So I decided to give SUSE a try. I had a evaluation copy from Linux World. That worked fine, compiz and all, but was out of date. GNOME 2.12 has been out more than a year now and I couldn’t figure out how to upgraded it via yum. Maybe I’m just stupid.
Next I decided to give OpenSUSE a go. They’re related, right? So I grab version 10.1 remastered, because it’s better, right? Useful for new installations, fixed package manager. Great, I think. Maybe I’m smart enough to figure this one out. The installation looks a lot like the Novell SUSE installer. I figure that must be a good sign. Installation finishes, dvd pops out and I reboot. Into FVWM. What. The. Fuck.
Now, I know the SUSE guys like KDE but Novell ships GNOME as the default desktop. I figured, at the very least, I would start out with KDE and be able to switch my session. No, that was not the case. I figured that, being OpenSUSE, I would have some useful repositories in yast (yast? YaST? YAST?). No. I still couldn’t figure out how to install GNOME or upgrade the system. If, as a new user, I have to go through this in order to unfuck the default package management, your distro has serious problems.
Package management shouldn’t be difficult. The Debian guys have it down pretty solid. You want something? Fire up Synaptic, dselect or use apt-get. Out of the box you have at least two of those options and most distros have Synaptic available by default. Install SUSE and spend a few hours trying to figure out what’s going on and why yast doesn’t work, only to find out it’s broken by default. Here, install this alternate package manager to make our shit useful. Now that’s quality engineering.