What do you NOT like about openSUSE?

I don’t mean this to be a flamebait post, I just wondered what the actual end users of openSUSE think could be improved.

The golden cage and too many dependencies, take compiz try running compiz as your wm.

Too much repositories. I mean we have by default main oss and update. They can be unified. Even non-oss could be included. KDE Base and Community also could be unified. I’m sure there are more examples but you get the idea.
FeatherMonkey i’m running compiz as my window manager on Gnome and i have no dependecy problems.

The default repos are: oss, non-oss, update. Just 3. What you add is a matter of choice/needs.
I’d say there are too many choices in the list offered in Yast Repositories.

But I’ve been testing this week: Fedora, Mepis, Mint, Ubuntu, PCLinuxOS, openSUSE.
I’d been testing openSUSE-Gnome (I’m a KDE user by default) - hen I gave these others a run.
I’m back in openSUSE-Gnome again. Honestly, it so darn good! It’s wanting for nothing. Brilliant!

Tell you what too, Mepis 8 used kde3.5.10
It was a sweet reminder of how flippin quick and responsive it is.

@Siminin run it with no gnome or kde I want a WM not a DE :wink:

It’s the golden cage if you want it as provided Suse works well but the minute you go outside the box things get messy. Take my example I want just a WM not a DE. The best would be LXDE then I suspect it would drag in Openbox but I want LXDE with compiz, LXDE doesn’t depend on openbox.

I don’t like that:

  1. encryption choice
  2. wallet integration
  3. tendency to clutter with different repositories
  4. that OpenOffice in the OpenSuse version is incompatible with quite a number of add-ons.

I do not like that I have to use an LVM to encrypt root/swap/home. The encryption as of encryption howto should be eased by scripts and should not be rocket science. Or a very good documentation should be available in order to facilitate to learn enough about boot scripts to get it fixed.

The wallet integration is not working (at least in 11.1) for the Firefox Password and for other programs (like Opera or Chromium). It should work.

Openoffice has a compatibility problem with quite some add ons and supplemental programs (like Duden vocabulary of German language or some extension available for free that would be useful but do not compile in the Openssuse version of Openoffice.

Ah, I forgot: i do not like the default setting that supplemental users can view the content of the other home directories. Don’t see the reason for this.

There are other things like that VPN does not work well or that Networkmanager in KDE is a pain…but this is not OpenSuse responsibility IMHO.

Many of the things that could be improved with openSUSE also apply to other distributions.

In general, compared to other non-Linux operating systems (MS-Windows OS and various MacIntosh comes to mind), the manufacturer driver and custom application support is bad. That can be improved for openSUSE.

The is especially true in hardware that tends to be more exotic.

We see this in the situation with printers, with wireless, with sound devices, with graphic cards, with webcams, and even with selected USB hard drives.

I see many areas where openSUSE has done well, but there is still tremendous room in my view for improvement in these very same areas. But I don’t want to get into that subject, because it is too open for misinterpretation and flame wars. We have too many skirmishes going on now on our forum as it is.

That the installation is too fragile w.r.t. changes in hardware and booting configuration. The repair option needs to be improved to make it almost omniscient and be able to fix up moves onto a new machine or a mistake in editing the GRUB menu that less skilled users cannot fix on their own. Even better if a repair tool could be installed as a “recovery” partition.

This ties in with one of my few gripes. I use an external Seagate USB drive to make a portable Linux OS. I actually use my desktop PC and a live CD, and then install to the USB drive as a regular hard drive. I use Kubuntu on it because it seems to boot on any machine I try it on. I started with Opensuse, but it would often choke because it didn’t recognize most of the hardware it was booting on after configuring it’s self for my desktop PC. Opensuse doesn’t do as well with booting after hardware changes.

I would say I have two basic problems, but both point back to the software repository system. First, I wish we could offer a new user the option to add and be updated from Packman, kind of like other propitiatory media is done. Then, users could get going with multimedia right away. I know why it is has not been done so far, but this one problem really puts some folks off.

