OpenSUSE{ .center }
Today, I’ll be giving my impressions of OpenSUSE Tumbleweed, as of today, February 11, 2015. Who is this post for? Well, generally speaking it’s for everyone. But, if you must know I recently jumped to OpenSUSE from Arch Linux. I had my fair of struggles, regardless, I guess I should go ahead and say that OpenSUSE KDE is still the best out there.

Installation

The installation of OpenSUSE Tumbleweed was rather straightforward. The installer has been polished; I noticed it’s faster than the past installations I’ve done of OpenSUSE.

I had a really good experience using the partitioner provided by the installer. By far one of the best I’ve used, albeit a bit slow, however the user interface is so friendly and straight to the point.

Impressions so far

After the installation of OpenSUSE I was met with a unique theme in the display manager and desktop. The first hours of using OpenSUSE were spent restoring my data, and installing all usual applications. There were no crashes as far as I remember.

YaST

Volume Manager

One the reasons I switched to OpenSUSE was pretty much the need to automate some tasks (samba configuration, user management, printer, etc). YaST’s the perfect candidate for the job. Another reason for switching to OpenSUSE was the KDE experience, which is by far one of the best experiences.

Where YaST still fails is how slow it is. YaST takes a while to read and write configuration files. Launching the software management takes patience if you are used to applications like Apper which doesn’t take long to give you the results you want in a timely manner.

Zypper, zip it!

Coming from Arch Linux and jumping straight to OpenSUSE gave me headaches. Starting with the package naming in OpenSUSE, and locating multilib packages to compile applications like WINE 32bit work. One of the saddest thing of zypper is that even if you do sudo zypper si -d wine-32bit it would look for the 64bit devel packages.

Another thing to point out of Zypper is how slow it is. You’ll wish you had pacman back.

Repositories, Repositories, Repositories!

Software Manager
As someone who started using OpenSUSE seriously it dawned on me that OpenSUSE comes with two repositories with critical software. The Open Source repository and the Non-OSS repository.

Not all the software you want is there. This will hit you as you start looking for software. For example, I use Cantata and Music Player Daemon, they are incredibly popular and I’ve yet to find it in the main repositories.

For this, you’ll have to enable Packman repositories which give you the essentials, multimedia, games, and so on.

There are also repositories for NVIDIA, VLC, KDE:Extra packages.

Although this sounds all great, it introduces a variable of uncertainty.

Priority #1

Repositories

Like any decent package manager, zypper can prioritize repositories from 1 to 99, where the lower count is the highest priority.

Being exposed to Packman repositories will undoubtedly make you want to install all the software there is; in my opinion, you should refrain from doing so, or at the very least use the priority.

For example, the main repositories of OpenSUSE has a priority of 50, while Packman repositories have a priority of 99.

Why? One has to maintain the stability of the system.

A case that happened to me recently was a crippled package I got from Packman. I use Linphone, a software that allows me to use VoIP services and make calls. The package in Packman is broken, while the one in the OpenSUSE repos is working.

So please, consider using priorities.

Overlooking the slowness

While OpenSUSE has its flaws when it comes to its package manager. It’s a very, very strong GNU/Linux distribution. A very well polished KDE 5(Plasma 5).

I still recommend OpenSUSE to anyone know who hasn’t ever touched GNU/Linux in his/her life.

The flaws it shows

Being on a rolling release stage of OpenSUSE there’s always something that breaks. In this case, I’ve been having problems with Dolphin, it doesn’t want to save new Places. It’s a bit annoying, but not something that breaks the experience for me.

I should mention that OpenSUSE is still a VERY SOLID distribution, regardless of Dolphin file manager playing foul.

The verdict

Keeping things short. OpenSUSE Tumbleweed has proven to be a very reliable distribution. If you are KDE lover like me, please consider switching to it.

My only MAJOR complaint is the package naming and development packages. It’s FRUSTRATING hunting down each package, truly a nightmare compared to other distributions.

It’s still nice to play games and all

Final Fantasy XIV, because why not