I see this thread has been up for a while and it looks like I’m the only one here using openSUSE. So I thought I’d jump in and tell why I like it more than the other distributions. Right off the bat, I want to say I’m not here to bash any other distributions, only to explain my it is my choice.
I little background: I started my computer experience with IBM DOS 2.0 as I was looking for a solution to my massive paperwork problems while running my company. So yes, I learned Lotus 1-2-3 and WordPerfect and dBase. And then Clipper. I wrote a program that dealt with one of the most onerous reporting situations and, while showing it to a friend in the same business, sold two copies right on the spot. I sold my business and entered the commercial computer business full time.
As DOS progressed things became better and then came Windows. In a word, UGH! Then Win 95 and 98 and, well, many of will know the progression. I tried, and really liked OS/2 and rewrote my program to run under it. IBM soon discontinued it and I was forced back to Windows but was really spoiled by OS/2 and was not happy. Looking for a better solution, I tried several different distributions of Linux. As I had no experience with unix, I had real problems. Then I tried SuSe Linux 8.0 and was able to get it installed and running first try. Versions 9 and 10 just got better and better and soon I was able to use linux in a dual boot situation as the default on on my desktop.
In 2002, I left the computer industry and took a job in a completely different industry.
I have tried various distributions and for the reasons I’ll describe, have stayed with openSUSE. Here is why:
SUPPORT: I think one of the most important acpects of a distribution is support. Doesn’t matter who you are or your level of expertise, you’re going to need help at some point. I have haunted (or lurked) on a lot of the different forums and overall I think the openSUSE forum is one of, if not the, best. I have no problem with someone posting a link to the relative section of documentation, but a RTFM response is simply not acceptable.
YAST: yast (Yet Another System Tool) is just the best configuration tool to be found.
TWO VERSIONS: If, like me, you just want your computer to work, there’s Leap. Every couple of years you have to do an upGrade, but it has, with VERY few exceptions, completed without problems. If you want the latest and greatest versions of everything, there’s Tumbleweed. It’s pretty smooth but you should have experience with linux to run it.
REAL ROOT: I have done quite a few conversions from Windows to Linux for friends, neighbors and family. These have always been installations of openSUSE because of this, what I call real root policy. I will do the installation, with kde as a desktop (because it less problematic for Windows users) and have the user create their own user password. I will put in MY password for root and NOT give it to them. I also create a user for myself just in case. This means they are not able to trash the system, only their own account. I can easily repair that. They are encouraged to call me for ANY problems they may have and I’ll either go there to correct it, or log in to their computer remotely and fix it. The calls have been very, very rare and mostly asking what the name of a program is as it’s different from Windows.
By default, openSUSE requires the root password for elevated permissions and sudo also requires root, not the users password. After I am comfortable that they are capable of using the system properly, I’ll have them change to root password to their own. I really, really dislike that Ubuntu gives the user account root permissions! I give Arch a pass for this as Arch users are not usually new to Linux.
DESKTOPS: I like the fact that I can install any or all of the many desktop environments on a computer and choose the one I want at time of boot. They include:
GNOME, KDE, Cinnamon, MATE, LXQt, and Xfce.
And, I guess, mostly because, after all these years, I’m just used to it.
Anyway, here’s my two cents.