The openSUSE team is proud to announce the release of openSUSE 10.3. Promoting the use of Linux everywhere, the openSUSE project provides free, easy access to the world’s most usable Linux distribution, openSUSE. openSUSE is released regularly, is stable, secure, contains the latest free and open source software, and comes with several new technologies.
openSUSE 10.3 will be supported with security and other serious updates for a period of 2 years.
This version contains new beautiful green artwork, KDE 3.5.7 and parts of KDE 4, SUSE-polished GNOME 2.20, a GTK version of YaST, a new 1-click-install technology, MP3 support out-of-the-box, new and redesigned YaST modules, compiz and compiz fusion advances, virtualisation improvements, OpenOffice.org 2.3, Xfce 4.4.1, and much more! Read on for details of what is new and available in openSUSE 10.3, and for all the necessary download links.
On the desktop
There are many visual changes throughout this release, and they are also well-presented in the openSUSE 10.3 Screenshots on the wiki.
Beautiful Green Artwork
This release, as always, will have a full, new collection of artwork, and for openSUSE 10.3 it has gone back to the classical and much-loved green theme. It is all finished off with a polished and professional look:
To see more openSUSE 10.3 artwork, see its respective branding overview.
The default KDE desktop is the latest stable and SUSE-polished KDE 3.5.7, which comes complete with the usability-centric Kickoff menu, KNetworkManager and other such openSUSE creations. Kontact, the KDE Personal Information Manager, has also been upgraded to the enterprise release, providing you with some new features and many fixes.
While KDE 3.5.7 is the default KDE desktop environment, the first parts of KDE 4 will also be seen in the distribution. This includes, by default, some KDE 4 games as well as KDE 4 versions of KRDC and KRFB – applications for remote administration. Below you can see a couple of screenshots of these KDE 4 games, now both using SVG for a smoother graphical experience:
A full KDE 4 desktop is also available for preview purposes:
The very latest GNOME 2.20 is also featured in this release, and it comes with its own selection of typically SUSE-polished additions. This includes the simpler and better-structured SLAB menu, a new world clock applet from the intlclock package (pictured below), as well as the comprehensive, feature-full and well-delivered F-Spot and Banshee applications, which are a photo browser and audio player respectively.
The GTK version of YaST is now default for all GNOME installations. This means that YaST will still have a well-integrated and consistent feel when using the GNOME desktop environment, and all the modules are structured in the same way as openSUSE’s GNOME control panel.
The GTK version of YaST of course also contains all of the same YaST modules as the regular Qt version, so there is absolutely no loss of functionality. Sentimental users can still easily switch to the Qt-style YaST by editing /etc/sysconfig/yast2.
This is a completely new and revolutionary piece of technology available to you in openSUSE, which finally removes the hassle from installing additional software from other repositories. Instead of searching for a repository, adding it to the package manager, then heading over to software management again, 1-Click-Install combines it into one simple process, all initiated by a single click.
It is already fully implemented in the openSUSE Build Service, and it is used for aiding you in acquiring multimedia codecs as is mentioned below.
The frequently-requested feature of MP3 support is now fully available out-of-the-box! MP3 playback is available via Fluendo (GStreamer) codecs in either Amarok or Banshee. These are available on the DVD, but if you chose to use the 1-CD Installation it is just as easy to get working – a small and friendly dialog box will inquire about whether you wish to enable MP3 support:
The codecs will then be installed using 1-Click-Install. This same technology is also used on the Community website where it recommends workarounds and methods to get other multimedia formats working. See openSUSE-Community.org/Multimedia.
New/Redesigned YaST Modules
The Network card module has also been completely re-designed from a usability perspective. The new version is more relevant to today’s typical configuration of a network card, and makes simple tasks a lot easier to accomplish.
One popular new module is the Community Repositories module, which provides you with a convenient list of the official repositories, popular repositories in the openSUSE Build Service, and external community repositories. This makes it trivial to enable the extra repositories that you require.
