Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Battle of the Titans: Mandriva 2008 vs openSUSE 10.3

Filed under
MDV
SUSE
-s

I've followed development of openSUSE and Mandriva fairly closely over the years, albeit a bit closer of openSUSE. I write about how nice they both are. I pick out the new features and test basic functionality. I see what's included and what makes up the base system. I like them both. But a visitor and contributor here at tuxmachines asked which would be better for his laptop and that gave me the idea to compare these large multi-CD Titans of Linux development.

In the blue corner weighing in at 4.3 GB, Mandriva 2008.0. In the green corner weighing in at 4.2 GB, openSUSE 10.3.

Installer

Both have a pretty graphical installer that walks the user through configuration by asking for user input in easy to understand / easy to answer formats. Both have advanced options available for those with more individualized needs. Both offer differing levels of user input for package selection either by main desktop, area selections, or individual packages. They both take roughly the same time to install. Both install a bootloader of your choice while detecting most other systems on your machine. In all these areas, I'm going to declare a tie.

Mandriva has a wonderful graphic partitioner. It lays out the hard drives in an image to represent the size, type, and placement of each partition in differing colors for each filesystem type. Options and choices are input from the same screen so you can always refer back to what's there. This is great for new users and the experienced alike. openSUSE's partitioner is text listing of the partitions in tree form. The edit/create/other buttons are at the bottom, and editing or creating a partition opens another window. Hands down, Mandriva's partitioner wins this round.

Both offer excellent hardware detection and auto-configuration and both have a summary screen for user changes. Both detect and correctly set-up all the same hardware on my test system and neither can set up my Windows dependent wireless ethernet chip. Mandriva does offer to use Ndiswrapper and allows for graphical navigation to the driver on my Windows partition. It doesn't work for me this release, but I think it'd work for some others. If your device is detected, both offer a convenient wizard for setting up the options. It's close here, but Mandriva takes it because of the wizard that includes the Ndiswrapper choice.

So Mandriva is the winner of the installation phase.

Winner: Mandriva

Curb Appeal

This area is going to be highly subjective. Both openSUSE and Mandriva appear to spend a lot of time and effort to make their operating system pretty to the eye. Both have lovely customized Grub screens, silent splashes, desktop splashes, nice icons, customized panels and menus, and lovely Wallpapers. openSUSE's tend to be a bit more understated while Mandriva's offer a bit more flash. Again, subjective, but I think Mandriva is just a tad prettier than openSUSE.

Winner: Mandriva

Installed Software

openSUSE 10.3 was released a few weeks before Mandriva 2008.0, so Mandriva might have a bit of an unfair advantage when considering the versions of components used. Also, it's a misnomer to assume the latest is always the greatest, but generally we tend to feel that way.

Both offer KDE and GNOME as the main desktops while offering to install some of the smaller choices. Both have software for all the tasks commonly accomplished with computers. But let's compare a few version numbers:



openSUSE 10.3 Mandriva 2008.0
Kernel
2.6.22
2.6.22
Xorg
7.2
7.2
GCC
4.2.1
4.2.2
KDE
3.5.7
3.5.7
GNOME
2.20
2.20
OpenOffice.org
2.3.0
2.2.1
Firefox
2.0.0.6
2.0.0.6
The GIMP
2.2.17
2.40 (rc2)
Pidgin
2.1.1
2.2.1
qt
3.3.8
3.3.8
gtk
2.12
2.12
apache
2.2.4
2.2.6
php
5.2.4
5.2.4
mysql
5.0.45
5.0.45


As you can see, there isn't a whole lot of difference in software offerings. Mandriva offers the newer GIMP and Pidgin, but then makes a serious faux pas sending out OpenOffice.org 2.2.11. The updates to it were for security vulnerabilities and it probably should have been updated. So, I'm going to say openSUSE takes this one.

