LinuxQuestions.org
Review your favorite Linux distribution.
Go Back   LinuxQuestions.org > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Newbie
User Name
Password
Linux - Newbie This Linux forum is for members that are new to Linux.
Just starting out and have a question? If it is not in the man pages or the how-to's this is the place!

Notices


Reply
  Search this Thread
Old 06-17-2008, 04:39 PM   #1
phoenix_wolf
Member
 
Registered: Apr 2004
Distribution: Debian
Posts: 177

Rep: Reputation: 30
Is open suse linux


I got a questions for you guys: here. I was just surfing around and saw this phrase "You won't be learning very much Linux if you use OpenSUSE, just to warn you..." on another forum I was wondering if anyone could shed some light on this way someone would say this and if it is ture what about it is..

I have used several flavors of linux and like them all that I have done Debian proably being the best (sadly for some reason it wont run good on my PC I got now tho.. any how I am using opensuse and was wondering what they meant.


thank you all
 
Old 06-17-2008, 05:34 PM   #2
Takla
Member
 
Registered: Aug 2006
Distribution: Debian
Posts: 188

Rep: Reputation: 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by phoenix_wolf View Post
I got a questions for you guys: here. I was just surfing around and saw this phrase "You won't be learning very much Linux if you use OpenSUSE, just to warn you..." on another forum I was wondering if anyone could shed some light on this way someone would say this and if it is ture what about it is..

I have used several flavors of linux and like them all that I have done Debian proably being the best (sadly for some reason it wont run good on my PC I got now tho.. any how I am using opensuse and was wondering what they meant.


thank you all
There are a huge variety of distros with Linux kernel, with a variety of different approaches and ideas about usability, customisation, package management and so on. At one end of the spectrum there are distros like Slackware which makes minimal changes to the distributed packages and kernel, and requires the user to either know or be prepared to learn a fair amount about the way the OS works in order to install, configure and maintain it, using some simple tools and making most configuration by editing plain text files (though once installed, the KDE desktop in daily use is naturally much like any other KDE). At the other end of the spectrum is a distro like opensuse which make a lot of customisations to the kernel and packages, offers a system in which almost every configuration can be done through a point and click graphical interface in YaST, even the desktop is some way from default Gnome or KDE with lots of tweaks, branding etc.

What people mean is that if you use a distro like opensuse and get extremely familiar with it that knowledge is not necessarily transferable to other distros, being specific to opensuse. The implication is that if you learn Slackware (or similar) the knowledge gained is transferable as Slackware is very vanilla. Of course if you spent years becoming extremely expert in Slackware and tried to apply that knowledge in opensuse (or similar) you'd actually find a lot of knowledge of a vanilla distro counts for less than you might have expected*, so it's a moot point really. There are very few vanilla distros out there and aside from Slackware the big players are Red Hat/fedora, Suse, Debian(and derivatives) and perhaps Mandriva(and derivatives). All of these can be considered highly customized distributions.

*though you would certainly have a better base from which to start understanding how the customized distro works. Going the other way would definitely be harder, which I guess is the point, but it's not such a black & white situation as it can first appear.

Last edited by Takla; 06-17-2008 at 05:39 PM.
 
Old 06-17-2008, 06:56 PM   #3
rjlee
Senior Member
 
Registered: Jul 2004
Distribution: Ubuntu 7.04
Posts: 1,991

Rep: Reputation: 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by phoenix_wolf View Post
I got a questions for you guys: here. I was just surfing around and saw this phrase "You won't be learning very much Linux if you use OpenSUSE, just to warn you..."
It really depends on what you want from a distribution. It's hard to say from a single sentence, but I suspect the point the poster was trying to make may be something like this:

Simplistically, one of the largest classes of computer user is the “end user”. These are people wanting to write reports and letters, surf the web, run programs, play games, or any of a number of things that people actually use computers for.

