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openSUSE 12.3 Launch Feedback: we’re still awesome!

March 18th, 2013 by

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Last week we let openSUSE 12.3 out of the gate. Like always, it was exciting and fun to see the result of so much preparation get to our users! So, how did it go and what did we learn?


We had great conversations with you on google plus and we were very happy that 40 people joined the openSUSE team hangout on the release day! Too bad there is a limit of 10 people in a hangout – we know many of you wanted to join but couldn’t. With over 20.000 people following our Plus account it is far ahead of the 7K people in our Facebook group or the almost 6000 liking our openSUSE Page. But there were good discussions there as well – and the same on the blogs. We appreciate the feedback. Many blogs also give valuable tips to users, a selection that is very much worth reading:

Meanwhile, our openSUSE group on Google+ has still plenty of space and we’re of course also still tweeting! And a tip: we appreciate it if you re-tweet our messages to your own followers! We’ve got hundreds of plusses and shares on Google but a mere 33 retweets of our release announcement… Did you all leave twitter already?

LAS wonders if 12.3 is an Ubuntu killer

LAS wonders if 12.3 is an Ubuntu killer


Most major news sites spread our announcement to their readers (almost twice as much as for the 12.2 release, yay!) and we already have reviews rolling in:


And those are just in writing. You can find 4 more reviews in video form:

Watching them is worthwhile – especially the Linux Action Show review discusses the new release deeply. They liked the communication around the release and also noted that we get our target audience by focusing on pro technologies for Desktop and Server. Here, they noted that “YaST2 is still relevant”, demonstrating some of what it can do. But they also “consider the Build Service now as one of the key features of openSUSE” and they love our rolling release repository Tumbleweed, noting that “with Tumbleweed, openSUSE is going to be the best KDE experience going forward”.

We’re happy to have gotten the attention of them and so many others all around the web, thank you! More reviews are rolling in still, both video and text. We’ll keep our Press page up to date.

The numbers

Now what many of you have been waiting for: the 24 hour statistics! openSUSE 12.2 experienced a drop in downloads. We guessed that the delay of two months with the release meant many in our community were already using openSUSE 12.2 before it was released and we also think that since we support in-place upgrades and have introduced Tumbleweed, our existing user base has less need for the official media. For this release, we didn’t have the delay, so despite the upgrades and tumbleweed, we hoped numbers would be up. And they are!

let’s start with the server data. In openSUSE 12.1 we had almost 94K downloads within the first 24 hours of the release. This went down to 65K with openSUSE 12.2, but we’re up to 75K again!

24 hours
Medium 200 302
Addon-Lang-i586 6 576
Addon-Lang-x86_64 12 352
Addon-NonOss-BiArch-i586-x86_64 29 1515
DVD-i586 681 16960
DVD-x86_64 2050 29507
GNOME-LiveCD-i686 69 3388
GNOME-LiveCD-x86_64 143 3926
KDE-LiveCD-i686 128 4126
KDE-LiveCD-x86_64 258 5912
NET-i586 34 1788
NET-x86_64 56 2808
Rescue-CD-i686 14 426
Rescue-CD-x86_64 17 480
Sum 3697 72066

Also, we’ve got about another 10K downloads via torrents on top of that. An interesting thing to note is that finally, 64bit has become the dominant architecture for openSUSE: where in previous releases the balance continued to hang around 50/50, we’re now getting almost twice as many 64 bit downloads.

Lessons learned

We’re not done evaluating all that happened for 12.3, but at least we’re glad we managed to avoid most of the issues mentioned in our evaluation of 12.2. Our announcement and communication were ready in time thanks to the Marketing and Artwork hackathon, more time was spend on testing (we also organized a testing hackathon!) and our Open Build Service did not have any major issues during the release. Our servers did falter for a minute during the release, due to the heavy load – but we managed. Still, however, the ‘undirected hacking’ still means we don’t set goals in advance and we didn’t have a clear list of features until we went through all of the changes in our release – too much work for too little excitement.

So, this release is a step forward – but there is still work to be done. We surely plan to talk about ideas on improving things at the upcoming openSUSE Conference in Greece. Think about joining if you want to help out!

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17 Responses to “openSUSE 12.3 Launch Feedback: we’re still awesome!”

  1. Will Stephenson

    We need to start using Hangouts On Air for launch events: http://www.google.com/+/learnmore/hangouts/onair.html#tab0

  2. Hi.

    Making a free spanish translation of this article in my blog:



  3. Franz Bernasek


    the last three years i have tested many linux distributions, Fedora, Mint, Ubuntu , openSuSE,
    as fact the best was openSUSE 12.2, now since few weeks i have installed openSUSE 12.3 its fine, my opinion actual is openSUSE 12.3 the best available Linux Distro


    • Brian

      Hi, I just wanted to drop by to say that I agree with everyone who says that openSUSE 12.3 is amazing and that it’s the only distro I’ve managed to install with ease on a laptop with Windows 8 pre-installed. The only other distro I managed that with was the Ubuntu secure remix, and that was only after I ran that boot-repair program.

      To my surprise, everything worked right out of the box (including the touchscreen) and the only problem I had was with the wi-fi networking not working after the first reboot. After the second reboot, it was fine.