Second, the repository system can mess up your whole computer if you do not know what you are doing. There must be a better way to get the latest version of Firefox for instance. We all know the risks of too many repository entries and the problems of dealing with application conflict problems. Anyone that does not understand the system, may give up Linux after blowing up their installation of openSUSE the very first time. Some people may not find it fun try to diagnose some very odd problems one can create as well.

I use openSUSE because I love the way it works and I do not mind doing some setup work if needed. These are just my thoughts on the subject.

Thank You,

  • Run
zypper --disable-system-resolvables in -r oss --no-recommends compiz

The output is the the list of all (direct and indirect) the dependencies of compiz.

zypper install --debug-solver pkg
do
zypper --disable-system-resolvables install --debug-solver -r oss --no-recommends pkg

  • Look at the graph and identify which dependency you think should not be there.

  • Open a bug report.

Thx for that RedDwarf didn’t know about those few bits. Gives a nice visual representation to. I have to admit mine was an example not a true complaint I found myself leaving the golden cage a long time ago. I have to admit I just find other distros are better for my own day to day usage.

I have a good idea what I need to do but for me it is just not worth the hassle i.e In this example the spec

configure \
        --disable-static \
        --with-pic \
        --sysconfdir=%gnome_etc \
        --disable-schemas-install \
%if 0%{suse_version} < 01120
        QTLIB=%{_prefix}/lib/qt3/%{_lib} \
%else
	--disable-kde \
%endif

To something like

./configure   --prefix=/usr \
	    --disable-gnome \
	    --disable-gtk \
	    --disable-metacity \
	    --disable-gconf \
            --with-gconf-schema-file-dir=/etc/gconf/schemas \
	    --enable-dbus \
	    --enable-librsvg \
	    --disable-kde \
	    --disable-kde4

Then continuing this example why is there not a compiz-kde4 in the normal repos, again a rhetorical question I’m just trying to highlight that once you get out of the golden cage Suse becomes quite tricky to manage.

OK here I highlighted compiz yet someone the other day wanted gdm without gnome again it ended up with gnome deps How to use GDM instead of KDM? - openSUSE Forums

For sure it could be done curious how it was being done on the distro I use. It would seem there is additional packages one for gnome and kde a brief look it seems to enable the specific bits and remove dups from the package. TBH why is there a compiz-gnome, compiz with the above config may as well be gnome or perhaps gnome/kde.

Then lets take LXDE as at the moment it seems gnome this, gnome that. Without looking I bet it depends on openbox but it just isn’t a true dep. Though at the moment you could say it is as using another wm standalone would be difficult and would involve compiling a fair few packages. Again with out looking I also suspect trying to install a kde app in a non kde env would probably not result in i.e kwrite …

strigi-0.7.2-2  qca-2.0.2-2  polkit-qt-0.95.1-1  phonon-gstreamer-4.4.0-1  phonon-4.4.0-1  
shared-desktop-ontologies-0.3-1  attica-0.1.3-1  kdelibs-4.4.2-1  oxygen-icons-4.4.2-1  
libssh-0.4.1-3  kdebase-runtime-4.4.2-1  kdebase-kwrite-4.4.2-1

I only had a brief look but why do I need libcdparanoia for kwrite if I’m understanding the output correctly or gstreamer bits.

Any way a lot rhetorical and I long time ago excepted Suse for what it is. To be honest IMO many of the above complaints are actually related to what I’m talking about. They talk about repo proliferation a fair few including myself will rarely recommend people use outside the usual suspects. IMO It isn’t repo proliferation it is if you wish to do something outside of the golden cage then things will become tricky as highlighted, repo proliferation is the symptom not the cause.

Edit to be fair my KDE example is not really fair either way as neither really come in clean and partially the reason why I now use WM over a DE.

