18. Dec 2008

Sneak Peeks at openSUSE 11.1: KDE in openSUSE 11.1

News Team

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.)

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