openSUSE and Gnome
openSUSE comes in two flavors, KDE and Gnome -but you can add anything else. Of course I tried only Gnome version 3.4 here. openSUSE comes with a pretty much original Gnome. Cantarel Fonts, Adwaita Themes, default setting (ie. no desktop icons, no minimize buttons), Gnome Icons (!!!) and the only thing that looks different at first sight is the Wallpaper.
I would prefer some customization from openSUSE team here ..but anyway. If we look deeper will see some differences compared to the genuine Gnome, like the Shutdown extension and the Twitter service in GOA.
openSUSE comes with Gnome Tweak Tool and Alternative Status Extension pre-installed.
Just for the people that don’t know that, Gnome Tweak Tool is a part of (non-core) Gnome, and is maintained and developed by Gnome hackers. Also ASM extension is made by a relatively new contributor of Gnome, Giovanni Campagna.
Twitter in GOA
GOA support more accounts like Twitter and Yahoo but Gnome developers haven’t enabled them by default, as these services don’t use anonymous authentications. openSUSE however has included Twitter.
GOA will redirect you to an external page of Twitter in order to authorize you account. After you fill your Email and Password, Twitter will provide you a “verification number” that you will insert into GOA.
And you are set. I don’t know how Gnome Shell manages Twitter, but I guess you just get notification on new Twits. I couldn’t verify because it didn’t work on me.
Installing, discovering and updating software is one of the strongest spots of openSUSE. You can make it a rolling releasing, you can easily upgrade to development versions, you can install proprietary software with one click (from their web-page) and you basically can build your very own openSUSE distro online in minutes with SUSE Studio.
The repository manager is awesome! You can set priorities on the repos, so if a package exists in more than one repo, you can set which one you prefer to use. Updating your repositories isn’t as slow as in Fedora (Jesus Fedora!) but it is slow here too.
The best feature on Software Manager is that it searches as you type in live time. In general it is very fast and practical but is missing ratings on Apps. How would you know what App is better without any kind of rating? This is a must have for every Software or Hardware shop/center.
My point is that without ratings, a software center to a new user isn’t very useful. They (not just openSUSE) should build a unified software center for the Linux Desktop at some point. I mean that every App should play in Ubuntu or Fedora or Arch.
openSUSE is the king on this area. It includes graphical user interfaces for almost every configuration you can make in a Linux Desktop.
Midnight Commander in Gnome Default installation? Gnome goes hardcore again :)
Check on Yast. I couldn’t even fit all the configuration tools in a full screen view. While this is impressive, it isn’t working as expected. Most of the tools are badly designed. That’s not a problem for the advanced user, but for a new user it is certainly a mess.
I cannot say whether openSUSE 12.2 is a bad or a good distro. That needs (usage) time. It seems like having potential but.. it is missing something. I am also a bit skeptic because I had a very bad experience with openSUSE 12.1. But openSUSE is a distro that you must try.
Of course for the friends of openSUSE, 12.2 release is wonderful news because 12.2 is a massive update from 12.1!