Toying around with OpenSuse Linux

Opensuse 15.5 Screenshot
Opensuse 15.5 Screenshot
OpenSUSE 15.5 screenshot

Ok, I have a problem. I am addicted to trying out OS. I told myself that I was going to give up on other research for Linux versions but I couldn’t. It is just so easy to download an ISO and set up a VM. I guess this is my shame.

Now what isn’t shameful is that OpenSuse is the first Linux that appeals to me like Linux Mint. It had some neat features that Linux Mint doesn’t. For example, it already has the card game that I liked installed. That is a non-issue but it is a nice touch for people who may not understand how to go to a package manager and install software. I like that the interface is very similar to the Linux Mint cinnamon desktop. I downloaded the Tumbleweed version, but the LEAP version seems interesting as well. There were some mixed opinions on what is better but after this story, I will install it and see which is better.

One of the things that you learn in Linux is that the interface or “desktop manager” can be many things. Cinnamon is my favorite of mine so far, but I also like Plasma. It is interesting to see the different ways that you can work, and I like that there are different interfaces. Competition usually improves things and the UI for Windows/Mac has been stale for too long. Although for some distros like Ubuntu, I am not fond of their interface and prefer a more one-line interface like the classic Mac/windows.

Do you see the problem? I complain that the interface has been stale for too long, but using different interfaces doesn’t appeal to me. I think they are not intuitive for the average person. People don’t know how to click on an icon to bring up a menu or the different ways that things can be handled. I think that it would be helpful for everyone including OS makers as part of the installation process, to let the users choose what interface they want. Don’t force people to use a UI that doesn’t make sense for them. I can’t see Apple/Microsoft letting go of control of the UI. However, this is one of the biggest advantages of Linux.

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People often complain about the UI changes, and Microsoft seems to change it every few years. This is problematic for the majority of people. I am not convinced that they have ever improved on the UI in Windows. It was weird in Windows 3.1 and it still is weird. Apple has different UI issues. They can’t seem to decide where they want to put things. Very frustrating for non-IT people. If you have to do a web search to find out how to operate your UI, your UI has failed.

Ok, I hear you saying you don’t like those UIs. What is the best UI you have used? Easy, it was something from my childhood. It was a program that you did a desktop layout by using function keys and the mouse. The function keys would only show what you could do at the moment. That makes sense. It was so easy to use that program because you only saw the options that applied to what you were doing. Windows and Mac overcomplicate things by giving you options for things that you can’t possibly use. If they followed the same logic, they would only show you functionality when you needed that functionality and normally the first choice is the choice that you want to make.

I loved that program. I was like this is an amazing UI. Having a hierarchy completely makes sense so when I see Linux versions that show a hierarchy of functionality, it gets me excited that the average person will find it intuitive.

Now why did I share all this? Because OpenSuse has an intuitive hierarchy. By looking it over it makes sense of what to do and where to go. Sure some names are slightly changed, but that isn’t a big deal. I bet I would feel as comfortable with it in a few days as I do with LM. I have it going now in a VirtualBox session on my laptop’s primary display and want to use it up close and personal and I am strongly inclined to delete Windows 11 and install this instead. I would like to see how it runs natively instead of inside VB.

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Does this mean I am giving up on Linux Mint? Nope. I am impressed.