I have just yesterday installed SuSE and I wanted to post up my experiences with it and see if they're similar to anyone elses..
First of all I didn't like the fact that I had to make ready partitions for SuSE from Ubuntu before I can start installing SuSE. It can do it itself, but only the way SuSE proposes, either to erase whole disk or to erase my existing Ubuntu partition set. That's why, in order to preserve Ubuntu, I had to make a new partition set waiting for SuSE.
Second thing I don't like is that, even though this seems to be OpenSUSE (which was supposed to be all Free Software) it still comes with some proprietary software, namely Java and Flash (so far as I know), although that can be remedied by choosing not to install or removing if it installs..
Then there was a whole fiasco of not being able to boot it after initial installation, saying something about not being able to execute /sbin/mingetty and respawning to a different user mode.. Anyway, second time I tried a full install it worked, probably because I went through some further "expert" options this time when I also set some monitor and graphic settings manually. I've read that such boot problems can come when having a misconfigured Xorg. So be it.
And here I am in a new SuSE install and to cut the story short it doesn't seem to be very fast and responsive compared to Ubuntu, YaST takes too long to start the software package manager and that said it apparently requires alot of memory to really function as a fast system. Otherwise it just feels bloated (not because it has alot of software, but simply because its crucial systems (like YaST) seem to be big memory consumers. Yum isn't installed by default and I'm yet to try it, but from what I've read and seen so far it's hardly gonna beat apt in efficiency of package installations. What might beat it though is smart package manager which I am trying out now.
YaST package manager doesn't impresses me either. So far it doesn't seem to be any better than Mandrake's urpmi. What may be saving this distro from RPM hell (as well as other RPM distros) doesn't seem to be YaST, but instead tools like yum and smart. YaST is just a pumped up control panel and is most useful for installing RPMs from a CD or individual RPM's downloaded to the disk..
What I do like about SuSE is its style (green I like), the fact that DVD contains alot of software I don't need to download (saving me bandwidth) and nice integration with DE's, especially KDE (as well as some add on features like that KDE menu search box). Infact, I think I would like SuSE much more if it was only faster and more responsive with some of its main apps (like YaST), but that could be resolved by buying more memory.
Still, I can't say it fits the bill as a perfect distro for me. I am yet to eee how does it handles software compiles, that is, if it is compile friendly or not. (to be compile friendly it has to be set in the most standard way possible).
So, anyone recognizes themselves in this experience? What do you think about SuSE and especially its performance? I've seen people saying both that it is "historically slow" and that with it's 10th release that it is very speedy and responsive. At this point for me it seems to be nearer to former than latter.