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!