      My only complaints are that there doesn’t seem to be an option to turn the laptop’s touchpad off when typing (as with Windows) at least in the KDE edition, and the fact that KSuperKey or something like it isn’t installed by default or available in the software manager. With the new Windows 8 paradigm that’s being forced on us, the idea of the super/windows key opening the menu’s being reinforced now more than ever, and I’d like to see more distros realize that people expect that key to open the app launcher menu by default as in Cinnamon, Unity, and Gnome.

      All that said, I have to agree with everyone who says that openSUSE probably has the most beautiful and functional implementation of KDE out there. I tried openSUSE 12.2 because of that reputation and agreed with it, and the look and feel of KDE in 12.3 has only gotten better. I really do think that the people who say that openSUSE 12.3 is an Ubuntu-killer are right. It sure is for me. I uninstalled Ubuntu 12.10 to make room for openSUSE 12.3 and I’m having a better time with it.

      Although the mouse cursor skipping around everytime my palms touch the touchpad when I’m typing is annoying.

      • shishir

        You may use “synaptiks” to control disabling of touch upon keyboard activity.

      • Tachyon

        The other option is to just use the laptop’s hotkeys. For example, most have a [Fn] key that combined with other (usually function) keys will do things like change screen output, change volume, and turn on and off the touchpad.

        That said, the off while typing option is a great compromise because it solves the most annoying problem of touchpads without losing their functionality.

  4. Rainbow Tux

    What are the two columns in the server statistics? I can’t find what they mean separately :)

  5. Ish

    A short post on openSUSE 12.2 => 12.3 upgrade : http://hacklog.in/?p=574
    I must say though Jean Nicolas’s upgrade instructions are simpler & direct.

  6. openSUSE getting better and better, thanks for your work

  7. fidza

    openSUSE 12.3 is awesome and great. it is even much faster than 12.2 and also I am able to shutdown without getting a CPU error message. That is a great job well done.

  8. i like fedora i have tested all versions from 10-18 it is redhat core and more serieux in mind
    opensuse is virtulization and vmware ready and if you know vm s or iscsi its not that easy to remove or add a vm first 3vm s must be present so fiber may be better for a server
    opensuse 10-12.3 is novell tm and windows core built in and ubuntu is still private cloud
    so we have a long way to go still i like and have two machines working under windows server2012

    and a private cloud 6-10 machine where we are headed

    30 years of testing i have yet to see a realtime embedded operating system that i can plug any
    piece of hardware

  9. Rejkelie

    Having used SuSE for around 10 years I have seen both good and problematic releases. However I have been faithfull since I have come to know all the details and where everything is located (SuSE sometimes has its own way of managing configuration files) and it was also one of the first releases to fully embrace KDE which I kind of like. So all in all SuSE is pretty complete and allrounded distro.

    However some more balanced view on 12.3 might be in order since from my personal experience this release is a tad more problematic than the previous 12.2

    Some (serious) problems slipped by from the RC into the fully released product which for newcomers are a bit unfortunate. So it might be good to be aware of these acknowledged shortcoming (which are acknowledged and reported)

    – The Nvidia driver is broken for 12.3 (this worked fine in both 11.4, 12.1, 12.2)
    Work is ongoing but it is still not possible to get a Nvidia propritary driver “out of the box” as before.

    – The vsftpd (ftp daemon) the default in SuSE is broken (PAM authentication does not work). Work is ongoing but no aolution yet

    – The prebuilt VirtualBox is broken. An easy workaround here is to download the official reelase from Oracle and do a manual install. This works fine.

    – For web developers a small nuance is that SuSE 12.3 shipps with the previous stable version of PHP and not the recommended current stable version.

    But besides this SuSE is still a great release and a lot of hard work has gone in to make it my desktop OS of choice.

    • Dintch

      Hi just take worth of this news to tell you all that you’ve done a great job. I have switched to Linux one year ago and started with openSuse. I messed it up a bit (discovering…) and started again from scratch with 12.2.
      So this was my first upgrade and it went smoothly and quickly. hlaf an hour later you end up with a super clean and brand new system but the good surprise is that it has kept absolutely all your settings!
      Stability is here, performance keeps improving and I beat all the windows starting time. The only annoying stuff is bug 801537 (-‘ bit system), I don’t have any hibernate or suspend any more, but….

      So, great job and thanks a lot! (don’t worry, I’ll find some negative aspects although I still have to search for them!)

  10. Flavio

    Couldn’t install 12.3 from DVD mainly because of buggy grub 2 that detected my drive as an LDM unit (i know that it is a matter of LDM signature left by an older windows install but 12.1 didn’t have that problem). Nvidia driver are buggy too (after trying to detect my nvidia video drop to generic 1024 x 768 vga driver) and linux partitions detections at install time took too much (about 15 minutes) that I thought that it was hanged up. I had to install 12.1 again (that went like a charm, no bugs, super fast, great driver detection, native resolution 1920×1080) and attemp an online upgrade to 12.3. It is downloading the new packages now, I hope to succeed this time to get the acclaimed last version of opensuse.
    As an opensuse fun who wish to see this OS on every computer even those from beginners, I’m pretty much disappointed. As I commented, 12.1 installation was easier and faster, please correct those bugs.
    Thank you!