KDE fans must definitely watch out for openSUSE 11.4, which will be the first major Linux distribution to feature KDE’s Plasma Workspaces, Applications and Development Platform version 4.6. This trio of releases by the KDE community brings much better performance as well as many usability and feature improvements all over the place. Upgraders will feel a double dose of KDE goodness, as openSUSE 11.4 brings two major releases’ improvements over the KDE 4.4 shipped with openSUSE 11.3. (more…)
Archive for the ‘Sneak Peeks’ Category
With openSUSE 11.2 right around the corner, let’s take a look at what’s new and interesting in the GNOME desktop for this release. Highlights include a preview of GNOME 3.0, new applets and application updates, and the incredibly attractive Sonar theme new for 11.2.
For users coming from 11.1, openSUSE 11.2 actually features two GNOME releases worth of updates. Because of the lengthy release cycle, openSUSE skipped the 2.26 release and jumped to GNOME 2.28, which was made available in September.
Nautilus now has a plugin to allow quick and easy file sharing. Just right-click on the folder you’d like to share and select “Sharing Options.” This makes use of Samba, so you need to enable directory sharing under the Samba Server module in YaST.
The Webcam application for GNOME, Cheese, includes some enhancements for 2.28, including a redesigned interface that’s better suited for netbooks.
Not only does openSUSE feature the goodness from upstream GNOME, but also some home-grown improvements as well. For instance, the Sonar theme that is the default in 11.2. It’s a slightly darker, but still green, theme that’s pleasant to look at and show off to users new to Linux!
Vincent Untz, a member of the openSUSE Booster team and member of the GNOME Foundation Board, says that part of the main focus for 11.2 was “to be a better upstream citizen” with GNOME. So, for the most part, openSUSE does not diverge greatly from upstream GNOME — but there are some differences.
For example, GNOME 2.28 ships Empathy as the default instant messaging client. Untz says that it’s likely openSUSE will switch to Empathy in 11.3, but due to issues with some protocols and proxies, it was decided to keep Pidgin as the default client for one more release. Empathy is, of course, available via the repositories, so users who want to start with Empathy now can do so.
Want to get a preview of GNOME 3.0? The final GNOME 3.0 release isn’t due until September 2010, but openSUSE 11.2 has an early build of GNOME Shell in the repositories and users can see what all the fuss is about (or will be about), early on.
And, of course, you’ll find Firefox as the default Web browser for openSUSE instead of Epiphany. openSUSE users will find the most recent stable version of Firefox (3.5) on their GNOME desktop, though Epiphany and its new Webkit backend are available in the openSUSE 11.2 repositories.
All in all, there’s a lot to look forward to in GNOME in openSUSE 11.2. Be ready to grab it on November 12th!
The KDE 4 experience in openSUSE has been enhanced daily, and while the desktop environment itself has matured significantly since the last release, there has been a constant focus to provide an outstanding delivery of it in openSUSE 11.2.
The highlights include: the openSUSE DVD preselected to KDE 4.3; new Firefox KDE integration; OpenOffice.org KDE 4 integration; consistent KDE artwork; all other standard applications fully ported to KDE 4, including KNetworkManager, Amarok, DigiKam, K3b, Konversation and more.
We will also be talking to openSUSE and KDE core developer Luboš Luňák, to find out more about the developments in KDE 4.3, where the project is concentrating its efforts, and what the openSUSE boosters team is really all about. Read on for the full story… (more…)
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.)
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.)
In our continuing series of Sneak Peeks at openSUSE 11.1, we’re introducing the newest version of the GNOME desktop into openSUSE. openSUSE 11.1 will contain the latest version of the GNOME desktop, GNOME 2.24. Not only does this new version bring with it great new features, but as always the GNOME developers in the openSUSE Project have added our own unique polish to make a truly unique, polished desktop experience.
New in GNOME 2.24
As always, a new version of GNOME means new features and enhancements that make using your computer easier. Many times, they’re small features that once you start using them, you can’t live without. One example is the new tabbed browsing in Nautilus, the file browser.
openSUSE 11.1′s GNOME Desktop includes some of the latest and greatest in communication and organization tools in Evolution, Pidgin, and Ekiga. The newest version of Evolution contains new functionality to make anyone who sends out many similar emails a day, or those who are fans of Google’s online communication tools very happy.
Evolution can now save mail as templates. Need to have a simple, standard message to send out to contacts who all ask the same question? Or do you want a standard message to send to new clients? Either way, you’ll find a use for this handy feature.
Living in the Gmail universe, but don’t want to lose the safety and speed of having a desktop client? Now with Evolution, your Evolution Address Book can be synchronized with Google Contacts, meaning you now have the full range of Google support: Gmail through IMAP mail support, Google Calendar which synchronizes with your Evolution Calendar, and now contacts synchronization support.
