Grudge Match: Ubuntu 12.10 vs openSUSE 12.2: Page 3

Which of these Linux desktops is superior? That may depend on who’s using them.
Posted September 10, 2012

Matt Hartley

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I found that openSUSE is, without any question, a clear winner with regard to the best installer options. And the control panel options are on par with that of other popular distributions.

The downside to openSUSE, is that I feel YaST largely holds back this distribution. It's dated in its performance, entirely too complex out of the box for the casual user, and generally lacks the speed found in alternative package management tools.

For those who are willing to handle their package management outside of YaST, then it's not so bad. Granted, YaST does offer the enterprise user some useful tools. But overall, I think it needs a refresh.

The other issue I have with this release of openSUSE is that running updates can be hit and miss. Sure, running alternative methods yields success. But running the provided GUI update tool failed two out of the three times I tested it. And yes, I tested the connection first to make sure there wasn't an obvious issue on my end.

In a perfect world I would borrow Ubuntu's use of dpkg and toss it over to openSUSE's awesome installer with its great partition tools. Since both distros were virtually on par for software availability, the biggest differences between them occurred based on how easily I was able to use each distribution.

I really enjoyed openSUSE's speed. Unfortunately, I am really bothered by how poorly the package management was handled with this release of openSUSE. That said, I am also bothered by the current Unity bug in the Ubuntu beta as well.

So, when the dust settles and everything is fully considered which release would I crown the winner? Well, the Unity bug is said to be addressed by Ubuntu's actual release date and the issues with openSUSE's package management aren't the end of the world. After all, I do have other methods available to me for running updates.

I would recommend openSUSE to any intermediate to advanced Linux enthusiast. It's a solid distribution worth some serious consideration.

But for the newer user, my recommendation would remain with Ubuntu. Despite any potential for flaws it may have, the basics all work pretty well and even though Ubuntu 12.10 is still in beta, I was shocked at how stable it was despite its current status. It's definitely worth checking out.

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Tags: Linux, Ubuntu, Linux desktop, openSUSE

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