After more than 3 years of using Ubuntu, I recently moved to openSUSE. The reason? Ubuntu Raring Ringtail doesn’t have the latest release of GNOME which is version 3.8.
One of my hobbies is contributing to GNOME applications, and I need the latest release of GNOME to be able to do that. Otherwise, I have to recompile them and their dependencies to be able to use those.
Also, Ubuntu has been mixing packages from different releases, making my life harder when looking for bugs.
So I tried Fedora and openSUSE to see what I should install to replace Ubuntu. I chose Gnome Shell in those distributions as my desktop. I chose openSUSE because of the following:
The main reason why I didn’t choose Fedora is Yum. I already tried moving to Fedora before (I think around Fedora 15 or 16), but it is so slow that I’m having problems installing new software. I use the package manager on a daily basis and I don’t like waiting :D.
Yum is also downloading too much data when I update the lists. It usually needs to download about 40MB but my internet connection is slow too.
While in openSUSE, Zypper is fast, easy to use and has many features. One of them is concept of package vendors. With it I could easily see where the packages in my computer came from. Even apt-get in Ubuntu doesn’t have this.
Another one is package locking. When something goes wrong in an update, I could install the older ones then lock them. I then lock and unlocking them when a related update is available.
It’s very easy to install new repositories and you could update only the repositories you want to be updated.
I also like that Zypper has shortcuts for most commands.
Open Build Service
I am a fan of Open Build Service even before I moved to openSUSE. I use it to compile and install cross-compilers and libraries for MinGW. I stopped using it before because I have to download tons of packages to be able to compile my own packages, but now that I use openSUSE, they are already available in my computer. I also download the DVD ISO image so that I don’t have to wait for packages to be downloaded while working on new packages.
Also, OBS’ windows:mingw repository has more packages than Fedora.
OBS also have lots of other repositories where I could get the latest versions of many software, like LibreOffice. It’s easier to use than Ubuntu’s PPA’s (both on the user and developer side) and much safer because of the “vendor-concept” of Zypper.
GNOME Stable Repository
openSUSE is one of the first distributions to offer GNOME 3.8 in their repositories for their latest stable release. In Fedora, I have to use Fedora 19 which is still in beta.
I might move to Fedora 19 though once it becomes beta, since GNOME 3.8 is probably more stable and complete there (GNOME:STABLE:3.8 repository in openSUSE has some missing packages like gnome-tweak-tool and anjuta-extras), and nearest to upstream. Many GNOME developers are using Fedora too. Or I might change distros between Fedora and openSUSE and vice-versa during beta releases. Or maybe have them both!