OpenSuSE is one of a number of distributions aiming itself at this market. As such, you do not need a very high level of technical knowledge to use it (although I haven't used it myself; some reviews I've read seemed to suggest it falls slightly short of this goal).

An operating system is one of the more complex products that is commonly available, and are possible to tweak in many different ways for many different reasons. So on the other end of the scale are distributions like Linux from Scratch, whose main stated purpose is to encourage people to learn how operating systems are put together and what all the various parts do, so that they can take this and better configure the system to meet their individual needs. This information goes far beyond what a typical end-user needs to know, but is an excellent starting point for a system-level developer.

I am using the term system-level developer here to mean someone who wants do do something particular with Linux. For example, installing it on a new kind of computer, or changing the way the package management is handled, controlling a custom-built machine, or something else that requires a fairly deep knowledge of how all the bits fit together.

In my humble opinion, a new user who is unsure should probably start with Ubuntu or Linux Mint or something similar. If they need to know the kind of “linux knowledge” that comes with an operating system that can be customised at a lower level, then they'll soon realise this.

Of course, this is entirely a generalisation, and many special cases and exceptions exist.
 
Old 06-17-2008, 06:59 PM   #4
oskar
Senior Member
 
Registered: Feb 2006
Location: Austria
Distribution: Ubuntu 12.10
Posts: 1,142

Rep: Reputation: 49
I always thought the point of a distribution was that you have to know and do as little as possible to maintain a system. Some people like to do everything by themselves, and all the power to them, but some of them tend to get khaki and tell you the only way to learn something about anything is to do it their way.
It's very true that the average Slackware user will know considerably more about linux than the average Suse user.
I for one don't care to know all those things. I am strictly an end user. I want my programs to run, and I want to get them to run as quick and painless as possible, and I can do that with most distributions by now assuming that it's somewhat stable and doesn't require me to compile anything when it isn't absolutely necessary.

Last edited by oskar; 06-17-2008 at 07:00 PM.
 
Old 06-18-2008, 01:54 AM   #5
Takla
Member
 
Registered: Aug 2006
Distribution: Debian
Posts: 188

Rep: Reputation: 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by oskar View Post
I always thought the point of a distribution was that you have to know and do as little as possible to maintain a system. Some people like to do everything by themselves, and all the power to them, but some of them tend to get khaki and tell you the only way to learn something about anything is to do it their way.
It's very true that the average Slackware user will know considerably more about linux than the average Suse user.
I for one don't care to know all those things. I am strictly an end user. I want my programs to run, and I want to get them to run as quick and painless as possible, and I can do that with most distributions by now assuming that it's somewhat stable and doesn't require me to compile anything when it isn't absolutely necessary.
I don't exactly agree with the point of a distribution being to know as little as possible about any aspect of it, but certainly convenience is a huge factor and your post is a nice reminder that choosing & using a distro doesn't have to be a geek p*ssing contest and what's valuable to one person is less so to another.
 
Old 06-18-2008, 02:58 AM   #6
linuxlover.chaitanya
Senior Member
 
Registered: Apr 2008
Location: Nagpur, India
Distribution: Cent OS 5/6, Ubuntu Server 10.04
Posts: 4,629

Rep: Reputation: Disabled
Quote:
Originally Posted by oskar View Post
I for one don't care to know all those things. I am strictly an end user. I want my programs to run, and I want to get them to run as quick and painless as possible, and I can do that with most distributions by now assuming that it's somewhat stable and doesn't require me to compile anything when it isn't absolutely necessary.
Even I go with him. I am no programmer and I use Ubuntu on desktop to check mails, surf the web and daily office work. But I aint completely someone who wont care about OS. I am a system admin and do need to look into the issues.
But IMO, it is really good to see even windows people trying hand at Ubuntu and liking the way it behaves and gives very likely GUI that windows people are aware of. And in this regards Ubuntu should get the credit.
Just yesterday I gave the Ubuntu DVD that I received with LFY magazine to my friend, who really does not give a damn about how OS runs, and he was quite surprised with the 3D effects and the wobbly windows and the movies than ran without any player being installed. Everything works out of the box.
And the feeling of watching him use linux and exploring it was unexplainable. I just hope one more member is added to linux users community very soon.
 
