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Novell News Summary – Part I: OpenSUSE 11.2 Reviews, Board Elections, OpenSUSE 11.3 in the Details

Posted in GNU/Linux, Novell, OpenSUSE, Ubuntu at 7:44 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Baby lizard

Summary: A roundup of news about OpenSUSE, ranging from the latest release to a new OpenSUSE Board whose tenure duration gets doubled

FOLLOWING last week's announcements of OpenSUSE 11.2 there is still a lot of coverage about it (including belated announcements about the KDE side). More launch parties took place and the mainstream press got around to reporting on the subject.

Upgrade stories are quite a few (mostly from SUSE people like Jörg Reuter), and they are mostly positive (it was smoother a transition than from Ubuntu 9.04 to 9.10 on the face of it). From Tux Machines:

For the first time, openSUSE now officially supports a “dist-upgrade” feature, similar to Debian’s. Which is to say, if you’ve got openSUSE 11.1 installed, you should be able to upgrade to openSUSE 11.2 by updating your list of software repositories to point to providers of software for openSUSE 11.2, doing a distribution upgrade via the Internet, and have a reasonable chance of success.

Another successful upgrade:

Oh, it boots very fast, too. Unless the next revision does something to screw it up, I think I’ve found my winner in the Linux wars.

Here is another praise for OpenSUSE 11.2 as a KDE distribution.

Congratulations to the openSuse community to a solid and beautiful release!

Reviews of OpenSUSE 11.2 soon arrived, including this one from Heise (The H).

A whole series of changes awaits users in openSUSE 11.2, including Ext4 as the default file system, boot loader Grub2 and a big move towards the KDE 4 desktop.

Here is another new review from a GNU/Linux skeptic.

We think visually, this is their best release yet. Usability wise they’ve done a great job simplifying things and making them a bit less overwhelming. Previous YaST versions have been a bit too overwhelming for new users and they’ve done a great job addressing this with the last couple of releases.

The desktop felt fast and responsive and contains all of the applications we would expect. There is also the added benefit of their large repositories which contain pretty much everything one would need.

Caitlyn Martin published her review in the latest DistroWatch Weekly.

While SUSE has never been my favorite I have always found it to be a solid distribution in the past. Sadly, at least on my hardware, that simply isn’t true of openSUSE 11.2. Installation on my netbook, which is extremely well supported by a half a dozen other distributions I’ve tried, was exceptionally challenging with openSUSE.

Jamie reports a “mixed bag”.

I’ve been trying out the new openSuSE 11.2 release for nearly a week now, loading it on everything I have. It’s been a mixed bag of results, starting out very strong, and ending up with several significant disappointments. Here is a summary of the highs (and lows):

The cosmetics look great. I have to say, over the past couple of releases openSuSE has gone from what seemed like a fairly “stodgy” distribution, both in terms of cosmetics and content, to one which I think is right up with the absolute leaders in both of those.

One of the first things I noticed, on the first system I installed openSuSE on, was that they have fixed the problem with non-U.S. keyboard maps not working. Hooray! That one has been a minor pain in the neck since Milestone 5 or so, and when it was still there in the RC releases, I was afraid it wouldn’t get fixed before the final release. Well done!

LWN.net also has a new review.

Overall this version of openSUSE acts more like a point-0 release or even a release candidate. Everything feels rough around the edges and as though lots more work is needed. There’s no dispute that openSUSE developers are the most aggressive between minor version releases, but this is the most dramatic effect I’ve witnessed from them. Polish and excellence have always been trademarks of openSUSE, so much so that I’ve come to expect only that. So, it’s shocking to have seen an openSUSE released in such rough condition.

The reviews above concentrate on the KDE side and they are largely positive. OpenSUSE 11.2 uses KDE4 as the default desktop environment now. Regarding the GNOME side, there’s this:

The Gnome desktop in OpenSUSE 11.2 is beautiful (much nicer than the clunky KDE IMHO), but there are a few things that I don’t like about the default settings. I use 8 virtual desktops to keep my desktop organized but I like the taskbar to show all tasks. By default, the gnome panel’s task bar shows only the windows in the current workspace and for some reason you can’t just right-click the panel to change this setting.

The latest Firebird is entering OpenSUSE and the Reiser4 file system is made available also. OpenSUSE Edu Li-f-e is now arriving based on the very latest release and there are AutoYaST goodies to be shared. Documentation soon follows and the opensuse-guide.org Web site gets created.

The second beta of OpenOffice.org 3.2 has come to OpenSUSE and so has pspi.

Remember my blog post about how pspi, the GIMP plug-in that runs Photoshop plug-ins, works on Linux, too? You can now download pspi binaries built on SUSE Linux 10 and Ubuntu 5.10 here.

There is more to be said about OpenSUSE 11.2 and its repositories, as its kernel too is entering some of these.

Want to help test the openSUSE kernel? Want the very latest and greatest openSUSE Linux kernel sources? We have good news for you!

Looking at the board’s elections, the deadline is near, but the timeline has changed.

Candidates for this election will be voted in for a two (2) year term, ensuring that there is continuity within the Board.

Bryen Yunashko is running again and Pavol Rusnak will join the candidates. There might not be enough candidates yet based on reactions like this. One board member quit the team earlier this year, which is maybe why the tenure is to last two years this time around. OpenSUSE is attempting to increase transparency in the board’s activities. Zonker writes:

Ever wanted to know what the openSUSE Board is up to? Have you always wondered what the Board discusses and how it comes to decisions? Are you interested in how your elected representatives work with each other? Maybe you are even interested in running for a seat in the elections and want to know what duties that would bring with it?

Zonker also gives feedback tips (they try to please everyone), which is particularly important when it comes to security. Someone from the SuSE Security-Team has this to say.

Anyway, there are more items in OpenSUSE Weekly News, which was published some days ago.

In this Week:

* openSUSE 11.2 Released!
* Launch Party Locations
* KDE.NEWS/Will Stephenson: Introducing KDE 4 KNetworkManager
* Joe Brockmeier: Microblogging with Choqok in openSUSE 11.2
* h-online/Thorsten Leemhuis: Kernel Log: Coming in 2.6.32 (Part 2) – Graphics

OpenSUSE/Novell has already begun talking about OpenSUSE 11.3.

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