Sunday, December 30, 2007

OpenSUSE 10.3

I've just replaced Ubuntu 7.10 with OpenSUSE 10.3 on my desktop. I occasionally test various distros just to see how they perform but usually go back to the one I got used to use. Ubuntu has been my distro of choice starting from Dapper release (6.06), but I'm getting worried about the directions they take and overall progress of that distro; they seem to focus on adding new enhancements rather than polishing the distro and hammering bugs out; other than that, 6-months release cycle is IMHO not good for the quality - they should rather release it when it's ready. Having said that, I really like OpenSUSE. It has some glitches, but overall it looks really polished and professional. I had some gripes with my Atheros-based wifi card after installation (due to lack od madwifi on the DVD), but other than that everything works great. Yast is a really nice shortcut for doing some initial administrative tasks, although it could see some performance improvements. I also like the idea of OpenSUSE' One-Click software installation - this really works! So, to summarize my two-days experience, here are the pros and cons:
  • really nice looking default artwork and theme
  • runs fast
  • Yast2 saves time on manual configuration and works well
  • Huge selection of software via additonal repositories; easy access to community repositories (via Yast2)
  • One-click software installation (on, easy installation of NVidia (and ATI) drivers
  • No madwifi in default installation
  • Yast2 can make life difficult sometimes (e.g. by requiring no manual modifications in xorg.conf)
  • occasional xdialog popups on errors (probably related to Yast2 errors)