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Sneak Peek: openSUSE 12.2 and KDE

September 4th, 2012 by

openSUSE comes with the 4.8 series of the KDE workspaces, applications and platform. This release, as you can read in the announcements is mostly focused on improving the user experience.

Starting up

booting opensuse_small Booting up openSUSE, you notice the nice new splash screen as well as the short boot times, courtesy of Plymouth and an improved systemd. But you’ll notice speed everywhere: this openSUSE release ships with Linux 3.4.6, a kernel release with a nice number of improvements to the storage layer. Moreover, openSUSE is build with GCC 4.7 and glibc 2.15, bringing speedups all over the system. You’ll notice this especially in the performance of low-level tools like the command line and GUI versions of zypper, our package manager. Especially relevant for the desktop is the inclusion of Qt 4.8.1 which makes your applications noticeably more responsive. The version of KWin part of KDE 4.8 comes with its own share of optimizations, with much more efficient painting. In short, boot up in openSUSE 12.2 and feel the speed!

apper in action


But of course, you don’t boot up for the fun of it (although you might want to, just to see the plymouth boot animation a few times!). You’ve got something to do. Well, we’ve got you covered.

Best of breed

openSUSE adopts a ‘best of breed’ philosophy when it comes to selecting applications, opting for Firefox and LibreOffice over KDE’s Konqueror and Calligra office suites. openSUSE probably offers the best Firefox and LibreOffice integration in Plasma you’ll find anywhere, both in terms of theming as well as behavior.
LibreOffice and Firefox use KDE file dialogs

File handling

As a tool you use every day, the file manager is important for your desktop experience. This release introduces a rewritten view area, allowing Dolphin to load large folders much faster while showing nice animations. Enjoy new tricks from a faster and prettier Dolphin. The new display engine handles big directories, slow disks and layout changes. File names no longer get shortened, and icon and text boundaries fit items better.

When viewing an image in Gwenview you’ll notice navigation got easier with the translucent navigation area over big images and nice fade effects when transitioning from one to the the next image.
Dolphin and Gwenview

Office work

Libre Office 3.5 packs some serious new improvements. You’re sure to notice the better looking fonts, Grammar checking and the multi-line imput in Calc. But there are also many bugfixes and small improvements, read here if you want to know more.

The KDE Kontact personal information management applications (a suite containing an email and news application, an addressbook and more) has also seen a number of improvements. Under the hood, the applications share a common data handling and caching layer which was introduced in openSUSE 12.1.
There has been a large number of optimizations, speeding up common operations and decreasing memory usage. While there is still considerable work to be done, the KDE PIM applications in openSUSE 12.2 should work for all but the most demanding use cases.

KDE’s document viewer Okular has seen extensive work on text selection so you can copy text from PDFs. Instead of dumbly selecting all characters below the square painted by the mouse cursor, Okular employs advanced pattern recognition and statistical analysis to determine word, paragraph and column boundaries, leading to much more natural and word-processor like text selection.


power saving

This openSUSE release introduces quite a bit of polish. For example, the wireless interface is easier and has far fewer bugs. You’ll have a smoother experience all over the desktop with small, barely noticeable changes which matter so much. For example, the Power Management System Settings have been redesigned. The user interface has been simplified and the layout improved. You won’t have to create and manage profiles anymore – and the default settings are far smarter. For example, closing the lid of your laptop while working with an external screen or projector will no longer suspend the system!

Future Proofing

If you want to get the latest and greatest release from the KDE Project, you can add the latest KDE Release to your repository list and upgrade.  Expect KDE 4.9.1 to be available the week after openSUSE 12.2 is released from the KDE:Release:49 openSUSE Build Service project. For detailed instructions, head to the KDE Portal.

Green is Good for you

openSUSE 12.2 is a release to get. The delay of two months has given the community extra time to stabilize things and make sure this release is as solid as ever. While we gear up for the openSUSE Summit in Orlando, Florida and the openSUSE Conference in Prague, Czech republic, where we discuss the future of openSUSE (you’re invited!), you can start using another stellar release. Don’t forget to check out what Tumbleweed, the Open Build Service and Packman have in store for you!

