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Old 04-30-2006, 03:32 AM   #1
uselpa
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Ubuntu vs SuSE


Our local LUG has a "Linux for beginners" course which is currently based on SuSE Linux. For next year, the course is supposed to be rewritten and some people have suggested going for Ubuntu instead of SuSE this time. Although this sounded "logical" at first, I'm wondering if this is the right solution.

The course is not supposed to teach any Linux internal, but rather to convince people that Linux is an alternative on the desktop to Windows. The large majoritiy of people who attend this course have been exposed to Windows before (who hasn't?).

In this respect, I think that KDE would be the desktop of choice. However, KDE appears to be not as well implemented in Ubuntu as it is in SuSE.

Also, SuSE distributes more packages on CDs/DVD than Ubuntu, making it easier for people to start without or with a limited internet connection. In that sense, SuSE might permit them to go further than Ubuntu with just the DVD we give them.

I've started browsing the forums for both distros every now and then. While the quality of posts seems to be roughly the same, the official Ubuntu forum seems to be more crowded. Also, Ubuntu appears to have a larger online documentation.

SuSE, on the other hand, appears more stable than Ubuntu, which is more or less normal due to the fact that it is a much older distro and that they have been in corporate business for a long time. As stability is a major "selling point" for Linux as opposed to Windows, SuSE might be the better choice.

I'm also wondering about release upgrades. I know that `apt` permits to upgrade from release to release and that Debian-based distros make this quite easy. I remember that in SuSE it's less obvious to do so, but this might have changed in the meantime.

The only strong conviction I have is that it's going to be either SuSE or Ubuntu, and no other distro.

With this in mind, which of those 2 distros would you suggest to use for a beginners desktop course?
 
Old 04-30-2006, 09:43 AM   #2
jerril
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Hi;

I'd think that Ubuntu would be a better choice simply because it is a Community based distribution as opposed to a Commercial based distribution. Ubuntu puts a lot of emphasis on separating free from non-free. While this concept of free software may baffle people, I like that it spells it out from the start.

I can give you no compelling reason to choose SUSE, because I've never used it. But there are a few things I like about Ubuntu:

1) It may have a more limited selection of applications on the disk, but it includes a complete desktop system on one disk. This alleviates a new user from getting bogged down with the many more choices a GNU/Linux based system offers than a more bloated distro would. This could also make it easier for you to write your guide.

2) It is easy to install KDE on Ubuntu, so once the user gets comfortable and wants to explore the choices, it can be done very quickly.

3) The people that I've helped move to Ubuntu were used to having to defrag and run various virus scanners to keep everything running. These things are not a requirement on most Linux systems. It does fetch regular updates. This is a small amount of maintenance compared to the hours it can take on a weekly basis for a Windows system is a big bonus.

I'm sure there is something like this for SUSE, but I'd guess that paying customers will have a different perspective to the distro than those that acquire the free version.

3) The Debian based package management system is FABULOUS! I will never do RPMs again.

Ubuntu does have it's drawbacks: SUSE will probably be a lot better at dealing with multimedia and hardware issues. The current version of Ubuntu does very little for you if you want to set up any network services. Something that most people are coming to expect, even on a simple desktop system.


Good Luck

jer
 
Old 05-01-2006, 05:34 AM   #3
tiarnach
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For newbies, I'd vote for Ubuntu primarily because Ubuntu uses Synaptic and Suse uses yast. Used them both and configuring the repositories for yast is convoluted, to say the least.
 
Old 05-02-2006, 01:28 PM   #4
Padma
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IMHO, Ubuntu is simply the current "Distro of the <time-period>". When it was released, everybody jumped on board, claiming it was the greatest thing since sliced bread. I tried it, just to see what the fuss was all about. I didn't like it. It's not a bad distro, but it's not really that great, either. If I were you, I would probably stick with Suse.
 
Old 05-02-2006, 05:02 PM   #5
Cogar
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The preferred desktop would depend on the user's previous computer experience and so forth. For the sake of continuity, I suggest sticking with whatever you are currently using, which happens to be SUSE in this case. There is not that much difference between distributions anyway. Why change when you don't have to?
 
Old 05-02-2006, 08:11 PM   #6
jnev
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Padma
IMHO, Ubuntu is simply the current "Distro of the <time-period>". When it was released, everybody jumped on board, claiming it was the greatest thing since sliced bread. I tried it, just to see what the fuss was all about. I didn't like it. It's not a bad distro, but it's not really that great, either. If I were you, I would probably stick with Suse.
I have to disagree with that statement. not to start a distro-war, but I have tried very close to 30 distro's throughout the past year, and I have come back to ubuntu every time. no other distro has even close to the same hardware detection in my experiance, apt is just awesomely simply to use, and the the entire distro is just so finished. everything works as needed.
 
Old 05-03-2006, 01:07 AM   #7
uselpa
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cogar
I suggest sticking with whatever you are currently using, which happens to be SUSE in this case. There is not that much difference between distributions anyway. Why change when you don't have to?
Personally I don't user either, I use Slackware only. But that's not the type of distro to use for a beginners course. I have had some contact with both SuSE and Ubuntu, but not to the extend of being able to prefer one or the other. I liked both, though SuSE was easier to mess up ...
 
Old 05-03-2006, 02:25 AM   #8
IceChant
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Both as any other distro as their Pro's and Con's I would say go for it, try using Ubuntu and see how it goes, it's possible it'll be better than Suse for the use you need it but if it'll be worse you can always switch back to Suse, it'll teach better what Linux is all about freedom of choice.
 
