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Fedora vs openSUSE: What are the differences?


In this article, we will discuss the key differences between Fedora and openSUSE, two popular Linux distributions, and highlight their unique characteristics.

  1. Package Management: Fedora uses the DNF package manager, while openSUSE utilizes the Zypper package manager. DNF is the next-generation package management system developed by the Fedora community, emphasizing improved performance and stability. Zypper, on the other hand, is a powerful package management solution designed specifically for openSUSE with features like rollback and version lock.

  2. Release Cycle: Fedora has a fast release cycle, introducing new features and updates every six months. This makes it an excellent choice for users who want the latest software versions and innovations. In contrast, openSUSE has a regular release cycle of approximately eight months. It focuses on providing a stable and reliable distribution suitable for both desktop and server environments.

  3. Base Distribution: Fedora is based on Red Hat Linux, the enterprise-level operating system, which contributes to its stability and security. It serves as a testing ground for technologies that eventually make their way into Red Hat Enterprise Linux. openSUSE, on the other hand, is an independent distribution influenced by SUSE Linux Enterprise (SLE). This connection ensures the integration of enterprise-grade features into openSUSE.

  4. Default Desktop Environment: Fedora primarily ships with the GNOME desktop environment as its default choice. GNOME offers a clean and intuitive user interface, emphasizing simplicity and ease of use. In contrast, openSUSE provides users with multiple choices for desktop environments, including GNOME, KDE Plasma, Xfce, and LXQt. This flexibility caters to a wide range of user preferences.

  5. Community Involvement: Fedora is known for its vibrant community and collaborative development approach. It encourages community participation through various projects and initiatives. The Fedora Project provides an opportunity for enthusiasts to contribute and shape the distribution's future. openSUSE also has an active community participating in the development process. It maintains the openSUSE Build Service, enabling users to create, package, and distribute software for openSUSE and other distributions.

  6. System Configuration Tools: Fedora relies on the DNF package manager and the systemd system management daemon for system configuration. It employs technologies like Cockpit and Firewalld to enhance system administration. In comparison, openSUSE utilizes YaST (Yet another Setup Tool), a comprehensive configuration tool that allows users to manage various aspects of the system, including hardware, software, network, and users. YaST provides a unified interface for system administration, simplifying management tasks.

In summary, Fedora and openSUSE differ in their package management systems, release cycles, base distributions, default desktop environments, community involvement, and system configuration tools. Fedora offers a shorter release cycle and focuses on providing the latest software versions. On the other hand, openSUSE aims for stability and offers multiple desktop environment options. Both distributions have active communities and provide unique tools for system management and configuration.

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Pros of Fedora
Pros of openSUSE
  • 22
    Great for developers
  • 10
    Great integration with system tools
  • 10
    Represents the future of rhel/centos
  • 9
    Good release schedule
  • 7
  • 6
  • 5
    Docker integration
  • 4
    Has SeLinux
  • 3
    Latest packages
  • 3
    Updated with Bleeding-edge software
  • 3
    Great for ops teams
  • 3
    Awesome community
  • 2
    Python distribution
  • 2
    Complies with International Standard
  • 4
  • 3
    Lightweight for server
  • 2
  • 2
    Rolling release
  • 2

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Cons of Fedora
Cons of openSUSE
  • 3
    Bugs get fixed slowly from kernel side
  • 2
    Much less support from Wiki
  • 2
  • 2
  • 1
    Less packages in official repository
  • 1
    A bit complicated
  • 1
    Learning curve for new users
  • 0
    Slightly difficult to install for beginners
    Be the first to leave a con

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    What is Fedora?

    Fedora is a Linux-based operating system that provides users with access to the latest free and open source software, in a stable, secure and easy to manage form. Fedora is the largest of many free software creations of the Fedora Project. Because of its predominance, the word "Fedora" is often used interchangeably to mean both the Fedora Project and the Fedora operating system.

    What is openSUSE?

    The openSUSE project is a worldwide effort that promotes the use of Linux everywhere. openSUSE creates one of the world's best Linux distributions, working together in an open, transparent and friendly manner as part of the worldwide Free and Open Source Software community.

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    What companies use Fedora?
    What companies use openSUSE?
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    What are some alternatives to Fedora and openSUSE?
    The CentOS Project is a community-driven free software effort focused on delivering a robust open source ecosystem. For users, we offer a consistent manageable platform that suits a wide variety of deployments. For open source communities, we offer a solid, predictable base to build upon, along with extensive resources to build, test, release, and maintain their code.
    Debian systems currently use the Linux kernel or the FreeBSD kernel. Linux is a piece of software started by Linus Torvalds and supported by thousands of programmers worldwide. FreeBSD is an operating system including a kernel and other software.
    Ubuntu is an ancient African word meaning ‘humanity to others’. It also means ‘I am what I am because of who we all are’. The Ubuntu operating system brings the spirit of Ubuntu to the world of computers.
    Linux Mint
    The purpose of Linux Mint is to produce a modern, elegant and comfortable operating system which is both powerful and easy to use.
    It is an accessible, friendly, open-source Linux distribution and community. Based on Arch Linux, it provides all the benefits of cutting-edge software combined with a focus on getting started quickly, automated tools to require less manual intervention, and help readily available when needed.
    See all alternatives