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Novell News Summary – Part I: OpenSUSE at Texas Linux Fest, Build Service 1.7 Beta 1, and Lots of KDE4

Posted in GNU/Linux, KDE, Microsoft, Mono, Novell at 8:08 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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Summary: Novell presence in GNU/Linux events, new release of Linux for Education, a couple of short reviews and other technical essays

EARLY in the week we accumulated some postings that tell the story about OpenSUSE, which still fails to excite as many people as it used to. The association with Novell (and Microsoft) did it no good, but technically it’s a fine distribution, overall.


Geekobuilder was used to celebrate this week’s main event, which is Christmas. But looking ahead at the Texas Linux Fest, they have given a keynote spot to someone from Novell who lies about the Microsoft/Novell deal.

Texas Linux Fest is proud to announce the first annual Linux and open source software event for Texas and the surrounding region, Texas Linux Fest 2010, scheduled for April 10 at the Monarch Event Center in Austin.

Brockmeier to keynote

Novell’s openSUSE Community Manager Joe “Zonker” Brockmeier will deliver the opening keynote talk. Brockmeier has been an active part of the open source software scene since 1999, for years as a respected journalist, editor, and author in print and on the Web. Brockmeier has worked as openSUSE’s community manager since 2008, advocating on behalf the community to Novell and for openSUSE and Linux itself to the outside world.

Brockmeier also wrote about SCALE, which he will possibly attend. It’s part of his job to inject more SUSE and Novell content into public gatherings. At least he won’t be preaching about Mono and Moonlight, which are putting people off.


Brockmeier has announced this Li-f-e update:

The openSUSE Education team is proud to announce the availability of the updated Li-f-e hybrid ISO. Unlike the official openSUSE release, the Edu project’s Li-f-e flavor will get updated almost on a monthly basis. These minor releases will contain all the official openSUSE 11.2 updates, some important package version updates and may be addition of new features too. With these gradual improvements we are hoping to make one of the best Education OS even better.


Not many people are writing about OpenSUSE, but one person who has just tried it eventually failed and then gave up:

So it seems that I am stalled with OpenSUSE. Rather than spend more time trying to debug this problem, I think I’ll just try a different distribution, Fedora.

Fedora worked OK for him.

On the other hand, here is a good mini-review of OpenSUSE, which is beating Vista 7.

I gave Windows Vista, which came with my hardware (Inspiron 545 MT), and the free Windows 7 upgrade, a fair and honest try. For two weeks I ran Win7. It was certainly better than Vista, but there were things which just did not work for me. You would hardly be surprised it centered mostly on my addiction to certain Open Source tools which are not available, or don’t work properly, on Win7. Bear in mind, the free version I got was 64-bit Home Premium, but the main problem was GNU4Win tools didn’t work at all on the commandline. They aren’t compatible.

There were other issues, mostly reflecting the commercial controls to which Windows users are restricted, limitations which have nothing to do with law or copyright, but inside deals.

We’ve already tested Ubuntu and related distros on this machine, and they are all broken on two main issues: Optical media and X.org. The former didn’t work at all, and the latter crashed and logged me out at the oddest times. Nobody seemed to have a clue, as I searched extensively. Nothing in the logs answered any questions I knew how to ask. But openSUSE 11.2 runs without those glitches. By no means can we call it perfect, but it sucks less, as one Open Source project used to claim for itself.


Some people are customising their OpenSUSE for Christmas. A couple of days before Christmas, the release candidate of OpenOffice.org 3.2 was made available to OpenSUSE users.

I’m happy to announce OpenOffice.org 3.2 rc1 packages for openSUSE. They are available in the Build Service OpenOffice:org:UNSTABLE project and include many upstream and Go-oo fixes. See also overview of integrated features and enhancements. Please, look for more details about the openSUSE OOo build on the wiki page.

Some news regarding OpenSUSE Build Service (OBS), which reaches another beta:

The openSUSE Build Service (OBS) team just announced the Beta 1 version of the upcomming 1.7 release. Most of the features are already accessable in the Build Service instance which is used by the opensuse.org project.

Ben Kevan wrote quite a lot about KDE4 in his personal blog (running under OpenSUSE 11.2). He has found some issues in the test builds of KDE SC 4.4.

I’ll talk more about installing it on openSUSE 11.2 in one of the following blog postings.

Apart from some minor glitches, the experience in KDE SC 4.4 seems rather pleasant [1, 2, 3, 4] and Kevan does a showcase for desktop/KWin effects:

I decided to check out the different Windows Switching options in KDE 4, and decided I’d give a little preview of the 5 different methods which are:

No Effect
Box Switch
Present Windows
Cover Switch
Flip Switch

There are many nice screenshots in there. Stefan’s rants about KDE4 [1, 2] clearly show that this desktop is not for everyone. But it is still good to know that KDE4 gains some strong support.

Masim Sugianto has published a load of posts about OpenSUSE as a server platform [1 ,2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7]. OpenSUSE Weekly News has been released by Sascha Manns and there is not much more left to say.

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