SUSE, oh SUSE, what shall I do?

Novell (HQ) throws themselves into Microsoft’s arms, marries into the business of logic patents. That sucks so much. As a member of the FLOSS community I feel betrayed.

I came into the world of FLOSS with a SuSE 5.3 (or so). Since then (by accident in the beginning) I never tried another distro, was always pleased with the SUSEs (after some minor tweaking now and then), spend even some money on some boxes, was amazed how smooth the updates usually went, promoted the use of it. And learned to use and like Yast 😉

Now this. I still am not sure I understood the published contract correctly, but I feel very bad about it. It smells. Very badly. I don’t care if Novell make a contract with Microsoft. But I do care that this contract is supportive of the principle of patents on logic/software. And even more proposes Microsoft to go after non-Novell FLOSS providers on this. Novell HQ, you did not get it. Patents on logic are dumb and a smack into the face of every software engineer/mathematician. And a smack into every company concentrating to deliver well supported, high quality software system to their customers, instead of cleaning and destroying the market by state-supported solution space mining. They are turning four-year contract managers and jurists into highwaymen and parasites of the brave working men and women. Novell HQ, go and help the US patent system to get rid of logic and primitive patents instead of complying to this evil. You now only suck. Big times. Betraying your fellow players by becoming a renegade and switching to the foul playing team. It can only be hoped Novell soon changes it mind/heads again and returns to saneness (well, when was Novell last sane? 😦 ).

By having been a verbose user of the SUSE distri to my neighbourhood I feel now a need to switch to something else. Very fast. Should I? I guess. What to? Fedora? Debian? KUbuntu? Kanotix? Mandriva? Any suggestions? What can live up to SUSE or is better?

Another, lesser smartness of yesterday which at least could give me a little ironic smile at:
At Spiegel online (big german news site) an article described the reaction to the movie “Borat” by some students from Kazakhstan, who are everything but pleased that people are making fun out of talking nasty bullshit about the country. And express their sorry that real facts about the world’s 9th largest country are so unknown. What was to be proved: The editors of the article had to correct themself on the name of the current capital of Kazakhstan after publishing.

I like human beings. They are so… funny. Haha.


24 thoughts on “SUSE, oh SUSE, what shall I do?

  1. Debian 🙂 It’s the base of so many distros… you can’t possibly go wrong with that (plus I’m a happy debian user).

  2. Stick to SUSE, would be my recommendation. IF it starts to rot because of this, then consider an another distro. For now, SUSE is quite OK, I believe. And you have a strong background with it, that is also another factor. Why spend time and effort getting accustomed to another distro when it may not be necessary afterall.

  3. Assuming that KDE is what you want your distro to focus upon, the answer can only be Kubuntu.

    Compared to SUSE you will miss YaST in certain places, but they made good progress with systemsettings. Their fstab editor for example is by now way better than anything YaST had for this last time I used it (10.0).

    Sure Debian is nice and all, but compared to Kubuntu it still feels rough around the edges, especially when you come from a consumer oriented distribution such as SUSE.

    Though I’m not enitirely happy about the fact that Kubuntu is only a second class distribution under the GNOME’ish Ubuntu umbrella it’s actually the best bet for a KDE distro today.

  4. I’d say Kubuntu, I’ve been using it for a while now and I’m very very happy with it. Also I don’t think that Chris is correct in calling it a second class Ubuntu, it doesn’t really feel like that as a user and apparently even Mark Shuttleworth (Mr. Ubuntu) uses Kubuntu now!

  5. The best alternative I think would be Mandriva, perhaps even Ark or Mephis. Kubuntu is unfortunately not a good alternative since they use a badly mangled KDE, their so called usability improvements are anything but. Hiding /etc and so on, what’s up with that? Does not change anything for novice users since they start in their home dir anyway, it only makes things more difficult for people with more knowledge/skill.

  6. As a happy user of KDE on Fedora, I can suggest Fedora to you. The Fedora developers (at least those who have expressed an opinion about this) are as upset as you over the Novell-M$ deal.

  7. I bet many are pondering the switch

    I still rave about the quality of OpenSuse offering. I love 10.1 and 10.2 is supposed to be owesome, with the new K menu and other things. And it’s not like I hate Novell now, but I lost the trust in their stuff.

    I also am used to “pro desktop-oriented” approach to Linux. My choices are very similar to yours: Fedora, CentOS (or similar), Kubuntu, Debian, PCLinuxOS, Slack (my old fave) – in that priority order.

    Fedora – fairly recent KDE (3.5.4) but too unstable it seems. I looked at quite a few FC6 reviews, compared to OpenSuse – too many rough edges in the drivers, other infrastructure layers. KDE is KDE, but linux under it has to be solid – so. NO to FC at this time. See: “Fedora Core 6 review” on google.

    CentOS – didn’t look into it yet. I am saving it for the last, tasty part. I know that everything under KDE will be as solid as it can be. KDE will be stock, so no nice UI improvements of Kubuntu or Suse, tun it’s tolerable. Look into it, I will.

