SEGMAT wrote:What is the difference between them?
OpenSUSE: developed by a multi-million dollar company: Novell Inc.
Mint: developed by a single French guy in Ireland plus a few volunteers (who do the "community editions")
Packages + Package Managers:
OpenSUSE: uses the Red Hat Package Manager format, *.rpm
packages. The package manager is slow like hell compared to "apt" from Debian-based distros.
Mint: uses the Advanced Package Tool, apt
plus Debian's *.deb
packages. "apt" feels super-fast when compared to any of the other package managers.
Updating and Upgrading:
OpenSUSE: you're not supposed to upgrade packages. If SUSE ships with e.g. Firefox 1.5x you're supposed to stay on this version. Any security relevant patches will be backported to your version and will be made available via SUSE's online update tools. But you won't have any new features. So if you really insist on getting new features and new versions then you will have to go package-hunting and will have to manually download the relevant *.rpm package and all its dependencies. Or you go through the pains of finding a suitable third-party package manager such as smart
that would then behave like "apt" on Debian and then download and install all the new software versions and their dependencies for you. Or you Google around and try to find a suitable "Yast repo" for SUSE's official package manager and central config tool "yast" and then install the new stuff you want that way. In any case you'd lose official support for the reason I already said: On SUSE you're not supposed to upgrade to new software versions unless Novell makes it available via their official repos (and usually they only provide security fixes but not new versions with new features). *This* policy is precisely why OpenSUSE and the "SUSE Linux Enterprise Server" (their professional product for large enterprise customers) why this appeals to business users. Business users don't like to mess around with "bleeding edge" and untested new software, they want stability.
Mint: Like all distros based on Ubuntu and Debian new stuff becomes available all the time. e.g. when new versions of Firefox are released the package will be usually available within a day or so in the repos and you can "apt-get install" or "apt-get upgrade" it from there. Or you fire up "Synaptic" and tell it to auto-grab all available upgrades. Ubuntu-like distros already ship with a nicely pre-configured list of online repos (/etc/apt/sources.list) so there is rarely ever a need to go hunting for single *.deb packages (unless you are searching for something really obscure stuff that was deemed as being not suitable for any of the official repos). And then there are tons of third-party repos that are easy to add (e.g. Treviños repos, as described here http://www.linuxmint.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=3433
) and offer tons and tons of more packages than SUSE could ever dream to have.
For comparison: A fully configured OpenSUSE 10.2 with all the third-party repos and unsupported package managers enabled gives me a count of about 18'000 available packages. And it was a pain in the a** to get it so far, I needed to hunt around in forums and find the right repos and I needed to correct a few entries by hand.
Ubuntu-based distros will give you a list of 24'000 packages and more almost "out of the box" (universe and multiverse enabled). Enabling this stuff is just a matter of entering a few lines via copy & paste into /etc/apt/sources.list. With some repos you might need to download a crypto-key. Again: you do this via copy & paste. Very easy, every beginner can do it. With third-party repos activated this list grows even more. And then there is clem's newest addition: MintInstall and the Software Portal. Point and click, and the software and all stuff you need gets auto-installed, you never even have to mess with getting the right repos.
So why would you want to use OpenSUSE:
- it's widely used in businesses, especially it's bigger cousin "SUSE Linux Enterprise Server"; SLES is based on OpenSUSE and the two are extremely similar.
- nice central configuration tool: yast
- excellent hardware detection
- superb installer, allows you to fine-tune your installation (e.g. install KDE or GNOME or both or ...)
- you can tell it's done by a professional team, e.g. there is a lot of polish everywhere
Why would you not want to use OpenSUSE:
- the pact between Novell and Microsoft is seen as being "immoral" by some
- package selection is limited
- Novell enforces their chief developer's Greg Kroah-Hartmann's philosophy: He firmly believes that "closed source binary drivers are evil + illegal"; so there is no easy way to get ATI and Nvidia cards working; also Atheros-based WiFi cards are a pain to setup
- for the reasons stated above: No MP3 playback support out of the box, no support for playing encrypted DVD's, no support for many commonly used media formats
==> on Ubuntu you have several options to easily get all these things immediately after the installation; Mint already ships with most of these things and there is almost nothing to do after the installation, whereas getting OpenSUSE to the point where it might finally be usable by a home desktop user is a royal pain in the a** and involves wasting many many hours getting things to work that "ought to be already there" (from the user's perspective; ignoring legal aspects here) ... or at least easier to get.
Would you like OpenSUSE? Maybe. I used it since 1996 ... but it evolved into a direction I began to dislike. And OpenSUSE 10.2 was the last release I used. Ever. As you can tell I am not a SUSE user anymore for all the many reasons listed here