06.29.12

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SUSE Still Alive, But Far From the Top

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, OpenSUSE, Red Hat at 8:39 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

SUSE mascot now irrelevant to GNU/Linux

View of Paris

Summary: A couple of updates about the ‘open’ version of Microsoft Linux

DESPITE delays and other pressing issues, SUSE will manage to squeeze out another release of the “open” alter-ego of SUSE — that which is being used to openwash Microsoft Linux. Here are some of the expected inclusions:

openSuse 12.2 will be released soon,or atleast we can hope so. Here is a list of upcoming features supposed to be shipped by default with the next version of this operating system.

In the desktop environment front, openSuse will ship KDE 4.8 Plasma Desktop and Plasma Netbook, the latest stable versions of K Desktop Environment. It may also ship Plasma Active, the Plasma UI for tablets and mobile phones. KDE apps and frameworks have also been upgraded to version 4.8 and one can expect better performance and stability in KDE. Talks of shipping a new KDM theme and ksplash theme is on, and kspalsh will use the qml engine, the latest technology in KDE 4.8.

KDE 4,9 is already approaching its final release and those who are comparing Fedora to OpenSUSE can appreciate that Fedora 18 will be ahead (Fedora is also released more often). As for Fedora 17:

I ran fedora 17 for a while on my test machine. I have since replaced that with opensuse 12.2 Beta2. Before my memory fades, here’s a comparison of fedora 17 and opensuse 12.2. When installing fedora from the DVD image, I chose to install KDE, Gnome, LXDE and XFCE. Those are the same choices that I make with opensuse. Of course, I don’t really use all of those. Mostly, I use KDE and experiment with the others. On my test machine, I use XFCE because it is a little lighter in weight for the older slower hardware.

[...]

Fedora defaulted to using gdm as the desktop login manager. When I logged into XFCE, I found that there was no gpg-agent available. If I checked to option launch Gnome services on startup, I would then have a gpg-agent available. However, that also caused orca to run, which soaked up a lot of resources. As a result, KDE used less resources than XFCE.

I disabled the “launch Gnome services” so that orca would not start. In looking at running processes, it seemed that gpg-agent was actually running but there was no environment setting to make that available. I was able to put something into shell startup files to locate that agent and set the environment correctly. And, since the shell startup files are run at the beginning of the desktop session, that made gpg-agent available to the desktop.

With opensuse 12.1, I recall that I also had to have XFCE launch Gnome services to have gpg-agent and/or ssh-agent available. But at least that did not start orca in opensuse. I have not tested that with opensuse 12.2, where launching gnome services appears to be the default.

I have not used SUSE in 5 years. Back in the days it was a leading distribution. These days, there is nothing “leading” about it and it relies on funding from Microsoft. Debian GNU/Linux is one people can trust much more. Our trust in Red Hat is eroding not just because of UEFI [1, 2, 3, 4] but for other reasons we’ll mention in the next post.

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