Linux examined: OpenSUSE 11.0

This latest edition has some updates and improvements, but is not for the faint-of-heart

A few weeks ago, the OpenSUSE Project announced the release of OpenSUSE 11.0, the "community" edition of SUSE Linux, Novell's commercial Linux distribution. Like most recent distributions, OpenSUSE is made up of the usual suspects, including GNOME and KDE-based desktops, Live CD and full DVD installation options, and an online repository of software that can be installed using a GUI tool.

OpenSUSE started life as the offspring of SUSE Linux, a German company that based its distribution on Slackware, one of the oldest Linux distros. When Novell purchased SUSE in 2003, it began a two-pronged development path: a licensed SUSE Linux version, which comes with at least some degree of support, and a free OpenSUSE version. The base SUSE Linux product is identical to OpenSUSE -- the only difference is the support and printed documentation.

Novell also offers multiple licensed versions of SUSE, including SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server. These versions add non-open-source software, developed by both Novell and third parties, to the mix.

The 11.0 release of OpenSUSE is largely made up of version refreshes. You'll get the latest editions of Compiz (the 3-D Linux screen manager), two versions of KDE (a 3.5 and 4.0 release) and GNOME 2.22. There are other under-the-cover improvements, including a new installer. In short, OpenSUSE 11.0 is a step-wise refinement of the OpenSUSE line, rather than anything revolutionary.

Installation: Not for the inexperienced

There are two schools of thought concerning Linux installs. On one hand, you have installs such as Ubuntu's, which asks almost nothing and installs a standard set of tools to begin in a standard manner. On the other hand, you have distributions such as OpenSUSE and Fedora, which offer more control over the installation and administration process. The trade-off is that you need some degree of expertise to use them effectively.

OpenSUSE, like Fedora, is a simple install if you are an experienced user, but it is probably beyond the skill set of a casual home user. For example, during the install you will be asked if you want a partition-based or LVM-based partitioning scheme. Admittedly, if you just click Next, the right thing will happen, but it's definitely a confusing question to ask a user who may not even know what LVM is.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

James Turner

Computerworld
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

I’m a tradesman who is on the road all of the time and whose car is his office. The RJ-4230B is ideal for me and makes a key part of my job much easier and also makes my business appear more professional. I would give it 4.5 stars out of 5. I highly recommend it to any other tradies who are looking for way to print documents for their customers.

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?