I read this interesting wiki
There are some interesting points I share, and some points that imho are
what characterize SUSE since the beginning, so I think it would be
interesting to discuss them a bit to hear what users think.
Vincent, the author of the page, asked me to clarify that what he wrote
are his opinions. Of course it's the same for what I write. :-)
I will comment point-to-point, hoping not to forget any. Quoted text is
from the page.
Note that some of the items here are simply caused by
the fact that
openSUSE tries to be everything at the same time (distro for server,
desktop, etc.). It might make sense to have an install CD for server,
and another one for desktop.
I like the full-featured DVD, which can do everything. And I think that
having everything in one place just adds value and simplifies things
both for the final users and for the maintainers. I mean: 1 medium
allows you to do what you need to, and it's easier to keep under control
its quality, at least in the general aspects (more people use it).
Also, there's something wrong with factory if we
want people to use it
(especially developers). Ubuntu is doing a much better job here.
the installer is way too complex, with too many things
to do, even with
the current simplification work going on in Factory.
Yes, it does a lot of things and it takes longer than ubuntu, that's
sure. But on the contrary it leaves you with a fully configured system,
with the software selection you want, with network properly configured
even if you have various interfaces, with a firewall properly set-up and
with running printing services. So I vote for keeping it long.
sudo should be used by default for a desktop install.
It doesn't make
any sense to have the root account. There's an option "Use the same
password for root as the one used for the user" in the installer, but
it's not about sudo, I believe.
Thanks for pointing this out. I was myself a sudo supporter, but someone
with more technical experience than me explained to me that sudo is not
the right way to follow for various security/conceptual reasons, and I
agree. In the end, UNIX has root, and the users should learn to manage
it. It doesn't add complexity if properly explained.
About the "Use the same password for root", I think it's plain wrong.
Using the same password for root and the user reduces security.
in openSUSE, there are two radeon drivers: the old one
randr1.2-enabled one (new one), probably because the new one is still
in beta. Still, it doesn't make much sense to have both and the new one
works fine. Only this one should be used.
I agree. If the one selected is really working in all the cases. If not,
better two than a complaining user.
on startup, there's a 10 seconds delay in grub.
Ubuntu only uses 1 or 2
seconds. It helps with the feeling of booting faster.
Ubuntu seems to boot faster. There might be less services, some
services are started after GDM is shown, etc. upstart might help too.
Ten seconds in grub are a reasonable time to allow the user to select
the operating system. And I think it's a basic requirement also for
accessibility. Not all users are young, fast and without issues.
Ubuntu uses brown as the color for the root window when
(it's a gdm config option, I believe). It helps with the transition
from the brown gdm theme to the brown default background on the user
desktop. In openSUSE, we still use the greyish blue. It should be some
Hehe I love green, so I agree. But green is not much appreciated by
various users, who switched back to blue or personalised backgrounds.
the menu bar is completely unusable in openSUSE: icons
are too big
(distro patch), and there are tons of submenus (because we use the same
menu config as KDE?)
I think it's related to the idea of offering a comparable choice of
applications to the users on both DE.
The real, not addressed, point is that the menu (main-menu) is not well
implemented and it's probably one of the most buggy piece of software we
have (read never solved leaks). I would love to see a kickoff-like
implementation in place of the app-browser.
with only a very short look, I saw many
not-updated-to-the-latest-versions packages: yelp, totem, epiphany,
rhythmbox for example.
This is SUSE policy. The released version is not upgraded until the next
release. I usually agree with it, because it's thought to grant
stability, but I think it was used in the wrong way sometime, not
providing updates when features were lacking (for 10.3, read: anjuta,
gedit with python support, ...).
Ubuntu is quite good at uploading new packages as soon
releases (at least, for GNOME). This is really great for a developer
I agree. But I don't want to think to continuous updates to the released
when I update openSUSE with "zypper dup", I
have to download nearly 1GB
of packages. I seriously doubt that all of them were updated. It takes
me hours to get all updates... (slow DSL line)
This is because dependency issues in the gnome side at opensuse are
historical. One package usually brings half of gnome with itself. I
don't know if it's necessary, but it's a common complaining we get.
the Ubuntu development version is nearly never broken.
always broken in some way (still usable, but either no network, or
uninstallable updates, or impossible to mount a usb key, etc.).
Another historical issue. I always read/experienced these issues.
I had to manually install the firmwares for my intel
when I don't have a gstreamer plugin, totem shows a dialog proposing me
to install it. It just opens a webpage. Ubuntu actually installs the
right package (and adds the repository if needed)
Well, ubuntu violates a bunch of laws doing that :-)
The intel firmware is provided on a non-OSS support and on the DVD, and
should be installed by default. Online there's the non-OSS repository,
which can be added at installation time. Keeping OSS and non-OSS
separated is one of the long discussed key decision openSUSE made.
I couldn't find all gstreamer plugins for
factory... So no multimedia
experience for me.
This depends on the fact that those plugins can't be hosted in -factory
for the same legal reasons they're not provided with the distribution.
Moreover they're packaged by non-Novell related guys.
it's actually confusing to have so many
. If possible, everything should go to the main
I agree. But for codecs, drivers and others things, there are legal
there are tons of installed packages by default that
don't make any
sense. Some graphical ones (gftp? skencil?), some non-graphical (tcsh,
ksh, zsh: do we really need all shells by default?)
Well, except gftp (the only decent FTP client for GNOME), the rest
should be removed. It's ages we get the complaint of suse having this
Ubuntu doesn't use a firewall by default because
the default services
are secure and trusted (ssh, avahi, eg). With openSUSE, I have to
choose what I want to do with the firewall.
Ubuntu does wrong on this side. Services are secure until you don't
prove the contrary, and this happens often, considering that SSH is
regularly patched, for example.
A firewall is necessary imho, but its configuration should be easier.
For example, while it's easy to open SSH port, it's a mess to have a
properly working samba because of closed highports (hehe I know I said
this too many times).
too many unneeded yast stuff. Users don't need to
know about apparmor.
Why not? A user can happily ignore that. Who does decide that the user
doesn't need to know? That's not the UNIX philosophy. The user should
LEARN to use his system, and the system should provide sensible
defaults, of course (as a proper AppArmor configuration).
A tool to config the mouse model in X shouldn't be
The model of the mouse is selected in SaX, where the whole X is
configured, and I think it's there because it might be necessary to set
things in a fine way in certain cases.
There are 8 >launchers in the Software category and
I don't understand
what they >are... etc.
Perfectly agree on this!
seahorse/gnome-keyring integration: in Ubuntu, when I
ssh somewhere, a
dialog pops up. In openSUSE, I need to use the standard ssh-agent, it
I agree on this one too :)
in the middle of the afternoon, I see
beagle-build-index and the man db
rebuild happening. Lots of hard disk use. Middle of the afternoon is
when I use my computer. It should be done during the night if possible.
Hmm. This looks like a cron-job issue. It's usually done around late
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