Winner: openSUSE

Software Management

Both Mandriva and OpenSUSE offer a graphical software manager and a seperate online update with system tray applet. Although the same functionality exists between the two, Mandriva's software manager has a cleaner, easier-to-use interface. It seems openSUSE's interface is more cluttered and busy, and takes a bit of investigating to reach the same level of comfort and ease found in Mandriva's. In addition, I prefer the commandline functionality of urpmi to that of zypper. Both the online updates go out and fetch a mirror for you. Both show the updates and allow the user to decide if to apply them or not. As far as the updater, it's a tie. But, for me at least, I like Mandriva's software management system better.

Winner: Mandriva

Hardware Support

Again, the two contenders are almost equally competent in this area. For me, both offered my preferred screen resolution by default using "nv," both configured my touchpad and add-on mouse correctly, both configured my sound, and offered to mount removable media in KDE and just mounted them in GNOME. Both will allow me to set up my wireless chip using Ndiswrapper at the commandline. The only difference I found was in the area of laptop hibernation features. Both had CPU scaling out of the box, but neither could suspend to ram. Only Mandriva could suspend to disk and wake up properly. (Mandriva Power Pack could do both). So, only by a hair does Mandriva win this round.

Winner: Mandriva

Stability

I always kinda hate to talk about stability in a distro. Loading a distro and using it for a few hours or even a few days to open the apps, test a few file formats support, and surf the internet some doesn't really tell the tale. One really needs to use a distro for an extended period of time for everything they do to get an accurate picture. I try to always qualify my stability reports with something like "for the time I tested" or "the small amount I tested." So, for the small amount of testing in these distros, a few days of light tasks for each, I found them to be equally stable.

Winner: Neither (tie)

Performance

One of the new features of openSUSE was a faster boot process. But in tests here, I didn't find it any faster than previous versions really, it was always fast here. It seems both distros are running fairly close on this race as well. Let's look at some numbers in seconds:



openSUSE 10.3 Mandriva 2008.0
Boot up
38
52
KDE
10
12
GNOME
25
7
OpenOffice.org
7
7
Firefox
3
5
The GIMP
3
4
Shut down
17
19


As you can see, the numbers are pretty close. openSUSE seems to edge Mandriva out of a few seconds here and there, but really drops the ball with GNOME. I tested this several times, including rebooting. I don't know if this GNOME figure is universal or just me. Assuming it's not an anomaly, openSUSE still wins by my unscientific method of adding up how long it takes to get to each desktop with the above listed apps open and dividing by two. openSUSE scored a total of 65 seconds and Mandriva scored a total of 77 seconds.

Winner: openSUSE


Overall Winner

In our little just-for-fun comparison, we the judges find that Mandriva wins by 4 categories to 2. But to the original question the answer would be to go buy the Mandriva Power Pack2 or try PCLOS or ALT Linux in which advanced power saving feature do work out of the box. Also, YMMV.

However, don't forget that both openSUSE and Mandriva are both nice distros. This little article is highly subjective and you may not agree. That's okay. I love them both.


Winner: Mandriva 2008.0






UPDATE 1: Adam Williamson, of Mandriva, has written to inform users that their version of OpenOffice.org has had update backports to close any known vulnerabilities. More information available at Beranger's Blog. Fri, 10/19/2007 - 17:38

UPDATE 2: Or if you have an NVIDIA chip, install the NVIDIA proprietary graphic drivers from Mandriva's non-free repository. Suspend to disk will work with the NVIDIA drivers installed. Users of other graphic chips may have the desired results out of the box. Sat, 10/20/2007 - 00:18




Well, OpenSUSE 10.3 didn't

Well, OpenSUSE 10.3 didn't even install on a VirtualBox Disk.
Among all distros i have tested so far on this environment, this is really the only one that has failed to install.

Starting from Susan's Mandriva vs. openSUSE...

Susan's comparative review Battle of the Titans: Mandriva 2008 vs openSUSE 10.3 is not perfect, but not that bad either. I would have preferred some numerical values, and a final score for each of them. But anyway...

