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Do-No-Evil Saturday - Part I: OpenSUSE... Plus a Little Bit of SLED and Xandros

OpenSUSE



BEING A PERIOD of holidays, not much has been heralded by companies, so commercial distributions did not receive as much coverage as an (relatively) open-ended project like OpenSUSE.

Some more people have been installing OpenSUSE over the holidays and they wrote about their experiences. Marc Fearby believes that OpenSUSE defeats Mandriva and he defends this position by comparing different versions of KDE4.



Even though I cited one more not-so-good aspect to openSUSE than good, I am very impressed with it. It seems much more polished than Mandriva, thanks to the Folder View support in KDE 4 as well as the installer and YaST overall. If openSUSE could find some way to improve mouse support then I’ll even pay for my next version or donate or whatever is the done thing to show one’s appreciation. Like most distros, it’s always the video, sound, and peripherals that are still the major issues, so I hope for some improvement in this area overall (particularly getting rid of all those sound systems). But I’m not going to back to Windows. No way!


Here is another experience with OpenSUSE 11.1.

If I get that configured correctly, I'll be totally happy. Sound works, wireless network works (but it's still more convenient to use ifup instead of network manager, but the 11.0 bug where I'd have to restart the wireless network after booting to get it working is fixed. KDE looks great and feel very stable and I'm already recompiling KOffice.


Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols published a comparison involving what he considers to be new big releases and the article appeared in several IDG-owned Web sites. He also mentioned SLED here and so did Jack Germain, who took on a sub-notebooks journey.

Techie Moe, who is one of the harshest reviewers out there (bar Béranger perhaps) took a look at the latest release of OpenSUSE.

SuSE and I have a long and generally pleasant history. I was one of those guys who would actually go to my local electronics store and purchase the new boxed version every six months or so.

At least, that was the story with SuSE up until version 10.3. At that point, things started to go decidedly downhill, and it hasn't been until relatively recently that I'm beginning to feel comfortable again.

Unfortunately, this release didn't help my already shaky resolve with openSuSE. Read on to see why.


Here is another one.

There have been mixed reviews for OpenSuSE 11.1, some lauding it while others panning it for a disaster almost as bad as the 10.1 release mostly surrounding KDE-4 desktop choice. The desktop environment is so much a part of a distro nowadays that normal users do not usually make the distinction between what is the distro and what is the desktop environment. For them, KDE or OpenSuSE they are both the same. For me I applaud the OpenSuSE team for taking a brave new step ahead! KDE-4 has it's faults no doubt but as usual I put my total trust in the OpenSource community to mold into something better than the current 3.5.x. I will still look forward to keeping OpenSuSE as my main working distro.


Moving on to some technical writings, here is one person's experience adopting the very latest release.

Over the Christmas I set about updating from OpenSuSE 11.0 to OpenSuSE 11.1. I always like to have the latest and greatest distro :-)


There are those who experiment with the unfinished implementation of the ext4 file-system and there are also some new HOWTOs out there. Nothing truly exciting though, but there are more picks at the OpenSUSE Web site, whose summary/overview is:

* openSUSE Education available SLE10 and 11.1 * Zimbra Mail Server Training in Indonesia * Q&A with Joe Brockmeier * Forums: Getting VMware to run on openSUSE 11.1 * Best of Newsletter 2008


SUSE (SLES/SLED)



The H-P-SUSE relationship made a lot of headlines last month and it was mentioned very briefly in this article from The Independent.

To provide customers with more cost-effective and secure computing options, HP, the leader in worldwide Linux server shipments and revenue, has introduced a new desktop offering with SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop from Novell on the HP Compaq dc5850.


Sean Michael Kerner sums up a year and also comments on Novell.

In 2009, Novell will roll out Novell SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) 11 its first update since SLES 10 in 2006.

[...]

On the legal front, SCO — yes, it will still exist in 2009 — will continue its myriad appeals against Novell and attempt to press for a court date with IBM.


Sean also approached a Novell employee for a comment on Linux:

"The ext4 filesystem, the successor to the ext3 filesystem, has been marked stable enough for people to start using and relying on," Novell Linux kernel developer Greg Kroah-Hartman told InternetNews.com.

[...]

"We now have a proper memory manager for video memory, the GEM [Graphics Execution Manager] memory manager," Kroah-Hartman said. "This gives Linux much better graphics performance than it previously had."


Xandros



Some reviews of the Eee PC carried on coming and from the Indian press came this article which mentions Xandros by name (that becomes more of a rarity because of Microsoft tricks).

The computer has built-in wireless, a LAN port plus a couple USB ports, and with pre-installed Linux Xandros it’s plug-and-play ready. Just flip it open, hit the on switch and about 10 seconds later (it loads fast!) the laptop is ready for use.


Viyya is one company that we mentioned before because it has connections with Xandros [1, 2, 3, 4, 5] and this latest press release (also found here) sheds more light on their relationship.

Viyya Technologies, Inc. (PINKSHEETS: VYON),the developer and marketer of the world's most advanced, web-based information management application, announced an update from John Bay onprogress relating to activities from 2008 and plans for the Internet Search and Discovery marketplace in 2009:

[...]

First, we will continue to customize VIYYA(TM) and build the VIYYA Information Store with Xandros in the NetBook marketplace. This contrac twill provide a lucrative revenue stream especially with VIYYA's new advertising based model coming in 2009.


That's all about SUSE and Novell from the past week. Next week will be busier for sure.

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