Turns out that not everyone loves openSUSE...


This should be something to take seriously. I personally like openSUSE, but there are a lot of criticisms raised in that topic, such as (the validity of these claims may be disputable, but the point is that many are unhappy with the distro):

  • YaST overwrites any previous manual configurations
  • The distro is bloated
  • Zypper has issues with keeping packages up-to-date cross-repository
  • The font rendering is bad
  • Firefox is slower than on Ubuntu
  • Big, clunky, and slow overall

I personally haven’t run into any of these issues, although I can’t speak much to comparison-based complaints (more bloated, slower programs, etc.). If these are valid complaints, though, then they should be fixed as soon as they can.

Overall (to that community at least, but it’s a fairly large one and probably not unique in its opinions), it seems like openSUSE lacks a big draw. The sentiment is that YaST is unnecessary and buggy, and without YaST there’s nothing to differentiate it. Fedora is leaner, Debian is considered more stable, and Ubuntu the undisputed king of user-friendliness.

Any thoughts? Ideas?

Been using Opensuse/Suse since 2000; it’s great. If others do not like it, maybe they are just stupid?

So I am not sure what that discussion proves or if it is some how required that everyone likes openSUSE. In general, no matter the software or operating system, you will have people that like it and people that do not. Most people that don’t like it had a bad experience somewhere down the line and those that think it is great had a good experience more often than not. People that do well with openSUSE have invested enough time to not only get what they want to work, but actually have the Linux OS exceed everything else they have tried. While those that never spent enough time to get past the problems they experienced seldom give it a second chance.

As hardware continues ever marching forward, you will likly run into something made for Windows that does not work with openSUSE. Long ago I decided I would buy hardware intended or known to work with Linux and in all likelihood it would still work with Windows if it needed to. For me, openSUSE made the grade at version 10.0 when it was the first distro I got to boot and work from an external hard drive paired with my work supplied Dell laptop. I was working out of town and for very unusual reasons, bored to death at night. This gave me the time to start working with several Linux distros and finally settling on SuSE. I have stuck with openSUSE and learned a very lot about openSUSE in this very forum. I don’t begrudge any other Linux distro and wish them well. It is the diversity in Linux that makes it great in my opinion.

If someone asks the best Linux distribution I tell them I think it is openSUSE and it does not matter really what anyone else might think.

Thank You,

While I sympathise with your desire to see openSUSE get better, unfortunately a post like this is like a call for world peace. Ok maybe not that general, but what I mean is it’s lacking in details. The only way openSUSE can get better is when users submit bug reports, feature requests to discuss, experiment and suggest improvements to developers.

So if you have any personal experiences that you think could be improved, post away. Otherwise it’s just chit-chat.

Also there’s no need to be best in everything. openSUSE is good for my personal use, but for various other reasons, I will use other distros where they are more appropriate. But being based on Linux, a lot of my knowledge carries over. This diversity but common heritage is a strength.

YaST overwrites any previous manual configurations

This is a classic. I use openSUSE since version 10.0 and YaST never ever overwrote what I have set elsewhere unless I told him to do so. As I said, it’s a classic I have read many times, yet my own experience is different. I am not even sure whether this was ever true.

The distro is bloated

I am not sure what people mean by the term ‘bloated’. YaST offers uninstalling packages during the initial install, which works quite easy as it offers to choose patterns. If you do not like a default choice, just change it.

Zypper has issues with keeping packages up-to-date cross-repository

When using multiple repositories one has to understand the concept of either switching packages to one repository or setting priorities for each repo (preferably both). If one does not, packages will only be managed by the original repository, even when other repositories offer more current versions.

The font rendering is bad

Not here (what can I say?).

Firefox is slower than on Ubuntu

This is as random as the last one - I don’t see a reason why it should. openSUSE uses the same Firefox as every other distro.

