Saturday, June 21, 2008

OpenSUSE 11.0 - Desktop Linux Actually Done Right

I've been pretty unhappy with SuSE Linux as of late. I thought 10.1 was well done, but subsequent releases were of poor build quality and in places just sloppy. There were times it began to show promise, only to fall just short.

I've been living inside of openSUSE 11.0 for the past several days, and tried out RC1 as well. All in all it's a very impressive distribution, and I'm surprised they were able to put this level of polish on KDE 3.5, KDE 4 and Gnome at the same time.

Package management, the Achilles' heel of SuSE up to this point, is scores better. YaST2 actually loads its package management tool quickly, and metadata indexing doesn't take decades like it used to. Compiz is nicely integrated, and KDE 4 is actually quite well done. I'm installing the unstable 4.1 packages right now, and we'll see how that looks as well.

There are some speed issues, but then again I'm using KDE 4 with desktop effects cranked up. However, the fixes to package management alone make SuSE a fantastic winner for the desktop Linux space. Honestly, once KDE 4.1 comes out I wouldn't be surprised at all to see more corporate desktops and developer machines turning to SuSE Linux Enterprise Desktop.

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