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YaST Survey Finished

November 17th, 2007 by

The YaST survey has now been closed. More than 11,000 individuals participated in it. Thanks to everybody!

A PDF of the results is now available.

Both comments and pings are currently closed.

32 Responses to “YaST Survey Finished”

  1. Andy

    The results are very interesting. Particularly the one about the different ratings that people gave to yast2’s part on quetion 19. Almost between 20 and 30% of the people are fairly happy with the performance of the software management. I think you guys at OpenSuse should look at these answers closely and realize that it is only a matter of appreciation of the installation management. The numbers are so close together that it means that some like the package management while other would rather change it. I’d say that one of the things that should be changed is the constant refreshing of the sources. It takes a little while to do that for every repository online. My yast installation manager takes about 5 min average to refresh all the sources (and the sources are the ones that come with suse) and then open the installation interface. I think that if you did a 0 to 100% completion bar instead of individual pop-up windows for each action taken in the refreshing of the repos should be really good.

    Even though I think this area needs improvement, you’re are doing an amazing job and Opensuse is really a great OS, my only OS on my laptop. Thank you


  2. Ineteq

    I was surprised that the role based management got only 3.16. I think, it would be very important to simplify for example system updates without asking for root password. That would be very useful on multi-user computers.

  3. Interesting, very interesting.. what surprised me a bit is seeing people wanting to use C++ for yast module development.. masochism maybe ? ;-)

    • Hehe, I believe people chose a particular language not because they think that it’s suitable for the given purpose (YaST development), but because they like the language.

      And yes, if they choose C++ – most likely they don’t even know any other programming languages ;-)

    • chris

      well, C++ IS a language that is quite popular, especially within the OS community. I think the actual reason for this is, that votes in favor of interpreted languages are split up between Java, Python, PHP, Ruby and such. Another way of looking at this is that the majority of people is willing to use an interpreted language, which seems to make absolute sense, as Yast modules mostly do not require a high performance language like C++ or C (which typically cause longer development time).

      Personally, I like the idea of using a clean, well-designed, object oriented language for Yast modules (or other small-scale GUI front ends): Ruby. I also like python, yet I’d prefer to see a purely object-oriented language, to ensure consistency.

    • TommyO

      Although I don’t quite remember how I answered, and would normally choose a scripting language over C++, I think your statement just changed my mind.

      One of the things I like about YaST that puts it over the top of configuration tools from RedHat is that there is an ncurses option (why would I NEED X to configure my mail server?)

      The same can be said for interpreters. C++ allows fully compiled units without the need of any additional interpreters. Should I be required to install PHP, Ruby, Python just because once every few months I want to make a simple configuration change?

      But maybe I’m a little religious about not installing what I don’t want…

    • Jan Engelhardt

      As soon as you go away from pure compiled code (=gcc), yast will get slower again.

      Also, having a ton of interpreters for a base system is not nice either. Once upon a time, perl was all that was needed, now python has found its way in (smart, libpurple, GIMP+Inkscape IIRC) come in too, and ruby is perhaps on the edge of crawling in too.

  4. As for the survey,

    First, I was very surprised that people appreciate the current YaST usability, I believe this is something to work hard at.

    Surprising that people vote totally against YaST web UI. Ncurses is rather slow in remote administration, moreover modern web technologies offer more possibilities.

    In general the survey results were predictable.

    • Me

      Question 11 results were predictable? apt-get 3,9%, Plain RPM 5,5%, Smart 8,3%, YaST 71,7%.
      I was expecting a lot more for Smart and less for YaST. And 5,5% using Plain RPM????????? WHYYYYYY? I suppose it is people without Internet access at home, but still…
      Without an alternative to YaST software management I probably wouldn’t be using openSUSE (and yes, I’m talking about the 10.3 version too). So I’m really surprised about that 71,7%.

  5. Marcelo Pacheco

    The problem with YaST isn’t the language, but rather the lack of a summary file, if each repository had one file that would replace the need to touch read each file, performance would be great

  6. Anonymous

    I´m surprised too.Especially YaST – software management is still slow.
    I´m trying Madriva 2008 nowadays and software management of Mandriva is really, but really fast.
    Guys from opensuse, you should try it.You´ll see that is possible to create fast software management.
    I hope that it will be better in openSUSE 11.0.

