How To Get openSUSE
The openSUSE Installer
GNOME is GNOME is GNOME. It doesn't matter whether you install Fedora, Debian or openSUSE, the look and feel of GNOME is the same in each of them. The real value is added by each distribution in turn and later on I will show you the value that openSUSE offers.
For beginners to Linux the GNOME desktop has a single panel at the top with an "Activities" link in the top left corner and system icons in the top right.
Clicking on the system icons in the top allows you to do things like adjust the audio, change the language, set up bluetooth and connect to the internet.
The "Activiies" link when clicked brings up the screen below:
The above screen provides a list of applications you are likely to use quite often such as the Firefox web browser, Evolution mail client, Empathy chat client, GNOME music player, Shotwell photo manager, LibreOffice, the file manager and the documents folder.
On the right side of the screen is a list of workspaces. You can open a new workspace by clicking on it. The keyboard shortcuts are invaluable in this regard.
At the bottom of the list of icons is a grid of dots and when this is clicked you will see the screen below:
The search bar is useful for finding the application by name or description.
Connecting To The Internet
Click on the network you wish to connect to and enter the required security key.
Setting Up Audio
- Firefox - Web Browser
- Evolution - Email Client
- Empathy - Chat
- GNOME Music - Audio Player
- Totem - Video Player
- Shotwell - Photo Manager
- Nautilus - File Manager
It is straight forward and it works, although I would say it has bombed out on me a couple of times with no error messages.
GNOME Video Player
You can view the weather by specific time slots during the day and you get a nice 5 day forecast.
However it is about as useful as trying to eat soup with a fork.
Everything appears to be there. You have nice categories, you can click into the categories and software appears and you can install software.
It all seems to look good, except that it never shows anything good and the search tool never seems to find anything.
There is a much better application for finding and installing software within openSUSE and I am coming to that shortly.
YAST Control Center
The YAST Control Center is the best thing about openSUSE and it is superb.
From here you can do literally anything.
- Network services
- Security and users
IssuesI haven't really experienced any issues in the past couple of weeks. There is a bit of extra searching around for stuff as I am not overly familiar with openSUSE however I have most things set up now and it feels very stable.
The only blips I have had are with GNOME Music which for some reason has crashed without notice on the odd occasion.
SummarySo here is the deal. If as the Everyday Linux User you are going to use openSUSE then you have to stick with it and in reality it should be the only operating system on your machine. Trying to dual boot will probably tie you up in knots.
After you have installed it and you have the most important non-free packages installed (Google Chrome being the main one) then you are likely to find openSUSE and GNOME a joy.
GNOME is really easy to use. It really is point and click and if you can get a handle on those keyboard shortcuts then life will be very easy indeed.
openSUSE is stable and it won't let you down with odd quirks that some other distributions have. It really is a case of taking that bit more time to get used to than you may have to with a Linux Mint for instance.
The good news is that there is a lot of documentation available and most things you will try have been tried before and there is usually a straight forward guide to follow to get to where you want to be.
All in all a positive experience.