Big, clunky, and slow overall

But… how? :slight_smile:

I have used and tested some other distributions next to openSUSE, and the only thing I noticed that was slower was the package management, which indeed was a nightmare - but that changed with the introduction of zypper, which matured in openSUSE 11.0 (I think). But beside that…

Also I do not see a reason to panic about this thread; most negative comments come from users who have used SuSE years ago (they mention version 9.0 or the time when S.u.S.E. was only available via a commercial box-version), plus there are many positive comments as well. That’s pretty common, isn’t it? Browse through this forum and read some of the comments about Ubuntu, one would think it’s the devil itself. :slight_smile:

I guess I made this post to help clarify some of what was written, in particular to see if anyone had experienced something similar.

My hope is that some of what they’re talking about is founded in something that can be identified and fixed. If so, it would be a great opportunity to fix it; if not, I’m not sure. Maybe run some tests to get some concrete data rather than conjecture?

It’s good to keep an open mind about potential problems and flaws, lest one be overtaken by rabid fanboyism. =P

Sure, be our guest and post your findings. :slight_smile:

YaST overwrites any previous manual configurations

Haven’t seen this really. One thing i do know is, that not all adjustments made in Yast are written in the config (aka printer).

The distro is bloated

This is a bold statement. Some people complain for the same reason about KDE. How can measure anyone anyway what is bloated. The same goes to other OS’s too. But with more features build in, bigger code its getting bigger. Thats just the way it is. I think faster it would only go if one writes it in assembler.

Zypper has issues with keeping packages up-to-date cross-repository

Not sure… Haven’t tracked it.

The font rendering is bad

The fonts given in default are not the greatest. Well, free. :slight_smile:
I noticed that they look somewhat bad if you go to bigger pixels. I usually change to non free fonts.

Firefox is slower than on Ubuntu

There are people sitting in front of machines and measure something like this with a watch? How many seconds is the difference?

Big, clunky, and slow overall

Mm… its big alright. But it looks modern to me and slow it is not. At least on my machine.

I was considering it, but I’m not sure how best to go about it. The easiest way would be to just set up two virtual machines, one with openSUSE and one with another distro, and do comparisons that way. I don’t really want to have to re-partition my hard drive to squeeze in another distro. =)

If anyone has any suggestions on this sort of thing, let me know. I may just look into it.

On Thu, 19 May 2011 01:36:02 +0000, kog13 wrote:

> Any thoughts? Ideas?

You can’t please everyone.


Jim Henderson
openSUSE Forums Administrator
Forum Use Terms & Conditions at http://tinyurl.com/openSUSE-T-C

Everybody can go ahead and find THE distro which is suitable for them. If ubuntu is good for someone else, it is fine. openSUSE has been very good for me. Extremely good looking, fast, flexible and stable. And a great community support.

Comparing two distros in a virtual machine will give you potentially errorneous results. So i would not say, that is a good thing.

On 05/19/2011 03:36 AM, kog13 wrote:
> Any thoughts? Ideas?

isn’t it just wonderful that we have the freedom to choose which distro
we want…based on our own personal needs, experience level and whims…

not only can we choose which distro we can choose which is the
‘perfect’ mix of software for our needs/wants/etc…that is, if through
rigorous and comprehensive side by side testing of Firefox vs Chrome vs
Opera etc on Ubuntu vs openSUSE vs Fedora etc we learn . . .

now, go out and try that on any hard-/soft-ware product
made/sold/distributed by Microsoft, Apple, Oracle, Nokia, Research In
Motion etc…

i think openSUSE it is pretty good…not perfect, but okay for me for
now…however if someone reads “Ubuntu the undisputed king of
user-friendliness” and wants to change openSUSE to become the undisputed
king of ease of use without reading, without thinking, without
understanding, without caring–then, i will have to seek a less
Windows-like system…

see, measuring “user-friendliness” is highly dependable on past
experience and when 98% or the worlds users say Linux is not user
friendly, what they are really complaining about is that Linux is not
Windows . . . DUH!

dd CAVEAT: http://is.gd/bpoMD
[NNTP via openSUSE 11.4 [] + KDE 4.6.0 + Thunderbird 3.1.10]
Dual booting with Sluggish Loser7 on Acer Aspire One D255

When I came to openSUSE, It was in a mad attempt to get a distro that would install on my Laptop, I don’t recall just how many distro’s I tried to install just that I burnt an incredible number of CD’s and DVD’s. The OP comments about what was said about openSUSE would fit with what I found trying with the other distro’s. Funny thing is, I have many PC’s and not one of them has the identical distro not to mention version as any other.

