Mailinglist Archive: opensuse (1698 mails)

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Re: [opensuse] fsh and distros
On 12/19/2011 8:05 PM, Rüdiger Meier wrote:
On Tuesday 20 December 2011, Cristian Rodríguez wrote:
On 19/12/11 17:15, Brian K. White wrote:
We do not WANT that much uniformity among distros.

The lack of uniformity, is a mayor problem, at least from my
developer point of view, it duplicates a lot of work.

Why do we need openSUSE at all? Because it's green?

Uniformity is nice where it does not have too much downsides. I'am
totally fine that there are distros like Ubuntu or Fedora rapidly
throwing away good old unix style to get over some apple/windows users.
But isn't Fedora/Ubuntu enough? Do we need a greenish mix of them?

What exactly should be the difference between Fedora and openSUSE?

That right there is the $64,000 question.

There used to be a real answer but *suse has been coasting on inertia and declining for a few years. I have not seen any special point to suse in a few years. I use it primarily because back when it was a stand-out distro, I chose it and now I have a ton of servers and all my companies employees are (painfully, oh so stupidly painfully) trained on the details. It simply doesn't suck bad enough yet to be worth the upset switching would cause. Mostly because I can just deal with most things myself. Whatever the distro doesn't do or does poorly or brokenly, it's often easier for me to just fix or work-around than it would be even to generate a bug report. also, I just don't use 90% of the syste, No desktops of any sort, so whole worlds of gnome, kde, networkmanager, applications, video drivers, wifi drivers, etc all that stuff can be broken and it simply doesn't affect me. So for me, there is hardly any reason at all to use *suse.

Yast and the overall thoroughness of integration was it hands-down in the past. For a desktop user yast may still be way out ahead of all other distros system management tools. My few desktops are fairly minimalistic ubuntu with lxde or xfce. sysadmin is kind of spotty. I usually have to manually install wicd and dink with it a while to get wifi working. I usually have to dink with bootloader and xorg settings manually to get a working gui at all (yay gma500) so sax2 may also be a pretty non-trivial suse advantage. But generally, regardless of distro, I have to do a lot of work to get a fully working install unless I'm willing to live with incredibly limited hardware choices and even software choices (keep the ancient stock linux that came preinstalled with proprietary drivers and media software that no longer exist...)
So as far as I'm concerned they all suck a bit in that regard. Nothing especially bad about suse.

OBS is one very very good feature. That is worth a lot right there.
It's open source so you don't have to use suse to use obs, but I like to pput credit where it belongs. OBS, the software, is a fantastic thing, and OBS the service, allowing such effortless use by any random user on a public build and publish farm is really outstanding.

But a lot of what makes OBS so killer (maintain your code in one spot and it will be almost effortlessly installable everywhere, on different versions and platforms of hosts) is obviated by the freebsd/gentoo ports system. So, OBS is really great but isn't necessarily the only way to skin that cat.

SuseStudio seems kind of amazing but in reality, I haven't found a real use for it. I made a few iso's but in the end it just seemed like a lot of work to get something less efficient and less flexible than just customizing a regular install a little. The regular installer already has some pretty powerful customization and automation features. So it's far more efficient and supportable to use the standard official net install iso than to use a customized one.

OK so, no really strong advantages. Any actual disadvantages?

One minor one. In the world of rapidly changing software and hardware, it is pricelessly valuable to be using the same things as other people, because you can't pay anyone enough to dig in and diagnose your personal problems. Only numbers gives you any chance to find answers to problems. When your wifi doesn't work, unless you are lucky and it's a simple issue you can debug yourself, you can't get the guy who designed the motherboard, or the wifi card, or the motherboard bios, or the wifi card driver, etc.. to come diagnose your problem. The only chance you have is if a lot of other people have the same problem, then it gets looked into by one off the rare people who actually can look into it. Then you get to benefit from being in the group of people that solution applies to. If you're using a less-common distribution, you're more on your own. Well fedora/centos and ubuntu and the other debian derivatives are certainly more widely installed than *suse.

But opensuse at least (NOT SLE) is at least somewhat widely used, 4th after ubuntu, fedora, & debian on distrowatch, but 4th is still pretty good. That's a lot of fellow users to commiserate with. So While it's easier to find other people with the same problems and easier to find fixes to them on ubuntu than anything else at the moment. Many of those things do actually translate relatively easily to any other distro and for those that don't opensuse at least is still large enough that you are rarely really on your own.

So, IMO, there are no strong disadvantages to suse either.

--
bkw
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