Thinking of converting

Hello all Opensuse users.

I currently use Ubuntu 10.10 and have used many linux distro’s over the past 2 years since I first started using linux and don’t think I’ve used a windows computer since. I always ended up settling with Ubuntu because of one major point, Upgrading is easy and there is no need for a fresh install.

After looking and reading about Opensuse it seems like a very solid OS with a nice sleek look and bundles of support, I do however have a few questions before I try it out so any help would be appreciated.

-Rather than using a CD to try out or install a Linux OS I use my 2gb pen drive, however could not get this to work correctly for Opensuse, any reason why?

-What is the minimum system requirements to run Opensuse nicely? Is it heavier or lighter than say Ubuntu or Linux mint?

-How often is a new version of Opensuse released and how easy is it to upgrade to a new release?

-I know how to use Ubuntu very well, is there anything that I should really read up on before I convert if I decide to?

Sorry about the long post and questions, I’m just curious! :slight_smile:

I’m not sure why your usb/live version didn’t work, I would start a thread and find out.

Switching from Ubuntu I would learn Yast. Synaptic is different than Yast. I feel there is more control with Yast with searching and adding software and configurations.

Look at restricted formates and guides.

Adding software sometimes makes you add repositories in Yast.

For me starting out with Ubuntu OpenSuse was a big change. I ran Ubuntu 8.04lts for a ong time, along side Opensuse 11.0. In the end OpenSuse may take longer to learn things as compared to Ubuntu, but I think the end product is worth the learning experience.

With fresh installs, OpenSuse makes it very easy to do. Not sure how you configure your set ups during new installs, but OpenSuse usually suggest
a partition setup of:

all are separate, so during a fresh install, it is very easy and quicker than an upgrade.

Sudo is not used in a terminal look at su -

These are helpful guides I have used

Clear Temp Files at Boot
CUPS - Explained
Repository Management
Multi-media and Restricted Format Installation Guide
Become su in Terminal - HowTo
MMCHECK - Check Your Multimedia in 10 Steps - Script File, as proposed by RedDwarf
openSUSE SuSE Linux HOWTOs and Tutorials by Swerdna

Have fun, I’m sure you’ll get better clarity from the community than this.

You could always dualboot if you wanted, still keep Ubuntu but try out opensuse on the side if you have the hard disk cpace.

openSUSE is approximately the same ‘weight’ as Ubuntu/Linux mint. If one wants a light weight distribution, then none of those (neither Ubunt, nor Linux Mint, nor openSUSE) are IMHO a distro to use. Reference the minimum requirements to use on openSUSE, it depends on ones desktop. OpenSUSE has a pretty reasonable KDE4, Gnome, Xfce, and LXDE desktop. So dependant on one’s desktop IMHO LXDE is the lightest and KDE4/Gnome the heaviest. openSUSE-11.3/11.4 LXDE runs ok on on a PC with only 256MB RAM and a 1GHz CPU. But for KDE or Gnome one is better with 1GB RAM (although they will run slowly with 512MB RAM).

Typically, because Ubuntu uses a different boot process, it will IMHO boot faster than openSUSE, but once running, also IMHO openSUSE runs just as fast if not faster (assuming the same desktops (ie Gnome vs Gnome)) are installed.

There is a new openSUSE release every 8 months. More important, is I think a new release is only supported by SuSE-GmbH for something like 18 to 20 months after its release, although with the EVERGREEN project starting up (currently testing with openSUSE-11.1) the openSUSE community is being asked to step up to the task of providing longer term maintenance. Currently EVERGREEN is working well for openSUSE-11.1 and volunteers are being sought to maintain openSUSE-11.2 (where SuSE-GmbH support is about to expire).

As for updating to a new release, that really depends on one’s installed packages. If one has lots of custom installed packages from 3rd party repositories and/or lots of custom compiled packages, it will be a lot of work. If one has only stock SuSE-GmbH packaged apps it will be easy. I have many 3rd party packaged apps, and so I typically do a CLEAN install with every version that I install, with a fresh format of " / " but I keep my old " /home ". There is more effort being in place now to do an UPDATE (keeping the old " / " and installing on top of it) but I don’t prefer to do that.

There is also the new “TUMBLEWEED-11.4” rolling release under test (ie openSUSE-11.4 with hopefully stable cutting edge updates), with the plan that one will have a smooth rolling update from openSUSE-11.4 to openSUSE-12.1 (the next release - there will be no 12.0). That is fairly new so the jury is still ‘out’ as to how well it will work.