When I came to openSUSE this was one of my biggest problems. Yet-Another-System-Tool was seen in fact as Yet-Another-Stupid-Tool that reported a bad value in the network set-up (which I might add IT made the bad value) asked you to acknowledge the message and then cycled around to report it again instead of fixing it or letting you out of the loop to fix it. Secondly, this tool couldn’t understand that a usb printer is NOT a network printer needing ipv6 protocol! Turn off Ipv6 and remove entries in fstab (made by Yast) for it and presto, network works, printers work, wifi works, and one is happy.

This is a bold statement. Some people complain for the same reason about KDE. How can measure anyone anyway what is bloated. The same goes to other OS’s too. But with more features build in, bigger code its getting bigger. Thats just the way it is. I think faster it would only go if one writes it in assembler.

What people fail to realize that unlike M$ a big distro does not mean bloat. Bloat is where every conceivable feature no matter how obscure is crammed into the OS forcing the need for big memory, fast hardware (cpu and drives) and where the settings of every program install is held in memory even when such applications haven’t been used for years think ‘windows registry’. Yes, Linux distro vary in OS size for the features they want in their branding. Too many equate the size of install with bloat and to them I simply say then change what you install as apps then. I remember when Linux classic comment was “Linux works best with older hardware … Newer hardware will be usable when programmers have the time to reverse engineer and write the code for them” this was back in days of RedHat 5.1. Back then my perfectly working mustek 600III parport scanner worked in Linux but then the kernel changed for 5.2 and they reported that due to conflict and coding issues to accomodate CIS scanners CCD scanner support has been dropped from the kernel. Point is that people talk about bloat and then complain that their favorite this or that won’t work.

“I think faster it would only go if one writes it in assembler.” I am with you all the way here! I know how I will get lots of flame here but the fact of computer science is that faster but more lazy program coding does not equal faster more efficient programs. C/C++ has been heralded as the best thing since mom’s apple pie. It allows for easier more understandable code that is more human readable. Fine, but our objective is to have the code more machine readable as long gone are the days of a front panel with 64 lights, 64 switches and a push button or dare I say card reader.

I have been following along in another thread where discussion is being waged about a universal all distribution package manager. It was said that the reason that one would not work is because each distribution is different with different C libraries, different resources etc. Well, it is time to wake up, the x86 or xx86 architecture use the same op codes regardless of whether it is running M$, Ubuntu, or openSUSE! Assembly language understands this even if C/C++ doesn’t. The simple solution is to write the C for the package management, convert to assembly (this step is for the benefit of those who never learned a real assembly language). Do the same for the required libraries. Then merge the code into 1 final product that does not rely on libraries and compile it with a standard gcc. You would now have a single package menagement program that will work indefinately on every distro out there.

Another approach is to use xBasic because it has the simplicity of BASIC but includes the power of C, assembly, and libraries. It compiles into a program that is library independant and outputs both binary package and assembly source. Different method same result.

I wonder how many of the incompatibility issues or bugs are really just bad fit of programs to the libraries they reference.

kog13 wrote:
> - YaST overwrites any previous manual configurations
When and what? I have never seen that. Maybe that comes from users who do
not understand the concept of /etc/sysconfig? No idea.

> - The distro is bloated
Nearly every of the main distros can be considered as bloated if someone
simply clicks through the setup accepting every default setting. But it is
the decision of the person who sets it up what you really want. You can
choose a top down or bottom up approach. With this I mean, you can set it up
the default way and then remove the things considered as bloated (whatever
that means, because that is a highly individual point of view what a person
considers as bloated and what not) or install minimal and add step by step
what you want in addition.

