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Is OpenSuse a viable Ubuntu alternative?

opensuse-vs-ubuntu

There’s lots of forums and even 3 or 4 releases in I still hear people talking about how much they dislike Unity, which is a shame because it’s turning into quite a nice Gui from where i’m sitting, however one thing Linux has is choice. If nothing else there are other solid, stable distributions out there which offer a user a good solid alternative. Once such example is maybe OpenSUSE.

I’ve recently had chance to install OpenSUSE on an Acer Aspire S3 and despite the issues I was having as a Distro it struck me that it is a viable alternative to Ubuntu not just for the people who have an issue with Unity, but because it offers some other things which can ease the new Linux user into this wonderful OS.

I’ve broken down the experience into things I liked about OpenSUSE compared with Ubuntu and things I didn’t like.

What I Liked.

The Installation

Downloading the 4Gb ISO as I did I was offered a choice of Gnome or KDE (and XFCE if my memory is good, which i might be imagining) During the install of Ubuntu there are 7 steps and its pretty easy for a new user to install, the OpenSUSE installer is based on YAST and and it can be as simple as the Ubuntu installer if you need it to be OR you can configure EVERY part of the installation should you need to. I have to admit it was a refreshing change having some of the options I was offered. I like this flexibility

Yast

Yast is the OpenSUSE configuration tool, one of the biggest complaints i’d have about Ubuntu (something Linux Mint has also done well at updating) is System Settings. Its so basic which causes no end of issues when you are trying to do more than the basic of configurations. With YAST you get all the configuration options for your system in one place, a single application and each option within YAST has multiple options.

Much like the installation simple may sometimes be good, however simple when you try and troubleshoot isn’t all that helpful. In Ubuntu troubleshooting can all too often take a user to the command line and while I don’t mind this YAST shows that this can also be achieved well from the GUI as well.

Yast is the OpenSUSE version of Control Panel.

KDE

I guess the GUI is probably the main reason why you might take a look at OpenSUSE, and the default desktop of this distro is KDE, pretty much SUSE is KDE and KDE is SUSE which means you get a well tested, understood environment. for a new user coming over from the Windows desktop KDE is a very similar to Windows which is sometimes good, sometimes bad however the additional apps such as kate, amarok, k3b which come with the GUI are far better integrated than gedit, banshee and evolution.

KDE is a well thought out GUI and its much improved and stable.

Software Installation

Just like Ubuntu YAST has a software centre, and while it’s more Synaptic looking that the current Ubuntu software centre, the search features and layout are very well done. However OpenSUSE has a nice little trick up its sleeve.

OneClickInstallIntroBuildService

One Click Install makes it easy for users to install software, no matter where that software is located.

In the past, users would have to follow instructions explaining how to add package repositories, and select certain packages for installation. Now a user need only click on a link on a webpage, or a Setup file on a CD. Upon doing so, he or she will be presented with a wizard which will guide him or her through the installation process.

If you are an openSUSE user, you will probably have noticed these install links appearing in various places.

One Click Install works by using a special file format called YMP. This YMP file contains instructions which tell the package management system which packages to install, and where they are located. It is essentially a tutorial for installing the software that can be understood by the system.

What I didn’t like

4Gb Download not a liveCD

There is a live CD, and yes you could download it, the question is however what is a 720Mb file missing that the 4Gv IOS for the DVD has? the 4Gb download is huge and doesn’t actually have as much software on it as you’d think it does. Also the first update was almost a GB in download size.

All the useful repositories need to be added by the user 

While YAST and its software installation is good, the default repositories don’t have as much software as you’d think and there is a bit of time spent finding the repositories and adding them, not easy and a bit of a pain.

Support pages can be a bit 

Ubuntu’s killer feature isn’t its software, it’s the forum, the support, search “Ubuntu ” and add a problem there will be thousands of forums and pages offering well written help. Opensuse’s forums on the flip side seem to refer a lot to much older versions of the software and a bit patchy. (Not as bad as Sabayon mind you)

Conclusion

SUSE’s had a patchy past, however the current version is a stable OS with some great configuration options, it’s not lacking in support due to a back channel with Novell, and its got a solid release of KDE. Ubuntu could learn a lot from YAST and offering users both the default options AND the advanced ones too, too often things are dumbed down and you lose the very people who made you what you were (anyone watching Apple?). I think Ubuntu is a great distro for new users however for those who have maybe been using Ubuntu for a while might do a lot worse than taking a look at OpenSUSE.

