OpenSUSE gets more open

New release due next week makes it easier to redistribute Novell's Linux operating system

Novell's openSUSE project is becoming more open, as a new release due out Thursday includes licensing changes that make it easier to redistribute the Linux operating system, and a build service that will encourage more contributions from open source developers.

OpenSUSE previously used a standard user license agreement and contained some proprietary software -- namely Adobe Acrobat and Sun Java -- that made it difficult to redistribute the open source software, says Joe Brockmeier, Novell's openSUSE community manager. OpenSUSE 11.1, the release that will be announced Thursday, modifies the license to eliminate some of the legal headaches, and also removes the proprietary software, which now must be downloaded separately.

"We've modified the license so it's easier to distribute," Brockmeier says. "As an open source project, that's important. ... It was usually a bit of a headache around release time, trying to coordinate with all the publishers."

The new version was also the first to be completely developed using the openSUSE Build Service, an externally available development platform. This change allows anyone to submit potential changes to openSUSE, spurring increased collaboration that will help Novell develop the open source Linux distribution going forward, Brockmeier says. Many of the improvements to openSUSE ultimately find their way into Novell's SUSE Linux Enterprise, which is based on the free, open source version.

OpenSUSE 11.1, the first update since June, includes numerous software updates such as improved support for video cameras; music synching with Android phones; the latest version of OpenOffice.org; improvements to system administration and installation; and upgrades to the two major desktop environments used with openSUSE.

The Banshee music player can now sync with Android phones, but probably not iPhones because of proprietary software formats, Brockmeier says. OpenSUSE 11.1 is also the first version to include Novell's edition of OpenOffice.org 3.0, which came out in October.

YaST, the openSUSE system administration and installation software, includes better support for printers and a module that periodically runs security checks to identify problems and suggest solutions.

Improvements to the GNOME desktop include a new instant messaging client and upgrades to the Nautilus file manager and tools for photo management and editing. The KDE desktop environment received updates to the Dolphin file manager, power management features, and integration with OpenStreetMap, a service similar to MapQuest and Google Maps.

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.

Tags OpenSUSE

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jon Brodkin

Network World
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?