I am Ben and this is going to be my first post here in the openSUSE forums.
I live in Venezuela, in Caracas and I am owner of an IT business, mainly doing tech support, security counseling, web design and programming. Well we are also specialized on Linux. Due to many issues and pain with Windows 8 and 10, I have - due to a friend - decided to switch to Linux about one year and ago. Though planned as a secondary system, Windows caused problems partitioning, so I deleted the whole **** and got Linux as a primary operations system. Though I had worked with Linux and used a Knoppix Pen-drive for some years, for stuff while underway, I did never use Linux as a primary system before.
My first Linux was Kubuntu. I made the choice after comparing Xubuntu - which recommended said friend - and Kubuntu. Since I did not like Gnome or Unity they were the only candidates back then. I had some terrible experience with kubuntu 15.10 so I reversed to 14.04 which was ugly from it GUI but it was great and stable. I did also run a Debian Jessie installation on the work computer. We have always promoted in company the use of Ubuntu in any version for home and personal use and Debian for business use, while we recommended CentOS for Server Use. This has been policy for about 3 years now. I have also attempted to use Mint, with only limited satisfaction.
Now for about two weeks, I am on openSUSE for the first time using a non Debian based system. Nobody recommended SUSE in particular and those friends I asked, who mainly used Ubuntu, did recommend to stay with a solid working Kubuntu 16.04 LTS instead of changing. Well still, I got curious… maybe it comes with the job, being an IT professional, but SUSE had drawn my attention some time ago and I was interested in checking it out. I did some reading and comparisons on the web, however, there was not much help either. Both systems seemed to be equally well, with either one having advantages and disadvantages and also of course there is the opinion of biased people.
When I checked for a Live Version, I was disappointed. I was hoping to try openSUSE without having to install it. However, I was eager to test it out, so I just installed it on my laptop. I decided to leave the /home directory of Kubuntu 16.04 untouched, in the hopes it would work with openSUSE KDE and installed said KDE version. I was surprised about the installer. It was easy and gave way more options, that Kubuntu actually did. I loved that I could decide which software to install and to remove. At the end, besides the 5GB image, I installed an additional 8GB of packages and Software. When the LONG installation (in Venezuela internet is awfully slow) after about 9h was done, I had a fully working and up to date system. The system booted up quickly and without problems. I felt that it was even a bit faster than it was on Kubuntu. Once on the log-in screen and logged into KDE, I had doubts, that in fact the install took place, so I checked if my version indeed was openSUSE. Also my home directory was still there with all of the stuff in it. DOSbox Games, programming stuff, books… all there and working! Phew! I was happy.
During the installation I read through all of the start up manual and found out, that many things indeed are equal to Kubuntu. Hence there was not much to learn about commands and things, as long as it was not related to package management and RPM / Zypper vs. APT. I spent another couple of hours, trying out the system, playing around with YaST and doing all kind of things. I am actually surprised, how easy and user friendly openSUSE is. It allows a lot more flexibility and ease in setting up user accounts, user permissions or security related things, while at the same with YaST being easy to use and quickly done. Command Line use - even for me as an experienced user - as well as manual file changing has been pretty much unnecessary with SUSE in order to get my system running as necessary in a multi user network and corporate environment.
I have spent the past two weeks or so to play around, try out things, test things. I have attempted to be my “noobish” wife, breaking the system and also let my daughter try to use the system for educational and gaming stuff. Both found it more easy and comfortable to use than Kubuntu and unlike said system - which had been broken because of improper management or stuff done it twice - there have been no issues with openSUSE for the past two weeks.
Which was planned as a test has since become a permanent solution. I have decided to leave my Laptop on openSUSE and we also installed it on the home computers. We are now in the process of installing it on the work computers and even said friend, who got me into Linux is now installing a copy of openSUSE. I am really happy and confident with the system and I love it already. I do not regret saying goodbye to Kubuntu and we have certainly taken openSUSE into consideration in business as well. We will be looking at openSUSE is a perfect cross platform system, being used on home computers and business computers from both skilled and inexperienced personal. We will keep Ubuntu solutions in mind for some cases but we will be focusing on openSUSE more. Now, there is not much I can say about the server, as we never tried to use or run openSUSE as a Server OS, so for the time being, we keep working with the known CentOS here.
This said, I want to summarize some points:
- Installation was easy and offered way more options, even for the average users, than for example Mint, Debian or Ubuntu do
- Documentation and Manuals are awesome. I downloaded all the books and documentation and spent time reading them. Examples and topics are directed to both professional and average users and are just a great asset.
- Management of things appears to be better and easier with openSUSE than with Ubuntu or Debian, be it as an expert or as an average user
- While Ubuntu seems to well represented with forums like askubuntu.com to find information, there is little documentation available about how to actually do things. The Ubuntu online manual is OK and the community wiki is not bad either, but much information there is outdated and the Ubuntu manual does only in a limited way apply to xUbuntu systems, which made me have to search for stuff, when it occurred or on a need to know base, rather than having an option to inform and read important things in a preventive way before something actually occurred. For example, reading the security manual, I had a great idea of what I can do with openSUSE and how. On Kubuntu Systems I had to thing of features and possibilities myself and - if in doubt - run a search to see if it is possible to do and how.
Still, there is a lot to learn and a lot to find out. Which is interesting and appealing at the same time. I am really looking forward to it.
Sorry for the very long post and a nice day to everyone.
Greetings from Caracas,