Why I use and recommend openSUSE

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.

Bart

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Thanks for sharing this. I have not tried any of the *suse flavors in a really long time. You have motivated me to try one in a VM.

Every year or so I distro-hop just to see what is new in the Linux world and to see which distro’s have innovated. I recently replaced my aging gaming pc and decided to move from Intel/nVideo to all AMD. I ended up with a system with an AMD Ryzen 5600x (6-core) and an AMD rx6700xt video card. This system uses realtek wifi. I tried several different distro’s but only one distro stood out where everything worked perfectly upon installation. The other distro’s either different have the realtek driver in the kernel or didn’t have all of the video card drivers and utilities working. I didn’t want to have to mess with getting vulkan working. I tried Debian, Linux Mint, MX Linux, et al. The one distro that worked perfectly…Garuda. I’m still running Garuda on that pc today, almost a year later.

I learned about BTRFS, snapper, grub-btrfs, and ZRAM from Garuda and today, these are technologies that I would not want to run without. Yes, I know that OpenSuse works with all of these.

I have several laptops running different distro’s (EndeavourOS, LMDE-Cinnamon, and Solus). I am very new to Cinnamon and it is quite beautiful once tweaked. I was able to get BTRFS and ZRAM working in LMDE, but I was not able to find a package similar to grub-btrfs and snapper that meets my requirements. I’m sure that these are being worked on and will make their way into Debian at some point.

For my development environment, I’m running EndeavourOS and could not be happier.

I have a fried that is a huge OpenSuse fan (CubicleNate). He will be very surprised to when he learns that I’m going to give OpenSuse a try.

I haven’t tried OpenSuse in a long time as well. Back at the turn of the twenty-first century, or perhaps a little earlier I tried it and had a horrid time with video drivers.

Perhaps I’ll give it another go later. But for now I just returned to Linux Mint and things are running splendidly.

At the risk of showing my age, I was a HUGE supporter of the prior OS.

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I forgot to mention that I was a happy OS/2 user back in the day. I think I started using OS/2 right about the time OS/2 Warp came out. Man, was it a multi-tasking monster in it’s day.

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I remember when I first got into Linux back in 2008 openSUSE was still somewhat of a hot topic (or at least a topic that was still frequently discussed) but now you hardly hear anything about it.

For professional and practical reasons i’ll be going the Rocky/Alma Linux direction since Red Hat-based distros are the most common on enterprise servers, but for something different and closer to the traditional Unix way of doing things I really find Devuan (Debian without sysemd) interesting. I know for a router or firewall a Linux distro without systemd or one of the BSDs is a great choice, largely because you want your first line of defense to be running an OS that’s different than the ones behind it. When your whole network runs one OS then what you have is a single point of failure if something security-related goes wrong.

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A super-tiny little box like a Protectli that can run coreboot and either opnSense or pfSense (both BSD-based) is a good choice for your router/firewall. It’s what we use and it’s easy to use and uses very little power to give great performance.

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I’m aware of OPNsense and pfSense. Obviously they make more sense for actual router/firewall deployment, but, similar to the Gentoo crowd, BSD users often pride themselves in being able to build up their OS installs into whatever it is they want, and right now i’m more interested in learning as much as a non-programmer could learn about the operating systems for x or y use case (in the case of routers and firewalls, FreeBSD and Linux distros not based on RHEL, SEL, Ubuntu etc.).

As far as the hardware is concerned, my old SFF gaming PC would do fine, I would just need to swap the graphics card for a multi-port NIC. The motherboard is a Gigabyte board where just about every component is made by Intel which is as much as one could ask for in terms of compatibility with different operating systems. Just ask a Hackintosh enthusiast (while they still exist). Gigabyte+Intel is a combo they swear by for compatibility. Power consumption is also not really an issue with that system as the CPU is an Intel Core i3-10100, and without the graphics card (a GTX 1650 without a PCIe power connector) it would draw even less power.

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For the NIC on a BSD-based system, this is a very good practice.

I’m using a 4-NIC (Intel) NUC for OPNsense. Works flawlessly.

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I’ll join you in “the age reveal”. I remember spending several days looking for a network card driver for Novel Netware 3.11 I think? I think there was something kinda “special” about that card … Was it a dual network car? (not sure) :rofl:

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I had one older laptop with OS/2 installed, and I played around with it a bit. But my interest was divided between it and Linux; about the same time that the rumors were being let out that OS/2 support was not going to continue.

My strongest memory is that of the bench tech that I go on-and-on-and-on about how superior OS/2 was to ‘everything’ else; even Linux. Intuitively I sense he was over-stating his case; and overall I just thought he was an arse, so he was doing his sells pitch any favors .

That brings back memories of troubleshooting token ring networks. Or, even further back to the days of 10base-T and those pesky terminators.

My first network experience was LANtastic 10base-T (coax cable) network using Xircom parallel port to 10base-T adapters. That was back in the DOS/Windows v3.1 days. Geez, I’m old.

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