Ade Malsasa Akbar contact
Senior author, Open Source enthusiast.
Monday, April 12, 2021 at 11:47

Here's a comparison between openSUSE and OpenMandriva (continuing our comparison involving Mageia) the two European computer operating systems from our Free Libre Open Source Software community. The most obvious similarity from both is their name, which includes the word OPEN, which comes particularly from the Open Source Movement. In this article we will see several interesting stuffs from both around their architectures, distributions, control center, etc. so we know about their YaST and OMCC, respectively. If you want to know more similarities and differences of these two OSes, this article is for you. To make it easier to read, OS below is for openSUSE while OM is for OpenMandriva. Let's go!


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About openSUSE and OpenMandriva

openSUSE is a free computer operating system maintained by European community originated from Germany since 2005 until today and is tightly connected to the commercial SUSE Linux Enterprise. It has a distinct feature called YaST wich is the central place to setup everything. It is a family of GNU/Linux and available for desktop, server, and embedded computers; has software package format called RPM and package manager called Zypper. Visit to learn more.


OpenMandriva is a free computer operating system maintained by non-profit association originated from France since 2013. It has distinct feature called OpenMandriva Control Center, which is inherited from its discontinued parent, Mandriva, where everything after system installation can be setup there. It is a family of GNU/Linux, is available for desktop and embedded computers; has software package format RPM, and now utilizes DNF as software installation tool. Visit to learn more.


1. Architectures


OS: PC 32 bit, PC 64 bit, ARM32, ARM64, PowerPC, S390X

OM: PC 64 bit, ARM64

openSUSE is a rich operating system, similar to Debian while it comes to computer architecture support. This means it can empower all your computers full with up to date software if you have a desktop and a server (both old and new), an ARM embedded machine, a PowerPC, and an IBM Z. 


OpenMandriva is originally a desktop OS which now expands to empower ARM computers as well -- interestingly, including Raspberry and PineBook.


2. Distributions


OS: regular, rolling, desktop, server, embedded

OM: regular, desktop, server, embedded

openSUSE has two editions called Leap and Tumbleweed representing regular and rolling releases respectively. They are divided further into desktop, server, and also embedded computers versions. For the server, it expands further to Kubic and MicroOS

About the software distribution, the DVD (4GB) of openSUSE acts as an offline repository and if the user wants more they can grab more software applications from the online ones. Its online repository offers tens of thousands of software applications. It is  divided into oss and non-oss (software which are considered Free and Nonfree by openSUSE) and added with updates to fix security and other issues for the users. Once again, either it is offline or online, all repositories can be accessed in YaST. Visit Package repositories at openSUSE wiki to learn more.

OpenMandriva Lx has single edition. It is originally pure desktop system which now extends to ARM server platform. Its presentation of the download choices are unclear as we could not see which editions are available nor which architectures are supported.


About the software distribution, OpenMandriva seems similar to Ubuntu, as its online repository is divided into 4 rooms namely Main, Unsupported, Restricted, and Non-free.  However, the update channels are available, are divided into 4 rooms as well, namely Rock, Regular, Rolling, and Cooker. It has Software Repository Selector (om-repo-picker) program like picture below to help users set the repositories.

3. Installations



OM: Calamares

openSUSE makes use of YaST for the system installation. YaST is everything we see when we begin openSUSE installation to our computer. This means the installer, the software manager, and the system settings are united in one software on openSUSE, it is YaST.This gives choices to install openSUSE with KDE, GNOME, Generic Desktop, Server, and Transactional Server.


OpenMandriva makes use of Calamares for the system installation. It is the same installer we found on & well known because of the famous Manjaro


4. Bootloaders


OS: see picture

OM: see picture

openSUSE's bootloader looks like this. It displays openSUSE's name and logo and its green color theme.


OpenMandriva's bootloader looks like this. It displays OpenMandriva name and logo, its blue color theme.


5. Login Screens


OS: see picture

OM: see picture

openSUSE's login screen looks like below. It display the green theme without any logo or name of openSUSE. This screen is the one to display if user chose KDE Plasma as a choice when installing.


