In my Linux quest, I changed distribution again on my home desktop, from OpenSuse 11.1 with KDE to Ubuntu 13.04 (not yet released - so alpha) with Unity. Why?
- KDE was crashing a bit too often for my taste (more than once a week). Although I enjoyed the KDE environment.
- Not easy to transfer files to my Android 4.2 phone. Ubuntu 13.04 is not fully there yet, but is on its way.
- zypper is a bit too specific for my taste. I would be ok with yum+rpm or apt-get, but another tool just for a single distribution, not really.
- Plus I'm just curious what's next for Ubuntu, and Linux makes it very simple to change distributions, and reinstall applications with the same settings. So it's never a big task to change distribution.
- I somehow like how Ubuntu feels, not sure what it is exactly, maybe the Debian roots.
When people say OpenSuse is rock solid, I don't have that impression, at least on the desktop. It might have been true in the past. But in the past, most distros were very stable. I never remember having big stability issues until, maybe, late 2010. In the early 2000s, a laptop would work very well with Linux, suspend included. I remember that my Dell Inspiron 8200 was working perfectly with Mandrake & WindowMaker. Nowadays, it never seem to work that well, but is just ok: Optimus comes to mind (especially with external screen), suspend problems, wifi (not anymore).
So far I can see that Ubuntu 13.04 is prettier than the past versions, the installer is great. I encrypted my two hard disks, it was just a matter of ticking a box - very nice. Unity Launcher, while interesting, is still not the greatest tool to find an installed application (compared to KDE launcher or Gnome Shell). I don't notice any stability issue so far, even though I have some popup messages that sometimes tells me something crashed (typical for an alpha version). If I just ignore the messages, everything seems fine. OpenSuse-KDE was logging me out (session crash), or just stopped completely being responsive (hard reset necessary).