Like previous versions of OpenSUSE, the install was painless and fast. The overall experience is very polished. Application installation is a breeze. The only hitch I’ve encountered are a few one-click install games didn’t work for me. Alien Arena being one. Other than that, I love this release. If running 11.1, I definitely think it’s worth upgrading to 11.2.
Without a doubt, I consider OpenSUSE to be the best Linux for the no-fuss user. It’s like comparing a Mac to a PC. It’s a system that looks great and just works. However, I think it would benefit to simplify it’s defaults.
Now for my soapbox speech:
There was quite a controversy about choosing Firefox over Konqueror as the default browser. There’s the OpenOffice vs KOffice debate. And the Gnome vs KDE wars rage on. Here’s my 2 cents on said issues: As a Linux distribution, stop trying to stand in the middle. Choose a side and let other Linux distributions pick up the slack.
OpenSUSE should build it’s distribution around KDE. Stop spending so much time trying to sway Gnome users. Gnome is great and all, but dividing resources to build up two desktop environments seems a waste to me. Choose one as a default that defines the distribution (KDE), make the other(s) available as options. Don’t bother “branding” the others. Just provide them as is and focus on providing a premiere experience with KDE. Why KDE? Because OpenSUSE already does the best job at providing a KDE desktop. Stick with what you’re best at.
As for Office apps, make KOffice part of the default install. Sure OpenOffice is better, but KOffice integrates well with KDE. It makes the system look complete. It’s smaller and faster and a general good choice for most basic user needs. KOffice is small and fast enough. It should just be part of the default install.
Stick with Konqueror. Firefox is a great web browser. I use it exclusively when doing web development. But for general browsing, I use Konqueror. It’s faster, looks good, and like KOffice, it integrates well with the KDE environment.
So that’s it. I really like OpenSUSE 11.2. It’s a polished system. My only con is the feeling that OpenSUSE is divided on what it’s defaults are (ie: what defines an OpenSUSE system). I would rather see OpenSUSE put a stick in the ground. Choose one desktop to build it’s extreme user experience around. And make it extreme! Choices are nice, but they can also dilute the system. To me, choices are what you add to a default system, not what defines the default system.