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Is openSUSE 1)family friendly 2)evil?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Well, M$ and Windows has screwed me over once again. Sig Rig is going Linux.

Now I need something family-friendly since my computer illiterate parents are going to be using it, but I also want a new learning experience. I feel Ubuntu and Mint are both very... "basic" and since I'm going to be using the rig as well, they really don't appeal to me. OpenSUSE seems really popular, and KDE4 makes it sound juicy (and it didn't look all that bad back when I briefly tried it), but now I have two questions:

1)Is it good for illiterates and the likes?

2)I heard that they (Novell, openSUSE crew) had some kinda "evil deal" going on with M$oft, I also heard that this incident was simply blown out of proportion but without knowing what it's about, I feel kinda unsure about making a decision. So... what was/is it about?

And of course, any other suggestions for a great OS (prefer DVD, KDE, and not Ubuntu derivatives or Fedora)?
post #2 of 15
If you are not overly familiar with Linux, then I'd say use Mint or Ubuntu. I'm not sure what you mean by them being "basic." Different distros use different DE's and package managers, but under the hood, with the terminal, they all behave the same way. Mint and Ubuntu use Gnome.

If you want KDE, you are not going to find a distro, right now, that has KDE 4.2 in a final release -- most of them are still in beta testing. If you want KDE, then go with Fedora (yes they have a KDE version), Kubuntu or Mandriva.

The OpenSUSE thing is complicated. Basically what I gathered from it is that Novell is essentially paying M$ protection money because M$ has threatened to sue all the big Linux players for copyright infringement (even though M$ has not once ever produced any evidence that anything was infringed). So, Novell hatched some deal with them where they pay M$ "royalties." In return, M$ is supposedly helping Novell make their distro more compatible with Windows (office apps, etc).

I don't care for OpenSUSE but it has nothing to do with the M$ deal. I just find it far too bloated, though YAST is nice.

EDIT: Just saw where you don't want Ubuntu or Fedora. In that case, I say go with Mandriva. However, if you want 64 bit you will have to download the "free edition" which means you will have to install all the proprietary drivers and codecs separately (which is easy to do).
Edited by thiussat - 2/18/09 at 12:27am
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post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
If you are not overly familiar with Linux, then I'd say use Mint or Ubuntu. I'm not sure what you mean by them being "basic." Different distros use different DE's and package managers, but under the hood, with the terminal, they all behave the same way. Mint and Ubuntu use Gnome.
Not overly familiar but competent. By "basic" I mean something reasonably easy to set up (no custom compiled kernels or any of that jazz), something that allows for all the advanced stuff but won't make my mum rip her pants.

Quote:
If you want KDE, you are not going to find a distro, right now, that has KDE 4.2 in a final release -- most of them are still in beta testing. If you want KDE, then go with Fedora (yes they have a KDE version), Kubuntu or Mandriva.
Well, it doesn't have to be KDE4.2 (or KDE at all), but I really like it... I'd rather not use Fedora because I already have it on my laptop and I want to use something different this time, but may still install it. Is the Fedora KDE version official or some kinda "community supported" thing?

Quote:
I don't care for OpenSUSE but it has nothing to do with the M$ deal. I just find it far too bloated, though YAST is nice.
Bloated as in...? How?

I looked up some screenshots, and I might get Mint KDE simply because it's so sexy...
post #4 of 15
i agree with the person who says Suse is bloated. the problem is that your parents aren't proficient and you are so finding a midroad is not easy...

honestly, i'd suggest the Mint KDE version but that doesn't get updated often - maybe Kubuntu or you could try something like Sabayon?
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post #5 of 15
First of all, do you mind using a 32 bit distro? If not, then take a look at PCLinuxOS. It uses KDE by default and is about as easy to configure as Mint. Your mom should have little to no problem with it (after you explain the basics, like what a package manager is etc.). PCLOS 2009 is in beta right now, so if you want to use it I'd wait until the final edition is released.

Mandriva "One" is also a 32 bit distro and is about as easy to use as PCLOS (PCLOS is based off Mandriva). Mandriva "One" should not be confused with the 64 bit Mandriva "free." The difference is "One" is much like Linux Mint -- it has all the proprietary stuff enabled out of the box. However, it is only 32 bit. Mandriva "Free" can be obtained in 64 bit and you must install all the proprietary stuff yourself.

If you need 64 bit KDE, then Mandriva "free" edition or Fedora are what I'd go with. (Yes, Fedora's KDE edition is an official edition. It should show up on Fedora's download page). IMO, Fedora KDE and Mandriva "free edition" are pretty similar (both require that you enable extra repos to install the proprietary stuff and both use RPMs). However, Mandriva has better configuration tools (Drak tools and Mandriva Control Center).

There are other KDE distros out there, but the above are the "big dogs."
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post #6 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by bomfunk View Post
Is the Fedora KDE version official or some kinda "community supported" thing?
It's not a spinoff, if that's what you're meaning to ask. The DVD iso has both Gnome and KDE if I remember correctly (and possibly xfce as well; it's been a while). If you have a different iso already (ie. a gnome live cd), i'm fairly certain you can install KDE via yum later. After that, when the login screen pops up, you can choose to launch KDE at login instead of Gnome. It'll save KDE as your preferred unless you specify to only log into KDE that once.
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post #7 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by -iceblade^ View Post
i agree with the person who says Suse is bloated.
It doesn't have to be if you don't want it to. That's because unlike many distros, including Ubuntu, you can choose what is installed by default in Suse. That means you can remove the bloat, give the OS some liposuction.

If you want an OS that's going to make everyone happy, though, get Mint. Seriously. If not, Debian (what Mint/Ubuntu is based off of) makes a nice, easy to use barebones system. Suse used to be my favorite, but now it's Debian.

Suse is OK. It has minor quirks, but I think it's well-balanced between power-usage and ease-of-use. The Yast Control Center "centralizes" the OS, something many distros (including Ubuntu) lack. Those distros use rather "generic" software and hardware control utilities while Suse has its own dedicated control center. Not only does it look nicer; it makes things easier when you know it's gonna "work."
post #8 of 15
I had my mother using SUSE for a while and she never even noticed any difference. I do agree it is bloated but with a few adjustments it makes a great desktop OS for everyone.
post #9 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
honestly, i'd suggest the Mint KDE version but that doesn't get updated often - maybe Kubuntu or you could try something like Sabayon?
Doesn't get updated often? I though all Ubuntu/Kubuntu updates work without a hitch... I might give Sabayon a shot, though, it used to run fine on my P3 866 rig with mere 256MB of RAM, the only thing I disliked was the distracting red color scheme but apparently they changed it in the newer releases...
post #10 of 15
IMHO openSUSE is the best desktop distro.
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