The Grand openSUSE Thread

In the most recent episode, my co-hosts have decided to try openSUSE for the next 2 weeks and review it on the next episode.

Richard Brown (the Chairman of the openSUSE Project) wrote up an awesome article he calls “Why openSUSE?” that I think – just maybe – will help @jeremy, @sil and @jonobacon out.

So I grabbed the latest SUSE CD I had laying around and tried to install. I didn’t have the best of luck.

So I downloaded the latest version, which worked out significantly better. For those wondering what the default install looks like:

I’ll continue to use it until the next show, but as I said; the openSUSE team seems to very quietly be doing some interesting things.


I have decided to play along. Just downloaded openSUSE 13.2, burned to DVD and installed on an old Dell Optiplex 755 that already had Unbuntu and Windows 10 Preview with a large empty partition. Took all the defaults. Other distros would have blasted away everything and taken the whole drive by default. This one only used the empty space putting the system files on a btrfs partition and /home on XFS. (I read a review that said messing with the partitioning can get tricky because of the way btrfs wants to do things.) It did not pick up my time zone so I had to put that in.

Rebooted and saw my other operating systems were still there and still worked. After starting up I wanted to change the default boot OS to Windows because it gets real cranky with all the reboots. After a little research I found it very easy using YaST to set the default boot.

The snapper feature of btrfs looks pretty cool.

The first batch of updates went very slow for some reason. So far I like openSUSE. Let’s see how it goes for the next two weeks.

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I’ve been using openSUSE on my desktop at work since I got the CD from the good people at the SUSE booth at LFNW last year (thanks, Bryan!). I’m running it on a 27" iMac core2duo (~2011), where I use it mostly for web browsing, email and google play music. In this limited role, openSUSE has been rock solid.

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I’m thinking of dipping my toes into the pool. How well does openSUSE play with dummies? I installed Ubuntu just for the reason that it installed and worked for me.

I decided to install openSUSE 13.2 at home. I have a Windows 7 & Linux Mint 17.1 dual boot setup. After backing up the computer I booted up with Parted Magic and deleted the Mint and Swap partitions. I booted from the same DVD I used in the above post. Again, I took all the defaults except this time I checked the update repositories. Once the install started it took 40 minutes. It appeared to be downloading lots of stuff from the network. Then I started getting failures and eventually the install was done and failed. The computer would not boot.

Started over and did not check update repositories. Everything installed in about 20 minutes. Then I booted into Windows and got a blue scree. Reboot into Windows, select Start Normally and everything is fine. A few more reboots into Windows and Linux and then did updates to Linux. So far, so good.

The hardest part so far of using openSUSE vs Debian versions is finding where to do configurations. The good part is the Search box in the Launcher works really well.

I replaced Ubuntu with SUSE this weekend to play along and really liking it so far. Installation from the GNOME Live CD was super smooth and hooray no more safety orange! Still figuring out how to best work with YaST and zypper… I do love apt but these tools seem plenty powerful so far.

Hi folks… first post here, as I just recently started listening to the podcast. I realize that isn’t going to particularly elevate my opinion here, but I’ll still offer it :smile:

I’m a huge fan of OpenSUSE. I’ve recently been waffling back and forth between Ubuntu MATE and Xfce or Gnome on OpenSUSE.

I’m not going to talk crap about any of the other distributions, but rather tell you why I like OpenSUSE and have determined that it is the best choice for me, moving forward.

  1. It supports all the major desktops equally well, with the exception being MATE at the present time. I say this because it’s not a desktop choice from the installer menu… yet. Mate is installable, but you have to install one of the other desktops and pull in the Mate packages, or build the entire stack up from a headless install.

  2. Sweet, sweet Tumbleweed. A true easy-to-install rolling release. All the latest packages and I didn’t have to go through the Arch Wiki to configure my system. I easily installed my system from a Live CD, yo.

What drew me once again into the OpenSUSE fold a few weeks back was that I wanted a nice KDE/Plasma5 desktop… and Kubuntu 15.04 is still way too beta and explodey for daily use. So I installed from the Tumbleweed KDE CD. Then I updated all my packages and I installed plasma5-session, kmix5, kwrite5 and suddenly I’ve got a Plasma 5 desktop on a stable system with all the latest packages. It’s fast, beautiful and works perfectly.


Just to take things a step further. I am making my own build in SUSE studio featuring Mate Desktop. I am sure I will not make the deadline of next show, but I’ll let you know how it works out sooner or later.

