I've been playing around with the boxed edition of SUSE Linux 10.0, but Novell representatives assure me that the Evaluation edition available for download through OpenSUSE.org is the same product, complete with proprietary extensions (such as Java, Flash, and RealPlayer) that other distributions tend to leave off their freely downloadable editions.
Despite its name, the Evaluation edition is unrestricted--it won't time out on you or anything like that. Here's what you don't get if you decide not to shell out the $60 for the box: a 275-page startup guide that's very nicely done; five CDs and one DVD emblazoned with the SUSE mascot, a lizard named Geeko; a beautiful green cardboard box, also sporting the image of Geeko; and installation support via e-mail, Web, or telephone. These bells and whistles are probably most useful to Linux newcomers, while the gearheads that SUSE seems to be targeting can most likely do without them.
Where some user-friendly Linux distributions--Linspire, Ubuntu, and Xandros, for example--take a "less is more" approach to keep users from experiencing application and configuration overload, SUSE, true to its roots, definitely takes a "more is more" approach.
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