I am getting closer to my month-long challenge of running some version of openSUSE. During this time, I have started to get a decent feel for each version as I use both daily. In my use, I have noticed that I am beginning to prefer Tumbleweed. Leap has been rock solid, and so has Tumbleweed. Leap doesn’t feel stale like Centos/RHEL or Debian. It feels more in line with Ubuntu as far as that fresh and stable feel. Updates work great with Leap as they have with Tumbleweed. Honestly, I haven’t experienced a single issue with either. The most significant difference is that Leap does tend to have just a touch older version of packages. Leap also seems to favor LTS versions of packages that, given its purpose, it’s not unexpected.
I think the most significant difference comes down to Leap feeling more enterprisey than Tumbleweed. Again, I shouldn’t have expected it to not since it is so close to SLES. It just stands out since I switch between using Tumbleweed and Leap throughout the evening when working on personal stuff. I will say that I don’t think battery optimizations with Leap or Tumbleweed are as good as an Ubuntu flavor. My Thinkpad x260 does seem to have a noticeably shorter runtime compared to Kubuntu. Fedora would be somewhere between the two. I haven’t used Tumbleweed on that machine, so I will need to reformat it and see if there is a difference. Overall, these may be my biggest two complaints with Leap 15.2 running Plasma, the enterprise feel, and battery life.
If I had to pick just one, it would be, without a doubt, Tumbleweed. I haven’t seen any downsides to their model. If I run into an issue with an update, I can drop back to the prior snapshot and not even notice it. I haven’t had to do that yet, but I am confident it will work as advertised. The same could be said for Leap since it does use Btrfs and Snapper too. Since I brought up Btrfs, I haven’t experienced one issue with any of the hardware that I am using. I went with everything on Btrfs and didn’t separate my home. The SSD and NVMe drive that I am using seems to be fast, and I am getting the performance I expect. Leap does feel a tad sluggish compared to other distros that I have been running. I think that is more related to the older 5.3 kernel than the newer kernels that I was running prior.
These are just my initial thoughts on the comparison, and I plan to post more once I get to the one month mark.
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