I downloaded OpenSUSE 12.2 64 bit Live GNOME ISO file and I burned it onto a blank CD-R disc. I rebooted my System76 Lemur Ultra Thin (lemu4) notebook PC and I booted off the disc. OpenSUSE 12.2 64 bit is compatible with my System76 Lemur Ultra Thin (lemu4). Everything works right out the box. There are no additional device drivers that I need to install to make my PC hardware work properly.

OpenSUSE is vastly different from Ubuntu. It is designed primarily for system administrators that require up to date but not bleeding edge software packages that prefer the YaST GUI to configure and setup their systems. Ubuntu still relies heavily on the terminal to do most of the heavy lifting especially when it comes to installing and configuring security tools. There are no paid software apps in the main OpenSUSE software repositories which is another major difference. You get your choice of GNOME or KDE when you download the DVD ISO and you can easily setup full-disk encryption using the YaST installation program. VPN protocols such as OpenVPN, CISCO IPSec, and PPTP are fully supported right out of the box. System hardening is done through YaST and it is granular although there are pre-configured settings based upon your organization's needs or if you are a single home workstation user.

OpenSUSE 12.2 64 bit is very nice. YaST alone makes it worthwhile if you are a systems administrator or if you like to tinker with your GNU/Linux distribution without having to resort to the terminal too often to get the job done. OpenSUSE 12.2 64 bit is considered to be the experimental and testing version of SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop which you must purchase in order to install and update annually.

I chose to stick with Ubuntu because System76 offers official help and technical support for Ubuntu exclusively. I have a two year warranty and support contract with System76 for my Lemur Ultra Thin (lemu4) notebook PC. Ubuntu 12.10 64 bit is going to be released next Thursday on October 18th, 2012 so it pays for me to wait a couple of more days and to keep running Software Updater in the meantime. I like paid apps a lot and they extend the functionality and add features that are useful to me. In my mind, Ubuntu is certainly one of the largest GNU/Linux distributions in terms of the number of users and it offers the Ubuntu Software Center, Ubuntu One, Ubuntu Unity and it also has the largest software repository available. You can add PPAs quite easily and it is focused on the desktop user experience. Ubuntu is a large community and most of its users are quite friendly and they are willing to offer help and support right away.

However, OpenSUSE 64 bit would be my second choice if I had to use another GNU/Linux distribution. I could feel very comfortable using it and be able to focus on my work or task at hand without too many problems by switching to OpenSUSE 64 bit. I would recommend it to experienced GNU/Linux users looking for more control over their PCs and for those that are comfortable using the RPM system. For me, the Debian system is more familiar and I like using APT.

Highly recommended!