Bonum Certa Men Certa

Do-No-Evil Saturday - Part I: OpenSUSE 11.0 GM Roundup

We are not evil on Saturday, so...

It has been an important week for the OpenSUSE Project and there was, expectedly enough, a short media blitz. More OpenSUSE reviews are likely to surface next week as many people install the GM over the weekend.

We cherry-picked some reviews earlier in the week, so we won't repeat them here. What we do include below is a list of resources that serve as a point of reference for the historical release of version 11.0.

Regardless of our feelings about the project, congratulation to all the volunteer developers who did a fine job.

OpenSUSE: General

Weekly news came just before the big release and the same goes for this article about Rupert Horstkötter from the OpenSUSE project.

This week the openSUSE Project announced the launch of, a merger of the three largest openSUSE forums. Continuing the openSUSE Forums euphoria we present you the Project Manager - Rupert Horstkötter.

Quite interesting was this announcement about an Education DVD which is based on OpenSuSE 10.3. The announcement came just before a much newer base, namely 11.0, was made available.

We’ve currently 3.7GB (!) of software on the Education DVD (2,4GB for each arch) - a huge progress compared to 10.2 with ~1,2GB for each architecture. But: some applications cover nearly the same area - so we need your help by dividing the “good” from the “not so good” for the next release.

Speaking of 10.3 and the road to 11.0, Ben Kevan wrote about reasons to upgrade.

You’re at the breaking point of what to do with your current openSUSE 10.x (hopefully at least 10.2) installation. You hear that openSUSE 11.0 is just about to come out, but why should you go from a .2/.3 release to a .0 release?

Then the big moment came.

Release of 11.0

Here is the press release announcing the final release.

The openSUSE(R) Project, a worldwide project sponsored by Novell(R), today announced that openSUSE 11.0 is immediately available for download at openSUSE 11.0 is the latest release of the community Linux* distribution, and a major update over the previous release with more than 200 new features specific to openSUSE and hundreds of application updates.

Articles about this release came from a lot of the media. Announcements from the British press include vnunet and The Inquirer.

Andreas Jaeger, chairman of the Opensuse Project Board reckons, “Opensuse 11.0 is a true reflection of the community that discussed, tested, developed, translated and promoted it.” All brown beer, beards and sandals, then.

The Register (also UK-based) wrote about it also.

OpenSUSE 11 a redemptive OS with a Mactastic shine

You can now add OpenSUSE, the community-driven sequel to Novell's SUSE Linux distribution, to the list of significant releases. Version 11.0 of OpenSUSE is set to ship this week, ushering in a number of new features and solving most of the problems that saw OpenSUSE 10 get off to a bumpy start.

Here is an optimistic one from Tectonic:

The OpenSuse development team will today release version 11.0 of its open source operating system, an OS that could well be seen as the biggest threat to Ubuntu Linux domination. Faster installations, better package management and top-notch multimedia support are just some of the things that make OpenSuse a significant release.

Marti T. van Lin, a former SUSE and Novell fan, responded to this article rather sarcastically. He said:

Who wrote this article, "Zonker" maybe? :-)

1. Faster installations.

Right, installing Ubuntu takes about 20 minutes and openSUSE over an hour on the same box.

2. Better package management.

Sure, if you ignore the dependency hell and it's speed (or the lack there of). Since 10.1 YaST package management is a POS, it takes 15 minutes, before it's able to do anything useful *even if you disable all "external" repositories* (packman and the likes). Using YOU (YaST Online Update) frequently breaks dependencies.

Additional packages frequently can not be installed due to the broken dependencies. I have frequently solved these problems by making symlinks to newer libs, if an older version is missing and causing problems. Not really a big deal for the seasoned user, but a no go for Average Joe Sixpack.

3. Top-notch multimedia support.

Yeah right, to enable multimedia discrepancies, an additional ISO image has to be downloaded. It's *not* supported right out of the box.

Adding encrypted DVD support (libdvdcss) has always been a pain in the ass, since it is illegal in Germany.

