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Moving from [Ku|U]buntu to Opensuse — Going in Reverse?

Posted in GNU/Linux, OpenSUSE, Review, Ubuntu at 2:12 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Opensuse is a fine Linux distribution. I can say this as a long-time SuSE user. However, increasingly it is faced with challenges posed by other vendors which — at least to some of us — are presently perceived as less harmful to the broader community. They thrive in a more positive and friendly image, regardless of how much they actually contribute to the Linux mainline (new or existing packages).

The scale of companies plays a role as well. While long-term sustainability is an important factor, some people refuse to trust companies which project vanity and/or take control of a distribution’s direction (e.g. community- versus customer-driven). Compiz is a fine example of this.

Novell is clearly listening. In fact, it has just kicked off a survey for openSUSE users. But what happens when those who contribute to openSUSE (as I used to do) feel as though they were backstabbed and also portrayed negatively? It’s a blame game which involves OpenSUSE developers/testers/assistants/documentation volunteers, some of whom frown upon actions taken by the management of Novell.

While we don’t take pleasure in seeing Opensuse sinking in reviews while Ubuntu trumps many of its rivals, it does make you think. Ubuntu becomes the codebase of many other Linux distributions. Here is yet another reminder that Opensuse needs to get its act together fast. It is no longer the distribution of choice, which is a status it could probably boast a couple of years ago.

(K)Ubuntu to OpenSuSe – My Experience

Installing softwares. YAST is not easy to use if you are used to apt-get or synaptic. With Ubuntu, you’ll have the basic repos
added and you can just uncomment other repos in the sources.list file if you want to use them. When I opened the list in YAST, there was nothing there.

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  1. Ian said,

    March 11, 2007 at 3:49 pm


    Not to be nit picker, but Ubuntu doesn’t even have its “own codebase” to speak of. It’s Debian.

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    March 11, 2007 at 5:10 pm


    Yes, I had this in mind when I wrote “They thrive in a more positive and friendly image, regardless of how much they actually contribute to the Linux mainline (new or existing packages).”

    Actually, Novell has contributed a lot to Linux. It is truly a shame that they sold out the way they did.

  3. gpl1 said,

    March 22, 2007 at 10:45 pm


    Not to be nit picker, but Ubuntu doesn’t even have its “own codebase” to speak of. It’s Debian.

    That’s not fair. Canonical employs ~20 extremely active Debian developers, and Mark Shuttleworth himself is a former DD for apache. They’ve contributed the init replacement upstart as well as packaging Debian for the masses every six months, which if the adoption of Ubuntu says anything, is a huge thing itself–that’s the key thing with Ubuntu–, because let’s face it, Debian testing and sid aren’t good Linux desktops. Ubuntu contributes patches back to Debian everyday because they have to resync every six months.

    Nevermind systems like Launchpad, the easy translater “Rosetta”, etc…

    However in the end I’m sure Mark Shuttleworth would love ubuntu being called “just another debian distro” since what’s good for Ubuntu is good for Debian, and vice versa.

  4. Roy Schestowitz said,

    March 23, 2007 at 1:56 am


    Yes, I wholeheartedy agree. Technical contributions aside, Canonical brought Linux to audiences that Novell could barely ever reach because it projects a level of vanity, being a large company with roots in [highly|over]-priced proprietary software. The philosophy of Ubuntu helps demonstrate that digital freedom is for everyone and that not only geeks can handle Linux. It’s a gross generalisation, I know.

  5. Chris said,

    March 25, 2007 at 10:14 am


    “Debian testing and sid aren’t good Linux desktops.”

    Ehh, I beg to differ. Testing in Debian is actually pretty stable & don’t forget, Ubuntu is based directly off of Sid. They take a snapshot & modify it to their needs, then they add some tools to help the new user out.

    When a package goes into testing, it must survive for 2 weeks without any major breakage. Usually after 2 weeks the package has been examined throughly. Even in Sid, if something breaks, it’s usually fixed by the next day.

    Either way, any Debian or Debian-based distro is excellent.

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