Guess what’s the good news? Yep, you guessed it right! openSUSE 11.3 is here.
For all the Beginners here is a gist of what openSUSE is all about:
openSUSE is an Operating System built on the LINUX kernel. It is driven by openSUSE Project community and is sponsored by Novell. The latest version 11.3 was released in July, 2010. The new features of openSUSE is that it has an improved netbook support, a newly added desktop environment and loads of other new features which we are going to discuss.
Why try openSUSE 11.3?
1. First of all, openSUSE is one of those LINUX distributions which gives a choice when installing a desktop environment. It doesn’t treat GNOME or KDE as its primary option.
2. It has a new Base Distribution Upgrade feature, which can easily rebase your appliances on top of a newer distribution version. Upgrading is quick and error-free. Just hit the Upgrade button and openSUSE will all do it for you. Thanks to openSUSE build service there is a large amount of software available for openSUSE than there is for any other distros.
3. In addition to the classical GNOME, KDE and Xfce the developers have integrated a new lean LXDE desktop. All desktop settings can be managed from the LXDE control center.
4. Since openSUSE is a fully open source distro, it does not contain any non-open source applications or libraries in the repository but a completely new feature in this version is that it has an on-demand package installation for adding missing multimedia codecs. For example, if you click on a Flash video or MP3 audio file, an application Kaffeine starts automatically and offers you to download the required codecs.
5. And yet there is our old YaST (Yet Another Setup Tool) system and administration program. This version has a new integrated interface and a new version of YaST, YaST2. However AutoYaST which is also a part of YaST performs automatic installation without user interaction for Beginners. Many new features in YaST have been integrated such as Bluetooth support and SaX2 which helps users graphics cards, Monitors and Touch Displays.
6. As for you all who didn’t know openSUSE is one of the biggest contributors to KDE. SUSE developers work directly within KDE than any other distribution. For all of you who want a definitive KDE experience, openSUSE is your OS. KDE is smooth and stable and Gtk applications no longer look like foreign objects, thanks to new Oxygen-molecule Gtk theme.
7. openSUSE now includes a new SpiderOak service for backing up your data online. The application has a user-friendly interface and is free for storage upto 2 GB. Although SpiderOak is not open source and hence is only available through the repository.
8. An additional advantage to openSUSE users is that Compiz, one of the compositing window managers for the X Window system comes installed by default with the distro. It comes with Simple CCSM for Beginners too. It takes full advantage of OpenGL acceleration of your Graphics Cards.
9. A special advantage to VirtualBox users is that openSUSE comes with the Guest Additions configured. So now no need of going through the painful process upgrading your LINUX kernel and installing Guest Additions from your VirtualBox GA ISO image.
Summing things up, openSUSE is a good distribution for users who are adept at Windows and want to make a jump to Linux. Newbies might find openSUSE a little daunting but configuring and ease of use might make it a good choice even for them. Overall, it is a good distro to delve into LINUX.