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68 comments on “Is OpenSuse a viable Ubuntu alternative?

  1. ruel24
    June 18, 2013

    Alternative? I left Ubuntu a long time ago and I’m glad I did. There are lots of Ubuntu alternatives out there… I’d recommend openSUSE anytime before recommending Ubuntu.

    • projectzme
      June 18, 2013

      Im interested why you’d not recommend a distro (I guess Ubuntu) Surely an OS is just a tool to complete a job? I run Ubuntu on a net top attached to my TV for example, and it works perfectly, however i run Sabayon on my work PC because it offers better scope. I’d be very interested to know what it is about Ubuntu you don’t like..

    • Rommel Tinoco
      June 21, 2013

      True that

  2. victorhck
    June 19, 2013

    I think the answer is YES!!
    😉

  3. bmclark3
    June 19, 2013

    Nice article! I installed from the live KDE usb. The items missing from the 4GB appear to be mostly libraries (and the other window managers included in the full install disk). I noticed when installing a few applications after installation (such as docky and synapse) I had to install nearly 100 additional libraries. I haven’t noticed that I am “missing” anything that I would need in a day to day desktop experience.

    • projectzme
      June 19, 2013

      That’s really good, what’s your favorite thing and least favorite thing about opensuse? Why did you choose it?

  4. Jason
    June 20, 2013

    I have bounced between OpenSuSE and Xubuntu for years, but I always shied away from Ubuntu because I didn’t like the way it “felt”. Now that I have stuck exclusively with OpenSuSE since 11.4 I realize apt-get is too simple for my tastes and I prefer using zypper. I must confess that I have not upgraded to OpenSuSE 12.3 on my primary workstation due to issues compiling the proprietary nvidia drivers for my very old Quadro FX3500 card. If I were to switch distros again I would gravitate toward Arch or Gentoo or bodhi despite it being based upon Ubuntu. If and when the Ubuntu phone is available I will give it a serious look.

    • projectzme
      June 20, 2013

      Now you have seriously peaked my interest, what does zapper offer that apt-get doesn’t, again, I’m curious. Many years ago I found opensuse very confusing with its package management, yast, zapper and there was another in the mix as well..

      I’d agree about the Ubuntu phone, it does look like a potential player and I think canonical have just enough clout to get some motion with this.. Especially if they get the security model right. Serious blackberry alternative potential.

      Have you ever looked at Sabayon?

      • Jason
        June 20, 2013

        Let me preface my response by saying I do not know much about CLI apt-get but my comments are solely a comparison between CLI zypper and CLI apt-get. Zypper offers functionality such as modifying repos, searching for specific packages that I never figured out how to accomplish with apt-get. This could be a comment on my lack of motivation to discover the answer in apt-get, but it also emphasizes my original statement about feel. I inexplicably took the time to research how to use the CLI zypper command because I wanted to use it. I did not invest the same amount of effort into learning apt-get.

        I have heard of Sabayon but I have not used it. Frankly, I wouldn’t have given Gentoo or Arch a second thought either if my co-worker hadn’t endorsed them. He is pretty geeky and he used Gentoo before switching to Arch late last year. However, another uber-geek friend of mine uses Ubuntu at work to code Ruby on Rails because Ubuntu offers a pain-free installation. He does not like OpenSuSE because zypper is not as friendly as apt-get!

      • projectzme
        June 20, 2013

        That’s a good honest response, thanks.. And actually pretty typical of the Linux community, a Distro is a very personal thing, something comfortable..

      • ynod
        June 27, 2013

        Ubuntu Phone looks nice, but I’m frankly more enthusiastic about the upcoming Jolla Phone — actually I even pre-ordered one already. Seemingly a very slick interface, and being the successor of MeeGo, it even has zypper as its package manager.

        Then again, both are traditional Linux flavors (unlike Android, that is) and have the wonderful Qt+QML combination as the developer story. Great times ahead, I think!

        Sorry about the offtopic 🙂

  5. tolisp
    June 21, 2013

    One more here that has recently switched from Ubuntu to Opensuse. So far no problems and not only that, i am quite happy with its OBS and Yast, i like KDE more than Unity and i was also a bit concerned to the direction Ubuntu is headed lately privacy-wise…. Besides i did start with Suse 9.3 my trip to Linux, so ….

