10.04.08

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Do-No-Evil Saturday – Part I: Two Weeks of OpenSUSE News and Reviews

Posted in Novell, OpenSUSE, Review at 10:47 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

One penguin

THIS is an accumulation from a whole fortnight, so pardon the inclusion of just many quotes and very little accompanying commentary.

Releases

There were a couple that came close in terms of timing Beta 1 of OpenSUSE 11.1 made its debut a fortnight ago.

The openSUSE Project is happy to announce the first beta release of openSUSE 11.1. openSUSE 11.1 includes quite a few improvements and new features over the 11.0 release, including new versions of KDE, GNOME, the Linux kernel, improved YaST modules, and much more!

It was also sort of advertised by Zonker’s colleague here.

The openSUSE Project recently announced the availability of openSUSE 11.1 Beta 1 for wide scale testing and bug squashing. This development release is available in x86, x86-64 and PPC architectures as a DVD disk image (liveCDs are not available for the current beta).

The 11.1 beta provides a decently solid look at where the final release is heading. As with any development release, there are known bugs that vary in severity and new or updated features that the development team is encouraging users try out, in order to find and resolve any bugs and suggest changes and improvements.

Just a short while ago, Beta 2 was released as well. It hopefully resolves the serious kernel issue (contained in a near-final Linux release candidate).

The first beta release for 11.1 was so popular, we’ve decided to do it again! The openSUSE Project is happy to announce the release of openSUSE 11.1 beta 2, available for immediate download and testing.

The Enlightenment LiveCD was mentioned before, but here it is again making an appearance. The education version/variant of OpenSUSE 11.0 is finally ready as well.

Reviews

“Review” is a big word, but quite a few people wrote about their experiences with OpenSUSE and the feedback was largely positive. This week we have:

1. OpenSUSE

Everything was perfect and clean-everything you wanted to do could easily be done with only one click of the mouse. OpenSUSE tops Ubuntu with an admirable 9/10.

2. OpenSUSE 11 – A review of the experience on a ThinkPad T40

Considering the stability, excellent hardware support and out of the box usefulness, I have found OpenSUSE to be an excellent choice. It has been very easy to use and installing software such as LyX/LaTeX and WINE has been excellent. Notably I have installed Photoshop through WINE as it’s the only application that I cannot live without in terms of Windows/Mac dependencies. I know Gimp and Krita are there but when you have been using little else other than Photoshop for 13 years, it’s hard to adapt to something else!

3. Distro Review: OpenSUSE 11

I left openSUSE 3 years ago, and for good reason, it sucked. It was buggy, bloated, slow, and horribly unfriendly to use. So let’s skip ahead 3 years to the present, openSUSE 11.0 is out and I’m ready to forgive past mistakes and give them another shot.

4. OpenSUSE 11 First Impressions

I decided to give OpenSUSE 11 a try on my dedicated Linux box. Since I’ve only installed it and made some adjustments within Gnome, I thought I would give what I can really only call some first impressions of it. I’m writing this post from the OpenSUSE box. The system I installed it on is my few years old Gateway GX7022E – a Pentium D processor (3.0Ghz) with 3GB RAM.

5. OpenSuse 11 is a great distribution.

I decided that I wanted a version of Linux that was polished and stable. I was using Arch and Ubuntu but found them to be way to much work. I thought that a good professional distro to try out would be Open Suse 11. I installed it via the network install disc and transferred that image to all my computers at home and work.

Events

Flights and other journeys are being taken despite Novell’s problems and this year’s Ohio LinuxFest includes Zonker.

The Greater Columbus Convention Center will host this year’s annual Ohio LinuxFest, which will take place on October 10-11. Now at its sixth edition, the Ohio LinuxFest will include a large expo and popular speakers, while welcoming free software developers, open source enthusiasts and virtually anyone who is interested in taking part in this event.

[...]

Joe Brockmeier, openSUSE Community Manager – the man who gives the latest info on openSUSE and who makes sure the openSUSE project has the tools and support required. He contributed to many open source subject books and has worked with many publications from this field.

Brockmeier also traveled to Japan in order to attend their Open Source Conference.

I’m in Tokyo to attend the Open Source Conference (OSC) this weekend, and to meet with the local openSUSE community. I am very excited to be here and have the chance to meet with openSUSE users and contributors (and potential users and contributors), and other members of the open source community.

For those who are interested, from the Linux Plumbers Conference 2008, Greg K-H’s keynote is now available.

Technical Posts

There have been lots of these, but here are several that stood out because they symbolise a matrimony with Apple hardware:

1. How to install openSUSE 11 in OS X using Parallels – a complete walkthrough

This tutorial will take you every single step of the way through installing openSUSE 11 using Parallels Desktop 3.0 for OS X.

