hi to everyone, I’m new of this forum. I tried to install openSuSE 10 some years ago, but in the end I had to change it with Ubuntu for compatibility issues. Now I change my PC and I want an OS based onto RPM (also because I didn’t like some choices of Canonical and Ubuntu Linux), so I tried to install before Fedora and now openSuSE.
The first impression of the new release of openSuSE (11.2) is quite good.
Download openSUSE 11.2 from the official website is really simple, above all the choice of the best “installation and download medium” (DVD, Live CD, Network and Direct Link, BitTorrent, Mirror, …) for your preferences (GNOME or KDE, 32 bit or 64 bit). Actually, it is more SIMPLE, CLEAR and COMPLETE than any other Linux dist download page.
In the end I downloaded openSuSE 11.2 DVD 64 bit.
The installation was really CLEAR and FAST. Only the partitioning part is not so clear and user-friendly, probably a graphical approach would be more intuitive (easy).
Ok, I’m one of those people who doesn’t like to employ more than 20 minutes to install an OS. I prefer to take my time to develop (than to install)!
Finally, I could load openSuSE 11.2… The boot loader is GOOD (I don’t like so many colours, I prefer the neutral black&white of Ubuntu, but for this time I could make an exception…). The beginning was great. The OS loader is really COOL, and Geeko (the chamaleon of SuSE Linux) is wonderful. I don’t like really much only the login interface, but is only an opinion.
The new theme of GNOME in openSuSE 11.2 (Sonar) is really COOL, perhaps not very professional (and neutral) for a working environment, but really NICE.
One of the more interesting aspects in openSUSE is the menu. I don’t really like the Traditional GNOME Main Menu (Application-Places-System). I don’t think that GNOME Menu Bar is a good menu, one for all is not so clear and user-friendly. Fortunately in openSuSE there is a different menu (one of the few Linux dist to offer a personalized menu). SuSE Main Menu is clearer and easier to use, but in terms of graph is decidedly unkempt (why use the label “Computer” instead of the SuSE logo like in Traditional Main Menu?). Into SuSE Main Menu I don’t like also that there isn’t possible of open “More Applications…” directly into the menu. Why in GNOME is not possible to have a menu like in KDE?
I also like the Control Center. It is something necessary for a better and easier use of Linux configurations. Ubuntu lacks of this.
openSuSE has more compatibility issues than most quoted Ubuntu and Fedora. Ok, it functions from the beginning, but without many things like 3D Desktop Effects. For example, in my experience, there wasn’t a tool that detect my Graphics Card (NVIDIA GeForce GT 220), and there wasn’t any kind of help on-line that tells me how to activate the owners driver. In really in almost all Linux distributions there isn’t a tool that show to the user the hardware of the computer and the drivers installed. This is strange because if there was a tool like this, an user could know what drivers are missing, what proprietary drivers…
Until here openSuSE 11.2 is really SIMPLE, EASY and FAST. But now I’ll explain about something that makes openSuSE much more confusing and less simple than before. One for all the similar aspects of “Control Center” and “YaST Control Center” that could confused the new users about the difference of this two Control Center. Besides if you put the Traditional GNOME Main Menu (Application-Places-System) you could show how many unnecessary applications were installed (for example: is really necessary install 2 browsers and 3 terminal? Aren’t Firefox and GNOME Terminal enough?). Above all the duplicate (redundant) of “Add/Remove Software” and “YaST Software Manager”… does it have any sense?
In conclusion openSuSE 11.2 is a good OS, but it could be much better than now. Yes, because it has all the characteristics to be the best Linux OS: a system established over time, a good number of users in working environment and a large community and, for last but not least, a sponsorship with a manufacturer of hardware (HP) that in future may provide for the sale of PC/Laptop with pre-installed openSuSE.
So my final mark of openSuSE 11.2 is 7/10 (only for the too many application pre-installed), but for sure I intend to continue to use openSUSE and so I hope that in time my first valutation could significantly improve!