Will recommend Ubuntu to most new users; here's why:

OpenSuSE’s build service is the best. And their repo system, and YaST are also the best. Even SaX2 is the best :). But for a new user, Ubuntu is better, and other threads have been talking about it, but other threads have ignored a key aspect:
Ubuntu does codecs right

Ubuntu doesn’t preinstall codecs or propietary software, except some kernel drivers. But Ubuntu does offer, any time you go to use something where propietary is needed or recommeneded, the ability to download the codecs. Ubuntu does not offer libdvdcss. But every other codec is offered.
Download an Xvid? It asks you if you want gstreamer-plugins. Download a WMV? It asks you if you want pitfdll or ugly-multiverse.
Playing flash? It asks about Gnash or Swfdec or optionally flashplugin-nonfree.
Booting with ATI? It asks if you want to use Fglrx.
Getting all the codecs at once is easy too, if you want to do it while you setup ubuntu. Add the ubuntu-restricted-extras package. It’s like a “codec pack” for ubuntu, plus flash, java, and more.

Sadly, SuSE has none of this. It relies on the 1-click install codec pack, which is not only not in the distro, it’s not even on the distro’s website, rather on the opensuse-community.org website. It also has a lot more clicking and tends to work less well.

that’s not very compelling,a linux user is supposedly a smart person,he’ll be looking for codecs everywhere,and there’s a huge possibility he’ll ask in this forums,which will,in turn, point him towards opensuse-community.org website

Opensuse is just irresistible :smiley:

but i can’t deny starting with Ubuntu has been fun :slight_smile:

You have a point there. I think it was smpoole7 who suggested this sort of functionality in another thread. So maybe the SUSE developers can grab the code for media format detection and codec recommendation for a future version?

Aside from that, I myself would probably recommend Ubuntu to a new user. It has a stripped down simplified feel that would probably drive me crazy, but is probably what a newbie needs to start off. But I was not so happy the last install I helped with when there didn’t seem to be any GUI Samba setup tool. But I didn’t look too hard and just dived into editing smb.conf directly because I was in a hurry and it only had to be set up once.

Your frustration with codecs is noted.

Still, I never recommend the 1 click install for openSUSE.

Instead I recommend new users setup their openSUSE with 4 repos (ONLY): OSS, Non-OSS, Update and Packman. Just those 4. No others. None. (Only add others if one understands the risks and problems that can happen if one adds others, and understands how to fix them. This is beyond most newbies and beyond many average users). There is guidance for adding those 4 repos here for openSUSE-11.1: Repositories/11.1 - openSUSE-Community

Once those 4 are added one can obtain codecs by going to YaST > Software > Software Management, and change the “filter” to “search” and install from packman packagers libffmpeg0 and w32codec-all which provides most codecs a user might want. For xvid one can also search install xvidcore and libxvidcore4.

I don’t like the 1-click install nor the ubuntu method. By using repositories one has more control over the source from which the codecs come from.

I do have friends who use Ubuntu and they are mostly happy with Ubuntu. But Ubuntu is not a perfect OS for multimedia applications nor for codec installation. Despite the Ubuntu implementation with codecs, my friends have problems with codecs with Ubuntu that I don’t have on openSUSE.

“if you want pitfdll or ugly-multiverse.
Playing flash? It asks about Gnash or Swfdec or optionally flashplugin-nonfree.
Booting with ATI? It asks if you want to use Fglrx.”

“packman packagers libffmpeg0 and w32codec-all which provides most codecs a user might want. For xvid one can also search install xvidcore and libxvidcore4”

All great stuff, but … I don’t think a new user even wants to see questions like that.

Jeeze, choosing between Gnash, Swfdec or flashplugin-nonfree causes me to have to access the old data banks. Enabling the “restricted-extras” sounds like going behind the curtains in a dodgy store.

Why can’t a package simply do the changes oldcpu suggests and be documented at the Community site, referenced by release notes and from the Welcome stuff you get when you first log in? Presumably they could recommend commercial codecs, as legal cover for those in unfavourable legal juridictions. Red Hat checked all that stuff out and decided they could do that much.

I believe the Novell legal people take a different view than Ubuntu and Red Hat. Novell is a nice bigger target than both Red Hat and Ubuntu if someone decided to launch a precedent making law suit.

Also, the Fedora forum is full (as much if not more than openSUSE) of user complaints of multimedia/codecs not working. So what ever they are doing, is not working any better than the openSUSE approach. Some might say worse.

IMHO Red Hat/Fedora and Ubuntu walk a very fine line toward illegaity in the automation of their codec and multimedia installation, … some would say their automation in this area has gone too far, and is illegal … a line that Novell most likely could not get away with.

I’ll start by saying “gstreamer” sucks.

Ubuntu in my opion may be easier for people who strugle with simple things like where is the start button…

Beyond that my experience with ubuntu has been it is not easier to use, their unconventional ways of doing things, renaming things makes things more difficult.