Anyway, the sad part is an unexpected secrecy with Mandriva: try a search for http://qa.mandriva.com/show_bug.cgi?id=CVE-2007-2834 and you will get a blunt:

You are not authorized to access bug #33759.

Huh?!

More Here

There no hidden bug and the bug has been fixed

Quote:

[root@info1 network-scripts]# rpm -q --changelog openoffice.org | grep CVE-2007-2834
- Added patch openoffice.org-2.2.1-CVE-2007-2834.patch. Closes: #33824

[root@info1 network-scripts]# rpm -q openoffice.org
openoffice.org-2.2.1-3mdv2008.0

So Mandriva OpenOffice.org package is not vulnerable and the bug report is accessible, it's #33824 :
http://qa.mandriva.com/show_bug.cgi?id=33824

--
Close the World, Open the Net : http://www.linux-wizard.net
http://guevara-cafe76.blogspot.com/

OpenOffice.org security

As Fabrice noted, the OpenOffice.org package in Mandriva Linux 2008 has all security fixes from 2.3.0 backported. It is not vulnerable to any known security issue.
--
Adam Williamson
Mandriva
Community manager | Newsletter editor | Bugmaster | Proofreader | Packager

Suspend / resume

There's no intentional reason Powerpack would work for suspend / resume on your system but Free / One would not. It's not a feature we've disabled in Free / One, or anything. I suspect it comes down to some kind of incidental installation detail, it might be hard to figure out what, though. I wouldn't expect this to be something consistent (i.e. it's not like suspend will *never* work on Free / One, but will always work on Powerpack).
--
Adam Williamson
Mandriva
Community manager | Newsletter editor | Bugmaster | Proofreader | Packager

re: Suspend / resume

Oh no one thinks, I wasn't trying to imply, it was intentional. The only obvious difference in my Power Pack and Free installs I can think of is some of the "extra" apps and the NVIDIA drivers. But otherwise, I chose the same categories under 'Custom Install' and turned off the same services (iptables, shorewall, and netfs).

OH, another difference is that the Power Pack's bootloader is installed on the MBR and Free's is on the / partition chainloaded. But both have the "resume" parameter defined in the kernel appends.

I found it a head scratcher too.

I was a bit surprised it was broken openSUSE as well. It always worked on it before, but sure enough, on the GM install it was inoperative (for me anyway).

possibly...

It could potentially be the video driver. You could try installing the NVIDIA driver on the Free install (using the official repositories) and see if it works then. That's the only thing that springs to mind.
--
Adam Williamson
Mandriva
Community manager | Newsletter editor | Bugmaster | Proofreader | Packager

re: possibly

Yep that was it. It does work now using the NVIDIA proprietary graphic drives from the non-free sources.

I had thought of that, but then I thought I recalled suspend working with "nv" in some other distros.

okay, bingo. do you

okay, bingo. Smile do you remember on what distro suspend worked with nv, and what version of nv that distro had, by any chance?
--
Adam Williamson
Mandriva
Community manager | Newsletter editor | Bugmaster | Proofreader | Packager

Bad customer service

AdamW,
I'm posting here because that's the only way I can get someone from Mandriva to pay attention I guess. Mandriva *never* replied to any of my customer tickets (and yes [yawn] I was entitled to support).

Bought 2008 Powerpack DVD. Waited 10 days. Received an e-mail from Mandriva saying that 'their supplier' cannot send within (another) 10 days. Ooooh right - I forgot that we're dealing with Mandriva here. They took my money right away (about 50 euros) and then they SIT on it for 20 days (and maybe more) before shipping it. Not being able to burn a DVD? With respect: BS. I don't care - or need to care - about your internal problems.

So this reminded me instantly of my experiences when buying two earlier Mandriva versions on DVD. Both instances were extremely irritating at the time. So I decided to go with SuSE from then on, but seeing the good reviews I decided to try again. Third time now.

