When it comes to choosing a Linux distribution for your computer, you’ll quickly realize that there are numerous options available, each with its own unique features and strengths. Two popular choices in the Linux world are OpenSUSE and Pop!_OS. 

OpenSUSE and Pop!_OS are both built on the foundation of Linux, but they have distinct characteristics and are tailored to different user preferences. OpenSUSE is known for its stability and robust administration tools, while Pop!_OS focuses on providing a user-friendly experience, especially for gamers and creative professionals.

In this comprehensive guide, we will explore both of these distributions, covering the installation process and providing insights into their usage, so you can make an informed decision on which one suits your needs best.

We’ll start by discussing the installation process for each distribution and then delve into their respective features, package management, and software repositories. Finally, we’ll look at their usability and which one might be the right fit for you.


OpenSUSE Installation

OpenSUSE offers two primary variants for desktop users: openSUSE Leap and openSUSE Tumbleweed. Leap is known for its stability and is ideal for those who prioritize reliability, while Tumbleweed is a rolling release which ensures that you have access to the latest software.

To install OpenSUSE, follow these steps:

  1. Download the ISO image of your chosen OpenSUSE variant from the official website.
  1. Create a bootable USB drive using a software like Etcher or Rufus.
  1. Boot your computer from the USB drive and select the “Install” option.
  1. Follow the installation wizard and make your choices for language, time zone, and disk partitioning.
  1. Set up your user account and password.
  1. Reboot your computer after the installation is complete.

Pop!_OS Installation

Pop!_OS is the brainchild of System76, a company that specializes in Linux-based hardware. It’s designed to be user-friendly and is particularly well-suited for gamers and creators. 

Here’s how to install Pop!_OS:

  1. Download the Pop!_OS ISO image from the System76 website.
  1. Create a bootable USB drive using tools like Etcher or Rufus.
  1. Boot your computer from the USB drive and select “Install Pop!_OS”.
  1. Choose your preferred installation options including the keyboard layout, language, and disk partitioning.
  1. Create a user account and set your password.
  1. Complete the installation and reboot your system.

Both OpenSUSE and Pop!_OS offer user-friendly installation processes, and your choice between them may depend on your specific needs and preferences.

Features and Package Management

OpenSUSE Features and Package Management

OpenSUSE uses the RPM package manager and supports two package management tools: Zypper and YaST. YaST (Yet another Setup Tool) is a unique and powerful feature of OpenSUSE that simplifies the system administration tasks.

Some key features of OpenSUSE include:

  • High degree of system stability and reliability
  • A broad range of software packages available through its repositories
  • OpenQA for automated testing, ensuring robustness
  • Btrfs filesystem as the default option, offering advanced snapshot and rollback capabilities

Zypper, the package manager, is known for its robust dependency resolution and can handle the software updates with ease. OpenSUSE also offers the Open Build Service which allows you to create custom packages and build a software for various distributions.

Pop!_OS Features and Package Management

Pop!_OS, based on Ubuntu, uses the APT (Advanced Package Tool) package manager. Its primary focus is providing an out-of-the-box experience for users, particularly for gamers and creative professionals. 

Some notable features of Pop!_OS include:

  • A user-friendly and visually appealing interface
  • Pre-installed developer tools and software for creators and gamers
  • Steam integration for gaming enthusiasts
  • NVIDIA driver support to optimize the gaming performance

Pop!_OS leverages the Ubuntu Software Center for software management, making it easy for users to discover and install the applications. While it may not have as many administration tools as OpenSUSE, Pop!_OS excels in providing an excellent user experience for its target audience.

Software Repositories

Both OpenSUSE and Pop!_OS have their respective software repositories which play a crucial role in providing the users with access to a wide range of applications.

OpenSUSE Software Repositories

OpenSUSE maintains a rich collection of software packages in its official repositories. It follows a release model where openSUSE Leap offers stable and well-tested software packages, while openSUSE Tumbleweed provides cutting-edge, rolling-release packages. Additionally, the openSUSE Build Service allows you to access the third-party repositories and build your custom software packages.

Pop!_OS Software Repositories

Pop!_OS is based on Ubuntu which has an extensive repository ecosystem. It includes the main, universe, restricted, and multiverse repositories which offer a wide array of software options. System76 also maintains its own Pop!_OS PPA (Personal Package Archive) to provide updates and software specifics to their hardware and desktop environment.

The choice between OpenSUSE and Pop!_OS for software repositories may depend on your preference for a stable, well-tested environment (OpenSUSE) or access to the latest software (Pop!_OS Tumbleweed).


OpenSUSE Usability

OpenSUSE is known for its robustness and flexibility, making it an excellent choice for system administrators and users who require stability. The YaST control center simplifies the system administration tasks, offering features to configure the network settings, manage the software repositories, and handle the system updates. However, OpenSUSE’s usability may not be as friendly for beginners as it requires some knowledge of the Linux administration.

Pop!_OS Usability

Pop!_OS is designed with a strong emphasis on user-friendliness. The System76-developed desktop environment, based on GNOME, offers a clean and modern user interface. It comes with pre-installed tools and drivers which makes it a great choice for gamers and creators who want to get up and running quickly without diving into extensive configurations.


In the world of Linux, the choice between OpenSUSE and Pop!_OS ultimately depends on your specific needs and preferences. If you prioritize system stability and have some Linux administration experience, OpenSUSE, especially Leap, might be the better option. However, if you’re a gamer or a creative professional who is looking for an out-of-the-box experience, Pop!_OS is tailored for you.

The installation processes for both distributions are straightforward, and their package management systems are robust. Additionally, their software repositories offer a diverse range of applications, whether you want a tried-and-true software or the latest cutting-edge releases.

Whichever distribution you choose, you can be confident that both OpenSUSE and Pop!_OS are solid choices in the world of Linux. With a little exploration and customization, they can be tailored to meet your specific needs.