> - Zypper has issues with keeping packages up-to-date
> cross-repository
I do not understand that statement at all. I am not too familiar with all
the other distros but to a certain degree with debian and arch, which I use
beside openSUSE (debian on one machine for real work and arch for playing
since I like its ports like software management), Mint and Ubuntu which I
sometimes set up together with people who want to use it and are completely
new to linux and it is overall very similar that you have to assign proper
attributes to your repositories (priorities for example or locking packages
…) not to mess any system.
But the statement “has problems keeping packages up-to-date” I really do not
understand, this is exactly a point where I have never seen any problem with

> - The font rendering is bad
The default could be better, but there are or were reason whay it is not
(the subpixel patent issue, which is now gone) and I always configure
manually the corresponding repo to improve that.
The font rendering in Ubuntu and Mint are better because they never cared
about license and patent issues at all. Look at other distros where the
philosophy is more similar to openSUSE (in terms of taking care about such
license and patent issues) like debian and you will see the same font
rendering as in openSUSE - you have to tweak that manually.

> - Firefox is slower than on Ubuntu
No idea, I never took a stop watch to compare it.

> - Big, clunky, and slow overall
My own experience is the opposite, maybe that comes from bad configuration
(or not adjusting the drivers for the hardware) on the users machine.
I set up openSUSE also on relatively weak machines (full blown with KDE or
Gnome) and was surprised that is seemed to be more responsive and snappy
than Ubuntu and Mint which I tried on the same machines to find the distro
which fits best for it.

That answers do not claim that openSUSE is a distro without any problems, I
suffered myself sometimes from problems which were difficult to solve. But
that is also true for any other linux distro I ever tried.
And if I google for problems when I run into one , I often end up at Ubuntu
(many times without usefull solution) or Arch forums (containing usefull
solutions) describing the same problem for their distro (and if a solution
is given it can be adjusted to work with openSUSE). So many problems are
simply not distro specific others are specific.

PC: oS 11.3 64 bit | Intel Core2 Quad Q8300@2.50GHz | KDE 4.6.3 | GeForce
9600 GT | 4GB Ram
Eee PC 1201n: oS 11.4 64 bit | Intel Atom 330@1.60GHz | KDE 4.6.0 | nVidia
ION | 3GB Ram

This is also a personal opinion, as such is might express different concepts and experiences.

I don’t really care, I don’t use YaST neither have need for it.

I don’t really agree, if openSUSE is bloated, so are many others… openSUSE is a downstreamer.

I have 17 repositories configured, all well configured and the updates don’t fail. People talk too much without maybe learning how to configure a repository properly (all at the same priority? sure it will fail).

Export regulations, patents and more… besides font rendering is something you should maybe point to GNOME or KDE maybe. As I said previously we are downstreamers of such projects, and in OBS there are font rendering packages to improve font rendering in GNOME2 for example (the same stuff used by Ubuntu, which is tainted with patents and export restrictions).

My Volkswagen Phaeton is actually faster than many Mercedes and BMW’s out there.

but reliable… and any linux system is the reflection of it’s admin. Maybe the admin’s aren’t placing efforts in system and user space improvements.

Credit to the guy in the the source thread for fielding many of the out-of-date objections and opinions re openSUSE. I’m sure I have seen many of those criticisms trolled here some time ago, and there used to be more of that until strong rebuttals from forum members (rightly or wrongly) saw them off.

It’s always more difficult to win back disgruntled users than it is to lose them in the first place through, for example, quality issues or outdated product.

My biggest gripe with openSUSE has always been with many NEW members to the community (and some old members) more than with the product itself.

Many new (and also a surprising number of long in the tooth) openSUSE users who have never contributed anything to the distro, complain or rant about some feature, but can not be bothered to contribute one bit. For example, many such users who have complaints about openSUSE (relative to other OS or other distributions) have a WRONG illusion that our forum is run by well paid employees whose job is to help the distribution run more smoothly. (it is not). Many such users also have a WRONG illusion that our forum is visited and monitored by the developers and managers of the openSUSE distribution. (it is not) Many such users NEVER take the time to participate in the mailing lists, in the IRC chat conferences, nor provide an openFATE submission. Indeed many NEVER try to help on our volunteer forum. I repeat volunteer forum (and unpaid I might add).

