Yes, it is pronounced like Soo-zah, but it is spelled SUSE. I pronounced it Soose until I was corrected just yesterday. That's funny.
Installing OpenSUSE isn't something a newcomer to GNU/Linux would find easy. The options are somewhat confusing, and at the partition menu I payed keen attention to the proposal, as to not mess up or erase my Windows system, so I could dual boot. You must pay keen attention to the proposals or you may mess up your system, but if you do pay good attention and not race through everything, you should be alright. If you are just getting rid of another OS and installing this one, it may be great for you.
The green user interface is well blended with the taskbar and the features around it. I like the start menu style, and I like the Chameleon. I installed KDE, I wanted a small change from GNOME. The install was fine, and it traveled right along, but I found it long and a little confusing, there were a lot of options that you have to pay attention to, and you have to reboot several times into the same install system. It does have a few cool features, like updating within the installer, but this also has a downside, if your internet connection is slow, this will slow down the install by quite a bit. Once updating was finished, I was asked to reboot, a third time, there were new kernel packages that were installed. Very annoying, but alright, the new Linux kernel may provide new features, or may add some more stability.
I struggled and struggled to get this operating system to mount my Linux to Windows partition. Being used to separate utilities to do this, I stumbled around the YaST administration program. Once I figured out how to get it remounted, I was off again. This time to explore YaST as a package manager.
YaST controlling package management is great. Almost better than synaptic. The search is powerful, providing you with the best results to what you searched for. It doesn't show the millions of packages availible in one screen. The only downside to this is if you forgot what you were searching for.
OpenSUSE does come with the good applications like Firefox and Thunderbird. It comes with OpenOffice, which is becoming more and more standard. I just wish the OpenOffice crew will come out with singular programs, but since all of the tools run on basically the same platform, and all of the applications require everything, it probably won't happen. It comes with several more useful day to day applications too. It also comes with the proprietary tools such as Adobe acrobat reader, and Flash. That's good, so you have what you need.
Once I figured out how to mount my Lin-Win partition, I took some pictures, and I also went out to see what the Open SUSE web site offered. I found there was a great wiki. There are also some mailing lists that provide discussion and help. I found the warning near them saying "Can send you over 100 emails a day" That is what I call good support. Wow! You can also purchase a boxed version of SUSE, sponsored by Novell, and in that case, Novell an provide professional support.
I also found the forums, and explored those a little, I found what other users were having for problems. OpenSUSE is a professional Linux Distribution. It provides great support, and it would probably work best as a workstation/server client. I think it would work best this way, most professionsal Linux distributions are designed this way. I am not sure about personal use, it is OK, but a little confusing at first.
Let's look at the pros-
- Looks good
- Great support
- Uses YaST for package management
- Tons of features
- Comes with flash/java/ other proprietary software
- Installs updates before use
- Can take a while to install
- A little confusing
- If you have slow internet, don't update before use