The DistRogue

Monday, April 30, 2007

Review: openSUSE 10.2

I'll admit, right now, that my experience with openSUSE 10.2 was much better than the horror story that was SUSE 10.1. Maybe they really did make the changes that 10.1 needed to become viable. Maybe it was just that I installed KDE instead of GNOME. In any event, I was seriously considering using it as a main system, but it strikes me as more of an enterprise system than a home OS.
The CD I used to install openSUSE wouldn't boot. A minor setback, but I got it working anyways, with the help of the network install CD. After a few hours, I had a working KDE desktop. And a slightly creepy one...
The color-changing lizard was cute. The eyes that followed my mouse cursor were kind of freaky... And yes, the so-called "Kickoff" menu does take some getting used to. What happened to the KDE menu we know and love (or hate)?
YaST, or Yet Another Setup Tool, is used for everything. And I mean everything...

Everything from package management to AppArmor control to X11 configuration... YaST covers it all. You can use YaST to lock down your computer to almost any attack or just to install some games.
Speaking of games, YaST claims my install comes with kernel headers, which are required to install NVidia 3D acceleration drivers, but those were the first problems it ran into. Performance was poor, as you can see:

GLXGears isn't really a benchmarking tool, but I can easily get over 350FPS on my laptop, through Knoppix. (Aren't Live CDs supposed to be slow?) And because of the lack of 3D drivers, I couldn't test-drive the famed Xgl/Compiz effects, either. :(
openSUSE is, in my opinion, a decent desktop. It has plenty of features, most of which are aimed at the corporate/server market, as opposed to SoHo users like you and me. It would make a nice enterprise desktop (enterprise-class features for free), and a rock-solid server, but as far as features the average desktop user would like, Ubuntu is still a better choice.
Friendliness: 4/5- Windows users won't turn up their noses at YaST, and welcome the idea of a centralized control panel.
Performance: 3/5- Maybe it was KDE, but openSUSE is a slow, somewhat bloated distro compared to others.
Features: 4.5/5- Feature sout the wazoo. Doesn't get a 5 because they aren't as practical.
Packaging: 4/5- YaST is a great package manager. No, really. I see some major potential in it.
Overall: 3.75/5- The shiny polish makes it clear that this is an enterprise OS.
Thanks for waiting. Now, it's on to the good stuff... ;)
From Xubuntu 7.04,
The DistRogue

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Blogger Francis said...

Great, so you mentioned it's 'lacking features' that Ubuntu has but completely missed mentioning any of them? SLED is a good Enterprise distro, openSUSE is an awesome average desktop distro.

9:53 AM  
Blogger Francis said...

Oh, and for drivers, see

9:59 AM  

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