    • projectzme
      June 21, 2013

      That’s interesting, how do you perceive ubuntu s stance on privacy to be, and where do you think it is going.

      Personally the ONLY gripe I have is kontact the mail client, it’s still pretty awful to use. But other than that I love the little things like building KDE-look support directly into the theme management

  6. aeblin
    June 21, 2013

    I like the way I can easily configure opensuse to users with wildly varying levels of experience. Two years ago I set up a second-hand laptop for my mother. She needs an electric typewriter and e-mail and is nearly completely computer-illiterate. I considered ubuntu then, and actually tried to install it, which wasn’t quite hassle-free. In the end I got either full screen OR accelerated graphics with black stripes on the sides, but that’s beside the point. I couldn’t figure out how I could make it “motherproof” so she can use it while not breaking anything. Tried opensuse, which gave no hassle detecting everything correctly out of the box, and I got everything I needed: All my mother needs is on the desktop, fixed in position so she doesn’t lose it by accident. (Btw, for mail I usually use thunderbird. Probably mainly because I use it since forever.) All I needed to tell her was “Poke around all you like, you can’t break anything. All the dangerous things can only be done with a password.” That kind of thing I did for several others, who are not quite that illiterate, but just don’t have the mind for computers.
    On the other hand, opensuse runs on my own machines, where I do quite some stuff. I’m not always in the mood to delve into CLI for simple tasks (simple on the user end, maybe complicated on the other side), while other days that’s just what I do. For all the little faults networking has/had, I still got a not-quite-simple WLAN-access under opensuse to work where Win8 just produced strange problems.
    I also gave ubuntu a spin an my machines, because of longstanding good reputation in the community. Nothing too exotic in my machines (RadeonHD 5770 on one machine and AMD APU-E …something, I forgot… on the laptop), but guess what – the graphics just would not work for all that’s unholy, where opensuse just did it without so much as flinching. And the proprietary AMD-driver followed with a community-made 1-click-install, can’t wish for anything simpler. So, in my experience ubuntu is a real pain to install, but that’s just a single opinion. Maybe it IS really easy for everyone else.

    • projectzme
      June 21, 2013

      Some fantastic insight there, I think it is important to note how different distorts fare with different hardware, I had a heck if a time with Ubuntu and my Optimus graphics card driven Lenovo and with opensuse but sabayon worked out of the box..

      I do agree that the stuff which can break things is password protected.. 🙂

  7. As for the liveCD. Use OpenSuse’s network install, it’s equally small.

    And as for the support forum that’s not so big… perhaps it had a lot less issues then ubuntu. I really love opensuse, since version 9 already.

    • projectzme
      June 21, 2013

      That’s a bit unfair, I could state that maybe people are doing a lot more with Ubuntu so need more help. Suses forums are well moderated I just kept coming across posts which were for version 9 or -0 and irrelevant. But then the same I guess can be said about UbuntuForums

    • Ed Dich
      June 21, 2013

      the dvd is for installing something you are already familiar with – which probably took place using the liveCDs. I personally install from the liveCDs anyway as I rarely need gnome, and if I do my network is fast enough to add the repo and packages…

  8. rich4rdmacwan
    June 21, 2013

    I used to use opensuse up until last year. But I was never satisfied with zypper and yast. Slow and at times buggy. I have always come back and tried opensuse with every new release. Starting from 11.3 to 12.4. But unfortunately, the performance of zypper and yast(especially software management) has consistently been the same in my opinion. I hope opensuse looks into that front and fixes it.
    As for me, I currently use archlinux.

    • projectzme
      June 21, 2013

      That’s interesting, I’d sort of agree with you on the slowness of zapper compared maybe with equo

    • Ed Dich
      June 21, 2013

      the zypper performance has been greatly improved since 11.2. Nowadays it’s speed is only limited by your network.
      P.S. btw, there wasn’t and there will not be 12.4 in opensuse – the next release is 13.1.

      • projectzme
        June 21, 2013

        12.4 bloody IOS autocorrect, wrote the post on an iPad 🙂

      • Ed Dich
        June 21, 2013

        haha, gotcha! So you ‘projectzme’ and ‘rich4rdmacwan’ are the same person, huh? 😉

      • projectzme
        June 21, 2013

        Nope..

