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12.27.08

Do-No-Evil Saturday – Part I: OpenSUSE 11.1 Reviews Trickle In

Posted in GNU/Linux, Novell, OpenSUSE, Review at 3:23 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

SUSE SLED GNOME

More Release Coverage

LAST week we wrote about the release of 11.1 and here is the official press release that we neglected to add (also here, along with this modified press release). There are some shallow announcements that pretty much repeat the contents of the press release, which is always disappointing.

Here is LinuxPR (JupiterMedia/LinuxToday) announcing it a little differently.

After 6 months of development, the openSUSE Project is ready to release openSUSE 11.1 today!

There is also a word about OpenSUSE-Education and Francis Giannaros, who leans towards KDE4 in OpenSUSE, promoted the release in the KDE news Web site (the Dot).

openSUSE 11.1 is now out (screenshots), featuring KDE 4.1.3 and a string of KDE improvements. The release brings back the much-loved KDE-PIM suite, and includes new games, the KSCD CD player, KSystemLog to keep track of system changes, improvements to Dolphin, Konqueror (including Webkit part), Plasma (including auto-hide panel, folder view), Marble integration with OpenStreetMap, and much more. The release is available as an installable live CD, or on a DVD with KDE 3.5.10, GNOME, Xfce, and many more applications.

OpenSUSE presented its KDE desktop just before the release.

openSUSE 11.1 continues a long history of shipping a well-polished KDE. This release includes not just one, but two choices of KDE. You can choose from the leading edge of KDE development with KDE 4.1.3, or the classic KDE experience with KDE 3.5.10.

Technical

Following the release, Falko Timme released some guides for setting up OpenSUSE as a desktop and also as a server.

This is a detailed description about how to set up an OpenSUSE 11.1 server that offers all services needed by ISPs and hosters: Apache web server (SSL-capable), Postfix mail server with SMTP-AUTH and TLS, BIND DNS server, Proftpd FTP server, MySQL server, Dovecot POP3/IMAP, Quota, Firewall, etc. This tutorial is written for the 32-bit version of OpenSUSE 11.1, but should apply to the 64-bit version with very little modifications as well.

SUSEGeek/suseuser is back to posting following this new release and it’s being promoted all around the Web. Bill Beebe wrote about his early experiences as well. He seems to have developed some form of an unhealthy obsession for Boycott Novell because he keeps attacking us from his blog.

Licence

There were several posts that covered the EULA situation, which we mentioned last month. These include:

1. OpenSUSE rev’s license, build system

The Novell-sponsored openSUSE Project announced the availability of version 11.1 of its open-source openSUSE Linux distribution. Version 11.1 offers a new license that eases redistribution, and it’s the first version developed with the openSUSE Build Service, which improves collaboration and transparency among contributors, says openSUSE.

2. OpenSUSE changes licenses

Available only in English for now (with translations in progress), and modeled on Fedora’s highly successful license, the new EULA aims to raise fewer eyebrows than the old license, Community Manager Joe “Zonker” Brockmeier suggests in a detailed interview on our sister site, DesktopLinux.com.

Zonker wrote about no GNU/Linux distribution being free.

I found this post particularly interesting in the light of the openSUSE 11.1 release. We decided we wanted to make sure that openSUSE was freely redistributable, and get rid of the old EULA, but we don’t claim that the release is “100% free” in terms of the software meeting the Free Software Foundation’s definition of free, or even the Open Source Initiative’s terms for being called “open source.”

Way to justify OpenSUSE’s mistakes. This is a good example of “blame everyone else or accuse them of being equally bad” to justify one’s own deficiencies or sins. Microsoft does this a lot when it labels other companies “evil” and argues that its financial practices are commonplace.

Review

Several more people have already tested OpenSUSE 11.1 and wrote about their experiences. These are not necessarily reviews, but they can be treated as a sample of tests:

DistroWatcfh: First look at openSUSE 11.1

openSUSE truly is a great Linux product and 11.1 is the best so far.

[...]

My only reservation is to do with proprietary codecs and drivers, which still needs some work to reach the same level as other distributions. For new users, this is still just too hard. I tried to get 3D working with ATI’s proprietary driver and gave up in the end (X worked, but no 3D due to OpenGL errors). The ‘recommended packages’ feature of the package manager is a great idea and does install MP3 support automatically, but this is still second rate and users expect more. Overall I really feel that this version of openSUSE provides a complete desktop experience for the user.

Rob Readings: OpenSuSE 11.1 sadness

I was really excited about OpenSuse 11.1. I downloaded it the day it was released, burned it in windows, and installed it on my Linux/experimental computer. My goal was to see if OpenSuse 11.1 can finally be a full blown replacement for windows.

[...]

I have always used KDE. I think it has a more crisp, elegent look to it. But Gnome on OpenSuse 11.1 looks pretty nice. So far I havn’t had any major glitches. Beagle caused it to run at a snails pace, so I uninstalled that and it helped a lot. The repositories have me pulling my hair out. Every time they refresh or when I try to download a packet through software management I get “Can not resolve address” after I click retry 2-3 times it finally does it. But then it usually does the same thing for the next packet. I hope it’s just due to the traffic on the repository servers being high with this new release.