I guess if one likes a diarrhea brown interface, infected with athletes foot, more power to them :stuck_out_tongue:

That said I have handed people openSUSE DVD’s who were previously using Ubuntu, and they had no more difficulty with it then anything else, in fact they were much happier with it, as the tools and utilities included in openSUSE were more complete, more polished and actually offered options and settings that were easy to find, all in one place and they “worked”.

Your primary argument is because of codecs? Not even Windows does what Ubuntu does.

As others have mentioned, it is for legal reasons. It is explained here: Restricted Formats - openSUSE

There have been many meetings about this:
Meetings/Status Meeting 2007-01-24/transcript - openSUSE
Meetings/Community Meeting 2007-02-11/transcript - openSUSE

Now with the community repos, all one has to do is go to YaST>Software Repositories Then click add and select the repositories you want. Of which, packman and vlc are just two of the repositories added.

Now, in fairness, I suppose it could be done where if an app is missing a required codec, that it could direct you to the codecs site per your country, to pay for, and download the codec. Anything else would be a violation of the law, and Novell would be liable.

If this is your only argument, then it is weak and borders on legal violations. Blatent disregard of the law is not the way to get people into Linux. It is the distributors responsibility to comply with the law. It’s up to the user what they’ll do after that.

As you can see, we don’t hold back on providing such knowledge as where to get the codecs. We also had that conversation. The information is so prevalent, that whether we provide it or not, it is something that is available.

Getting all the codecs and drivers is easy in openSUSE as well. As I described above, just add community repos.

What your describing is your familiarity with Ubuntu, and your lack of familiarity with openSUSE, and blaiming it on openSUSE. The problem is not with openSUSE, but you the user.

The focus, though is for new users. Ubuntu recognizes that a lot of new users are coming from Windows and probably had the codecs and stuff already installed when they bought the computer and thus do not know what a codec even is (let alone the legal ramifications).

Plus, adding a repository is simple but knowing WHICH applications to install (is it different for KDE or Gnome or Xfce? Will Amarok play MP3s when all is said and done? What about my movie player?).

I mean, ask how many people realize that MP3 is a proprietary format and royalties are paid whenever somebody develops a player. (not sure if “royalty” is correct).

It would be very helpful for new users, with all of the explanation laid out for them to see so they can be educated on WHY this extra step is required.

It’s still better than what I’ve seen in Fedora, which makes me feel “dirty” if I want to use any of these codecs and their wording on their wiki is not very understanding.

There are other reasons I recommend Ubuntu for new users and openSUSE for people ready to move beyond Ubuntu.

This is true. The focus of the post is for “new users” and the reason given is the codec issue.

Having stated that, I will recommend Ubuntu ONLY to very computer illiterate users who do not know anyone who uses Linux.

Otherwise, if a new user has a friend who uses Linux, then I will recommend that new user install the same Linux as their friend, to obtain one-on-one support.

Now the above, and the following, is my personal view, and not that of the forum, nor that of Novell/SuSE-GmbH.

If a user is NOT a new user, I have no qualms about recommending any of the popular Linux distributions, BUT I will recommend AGAINST Ubuntu.

Definitely, for users who are not newbies, do NOT use Ubuntu. The reason is Ubuntu’s policy of NOT passing most of their fixes upstream. Thats simply unacceptable, it is contrary to the “share motif” behind the free software open source movement from my perspective. Red Hat pass their fixes upstream. Novell/SuSE-GmbH pass their fixes upstream. Most Debian distributions pass their fixes upstream. Ubuntu have a different policy.

Until they formally announce, and formally implement, a change to that approach/philosophy, then I can not recommend Ubuntu to anyone.

Instead I am a bit on the ACTIVE side, recommending AGAINST Ubuntu.

Why can’t new users learn to read, like I did when I started Linux, and figure out what to do? Why must everything be done for them? How easier can it get than a 1 click install of codecs? I had never used Suse for any length of time and I did a little reading and within a couple of minutes I had codecs installed. It’s not that hard.

Just because Ubuntu does something doesn’t mean it’s the best way.

On Wed, 2009-02-04 at 22:36 +0000, ryaxnb wrote:
> Sadly, SuSE has none of this. It relies on the 1-click install codec
> pack, which is not only not in the distro, it’s not even on the distro’s
> website, rather on the opensuse-community.org website. It also has a lot
> more clicking and tends to work less well.

Do you know the legal ramifications of tying to a source of
illegal software? The rules are different around the world, but
in the USA, I don’t think you’re allowed to do this.

You can’t say… oh… this is illegal, but push this button
if you want me to go out and get it anyway.

I think the community repo tie in comes close to crossing
the line… but I’m not sure.

someone said that the users coming from windows already have the codecs installed on windows at purchase

Not True. If you want to watch an AVI movie, or any other than mpeg, you have to download the codecs. Want to install your ipod on windows you have to download itunes. Personally i find it far easier to install a codec on OpenSUSE than on windows, where you have to google to find what you want, and often have to go to a warez site as a number of what you need you have to buy.

As for this being a reason to go to ubuntu, is this not just another ubuntu member who has recently joined to push their distro?

