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Back in the fold

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SUSE

So a couple months ago I mentioned that I was running Fedora again as my primary desktop due to some problems I was having with OpenSUSE 10.3 But that I would try it again after a couple months hoping that patches will have addressed my problems. Well here we are a couple months later and I’ve installed OpenSUSE 10.3 on my primary AMD64 machine. This time through things worked the way I had expected them two a few months ago.

The initial install went perfectly as before. To me, one of the main strengths of the OpenSUSE distribution is the Yast installation program. It is simple enough to give you the super basic “Click next, next, next” install if that is what you are looking for. But at the same time it offers some powerful setup features that I really missed when I went over to Fedora. First and foremost is the ability to encrypt partitions during initial install. I do a lot of online banking and bill paying on my home computer along with email. If any of that info was compromised it wouldn’t be the end of the world but knowing that if someone burglarized my house and ran off with my computer they would never be able to boot it up on a rescue cd and reset the root password and get into my stuff is important to me. OpenSUSE makes encrypting my home partition a snap. I know that Fedora and other distros support LUKS and whatnot but from my experience OpenSUSE is the only one who offers the option during installation. A second part of the Yast installer that I really like is the granularity of the package selection. OpenSUSE is a full DVD worth of free software. There are literally thousands of packages. Like I mentioned before if you don’t want the responsibility of selecting all of your packages you can just click next, but if you do, like me, you can very creative with your initial package selection. On Fedora and Ubuntu I am always very underwhelmed by the number of softwares I have to choose from during install. The Fedora interface seems super basic and high level. With Fedora and Ubuntu I generally spend the next hour after first boot installing a lot of packages with yum or apt-get. With OpenSUSE I generally only need to install my video driver and maybe mplayer and I am done.

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