The OpenSuse project has released a new version of its Linux operating system. OpenSuse 11.0 became available for free download this week. The software — an open source project powered by Novell — aims to bring the Linux world to the masses.
Version 11.0 builds on the original open source system developed back in 2005. The update includes dozens of new features designed to improve installation and performance.
One of the most notable changes is OpenSuse’s completely revamped installation utility, made to be far simpler for either experienced or novice Linux users. Other added bells and whistles include three-dimensional desktop effects courtesy of Compiz Fusion 0.7.4, a new sound management system, and an overall faster package management build. In all, about 200 new features are included in the release.
“I’m really impressed with the new version of OpenSuse,” Amanda McPherson, vice-president of marketing and developer programs for the Linux Foundation, told LinuxInsider. “The OpenSuse community has obviously done a lot of work to create a unique and compelling desktop experience. I think the installer improvements are key as well as the multimedia ones,” she said.
OpenSuse 11.0 also includes the latest version of the OpenOffice word processing suite as well as Banshee 1.0, which provides digital music and video managing capabilities.
The Power of Choice
Options are a key part of the Linux appeal, and OpenSuse’s developers hope their updated offering will help expand the platform’s reach. The goal, they have long contended, is to not only impress existing Linux users, but to also grab the attention of Windows users who may not have considered a Linux setup.
“If you look at all of the major Linux community distributions, it’s really an embarrassment of riches,” McPherson pointed out. “Customers have a lot to choose from, and choice is really what drives Linux adoption.”
Version 11.0 boasts a user-selectable desktop environment, including options for Gnome 2.22 or KDE 4. Users also have the option to download a full DVD image of both the software and the accompanying tools, which means it’s entirely possible to run everything from disc without having to mess with computer settings.
Foundation for the Future
The OpenSuse project serves as a foundation for other Novell developments. The company is planning to use the open source system to create future Linux products.
Suse Linux Enterprise 11 — which will be completely based on OpenSuse 11.0 — is scheduled to be released sometime next year.