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Novell's Linux Desktop 9

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NLD 9's installation is straightforward. It defaults to a GUI install screen, though text mode is also an option. You can choose your desktop environment from Gnome and KDE (K Desktop Environment). Neither is selected by default, and Novell says it has no preference. I found Gnome slightly more polished than KDE in this distribution. As an administrator, you can install both and let the end user decide which to use.

Mozilla's Firefox Web browser is installed with the Gnome package; Konqueror is installed with KDE. is included with both. Unlike other Linux desktop distributions, such as Fedora, NLD 9 doesn't install a host of packages by default. Rather, only a few software programs--such as GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program), a Citrix client, RealPlayer 10 and Novell Evolution groupware--are installed. This is appropriate for an enterprise deployment. You don't want to support and maintain hundreds of user programs. Installing RealPlayer by default is a good move--it's the only major streaming media software supported by Linux. You can also install your own software packages using Novell ZENWorks, Ximian Red Carpet or the SuSE Yast2 administration tool. Total space used by the default install is just under 2 GB.

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