Newbie query: Ubuntu vs openSUSE

Rameshwar Kr. Sharma mathsrealworld at
Sat Dec 24 11:45:22 UTC 2011

On Sat, Dec 24, 2011 at 3:45 AM, Liam Proven <lproven at> wrote:

> I used RPM-based distros for many years. Red Hat, Caldera (as we've
> discussed on the Bikeshed list) and then SUSE. I also used to review
> Linux distros for various magazines, including PC Pro, Personal
> Computer World and others - so at that time, in the late 1990s, I was
> familiar with pretty much all of them.

> At the time, the choice was fairly stark - user friendliness, distros
> that were easy to install and to use, which were feature-complete and
> friendly - mostly based on RPM; or hardcore hacker distros, or ones
> that were commercial or somewhat limited; in many cases, based on
> .DEB.

> Ubuntu was /the/ distro that changed this. It gave Debian the
> friendliness and simplicity that it lacked, the completeness that
> Stormix didn't offer, the simplicity that you had to pay for with
> Corel or Xandros or Libranet. It didn't and doesn't give the
> sophisticated, complete, setup and admin tools that SUSE or something
> did. Ubuntu won't help you find the IRQ of your graphics card, or let
> you set your preferred colour depth on the screen, or install the
> driver you want for your sound card - it assumes that this is
> automatic on all modern hardware. And mostly, it is.

> But Ubuntu takes .deb and apt-get and makes it easy and simple.

> And, yes, after /considerable/ experience with RPM in both
> research/testing and commercial environments, compared with the
> simplicity and power and flexibility of apt-get, yes, I *do* think
> that RPM is /considerably/ inferior.

> I have experimented with automatic dependency resolution in YAST and
> found it quite poor. I've also played with YUM and URPMI and whereas
> they worked OK, I've heard far more horror stories about them than I
> ever have about apt-get.

> Certainly, 21st century RPM has fixed most of the issues. It does now
> have dependency resolution and so on.

> SUSE also has the option of APT4RPM, which ports APT-GET onto the
> underpinnings of RPM rather than DPKG and .DEB. This works
> surprisingly well and I personally think SUSE were fools /not/ to
> adopt it and move YAST2 over to calling APT4RPM instead of doing its
> own job. But even so, you can't do things like complete distribution
> upgrades with RPM, not even APT4RPM.

> So, yes, the gap has narrowed, but still, even today, the Debian
> family don't have the admin tools that SUSE boasts, and the RPM-based
> distros don't have the elegant, mature package-management system that
> the Debian family do.

Okay and thanks again for this nice explanation, I going to download
the Ubuntu copy.

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