In a another bout of self-abuse (I should really see someone about this tendency…), I installed OpenSUSE 11 on my desktop at Work.
It’s actually pretty slick. The installer looks really nice, and appears to work well. I think all my hardware was actually detected. Actually, the auto-detection worked too well. My mouse ended up getting detected twice, causing all kinds of weird problems when I installed x2vnc later (The solution was to just disable one of them using sax2).
I still don’t really like the SUSE config tools, but I must say I arbitrarily find the GTK versions less offensive than the QT ones (maybe it’s just the gtk style). There remains a seemingly arbitrary division of tasks between the yast control panel and the gnome control panel (even with some overlap in functionality), and the fact that they kinda look the same doesn’t help with the confusion.
Also no patented subpixel rendering by default. I think it’s a few SRPM rebuilds away, but I just haven’t looked into it. It’s silly that this is extra work though. I’m pretty sure all the various patches will be upstream in the next version. Hopefully that means it will work out of the box on many more distros.
The new package manager seems pretty good. zypper commands from the command line are reasonably fast. The only oddity so far for me is that by default, the “repository” on your install media is listed as the primary source of packages (aside from updates), which means that every time you do a big install operation you have to go find the disc. I’m pretty sure there’s on online equivalent somewhere, but it’s not entirely clear to me how to find it.
Anyways, I’m trying not to get too bogged down the details. The more I use different distros, the more I think it’s what’s on the inside of your home directory that counts, i.e. all the little scripts that you could have written to make yourself work more efficiently. Not the hours you spent finding the perfect dark theme, that’s just going to get broken next time you upgrade.
Update: Here’s how to enable subpixel.

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