Old 06-18-2008, 04:15 AM   #7
salasi
Senior Member
 
Registered: Jul 2007
Location: Directly above centre of the earth, UK
Distribution: SuSE, plus some hopping
Posts: 4,064

Rep: Reputation: 894Reputation: 894Reputation: 894Reputation: 894Reputation: 894Reputation: 894Reputation: 894
Quote:
Originally Posted by phoenix_wolf View Post
I got a questions for you guys: here. I was just surfing around and saw this phrase "You won't be learning very much Linux if you use OpenSUSE, just to warn you..." on another forum
So, why didn't you ask there?
Quote:
I was wondering if anyone could shed some light on this way someone would say this and if it is ture what about it is..
One of the things about SuSE is that it has its own admin tool, yast. Now there are many opinions on that (it is bloated, it is slow, it makes things more convenient, etc, etc), but the fact is that you probably won't like SuSE much if you decide that you hate yast and want to do things your own way.

So, in administering a SuSE system, you'll get to know Yast and the Yast way of doing things, quite well. This is not directly transferrable to other systems, but whether this actually means that you'll know Linux less well is a slightly different issue. It depends, to an extent, on the degree to which you can abstract what Yast is doing for you and apply those concepts (the concepts and not the details of how things are implimented) to other systems. Sure, it will take you a while to adapt, but then if you are a Slackware user and are used to the complete d-i-y ethos of that, you'll probably take a while to get productive on a system where there are tools to automate things, too.

You'd probably argue that once you've learnt a complete d-i-y system it will be fairly easy to transition to the tool-laden system and that's probably right, but neither direction is a complete no-brainer.

And you could probably make the same argument with greater force about the *buntus; Yast gives you a tool to help you with the stuff that Slackware wants you to do yourself; the *buntus tend to hide from you the fact that there is something to configure at all (where practicable).

(And, of course, I'll point out that strictly, the issue as stated doesn't mean what it might look as if it means; strictly Linux is a kernel, its not the package of GNU tools and its not a gui; there are certainly differences between kernels for different distros, but do you really mean learning the kernel, or do you really mean learning to use a system using a Linux kernel, which means using GNU tools and guis to get, eg, services like Samba, NTFS, DNS, Squid, Cups, etc, etc, plus the Gui, plus the applications, none of which are Linux, configured? Now Slackware probably is as close as you'll get to a plain-vanilla-un-messed-around-with kernel, but for the rest of the world, which is a clear majority, a kernel-with-my-distros-tweaks is a fact if life. So, which do you want to learn, if you want to learn the kernel? The 'purity' of the vanilla kernel, or the what-everyone-else-uses of the customised kernels?)
 
  


Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Help with open SuSE Linux on a Compaq armada m700 kevinbowers Linux - Laptop and Netbook 1 04-13-2006 01:48 PM
Unable to open PDF on Suse Linux? suse2166 Linux - Newbie 5 12-07-2005 08:21 AM
Novell to Open SuSE Linux to Community AlexV General 6 08-03-2005 09:28 AM
open windows files in SuSE Linux professional 9.1 SyncMaster Linux - Newbie 3 05-20-2005 10:00 AM
don't know how to open linux desktop from loggin screen on suse 9.3 cowboyslim6978 SUSE / openSUSE 5 05-14-2005 09:32 PM

LinuxQuestions.org > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Newbie

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:36 AM.

Main Menu
Advertisement
My LQ
Write for LQ
LinuxQuestions.org is looking for people interested in writing Editorials, Articles, Reviews, and more. If you'd like to contribute content, let us know.
Main Menu
Syndicate
RSS1  Latest Threads
RSS1  LQ News
Twitter: @linuxquestions
Facebook: linuxquestions Google+: linuxquestions
Open Source Consulting | Domain Registration