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You guys are warming my cold, icy heart.

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zypper has an aptitude shell - just run aptitude with the command options you’re used to, and they’ll be translated to zypper calls for you.

One reason for me is I ended up listening to this podcast because of my resurgent interest in Linux and my successful experience with OpenSuSE. Sure, I may have started with some other shows filled with false self importance, a constant barrage of schilling, and general hypocrisy, but I got that sorted out just as I did with my choice of Distro’s.

Now for some real reasons, well, real to me anyway:

  1. The install was easy and it found and used my partitions the way I expected it to.
  2. The power management seems better than others, important on an old T61.
  3. Once I figured out Gnome is all about the superkey, it’s the perfect desktop for me. I like how it’s set up by default and I think it’s better looking than others.
  4. I have the perception that OpenSuSE will be around for a while and not jump the shark like the Debian family seems to. It’s great that people go and make what they want, but I’ll stick with the tried and true BMW.
  5. I have found all the answers and guides I need, so far, on the wiki and the forums.
  6. OpenSuSE beer. Full stop.

It’s probably obvious that I am not a ‘power user’, more like a man in the ditch with a shovel, but the above things are important to me.

Particularly the beer.
Can I get it in Montana?

Interesting; can you explain that a bit more?

Because I’m an engineer, here’s a chart that got me thinking:
I would prefer to stick with a distribution that doesn’t split/ fork, have drama in it’s community, etc. You know WAY more about the LInux world than I do I’m sure, but the stories about Ubuntu desktop and Debian forking and Mint splitting off don’t give me confidence that something crazy isn’t just around the corner. I’ve used Ubuntu for a while and tried Mint recently. These are all really cool but I just don’t have the time resource to track and decide which to use.

Maybe I’m wrong and I just have more to learn about how these things work.

You mean ? Sorry, not in the US. Yet.

So… we’ve got two threads going now for this. Here, and the feedback thread .

Merge? Fork? Double-post?

There’s a distinction here, I think; you’re seeing a “fork” as being a bad thing which causes drama. In the other thread, the SuSE people are rather proud of how SuSE Studio contains eleven thousand different “respins” of SuSE. A good proportion of the Debian “forks” are like that; people taking the known-good base of Debian and building a “customised” version of it which meets particular needs. The most prominent example of such a thing is Ubuntu, which by virtue of some of the good engineering and popularity became itself a base on which people could make “flavours” of Ubuntu (Kubuntu, Lubuntu, Ubuntu Studio, and the like). Occasionally there are “respins” which define themselves a new identity and compete against the “parent”: Ubuntu arguably did this with Debian, and Linux Mint do it moreso with Ubuntu. But this “forking”, in both the Debian ecosystem and the SuSE ecosystem, is pretty much seen as a sign of health – you have the freedom to take a well-engineered base and customise it to your liking, and then also the freedom to let other people easily use your customised version if it meets their needs too. There is, occasionally, drama when a “flavour” or “respin” feels that it’s mistreated by the “parent”, or vice versa, but that’s human nature for you; I suspect that anyone who makes a SuSE respin and then finds that it’s broken by changes in OpenSuSE itself feels similarly aggrieved. But these are minor issues.

Here’s a graph of some SuSE Studio respins, so you can see the point; I grabbed details of about 200 of the spins to make the graph, but the actual graph would be a lot more complicated, because there aren’t 200 spins, there are eleven thousand.

“Splitting off” is not drama. It is a good thing.

To be fair, that’s the official thread for the episode (where any topic we discussed in the episode is fair game) while this is the thread specifically asked for in the episode to discuss openSUSE. Because of this, I don’t think a merge make sense.



Ok Lunduke, im backed up and ready to rock it like an OpenSUSE party, w00t w00t.

Seriously if this takes my entire day off im gonna be pissed. also have a ubuntu cd standing by.,

Problems so far…

  • Ok installed, So the installer when it finished rebooted without a prompt first, i thought it crashed. Dont do that again opensuse

  • Also it set my machine to auto login with my account (the admin account) seriously dont do that again opensuse

  • i chose to use xfce as my desktop, opensuse installed 2 screensaver programs, the standard one and the xscreensaver from 1992. both set the different lock times. I didnt release this until i went for a coffee came back and had to login into both, wtf opensuse???

  • set my location to uk in the installer location window and when i logged in the keyboard was set to US, opensue…rly bro? rly?

So not going so good so far, maybe its something i did wrong but huh?

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