I am back after nuking and paving my daily driver for MicroOS and here are my impressions:
It is a release candidate and still honestly feels like beta. I was expecting some basic power saving measures and hibernate function because I was going to use is as my daily driver for my laptop but it did not have those features ready yet. I closed my laptop lid and it did not turn off the monitor. I realized only this after about 4 hours with the screen on full brightness. It shouldnt be an issue but I have an OLED screen. When I came back, I tested my suspicion and I could still see the light shine through a bit on a closed screen lid in a dark room.
There was also no fingerprint support off the bat and while it is probably more secure not have a fingerprint registered in a sensitive device, having to type a long password/passphrase everyday on a daily driver with no fingerprint alternative would be too much of a usability problem.
All in all, OpenSuSE Aeon feels like 2 tiers below Fedora and Vanilla Ubuntu respectively. I really want to use it but the polish isnt there yet. I switched to a regular Tumbleweed install and above issues still persist. There was also the minor annoyance of learning the right way to update. There are a lot of alternative ways to update a system and I am not aware if what is the preferred one (its probably zypper).
Also about zypper, I really didnt want to learn another way to update: we already have apt-get, apt, dnf, pacman, pamac?, etc… and I realize OpenSuSE also uses the RPM and I wonder why they couldnt use the dnf instead? I am guessing the F in DNF is Fedora, maybe?
I dont exactly know how to layer the Aeon/MicroOS Distrobox install over an app when I wanted to install something, to be fair, I really didnt try but Fedora Silverblue seems more straightforward - I just ran the .rpm file and it did install it on top of Silverblue.
It feels like installing and updating is all over the place: Too many GUI apps to update and the experience is less that cohesive. We have 2 different kinds of GUI apps to do things and I feel like it should have been consolidated with the Software Center like how Fedora and Ubuntu does it.
I also dont even know what YaST is for and I am tired of the random lower case in the naming convention of OpenSuSE products. At least System76 only have a weird name only in its title of Pop!_OS.
As for the plus:
- I believe the OpenSuSE installer is probably the best at striking a good balance between usability and customizability. The only weak point in the installer is when I want to use a more complicated partitioning and somehow I am having a hard time to translate what I want to happen and what had to do. In the end I just opted for a plain recommended autopartitioning.
- There is also the option of choosing your DE/WM in the install instead of downloading a separate KDE or GNOME (or other DEs if you have internet access during install) and you can even install a MicroOS system from a regular Tumblweed install.
- I was really able to put most of the apps - flatpaks and AppImages that I needed in the end of the exercise to have a technically functioning system to do work with.
With the recent drama dying down and the focus going back on the worse of the Tech companies rather that RedHat. I want to go back again to OpenSuSE in the future and maybe give it one more good go in trying to daily drive it. Right now it is not a good laptop Distro with the above reasons (hibernate and fingerprint) but maybe it is a good desktop replacement for Fedora and maybe replacement for Silverblue. Maybe this is OpenSuSE Tumbleweed/Aeon may be fit for a small PC form factor (like a NUC) install? Despite as being an enterprise grade distro along the lines of RedHat and Canonical, OpenSuSE feels like it needs more polish and maturing and I dont know if this is due to a smaller base relative to all other Distros, not just the enterprise ones. Only time will tell. At least I am now more tuned in to them.