SUSE, One Popular Distro I Have Rarely Used

SUSE has accomplished a lot and is celebrating 20 years of life this year. They are big in mainframe and super-computing GNU/Linux and have global reach.

I have not used SUSE much for a few reasons:

  • in my early days they were “commercial” and made installation more complex than a download and installation
  • they used RPM which is not my favourigte package manager. At the time I became involved in GNU/Linux, “RPM Hell” was a reality. Debian’s huge repository and APT has rarely let me down.
  • SUSE became a “partner” of M$, something hard to forgive. Now that M$ is active in suing users of GNU/Linux, this may change from a risk to a cash-flow.

SUSE now has OpenSUSE, RPM is much improved and the “partnership” with M$ has been renewed for four more years. I expect I won’t ever have any use for SUSE as I do not use any of M$’s stuff, so interoperability with a dinosaur has no merit for me. I expect that SUSE will continue to thrive even as the world sheds its dependency on M$ as SUSE remains a good distro.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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6 Responses to SUSE, One Popular Distro I Have Rarely Used

  1. Ray says:

    On the other hand, the deal with Microsoft may ease the barrier between Linux and Windows, but I can’t say about it, since I haven’t tried it yet.

  2. Mats Hagglund says:

    SUSE 11.2 (KDE) worked pretty fine until i had to start use USB-modem (Huawei E 220). It didn’t find operator at all. At the same time my older Mandriva 2010 KDE had no problems at all. No need to mention that Linux Mint and Ubuntu worked nice and easily too.

  3. Ivan says:

    Actually, “RPM Hell” comes from the frustration of tracking down dependencies for that one package you need that is only packaged for another distribution or requires lib versions not packaged by your distribution.

    If Bob wasn’t being dishonest with himself about Debian, he’d mention dpkg hell, which is Debian’s version of the same phenomenon.

    He’d see it for himself by purchasing the latest humble bundle ( and installing them on Debian Stale, but he won’t.

  4. Finalzone says:

    “RPM hell” is from the fact RPM is mistakenly compared with APT command (dpkg is the true basic package manager for Debian based distribution). Back then, the three main RPM based distribution have Yast for SuSE, urpmi for Mandrake/Mandriva and up2date for Red Hat Linux/Fedora until its replacement by yum.

    Dare to solve dependencies with only dpkg command. You will have dpkg hell.

  5. An early experience with SuSE (as it was then known) soured me completely on this distro.

    In 2002, I went into Best Buy and paid $80.00 for SuSE 8.0; I took it home and tried to install it. It steadfastly refused to install—but it failed at a different point each time. I put in a support request, got an automated reply—and that was the last I heard from them that pass. I eventually determined that my “smart” USB mouse was confusing things (20 years experience with PCs helped there), so I subbed a regular mouse. Voila! Everything installed fine. But…

    I have DSL. My then-current modem used PPPoE. I was unable to get SuSE Linux to talk to my modem, so I put in ANOTHER support request, again got an automated reply—and that was the last I EVER heard from them. In the process of trying to find an answer on my own, I found Knoppix and never looked back.

  6. dougman says:

    The Novell Linux videos, depicting MAC and Windows as boring and lame, while promoting Linux as a hot, cool girl was awesome. 🙂

    This must have upset someone at Redmond. 🙁

    In turn, M$ threatened Novell with suit of infringing upon their pretend patents which to date have not amounted to anything.

    M$ has claimed for years that Linux violates over 200 of the company’s patents, M$ has also never said what these patents were.

    *scratch head*

    “Look, we have 200+ patents against Linux. Trust me, you can either partner with us or we will sue you oblivion and for your loyalty, M$ will continue to refrain from suing you or its customers for using Linux”

    I wonder if the extorted partnetship had anything to with the $1 Billion Antitrust Lawsuit that has been going on for ages.

    Novell originally filed the suit claiming that Microsoft purposely suppressed and sabotaged WordPerfect, a word processing platform developed by Novell, in order to consolidate users to Microsoft Word. Consequently, Novell claims they suffered severe financial loss due to Microsoft’s tampering.

    The judge in the case just recently ruled a mistrial, as the jury ruled 11-1 against M$.

    Tampering, where have we heard this before? I seem to recall Samba and a E.U. case that M$ lost.

    The BEST known SUSE developer is arguably Greg Kroah-Hartman. He is dissociated himself from Novell/Attachmate/SUSE and won’t be indirectly funded by Microsoft anymore.

    Instead, he will be funded by Linux backers like IBM and Red Hat.

    SUSE will most likely be forgotten in several years. Many of its key developers have already moved on and rightly so.

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