I still can’t explain why I switched, and it’s not subject to debate, but I’ve been running OpenSUSE the past few days and I’m pretty happy with it. There were some gotchas, like not having installed by default the software necessary to upload from my cameras, and giving the packages odd names, but I’m learning. Regardless of the underlying reason for the switch from Xubuntu, a part of what I always do is sharing my experience so others can avoid my mistakes.
The desktop is running OpenSUSE Tumbleweed, which is sort of the test-bed version, the forward edge of what is stable enough to be useful. On the laptop I’m running OpenSUSE Leap 15.1, which is parallel to SUSE’s commercial version of their OS (SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop, AKA “SLED”). Leap/SLED is a good ways behind Tumbleweed, but it’s also more stable and gets refreshed about every nine to twelve months with a point-release upgrade. I have no particular ambitions to become a SUSE technician, but I expect to learn a good bit about it regardless.
Part of the transition is getting used to the KDE interface. SUSE has always done this well. It meant working over a lot of my habits, but I’m convinced this is what I need to do. It’s not as if SUSE doesn’t offer a good XFCE desktop, but that’s not where I’m supposed to be any more. My future is with KDE, running on SUSE.
To be honest, a part of me believes this is a security move. I can’t say that I expect anything in particular, but the general atmosphere on the Internet is becoming more hostile, and the more I can do to protect my work is a good move. I won’t tell you SUSE is the best at security, only that it’s pretty good by default, and it’s part of the picture for what I am doing.
As always, my number one priority is to protect the fidelity of my message. I consider surveillance a problem, but a minor one. It’s a lower priority because it is inevitable. But the reason I worry at all about computer security itself is because it’s the one most important tool to maintain the mission calling. Computer security is the means to protecting the message from dilution and hijacking. I need to keep a good copy of what I’ve written, and to protect my connection to the Net. There are other issues involved there (such as eventually getting a better router), but a big part of protecting the message is having some of the networking tools at hand, on a system that is pretty hard to crack. I need maximum control over the things that matter to me.
So that is what’s going on with me the past few days. I’ve been feeling my way around the system, and part of it is that the information about SUSE out there is nowhere near the volume as it is for Ubuntu and friends. I’ll try to add to that body of lore, but the issue is just getting used to how SUSE does things. It keeps me busy.