The openSUSE Project, a worldwide project sponsored by Novell, has announced that openSUSE 11.2, a Linux-based operating system that includes everything needed to get started with Linux on the desktop or server, is now available for download. The openSUSE distribution provides the foundation for SUSE Linux Enterprise from Novell.
"Different Linux distributions have a different focus," explains Joe Brockmeier, openSUSE community manager, noting that openSUSE is very suitable for small and home office users as well as for professionals who do development. While SUSE Linux Enterprise is designed to be on a system for 5-7 years, in contrast, says Brockmeier, openSUSE is intended to have a shorter lifecycle. "We keep up with the latest and greatest in open source software," he emphasizes, "but we still have a very firm commitment to quality, so it is not as if we are not pushing the very bleeding edge into the releases. We are trying to make sure that they still very well polished."
The openSUSE 11.2 release reflects nearly a year of development and features new releases of Firefox, OpenOffice.org, GNOME, KDE, and more than 1,000 open source desktop applications. openSUSE also features a suite of server software, and a selection of open source development tools.
openSUSE 11.2 aims to provide robust social networking capabilities with the addition of GNOME and KDE microblogging clients that handle multiple social network sites, including Gwibber and Choqok.
There are also storage improvements such as the ability to encrypt the entire hard disk for greater data security. Users can also take advantage of the next generation of file systems for Linux with Ext4 or btrfs.
openSUSE 11.2 also includes the first technology preview of WebYaST, a web-based remote administration tool for openSUSE systems to enable simplified maintenance and administration. Among usability enhancements in the new release, there is the ability to install GNOME or KDE live media from USB, improvements to make openSUSE 11.2 run better on netbooks, and support for in-place upgrades using Zypper, so users of openSUSE 11.1 can update to 11.2 without running an installer.
The release is available immediately in four versions on x86 and x86-64 platforms. openSUSE is free of charge and free to distribute. To join the openSUSE community or download openSUSE 11.2, go here.