The openSUSE project will release openSUSE 12.2 tomorrow – so keep your eyes open and check out software.opensuse.org and of course openSUSE News for the release!

If you like, you can watch a video of openSUSE 12.2 booting from a LiveCD in a Virtual Machine, going through installation and the running of some applications. This video is taken from openQA and edited to 1:30 with Kdenlive, the Linux video editor.

Meet openSUSE: friendly, welcoming, vibrant, and active. We believe in collaboration, open governance and creating stable yet not stale products. On that philosophy we build the world’s most flexible and powerful Linux distribution!

openSUSE 12.2

openSUSE 12.2 has once again found this sweet spot between up to date and stable. This release brings many noticeable performance improvements resulting in a fluid and responsive desktop. It also brings the integration of mature new technologies like GRUB2 and plymouth and the first steps in revising and simplifying the UNIX file system hierarchy. And it introduces many incremental improvements to the included software. This article is a sneak peek of what will be released tomorrow, the 5th of September!


The KDE community forms one of the largest Free Software projects developing Free and Open Source Software for Linux and other platforms. The community has a strong focus on open governance with no dependence on any single or even a number of corporate contributors and values innovation and an end user focus.

KDE develops a large variety of software in a flat structure of mostly independent teams and a release team coordinating the bi-annual releases of the development platform and the applications and desktops build on top of it.

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28 Responses to “Sneak Peek: openSUSE 12.2 and KDE”

  1. Deanjo

    [quote]simplifying the UNIX file system hierarchy[/quote]

    Are the changes listed anywhere on this?

    • it’s the usr merge thing and you can find it here: http://en.opensuse.org/openSUSE:Usr_merge

      • Ipsit

        Hi there.
        I have installed fresh open SUSE 12.2.
        And updated it successfully.
        I got gcc and smart installed on my SuSE 12.2 but unable to run the command.
        Please Help me out.

        Here is the error i am getting after running the command.

        ipsit@linux-ieap:~> gcc my_cmp.c
        If ‘gcc’ is not a typo you can use command-not-found to lookup the package that contains it, like this:
        cnf gcc
        ipsit@linux-ieap:~> cnf gcc my_cmp.c
        gcc: searching …Cannot not open database file ‘/usr/share/scout/bin-my_cmp.c.db’
        gcc: command not found

        Why is it so ???

  2. chika

    Have tried one of the release candidates in a virtual box and can see that this is an improvement over 12.1 to the point that I don’t think that I’ll be too sorry to shift my three systems (one server, one desktop, one netbook) off 11.4 (although I’d like to give a big thank you to everyone involved in making 11.4 possibly the best release I’ve used to date).

    Certainly so far systemd looks promising considering it regularly cacked itself in every attempted system I used it with under 12.1 to the point that sysvinit was a necessity there. As ever, I’ll give KDE 4 a look over, but don’t be surprised if KDE 3 gets installed too! Given some of the flak being exchange between LT and the GNOME folk, you’ll forgive me if I excuse myself there!

    Hope it all goes well.

  3. Mike

    Does 12.2 fix the issue of about 20 akonadi instances running? Who cares about KDE PIM anyway? It is worthless crap. How about the senseless need to use admin to connect to a wireless AP? Or the stupidity of KWallet? Can that finally be killed?

    Kudos on not including QT 5 beta, I am truly shocked it wasn’t included. However, 4.8.1 is not the current STABLE version, no shock there. The most current stable version is almost 4 months old, no excuse not to have it.

    Will 12.2 continue the sorry tradition of using ancient dev tool packages?

    AKA is Ruby 1.8.7 the only officially supported Ruby, despite 1.9 being 3 years old and the 1.8 branch is only getting security updates until next year and then is EOL?

    It is mind-boggling how stupidly packages are chosen, at least the most widely used packages aren’t betas this time around.

