I've been running Fedora for some time at home and on several work computers--most recently the latest Fedora 10 development branches. I ventured out to try OpenSuse, and brought in Beta 5. I must admit, I was blown away. I had last run OpenSuse a year or so ago, and was not as impressed as I was with Ubuntu at the time. In case you're wondering my preferred Linux distro goes something like this ( this goes back a ways )
Even given all the hype around the recent Fedora 10 release, I am still much more impressed with OpenSuse. I prefer zypper more than yum, and YaST2 either in console mode or graphics mode is much nicer than anything I've seen in Fedora or any other distro I've tried.
Earlier I posted about Fedora directory server and openldap. Well, I'm running OpenLDAP now and very happy with it. Fedora still has the nice gui admin tool. I stumbled on OpenSuse's User and Group Management tool which fully and graphically supports a back-end ldap configuration. So, it's easy to manage your ldap users with OpenSuse!
OpenSuse is well polished, looks great, easy to install ( again the best installer I've used ), the DVD even has graphical tools that analyze and help you fix a broken system.
Bottom line, if you haven't tried OpenSuse, I'd recommend trying release 11.1.
In my spare time the last few days, I also tried out FreeBSD. I ran it on my laptop for a few days and was impressed--getting to know the system and how it worked in comparison to Linux. I often try testing things out first in a virtual machine, but I don't think you really know an OS until you run it on bare hardware--especially with things like 3D acceleration support and hardware support.
I eventually decided I would really test it out, and cleared of my home server/workstation--could FreeBSD support everything I needed??? The first road block I hit was no NVidia 3d support on the AMD64 bit platform. Even though I checked NVidia's site, I somehow missed the i386 on the driver listed. Ok, I'll through on the i386 FreeBSD version. Well, this time I realized that virtualization products ( like VirtualBox I use ) have not been ported to any BSD. I do like running VirtualBox on my Linux system. We'll, as much as I wanted to really dig deep and run FreeBSD, I decided against it--I could have lived without VirtualBox, but knowing I had full 64 bit 3D support on Linux and VirtualBox, I decided Linux suited my needs better.
Next stop...OpenSolaris 2008.11. I'd run 2008.05, but had to ask myself what it really gave me over Linux outside of ZFS and DTrace which I can personally live without. I installed 2008.11 on my workstation. OpenSolaris has a great installer--very simple. Booting up caused me a little pain, because the installer did not overwrite my previous OpenSuse boot loader. I had to wipe out the MBR, reinstall, then it was fine.
OpenSolaris 2008.11 booted up into Gnome and it looks great. It immediately identified my printers ( both HPs ), but I had no full sound card support. I ran it for a bit, but was again asking myself, "do you really want to go through the trouble. Re-compiling from scratch all the packages you just get with a standard Linux distro. Installing add-on packages just to get features you get out of the box with Linux like firewalls, traffic shaping, network virtualization??" Not that those couldn't be done with OpenSolaris, but again I asked myself "why go through the pain?" when Linux already does it and does it very well. The answer was "no", and I am back with OpenSuse.
OpenSolaris and FreeBSD are great operating systems, however, Linux has come a long way and has so much to offer me today.