It’s been a little while since I’ve taken a look at OpenSUSE. It’s never managed to really grip me and fill me with much excitement. That was until the other day when a user on the Tyler’s Tech Discord server brought it up in conversation. This lead me to hopping over to their website and downloading the Tumbleweed iso. It was over 4GB in size, so a little on the heavy side. Once my download was complete I created a bootable USB using DD and was good to go.
The installation process was a breeze and lets you choose which desktop environment you would like to use. I went with KDE as it has good support and integration with OpenSUSE.
It also lets you choose which file system to house your system in with btrfs as it’s default as this allows you to take advantage of file system snapshots. When you’re choosing to have swap it has a simple checkbox which if checked will create enough swap to enable hibernation.
The installation process took a little bit longer than what I would have expected compared to say Ubuntu or Fedora but wasn’t too extreme.The default theming is nice but as it’s KDE it’s super simple to customise it to get it looking just how you want it. I went over to the global theme settings and installed a nice dark theme that I paired with a fresh looking icon set. Everything is looking good so far with very minimal effort.
OpenSUSE uses YaST (Yet another Setup Tool) which they have developed over the years to handle many aspects of your systems configuration. It’s a GUI that provides ways for users to perform tasks such as updates, take snapshots, manage your firewall etc. Much of which can be done via the terminal but it’s nice to have a powerful tool that can handle a lot of this for you. I particularly like the snapshot feature which allows me to take a snapshot of the file system and then roll back to it if need be. You can also use YaST to install and manage your packages.
OpenSUSE with KDE also comes with the Discover software store that has flatpak integration included. Managing packages in the terminal is handled by the zypper command. To install a package using the zypper command you input zypper install
. You can use the zypper command for updates too.
OpenSUSE TumbleWeed is a rolling release which means you will always be up to date with the latest packages available. However if you prefer a more stable base which follows a more traditional release cycle you can download OpenSUSE Leap.
The overall performance and general snappy’ness of OpenSUSE has been decent. I haven’t experienced any hang ups or felt like the system was struggling to keep up. KDE comes with a suite of applications out of the box to get you started. This includes Firefox as the default web browser, Dolphin as your file manager,Konsole as your terminal, kmail etc. It also comes installed with the full Libre office Suite. I’ve also installed Google Chrome, Kdenlive, OBS-Studio, GIMP and a couple of other packages while messing around with the distribution. Which all perform just fine under OpenSUSE. At boot I’m consuming just under 700MB which for this desktop environment isn’t bad going at all. Especially when you consider OpenSUSE includes a lot of packages for you already including SSH server which you can enable via YaST in the firewall settings or with these commands ;
Aside from everything else I’ve actually been having FUN. OpenSUSE has never really struck me as a “fun” distribution and seemed more corporate. Now it still has that side but just using OpenSUSE has been a great experience and I’ll feature it on the channel for a full review soon so click here and make sure you’re subscribed.