by March 1, 2005 0 comments

Note that this distro is meant to be installed on a server. So no games, media players or productivity apps with this one. But, you have a whole bunch of stuff to choose from infrastructure (DNS, DHCP, Web, Mail, Database) network management (Proxy, Firewall) or different types of departmental or enterprise servers (File sharing). This is also perhaps one of the few (if there are any others) Linux OSs that can flawlessly add a server software like DNS or LDAP after the initial installation. Performing these using YAST involves just one or two clicks of the mouse. That’s it! Configuring our server for LDAP functioning (using Blowfish encryption) is, thus, a real walk in the park. SLES has excellent support for NDS. VPN connections are also supported out of the box, although you need to create a Server Certificate first. Luckily, SLES installs a Certificate Server that comes pre-configured too, so you’re done with this in no time. 

Configuration and management is very easy with intuitive interfaces

From its ‘Control Center’, you can do things like System Restore, LVM management and managing system profiles. Most of these would look like Windows abilities to you, but rest assured SLES does them all and perfectly. All the messages and prompts are easy to understand. 

One of the few ‘cons’ you will find in the product is the large number of ‘widget’ bugs. Widgets are things such as textboxes, buttons and so forth. But, this is not really a problem with the OS itself. For example, in a File-Save box, if you want to create a new folder, you will find you cannot give it a name (from that box itself, like you can in Windows), although otherwise the box copies the Windows’ Common Dialog boxes quite perfectly.

The Bottom Line: A very good choice for an enterprise server, that can give Windows servers a run for their money.

Sujay V Sarma

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