In fact the package seems well splitted. compiz-gnome is installed because compiz requires “compiz-decorator”. And from compiz-gnome the rest of Gnome deps appear. But compiz doesn’t require of compiz-gnome, any package that provides compiz-decorator will be enough. To install compiz without Gnome what you need is a desktop independent compiz decorator… Emerald? I don’t really know compiz and all its forks, I started to use composition with kwin4.
The current spec file is just fine. Gnome support is there in case someone wants it but not needed. Now, sure… there is no other Compiz decorator available in the main repo, you need the X11:XGL repo to get compiz-emerald.
If you want to use LXDE with Compiz you should contact Andrea Florio (anubis). He is doing most of the packaging for LXDE, and it will be in the main repo for 11.3… but right now Factory doesn’t has Emerald (it has compiz-gnome and compiz-kde4, I suppose compiz-kde4 isn’t in 11.2 just because they forgot with the KDE3->KDE4 change).

It is true that anything different of KDE and Gnome is a second citizen in 11.2. Again, contact Andrea since he is doing a lot of work to have LXDE in 11.3.

Kwrite requires KDE, KDE requires Phonon, Phonon requires a backend… by default the gstreamer backend is selected, the gstreamer backend ends requiring libcdparanoia. Install phonon-backend-xine instead and the gstreamer/cdparanoia deps will dissapear.
Probably kwrite is making some sounds when there is an error or somthing like that? If so, the dependencies are justified. Perhaps gstreamer-0_10-plugins-base could be splitted so cdparanoia isn’t there by default, but the current splitting comes from upstream and the extra work doesn’t seems justified.
If it’s a real problem for you you can open a bug report (or do a submit request in the Build Service if you can package) so phonon just recommends “phonon-backend” instead of requiring it. But first you will need to be sure that things don’t badly break if Phonon hasn’t a backend available.

Many thanks for your time I realise you do understand this stuff far better than I.

As mentioned much of it was rhetorical, to me Suse is best when you work with the golden cage and that I accept, if I put Suse on its KDE4, I use the main repos and deviate very slightly, I use yast to config etc…

Like I said much was rhetorical but I highlight one point. Really your solution to leaving the cage involved …

X11:XGL repo for Emerald.

We also didn’t even touch GDM as a standalone log in manager.

This is creating the repo proliferation, that is causing so many problems on the forums. A simple google with the phrase zypper lr will show it or the recommendations not to use one clicks(Which seems silly IMO, it is a selling point, “if” it is broke fix it don’t recommend against it).

Like I said if you really read between the lines I agree it does work, in the aspect of using official repos and work well, but many do want things, bits or ways that are not in the official way of doing things. At that moment they have to resort to repo proliferation. Is there a solution personally I don’t think so, you just have to except that is what Suse is.

FeatherMonkey wrote:


> A simple google with the phrase zypper lr will
> show it or the recommendations not to use one clicks(Which seems silly
> IMO, it is a selling point, “if” it is broke fix it don’t recommend
> against it).

I agree on that one. Blanket recommendation to remove something that is
excellent feature, if implemented correctly, is not better then bad 1-click.

The fix requires to create service team that will be able to troubleshoot
problems in that area and create support infrastructure for those that want
to use 1-click (ymp); there are creators of ymp and users, and both need
help when something goes wrong.

What would be under the support infrastructure?
Explanation how it works.
Written procedure how to troubleshoot the most common 1-click problems.
Public list of 1-click items that users found as bad.
Team that can look into and fix or remove offenders.
Place where to look for help.

> Like I said if you really read between the lines I agree it does work,
> in the aspect of using official repos and work well, but many do want
> things, bits or ways that are not in the official way of doing things.

Those bits need attention as they create bad image for openSUSE.
When you have problem because of one bad item out of few thousands, you will
not be happy and explanation that it is not official will not cut. Not to
mention that it creates additional load on people that support users.

> At that moment they have to resort to repo proliferation. Is there a
> solution personally I don’t think so, you just have to except that is
> what Suse is.

