What makes openSUSE better than Ubuntu?

I’ve been using Ubuntu (my first experience with Linux) for a few months, and while I think it’s great, I’m wondering if there are even better distributions that might suit me more. I don’t know much about openSUSE but I was led here by some “Distro Chooser” that said I might like it.

Obviously there are a lot of people here that prefer openSUSE to Ubuntu, so my question is, why? Is it for more advanced users?

Treats users as responsible users who know what they are doing; doesn’t exclude options by design.

Hello there,

I don’t think openSUSE is really aimed exclusively for more advanced users, it just has the capabilities to be much more easily configurable (YaST, Sax2 etc)

My girlfriend gets on perfectly with it with minimal previous computer experience (Plus being able to ssh in and use the ncurses interface of YaST is a huge boon for me
as I can set stuff up and update her software without having to sit at the machine)

It’s a perfect balance for us, she gets a stable easy to use laptop
and I get Brilliant tools for administration.



  1. Has DVD install option
  2. Easy administration through Yast
  3. Vast array of software through build service

And did I mention it’s green? rotfl!

As a former Ubu user myself Yast definitely makes the main difference. You’ll find it much easier to control your PC through it,way better than the messy way Ubu’s organized.
Also if you notice we are green, a nicer color to look at than brown,don’t ya’ think?

SuSE doesn’t instantly turn your eyes yellow and make you think you’re hot Linux user that knows everything about everything.

openSUSE has had more active development :

  1. New style start menus were out on openSUSE long time before they made other distro’s
  2. Compiz developed by Novell
  3. Kernel team large and active contributors
  4. Active KDE team (eg) FF3.5 integrated with KDE)
  5. Integration projects with MS products eg) Mono/moonlight, OOo extensions
  6. GNOME team to

If everyone prefers re-packaged products, then original development of Linux stagnates.

In Commercial space, RHEL is #1, Novell SLED/SLES #2, with Cannonical #3. SuSE Linux has been around for very long time, and the experience helps, there’s good security team, and totally broken releases won’t be pushed out, just because it’s 11:59 on 31st October.

openSUSE has configured firewall by default installation.

The YaST tool allows more configuration with GUI, and also works on plain terminal, so there’s less need for commandline.

For instance configuring machine with 2 network cards, was simple part of installation with openSUSE, whilst in Ubuntu I had to google, and find a Howto and edit various system files, to get a 2nd interface working.

For KDE users, a reason to prefer openSUSE is that the KDE desktop is a first class part of the distro, not a minority interest “spin” of variable quality.

The core parts of the system, are better engineered and more maintainable than Debian/Ubuntu when I looked end 2007. I found Ubuntu 7.10 very, very buggy and was spending way too much time tracking problems in packages and start up scripts.

But fact is, engineering tends to be unappreciated by most, and switching from Ubuntu does require learning some new ways.

Really you should try out some Live CD’s and see if you like the look.

Ubuntu has DVD to.

Indeed it does, but the main diff is that openSUSE offers desktop options while Ubuntu offers extra language packs on its DVD… kind of a good thing for non english users.
Anyhow I would not say openSUSE is more “advanced” then Ubuntu, in fact both are just about equal in terms of ease of use.
I would not say one is better then the other, both have their strong points and weaknesses.
I would say Ubuntu’s strong points are probably wireless, the mass amount of packages in its repos compared to other distros, and its visibility in the mainstream.
Its weaknesses are instability with certain releases, its dependence on command line without useful tools to aid new users and its 6 month release cycle is a tough one to deal with sometimes.
openSUSE’s strong points are stability, relative ease of use, and some nice tools for new users.
However openSUSE doesnt seem that good with wireless sometimes and its package list is tiny compared to the mass of stuff i see on ubuntu.
However in the future openSUSE might be just as rough to deal with concerning hardware.
With Sax going the way of the dinosaur and no real tools to make up for its loss yet we might see commandline a lot more in 11.3.
I am sorry but I dont find the native KDE/Gnome hardware config tools to be that useful sometimes.
Especially KDE4’s sad monitor setup tool, it cant even remember my bloody res!

Sax will be obsoleted by the X & kernel KMS developments and desktop changes. It just doesn’t really matter.

I hope it doesnt, as right now its kind of hard to have a working system for me without some sort of helper tool or xorg.conf.
I will be definitely be right on top of openSUSE 11.3’s alphas and betas, I got a spare hard drive and I am not afraid to beta test on it.

KDE (my preference) and Gnome on one DVD installation.

Yast (and Sax2) is the big selling point for me though.

File bug reports! Things have changed, and you’ll have to get used to it, rather than demand static config.

I used it to create an xorg.conf for my laptop yesterday. The “autoconfig” was

a) Making the windows and text larger than I wanted (I can work around that by telling Sax2 my laptop display is bigger than it really is).

b) Not making it easy for me to try the different driver (OpenChrome, via, fbdev, Unichrome) options I seem to have.

Yes but what if my bug report is ignored or is bypassed?
I could make a million bug reports yes but after a while I might be wasting my time

I have been following your concerns on this. 2 things. 1 I think your making a bidder deal of this than it is. 2 With X.org becoming hot-plugable and dynamic, and Sax2 being static, It would not be wise to use Sax2 since it would be overwritten anyway. As to the possibility of your bug reports being ignored. Anything is possible, but I will be updating the HCL, tracking bug reports, filing bug reports, and many other things. I won’t let it be ignored.

Millions of bug reports? Come on. Really. Let’s settle down a bit. Like I just said, I wont let that happen. If you feel something is being ignored, pm me.

Maybe should be for another thread but xorg.conf if present seems to be used atm? Is this going to go and if so what facilities to over-ride if desired exist?

X.Org Wiki - Releases/7.5

For right now, x.org still has the 2 ways of detecting x configuration.

Auto detect, based on hal

Xorg -configure, or in our case, Sax2.

As time goes on, xorg will become more hot-pluggable and more dependent on hal, and as you saw from X.Org Wiki - Releases/7.5

Features Removed

So the concerns are more about Xorg than Sax2.

You might get run down by a bus, and not live to worry about it…

But how would you feel if you have no viable way to configure your hardware and be stuck at a low res with a unworkable system?