  9. CA G Rajesh
    June 21, 2013

    Not yet. I find ubuntu’s hardware configuration is bit easier. LAN setup too, easier. You can setup a SOHO in few hours, perhaps lesser than opensuse. BTW, I am a great lover of KDE and opensuse is my first distro and favourite one still, since 2000 (ver.6.3). But, when it comes to matters said above, I prefer Kubuntu. Opensuse has come a long way, but it has some more to go to equate with Kubuntu – only in the above matters. In matters of software quality, OS certainly shines.

    • projectzme
      June 21, 2013

      That’s interesting many people I have spoken with despise kde as delivered by kubunu but I guess what you are stating is the underlying OS is providing you “more”

      • CA G Rajesh
        June 22, 2013

        You’re right. I’m talking about configuration/set-up options and ease to do the same. I agree Yast is a better tool, but underlying ubuntu is far easier. Software quality? You’re right, again. OBS and OpenSuse is just better and great!

  10. Gertjan Lettink
    June 21, 2013

    A couple of things:
    – openSUSE is not SUSE (which uses GNOME as a default DE)
    – KDE is not really the default desktop, albeit the default value for the radio button for the desktop choice
    – Some attention might be given that the relationship SUSE – openSUSE is a different one than Canonical – Ubuntu.
    – The fact that openSUSE is entirely community driven makes it completely different IMHO
    – openSUSE is free of any commercial involvement.

    • projectzme
      June 21, 2013

      Do you think the fact it’s free of commercial involvement is a good thing? I could suggest that it’s because of the commercial involvement behind Ubuntu that Linux has moved so far forward in the last 5 years?

      As for the semantics I’m pitching the blog post to a specific audience. And I’ve spoken to a few people who as I stated provide kde as a default desktop through opensuse.. It’s the best place to see a version of kde unfettered in maybe the way kubunu might do..

  11. Craig Walker
    June 21, 2013

    Been using OpenSuse since 10.0 Love it. Got kinda rocky in the 11.0-11.2 versions. I’ve installed Debian and Fedora before, and still have ubuntu installed to test things with. Didn’t like that wireless is left out of the installation for Debian, and they only update every gazillion years. Ubuntu is alright. I use Gnome 3. Something about the responsiveness of the left top corner intrigues me. You can set KDE up sort of that way, but its not as responsive. I like the look and feel of Gnome 3. I use all KDE applications, however. I use Kontact ( which I actually like ), definitely dolphin ( love the terminal panel below ), okular, ksnapshot, kate, just to name a few. I wish KDE would get their color schemes to integrate better into Gnome 3. One problem I have, though, is that when I go to Ubuntu Forums, the answers, a lot of times, do not apply to OpenSuse. Take a simple example like the name of www users. Its wwwrun for OpenSuse and www-data for Ubuntu. Many things are like that. Well they ARE different distros, but still. Sometimes it seems OpenSuse is the ONLY one to do certain things.

    I would like an opensuse phone…why don’t they put one out. Ubuntu is so darn popular, it sometimes makes me mad. However, my dad bought an Xi3 little cube computer for his business and the linux version they put on it happens to be OpenSuse. although its 11.4.

    • projectzme
      June 21, 2013

      Some great feedback there some great reasons for your choice of your Distro its refreshing to hear a coherent well thought opinion.

      Hopefully is canonical can get the Ubuntu phone right (and it seems it is) maybe that might lead the way for other distos however as someone pointed out in another post opensuse is community driven and might not have the commercial clout to do so.. That being said Mozilla is forging ahead with the Firefox phone so who knows..

  12. Megashadow
    June 21, 2013

    No es una alternativa, yo pienso que es mas completa openSuse.

  13. Megashadow
    June 21, 2013

    Creo que no es comparable como alternativa. Ubuntu es la alternativa a debian, para principiante. openSuse simplemente es una buena distro para quedarte con ella despues de que conoces del mundo linux, tal asi como sabayon.

    • projectzme
      June 21, 2013

      ok, puedo entender lo que está diciendo, pero es que el gui que es más configurable o el sistema operativo?