2. OpenSuse 10 + Apple G4 Tower – the process

So I’ve been working more on my ImageServer2 application (massive image asset library, replacing Extensis Portfolio Client/Server system) for my employer.

Adrian Schröter wrote about Factory and another Lizard covered development with libyui/libzypp & python. A broader-scoped site offered tips for obtaining codecs under OpenSUSE 11.0.

Support for some multimedia formats isn’t on the openSUSE install media because they’re proprietary, patented, Restricted Formats. Some of these include MP3, MPEG-4, playing of Encrypted DVDs, etc.

A lot of posts came from the polynymous ‘susegeek’/’suseuser’, such as this one and Cyberorg offered news about eye candy, as usual. From Novell/OpenSUSE some came off-topic posts like this one and this from Duncan Mac-Vicar, who looks deeper into technical stuff. Well, it’s his job. But not only Novell employees publish technical advice. Anyhow…

Miscellany

As far as OpenSUSE is concerned, Novell probably has an upper hand over Red Hat/Fedora, whose support offerings lag.

“Fedora is our key open source development platform with the community and we have no plans to change that,” Whitehouse said, explaining that Fedora’s reason for existence was to create the foundation code that eventually makes its way into Enterprise Linux, the commercially supported product.

“It is not something that we look at directly monetizing nor is that something that we have considered.”

It is not exactly a stupid idea, even if such support would probably not be a big money maker. Way back when, when SUSE was an independent Linux supplier, its development release, SUSE Linux Professional, offered 90-day support for a nominal fee.

Over the past few years the openSUSE project has taken over as Novell’s SLES development effort, but Novell nonetheless sells a supported version of openSUSE 11, which will be the basis for SLES 11, for $60.

OpenSUSE has meanwhile undergone another Web site redesign.

Isn’t it fantastic? I liked the old page, but this redesign really looks great. Robert Lihm and Andreas Demmer have done a great job rethinking the page and putting a lot more information on the landing page without making it look cluttered or ugly.

It looks nice and clean. There is (or was) still an opportunity for people outside Novell to earn a place in OpenSUSE.

The openSUSE board met yesterday to go through all the open membership applications. Since many applied in the last days, we had to go over 67 applications. Additionally there were some members that applied after the deadline for voting, we did not look at their applications for now and will handle them later. Out of the 67 applications, we postponed 6 since we first needed to answer some more questions, approved around 30 and rejected the rest. So, we have right now 211 approved openSUSE members.

Here is an E-mail announcement about it:


A bit longer than four weeks ago the board announced the first openSUSE board
election. With the beginning of the next phase of the election process, I
would like to give you a short status update.

Since the initial announcement we raised the openSUSE member count by 50% to
now 212 approved openSUSE members. I am impressed by the enormous interest in
participating in our project.

And we have a total of ten candidates running for a seat in the next openSUSE
board:

Non-Novell
* Pascal Bleser
* Peter Linnell
* Tuukka Pasanen
* Alex Rodriguez
* Jakub Rusinek
* Bryen Yunashko

Novell
* Marco Michna
* Stephen Shaw
* Henne Vogelsang
* Federico Mena-Quintero

Find platforms and contact details for all candidates in the openSUSE wiki:
http://en.opensuse.org/Board_Election/2008#Candidates

= What is next? =

During the next two weeks, each of the 212 openSUSE members is able to give
voting privileges for this election to another user (which is not an openSUSE
member). This person should be an active contributor of the openSUSE community
and needs an account at users.openSUSE.org which has been created before
September, 1st 2008.

The possibility to give franchise to another person is for you the perfect
chance to get a friend or colleague more involved in the openSUSE project. Do
not miss this opportunity and help us to get as much people as possible
participating on the election! Unfortunately I used a wrong variable in the
mail template for the first notification mail, the appointment of additional
voters ends October 9th, 2008 at 12:00 UTC.

Until ballots will open on October, 9th 2008 (12:00 UTC) we have now two weeks
of campaigning, which should be mainly driven by the candidates themselves.
Potentially there will be a public IRC debate with all candidates, but this is
not set yet. If you are interested and have time to support us organizing it,
please get in touch now!

Concluding I would like to thank all candidates for standing, the openSUSE
board for checking more than hundret membership requests, my colleagues from
the election committee and Zonker for their great support.


For more information, OpenSUSE’s weekly news might be of use.

* openSUSE 11.1 Beta 1 Now Available
* Serious e1000e Driver Issue in SLE 11 Beta 1 and openSUSE 11.1 Beta 1
* openSUSE Build Service Did It!
* Board Election Phase 1 Started
* openSUSE Homepage Redesigned

Next up we cover SUSE.

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