Problems with SuSE 10.0

Summary: Although there are many improvements, SuSE Linux 10 is missing many well-known packages and contains only minimal libraries and include files. This makes it difficult for users or administrators to install software.


Solvable Problems

Unsolved Problems (Not yet fixed)

  1. Make now prints its warning and error messages in weird colors on the screen whenever you compile a program. This makes them unreadable on anything but a screen with a white background. The warning messages are also filled with garbage characters, produced when gcc tries to create a single quote character, which makes the error messages harder to interpret. Only uxterm handles gcc's weird characters correctly.

    Update: According to a fellow Linux user, this is caused by the color_gcc package and uninstalling it will fix the problem.

  2. Man pages contain junk characters Man pages now are filled with weird characters and are only partially readable. Many man pages still have embarrassing, whiny complaints in them. This appears to be a feature of GNU. (This is not yet fixed.)
  3. qps is no longer provided, and it no longer compiles from the source.
  4. ssh still has the hang-on-exit bug. If you start a process in the background while logged in over ssh, ssh will hang when you try to exit. Unfortunately, compiling ssh has become much more difficult than before, because many of the required libraries and header files are no longer supplied by Suse but must be installed manually.
  5. X Window cursors Many of the X11 cursors have been changed for no apparent reason, leaving a very limited selection. For example, the crosshairs cursor is now missing; users get a fat plus sign instead. It's now necessary for X11 applications to create and manage their own custom character to obtain a useful graphics cursor.
  6. Weird graphics cursors in Mozilla and Firefox Mozilla and Firefox now have a weird finger-pointing graphics cursor that makes it very difficult to click on things. This was dependent on the X11 configuration. It is still not possible to specify a printer in Mozilla; it still uses its own unique way of selecting a printer that I have never figured out.
  7. OpenOffice problems Open Office (a MS Office clone) has been greatly improved; it will soon be at the point where it can be used to edit Word documents. This is high praise, because Word is arguably the worst program ever written.
  8. Mozilla and Firefox problems
  9. Mpeg I could find no mpeg viewers on the CDs except for something called MainActor (mactor), which is a huge and resource-hungry program. On my system, with 512 MB of RAM, mactor drove the system load to 18, making the system unresponsive for about twenty minutes, before finally crashing. If you attempt to compile and install any standard mpeg viewers, you'll run into the problem that Suse no longer includes complete libraries or include files. Thus, you will have to spend time installing basic libraries that, in any reasonable distribution, would have been installed by default. Some of these libraries require considerable programming expertise and effort to install, because of errors in the source code that prevent them from compiling. This would be a significant obstacle for an ordinary user.


If you must use Suse 10, be sure to keep at least one computer around that is running Suse 8.x or 9.x in order to maintain access to programs like yacc, xconsole, ftpd and skencil. Save those old CDs!