Hey Novell, SuSE SLES 10 sucks!

Normally I’m a total Debian guy, but for one of my projects I needed a certified linux os to the bought hardware.
So I decided to look at the market and there are just two systems I can use.
Redhat & SuSE SLES10
As this makes no different for me, I decided to give SuSE another shot.
The last version I worked with, was 7.1 or something like that.
I thought SuSE / Novell decided to change their update service and configuration tool YAST.
But what a surprise. NOTHING CHANGED.
It’s the same crap then 5 years ago. Big shot guys!

The update service costs a lot of money per year. Money YOU pay for opensource software packages!!! In times where datatransfer costs only cents, this could not be the reason.
Then I tried to install some basic packages.
And guess what, there are only basic-basic packages in yast.

One example is subversion. subversion is MISSING.
They don’t have to subversion in SUSE SLES 10 as RPM Package.
There is this old big brother cvs, but no svn.
Hello, good morning at SUSE. Every normal software development company is using svn. This is more than a standard package.
But, hey there is something good. You can download the package from Novell. Guess how you can get it? With svn!

10 Responses to Hey Novell, SuSE SLES 10 sucks!

  1. Kevin says:

    Hello author,
    I work for Novell, and just happened across your blog post. I wanted to make a few comments, and since you haven’t used SUSE in a while – perhaps you just aren’t aware of some of these things.

    Novell has it’s “enterprise Linux distribution” which is called SUSE Linux Enterprise and we have a “free” version called openSUSE. The enterprise version comes in server, desktop, and other flavors which are called SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES), SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop (SLED), etc. respectively. These enterprise versions do not have the cutting edge packages, and may not have all the packages you want (eg. subversion), but rather ones that are “enterprise ready, tested and supported”. That means not only has it gone thru extensive testing and is supported by Novell, but it also means that Novell partners (IHVs, ISVs, etc.) will also support their products running on top of the enterprise version… thus your original challenge.

    The “free” version of SUSE is now called openSUSE. It has gone thru several name changes over the years… SUSE Linux, SUSE Linux Professional, and now openSUSE. If you are using a version of SUSE that has a “dot” extension (eg, 7.1, 8.2, 9.3, 10.3), that’s probably more aligned with openSUSE, than with the Enterprise version. The current version of openSUSE is 10.3 and can be downloaded for free at http://www.opensuse.org. As a free, community release, it does not have any enterprise support from Novell – although there is a large openSUSE community to get help from. However, there are TONS more applications and packages that ARE included in openSUSE that are not included in SUSE Linux Enterprise (including subversion). From your blog post, it sounds like you had used a predecessor to openSUSE in the past, but are comparing it to the enterprise version which is not really an apples-to-apples comparison.

    Hopefully that explains the differences for you.

    As an extra suggestion, you might also take a look at the openSUSE Build Service. It automatically builds packages for numerous OSS packages and several common Linux distributions. If you need a package, like subversion, which is not included in SLES – you might be able to find a package for it at the build service. It’s not supported by Novell technical support in an official capacity, but it can save yourself a lot of frustration and legwork. In fact, subversion pre-packaged for SLES is indeed there. You can look here to search for subversion for SLES or other distros: https://build.opensuse.org/

    Regards, Kevin

  2. Jason says:

    To Kevin:
    His complaints are just the tip of the iceberg with SLES. I can name a number of other terrible terrible terrible aspects that come with SLES. I’ll name a few:

    No backports of patched problems:
    -Broadcom NIC driver in SLES10 SP1 still takes up tp 60 seconds to start. Great, you fixed it in SP2, what about SP1?
    -when using AutoYaST to install SLES10SP1 if you use an ask-list entry to obtain the root password you had best not type it wrong, or you get to start the whole istall over, because it will not reprompt for a password, and will not set a root password… oh sure you can run a rescue disc and fix it, but it’s just as fast to restart the install. Fixed in SP2, still no fix with SP1.

    Does LTS (Long Term Support) mean anything to you guys, besides taking your customers money?

    Support you pay for sucks:
    We had a server here where all X apps (as well as Xorg itself) where failing with errors about shared object library files not being found, libXau.so.6 being one… Our guys opened a ticket with Novell a month ago. They still have it listed as a bug and have no resolution. My boss asked me the other day to take a look at the server (it’s not maintained by my group); all I had to do is run ldconfig to recreate /etc/ld.so.cache. Still waiting for Novell support to figure that out. Don’t people pay so that when they hit these odd problems they can get a quick resolution? If you’re just going to label it a bug and not look into it, what the hell are we paying for?

    Cool Solutions are trash:
    No one is cleaning these things up, marking them for what versions of software apply, etc. Go look for intructions on how to use the Add On Creators, mirror packages locally, etc. You go out, find a cool solution that links to an rpm that is so out of date it no longer works even remotely. You acn’t rely on ANYTHING you read in that pile of bull ****.

