SUSE Linux 10 vs. Ubuntu Edgy 6.10

Well I have spent the last week playing with both SLED 10 and Edgy. Both of these distributions are excellent and will make any user happy, however they are not without faults.

SLED 10: The first thing that you see is WOW, this is an incredible looking distribution. It would seem that Novell has spend lots of time making SLED look great. The default software that is installed is good and for most users it will have everything that you need. I like the way that they have done the start panel, although it took some getting used to. I was not so crazy about the new layout that they used for GNOME. The first thing I did was change GNOME back to the more standard layout. It would have been nice if there had been an option during the install for the new or old layout. The install did not have any problems with me hardware, other than the standard problem with sound capture with my sound card, which is an HDA Intel card that has not worked with anything yet. Novell really needs to remove that bastard of a configuration mess called YAST. This has got to be the worst configuration tools every used. It can do just about anything, if you have the four hours needed to find what you are looking for. The package management tools within YAST are not as good as apt or yum, and should be replaced with one of them as the default package manager.

Ubuntu Edgy: Mark Shuttleworth made a posting in his blog recently that “Pretty” is a feature. Well they are still off the mark with this release on that count. For all the changes and growth that Ubuntu has made in the short amount of time that it has been around, the looks just have not kept up with the rest of the changes. The color scheme is starting to get dated, and the graphics have not changed much. After spending some time on the GNOME art site things started to look much better. The default install includes an excellent selection of software for a distribution that comes on one CD. The time between Edgy and Dapper was rather short so as one would expect there are no major changes. Most of the packages are simple updated from the previous release. There where really only two big changes that I have found. Edgy is now using a generic kernel that replaces the K7 and i686 kernel from past distributions. The other change is with Nautilus, it is not nearly as stable as in past releases. Edgy uses apt for its package management, and after making a few changes to the source list there is pretty much nothing that can not be install quick and easy.

Conclusion: Both of these distribution are excellent and will make the user glad they are not using Windows. It really comes down to personnel preference. I personally have come to prefer Ubuntu because of its excellent package management tools and general ease of use. I started out using SUSE and never did learn to like YAST, although I did come to a basic understanding with it. In the end I would have to give Ubuntu the edge in both community and pace of change.

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