openSUSE 13.1 has just been released, though I was running an RC for a while with latest updates so I was keeping up with 13.1 from the early days. That’s where openSUSE surprised me. It was extremely stable considering it’s pre-release status – there was not a single crash.
Installation of openSUSE is extremely easy and straightforward. openSUSE doesn’t come only with one default DE, if you have downloaded the DVD then you will get the option to install KDE Plasma (which is checked by default), Gnome or other desktop environments. If your internet speed is good you can also check the option to enable other repositories during installation so you don’t have to worry about it later. If you chose the Live CD or GNOME or KDE, then also you can easily install other DEs on the same system. They will all work together without breaking each other. So, if you want to give a try to other DEs you can easily do it in openSUSE [how to install other DEs in openSUSE]
Every DE gets first class treatment
This is another area where openSUSE shines over other distros as all major desktop environments – GNOME, KDE’s Plasma Desktop (the openSUSE default desktop), Plasma Netbook, Xfce, LXDE and E17 get the same first class treatment. There is no secret sauce created by openSUSE which is available only for their own prefered DE or shell.
In addition to offering the latest packages from these DEs, openSUSE teams work really hard to integrate these DEs with the system so that a user gets a very pleasant experience instead of a Frankenstien’s monster where everything looks out of the place.
When you use Plasma with openSUSE you get the best Plasma experience, when you use GNOME – you get the best GNOME experience out of the box and same goes for Xfce, Lxde and E17.