Frequent instant messengers will be happy to see that the new version of Pidgin, our multi-network instant messaging and chat client, is included.
Pidgin can connect to all of your different instant messaging clients and social networks, including AIM, MSN/Windows Live, Yahoo! IM, and MySpace Chat. Pidgin also serves as an IRC chat client, through which community support for openSUSE can be received.
What to talk with your friends or family by voice or face-to-face? Meet Ekiga, the openSUSE Internet telephony client.
With Ekiga, a compatible microphone or webcam, and an SIP account (all of which can be set up upon first running Ekiga), talking to your friends, family, or colleagues is easy and free if they’re also using a SIP client. With an appropriate SIP call out plan, you can make affordable voice calls over the normal phone system, right from your computer!
Entertainment and Multimedia
When the work is done, it’s time to play! openSUSE 11.1′s GNOME contains some of the best multimedia playing and building applications available, from Banshee, our state-of-the-art music player; to Brasero, an innovative DVD and CD burning application which enables you to make videos from your computer burn on a DVD to share with friends and family; to F-Spot, an amazing yet amazingly simple photo organizer.
openSUSE’s Banshee Media Player is incredibly powerful, yet dead-simple to use. Bring over music from another operating system, a CD collection, or an MP3 player, and Banshee will catalog and apply cover art to them all. Organize and enjoy your movies with the video playback features. Stay up to date and entertained with your favorite audio and video podcasts, or listen to one of many streaming radio stations available. You can even discover new music with Last.fm, a music social network that’s built right in to Banshee.
Several new features are available in Banshee in openSUSE 11.1. Banshee now supports compilation albums. So whether it’s the greatest hits of the ’90s or the soundtrack to your favorite movie, Banshee now recognizes and correctly organizes compilation albums.
The developers of Banshee have taken special attention to the look and feel of Banshee. One of the areas this is most noticeable is the new Now Playing window. Although this pane is meant for showing videos, new in Banshee is that when playing audio, this window displays the album cover and song/show information, making it perfect for parties so your friends can see what’s playing.
Banshee also now supports Internet Radio. The application comes pre-installed with dozens of stations already, ranging from all spectrums of music to talk. Want to add more? As long as the Internet radio stream you wish to add has a compatible stream, it’s as simple as a click of the mouse in Banshee.
Managing photos on openSUSE is easy and fun with F-Spot, the photo manager. With F-Spot, you can browse your photo collection by date or tags, and making basic photo corrections is a snap. You can even export your photos to Internet photo websites, such as Flickr, Picasa, or SmugMug. F-Spot is also extend-able, with extensions written to make F-Spot even more powerful or more useful, such as an extension to export photos to Facebook. These are easily installed with just a few clicks of the mouse.
F-Spot in openSUSE 11.1 features a redesigned user interface, giving easy access and better descriptions to the photo editing tools, as well as easier access to photo metadata information in the sidebar.
Every now and then, you may have had duplicate photos show up in your library. What’s more annoying than that? Having to delete each one, one by one. Now, not only does F-Spot prevent duplicate photos by detecting duplicates upon importing new photos, but with a click of a mouse, F-Spot will analyze your entire photo library for duplicates and eliminate them.
You’ve got music, video, and photos on your computer. But what if you want to take them off your computer once in a while? With Brasero, the CD/DVD burning utility, it’s as easy as can be, and is included in openSUSE!
With Brasero you can save movies on DVDs to watch on your TV, save songs and other audio shows on CDs to play in the car, or burn ISO images onto discs.
Finally, when it’s just time to have fun, there’s Cheese. Cheese is a webcam studio app that, with a compatible webcam, allows you to take pictures or videos of yourself and your friends.
With Cheese, you can apply special effects to the pictures or video, and make a funny video to upload to YouTube or other video sharing website. You can even apply multiple effects, to create a unique image!
openSUSE 11.1 features several new improvements for the GNOME desktop’s administration and configuration, including further YaST integration with GNOME, setting up 3G cellular data connections, and more.
YaST Integration Improvements
Even with the improving integration of YaST into GNOME, YaST has still remained with the same button and UI structure of it’s KDE counterpart, which doesn’t exactly match GNOME. With openSUSE 11.1, YaST has been given a visual refresh. Now, at the top of every YaST screen is a short description of what the YaST module does, with a link to getting further help. The buttons have also been relabeled so they match the GNOME standard, meaning YaST now truly looks at home on the GNOME desktop!
Cellular Broadband Connectivity
Since openSUSE 11.0, openSUSE has been able to easily connect to cellular broadband networks (with the correct card installed in the computer). This continues for openSUSE 11.1, with NetworkManager handling the connectivity. So connecting to cell networks is nearly as simple as connecting to a WiFi hotspot.