Solution requires more people to take care of the problem, and without many
more openSUSE users there will be no more those willing to work on that.


Regards Rajko,

@rajko_m

Firstly thank you for you contribution even if I may not directly receive it, and at the other devs/contributors.

Solution requires more people to take care of the problem, and without many
more openSUSE users there will be no more those willing to work on that.

To be fair I think you touched on something else and maybe something else I don’t like and is possibly addressed else where by others. The disjointed community of the devs vs the users.(I always felt you should be given custom titles on the forum)

TBH I know this is the case, and unless I’m mistaken has been for a while. But why do I know well it has nothing to do with the forum and plenty to do with reading the mailing list archives and some irc logs from the last Suse week. I have to be honest and say I also think this is partially related to the golden cage.

Bad source I know but still I can’t actually think of any. So what Suse spin offs are there List of Linux distributions - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia it can’t be rpm that’s the problem as Fed seem to be doing fine.

IMO this goes back to golden cage you’re after Suse developers not spin off/OSS developers lets take a simple one I immediately thought of grub.

Patch0:         %{name}-%{version}-path-patch
Patch1:         use_ferror.diff
Patch2:         grub-R
Patch3:         bad-assert-sideeffect
Patch4:         %{name}-gfxmenu-v8.diff
Patch5:         reiser-unpack
Patch6:         chainloader-devicefix
Patch7:         %{name}-%{version}-devicemap.diff
Patch8:         grub-linux-setup-fix
Patch9:         fix-uninitialized
Patch10:        force-LBA-off.diff
Patch11:        gcc4-diff
Patch12:        %{name}-%{version}-initrdaddr.diff
Patch13:        grub-a20.patch
Patch14:        disk-by-ID
Patch15:        e100-newIDs
Patch16:        recognise-zen
Patch17:        grub-install-fix-UUID_LABEL
Patch18:        ext2-support-256byte-inodes
Patch19:        grub-read-gpt
Patch20:        stage2-dir-callback.diff
Patch21:        stage2-wildcard.diff
Patch22:        stage2-wildcard-zerowidth.diff
Patch23:        stage2-wildcard-doc.diff
Patch24:        grub-%{version}-protexec.patch
Patch25:        pacify-autoconf
Patch26:        grub-grubonce-no-wait
Patch27:        grub-long-commandline
Patch28:        ext4-support
Patch29:        grub-acinclude-buildid-fix.diff
Patch30:        remove-buildid.diff
Patch31:        string-ops-fix
Patch39:        document-grub-install.unsupported
Patch40:        grub-iso-fixes

Say someone did have a problem with grub that can’t be solved upstream. Comparison…

patch -Np1 -i ../special-devices.patch || return 1
  patch -Np1 -i ../i2o.patch || return 1
  patch -Np1 -i ../more-raid.patch || return 1
  patch -Np1 -i ../intelmac.patch || return 1
  patch -Np1 -i ../grub-inode-size.patch || return 1
  patch -Np1 -i ../ext4.patch || return 1 

To me what you addressed is actually also related to the golden cage though there is a large user community that I’m sure has the resources to help regardless of the golden cage. But with the disjointed communities the user community isn’t aware that the contributing community needs assistance, that is a communication/mingling problem. To me the Suse community is like the xmas parties where each department stays in there little groups and everyone just wants to get it finished and go home(Fun for no one).

What do you NOT like about openSUSE?

• During the initial install, the root password by default is set as to be the same as the users password. That is bad style.

• Too much thoughts spend on how to make things easier for beginners. SuSE should try to aim towards the more experienced and / or interested user. The idea of being a system for both n00bs and experts doesn’t really work.

Mmm, I haven’t found that openSUSE has been dumbed down that I cannot do advanced things in it. Everything I need to tweak is under the bonnet and has not been covered in a plastic shield labelled “sorry you are not meant to touch this”. And it has always been so.

Mmm, I haven’t found that openSUSE has been dumbed down that I cannot do advanced things in it.

I didn’t say so.