Just needed to say this.

Oh - and do something about the utterly confusing website.

Be happy with my money.

Suspend to disk/Suspend to RAM on openSUSE 10.3

My CompTIA certification book tells me that a computer with good ACPI support will have power management settings in the BIOS itself. My Presario V2000 laptop (with its ATI Radeon Mobility 200M chipset) doesn't — one drawback of buying an inexpensive laptop, I suppose. (In other words, without hardware support, suspend has to be done in software.) So, how well this works seems to depend a lot on your specific computer model's hardware.

On openSUSE 10.3, suspend-to-disk worked out of the box, with the ATI proprietary driver ("fglrx") installed, complete with a cute "going to sleep" graphic.

Suspend-to-RAM was another matter entirely. The openSUSE wiki has a few articles about it, including ACPI Suspend debugging (a good place to start); S2ram, and pm-utils.

In order to get suspend-to-ram working on my laptop, I had to:

  • delete the ATI ("fglrx") driver entirely and go back to the "radeon" driver — not just disable "fglrx" in xorg.conf, but completely remove it from the system;
  • set "vga=0" as a kernel parameter in /boot/grub/menu.lst. In other words, no more splashy; no nice 1024x768 framebuffer; just plain 80x25 text scrolling by at boot time;
  • find out the s2ram parameters that work for my laptop — "s2ram -f -a 1" in my case;
  • and add them to the "S2RAM_OPTS=" line in /usr/lib/pm-utils/defaults.

(Actually, you're supposed to make up your own configuration file in /etc/pm/config.d, because changes you make to /usr/lib/pm-utils/defaults could get overwritten by a package upgrade. But the documentation wasn't very clear about how to do that, so I'll play with it later.)

Now suspend-to-RAM works fine, at the expense of video acceleration (no great loss).

On another note, it's interesting how much openSUSE/Novell software's gone into common usage. Just off the top of my head, the grub-gfxmenu code (that enables animations), the "kickoff" KDE menu, and the Beagle desktop indexer all came from openSUSE. Debian uses openSUSE's S2ram code in its "uswsusp" package.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

More in Tux Machines

Programming Leftovers

  • Announcement : An AArch64 (Arm64) Darwin port is planned for GCC12

    As many of you know, Apple has now released an AArch64-based version of macOS and desktop/laptop platforms using the ‘M1’ chip to support it. This is in addition to the existing iOS mobile platforms (but shares some of their constraints). There is considerable interest in the user-base for a GCC port (starting with https://gcc.gnu.org/bugzilla/show_bug.cgi?id=96168) - and, of great kudos to the gfortran team, one of the main drivers is folks using Fortran. Fortunately, I was able to obtain access to one of the DTKs, courtesy of the OSS folks, and using that managed to draft an initial attempt at the port last year (however, nowhere near ready for presentation in GCC11). Nevertheless (as an aside) despite being a prototype, the port is in use with many via hombrew, macports or self-builds - which has shaken out some of the fixable bugs. The work done in the prototype identified three issues that could not be coded around without work on generic parts of the compiler. I am very happy to say that two of our colleagues, Andrew Burgess and Maxim Blinov (both from embecosm) have joined me in drafting a postable version of the port and we are seeking sponsorship to finish this in the GCC12 timeframe. Maxim has a lightning talk on the GNU tools track at LPC (right after the steering committee session) that will focus on the two generic issues that we’re tackling (1 and 2 below). Here is a short summary of the issues and proposed solutions (detailed discussion of any of the parts below would better be in new threads).

  • Apple Silicon / M1 Port Planned For GCC 12 - Phoronix

    Developers are hoping for next year's GCC 12 release they will have Apple AArch64 support on Darwin in place for being able to support Apple Silicon -- initially the M1 SoC -- on macOS with GCC. LLVM/Clang has long been supporting AArch64 on macOS given that Apple leverages LLVM/Clang as part of their official Xcode toolchain as the basis for their compiler across macOS to iOS and other products. While the GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) supports AArch64 and macOS/Darwin, it hasn't supported the two of them together but there is a port in progress to change it.

