I’ve tried quite a few different distros over the years and always went back to openSUSE. I ran Fedora for a while in the past and thought it worked well. KDE is not the default desktop for Fedora, so it sounds like KDE usage for Fedora users is nowhere near the amount of Gnome users, kind of like how not that many openSUSE users are using Gnome 3. Nonetheless, I’m sure you can get Gnome Shell running well under openSUSE 13.2, as would be the case of KDE on Fedora 21. This creates a problem, though, when you’re seeking support for a desktop environment that’s the underdog on whichever distro. Some personal observations of mine between the two are:
Zypper, Yum, and APT all have worked well for me; some proponents of Zypper make claims about how much better it is than Yum (which will soon use the dependency solver from openSUSE), but their arguments on the internet are mostly unsubsantiated. I would like more info on if this is true or not, without the fanboy mentality. Some have even gone out of their way to make APT sound like it’s awful and slow, but I haven’t ever had an issue with it.
Regarding the KDE spin of Fedora, it has no front end for Yum by default, so everything has to be done via the command line or with Apper. From what I read you can install Yum Extender, but the screen shots I pulled up make the tool look way less functional than the software manager in YaST2. Yumex looks more like Apper to me. The bottom line is that for software management, YaST2 offers an extremely powerful tool that’s one of a kind, and whoever came up with the original incarnation of it is hopefully still writing sotware.
Fedora 21 has a nice looking firewall that looks like it was recently developed. It’s layout is better than the one found in YaST2 and it seems like changes are written instantly, whereas the firewall in YaST2 takes time to write changes to disk, has way less options, and the interface is a bit dated and clunky. I still like the YaST2 firewall, but when I looked at Fedora’s firewall I was really impressed.
KDE on Fedora has what looks to be just the default theme that ships with KDE, whereas KDE on openSUSE 13.2 ships with a default theme that’s unique to the distro.
openSUSE is using Wicked instead of ifup, whereas Fedora is still using ifup. I could be wrong on this, though. I really know nothing about Wicked other than that it’s there, and don’t know why it has superseded ifup.
Fedora’s KDE spin had quite a few applications installed by default which looked to be totally useless (bloatware).
Feel free to add any of your thoughts. I think both are good/stable distros, but since I wouldn’t touch Gnome 3 with a 10-foot pole, and YaST2 is a unique feature that I’ve always liked and no other distro offers it, openSUSE has always been the go-to distro for me.
I did use Fedora w/KDE (and openSUSE w/Gnome… I guess I don’t like going “default”?). While the support is not the same, I did find that by posting KDE questions here or Gnome questions there, I would usually get an answer I can “translate” to my current environment.
Fedora mostly runs things “stock” because they pass changes to the upstream as a means to improve it in their distribution release, rather than going about it themselves or heavily customizing it. OpenSUSE is pretty good about this but Ubuntu is nearly the opposite (which is my biggest opposition to Ubuntu but that’s beside the point).
I appreciate their support for all things FOSS and upstream, but things like including Calligra Office instead of LibreOffice makes me prefer to use the DVD if I am installing on a system I plan on keeping it on for a long period (and not distro-hop).
It sounds like the firewall controls in Yast could benefit from some ui improvements…
Did you see any performance difference between the two distributions running basically the same desktop environment? For example, I find Fedora is (or has been) usually a little quicker booting up than openSUSE but that is just on some of my systems and the difference appears to be getting smaller.
Have you tried using Fedy to install codecs, mp3 support, java, etc? It does a reasonable job of tweaking fedora.
Personally, I prefer openSUSE to Fedora though I will say that I think Fedora does a better job in supporting uefi + secure boot than opensuse (for example the development of dbxtool to handle the secure boot blacklist).
Used many many different GNU/Linux OS’, I do believe that openSUSE is a great middle ground between Fedora and Debian. There are things I like about Fedora and things I do not (mainly RedHat, so that is a problem), really like Debian and its commitment to FOSS, however, they are starting to have some problems internally within the “leadership”… These among other things brought me back to openSUSE.
Also, upgrades with Fedora are still buggy at best. openSUSE is much smoother, Debian upgrades are the easiest, then openSUSE… Fedora…still better to do a clean install, and upgrading every 6-12 months is not my style, prefer more stability than that.