  14. Ed Dich
    June 21, 2013

    I’m an (open)SuSE user since 5.3. Recently I disliked the tendency of the distro of developing into areas which are kinda fancy but pretty useless for most users, and gave try to Ubuntu and Fedora. I disliked both of them even more then “worsened” openSuSE and switched back. Luckily, 12.3 worked pretty well for me, I guess I’ll stick to this one for another while.

    As for details: Unity and Gnome3 really made any real work impossible. All your work is now to find out how to achieve trivial functionality and what extra packages you would need to add and where. Not for me.
    Fedora was slightly better, but it’s KDE spin showed very funny glitches, like not updating the konsole after pressing enter. I didn’t intend to start fixing that sort of bullshit and switched back, especially – as pointed out above – zypper & yast are so far superior compared to any CLI or GUI software/system management tools that I would seriously recommend all the distros to drop their homegrown tools and switch to these set.

    • projectzme
      June 21, 2013

      I disagree I use gnome 3 daily as a Sysadmin and its simple full screen display is fantastic, my workflow is better and I’ve not been stopped doing anything.. So I’d be interested in knowing what it is you cane do or is upsetting your workflow.. What is it you can’t do?

      • Ed Dich
        June 21, 2013

        Easy – install a fresh system, then make a quick glance upon your watch (fix time), and install an applet on the taskbar (or it’s analog in G3) which would display the CPU temperature in red, the mainboard temperature in green, update 1 pixel per second and have the label ‘Temp’ on it at font size 7. Maybe you CAN do that in G3, but from KDE3 on you could do that in under a minute. + infinite options for customizing. Another example – I want my focus to follow mouse, and I want a particular window with a certain window class and title be ALWAYS above others, and I want the system to remember that setting and not set that every time anew. Another example – using the ‘fish’ plugin of KDE (installed by default) I can open a file on a remote server where I have only ssh access as it were local, and my applications would know they have to send the changes ONLY upon save/reload (far better/faster than sshfs, though less universal, I would agree).
        With all that said, I don’t clain kde or opensuse are flawless. I agree with your points about forums, default repositories etc, and in fact if you type ‘repository’ in the opensuse wiki search you’ll find nothing – that’s ridiculous. Also, KDE would get really buffled if you suspend the computer and then wake it up in a network where it has a different name – dhcp will change it, and the old kde sockets (hostname based!) will get crazy! grub2 has been forced into the distro far too early, so was the case with kde4. So really something was wrong with the organizing things in my opinion, user-orientation and desktop-orientation were (and are) half-baked…

      • projectzme
        June 21, 2013

        In your original post you stated that the design of G3 made any real work impossible, yet in this your referring not to work, but to customisation. I wrote a post yesterday which I actually asked more than 100 people on Facebook, twitter, irc about their disto of choice

        http://blog.projectz.me/2013/06/20/fedora-vs-opensuse-vs-gentoo-vs-ubuntu-vs-osx-vs-windows/

        What was very interesting, and I don’t want to belittle your comments in any way, many people making statements like the one you made and how they were applicable to just them.

        Distro and GUI are a hugely personal choice, they do say so much about me and you, which is great, however all are great for workflow..

  15. Kevin LeBlanc
    June 21, 2013

    I tried openSuSE and found it to be very “okay”. Granted, I was looking for more of a rolling release distro, and found openSuSE with the Tumbleweed repo to be far too unstable. I have nothing against Ubuntu or Unity – I just find a lot of Canonical’s recent decisions to be quite questionable, especially with the kerfuffle regarding the Amazon lens as well as dropping the support time for non-LTS releases from 18 to 9 months.

    Frankly, I’ve found distros based off straight Debian to be quite polished and stable, even the ones based off the Testing branch. The three to look at, IMO, are Linux Mint Debian Edition, SolydXK (I use SolydK), and Point Linux.

