Ubuntu Dapper LTS as Client for SuSE 10.1 Office Server

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Why this article

If you're using a linux machine as an autonomous office server, there are a few things to consider.

In most cases you are deeling with

  • special hardware (Printers, DSL, Fax, ISDN, Raid System, backup systems, ...)
  • special software (Services, like mail, virus scanner, dns, samba, cups, ...)
  • no need for a graphical interface

When it's up to install a client machine, there a other preferences

  • workflows for everyday use (file management, programm choose)
  • no program overhead - just software installed, you really need
  • fast installation - there is probably more than one client to install
  • "standard" linux office programs - evolution, openoffice.org, firefox
  • performance - for week client hardware
  • installation of software has to be easy

There are really good choices out there for office server solution. Almost any linux distribution can handle that. But when it comes to offer support for such a solution, beeing able to flexibly and easyly update, maintain and upgrade such a machine, hand made solutions come to an end.

SuSE Server

I prefer - and this is only a short-view on the subject - Redhat or SuSE systems for such a server. This is, because there is a lot of handy tools shipping with these distributions, that make system administration of an office server easier.


Install only the minimal installation first and do an online update. Restart the machine an then install only what you really need.

SuSE 10.1 is a desaster when it comes to the ZMD update manager. Install apt, deactivate and uninstall novell-zmd in general (see links at the end of this article).

Ubuntu Client

On of the best - in my opinion - desktop distribution available by now is the Ubuntu Dapper LTS. There is no overhead with installed programms. It is installed very fast. The look and feel of both, the KDE (kubuntu) and Gnome (ubuntu) versions are very easy to understand an configurable.


If you like to share directories you have to install samba first

apt-get install samba

SSH is not installed by default

apt-get install ssh

Firefox and Adobe Acrobat Reader are in english localisation only. Download manually the appropriate versions. Be careful, and uninstall the older versions in advance!

Also see