Both wrong illusions and a TOTAL unwillingness to provide any help (but only provide criticism) illustrates (together with a number of wrong technical criticisms) a complete ignorance of openSUSE and indeed a complete ignorance of how free open source GNU/Linux survives and thrives.

In truth, its good to see some of these misinformed users post on our forum, as perhaps that is the first step toward enlightenment and contribution, but sadly instead their comments are so far out in left field in totally NOT understanding the process that makes opensUSE better that NOTHING comes of their comments and they never graduate to the second step of contributing.

What openSUSE really needs is more volunteers who are informed and who actually contribute and not just rant. But I’m under no illusion and I doubt that those who RANT and complain will ever contribute. Instead they are more likely to jump to another distribution and raise the same (or similar) rants after a while.

Such, unfortunately, is one of the BIG negative aspects of GNU/Linux and open source free software. OpenSUSE shares the same boat here with most other GNU/Linux distributions.

Load of old Hogwash !

I think that part of the problem really is that ubuntu has a very large user base and as a consequence there are more people who are prepared to maintain it and sort problems out. They have gained many windows users that way and also by having a set update/bug fix and release policy. As it was basically a gnome based distro it was never of any interest to me. Before moving from 10.3 to 11.4 I did try kubuntu. It’s very very easy to install even with an up to date nvidia driver. To me though once I looked through their forum it seems a little crippled. I had to wonder about installing what ever I want to on it.

I’ve been with suse for a long long time suse. It had 3 attractions. The installer which is still better than most, stability and YAST. I can’t remember which release I started with but seem to remember it came with kde3.1. Stability then meant rather conservative well sorted releases and updates. I can only remember 2 disastrous update - kernal and kd3b didn’t work for months. The other was the infamous ipv6 update. Most of the others were bug fixes that didn’t cause any knock on effects. Upgrades didn’t either.

Looking at the criticisms most to me do not make much sense. Bloat - well one can choose what to install and I suppose a basic cd distro could be prepared - email, web and something to write with, that’s all some want. YAST is another matter. I sometimes feel that it will offer too much change in one go to take in and doesn’t high light any knock on effects that an update will have on none maintained code or even code that the user has installed themselves. When things were very stable this was fine. Not so sure these days. I suspect this area is the cause of the comments about configuration. There is also the strong possibility that people have modified the wrong system files. Most on suse have extensions for user modification so that changes remain following updates. In other cases the mods have to be done it the correct place. It has to be admitted due to the wealth of fixes on the web that the later aspect can be hard to sort out.

The speed aspect might have some basis. Ext4 is chosen by default. While nosing around on kubuntu I noticed a comment about ext3 being much faster for some tasks. Going on opensuse install times this does seem to be correct.

:stuck_out_tongue: Can’t see me changing anyway but I do hope the new owners do their best to return it to it’s former near super stable state - not any easy task given KDE.

On Thu, 19 May 2011 15:36:04 +0000, consused wrote:

> Credit to the guy in the the source thread for fielding many of the
> out-of-date objections and opinions re openSUSE. I’m sure I have seen
> many of those criticisms trolled here some time ago, and there used to
> be more of that until strong rebuttals from forum members (rightly or
> wrongly) saw them off.


> It’s always more difficult to win back disgruntled users than it is to
> lose them in the first place through, for example, quality issues or
> outdated product.

Yep, that is certainly true.

I didn’t mean to sound flippant in my response, but the subject of this
thread made me think “second bit of news for today: water is wet”,
because really, no matter what the project does, not everyone is going to
love it. That’s a fact of life. Doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to make
it better or address persistent issues, but we should realise that if we
actually achieve getting 100% of people who try it to love it, we’re
probably not spending time on the right things.

Which of course means that people won’t love it. :slight_smile:


Jim Henderson
openSUSE Forums Administrator
Forum Use Terms & Conditions at http://tinyurl.com/openSUSE-T-C