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openSUSE 10.3 alpha 1 Report

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It's that time again. Yes, it's the beginning of the next openSUSE developmental cycle. It began with the release of 10.3 alpha 1 last Thursday. Reports have already been circulating with some of the new changes. openSUSE is not the apple in quite as many eyes these days, but regardless of your personal feelings, it is still a darn fine system. Even if only one other person besides myself is interested in the development cycle, we at Tuxmachines will do our best to keep them informed of the progress.

The install image boots to a similar screen as found in 10.2 with options to Boot the Harddrive, various Install choices, Rescue System, Firmware Test, and Memory Test. The rest of the install is very much the same as previous as well. It's almost flawless. Hardware detection continues to be one of openSUSE's strong points as well as their colossal choice of software. No real surprises there until you reach the release notes.

In the release notes one is informed of Gnome's new /usr home. I'm not sure what the big hoopla over that move is, but I'm sure there are wonderful benefits of which I'm just not aware. It's mentioned in the changelog that some elements from sled 10 sp1 are integrated into the gnome session, but on the surface it looks the same to me. In fact, all of gnome appears almost the same to me except the logout confirmation, that does indeed look much nicer.


Also mentioned in the release notes is that KDE 3 will be staying put in /opt. Some tantalizing news revealed in the release notes is the reason for that decision. This is the upcoming inclusion of KDE 4. KDE 3 will be remaining in /opt for compatibility with KDE 4, so that perhaps both can be installed at the same time. openSUSE packages for KDE 4 have been available for developers and over-anxious users for a while, but it sounds like we may see them included in the releases soon. Wouldn't that be wonderful? Or perhaps it's just long range planning. In any case, we've found that openSUSE skates fairly close to the cutting edge much like Mandriva did in the past, while remaining rock hard stable. It wouldn't surprise me to see an early KDE 4 creep in at some point in this cycle. Cross your fingers that we may actually get a taste soon.

KDE's log out confirmation is a bit changed as well, now only 'Confirm' and 'Cancel' are offered, but it does have a 30 second countdown timer that will log you out automatically if neither choice is clicked. Otherwise with KDE, I didn't spot a whole lot of changes on the surface.

KDE is now 3.5.6 final, Xorg is version 7.2, gcc is 4.1.2, a 2.6.20 kernel is used, OpenOffice is 2.1 and Firefox is 2.0.


Even if not apparent to the casual user, it appears the developers didn't take the least little break from work. The changelog is massive, the longest I can recall. There were lots of updates, fixes, and moves this for this release.

Some Changelog Highlights include:

++++ gnome-session:

- updated the UI from changes make in SLED.

++++ xterm:

- updated to xterm-224

++++ yast2-sound:

- use the driver provided by hwinfo if the card is not in the yast
sound card DB

++++ kdebase3:

- new Kickoff option: "KickoffSearchAddressBook=false" disables kabc
search for people who are annoyed by KMail being started by the menu
- fix kde-window-decorator detection
- update to 3.5.6 release:
* kicker: more support for compiz, fix systray flicker
* kwin: claim _NET_WM_CM_Sn when compositing, bug fixes
* kate: added session chooser panel applet and KMenu extension
* kcontrol: Fonts settings module by default does not affect
system-wide font rendering settings.
* several bugfixes within kdesktop, konqueror, konsole, fish:/,
kfind and ksysguard

++++ compiz:

- Add defattr.
- Add requires for devel package.
- Add -fno-strict-aliasing.
- Don't build and link statically against local Mesa any longer,
if libIndirectGL is available. (#234154)
- Update gnome-xgl-settings tarball:
- incorporate earlier patches
- fix detection in machines with multiple video cards (#177818)
- always provide link to wiki (#187799)
- don't complain about very large monitors (#238303)
- update icon (#240419)
- Update to compiz 0.3.7 as in SLE10-SP1
- Include new logo for gnome-xgl-settings. #236822
- Add missing kde-window-decorator

++++ xen:

- Update vm-install
- Implement better job support for CIM (#241197)
- Temporary fix to allow PV VMs to reboot
- Enable building KMP.
- Fix xendomains to work with managed domains.

++++ NetworkManager-kde:

- update to KDE SVN r631225

++++ beagle:

- Update to 0.2.16, a bug fix release.

++++ kernel-default:

- update to 2.6.20
- patches.suse/apparmor: AppArmor update in place of patch.

++++ amarok:

- udpate to 1.4.5

++++ freetype2:

- update to 2.3.1

++++ udev:

- new upstream release 105
fix volume_id's linux_raid detection

++++ OpenOffice_org:

- updated ooo-build to 2.1.3

++++ wesnoth:

- major update to stable version 1.2.1

++++ gnome-desktop:

- Move to /usr
- Some specfile cleanup.

++++ xorg-x11-server:

- X.Org 7.2RC3 release

++++ Full Changelog since 10.2 GM.

Some RPM Version Highlights include:

  • MozillaFirefox-2.0-46.i586.rpm

  • OpenOffice_org-2.1-5.i586.rpm
  • RealPlayer-10.0.8-48.i586.rpm
  • amarok-1.4.5-7.i586.rpm
  • apache2-2.2.4-6.i586.rpm
  • cairo-1.2.4-22.i586.rpm
  • compiz-0.3.7-6.i586.rpm
  • flash-player-

  • gcc-4.1.3-35.i586.rpm
  • gimp-2.2.13-44.i586.rpm
  • glibc-2.5-34.i586.rpm
  • gnome-desktop-2.16.1-43.i586.rpm

  • gtk2-2.10.6-29.i586.rpm
  • kdebase3-3.5.6-10.i586.rpm
  • kernel-default-2.6.20-2.i586.rpm
  • mysql-5.0.27-8.i586.rpm
  • php5-5.2.0-29.i586.rpm
  • python-2.5-32.i586.rpm
  • qt3-3.3.7-28.i586.rpm
  • xcompmgr-051031-44.i586.rpm
  • xorg-x11-7.2-48.i586.rpm

  • Full RPM List

So, all in all, not a lot of surprises this time, but we rarely see many on the surface in the first few alphas. Not a lot of new eye candy, but if any is to come, we won't see it for a while. A few little features are beginning to creep in like the previously mention and pictured below gnome log out screen. One thing continues to amaze me as I test and run these developmental releases, and that's how openSUSE continues to run like a champ. Crashing of any process is so rare that I can say practically nonexistent. Whatever your feelings towards the Novell/Microsoft agreement, it's hard to write-off a system such as openSUSE. It continues to be one of my favorites.


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