    • Richard

      I kind of get bored of people that come into here and say try this distro. Yawn, go troll somewhere else, haven’t even got the guts to leave your name.

  7. Eudoxus

    Yast is not the fastest package manager however I use it. Yes, Mandriva’s pm is faster. But then again – try Fedoras’s Pirut. I was surprised that it is even slower than Yast in openSuSE 10.2 (I used Fedora 7 for some hours)
    The fact is that Yast although a bit sluggish is reliable and easy to use.

  8. Mith

    I agree a lot with the first comment. While YaST software management takes longer than let’s say Ubuntu to load, it’s usable enough for me to want to stick with openSUSE, mainly because I am not that familiar with Linux and all the other configuration options that YaST provides is a real plus for those of us who aren’t yet familiar enough with the command line. However, instead of popup windows (which is very distracting) I like the idea of a status bar. Also, during searches if I want to uncheck some repositories to narrow the search, does YaST have to keep refreshing one at a time? I use 10.3 but actually liked the old software search dialog in 10.2 better. If openSUSE could continue to improve their package manager, no doubt the user base would grow much faster.

    My 2 cents. :)

    • user

      I agree. The main problem is the ability to tell yast package manager not to refresh repositories every time you want to install something, but every 5 days, 1 day… It is very frustrating if you forget to install one package and then again refreshing,…..
      I agree that old style manager was better then new one written in GTK (those in qt is ql).

      I am not try to tell let’s use the old one, but guys let’s improve new one. :)

      I am happy with openSUSE ;)

      • Me

        You CAN “tell yast package manager not to refresh repositories every time you want to install something”.
        ~> zypper mr –help
        modifyrepo (mr)

        Modify properties of the repository specified by alias.

        Command options:
        -d, –disable Disable the repository (but don’t remove it)
        -e, –enable Enable a disabled repository
        -a, –enable-autorefresh Enable auto-refresh of the repository
        –disable-autorefresh Disable auto-refresh of the repository

        And you can set it from the YaST “Software Repositories” module too.

        You even have /etc/zypp/zypp.conf with:
        ## Amount of time in minutes that must pass before another refresh.
        ## Valid values: Integer
        ## Default value: 10
        ## If you have autorefresh enabled for a repository, it is checked for
        ## up-to-date metadata not more often than every
        ## minutes. If an automatic request for refresh comes before
        ## minutes passed since the last check, the request is ignored.
        ## A value of 0 means the repository will always be checked. To get the oposite
        ## effect, disable autorefresh for your repositories.
        ## This option has no effect for repositories with autorefresh disabled, nor for
        ## user-requested refresh.
        # repo.refresh.delay = 10

        • user

          Thanks for advice :)

        • HCvV

          “And you can set it from the YaST “Software Repositories” module too.”

          That’s the only one I understand. We are talking about YaST, its possibilities and performance. What is zypp c.s. and why should a YaST user know about them.

          Then as I use the YaST Software Repositories to change Refresh to No it starts synchronising with ZENworks. This takes more time then a lot of refreshes. I can switch this off, but it is on by default. Is it important, What is it. Very dark area.

        • Spyhawk

          Hum, ZenWork and fiends aren’t anymore included in openSUSE 10.3, but only on SLE.
          So, what are you talking about ? Are you sure it’s ZenWork ?

        • HCvV

          Using 10.2. It wasn’t there on 10.0. When it is not there anymore on 10.3 I suppose I can try to switch it off on 10.2?

  9. Josh

    I think YaST’s biggest shortcoming is in dependency handling.Superb in apt/synaptic, great in other distros. Ugly in YaST. Often times I find the only way to install one program I like is to uninstall another program I like that shouldn’t be related. Or other strange problems like that. I think that automatic dependency resolution is the best thing that could happen to YaST.

    • No, dependency resolution is not great and far from perfect in apt/synaptic, that’s a myth debian advocates spread and is really far from being true.
      zypp probably have one of the best resolvers in the linux world but it still fails providing “understanable” messages that any user can understand.

      If it tries to remove a package is because it IS related.. btw.. automatic dependency resolution exists since the beggining of the ages…what are you talking about ?

      • Benjamin Weber

        Furthermore, many of the user-visible conflicts are down to badly specified dependencies in the packages rather than problems with the solver itself.

  10. Rikardo Tinauer


    I participated in survey, but the results or should I say the proccessing was not what I was looking for. When decided to participate in survey I thought this survey goes
    in direction “what to do better to improve the linux adoption in companies”.

