Friday, June 07, 2013

OpenSuse 12.3 - Review - Very good performance

The first thing that I note is faster booting. It takes about 15 secs, with previous version it was about 45 secs. Second thing is better performance. Desktop is very responsive and takes lesser memory. As compared to Ubuntu 12.04 with KDE 4.10, it consumes about 300MB less RAM in OpenSuse on my office laptop.


I installed it on 2 different variants on 2 different laptops, first one is Dell Vostro- Core i5 2nd generation,4GB ram and second is Compaq CQ-62 AMD Phenom X4, 6GB ram. I installed KDE live on AMD one and Mango Linux on intel one. Mango Linux a OpenSuse derivative developed and maintained by me, contains all additional stuff that is needed after installing OpenSuse, like Google chrome, flash, google earth, vlc, etc... and updates. Installation is no different from previous version. Installation went smooth without any issue.

Hardware support

On both the laptops all the device are detected and are working well. For the first time in KDE bluetooth is working, although not perfectly, I'm not able to receive files via bluetooth. Previously nothing was working for bluetooth using KDE, so I've to use Blueman to share files over bluetooth. I had an issue with wifi on Dell laptop using Ubuntu 12.04, that even with fast internet connection, pages open very slow, so I’ve to use cable for internet. I did not faced such issues with OpenSuse/Mango Linux. I have dual graphics in Compaq laptop first one is Radeon 45XX series one IGP and another is 1Gb 5520 addon graphics cards. IGP belongs to legacy series of catalyst driver and discrete belongs to new catalyst, so I cannot install AMD proprietary drivers, as both cannot be installed together, so I’m open source driver. To disable discrete graphic driver at boot I’m following this thread.


OpenSuse12.3 come with kernel 3.7.10, KDE 4.10.0, Gnome 3.6, LibreOffice 3.6. Latest version of LibreOffice is release 4.0, which release after feature freeze hence not included in default software selection, but is available in a separate repo. I'm use KDE as default desktop environment. I did not find any major issue with it, it is very smooth and stable. I used KDE 4.10 with Ubuntu 12.04, where is faced few crashes and performance was not very good, which did not happen in this case. OpenSuse has reputation of providing best KDE desktop experience, it is feel more polished than previous version. Overall performance is far better than Ubuntu 12.04 and also better than 12.2. The major change in default software selection is MariaDb in place of MySql.


In this release performance is improved a lot, from booting to opening applications and doing day to day tasks. It takes 15 secs to boot with default applications/services,which is very good. In VMWare player it takes about 8 secs. Faster booting matters a lot, although it is Linux, you don't need to reboot often as compared to Windows, but it matters. For example you are about leave office, you shut down your laptop/desktop and then you manager ask to respond to an important email he just send. At this moment if you machine take too long to boot, you feel frustrated.

Another improvement is it takes lesser memory. It takes about 300 to 400 MB less as compared to Ubuntu 12.04. I've 8-10 tabs opened in firefox, 5-6 tabs in Opera, Netbeans with Oracle JRE, Konsole, mysql and apache. I'm running almost same version for all app except MySql and Apache. The performance improvement is because of improvement is base libraries. I would recommend OpenSuse 12.3 for expert and new users alike who are looking for a stable Linux distro with good performance and for fair balance of simplicity and good configuration options for those who want to tweak.