Another module available from the yast2-product-creator package is a YaST front-end to KIWI, a configurable and easy-to-use application to help you roll your very own system images. Though there are many additional plans for KIWI, it currently supports a huge selection of options, such as creating Live CDs, USB, QEMU/VMware, Xen and Net boot images. Unlike other typical system image creators, KIWI is fully configurable (down to the wallpaper you want to have), and has a clean and simple design.
Compiz and Compiz Fusion
Compiz, as always, is available directly on all the installation CDs/DVDs, and Compiz Fusion is also available in the official online repository. The new version comes with many new amazing plugins providing you with the latest composite effects.
There have been several Virtualisation improvements and additions, including of course an excellent delivery of the latest Xen 3.1 and QEMU. Furthermore, VirtualBox, a general-purpose full virtualizer, and KVM, the latest Linux virtualisation infrastructure, are now included. Other VMware-related kernel options such as paravirt-ops and vmi have also been enabled in the kernel now.
OpenOffice.org, the comprehensive office suite in openSUSE, has also been updated to the latest stable version of 2.3. The release includes several new features and countless fixes.
A Whole Lot More!
openSUSE 10.3 contains a plethora of extra improvements that haven’t been mentioned here, including small applications like Giver, an easy file-sharing tool, Xfce 4.4.1, and other community developments. See Product Highlights/10.3 for more details.
Behind the Scenes
Though this release has seen a large selection of graphical changes, a lot of work has been happening all around the distribution, with several changes occuring behind the scenes.
New Package Management
The package management team have been working hard on improving the new openSUSE package management, and there is a lot to show for it now. It is reliable, more mature, and an awful lot faster. There is no more parsing during startup, greater compatibility with tools like yum and smart, and increased speed for the most common use-case: installing a package.
It contains the much-improved zypper tool for the command line, a re-designed openSUSE updater applet (a native KDE and GNOME one) as pictured below, while still providing you with the same YaST interface for graphical package management.
Greatly Improved Boot Time
A big round of improvements to the boot time are now included. There are now some incredibly impressive speed-ups, with desktops booting in around 24 seconds, or laptops booting in 27 seconds compared to a 55 second wait in openSUSE 10.2! See the link for more details.
Under the Hood
Media and Download
All of the installation media can be downloaded from software.openSUSE.org via torrents or HTTP/FTP. Here’s a few quick links:
**1 DVD **containing OSS and NonOSS software (torrents for: i386, x86_64, ppc). Languages supported: English, Portuguese, French, Italian, Spanish, German, Chinese (Simpl. & Trad.), Japanese, Russian, Czech, Hungarian, Polish, Finnish, Danish, Swedish, Dutch
As always, you can fully upgrade your previous openSUSE 10.2 to the final version of openSUSE 10.3 by simply downloading one of the media options and burning it to disk, boot to it, and then select the Upgrade option in the installer. For the smoothest possible upgrade, leave the “Add Online Repositories Before Installation” option checked.
To upgrade from openSUSE 10.3 RC1, please ensure that you have strictly only the 10.3 repositories (oss, non-oss; not the factory ones), in YaST -> Software Repositories; if you do not, remove the factory ones and then add the 10.3 ones again from the Community Repositories YaST module. Once that is done, go to Software Management, and in the menu select Package -> All Packages -> Update if Newer Version Available.
Alternatively, with Zypper you can execute the following command to upgrade all packages (again, first check that you have the 10.3 repositories and not the factory ones):
zypper update -t package
We want to hear from you! To get help, provide any feedback, ask questions, or get involved and help contribute to the openSUSE distribution, please communicate. There are several ways to get in touch with the openSUSE community, including:
IRC: #opensuse on irc.freenode.net
Discussion Forums: take a look at openSUSE.org/Communicate/Forums
For other ways such as Jabber and Usenet, see the Communicate page.
A huge thanks to all those involved in the release, particularly all the community contributors, for making this an excellent openSUSE release!