    So in that order I expected to get cross-reference results like this:
    1. profession/where do you use linux (home, work)
    2. where do you use linux (home, work)/years of usage
    3. profession/computer expertise
    4. profession/main OS
    5. profession/additional OS
    6. profession/items of reference with YAST
    7. profession/importance of modules in YAST

    These results would then tell us how the companies see the linux world. Espacially since you also put Executives and Workers in the survey.

    Since you have these data, please do update the survey results document.

    Regards, Rikardo Tinauer

  11. Josh


    “No, dependency resolution is not great and far from perfect in apt/synaptic, that’s a myth debian advocates spread and is really far from being true.”

    No, you’re wrong. It’s something I’ve observed firsthand, myself, in a variety of situations, distros, and package managers. I’m a SuSE man, not a debian advocate, although I do respect the heck out of them. apt/synaptic simply resolves dependencies much better than the yast tool. That’s a fact.

    Now, the problem may well lie in the packages themself. However, you state that zypp is excellent from the CLI, and I know SMART is superb. Why then the trouble with the graphical UI, judas?

    What, do you think as a Retail using SuSE user I’ve never used YaST, and instead have this info from perusing Debian websites, or somesuch tripe, instead of my own firsthand (and anecdotal from peers) observations? I’m actually insulted by that.

  12. Josh

    “btw.. automatic dependency resolution exists since the beggining of the ages…what are you talking about ?”

    No, it doesn’t. If a user (and a beginner is in trouble at this point), has to go through a dependecy tree, and make choices such as deleting and uninstalling files to simply install a program from the YaST GUI, then that is not “automatic” dependency resolution. That is MANUAL dependency resolution. Therefore, although it has been around for a while (your strange “beginning of the ages” comment”), it is not in YaST QT.

    What are YOU talking about?

  13. Rick

    My only complaint is that some applications I have tried to install will not install with the one click install. Also there should be better 32 bit support on the 64 bit OS. I have tried many times to get Skype to run and I have not been able too because of the lack of 32bit packages you need to run Skype. Other than that I am very pleased with Opensuse 10.3. I do however have the need to dual boot Vista because of the lack of games published on any linux OS. So for that aside I use Opensuse for everyday things because it is not a resource hog (Vista) and it’s 64 bit and even with small tasks I see the difference between Vista 32bit and Opensuse 10.3 64bit.

    • Benjamin Weber

      > My only complaint is that some applications I have tried to install will not install with the one click install.

      Define will not install, if you mean conflicts that’s sometimes unavoidable, not everything can coexist. If you mean the process is failing somehow please file bug report and make sure you include the link that was failing. Unless they are reported they can’t be fixed.

      > I have tried many times to get Skype to run and I have not been able too because of the lack of 32bit packages you need to run Skype.

      This isn’t true, it is somewhat complicated to install skype as it is not in a package repository, but the required 32bit packages are indeed available. Try the following install link I did as a test http://benjiweber.co.uk/skype.ymp Installs skype from skype website and all the required dependencies from the basesystem.

  14. Alvin

    Yast is a great tool, but I do not like the download and install sequence. I have been burnt in the past were, for some reason, my connection was lost or a package could not be downloaded. I was left with an inconsistent system.

    I believe the better solution is to download all the packages, then install. This is what the Smart Package Manager does. If I lose my connection or a package cannot be found, I can easily recover. The updates/packages are not installed until all of them are downloaded.

    Is this now available in Yast now? If so, I would switch back to using Yast.


  15. Logan

    Tried now working version of opensuse finaly! 10.3

    And i am one of those who want that manuall package installer thing to work! I download/add from cd what ever package, install it manually example: package file on desktop,infolder whatever. Then ready to use application. With default qlib thing. Sadly most software need newer qlib or what it called very anoing.

    But these havent been smooth though.. One thing i had issues with were to get the repository to add my desktop(adjusting repository) as a repository to manually install package from desktop/folder. After reboot the grubloader failed and “nonX” promt up, asking for som strange password for my computer. What did i do wrong to deserve this? formar time again..

    Why not make a easy way and go for full “rightclick install package” without using repository/yast and what not more to install a package? and make it behave like a “exe” installer? and same support when installing gfx drivers and more? only thing past that is the rot password for final promt to execute.

    Do this and alot like me move final from MS..