    Kubuntu – it seems not a day goes by as someone blogs (here, on planet) about another part of Kubuntu being screwed up. This seems to be “always work in progress” distro. Very good on paper, but one more step to the side of Debian unstable. It’s nice to look at it, but it’s no production distro. So, no to Kubuntu.

    Debian – as solid as I expect CentOS to be, plus the awesome apt. But, KDE is only half as pleasant on it as it is on Suse, mostly due to many libs and packages being behind the curve. And going Unstable is like choosing Kubuntu – no point it seems.

    PCLinuxOS – it has the desktop feel of Kubuntu, and the cozy feel of Slackware under it. Pretty much everyone who tries it, says good things about it. But, it’s definitely not your enterprise class distro.

    Slackware – I consciously switched to OpenSuse from it. There’s gotta be something that bothered me. May be very late DBUS inclusion. May be needing to read the requirements of the packages instead of just punching in “smart install package”… I just remember it was a collection of minor annoyances.

    What is left for me: CentOS, PCLinuxOS, Slackware. What is up to you – take your time while making a choice.

  8. Also, I’d not call Fedora “unstable”. I’d call it “up to date” and “fairly reliable”. It’s not bug-free, but no software is. I don’t believe using old versions which didn’t get the latest bugfixes (as seems to be Daniel’s preference) is the way to get there, in any case.

  9. #comment-212
    pclinuxos is actually cozy feel of mandriva under it ;]
    and well you are right with the cozy, mandriva 2007 is way better than that year before, still ugly but not that much beutifull i you consider its hardware detection capabilities 🙂

    but back to the subject: i really think this stink, microsoft is evil as you all surrelly know. take for instance os2, netscape or apple macintosh; they cripling everything whats not invented by them like an another example opengl in vista, at least the release date is nowhere soon

  10. On the “niche distro” front:

    Skimpy but worthy as a start comparison of
    Xandros, Linspire, Freespire, Kubuntu, Mandriva One, PCLinuxOS, and SimplyMEPIS distros

    In the eyes of the author:
    SimplyMepis “out-Kubuntu Kubuntu” and PCLinuxOS gets higher hardware detection csore than Mandriva.

    Forgot to mention mandriva in my list. IT was long time ago, but they mangled KDE badly with custom patches. It was royal pain to compile / install stock apps. Corel Linux (now Xandros) has this problem too. Hello vendor lock!

  11. More than “feel bad”… I feel somehow frustrated… I used to trust Novell after buying suse and sponsoring opensuse..but I just lost it…

    Anyway, before considering switching to another distro, I prefer to wait for coming events. The thing that I am sure about is Novell is a very big company and have enough experts in its legal and R&D offices. So I think (or at least hope that) they know what they are doing… so although frustrated, but I try to be optimistic….

  12. I’m using Kubuntu now, which I’d recommend. It feels like Debian unstable without the broken packages. I think all or most of the brokenness we hear about is due to using not-too-perfectly maintained foreign repositories and to “easy-ubuntu” (don’t touch that!)

    Just don’t try their “System settings” but go straight to the good old kcontrol control center. But other than that, it is smooth, and I love Katapult (which is up by default).

    P.S I started out with SuSE too 🙂 I forget which version, though. Bought a box, and … well, windows got booted more and more seldom and then never at all. Went to Gentoo pretty quickly, though, and then when I got tired of maintaining that, to Kubuntu.

  13. My answer to you would be to stick with openSUSE, if you are not pleased with the Novell’s action, after all openSUSE is community’s product with cash infused by Novell. Don’t use SLED … simple as that.

    On whole, I still think it is too early to make some conclusion on MS-Novell deal …. remember, business is business.

    But if you still disagree then I would go for MEPIS … think it is worthy alternative, especially from their 2006 release

  14. Mandrake’s 2007 release is very stable and very pretty. It has a control center of similar quality to Yast and it has thousands of packages available via the easy-urpmi-provided mirrors: contrib, plf,etc (google for it)

    I have switched to it and it is the best distribution I have ever used.

  15. I think I’m going to try out Sabayon (as a fellow potential Novell refugee). I’ve played with Kubuntu in the past but I find they mess with things a little too much (CUPS/Konqueror).

    I’ll probably take the opportunity to try out a few alternatives, I guess.

  16. Also you should try Pardus Linux. It is a new distro based on KDE ( with lots of new ideas and approaches in it. It is heavily based on python. Has a new package manager called PiSi. Has centralized configuration manager called COMAR and a very nice installer called YALI.

    The PiSi’s packaging system is very intuitive and easy to use. You can quickly check out the existing packages and package formats in here

    These are the sources to Pardus projects (PiSi, COMAR, YALI and other stuff)

    You can give it a try with Pardus with its weekly basis builds which are at

    It has english, turkish and dutch support.

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