    It’s all a matter of what works for you. One might find Ubuntu to be perfect for them while others might prefer Fedora, Arch, Gentoo or openSuSE. If someone were to ask ME for a viable Ubuntu alternative, I’d point them to LMDE or SolydXK,

  16. Ed Dich
    June 21, 2013

    Well, let’s put it this way – to do work you need tools. If you know EXACTLY what tools you need, you have to be able to customize. Telling me HOW should I do things is very Apple-ish, and I don’t like this. BTW, I’ve need a long-time Gnome user, still with v.1. I made attempts to switch back a couple of times, performance being one of the main goals, but the limits imposed always brought me back to KDE…

    • projectzme
      June 21, 2013

      Fair play.. I’m interested in the ssh thing, I press Ctrl + l on nautilus and type ssh://server/folder and its like I’m on the remote box.. Does fish do something different? What about dolphin? I’f so I will take a look I do that A LOT with sshfs and smbfs

      • DolphinRules
        June 22, 2013

        I have in Dolphin Places shorcuts to my fish, smb and sftp connections, even with user/pass in it.. and with divided panels, Ctrl+i, to filter files while your type in (loving when you have to go through a file full of logs or archives), well.. for me, it’s the best file manager to do my job hands down..
        By the way, I’m a proud user of openSUSE, but before I was an Ubuntu user. Some points:
        1. I’m with the same / installation since 11.1 and now I’m in 12.3. Perfect distro upgrade in all these versions. I can’t say the same for Ubuntu, I’ve got bad experiences with 9.04 version, so I give up Ubuntu in that point..
        2. Suse Studio and OBS are top notch tools.
        3. The openSUSuse forum maybe smaller than Ubuntu, but is very friendly.
        4. Love the Kde customization that openSUSE made in the last version. The plasma theme, the colors, the red thing glow in the windows… it’s the first time that I’m stuck with a vanilla style from openSUSE.. 😀

        I don’t have any reasons to test Unity or Ubuntu, but I don’t hate them.. simply, I don’t want to use anything different to my prefered DE, KDE, and I’m in love my openSUSE+KDE!
        😉

      • projectzme
        June 22, 2013

        Ok, I might give dolphin a go..

        As for your comment about Ubuntu, I do respect that, in a separate blog post http://blog.projectz.me/2013/06/20/fedora-vs-opensuse-vs-gentoo-vs-ubuntu-vs-osx-vs-windows/ I have cited perception of pervious Distro filers as being a major driver in personal Distro preference for many people.. Obviously having an issue in 2009 with Ubuntu steered you to becoming a happy suse user

  17. AJ
    June 21, 2013

    Dolphin and before Konqueror are both able to connect to URIs like scp or smb. I used it years before I figured out it too works with Nautilus. I move to Ubuntu about 2010 on my main laptop, since it was better with KMS and wireless. Suffering the Gnomes functional pain and it’s resource hunger looked for an alternative. It turned out to be Linux Mint/Mate for old laptops and Opensuse 12.3 for my main laptop. Both district are great!

  18. greenpatch
    June 22, 2013

    “All the useful repositories”? If you have more than two non-default repos, you are probably “doing it wrong” already.

    • projectzme
      June 22, 2013

      So if I add repositories for

      Videolan (vlc) because it provides a more up to date version
      Packman (for multimedia codecs amongst others)
      Mozilla (for a more secure up to date Firefox)
      Virtualbox
      Wine (again recommended for the latest releases)
      Kde extra
      Kde updates

      Is doing it wrong is it? Wanting to be up to date?

      You made a blanket statement which provides no justification to it, and actually comes across as the sort of trolling pompous attitude which makes Linux difficult for new users to get support on. I bet you are the sort of user who posts “read the man page” on forums.

      So why do you feel that using more than two repositories isn’t needed, what two repositories are needed? Share the love 😉

      • Ed Dich
        June 24, 2013

        I agree with projectzme that one very often needs more than two non-default repos added, but it’s indeed true that non-default repos are more likely to break dependencies, especially if one plans a distro upgrade (vie ‘zypper dup’ or alike)

  19. Steve
    June 25, 2013

    Been using *buntu for 7 years in one form or another. Dislike Unity intensely. KDE has now come of age, and the OpenSuse implementation is just gorgeous! I am running with the Tumbleweed repo, and 2 weeks in, there is nothing I dislike. Provided I have no fundamental issues in the near future, it’s unlikely that I’ll be going back!

    • projectzme
      June 25, 2013

      Do you mind me asking what you dislike about unity?

      • Steve
        June 26, 2013

        The reason is threefold –

        1. The concept of the ‘HUD’ runs contrary to what a GUI is all about. Command line is very powerful, but it requires a good memory; a GUI on the other hand is all about providing an intuitive step-wise selection process.
        2. Unity runs far more slowly than KDE on my 10-year-old PC
        3. Unity is boring – it lacks the excitement and tweak-ability that KDE provides.