In Ubuntu, you'll simply add the medibutnu repository and add the damn thing.

OpenSUSE is a treat to Ubuntu's GNU/Linux domination and pigs can fly, no really :-)

OpenSUSE simply seems to ignore they have an awful reputation within the Free Software movement.

Kudos for their positive way of thinking, but I'm afraid it's rather unrealistic.

Over at Download Squad, a promotional OpenSUSE 11.0 box set was up for grabs.


Credit where credit's due! OpenSUSE looks rather nice, out of the box even.

Here are some views of OpenSUSE. Mostly screenshots are included therein.

The Coding Studio has published screenshots as well.


Reviews varied slightly becuase of the different possibilities and the choice of a desktop environment. For one's reading pleasure, here are some of the more interesting reviews that stood out.

Ars Technica: First look: OpenSUSE 11 out, offers best KDE 4 experience

We tested both the GNOME and KDE flavors of OpenSUSE 11 by installing from the Live CD images. These work reasonably well and provide an installation experience comparable to that of Ubuntu and Fedora. The few minor issues that we encountered when we tested the beta 2 live installers back in May have all been resolved. There is also a full installer that is offered as a 4.3 GB DVD image. It provides a highly polished visual interface and an enormous package selection. For most users, who only require one desktop environment, the live installers are probably more practical than the full installer.

ZDNet UK Community: openSUSE 11.0 First Impressions

I was surprised that this fresh-from-the-server distribution still contained Firefox 3.0 beta 5, and OpenOffice 2.4.0 rather than 2.4.1. I assume that if I had gotten the online update working correctly, these might have been updated, but read on...

Linux Planet: First Look: openSUSE 11 with KDE4

I was offered the chance to have an initial look at Novell's latest Linux offering openSUSE 11. It's a distribution I've tried in previous versions but often had trouble settling on. It seems very popular on enterprise desktops along with Red Hat. I got a copy of the KDE4 LiveCD and gave it a spin.


A lot of work has gone into making this integrate with a typical enterprise Windows domain, which is no doubt helped by the controversial deal struck between Novell and Microsoft last year. This distro is not quite as straightforward for novice users to get to grips with as the likes of Linux Mint or Mandriva but in an office environment it's a real contender and this is of course Novell's intended market.

CRN: Review: Novell OpenSUSE 11 Is For Power Users

Ubuntu 8.04 and Fedora 9 have made some great strides in making desktop Linux more user-friendly and technologically advanced. With OpenSUSE 11, Novell can match them feature for feature and carve out a space for itself as well.

theunixgeek: openSUSE 11 Review

I know it's a day early, but I was able to get my hands on a copy of the release version of openSUSE 11 and I must say it's a really good distribution!

There are many more reviews, but their visibility is lower and brevity/focus a bit of an issue. We include a few of them below.


Here is another noteworthy review and from Ben Kevan’s blog, which has been OpenSUSE-centric lately, now come some post-installation tips.

So you’ve downloaded and installed openSUSE 11.0. Are you now wondering what you may have to do post installation, here’s a quick run down...

Ben also calls OpenSUSE "the perfect Ubuntu replacement" as if Ubuntu is a yardstick to go by.

With the release of openSUSE 11.0 right around the corner, you will see plenty of reviews, how-to’s and other various things about openSUSE, but how does it stack up against other distributions mainly Ubuntu/(K)Ubuntu?

Here is a review from (in French) and here is a sort of inaugural chat with the community manager. On the face of it, he has been exceptionally busy over the past week.

In OpenSUSE News you can find some more overviews like this one. Just before the GM release, Stephan Binner did a piece about the KDE side.

With openSUSE 11.0 just a few days away, it’s time to look at one of the stars of the show: KDE. In openSUSE 11.0, you get two KDEs for the price of one. Here we’ll take a look at what’s coming in KDE, and talk to one of openSUSE’s KDE contributors, Stephan Binner.

Have a lot of fun!

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