  • Dirk Eddelbuettel: tidyCpp 0.0.5 on CRAN: More Protect’ion

    Another small release of the tidyCpp package arrived on CRAN overnight. The packages offers a clean C++ layer (as well as one small C++ helper class) on top of the C API for R which aims to make use of this robust (if awkward) C API a little easier and more consistent. See the vignette for motivating examples. The Protect class now uses the default methods for copy and move constructors and assignment allowing for wide use of the class. The small NumVec class now uses it for its data member.

  • QML Modules in Qt 6.2

    With Qt 6.2 there is, for the first time, a comprehensive build system API that allows you to specify a QML module as a complete, encapsulated unit. This is a significant improvement, but as the concept of QML modules was rather under-developed in Qt 5, even seasoned QML developers might now ask "What exactly is a QML module". In our previous post we have scratched the surface by introducing the CMake API used to define them. We'll take a closer look in this post.

  • Santiago Zarate: So you want to recover and old git branch because it has been overwritten?
  • Start using YAML now | Opensource.com

    YAML (YAML Ain't Markup Language) is a human-readable data serialization language. Its syntax is simple and human-readable. It does not contain quotation marks, opening and closing tags, or braces. It does not contain anything which might make it harder for humans to parse nesting rules. You can scan your YAML document and immediately know what's going on. [...] At this point, you know enough YAML to get started. You can play around with the online YAML parser to test yourself. If you work with YAML daily, then this handy cheatsheet will be helpful.

  • 40 C programming examples

    C programming language is one of the popular programming languages for novice programmers. It is a structured programming language that was mainly developed for UNIX operating system. It supports different types of operating systems, and it is very easy to learn. 40 useful C programming examples have been shown in this tutorial for the users who want to learn C programming from the beginning.

Devices/Embedded: Asus Tinker Board 2 and More

  • Asus Tinker Board 2 single-board computer now available for $94 and up - Liliputing

    The Asus Tinker Board 2 is a Raspberry Pi-shaped single-board computer powered by a Rockchip RK3399 hexa-core processor and featuring 2GB to 4GB of RAM. First announced almost a year ago, the Tinker Board 2 is finally available for $99 and up. Asus also offers a Tinker Board 2S model that’s pretty similar except that it has 16GB of eMMC storage. Prices for that model start at about $120.

  • Raspberry Pi Weekly Issue #371 - Sir Clive Sinclair, 1940 – 2021

    This week ended with the incredibly sad news of the passing of Sir Clive Sinclair. He was one of the founding fathers of home computing and got many of us at Raspberry Pi hooked on programming as kids. Join us in sharing your Sinclair computing memories with us on Twitter and our blog, and we’ll see you next week.

  • cuplTag battery-powered NFC tag logs temperature and humidity (Crowdfunding) - CNX Software

    Temperature and humidity sensors would normally connect to a gateway sending data to the cloud, the coin-cell battery-powered cuplTag NFC tag instead sends data to your smartphone after a tap. CulpTag is controlled by an MSP430 16-bit microcontroller from Texas Instruments which reads and stores sensor data regularly into an EEPROM, and the data can then be read over NFC with the tag returning an URL with the data from the sensor and battery, then display everything on the phone’s web browser (no app needed).

