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Archive for December 18th, 2008

Sneak Peeks at openSUSE 11.1: KDE in openSUSE 11.1

December 18th, 2008 by

openSUSE 11.1 continues a long history of shipping a well-polished KDE. This release includes not just one, but two choices of KDE. You can choose from the leading edge of KDE development with KDE 4.1.3, or the classic KDE experience with KDE 3.5.10.

What’s new in KDE 4.1.3?

The KDE Project has included a lot of great improvements in the KDE 4.1 series. This release brings back the much-loved KDE-PIM suite, with KMail, KOrganizer, Akregator, and much more.

The Dolphin file manager has also been revamped for the 4.1 series, and includes support for tabs, and new context actions make using Dolphin even easier! Just right-click on a file and you can select copy and Move actions without having to drag files around.

Old habits die hard, long-time KDE users don’t have to stop using Konqueror for file management if they prefer the Konqueror interface! And, if Konqueror is your choice of Web browser, you’ll be pleased to find one of the improvements is that you can now Undo closed tabs. Didn’t mean to close that Konqueror tab? Just go to Edit -> Undo and you can get back to that Web page with no hassle.

And both Dolphin and Konqueror have “Super User Mode” menu entries, so you can handle file management as root without any hassles.

For browsing the world, you’ve got Marble. Marble is a “desktop globe” application for viewing the world. In 4.1, Marble includes support for OpenStreetMap, so you can browse free (as in speech) maps.

Don’t like a cluttered desktop? Then you’ll love the Folder View plasmoid that confines all those messy files to one organized view. No more disorganized desktop! (On the computer. Your physical desktop is still your problem.)

openSUSE Enhancements

In addition to all the features found in KDE 4.1.3, openSUSE 11.1 includes openSUSE-specific artwork, and a number of features that have been backported from the 4.2 series.

Of particular interest are the KWin improvements in this release. openSUSE users now have a number of backported KWin effects to enjoy, and show off to their friends. If KWin effects aren’t your cup of tea, you can use the new Compiz KDE configuration module to enable and handle Compiz on KDE 4.

The desktop toolbox has been disabled by default due to concerns about its usability. Want to re-enable it? No problem. Just right click on the desktop, select the drop-down box next to Desktop Activity, and enable “Default desktop containment.”

The Plasma desktop shell has several improvements, including the ability to auto-hide the panel, and you can enable overlap between windows and the panel, if you enjoy that sort of thing.

This release also includes Powerdevil, for easier and better power management on your KDE 4 desktop. Just click the battery icon in the system tray.

This release also marks a move to PackageKit for updates. In openSUSE 11.0, GNOME switched to using PackageKit for updates. With 11.1, the KDE Updater Applet has switched from the zypp backed to use PackageKit as well.

(In the spirit of late being better than “never,” this peek is being published after the 11.1 announcement, but we still think it will be useful to users who haven’t tried KDE 4 in 11.1.)

openSUSE 11.1 Released!

December 18th, 2008 by

The openSUSE Project is proud to announce the release of openSUSE 11.1. The openSUSE 11.1 release includes more than 230 new features, improvements to YaST, major updates to GNOME, KDE, OpenOffice.org, and more freedom with a brand new license, Liberation fonts, and openJDK. This is also the first release built entirely in the openSUSE Build Service.

openSUSE Installer

All of the Sneak Peeks for this release are available at on openSUSE News. You can also find a bevy of screenshots, and a list of features found in openSUSE 11.1. You can also find a lengthy list of packages and version numbers on DistroWatch.

Let’s take a look at some of the specific additions in openSUSE 11.1!

On the Desktop

Desktop users will find a lot to like in this release. Users can choose from the leading edge of GNOME and KDE development with GNOME 2.24.1 and KDE 4.1.3. We’ve also included KDE 3.5.10 for users who prefer the classic KDE experience.

What’s new in GNOME 2.24.1?

