Wednesday, December 13, 2006

3D Desktop

Recently, I have played around different linux distro to see what kind of 3D Desktop they provide. Namely they are Ubuntu 6.10, OpenSUSE 10.1, Debian Sid, Fedora Core 6 and Novell SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10.

For all of these candidates, ONLY Novell SLED is under commerical license when other are free. And another fact is that only Debian Sid is not at production stage (Debian Sarge is not capable to get XGL enabled).

Im not going to comment in a developer's point of view. What I emphaze is the the EASE of use. I dont see any point when we need to configure a lot with a dozen of commands to make a simple feature works.

I used a pretty old machine to carry out the test myself. What is important for 3D Desktop is actually the display card, what i have here is an ati radeon 7000 .

Among all 5 distros named before, one scored very high marks and one failed to start 3D desktop. Guess what?

SLED scored the highest in my scoreboard. 3D Desktop is so simple here. Just one click to enable is what I really need after installation. And the control panel is easy to use and feature-rich. This really fits what novell's claim -- Your Linux is ready.

OpenSUSE managed to pass. Although 3D Desktop is not installed in default settings. There are pretty enough documents inside opensuse's community and once setup is finished, it looks more or less the same like SLED.

Ubuntu, the most popular distro right now, is also ok. Just like OpenSUSE, 3D Desktop is not installed in default but there are tons of documents on the web, u just need to find a right one for yourself.

Debian, the well known server OS, only the testing version sid is capable to get 3D Desktop enabled. What you need is to upgrade your sarge to sid and also a lot more steps.

Fedora Core 6, another popular distro, I am not able to get 3D desktop work on my radeon 7000, but it works great on my nvidia 6600GT. Although it works great on my 6600GT, it seems to be lack of features to me. There is no panel to config effects, no guide on how to use different effects.

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