Old 05-03-2006, 02:00 PM   #9
Padma
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jnev
I have to disagree with that statement. not to start a distro-war, but I have tried very close to 30 distro's throughout the past year, and I have come back to ubuntu every time. no other distro has even close to the same hardware detection in my experiance, apt is just awesomely simply to use, and the the entire distro is just so finished. everything works as needed.
Certainly I don't want to start a distro war. But from my perspective, Ubuntu is simply another more-or-less "average" distro. What I am against is the "better than everything else" attitude of Ubuntu zealots. What is great for one user/machine combination, may be totally wrong for another. But I always include Ubuntu in my list of recommended distros to try, because Suse/Mandriva/Mepis/PCLOS may not be right for everyone.

FWIW, I stick with Mandriva for almost exactly the reasons you stick with ubuntu.
 
Old 05-03-2006, 02:38 PM   #10
rahilrai
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Since the object here is to convince people to move over to linux for everyday desktop use, I'd say SuSE is your best bet as the hardware support is excellent (no othe distro even comes close), loads of packages come with the distro (so you dont have to hunt on the net for the software that you wanted) and lastly since it is actively supported by a commercial institution (Novell)you can have the best of both worlds.
 
Old 05-15-2006, 10:27 AM   #11
fogcat
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I know that this is a few days later than the rest, but I haven't been about the net in a few days.... So, here goes:

SuSE has excellent hardware support. I have been trying several distros for a few years and seem to come back to Suse. I really like the Debian variants (inc. Ubuntu) however do not like the lack of hardware support as previously mentioned. Ultimately it comes down to personal choice and taste. Don't let anyone bully you and certainly don't be influenced by any distro wars since they don't prove anything except that people in general don't want to listen.

Either one is an excellent choice. I do know that some universitys use ubuntu for their public access terminals so that stucents can email freely, so that is a sign of ease of use but not ease of customization.

Hope this a help.

Fogcat
 
Old 05-15-2006, 10:31 AM   #12
KimVette
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In general I like Ubuntu better, but when it comes down to day-to-day desktop use I find that SuSE has the most refined KDE experience out of the box, and I haven't been able to replicate that environment on other distributions. I'm sure I could take the source RPMs and recompile them on Ubuntu, but then that would break package management.

Also, WiFi is excellent on SuSE - Every WiFi card I've tried so far has just worked.

KDE/Samba integration however - has sucked on SuSE. 9.1 was the best release in that regard, IMHO, although I did get 10.0 to work flawlessly after a number of patches and several hours tweaking. I never did get Evolution to work correctly with Exchange - I don't know what Novell did but they seriously broke the connector. They (Novell) are a networking company first and foremost and I would expect they would have the most flawless integration with networking, not the worst.

Last edited by KimVette; 05-15-2006 at 10:34 AM.
 
Old 05-16-2006, 02:19 AM   #13
halw
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KimVette
In general I like Ubuntu better, but when it comes down to day-to-day desktop use I find that SuSE has the most refined KDE experience out of the box, and I haven't been able to replicate that environment on other distributions. I'm sure I could take the source RPMs and recompile them on Ubuntu, but then that would break package management.

Also, WiFi is excellent on SuSE - Every WiFi card I've tried so far has just worked.

KDE/Samba integration however - has sucked on SuSE. 9.1 was the best release in that regard, IMHO, although I did get 10.0 to work flawlessly after a number of patches and several hours tweaking. I never did get Evolution to work correctly with Exchange - I don't know what Novell did but they seriously broke the connector. They (Novell) are a networking company first and foremost and I would expect they would have the most flawless integration with networking, not the worst.
You obviously haven't tried SUSE 10.1 then. Some wifi cards just plain don't work anymore. For example, my d-link g520, which worked in 10.0 with no extra effort will not work in 10.1 no matter what.
 
Old 05-16-2006, 04:33 AM   #14
reddazz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by halw
You obviously haven't tried SUSE 10.1 then. Some wifi cards just plain don't work anymore. For example, my d-link g520, which worked in 10.0 with no extra effort will not work in 10.1 no matter what.
I second that. Wifi support has seriously taken a step backwards. My cards work fine with 10.0 but 10.1 just won't play along nicely with them.

Anyway as for which to pick. I am with the crew that thinks Ubuntu is pretty much average and too hyped up. It maybe good for teaching basics to newbies but then so is Suse. Whichever you choose doesn't really matter as long as it achieves your goals.

Last edited by reddazz; 05-16-2006 at 04:34 AM.
 
Old 09-14-2006, 06:37 AM   #15
soulinthemachine
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Fed up with SuSE

I've just been trying openSuSE 10.1 DVD version for the last couple of weeks after moving from the old Mandrake 9 hearing that it was supposed to be rock solid with lots of hardward support, but it has me tearing my hair out!

I'm a java developer, not a linux guru and don't want to spend hours fiddling around with my system, but

The sound card, graphics card & wireless network card didn't work out the box.

Installing the nvidia drivers (despite following specific instructions on the suse website) hung the computer and caused all gtk apps to hang with "segmentation fault" from then on. Reinstalling partly solved the problem but several apps including firefox continued to hang.

YasT didn't work, and hung the computer when I added new installation sources.

Downloading and compiling the source for eclipse 3.2 just didn't work. I could get 3.1 running but plugins refused to work (???).

I switched to using the motherboard's onboard sound but still only Amarok would play files - everything else produced silence. I couldn't get DVDs to play or streaming files off the internet to go.

I can't take any more... I'll try Ubuntu and if I get similar problems am going back to Mandriva.
 
  


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