  • A first look at Microchip PolarFire SoC FPGA Icicle RISC-V development board - CNX Software

    Formally launched on Crowd Supply a little over a year ago, Microchip PolarFire SoC FPGA Icicle (codenamed MPFS-ICICLE-KIT-ES) was one of the first Linux & FreeBSD capable RISC-V development boards. The system is equipped with PolarFire SoC FPGA comprised a RISC-V CPU subsystem with four 64-bit RISC-V (RV64GC) application cores, one 64-bit RISC-V real-time core (RV64IMAC), as well as FPGA fabric. Backers of the board have been able to play with it for several months ago, but Microchip is now sending the board to more people for evaluation/review, and I got one of my own to experiment with. That’s good to have a higher-end development board instead of the usual hobbyist-grade board. Today, I’ll just have a look at the kit content and main components on the board before playing with Linux and FPGA development tools in an upcoming or two posts.

  • What is IoT device management?

    Smart devices are everywhere around us. We carry one in our pocket, watch movies on another while a third cooks us dinner. Every day there are thousands of new devices connecting to the Internet. Research shows that by 2025, more than 150,000 IoT devices will come online every minute. With such vast numbers it is impossible to keep everything in working order just on your own. This brings the need for IoT device management. But what is IoT device management? To answer this question we first need to understand what the Internet of Things (IoT) is.

  • Beelink U59 mini PC with Intel Celeron N5095 Jasper Lake coming soon - Liliputing

    Beelink says the system ships with Windows 10, but it should also supports Linux.

  • Beelink U59 Celeron N5095 Jasper Lake mini PC to ship with 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD - CNX Software

    Beelink U59 is an upcoming Jasper Lake mini PC based on the Intel Celeron N5095 15W quad-core processor that will ship with up to 16GB RAM, and 512 GB M.2 SSD storage. The mini PC will also offer two 4K HDMI 2.0 ports, a Gigabit Ethernet port, WiFi 5, as well as four USB 3.0 ports, and support for 2.5-inch SATA drives up to 7mm thick.

Graphics: Mesa, KWinFT, and RADV

  • Experimenting Is Underway For Rust Code Within Mesa - Phoronix

    Longtime Mesa developer Karol Herbst who has worked extensively on the open-source NVIDIA "Nouveau" driver as well as the OpenCL/compute stack while being employed by Red Hat is now toying with the idea of Rust code inside Mesa.  Karol Herbst has begun investigating how Rust code, which is known for its memory safety and concurrency benefits, could be used within Mesa. Ultimately he's evaluating how Rust could be used inside Mesa as an API implementation as well as for leveraging existing Mesa code by Rust. 

  •     
  • KWinFT Continues Working On WLROOTS Render, Library Split

    KWinFT as a fork of KDE's KWin X11/Wayland compositor code continues making progress on driving fundamental display improvements and ironing out the Wayland support.  KWinFT has been transitioning to use WLROOTS for its Wayland heavy-lifting and that process remains ongoing. KWinFT has also been working on splitting up its library code to make it more manageable and robust.  Among the features still desired by KWinFT and to be worked on include input methods, graphical tablet support, and PipeWire video stream integration. Currently there are two full-time developers working on the project but they hope to scale up to four to five full-time developers. 

  • Raytracing Starting to Come Together – Bas Nieuwenhuizen – Open Source GPU Drivers

    I am back with another status update on raytracing in RADV. And the good news is that things are finally starting to come together. After ~9 months of on and off work we’re now having games working with raytracing.

  • Multiple Games Are Now Working With RADV's Ray-Tracing Code - Phoronix

    Not only is Intel progressing with its open-source ray-tracing driver support but the Mesa Radeon Vulkan driver "RADV" has been rounding out its RT code too and now has multiple games correctly rendering. Bas Nieuwenhuizen has been spearheading the RADV work on Vulkan ray-tracing support and after more than a half-year tackling it things are starting to fall into place nicely.Games such as Quake II RTX with native Vulkan ray-tracing are working along with the game control via VKD3D-Proton for going from Direct3D 12 DXR to Vulkan RT. Metro Exodus is also working while Ghostrunner and Doom Eternal are two games tested that are not yet working.

Audiocasts/Shows: Full Circle Weekly News, Juno Computers, Kali Linux 2021.3