Short bio: Computer Scientist, FOSS supporter (read more)
Tux Machines (TM)-specific
OpenSuSE's SUSE Linux 10.1 alpha4 was released right on schedule December 15 and as usual those developers have been hard at work. No big visual changes, but plenty under-the-hood serve as testament to their dedication. Again some key features this release include superior performance, unparalleled stability, and unrivaled software availability.
The installer has remained basically untouched. It's still the same great beauty to which we've grown accustomed. There seemed to be issues with the Tuxracer package as it would not install here and yast always complained whenever running the software install/uninstall tool or online update. The online update wasn't functional either as it couldn't connect to a needed reference site.
In this release we find that KDE has been updated to 3.5 final and Firefox has been updated to 1.5 final. There isn't a whole lot to report visually, but I did note in the panel is Knemo. It appears to be a kde app/applet that monitors network traffic. KDE performs really well and no problems were encountered during testing.
Gnome is a different subject. It is reported that it has been upgraded to 2.12.2, but it is still problematic for SuSE. It wouldn't even start for me here today. Instead it stopped at the error 'NetworkManager couldn't find necessary resources and can not continue.' 2.12.3 has been recently released. We'll probably see it integrated before final, although clearly the problem exists with the NetworkManager. I had installed 'all of gnome' during the distribution installation, but to be sure, I went back and installed the gnome development packages and even all of mono. I even made sure my hostname and ips were in the /etc/hosts file. All to no avail. Alas, gnome is broken.
Another new addition is the plethora of calculators. I didn't realize this was such a hot area, but apparently SuSE isn't going to be left behind. They now feature at least 7 or 8 different calculators from which to choose. Although admittedly, some appear to be mere skin/theme difference. However it does make for an impressive menu item.
The handheld synchronization menu seemed a bit beefier as well. There are the old standbys as well as the new KDE featured Kitchensync as well as one for the pocketpc and possibly others I'd not noticed before.
Yast2 seemed to have a slightly different appearance this release as well. In fact, it seemed a step backwards to me. Instead of white on white, we are now presented with white on gray. More importantly, the widgets seem to be a more old-fashioned after-step or something. I get the feeling this is a temporary situation related to something missing, broken, or needing rebuilding as well.
Some version highlights this release include:
Changelog Highlights include:
Well, there ya have it. Quite a few things seem broken this time, but as noted several major system libraries went through an upgrade and probably contributed to these wrinkles. As the old saying goes, you have to break a few eggs to make an omelet, and SuSE is still chopping up the veggies. Final is quite a ways away, so have no fear. For those who like to run the bleeding edge, perhaps resist the urge this time and wait for Beta 1 next month.