Re: Newbie query: Ubuntu vs openSUSE



On 23 December 2011 11:35, Rameshwar Kr. Sharma
<mathsrealworld@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
On Fri, Dec 23, 2011 at 3:52 PM, Jamie Paul Griffin
<jamie@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

Having tried OpenSuse I can say that Ubuntu is certainly the better choice, in my opinion. The package manager is superior and overall finish and quality is better. I remember I came across an article comparing the two where the author described YAST as "a pig" which made me laugh; and i'm afraid that based on my experiences at that time, I have to agree.

Okay I don't know, may be Yast is the package manager, but **how**
package manager of Ubuntu is better, can you please explain me a
little?

SUSE is an old distro, dating back 15y or so. It predates home
broadband. Its original unique selling point was that it came with all
the software you would ever need, on multiple CDs, then later on many
CDs + a DVD, then on multiple DVDs.

It also has good, rich, complete system admin tools, notably YAST.
YAST stands for Yet Another Setup Tool and was originally the
installer. Now, YAST2 is also the main point of control for your
system - adding and removing users, configuring hardware, adding and
removing software, updating, etc.

It is much more than just a package management system.

SUSE was for a long time based on KDE. Later it adopted GNOME too and
the company bought Ximian, one of the main GNOME software development
houses. It also supports lots of other distros.

SUSE is now owned by Novell, which in turn is owned by Attachmate, 2
big American companies. It has a strong corporate focus with expensive
corporate versions with support contracts.

SUSE has signed a pact with Microsoft which means it can use the
Windows-like KDE desktop without fear of being sued for patent
infringement, so since the announcement of GNOME 3, SUSE announced it
was returning to its KDE-centric roots.

SUSE is based on RPM, the Red Hat Package Manager. It is easy to use
but does not feature automatic dependency resolution - when you
install a piece of software, it is up to you to install all the
extras, the libraries and things, that it depends on. YAST tries to
automate this for you but in my experience it is patchy and often
fails.

It's good, but it's big, complex and relatively slow, in my personal
experience. It hearkens back to the days of the 1990s when you had
thousands of choices and decisions to make.

Ubuntu is much newer. It is about 7y old. It's based on Debian, which
is the hacker's distro of choice, but polished and made much easier.
Debian is even older than SUSE but it is notoriously complicated and
unfriendly, although it is much better these days. Ubuntu is Debian
simplified for non-techies.

Ubuntu is small and simple. It comes with 1 best choice of app for all
the main tasks - 1 office suite, 1 media player, 1 web browser, etc.
SUSE offers dozens of alternatives. Ubuntu has the alternatives too
but it doesn't ask you - the default install comes on just 1 CD and
contains 1 example of each app. SUSE asks you to choose, which is
harder if you don't know enough to decide.

Ubuntu uses the Debian packaging system, DEB and APT-GET. This is
unarguably the best and most sophisticated system for any Unix and is
widely copied but never bettered. It pioneered automatic recursive
depenency resolution, meaning that APT figures out all the libraries
and things all your programs need and installs *and updates* them for
you automatically. SUSE tries to replicate this with YAST but it's not
as good. Red Hat tries with YUM, Mandriva with URPMI, but none are
even close, IMHO. Apt-get wins, hands down. The theory is that once
you install you need never reinstall as Apt will update your whole OS
for you - indefinitely.

Ubuntu offers few choices of desktop or tools, but everything is there
in its online repositories if you want to experiment as you learn
more.

Ubuntu is based on GNOME and now the in-house developed Unity shell on
top of GNOME. Some people don't like GNOME. Some favour KDE, or other
alternatives such as Xfce or LXDE. Canonical, Ubuntu's backers,
actively encourage these communities to create their own "remixes" of
Ubuntu with different desktops and sets of apps. For instance,
Kubuntu, Xubuntu, Lubuntu and so on. Some - the ones with "-buntu" in
their name - are officially sanctioned, but the main "real" Ubuntu is
the one with nothing else on its name. Some of the remixes are pretty
good but the most polished and complete, and the best-supported, is
real Ubuntu. Some 3rd party tools and apps may not work on the
remixes. For the best experience, stay with the "real thing".

In summary:

Ubuntu: relatively small, modern, simple, streamlined. Very easy and polished.

SUSE: big, very capable, quite complex, many many options. Good admin
tools but software management inferior, as is that of all the
RPM-based distros.

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