Hello and first experiences with openSUSE

Hello Everyone,

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. :stuck_out_tongue:

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,


Hi, Ben
and Welcome.
I’m Albfneto, a Brazilian OpenSUSE user.
About no Live CD or DVD.
this is an classic bahaviour in RPM Distros. I observed this in OpenSUSE, in the old Mandriva and also in the Mageia.
for me, no pŕoblem. I used Linux each day since 2007;
My Favorite Distros are Sabayon (is an Italian Gentoo based) and OpenSUSE.
I use both, each day.
OpenSUSE is excelent and is a professional Distro.

Glad to hear you have had a very satisfying experience. openSUSE is a good distro and has a good community to support it.

Welcome and glad you are pleased with openSUSE. I too find it a rock solid distribution of Linux and it too is my OS of choice for my house. I have found the documentation in openSUSE to be some of the best with perhaps only Arch inching out ahead in some areas. Though, I have done a little here and there to improve the openSUSE wiki.

I find this community to be great and extremely helpful in helping to solve issues.

For the live CD version, you could try GeckoLinux which is based on openSUSE and built using SUSE Studio


They have the Live CDs and, although I haven’t given it spin yet, I am going to try the Cinnamon version out.

Hope this helps and that you continue to enjoy your openSUSE experience.


Welcome Ben. Happy to hear about your positive experiences. In response to your specific experiences I just want to
highlight the few ways in which openSUSE may of particularly benefited you and will hopefully continue to do so:

  1. YaST: since you’re new to openSUSE but obviously proficient in GNU/Linux it’s more than worth spending a LOT of
    time exploring YaST because it will save you time in the long run. It’s true YaST can’t handle every single
    configuration change, but I regard what changes YaST does make as the `gold standard’ for good GNU/Linux practice and
    implement it’s approach if I have to use other GNU/Linux approaches.

  2. DE multivalence: somehow, the openSUSE developers have managed to support the main DEs (KDE/GNOME) equally well,
    and AFAIK is the only GNU/Linux binary distribution that does so. For some strange reason, GNOME is more supported than
    KDE across the various GNU/Linux distributions and it seems while some GNU/Linux distributions do support KDE, they
    provide not nearly as-polished experiences as openSUSE (e.g. Ubuntu, Fedora).

  3. The openSUSE forum: since it appears you’re thinking of a possible server installation, you’ll find there are plenty
    of openSUSE forum regulars here who will happy to help and answer your questions. The openSUSE community are generally
    quite proficient, helpful, and friendly and you will have high signal-to-noise-ratios in responses to any questions you
    ask. Bear in mind the regulars are usually busy people, so the more specific you make your questions with as much
    information as possible, the better your signal-to-noise-ratio will be in the responses. Since you are currently running
    CentOS on your server, you might want to keep it that way until you’re confident that openSUSE will fulfil all the
    requirements in the way you want. I usually keep three GNU/Linux installs on every server I look after (one active, two
    backup - one RPM, one DEB, one source) but I have very specific (programming-related) requirements. Since Centos is
    working for you, I strongly recommend you keep it on standby if you decide to try openSUSE on your server.

Welcome to openSUSE and to the openSUSE forum.

I’m a big GNU/Linux fan and have been using a variant of openSUSE (or an earlier 'carnation) for years. As already noted we have a pretty friendly community - so if you have troubles make a post and likely someone will chime in with some suggestions after some time. I find after being a user and contributor for years, people begin to know one, and that also often makes it even easier to get support when one gets stumped on some issue - or needs some guidance on another. We are all mostly volunteers with day jobs and social lives … etc … so sometimes it can be a bit slow for support.

I admire your tenacity to survive through a 9hour download. I think 13-mintues or so is what it normally takes for my downloads, and I do not have the fastest internet possible where I live. Even that seems too long for me.

wrt user friendliness - sometimes I think this all relative dependent on the person. My 92-year old mother has been an openSUSE user now for almost 10-years, after I installed openSUSE GNU/Linux on her PC as a hedge & fix against the constant MS-Windows maleware her PC was constantly being afflicted with. Initially her setup was a dual Windows/openSUSE boot, but then after some years I modified her setup to be an openSUSE boot with Windows running inside Virtual Box sesson - and Vitual Box running inside openSUSE. She mostly uses openSUSE and only occasionally launches her virtualized MS-Windows.

In fact, she lives in North America and I live in Europe, and hence I maintain her PC a continent away using ssh and VNC (although I am pondering a switch to x2go). So I figure if she can use openSUSE GNU/Linux , then so can most. Albeit my maintenance does make it easier for her.

Don’t forget to add the packman packager repository to obtain great multimedia application access. I do recommend thou, keeping your repositories at the bare minimum. The Quality Assuance on many 3rd party repositories is a bit lacking, and one can slow down their system and cause dependency hiccups if one goes beyond the miniumum repositories. Repositories can be easily added, removed, added removed … etc … while keeping the minimum.

When searching for help, in addition to our forum, I find a wiki search using the search “openSUSE wiki subject” can help … ie “openSUSE wiki skype” or “openSUSE wiki vnc” … etc …
And the forums are only one part of the openSUSE support network. Take a look at the openSUSE communication channels to see what else is available: https://en.opensuse.org/openSUSE:Communication_channels