fter this previous post, and over at the IRC channel, I promised AlbertoP some more specific details. He asked for a better supported set of complaints that show the weaknesses of OpenSUSE 11.0. So here is just a quick rundown.
Too much like Vista, says Techie Moe in his short review.
If SuSE is actively trying to make Vista converts feel comfortable (at the expense of everyone else), they’re catering to a different demographic than me. When that sort of thing happens, I look elsewhere.
Visual gripes aside I had a solid experience with OpenSuSE 11, when I installed it from the DVD. It’s not quite something I’d pay $60USD for, but it would let me do what I needed on Rig 2 in a pinch.
Bruce on the lack on focus:
Some members of the free software community will reject openSUSE out of hand, remembering the Microsoft-Novell pact in November 2006, and damning openSUSE along with its patron Novell. That is understandable if not entirely fair.
However, thinking only on the technical side, a better reason to have reservations about openSUSE is its lack of focus. These days, major distributions are known for a particular focus — for example, Ubuntu for user-friendliness, Fedora for the latest innovations, and Debian for stability and software freedom. By contrast, like the distributions of a decade ago, is still trying to be everything to everybody.
This guy too reckons it’s for power users:
I have finished setting up openSUSE 11.0 on my HP dv2000z AMD Turion64 X2. Up to version 10.3 I was running the 32-bit version of SUSE and decided now was a good time to do a ‘New’ install and give x86_64 a spin.
I’ve covered the basics for getting openSUSE 11.0 x86_64 installed. So far, I have had only a few minor ‘nuisance’ issues described above and feel that the openSUSE Development Team have done a great job of putting together another winner. YaST is even easier to use combined with ‘one-click’ installations that puts it on the same level of ease of use with Ubuntu’s Synaptic GUI. At the same time openSUSE is a power-user’s Linux.
Beranger takes things apart, as one just ought to expect.
I was initially impressed by what I thought it was minutiae in Bruce’s report, but this ended shortly after I noticed he mixed old and new impressions as if everything was hot stuff. The babbling about the EULA is certainly BS: «By accepting the license, you agree not to distribute copies for profit or bundled with anything else, and also not to reverse engineer or transfer rights. The rationale is probably that the license refers to the distribution as a whole, but, all the same, it seems at odds with the free licenses of the individual applications — especially any version of the GNU General Public License — so you might want to consult a lawyer before using openSUSE commercially.»
So, to summarize at this point, I am considerably happier with openSuSE 11.0 than i was after first installing it. However, I still think that it is much more complex, and requires a lot more fiddling and tuning from the user, than Ubuntu 8.04. If I were setting up a system for someone else, I would certainly install Ubuntu. But if I were setting up a system for myself, I would seriously consider openSuSE, and I will have to do some more investigation before making a final decision.
In the last few days I managed to install openSUSE 11.0 on more than 6 desktops, helping my friends on setting up the distribution, and on one of them I encountered a strange problem, running KDE 4.0. The problem occurred with the Audigy 2 ZS card, same as the one I have. From forums I noticed that I was not the only one to get this strange hiccup. As it seems, this small problem lies within the KMix settings.
I’ve been having a lot of stability issues with openSUSE 11.0 lately and the majority of them boiled down to audio.
Jan shared some pet peeve which is to do with package management.
Looking for software that isn’t there is a nuisance, though you can’t expect the repositories to contain everything you like. What really got on my nerve was the menu panel. I switch from app to app and to click on Computer, then on More programs and then have to wait in order to see the list and then find the application is cumbersome and requires more mouse clicks than I want. Okay, I didn’t dump it immediately. I added a new panel and a menubar.
Moosy’s speed comparison (on fat and bloat):
So, my conclusion. If you change the openSUSE 11.0 menu to the traditional GNOME menu and disable some of the need features of openSUSE it feels very very similar.
The impact of including an early version of KDE4?
I started using Linux at the suggestion of a friend, around the time of RedHat 7.1, and that friend told me to install KDE because it was better than GNOME, and I did.
The disconnect that newbies would find daunting:
First, the installer misdetected my monitor resolution, then i told him the good one, but that ended up in a messed xorg.conf that applied zoom onto the desktop, i had the remove the Option “PreferredMode” line from the file.
No match for Ubuntu yet:
In summary: a great effort, lots of neat features. I’m not sure it would replace my hardy heron laptop yet. Looking forward to 11.1.
In the future, I would appreciate that developers focus on the individual applications and drivers, to reach a very high level of desktop functionality.
This is not intended to demoralise. It’s mostly specific and instructive. █