Package management is different in openSUSE from Ubuntu. There are specific forum recommendations as to what repositories to use (I typically recommend only OSS, Non-OSS, Update and Packman, where 1st 3 are official SuSE-GmbH repositories and Packman is the largest 3rd party repository). There are MANY dozens of other repositories but my experience is adding extra repositories causes instability in new users’ PCs who are not familiar with the openSUSE way of doing things, so just stick with those 4.

We have many guides and stickies for things like graphic cards, multimedia, installing 11.4, and I recommend skimming those (so that you know where to find information) BEFORE installing.

If you wish specific hints as to what to expect when installing with your hardware, then post the details of your hardware on our forum BEFORE you install, asking if anyone has any suggestions as to things you should look out for.

Good luck !

Personally, I think Yast is confusing as all get out for software. I like some of the features for system management, but for software management, it confuses me to no end. I’ll open a console and use zypper ANY DAY for software management.

But then, in Ubuntu/Debian (still use both also in addition to OpenSuse) I use apt instead of any gui.

I’d agree with that having run 11.4 side by side on the same hardware with ubuntu 10.10

Actually for me Ubuntu 10.10 and openSUSE boot at about the same time, but this really hinges on your hardware.
Yeah ubuntu boots slightly faster but only by a fraction of a few seconds.

Tumbleweed, I think it’s called. But Thunderbird would be a great name (loved the puppet series as a kid), if not for the email client. :slight_smile:

Mea culpa …

Tumbleweed it should have been (and now is after an edit) !

I tried the conversion from Ubuntu about a year ago because I was hearing a lot of discussion about the main build moving off of Gnome to Unity. I also thought I would try KDE. I should have only switched one thing, distro or desktop. I had a hard time with both changes and getting all my favorite apps to run. It did not go well for me and I and ended up going back to Ubuntu. I upgraded to Narwhal beta about two weeks ago and got the Unity desktop by default…I did not like it and was looking to try Gnome 3.0 on an actual machine instead of just the live disk. I did not like Unity and decided to try openSUSE again. This time I converted with the Gnome desktop. It has gone really well and I have been finding that there are a lot of things in openSUSE that make running the system much easier. The three biggest changes for me are Yast, Zypper, and su/sudo. In short, I think I am converted now. The folks at openSUSE are really nice. I would be remiss if I did not say that I am still a huge Ubuntu fan. Just not sure about Unity in it’s present state. It may turn out to be great once it is polished up a bit. Good luckwith your conversion.

I came back to OpenSuse from Ubuntu 10.10, Ubuntu was causing some random lockups on this hardware,
And with the switch to Unity I decided OK time to go back to Suse. It is a bit different and sometimes you
need to understand you hardware better to get things going. But in the end it’s rock stable, and dependable.
I agree with oldcpu about the repositories except for the libdvdcss repository, (But only if it’s legal in your country)
you will need it to watch most commercial DVD’s .

You can consider ‘weight’ (lightness/heaviness) in two categories:

  • how much disk space does it use?
  • how much ram does it require?

(you might expect processor speed to be in there, too, but normally, for desktops, if you’ve got enough ram, it won’t be a problem).

For disk space, the SUSE installer is better than the Ubuntu one, in that it allows you more fine-grained control of what gets installed (at least if you go to ‘expert options’)…but, if you end up installing the same amount of stuff (or remove the excess after installation), then that doesn’t really help, assuming that you had enough disk space to get through the installation process. And, anyway, disk space is usually not an issue these days, what with terabyte-plus disks becoming more common.

As to ram usage, it depends to a large extent on what you use. KDE is a bit of a ram-hog and so, if ram size is an issue, it would probably be wise to avoid KDE 4. That applies whatever distribution you use. Also, while Gnome has historically been a bit lighter, I am not sure how much Gnome 3 will affect that picture. Neither Gnome nor KDE are really your first choice if ‘lightness’ is a priority.

In addition to your choice of GUI, if you are worried about ram, the applications (and the number that you use simultaneously) are important; you might want to think about, eg, abiword/gnumeric rather than OpenOffice/LibreOffice, if they do the job for you.

IM(NV)HO, SUSE does a better job with KDE than most other distros, so, if your motivation for changing to SUSE was to get the better KDE experience, you should think about whether you will really be able to take advantage of it.

I thought that was an excellent summary…is there a case for taking the information in that post, adding a few of the links to other information and making it a sticky? Or, is everything there already covered in existing guides?