23 Apr 2013

OpenSuSE 12.3 – the Cheater

I don't  like OpenSuSE. I've tried it several times, and I always was disappointed.

However, I recently read an article by Dedoimedo, which praised OpenSuSE 12.3 as the best in the 12.x series. I also got a comment on my OpenSuSE 12.2 article, in which the commenter said that the 12.3 version is much better than 12.2. And last but not least, I recently got an order for OpenSuSE 12.3 disk from one of my customers.

That's why I decided to check OpenSuSE 12.3 for myself.

If you hoped to see the full-blown review of this operating system, unfortunately I have to disappoint you. I shall simply send you to Dedoimedo's article linked above.

I will write, for the 45th time probably, about what I consider the rubbish software and update management system OpenSuSE uses.

So, let's start the Live session of OpenSuSE 12.3 KDE, run the Install/Remove Software application, which is located in the Computer section of the main menu.
OpenSuSE 12.3 YaST
Type "Chromium" in the search string and hit Search. In the list that appears, tick the checkbox next to the Chromium line. You have a few more lines that will be autoselected here. They are logical dependencies, as you can notice.
Chromium browser and its direct dependencies
And now click Accept. First of all, you have to accept two more license agreements for software, not mentioned anywhere on the earlier screens: Adobe Flash Plugin and GStreamer Fluendo plugin. Finally, you have a list of additional components Yast (OpenSuSE's software management tool) imposes on you.
None of the items in this list can be deselected. Drop-down list at the top only filters the view, but not the follow-up process.

The text at the very top of the window reads:
In addition to your manual selections, the following packages have been changed to resolve dependencies.
If you scroll through the list, you can find there brilliant dependencies of Chromium browser like MozillaFirefox-translations-common, kdeartwork4-wallpapers-weather, gtk3-branding-openSUSE etc.

Will anyone in the world in a rational state of mind believe that the Chromium browser could actually depend on Firefox translations or OpenSuSE branding?

Dear OpenSuSE developers! Could you please read this carefully: don't take your users as dummies and newbies. Call things by their correct names. If you decide to impose an overall system update, call it an update. If a user wants to install only one application, let him install that one application, then inform him of a necessary update without insisting he perform it at once as a price for requesting something new.

Overall, I really do think that OpenSuSE 12.3 is the best in the OpenSuSE 12.x range. But that's far not the best operating system. And, I should admit, this is not the honest operating system. It's a cheater!

Do you want to try OpenSuSE 12.3 yourself? Then why not order the disk with this operating system from BuyLinuxCDs site?


  1. Sorry to say it, but this is absurd.

    After installing 12.3, your first step should have been to do online updates. Almost all of the software you are complaining about would have been installed through running online updates.

    After completing online updates, if you had then installed chromium, you would have seen only the few items listed in your first screen.

    The items that you think had nothing to do with chromium would have been installed even without installing chromium. You have jumped to a wrong conclusion.

    For comparison, after installing Fedora 18, I was notified that there were 334 updates that needed to be applied. Maybe I should have tried installing chromium, and then blamed Fedora because their chromium required 334 unrelated packages.

    1. I think you are talking absurd.
      I, user should decide whether I need updates, or I need a system "as it is out-of-the-box". I should decide what I need to install and what I need to leave as is. YaST does not give me this option, it urges me to install updates, even if don't need them.
      You're right, Fedora has a similar problem.
      But have a look at Debian, Ubuntu and their derivatives. As am writing these words from Live session of Mint 14.1 Cinnamon. And, for experiment, I installed Chromium from repositories. No questions about updates! Although, separate update checker says there are 308 of them, including Mintupdate application itself.
      Same is valid for Mageia 2, which is RPM-based, like Fedora and OpenSuSE. You can install applications and updates separately.

    2. I think I said similar things to DarkDuck in my review of openSUSE.

      If I run Fedora and try to install a package it may remind me that there are 300 updates but it won't then automatically assume that I want to install them there and then.