Another feature that has been in openSUSE for a while is the great multi-monitor support. With a simple applet and automatic configuration of extra monitors, using more than one monitor in openSUSE 11.1 is as simple as can be.
openSUSE 11.1 includes a revamped login screen for GNOME. Simply click on your name, and enter your pasword. No more having to remember and type both usernames and passwords, it’s a simple process. Plus, access accessibility and multi-monitor settings right from the login screen, making the experience more open to everyone. In addition, the background in the login screen is time sensitive: if it’s midnight where you are, your screen is a pleasant dark color. If it’s high noon, you’re in for a bright login!
Counting Down the Days
With only days to go until openSUSE 11.1 is released and you can try these features for yourself, so get ready! Plus, there are more Sneak Peeks coming in the next few days, so stay tuned to openSUSE News for all things openSUSE!
Welcome to the first in a series of Sneak Peeks at openSUSE 11.1! With less than a week to go until the release of openSUSE 11.1,we’ll be talking about the great new innovations included with openSUSE 11.1. To kick things off, we’ll be discussing how most people will be kicking off their openSUSE 11.1 experience: the installer.
The Installation: Building on a great base
openSUSE’s installation has long been regarded as one of the best in the Linux world. Never before has that compliment been more accurate than in openSUSE 11.1. We started by building on the great base built in openSUSE 11.0 this past summer: a sleek new look, and a simpler installation process.
The updated new installer features an updated look, as seen above, but there is one very big improvement, and most users won’t even see it. It’s the new hard drive partitioner. Luckily, in most cases, the installer can recognize what needs to be done to a user’s hard disk to enable them to use openSUSE, often while keeping their previous operating system and files intact. However, many times advanced users wish to make their own custom partition table, and the improved partitioner helps them do just that.
This partitioner was the subject of usability testing, and was designed to accommodate the needs of our users.
You can also get a quick guide to the installation of openSUSE 11.1 in our Installation Walkthrough.
Help driver development with Smolt
Upon logging into your openSUSE desktop, you’ll be asked to send some hardware information to the Smolt Project. Smolt is a combined effort of Linux distributions and projects including the Fedora Project and openSUSE. Together, collecting the types of hardware in computers running Linux helps put pressure on hardware manufacturers to support Linux better, which is better for everyone.
Getting a rough estimate of the number of users for different types of hardware is also helpful to the developers of device drivers for Linux, which gives them a better idea of what drivers they should help work on to help the most amount of users. It’s one click, it helps you, it helps openSUSE, and it helps the entire Linux community!
Continual improvements to managing software
openSUSE 11.1 features even more improvements to installing, removing, and maintaining software. In addition to openSUSE’s famous 1-Click Install feature, openSUSE now features a new way to discover new software.
The software manager now recommends or suggests software for your computer depending on what is already installed. These packages aren’t required by another applications, but instead extends their functionality or compliments them. It’s a fun way to discover new things you can do with your computer! Simply select the software, click Install, and the rest is taken care of.
The new KDE updater
KDE users now have a new method of keeping their computer up-to-date. Introducing the new openSUSE Updater for KDE, based on PackageKit. This new updater brings openSUSE into a cross-distro standard with PackageKit, plus enables new functionality within the updater.
The new updater still uses the openSUSE software management system, libzypp, so users still get the speed and other advantages of using our modern, state-of-the-art software management system. Advanced, modern tools wrapped up in one easy to use updating application for KDE.
GNOME users will continue to use their PackageKit-based updating application.
Ready for openSUSE 11.1?
This is just the start of what’s available in openSUSE 11.1! openSUSE 11.1 ships December 18th, 2008 for both download and boxed editions, so stay tuned for more Sneak Peeks and all other news about openSUSE 11.1!
Just a few hours before openSUSE 11.0 is officially released! Here we’ll take a look at GNOME in openSUSE 11.0, and talk to Vincent Untz, openSUSE developer and a member of the GNOME Foundation Board.
With openSUSE 11.0 just a few days away, it’s time to look at one of the stars of the show: KDE. In openSUSE 11.0, you get two KDEs for the price of one. Here we’ll take a look at what’s coming in KDE, and talk to one of openSUSE’s KDE contributors, Stephan Binner.
There have been several changes with the Compiz setup in openSUSE 11.0, including both exciting and new features in Compiz Fusion, and extra developments behind-the-scenes which make running and managing Compiz easier. Today we will be taking a look at these, and we’ll be catching up with Dennis ‘onestone’ Kasprzyk, a Compiz Fusion core developer and openSUSE user, to find out more.