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OpenSUSE 11.0 arrives
Jun. 19, 2008

The OpenSUSE Project has achieved a new release of its free desktop and server distribution. OpenSUSE 11.0 features a redesigned installer, KDE 4.0, GNOME 2.2.2, and the flashy Compiz Fusion 3D window manager, and over 200 new features.

OpenSUSE is a community-maintained version of SUSE. It was launched in August of 2005 by Novell, shortly after rival Red Hat launched Fedora, similarly a community maintained version of Red Hat. Both community distributions serve as a kind of staging and testing ground for new features. Whereas Red Hat controls Fedora, Novell last Fall allowed the OpenSUSE Project an independent board.

The OpenSUSE Project claims its 11.0 release has 207 new features. While many are fairly minor, that may only attest to the maturity of the distribution; OpenSUSE was DesktopLinux's favorite distribution, along with the Windows-like MEPIS, in a shootout back in March. Ubuntu also rated highly.

OpenSUSE 11 with 3D Compiz window manager (l), GNOME (c), and KDE (r)
(Click any image to enlarge)

One of the most noticeable new features in OpenSUSE 11.0 is a beautiful graphical installer. The beauty is more than skin deep, too, with features such as support for image-based installations, and installing on thin clients with NFS-mounted root filesystems.

YAST (yet another system tool) also boasts tons of updates and small improvements. Other noticeable features include:
  • Support for multiple optical drives
  • FreeNX remote display technology
  • Support for Gateway tablet PCs
  • Kernel includes VMware network and hard disk drivers
  • Ext4 support option in base system (though ext4 is not yet production-ready, it needs testers)
  • KDE 4.0
  • GNOME 2.2.2
  • Firefox 3.0
  • Banshee 1.0
  • 2.4
  • NetworkManager 0.7
  • 2.6.25 kernel
  • glibc2.8
  • GCC 4.3

OpenSUSE is available now for download, here, as a 32- or 64-bit DVD, or as a 32- or 64-bit CD supporting GNOME or KDE. A retail version costs $60 and includes three months of installation support.

-- Henry Kingman

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