First Look at openSUSE 11.4
Despite all the uncertainty around the Novell sale, the openSUSE community keeps plugging away. The 11.4 release is just a bit over a month away, and it’s looking very solid. A little dull, but solid.
openSUSE is on a bit of an unusual release schedule. On one hand, you’ve got Fedora and Ubuntu which come out every six months (give or take, in the case of Fedora). On the other, you’ve got Debian, which comes out whenever the Hell the Debian team decides that it’s bloody well ready. Somewhere in the middle, there’s openSUSE, which is on an eight-month release cycle.
The last release (11.3) came out in July of last year, and the next release is scheduled for March 10. You can be relatively confident in that date — openSUSE was one of the last distros to feature a retail box (a legacy of the SUSE business prior to the company’s acquisition by Novell), and the development schedule and process still reflects the need to hit deadlines. Even though the final release is a month off, the 11.4m6 release (sixth and last milestone) is fairly solid. I ran into one instance of openSUSE mysteriously dropping my network connection, but I couldn’t replicate it. Other than that, the release has been very solid.
New KDE, Old GNOME
GNOME and KDE are supposed to be equally well supported with openSUSE, but KDE is the default if you use the DVD installer. You can opt for the live CDs, but the bulk of openSUSE users still go for the DVD and KDE — so I thought I’d take the opportunity to look at the new KDE as well.