Bye bye Suse, welcome Fedora

Successfully migrated my workstation @home from OpenSuse to Fedora13

After using SuSE and later OpenSuse since 1994 it was time for a change. I was stuck at OpenSuse because of its excellent multimedia support trough 3rd party repostitories from packman. Last evening another update brought the system down once again. Time for change.

Since a long time Fedora does not ship software any more which are problematic because of software patents, such as mp3, different video codecs etc. Since then Fedora was more or less a no-go for home-usage. In meantime there is a 3rd party repository available called RPM Fusion. RPM Fusion is as good as packman, this made the decision to switch easier.

Why I finally switched from OpenSuse to Fedora:

  • @Work, I’m mostly working with RHEL systems
  • Workstation @work migrated to Fedora long time ago
  • Novell is going to die, future of (Open)Suse is uncertain
  • Multimedia support is as good as for OpenSuse trough 3rd party repositories
  • Suse has a bad package management (zypper and friends) and its going worse with each new release
  • Fedora is more innovative
  • Bigger community
  • Better quality control (obviously)
  • If a Fedora update is going wrong, packages can be easily downgraded with a single command

Is the switch on my home workstation enterprise relevant?
Yes and no.

Yes, because people like me tend to use the upstream project of the two enterprise Linux distributions RHEL (with Fedora as upstream) and Suse (with OpenSuse as upstream). I know a lot of people who already switched to Fedora quite some time ago.

No, because for home usage for ordinary users Ubunu, Debian, you-name-it-distribution is good enough.

I’m quite convinced that (Open)Suse will die in the next time. One of the reasons is that Novell brought SuSE Linux AG back in 2003 and dismissed lots of developers. Then investment companies held the major part of Novell’s stocks. Investment companies are known to be interested to make money on the short term, not on the long term.

If Suse is really going to die, this is a bad thing for the Linux society. The only “Enterprise” Linux would then be Red Hat Enterprise Linux. As we know from Microsoft, a monopoly is always a bad thing. There is an urge for another Enterprise Linux vendor. How will kick in? Mandriva? They are nearly bankrupt. Ubunu/Canonical? They call five years of support long term support (LTS)? Gimme a break! Oracle Linux (Aka OEL)? Its a RHEL clone.

Your opinion?
Please leave a comment

Have fun? Unsure…

7 thoughts on “Bye bye Suse, welcome Fedora

  1. eric says:

    It is nice to see Linux becoming more of a competitor to Microsoft. I have not been much a SUSE Linux user over the last three years, but really hope the next company that takes up this project from Novell can really get it moving more.

    I wish more average computer users knew what Linux was an how great it really is.

    • Luc de Louw says:

      For a long time, SuSE was the best distribution out there. Since then the quality was getting worse and worse. Maybe with a new company behind it SuSE will get back on track

      • Joseph G. Mitzen says:

        Saying that the quality has gotten worse and worse seems like quite an unsupportable statement. Reviews are hailing openSUSE as the best openSUSE yet and some are calling it the best KDE distro.

        The one item on your list of reasons you changed that seems very unfair is that zypper is getting “worse and worse”. That’s simply not true. Zypper has been extremely improved. It incorporates a SAT (dependency solver) that’s quick and GUARANTEED to find a solution if one exists. It can do distro upgrades now. If it can’t install something it will tell you *why* it can’t and then give you a list of intelligent options to choose from. Ark Linux has chosen libzypp (the zypper library) as the basis for its new package manager after evaluating all of their options. Improvements are coming for zypper in 11.4 that involve transmitting just the differences during repository updates to speed them up. Zypper package management can give you *paragraphs* of detail about what a package is, list a changelog, search the web, there’s openSUSE Build Service making many more programs available, there’s one-click install… all of this makes for bad package management????

        You state an “update” “brought down the system”. Do you mean one specific package or did you do a zypper update and update everything? Was it an official SUSE package that affected your system or something in a third party repository? The only official SUSE updates are bug fixes and security packages. What do you mean by “brought down”? If all of your system files are from the official repositories, there should be no major updates and nothing that could crash your system.

        It sounds like you were just looking for an excuse to switch to Fedora and found it. Given that Fedora is considered to be in a perpetual alpha state, I don’t see as how you’re going to find more stability there. Jumping to a distro that’s “more innovative” for reasons of lack of stability seems like a contradiction to me.

        Novell is also not “going to die”. It’s not like they’re even losing money.

        • Luc de Louw says:

          Dear Joseph,

          Looks like you are quite angry about my posting. Let me exaplain…

          That the quality has gotten worse and worse is my personal experience.

          Zypper: The defaults are quite odd. It defaults to accept changes. Have you ever accidentally pressed enter twice? “zypper ar blah” defaults to not refresh the repo on “zypper up”. A definitive plus for Suse is the “one-click-install” that’s for sure.

          Zypper also does not check if there is enough disk space for the updates. On install time I was unfortunately not reviewing the disk layout carefully enough, resulting in a /boot of 60Mbyte in size. Since OpenSuse installs as a default a desktop and a standard kernel plus leaving a backup of the old kernel, there is simply not enough space for four kernels and its initrd.

          Since the default kernel is a prerequisite, one could not remove it from the system, it has to be deleted by “rm”.

          Later, suddenly /boot/grub/ got screwed up, booting was only possible with manual intervention in the grub prompt.

          What actually finally trashed the system, I do not know. There have been several rpms that have been updated. As a result, x11 was gone. I was not able to restore the system back to a stable state. For all critical components I did not used repos from the build service nor 3rd party repos.

          I like the build service very much, one of the reasons why I using OpenSuse on my Workstations @work and @home longer than I expected. In meantime the Fedora community was also working hard, there are some very useful 3rd party repos available.

          You stated: Given that Fedora is considered to be in a perpetual alpha state, I don’t see as how you’re going to find more stability there. This brings me to the question: When have you installed and used Fedora for the last time? Fedora has the same role forRHEL as OpenSuse has for SLES. Both (my point of view) have a perpetual beta state compared to SLES and RHEL. My experience is that Fedora is much more stable than OpenSuse, at least since the past few releases.

          You mentioned It sounds like you were just looking for an excuse to switch to Fedora and found it. I was using SuSE and later OpenSuse @home since 1994. I was deploying SuSE Linux professional and later SLES for about 10 years at work. Since two years I’ve got a new job which is more Red Hat shop (with some SLES installations). I was actually looking for a reason to KEEP OpenSuse! One of the reasons is my professional future, I’ll not wearing the Red Hat glasses, I’ll always have a look to different distros to widen my horizon. I’ll keep having a look at OpenSuse and SLES, but as a virtual system on Fedora, before it was the other way around.

          Have fun! (BTW: This is a Suse slogan)

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