OpenMandriva's login screen looks like below.  It displays OpenMandriva's logo.


6. Desktop Environments


OS: Plasma, GNOME, Xfce

OM: Plasma

openSUSE's desktop looks like this. The desktop features a start menu, bottom panel with system tray, wallpaper and icons can be placed on it, 4 workspaces by default, with an identity of openSUSE's Gecko head as the menu logo. As a whole, this desktop is called Plasma (KDE). However, up to today openSUSE does not have any welcome app.

OpenMandriva's desktop looks like this. The desktop features start menu and panel (a double stack one), system tray and clock, a trash bin, 4 workspaces by default, and a Welcome To OpenMandriva app always running every startup. This welcome is an introduction for the users to the OS name, version, its features, how to use it, as well as participating to the community. Just like Mandriva was a good KDE distro, OpenMandriva is also a proud Plasma (KDE) distro.


7. Control Panels



OM: OpenMandriva Control Center

openSUSE's control panel is called YaST. It is the system installer as well as software manager as well as central of settings. It is the famous tool which made openSUSE computers easy to use for everyone. Stuffs we can control in it are everything from before OS installation and after that, including disk partitioning, user/group and security management. YaST is an essential, important part of openSUSE so it has a special webpage at openSUSE's official website you can visit here.


OpenMandriva's control panel is called OM Control Center. Inherited from its discontinued parent, Mandriva Control Center (MCC), it is a place to setup everything after OS installation including software, networking and security management.


8. Software Management



OM: DnfDragora

openSUSE is known for its YaST, all in one control center that includes software management. However, the underlying package manager is called Zypper and the package format is RPM. So the users add, remove, search and updates their applications using either YaST (graphical) or Zypper (console) where the applications are distributed in a form with extension .rpm rather than .deb (Ubuntu) or .apk (Android). Speaking about YaST, it is similar to Synaptic in the past for Ubuntu users.


OpenMandriva is a Mandriva derivative (once known with Drakrpm and Urpmi managers) but a little bit different by adopting DragoraDNF and DNF as its package managers today and the package file format is RPM. This is certainly surprising as if OpenMandriva is a remix between Mandriva and Fedora. So we who use it today is using DNF to add, remove, search and update our software packages.


9. Documentations




openSUSE has professional & excellent documentation. Visit its Doc web page, it is full of user guide. Visit its Wiki web page, it is full of technical & deeper information about openSUSE and beyond. Speaking about this point, openSUSE is comparable to another professional OSes like Red Hat, Ubuntu, and MacOS.


OpenMandriva's documentation looks barely exist, or at best we could say, still under construction, unfortunately. There is no User Guide per se, except a Wiki (which the look is unusual and hard to find anything). For example, the home page shows Release Notes only without a clue to either of the OS installation or package management. However, there are several important pages such as repository and DNF you can find if you search. There was the old Wiki, which had better look and easier to navigate but is now discontinued. Visit the old documentation via the Internet Archive (2019).


10. Performance


OS: can run under 2GB memory

OM: can only run with more than 2GB memory

openSUSE Leap 15.2 for example can run with memory lesser than 2GB. OpenMandriva Lx 4.2 can only run with memory more than 2GB. I tested this on virtual machines (click here for more info) and it proves that openSUSE runs even with 1.5GB while OpenMandriva does not.




There are many interesting stuffs around both OPEN distros. From this miscellaneous point you can go beyond this comparison by get in contact with the communities & developers as well as contributing. As a final comparison, openSUSE does not have donation entry unlike OpenMandriva (unlike most distros as well) but does have sponsor entry for companies to support it financially. This ends this comparison review.


OS: [Forum] [Mailing List] [Twitter] [Facebook] [YouTube]

OM: [Forum] [Mastodon] [Reddit] [Twitter] [Facebook]


OS: [Participate] [Sponsor]

OM: [Get Involved] [Donation]

This article is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.