openSUSE Project Releases Major Linux Update

Leaders of the openSUSE Project, an initiative sponsored by Novell, announced that its latest major update-openSUSE 11.2-is available for download. openSUSE is a Linux-based operating system that provides tools and platforms for deploying Linux on desktops and servers. The openSUSE distribution provides the foundation for the SUSE Linux Enterprise from Novell.

The openSUSE 11.2 release, under development for the past year, updates a number of favorite open source applications, including new versions of Firefox, OpenOffice, KDE, GNOME, Joe Brockmeier, openSUSE community manager, tells 5 Minute Briefing. Additionally, he adds, in this release netbook support has been improved and work has also been done to separate the server and the desktop kernels. "A lot of times, the kernel was tuned for generic performance or for server performance, which runs great on machines that are web servers and file servers but may not be tuned for the most end-user responsiveness on the desktop. With this release, the desktop has its own kernel," says Brockmeier.

The new release also features social networking capabilities with the addition of GNOME and KDE microblogging clients that handle multiple social network sites, including Gwibber and Choqok; and 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.

The new release includes the first technology preview of WebYaST, a web-based remote administration tool for openSUSE systems that enables simplified maintenance and administration. SUSE has traditionally used a tool called YaST for system administration, and runs either on the desktop or it runs at the console, Brockmeier explains. With WebYaST the ultimate goal is to have all of the functionality of YaST but available though a Web-based interface.

openSUSE 11.2 provides support for in-place upgrades using Zypper, so users of openSUSE 11.1 can update to 11.2 without running an installer at all.

The openSUSE 11.2 release reflects the collaboration between Novell and the larger openSUSE contributor community. 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 today, go here.