    • Qt 5 beta wasn’t exactly out 2 months ago when we froze openSUSE to make it stable, heck, the Gold Master was finished before it was out…

      We ship STABLE things, not beta’s. We test it before we ship it. We had quite a discussion about that and made this decision, See http://en.opensuse.org/openSUSE:Strategy

      You can find newer things among the 200K packages on software.opensuse.org so there’s no reason to complain something isn’t current enough – it is one click away.

      Have fun :D

  4. Jarl E. Gjessing

    I think its weird that the boot time has increased so much.
    Before my machine booted within a few seconds (opensuse 12.1) they did a fantastic job on this, but now. It takes over a minute on the same machine. I’ve reinstalled and disabled all unnecessary jobs, but no luck :-(
    But I guess that it will be fixed in time. :-) Other than that looks good. Have been running RC2 for as long as it has been out, and it is (for me) rock solid!

    • Hmmm, for me, booting got faster… Must be some process slowing things down. Install systemd-analyze and run “systemd-analyze blame” to find it?!? Or plot a chart!

    • John

      Hmmm, troll much? So if KDEPIM is indeed useless, how come you’re have it installed? :-) The stupidity of KWallet? You mean the concept of a universal password manager that every OS and browser and electric toothbrush is copying? Why would they shipQt5, it’s not a drop-in replacement for Qt4 as you would well know. But it is in OBS if you want to test it :-) Ancient dev tools? You kidding? As a Qt/KDE hacker openSuse has the latest of every tool I need, albeit sometimes in the OBS. It’s called a stable release for a reason. It’s mind-boggling how stupid your comments are…

    • Joseph

      In VirtualBox I saw a 25% reduction in boot time in stock 12.2 vs. 12.1 booting.

  5. Sorry for the silly question, but has font rendering fixed? I know that there was a patent for subhinting, but nonetheless ubuntu and other distros have managed to deliver great fonts. It is time for opensuse to join them!

  6. Cae

    It’s takes less then 5 second to start Firefox in Mint.

    Let’s hope that Firefox do start faster in 12.2, any confirmation?

    • It does on my laptop… 2-3 secs. On my desktop it’s less, on my media center (atom) it takes longer. Depends on the hardware and settings, I suppose :D

  7. Radon

    I don’t have a CD drive with me, will I still be able to install openSUSE 12.2?

    • patdec


      you can burn image iso on a usb stick with imagewriter. It’s available on previous OpenSuse and Ubuntu.

    • Will Stephenson

      Yes, you can just dd any of our ISO images to a stick and it will boot and be usable live or for installation, no poking needed.

  8. Willem Jan

    Let’s hope the Theme Manager finally works so you can just change the KDM Themes

  9. shrinivas

    What about releasing XFCE and E-17 distros, they are much better than KDE/Gnome ?

  10. Anonymous


  11. Is there any point in releasing with KDE 4.8? I think KDE 4.9 is much better, and I think the rest of maintainers will agree.

    • Will Stephenson

      We agree too, 4.9 is much much better, but it was released after our version freeze. It’s available in the OBS repos already and we hope to do a 4.9 respin of 12.2 very soon

  12. homercycles

    I was having troubles with Debian Wheezy’s poor support for my ATI 4670HD (needed to use testing due to LAN chip on new mobo). I tried “openSUSE-KDE-LiveCD-Build0091-x86_64.iso” and was amazed at its speed and polish. I am currently tidying my hard drive to switch distros as a result :-)

  13. Swadhin

    Epic… Best Linux Distribution Release Ever.

  14. Joseph

    OpenSUSE install DVD contains the option for installing XFCE as the default desktop. E-17, so far as I know, is still (perpetually) in development. I think we’ll have to agree to disagree that either are on par with the two major desktops.

  15. David Okwii

    I love opensuse with kde. Thanks for the work

  16. Hi, I am using OpenSUSE since the 11.2 release … It’s a masterpeace. But
    I have a problem (since OpenSUSE 12.1) with may hp dv6000 pavilion computer’s graphic device : When I boot from the DVD to upgrade I get an horrible black screen.
    So I still use the 11.4 release :(