Suse or Fedora?

I am at a position where I am not sure if I want to switch my system.
Sure, “never change a running system”, but I am a technic enthusiast, and therefore very curious if the new openSuse would fit my needs.
And I am a kind of disappointed by Fedora :-/

First, the reasons why I am disappointed:

KDE – I use KDE as my main desktop, and I really like the way KDE works, the possibilities and the idea behind it – to give an example: I can’t work properly with a system which does not provide something like web-shortcuts and the kio-slaves.
But Fedora supports KDE only a little bit – the main desktop is GNOME, all important tools are written in GNOME, and everything is focused on GNOME. You can only get a real good KDE desktop when you add the packages by the kde-redhat project.
Sure, Rex Dieter, the maintainer of the project, does a great job, but you realize very fast that he is just one of many people, that he can’t do everything. And he has much to do, so I would never get for example KDE 3.5 Beta 1 packages, and I really enjoy testing new software.
And at the moment the most KDE add on packages are compiled for kubuntu or Suse, first, normally you have to compile it for Fedora for yourself…

Configuration Tools – Fedora has some nice configuration tools, but I really love centralized configuration tools – like kcontrol, which has everything that you need. And so yast is almost perfect – you can configure almost everything, especially servers on your system. That’s very nice…

Graphic Card Drivers
As far as I know the update of kernels and graphic card drivers is quite fast and easy with Suse – sure, it is still quite easy and fast with Fedora, but only if you know what you have to do – first wait until livna releases the updated driver packages and then input a special command line to get the new drivers.
I do not fear the command line, but I like it to ghand over all non interesting tasks to a gui. That’s where guis are made for! And yast solves this problem for me, as fasr as I know (not at the moemnt, but it will does in the final release).

Project Aim
As far as I know Fedora Core is not focussing on the desktop – the declared aim of Red Hat is not (!) the consumer desktop.
Suse, on the other hand has the aim to provide a Linux which can be used everywhere – especially as standard user desktop.

These are the reasons which are speaking for Suse…
Sure, there are some reasons for Fedora, too – and these are very good reasons, too!

The most packages in the net are actually build for Fedora or Red Hat. And especially the Fedora Extras project does a great job on providing lots of packages to the Fedora Community. Suse has nothing comparable at the moment, there are only several different projects which build up their own software – with all the problems about compatibility you get.
And I do not know what is planned in the land of suse about that – it would be very nioce to have something similar, an extras repository. But if they start to build up a extras repository I would ask why they are not putting Fedora and Suse extras together (where it is possible)…

Sometimes I like it to go through the configuration files – and I am not sure if Suse changes them so much that they are not as they should be. It was never a problem in Fedora I experienced – which depends on the fact that there are just a few configuration tools you have…

That’s the situation at the moment – I just do not know what to do next. But I think I will wait until Suse releases the final version, because than there will be standard support for ati and my wlan card implemented.
And after that – I do not know :-/
I really want to switch to KDE 3.5 because of a bug that prevents using icq with kopete, but I don’t want to compile it by myself…
And it would be very nice to know in which direction the openSuse project will evolve… a clear message how they will manage the packages compiled by other people would be nice!

But at the moment it looks like I have to wait until the 6th of october – when openSuse is released. And because of the fact that I will have better things to do around this date my switch will come later – maybe 🙂


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