      • projectzme
        June 26, 2013

        Interesting…

        Not sure I personally agree with the first two, however the last one yes, I would concur with. I find even on old kit or low powered net books unity runs ok, especially with 13.04 however I’m willing to concede that this is just a personal preference of mine..

      • Steve
        June 26, 2013

        There is no doubt that on my PC, Unity is somewhat ‘laggy’. There is often a 1-2 second delay between clicking on an icon and then seeing a response. I don’t have the same issue with OpenSuse/KDE. Having been such an Ubuntu fan for so many years – a change is not something that would come naturally to me – indeed, I have spent most of those years trying other distros, and then always coming back to Ubuntu. I tried very hard to like Unity, but I simply could not get on with it! Xubuntu provided me with a temporary refuge, but it feels very dated, and doesn’t provide the level of control I would wish. I have tried repeatedly to get to grips with KDE4.x – but there was always some bug that scared me off, despite the fact that I was always in awe of its fine looks! With OpenSuse 12.3, we finally have a robust product.

      • projectzme
        June 26, 2013

        Well your right on the robust product for 12.3 and I really hope 13.0 builds on that. Opensuse needs a couple of good awe inspiring releases, what is evident is the number of longtime Ubuntu users who are heading over that way. It’s a scary migration for canonical as they do appear to be losing their long term cheerleaders in the hunt for some coin.. That being said I really hope they get the phone working well..

  20. Lucio Menzel
    June 26, 2013

    Linux Mint MATE is my choice. I used openSUSE up to 11.4, switch because I do not like gnome 3 nor kde.

    • Steve
      June 27, 2013

      Don’t you find MATE to be a little ‘buggy’? I ran MATE on top of Ubuntu for a while, and whilst I enjoyed using it, it had its quirks!

      • projectzme
        June 27, 2013

        I’m not sure I really see the point of either MATE or Cinnamon they both feel very 2003 (I know there is a lot of work going on on the projects) while anything that breaks the gnome/kde grasp on mature desktops is a good thing, designing your system based on gnome2 as a starting block (and yes they are..) is just wrong..

        As some of the comments in this post show Linux users are a fickle lot when it comes to distos and GUIs so I guess it’s hard to get a catch all..

  21. Steve
    June 27, 2013

    MATE is obviously a reincarnated Gnome 2. Probably because Gnome 2 was the first desktop I ever used, I have a particular affection for it. The design is simply and clear and reflects the fact that there are 3 things you want to do with a computer: run applications (‘Applications’), manage files (‘Places’), or tweak the system (‘System’).

    • projectzme
      June 27, 2013

      Yeah, agreed.. but then you could use E17 for that. and infact if that was all there was too it Unity would be loved by all.. Infact we could all be running the command line too 😉

      What is that X Factor which makes one GUI “better” than another?

      • Steve
        June 27, 2013

        For me, the perfect desktop is –

        Nippy (fast)
        Intuitive
        Attractive
        Personalizable
        Robust

      • projectzme
        June 27, 2013

        I like those categories..

  22. Steve
    June 27, 2013

    Unity fails on first two points
    Gnome 3 fails also on the first two
    Cinamon fails on first point
    XFCE fails on the third (as does LXDE)
    E17 fails on the fifth
    KDE currently ticks all the boxes for me

    • projectzme
      June 27, 2013

      As i sit here installing KDE 4.10 I’m hoping it does for me too. However its a leap of faith as i’ve been burnt in the past with KDE. I just don’t want to be one of those people who has that happens and slates a project from there on in. I personally think Unity isn’t that bad a GUI, and I see where Canonical are going with it. E17, XFCE, MATE and Cinnamon always fail when it comes to customizing or usability, they just miss something..

      • Steve
        June 27, 2013

        I agree with you all the way! Of course, the best thing about KDE is that I can have automatically-updating Dilbert cartoons on my desktop!!!!

      • projectzme
        June 27, 2013

        Sold.. 🙂

  23. Steve
    June 30, 2013

    As I send inmy reply to your other post – KDE/Opnsuse crashed and burned on my PC. Could have been because of Tumbleweed? Either way, whilst bells and whistles are great, reliability is paramount! Back to Mint.

  24. Pingback: KDE 4.10: Thoughts after nearly a week.. | projectz

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