On the final day of my series on using KDE4 for seven days I made the bold statement that I would switch from being a Gnome user to KDE4 if I could only find myself the perfect KDE4 distro. (Begin reading with the first day HERE)

Today I start that quest with openSUSE 11.3

This is not a review, my openSUSE review will come soon, but more an impressions and “does it fill my needs” writeup

Read on for more

What Do I Want?

On Day 7 of my Using KDE series I listed three needs that I needed to be satisfied in order for me to decide on a KDE4 distro to be my default desktop, replacing my Ubuntu Lucid install for work. They are:

  1. Stability
  2. Feature Completeness
  3. Hardware Support

How does KDE stack up with these so far?


openSUSE seems to be rather stable, and by “rather stable” I mean it has not died on me as of yet. No KDE4 related problems that I have experienced with PC-BSD or Kubuntu, nor the login delay that reared its head with Mandriva a few times. If all goes well this week I might have a winner on first try in this department.

Feature Completeness

Predictably openSUSE is rather feature complete. It matches other mainline distros on the necessary programs, and sports KDE4.4.4, a version or so newer than Mandriva Spring that had KDE4.4.3

It does not come with Flash pre-installed like Mandriva does, but that is something I have come to install as part of my housekeeping with Ubuntu as well.

Hardware Support.

Mandriva, both the Gnome and KDE versions, would not “wake up” my Atheros WiFi after a suspend/resume cycle. I am happy to report that openSUSE does just that. I can suspend/resume without losing the ability to use my WiFi card.

That was one of the main reasons that I did not use Mandriva for my main KDE4 desktop, openSUSE is better in that regard.


Remember that I could not find the “host” command in Mandriva, even in the repositories? Well with openSUSE, like with Ubuntu, it is installed by default. I use this command at least ten or more times a day, and I am glad to have my old tool back!

The implementation of KDE4 in openSUSE is much less customized than was the case with Mandriva – maybe this would have been a better candidate for my seven day series on using KDE4 than Mandriva.


This is only a short writeup, tomorrow I will provide a full review of openSUSE 11.3 KDE which will include an expanded multi part test (I am including Atheros support as part of the test) and video screencast, a first for my reviews.

This will not be another “Seven Days with” week. I will simply spend this week with openSUSE and give you feedback before trying out the next KDE4 distro. Next week, either Fedora or Linux Mint KDE, depending what I fancy when the time comes to re-install…

Related posts:

  1. In Search of the Perfect KDE4 Distro – 4 Linux Mint 9?
  2. In Search of the Perfect KDE4 Distro – 3 Linux Mint 9
  3. In Search of the Perfect KDE4 Distro – 2 Why Not openSUSE 11.3?