BEAR 454: Christmas came a week early for openSUSE users!

Back in June I blogged about my first experiences with openSUSE 11.0. Although there were some groundbreaking improvements, the general tenor of my experience was negative. I did eventually move to 11.0, as I saw improvements appear from the community (such as a recipe for making Firefox3 use the system’s Cairo library, thus enabling subpixel hinting.) I also suggested that 11.1 would fix all major issues introduced in 11.0, but not add any substantially new features. I stand corrected: 11.1 does fix the issues I whined about, but does also, amazingly, incorporate quite a bit of ‘newness’.

[...]

The Intel video driver still prevents me from using Compiz on multiple monitors. Intel chipsets, starting with the i945, are capable of handling textures up to 8096×8096, earlier chipsets (down to the i810) has a max texture of 2048×2048. Despite the physical capability, and the presence of patches that prove it works, the intel driver still ships with the lower limit, which prevents Compiz from rendering a texture across my two 1200px-wide monitors. Sigh.

Slaya Chronicles: Some thoughts on OpenSUSE 11.1 KDE version

Yay! Another OpenSUSE release. And like some dewy-eyed and shameless groupie, I used (or misused?!) the company’s fast Internet line to download the latest KDE Live CD.

[...]

I would say that OpenSUSE 11.1 is a solid distro. KDE 4.1.3 still feels like unfinished but the OpenSUSE guys managed to tame it to the point it is somewhat usable.

Ben Kevan: 5 Days on openSUSE 11.1 was an early X-Mas present

I have been quite busy with a major project with work and that’s kept me from being able to write as much about openSUSE 11.1 as I have about previous versions. The lack of content from me in no way be taken as a dissapointment because my 5 day report on openSUSE 11.1 is pretty good.

Bill Beebe: openSUSE 11.1 installed and running

KDE 4.1 and openSUSE 11.1 have their quirks. But overall I like how it’s working, and the fact that I can install what I consider core to get work done. DVD playback is a nice-to-have and I’ll get it installed over the next couple of days (when I find the time). It is a comfortable development environment; I have my tools, my shells, and my languages of choice (Java, Ada, c/c++, objc/c++, Python) at the latest revisions running on an OS foundation I know and can work with.

Kasperian Moving Parts: OpenSUSE 11.1 and nVidia == AWESOME!!

And, of course, KDE 4.2 is continuing to to shape up and look, feel, and perform absolutely marvelously, and OpenSUSE 11.1’s beta2 packages are a great way of testing it out.

As for me, I’m just thankful to have a functional laptop again and I hope to get some good KPilot testing and bug squashing done during the next few days of Christmas vacation.

Digests

There is a good number of bits and pieces about OpenSUSE in this Christmas Special from Softpedia.

The openSUSE team proudly announced on December 18th the final release of openSUSE 11.1, a version injected with more than 230 new features and improvements, KDE 4.1.3, GNOME 2.24.1, OpenOffice.org 3.0, a brand new license, Liberation fonts, openJDK and many more. Judging from the included applications and technologies, we can say that openSUSE 11.1 is indeed a bleeding-edge Linux distribution. Without further introduction, let’s take a look at the major changes since openSUSE 11.0:

The OpenSUSE Web sites has this interview with Petko Petkov and also a large accumulation of weekly news.

In this week:

* openSUSE 11.1 out
* Lee Matheson: NEWBIES – Suse-11.1 Pre-installation
* Joe Brockmeier: Leaping lizards! Lots going on in the openSUSE community
* Petr Mladek: OpenOffice_org 3.0 beta1 available
* Comments on Phoronix Benchmarking openSUSE 11.1

Happy new year’s wishes to everyone. Let’s hope that 2009 is not the next 1929.

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3 Comments

  1. MSFT-Myfraudsoft said,

    December 27, 2008 at 2:04 pm

    Gravatar

    Fatal mistakes in open-SUSE 11.1 Live CD:
    http://www.marco.isrelated.com/?p=67

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    December 27, 2008 at 2:11 pm

    Gravatar

    By coincidence, I was just writing about it a minute ago.

  3. zaine_ridling said,

    December 27, 2008 at 2:32 pm

    Gravatar

    I’ve been running openSUSE 11.1 KDE this week and have been quietly impressed. I’m a sidux and Fedora guy mainly, but every piece of software I run is available under 11.1. Even their version of OpenOffice 3 is ‘unscrewed’ unlike previous versions. I can never be a Novell fan, but other distros could learn that extra attention paid to the details make a difference to users. Like Fedora 10, this KDE version of 11.1 is very stable.

    On the down side, the partition screens during setup were designed by a madman. Unlike sidux, it didn’t automount my second drive even though it formatted it right there during installation. Oh well.

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