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New 11.0 openSuSE Linux OS Released

On Thursday, Version 11.0 GM of the openSuSE Linux-based operating system was publicly released. The open source OS, sponsored by Novell, contains "200 new features," improved installation and packaging, plus a few options for the desktop user interface.

The new OS version sports a vibrant green-colored user interface (screenshots). Graphical user interface changes top the list of improvements in this release.

The team that developed Version 11.0 GM wanted to keep it stable, but they also wanted to stay close to some upstream distributions used with the OS. One such case is KDE 4.0, the next-generation desktop interface that includes a shell called Plasma, plus a new look and feel called Oxygen. Plasma is a scheme for interacting with the desktop that features panels, extenders and applets as graphical user interfaces.

This version of openSuSE comes with "a stable release of KDE 4.0," according to openSuSE News. However, an openSuSE Forum poll showed that most users were still sticking with the earlier KDE 3.5 desktop.

"I don't think KDE4 will be a viable workplace product for another year IMHO," commented one contributor to the Forum page.

Users can also select other desktop interfaces, including Xfce and GNOME 2.22. This version of the GNOME desktop includes better support for network file systems, along with audio improvements, according to openSuSE News. Users of openSuSE 11.0 GM can select the desktop interface they want at the time of OS installation.

In addition to these interface improvements, the new openSuSE release includes a PolicyKit that facilitates changing system settings, according to Vincent Untz, an openSuSE developer. It also contains a PackageKit to better handle application packages and the incorporation of NetworkManager 0.7 to automate network connections, he added.

OpenSuSE 11.0 GM for 32-bit, 64-bit and PowerPC systems can be downloaded for free. It's also available with 90 days of technical support for about $60. The download page for the new releases is located here.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.