SUSE the BMW of Linux Operating Systems





Many of us drive around in BMW’s, VW’s, and other German engineered cars.  Why?, Because they’re built with perfection in mind.  Not just good, or great, but perfection to detail.  When I entered the world of Linux, I was introduced to Red Hat and SUSE at the same time.  Everyone was pushing me to Red Hat, while I was being drawn to SUSE.  SUSE was built beautifully, everything was clean, from the command line or terminal interface to the GNOME Desktop GUI.  The SUSE team spent a lot of time on this distribution such as customizing the OpenOffice application, so it fits in very cleanly in SUSE giving it perfection. You can see the effort invested into everything overall.  It reminded me of the difference between a Honda and a BMW.  Both cars are built well and built to last, have excellent safety mechanisms in place to protect you from an accident, but BMW just has that attention to detail that is very aesthetically pleasing, looks beautiful, makes you want to get in the driver’s seat and just drive.

Red Hat has yum, and that’s great, but SUSE has yum as well. Over the years yum was replaced with zypper on SUSE but, it’s the same thing when you get down to what it does.  yum install mtr, or zypper install mtr provides the same outcome.  SUSE also has YAST, and this is where you start to see the difference between Red Hat and SUSE.  Yast is a command line or terminal graphical user interface that provides a powerful tool for adding, removing, and configuring your SUSE Linux machine.  This is great for beginners in the Linux world.

A lot of time and effort has been put into the bash shell to make it aesthetically pleasing, implementation of visual design by using various colors as key indicators of what you’re looking at such as a file or directory is the file executable, etc.  The font is clean and crisp.

When I decided to write this post, it didn’t surprise me to find out that BMW is using SUSE Linux to power its data centers, and infrastructure.  They also are using the SUSE + OpenStack as the core.  I also noticed when performing an update to my iDrive; there were Linux files in the zip file I downloaded.  I can’t confirm, but I would guess iDrive was given birth from a fork of SUSE Linux.

I found this article that briefly provides some background on how BMW is using SUSE.

SUSE has several significant partners and clients that leverage this incredible distribution.  I have listed just a few below.

  • Amazon Web Services
  • Cisco
  • Dell
  • Fujitsu
  • Hitachi
  • HP
  • IBM
  • Intel
  • Lenovo
  • Microsoft
  • SAP

You cannot go wrong with SUSE Linux.  With all this said, there are a couple of drawbacks.  While much work has been put into this distribution to create the attention to detail, you may find it difficult to modify or heavily customize the distribution without breaking some of the work put in to make it great.  If you want to customize SUSE completely, there are options out there that allow for this.  Just know that one of two things can happen,

  1. You break some of the integration and simplicity that SUSE Developers built such as YAST
  2. YAST or other SUSE apps may overwrite your customizations if you decide to modify files outside of YAST.

In these cases, it may be a better idea to go with another distribution such as RedHat where you have to do more of the hands-on under the hood work.   Replacing the radio in a Honda or a Chevy truck is pretty easy but replacing one in a BMW is almost impossible without sacrificing a lot including your warranty.  Just keep this in mind when deciding on deploying a Linux OS.

Both RedHat and SUSE have Community versions of their Commerical Operating Systems.  RedHat has CentOS and Fedora.  SUSE has OpenSUSE Tumbleweed and Leap.

CentOS is an exact copy of the commercial code base minus the RedHat logo and references to RedHat.

Fedora is their bleeding edge OS where Redhat test technology and updates that will eventually end up in Redhat and CentOS.

OpenSUSE Leap is an exact copy of the commercial version of SUSE.

OpenSUSE Tumbleweed is where SUSE team test technology and updates that will eventually end up in SUSE and OpenSUSE Leap.

So when it comes to Linux, I like SUSE Linux.  I also use CentOS or even Ubuntu depending on the circumstances and who I am working or partnering with.  Everyone has a preference, and I like to be open to other people’s choice.  When it’s my choice to choose a Linux distro, SUSE Linux is my primary choice many times but not always…

Check out SUSE Linux

Check out OpenSUSE Linux

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