Now the time for openSUSE Desktop?

Whether you like it or not, few can argue that Ubuntu has the biggest slice of perceived Linux Desktop market. Yet it seems recently that there are some grumbling under breath about their manner of changes lately;

  • Changing default browser from Google to Yahoo!
  • Removal of Gimp
  • UbuntuOne (proprietary)
  • (possible) replacing on Netbook Remix with Google Docs
  • Mono

While the individual components in and of themselves may not be bad, the manner in which these decisions have been made is leaving a bad taste in some people’s mouths.

Another indicator of Ubuntu’s loss is the gain in Fedora! I don’t mean that to sound like I am downplaying what Fedora has done to the distro lately, merely the combination of Ubuntu’s grumblings and Fedora’s improvements have sone in Fedora’s growing popularity (according to DistroWatch and blog articles and such). Plus Fedora’s reputation regarding FOSS passion.

The problem is Fedora never has and still isn’t a stable-desktop orientated distribution (and why should they?).

OpenSUSE, on the other hand, IS a desktop orientated distribution, and a server-orientated distribution. It kinda sits in 2nd place in both categories.

One would think, NOW is the time for openSUSE to push itself as an alternative desktop environment for those that want to leave Ubuntu.

Question is whether or not openSUSE wants to.

Sits in his most comfortable chair, takes out the popcorn and waits for the usual suspect^W “experts” to show up


Changing default browser from Google to Yahoo!

(As long as they don’t change the default search engine from Firefox to Opera, maybe we’ll be fine and see another day … )

rotfl! You got me there!


  • they changed the default firefox search engine from Google to Yahoo

I’m also not quite sure on this one.

Did I miss something and *Buntu removed it or why is it amongst the examples of “bad moves”?

If the answer to my first question is “no”, you should reconsider, otherwise somebody might really “get you” on that one, too.

No, Mono is still involved though it is seen by some as a bad move.

I haven’t heard any official word, but there was talk about Banshee replacing Rythmbox and I’m in a couple of the threads that have popped up regarding that.

So I guess it should be more like

  • Inclusion of Mono (for some) and increasing reliance of Mono-based apps over existing solutions in spite of Mono/Microsoft patent fears.

Personally I am not anti-Mono (heck, I use openSUSE Gnome, where anything that can be Mono-based is.), but some people feel they are being railroaded and the decision to keep (and build) the Mono applications as default irks some… or a few very vocal users.

On Tue, 2010-02-09 at 17:06 +0000, dragonbite wrote:
> Whether you like it or not, few can argue that Ubuntu has the biggest
> slice of perceived Linux Desktop market. Yet it seems recently that

Actually I can prove that in my opinion, you are correct.


Well I can understand the move to mono a little as they are dropping GIMP for fspot and its pitiful image editor… the worst bit about 10.04
And the move to yahoo also makes sense.
And as for ubuntu one, let it be proprietary whatever.

What about Ubuntu coming with UbuntuOne software (whatever it’s called) installed by default to connect to a proprietary server system?

I think less people would have an issue if UbuntuOne was open source, or if it was something easily opt-ed into post-installation (repositories), or the system could be pointed to or connected to a choice of cloud storage systems (DropBox, etc.)

I dont have an issue with it, let em do as they please.
Having the UbuntuOne app doesnt really go against the GPL, the server client is proprietary but the app can be ported over to other OS’s.
And besides you suggest dropbox, thats proprietary too.

I don’t buy into the meme that says success for openSUSE is ‘the desktop’.

Spoon-feeding people who can’t be bothered to learn and who have temper tantrums at the drop of a hat? No thanks.

Is there any relevance in the question wether now is “the time” for openSUSE?

Sorry, I don’t mean to troll here, but while I love to reflect about the different shades of the open source movement, within this topic I fail to question much more than “So what?”.

Ha ha but then I see you use Yahoo!!!lol!

Um… in what universe is that connected to the topic at hand if I may ask?

IMO we’re talking about a choice that does not have to be made. Everybody speaks about openSUSE, though Gnome and KDE4 are being meant.
I manage a couple of company networks, openSUSE based. Why openSUSE based? Because openSUSE does a wonderful job both on the server and the desktop side. Yast, once you’ve gotten your way in it, is a dream for sysadmins.

My plee is, not to split things up in “server” and “desktop”, keep it a linux distro, instead of just a desktop replacement.

I’m not saying to split the Server and Desktop. Actually, the fact that openSUSE is strong in both aspects gives it a slight advantage over Ubuntu and Fedora/Red Hat.

Ubuntu contains a good desktop, but the server drops people into a command line where everything thereafter is command line unless they install Gnome or some other desktop environment (and the related applications I’ve noticed; Gimp, Epiphany, etc.)

Red Hat (and CentOS) is very good for servers, but the desktop offering seems to lag behind the rest of the distribution and kinda shows where Red Hat’s focus is.

Fedora is alright for Desktop and Server but its stability and short upgrade/support cycle kinda makes it tricky to run production servers very well.

OpenSUSE has what I call “second place” in the desktop and server markets for distributions, and if Ubuntu is getting shot at for its recent moves then now may be a time to push openSUSE desktop as the primary second choice (or eventually first choice… but there’s a lot of work to do to reach that).

Why can’t openSUSE be the first distribution people choose when it comes to installing on their desktop? Why not be the first choice when a small business is looking for what to use on their server and desktop?

OpenSUSE can be that, but right now… it isn’t.

OpenSUSE can be that, but right now… it isn’t.

So what? I really do not understand what the point is…

Besides: a server (as long as it is connected to the www) should definitely not be run with a GUI. I don’t get of what use GIMP or Epiphany would have on a server too… Ubuntu as a server has lots of heavy security issues even without a GUI, though.

Not all servers are connected to the www, but regardless for somebody who is not a very computer savvy person, or not very Linux-savvy, the option of Yast running through the CLI (ncurses?) can make a huge difference.

Someone being not a Linux-savvy shouldn’t run a server - of course it is okay to practise / run one offline or locally.

Yeah,… heaven forbid they want to run a server but couldn’t afford or want to avoid Windows. I mean, why should they even try to expand their knowledge; you’re either born with Linux-savvy or your not!


A server is not a toy. There’s a reason why professional admins are well-paid and need constant retraining - you might have heard of botnetworks, open relays and the like… and running a (online-)server with a GUI is a massive security risk.