    Novell still has not figured out how to use all the tools at hand:
    Speaking of your cool solutions, wouldn’t it be so much better than linking to a couple hundred broken and outdated rpm’s to create a repository for Novell developed tools, etc. mentioned in the cool solutions, so that if people are so inclined to download the software packages mentioned on your website in all 1,001 random places they can simply subscribe, zypper install , and feel confident that they have the latest version? Instead you have to get this version, that, or the other that _may_ work, but probably doesn’t. Need an example? Here you go:

    yast2-add-on-creator-2.15.21-11.noarch.rpm, available at:
    for SLES10SP2 (The newer version yast2-add-on-creator-2.17.1-2.3.noarch.rpm will fail with a segmentation fault on SLES10SP2)


    THIS VERSION IS ONLY ACCEPTABLE FOR SLES10 SP1 (yast2-add-on-creator-2.13.3-1.1.noarch.rpm)

    Do you see where a repository for appropriate versions for each OS, etc. would clear up some serious headaches? This is an just assinine headache. And the only way I know is from brutal back and forth attempts with each.

    Novell loooks at SLES as a way to sell software to you:
    Want centralized patching, no that’s not included in support, BUY ZLM (ZENworks Linux Management) on top of your support contract, and so on. Here comes the Novell lockin…

    OpenSuSE/SLES are not the problem in and of themselves; the fact that Novell is stomping around playing in their guts with no idea which direction they’re headed is the problem. You should be absolutely ashamed with what you are doing to the distribution.

  3. Adam says:

    Thank you, Jason! I’m quite new to linux so I could not provide such a thorough gripe list, but you’re right on the money. I made the totally asinine mistake of thinking an “enterprise” edition would be the way to go for a server at work, and have regretted it heavily. Installing software has been a nightmare no thanks to Zen/zyp/whatever the hell it is. Yast2 just plain sucks. And after spending 3 days trying to get AMP installed & configured with all the correct dependencies, libraries, and modules I need, I’ve given up. I previously accomplished this same task in 45 minutes on openSuse on my home PC and 30 minutes on Ubuntu.
    I will be wiping my hard drives and starting over. Only debate is whether to go with openSuse cuz I know it, though I hate that it’s even related to SLES, or Ubuntu, or something else.

    Systems like SLES only confirm that fact that, despite many ‘nixheads delusions, Linux is still a user-unfriendly OS only for the super-nerds and those of us trying to become one.

  4. Markus says:

    I completly agree with you. This stuff sucks! Folks, go for Debian or CentOS/RedHat!

  5. Robbie says:

    hahaha, fuck, i’ve been using suse sine 1997, I run all major distro’s on linux for over 10 years and when Novell bought SuSE I just smashed my head into the wall. I can’t even begin where to start. I could just bring up to little things like a simple ftp server.hahaha. It’s more like you can run this package from this date but not with this version 2.4.5.x.x but 2.4.5.x.x.b will work but not with latest kernel and not with older kernel and when enabling pasv ports root won’t work because anonymous login is on. At first I thought you know it’s the ftp server. Like anyone would think, but it working on every other linux distro just not on suse 7.2 ??? . but like i said it’s only 1 tiny little bug from back in 99, and it’s still same issue now with sles 10.2. Every thing on SuSE now just doesn’t work. I just ran a “critical update” on sles 10.3 and http server stop working; wtf. just little things like that you can’t run a server. The biggest thing about suse is it’s direction is fucked. there company motto is we do it all, but nothing works. mahahaha. don’t get me wrong. i’ve been a HUGE suse fan from the begining, but now i just need things to run. it feels like i’ve only played around with suse, but it’s been fucking 12 years and still major problems. i can’t even get an absolute simple sles 10.2 up and going with no add-ons. just need vhosting. nope. with ubuntu 4.5 hrs everything running, from webmail,http server, and other simple project management software(free on sourceforge.net) cron scripts running; everything up and runnning 2 reboots this year with 6 dapper lts. suse 10 nothing is working, i lost count how many times i’ve rebooted and that just mail server running. mahahaa. shit. i don’t think i can hold out for suse anymore. i mean the $400 million from microsoft has changed everything and has ultimately changed my perspective on novell and well…. suse. good luck to the suse team in the future; your going to need it. time to take down the production server. i’m going to tell the boss it just ain’t working, it just doesn’t work. i can get everything up and running but it will be with Ubuntu. he’s going to have no choice. i’m done with suse. 12 years. i’ve had it. time to start everything over from scratch should take 5hrs, way better than a week maybe 2 or 3 or 4 weeks or 6 months or 8 months for same issues. maannn, it doesn’t matter if i lose my job over this one, it all makes clear sense to me now! time for ubuntu.

  6. Robbie says:

    ok, i found a book on amazon with sles 10. haha, i’ll give sles 10 one more try!!! haha.

  7. Robbie says:

    i’ve had some challenges with suse myself.

  8. tim says:

    Suse 11.4 doesn’t even install, i guess nobody will be using it anymore what a joke!!

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  10. Curmudge0n says:

    Hey Novell, you really need to make SLES install faster, period. I can install two + instances of RHEL/CentOS/Scientific in the time it takes to get one SLES VM installed. Major gripe #2 enterprises need Linux servers to run without a GUI–so make SLES run fast and w/o the need for a GUI and GUI-admin tools. RHEL is smokin fast w/o the GUI. Enterprise admins don’t need or want it. Major gripe #3 what’s with the NetWare-like curses interface? Again, making command-line admins run Yast to do basic administration is a major pain. For my work which includes consulting, I’ll stick with RHEL/CentOS/SL.

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