openSUSE 11.3 – the latest version of Linux distribution from Novell has been released. One of the highlights of openSUSE 11.3 is its enhanced support for netbooks.
openSUSE 11.3 provides improved hardware support for netbook users. It also bundles with it two netbook desktop environments namely – KDE’s “Plasma netbook workspace“, and MeeGO – A visually rich netbook user interface developed by Intel and Nokia.
MeeGo on openSUSE 11.3 is code named Smeegol, and it brings many additional features like support for popular social networking sites Facebook, Digg, MySpace, and Flickr.
Improved smartphone support is another unique feature of openSUSE 11.3 release. If you own a Blackberry, iPhone or any cell phone running Android or Symbian OS, then you are in good hands as openSUSE will let you interact with all these devices.
Under the hood, openSUSE 11.3 runs Linux 2.6.34 kernel. Upstart and Grub 2 are also included but are optional.
Support for the experimental btrfs file system is another feature of this release.
On the desktop front again, openSUSE doesn’t disappoint its users. It bundles all the latest and greatest desktops namely – GNOME 2.30.1, KDE SRC 4.4.4, LXDE 0.5.5 (A light weight desktop environment ideal for old computers), and XFCE 4.6.1.
openSUSE team has opted for an 8 month release cycle instead of the more common 6 month release cycle. The belief is that the extra 2 months they save will help them to close many more bugs and fine tune the system prior to each release.
Different flavors of openSUSE
openSUSE 11.3 is available as an all inclusive 4.7GB DVD image which contains a large collection of software for use on desktops and servers. Apart from that, you can also download desktop centric LiveCD images of GNOME and KDE respectively. Visit the openSUSE 11.3 download page to choose your download.
Novell also provides a service called SUSE Studio which allows you to build and download a customized version of Linux. Here you can mix and match all the packages you require and then download an image suitable for a USB stick, Live CD/DVD, Hard disk, Vmware, VirtualBox, or Xen. In other words, a custom distribution, with your own software and branding.
openSUSE education team has put together what they call the openSUSE-Edu Li-f-e. It is a customized Linux distribution geared towards education. It contains carefully selected softwares for students, educators as well as parents. The software selection encompasses everything required to make computers productive for either home or educational use.
Such as –
- Educational software covering wide range of subjects such as IT, mathematics, chemistry, astronomy, electronics etc catering to students right from preschool to research.
- Software for graphic designers including GIMP, Inkscape, Blender and more.
- Office applications to work on pdfs and any office formats including those of the latest Microsoft Office.
- Java, C, C++, Perl, Python, LAMP stack, databases, IDEs … everything that a student or developer will need to learn to program in Linux.
- An easy implementation of Linux Terminal Server Project (LTSP) is also included on the DVD.
In other words, openSUSE team has put together a bonanza for Linux users in releasing openSUSE 11.3.