GNOME has gotten a good set of improvements since the 11.0 release. GNOME 2.24.1 features tabbed browsing and a new compact view in Nautilus, improvements for Gmail users in Evolution, along with mail templates, a new version of Ekiga, and additional improvements in F-Spot.

This release also includes a brand-new release of the ever-popular Banshee. Banshee 1.4 sports support for Internet radio, compilation albums, a Now Playing window for video and audio, support for syncing to Android phones, and many other features that make Banshee an excellent multimedia player for the Linux desktop.

GNOME Desktop

GNOME Desktop Apps

What’s new in KDE 4.1.3?

KDE 4 has a huge number of improvements since openSUSE 11.0. In this release you’ll find the KDE-PIM suite back in KDE 4, new games, the KSCD CD player, KSystemLog to keep track of system changes, improvements to Dolphin, Konqueror, and Marble integration with OpenStreetMap. KDE has now standardized on PackageKit for its backend, which means both desktops are using the same update stack.

KWin effects: cube

KDE cover flow

The openSUSE KDE team has also backported some key features from KDE 4.2, including compositing features for KWin to provide more desktop effects, and auto-hiding of the panel, and power management thanks to PowerDevil.

Classic KDE

If you’re not quite ready to make the transition to KDE 4, relax. openSUSE 11.1 includes KDE 3.5.10 for the “classic” KDE experience. Simply install openSUSE 11.1 from the DVD media and choose KDE 3.5.10 from the selection of other window managers in the desktop selection screen.

OpenOffice.org

This release includes OpenOffice.org 3.0, which features many improvements over the 2.4 release found in openSUSE 11.0. OpenOffice.org 3.0 Novell edition provides better Excel interoperability, performance enhancements, 3D slide transitions, and other features not found in upstream OpenOffice.org.

This release also includes support for ODF 1.2, import filters for OOXML, Gstreamer and Mono integration, and a lot more. For developers, this is the first release that includes the split build, making it easier to work on components of OpenOffice.org and get involved in its development.

Under the Hood

openSUSE 11.1 also includes several changes “under the hood,” including a new kernel release, updated Glibc, new version of PackageKit, Smolt integration, and many other updated applications and utilities:

  • Linux 2.6.27.7
  • Glibc 2.9
  • Python 2.6
  • Perl 5.10
  • Mono 2.0

YaST Improvements

The YaST team has been busy with this release, working on a number of improvements including new and re-written modules. openSUSE 11.1 includes a new printer module, redesigned partitioner module, and a security module that allows you to check the overall security of your system.

Media and Download

openSUSE is now available for immediate download. openSUSE 11.1 comes with many choices of installation media.

  • openSUSE 11.1 DVD 32-bit
  • openSUSE 11.1 DVD 64-bit
  • openSUSE 11.1 DVD PowerPC
  • openSUSE 11.1 GNOME 32-bit Live CD
  • openSUSE 11.1 KDE 4 32-bit Live CD
  • openSUSE 11.1 GNOME 64-bit Live CD
  • openSUSE 11.1 KDE 4 64-bit Live CD

You can also purchase a retail box with openSUSE 11.1 that includes 90-day installation support, physical media, and a printed Getting Started guide.

Communicate

We want to hear from you! The openSUSE Project has many channels of communication:

To keep up to date with openSUSE, be sure to keep an eye on openSUSE News and watch Planet SUSE for blog posts from the openSUSE community.

Want to help the openSUSE Project? To get involved with openSUSE see the How to Participate page on the openSUSE wiki. We can use lots of different skills to help the project, so feel free to jump in!

Thanks!

openSUSE 11.1 represents the combined effort of thousands of developers who participate in openSUSE and upstream projects shipped in openSUSE. The contributors, inside and outside the openSUSE Project, should be proud of this release, and they deserve a major “thank you” for all of the hard work and care that have gone into 11.1. We hope that openSUSE 11.1 is the best openSUSE release yet, and that it will help to encourage the use of Linux everywhere! We hope that you have a lot of fun while you use openSUSE 11.1, and we look forward to working with you on 11.2!