Novell SUSE Studio: A love/ hate thing

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Users might have a love/hate relationship with Novell's SUSE Studio. Here are five things we love and five things we disliked about the product.

Check out our in depth review to see what SUSE Studio can do for you.

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Template selection

Studio cooks up a lot of combinations including server, JeOS (just enough operating system), desktop and your choice of SLE 11, SLE 10 or the latest OpenSUSE

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You Get to Test Drive Online

One of the coolest features is the ability to test the image you built prior to downloading it, via a remote console in the browser connecting through Flash. This makes sure you don't download an image that doesn't work or is just plain ugly.

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Your Favorite Output, Please

Cook up SUSE instances in your favorite output flavors of ISOs, USB stick-loadables, VMware, or Xen images. Put them into your own personal library, or get them ready to slab some bare metal, baby!

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For Best Flavour, Add Application Packages

There are literally thousands of packages to choose from.

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Add Your Own Packaged Spices

The ability to add your own files and packages in any directory is very handy.

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VMware vagaries

In our testing, VMware images tended to be a bit flaky, and we had some problems loading the VMware image into ESX 4. The generic Ethernet adapter was not able to be used in ESX, and the hard drive had to be removed from the Studio-output configuration and re-added in order for it to work.

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No Ping

JeOS/Base image may not include some common tools (ping) and may need to go through the config process again, Ping was not installed on the LAMP server template we used.

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More package groups and subgroups needed

There are so many packages available that it would be nice to have the packages grouped in either more unique groups or subgroups. In other words, the choices are overly broad. It's a nice problem to have, but frustrating. Having application "mixes" for desktop, developer, newbie end-users, and so on would be handy here, too.

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Calling for more customisation

More firewall/appliance/server customization would be nice. Even a script to pipe settings here would save a lot of time when cooking distributions. Yes, we could seed these with our own application packages, but that would require planning.

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Additional templates needed

More preconfigured additional templates would help save time with common package configurations. Studio is very powerful, and Novell could put even more powder in the keg.

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