Actually, this can be argued. On Windows, all you need to install is ffdshow-tryouts and Haali media splitter. These two will handle virtually all media formats. Though, most noobs/regular users do not know the existence of these tools and instead go for codec packs like K-Lite which after some time messes up their system

Eh? Correct me if I’m wrong…but most of the Ubuntu devs have dual affiliation with Ubuntu & Debian or are former Debian contributors. If anything Ubuntu just uses a very simple definition of “upstream”. For Ubuntu, most of the time, ‘upstream = Debian’. Ubuntu publishes all of their patches against Debian sources (and even the ones where there isn’t a Debian source). Debian developers can choose to accept whatever patches they deem appropriate for Debian and of those patches send further upstream the appropriate ones. I’m pretty sure Launchpad publishes the patches automatically, so Ubuntu devs/packagers don’t even have a choice in the matter.

Whether it’s right or appropriate for Ubuntu to focus so much on contributing patches back to specifically Debian is an interesting question. In my eyes it looks like damned if you do, damned if you don’t. Debian provides so much to Ubuntu that to go “over Debian’s head” would likely cause trouble. Would it be appropriate to take all those Debian packages, apply patches, then send all the patches up-most-stream bypassing Debian along the way? Or does Ubuntu have an obligation to send them both to Debian & up-most-stream? I don’t know, but that doesn’t seem like a practical precedent to set when one considers that Ubuntu itself has downstream distros (some which in turn have their own derivatives). Should a community edition of Mint Linux have to publish a patch to Mint, Ubuntu, Debian and the original up-most-stream source? The situation just seems to get out of hand as more derivatives-of-derivatives appear.

Yes Novell & Red Hat submit their patches (when appropriate) directly to up-most-stream, but they don’t have a intermediate upstream like Ubuntu does. If anything Novell & Red Hat have made themselves intermediate upstreams by establishing openSUSE & Fedora - instead of passing patches directly to someone else, they pass the patches from the left hand to the right hand and then to someone else.

To address the OP - I don’t really care what distro people recommend so long as they pick something appropriate for the new user. The goal is the growth of the FOSS community as a whole, no?

Many of the patches implemented by Ubuntu are not distribution specific. IMHO defining Debian as an intermediary upstream is inappropriate in many cases, and quite possibly in the majority of cases.

By passing upstream means ALL distributions, including Debian get the fix. So one is not ignoring Debian by such an approach. Debian will also benefit. Thats the entire idea of upstream and downstream. All distributions can benefit.

Plus, I am not convinced (from what I have seen) that Ubuntu even pass most of their “fixes” to Debian. Instead Ubuntu incorporate them in their own packaging, and thats where they stay, … they STAY in the Ubuntu packaging, … unless an upstreamer developer looks downstream into Ubuntu, to grab a Ubuntu fix, and pull it upstream, so it can go back down stream again.

IMHO more people should be aware of this Ubuntu policy not to pass their fixes upstream (nor even to the “intermediate” Debian stream, which I believe for many many fixes is not necessary to pass thru Debian, when straight upstream accomplishes the same).

My view also …its the growth of the FOSS as a whole thats important.

Of course I’m not the original poster, and despite your excellent points, from what I have seen from various Ubuntu fixes staying with Ubuntu (and not making it to Debian nor making it upstream past Debian) that Ubuntu are reducing their support of Linux, and reducing their support to FOSS community in this vital upstream/downstream area.

Where do you find out about this?

Ubuntu are paying attention to this criticism, as evident by articles such as this:
Ubuntu Goes Upstream, With Bugs
… however Ubuntu are also good at marketing, and with my “being from Missouri” on this, I am still very skeptical that Ubuntu, as unquestionably the largest Linux distribution, are doing enough in this area. I am concerned with their superior marketing they will successful blur what I believe to be a serious opensource problem (… ie when the largest distribution does not pull its weight in sending up stream fixes) .

To find out more just use google. … Key words such as “Ubuntu” “upstream” “criticism” and words such as that.

Well that’s all part of the normal argy-bargy of open source. If a distro isn’t up to scratch as a community citizen they will come under criticism. Hopefully they will mend their ways.

I definitely agree with you that the FOSS ecosystem as a whole should benefit. And indeed you are right, passing patches up-most-stream benefits everyone. I just wonder that given the early political debates of “does Ubuntu show Debian proper respect?” if giving Debian a sort of ‘right of first refusal’ on patches was the solution. It almost like choosing between what your parent says or what general society says. You should follow society to be a better general participant but your parent is better equiped to detect deviance and issue sanctions.

I now know for certain that Ubuntu publishes all of their patches against Debian sources. Those patches are available here.

Although we could take it further and discuss whether such a site is appropriate/convenient enough for Debian developers to use - which I think is a fair question. But if such a site could be considered a reasonable publication method for patches - then the responsibility for the appearance (or not) of Ubuntu patches in Debian rests with Debian.

These sorts of things are good topics to bat around I think, because they lead to other issues of contribution - what about not only patches to common software, but closed-source software or components? Does an company that develops a FOSS distro have an obligation to use only FOSS tools and code? That might make a worthy thread actually.