Half a dozen reasons why openSUSE is a great OS for your PC
Here are a few reasons I use openSUSE and why its one of the best choices in the GNU/Linux world.
By Swapnil Bhartiya, CIO
OpenSUSE is one of the top GNU/Linux based operating systems on Distrowatch. It’s also one of my favorite OSes and is a great desktop distro for average, new, and advanced Linux users alike.
While I must also add the standard disclaimer that the best OS is the one that works for you, here are some of the reasons I consider openSUSE to be a great, if not the perfect, desktop OS.
# 1 openSUSE makes it easy to choose
I recently wrote about the best desktop environment for Linux desktop. One of the greatest advantages of using openSUSE is that you can run almost all of those DEs on the same OS. You can choose whichever DE you want from the login screen. That’s not possible with Ubuntu, which has different flavors so if you attempt to install different DEs on the system you will end up with an unstable, broken system. It would be the same case with Linux Mint.
When I am running an OS on desktop, I may – depending on my needs – choose the right DE for me. Instead of installing different operating systems for each DE, I can get it all with one OS. I can play with each and decide which one I want. Or, just keep all of them and switch just for the sake of freshness.
#2 YaST – the best tool any OS ever had
YaST is one of the shiniest gems that openSUSE has. This one tool allows me to control the entire OS from one place – like a central command center. No other operating system has such a wonderful tool. Whether you want to set up your Samba server, change the hostname of your PC, manage networking, software update, etc., this one tool is the answer to everything.
#3 Extremely easy to install third party apps
The software.opensuse.org online portal works more or less like the Google Play store or Apple’s App Store. Third party developers can easily publish their applications for openSUSE users using the portal.
You can search for the desired package, choose the version of openSUSE running on your system and install the software with one click – no need to deal with the command line, something you can’t escape even if you are an on extremely user-friendly Ubuntu-based system.
When you install anything from this site, it also adds the repository for that package to your system so you can get timely updates without have to download the package again.
#4 Great out-of-the-box experience
OpenSUSE is known for offering the best experience with the chosen desktop environment. The team takes extra care to fully integrate some of the major DEs with the rest of the operating system. Whether it be themes or icons or patching a particular software to integrate with the DE, they do it. They often patch even major applications like Firefox so that it looks great in DEs like Plasma, which use Qt.
When I use openSUSE, I use the work created by the very developers who are also creating some of the major blocks of the Linux fort.
#6 It has rolling release
I don’t know if there is really any need for non-rolling releases. I am a heavy Chrome OS user and I never have to bother with reinstalling or upgrading the system. The same is true with my Arch Linux box. What happens on these two systems is that I am ‘always’ running the latest versions of the available software. Why should I be running an older version when the newer version offers many bug fixes and new features?
OpenSUSE recently created a standalone rolling release version called Tumbleweed (it was a merger of Factory and Tumbleweed). Tumbleweed allows me to keep my entire system up-to- date without needing any re-install or traditional OS upgrade – whether it be the desktop environments such as Plasma or Gnome, applications like LibreOffice or the kernel, everything gets updated to the newest version as soon as possible.
On top of that, openSUSE also has one of the most friendly and supportive communities that is ready to help new users without telling them to RTFM.
All of this makes openSUSE the perfect OS for a desktop PC (and also on laptops or older-low end systems). That said, by no means is openSUSE the only OS to be used. (My preferred choice for really advanced users, for example, is Arch Linux). Linux has so many choices. Try each one out and use the one that suits your needs.