in mind that SuSE is based out of Germany, so
> some of their documentation sucking may be a result
> of translation.

When the SuSE manual sucks, it's because they have the
highest frequency of releases and manual doesn't always
keep up with changes in the distro.

>> It seems there are dozens of different distributions of
>> Linux which is a "free" software except for the manuals
>> and the setup programs.  What nobody tells you until you
>> have bough the other packages is that unless you bought
>> RedHat, the most expensive of the distributions, you are
>> screwed!
> How so?  Any commercial software for Red Hat should
> install on SuSE or Caldera OpenLinux just fine.  All of them
> use the same package management system, and  they
> include nearly the same software.  (SuSE just happens
> to include a *lot* more than the other distributions.)

Some rpms built for Red Hat will not install on SuSE for
differences in directory structure.  What few occasions
I've run into a problem, I've been able to find an rpm built
for SuSE, or, push comes to shove, there's the tarball.

>> Why would anyone want to spend a MS Windows price
>> for "free" software?

This definitely an essay question... :)

>> Windows is easy to install and it works and is
>> understandable.
> Like you said, you've been using DOS and Windows for
> years.  Of course Windows is understandable.  For those
> of us that have been using Unix for years, Linux is incredibly
> simple and easy-to-use.

Yup, and it's not just a matter of duration of experience.
My only experience with Windows has been on someone
else's computer, thus Linux has always appeared to me
the way things are *supposed to be done*.  For people
accustomed to Windows, Linux can be culture shock.

>> 1.  How do you make Linux see a printer with Epson
>> emulation?
> I'm sure somebody here with some SuSE experience
> can help with that.  (There's a reason I only print to
> Postscript laser printers...)

I expect Cloudmaster has more experience in this dept.

>> 2.  The best I can figure is that I can't load individual
>> programs off the CDs but have to install large packages
>> of many, many things I don't need to get the programs
>> I do need.  How can I find what programs I have loaded?
>> Without a working printer it is too overwhelming!
> I'm not sure how YAST handles adding packages, or if
> it does, for that matter, but you can always mount the cd
> by hand and use rpm to install individual packages.  (Could
> somebody who is more familiar with SuSE give an example
> here?)

YaST divides packages into categories, and is better for
seeing that something is *not* installed and installing it.

> If you want to know what packages you have installed,
> just do the following:
>   rpm -qa | sort | more

Install xrpm if you haven't.  On opening, it lists all installed
packages.   Select and click "query" for a short description of
the package, "list file" for what files went to what directory.

> 3.  How do I get rid of the programs I don't need that are
> just taking up space on the computer?

Again, xrpm puts that task right up front.

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