With the release of OpenSuSE today, I just had to download it, as I have thought that the distribution has been, since about revision 9, one of the two best Linux variations available (the other is Fedora).

The great thing about Open SuSE is that when you download the DVD, you can choose what interface you wish to run, Gnome, KDE, XFCE, or a couple of others. I chose KDE because I really don’t like Gnome that much, and I had read that KDE 4 was less goofy looking and more business-like. Though I like the implementation of XFCE on Zenwalk, it really left me cold on Xubuntu.

If I may digress for a moment, this is one of the problems I see with the major Linux interfaces – they are not all delivered the same way on every distribution. It leads to some confusion, and in order for Linux to grow, it needs to present a more unified front to the world.

Back to the install…

The install of this is the most informative, well-thought-out that I have ever seen. It screams ‘fit for commercial usage’ and though I know it is designed that way, what I am trying to get across is that this is an interface that Microsoft would do well to emulate. This is an installer that every OS should use – the information and reassurance it gives while working is without peer.

For the people who want to watch pretty pictures while the install moves along, that choice is there; for those who wish to see every nuance of the install, so that they may find what the problems might be later, that choice is there; finally, if you want to read all the errata about the installation and distribution, that can be done. However, you need to read pretty fast, because the install goes really quickly. On my Celeron 1.5GHz, the full install took only about 30 minutes (actually somewhere between 30 and 35, because I was not paying that much attention to the start).

When the install was finalized, the system came up without a hitch. I did have a problem with the system asking for the latest updates, but found later that the problem was because the site is being pounded (this being the first day of release and all). I also tried to get Opera, but because I could not get the right additional files (dependencies) that will have to wait.

I also have found that for whatever reason, most Linux distributions configure my wireless connection as the one to connect, so i needed to get the wired connection to work (when I am at home, I don’t use the wireless connectivity, I have pain-in-the-butt neighbors who are always trying to filch the wireless, and rather than play their little games, shutting it off makes for an easy fix).

After getting rid of the bilious green hues on the screen, putting up a better wallpaper, and choosing a very cool screensaver, I was set, until I can get the rest of the updated files (until the check is made, and any files are downloaded, there is a little yellow upside-down  yield sign on the taskbar, which I can’t seem to rid the desktop of).

Everything is so….CRISP. The metrics of the screen are just right. Icons perfectly sized, not looking like they were designed by or for the hard of seeing. The menus are very cool, both popping up and sliding left-to-right or right-to-left. The effects are swoopy, yet they don’t get in the way.

I am currently trying the various programs right now – they all seem to work well, though many have stupid names, which tends to annoy. The price being free, complaints are few and far between. Again, the revision 4 of KDE is much, much improved.

Oh, it boots very fast, too. Unless the next revision does something to screw it up, I think I’ve found my winner in the Linux wars.

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090622-N-7780S-014in a world of Linux bi-planes, Open SuSE is a supersonic jet!