      What is also relevant is that each user should decide which updates they want. For example only security updates are absolutely essential. Other updates are only relevant if you use the software that the updates relate to. I don't use FireFox so why would i need all the FireFox translations updates.

      I also said in my review that I had downloaded an ISO that was less than a month old as a live disk. The download was 900 mb. The updates were 1.4 gb. In one month there were more updates than the system I had downloaded.

      That can't be right. It must be installing stuff that the developers decided wasn't important for the live disk but they deem important once you have installed the system. I can live with that if you tell me what the extras are and give me a choice as to whether I install them or not.

      There is of course a setting in openSUSE to turn off the update check so that you can just install the one package (and real dependencies) but by default it is turned on and is a wee bit annoying.

    3. Barnaby, what's about Mageia, which is also RPM-based?

    4. Yes, you understand what I mean in this post... You're not those thick foreheads from LXer! ;)

  2. I agree, I tried installing codecs and it was suggesting to install 1GB+ software. I deselected k3b-codecs and ffmpeg and it came down to 18mb+ something.

  3. Something may have changed because the last time I used openSUSE, while it did recommend installation of unrelated updates, they could be deselected (though doing so was not trivial).
    a Linux Mint user since 2009 May 1

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. I have had problems with sound card. SUSE try to use old integrated and disabled card. So i was forced to write .asoundrc-file to my home founder

    pcm.!default {
    type hw
    card 1

    ctl.!default {
    type hw
    card 1

    Total mystery because any other Linux distributions has never had problems with that integrated but disabled (BIOS) card.

    SUSE KDE is beautiful, rather stable but somehow suss OS.

  6. What is that talking about the disappearing of the PC on the internet? In that case Suse has no future too.
    I don't believe so, but one never knows nowadays...

    1. Hehe, with Fuduntu case noone knows when the distro ends up the lifecycle. Pardus was also on a brink of extinct...

  7. Linux Mint is my fav now. But i'm ready to jump to other if it is better.

    1. Frank, have you tried different ones? Only you can decide!

  8. hey,
    Darkduck, uor reviews are very good for users.before 2 years never using kde desktop was a gnome guy but after gnome 3 mess started using kde more n more .my first distro was opensuse 7yrs back n then just came back to opensuse 12.3 kde on installation as btrfs root the perfomance on my laptop is really better with this new btrfs system .I still think that opensuse lacks something like debian based distro to remove orphaned or unneeded packages command .right now i m writing this review from opensuse 12.3 kde desktop n that also after installing what u said was true that lot of unneeded dependencies just to install one software it shows but in terms of performance 12.3 is really better. Also one thing i didnt like about yast-1 click install why 2 boxes of yast opens up while installing software one which show please wait while uor software is being installed n other yast box of software installation , n why note just one box for yast installer.
    Abot mageia3 kde n opensuse 12.3 ,whenever i had actually installed third party software like google earth in opensuse 12.3 kde it downloads all the needed dependencies extremly well.but same when i tried in mageia 3 kde it miss out some dependices n it didnt start just n example.

    mageia 2 kde was one of my favourite kde distros of all distros i have tried it n used it for abot yr.also mageia has command to remove orphaned package that is just an edge over
    opensuse .Tried sabayon 13.04 kde on my hardware but cpu was just noisy but look n overall aesthetic was one of the best ever i had seen in any kde distros but performance was noisy on my laptop.

    I would have glad to see it mageia 3 would have come up with btrfs as root installation then really mageia 3 would be my choice .only bcoz of btrfs using opensuse12.3 kde.N lastly thanks to all distro community to making some awesome distros like this.

    1. Thanks! I use Mageia 3 almost every day (when I don't use Mint Cinnamon). I like it, although it has something to work on yet.

  9. Also one minor issue i m getting abot system monitor applet in opensuse12.3 kde btrfs as root is that it constantly shows combination of cpu at 100 percent while combination of cpu1 n cpu 2 is not 100 percent at all