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openSUSE 12.3 – Awesome as 1-2-3

March 13th, 2013 by

Dear contributors, friends and fans: The latest release of the openSUSE distribution, version 12.3, is ready for you! After six months of hard work, we are happy to bring you the best mix that Free and Open Source Software has to offer with our unique green sauce – stable, friendly and fun.

Download openSUSE 12.3

(In other languages: cs de es fr it ja nl pt ru zh zh-tw)

As this was a shorter-than-normal release cycle, much attention went into the details so we can now give you a quality packed product. This release of world’s most powerful and flexible Linux Distribution puts the finishing touches on our boot infrastructure and package management, a bright polish to your desktop and a touch of cloud for your server.


good news - we've got green smoke!

good news – we’ve got green smoke!

The Highlights

Finishing touches
openSUSE 12.3 finishes the integration of systemd and delivers a better system log experience with journald. Reliable graphical package management tools and a new theme bring a consistent experience from boot to desktop. The 1GB live images are now optimized for USB sticks and the ARM team has stable openSUSE 12.3 ARM v7 and experimental ARM 64bit images ready for this exciting architecture.


Polishing up
The latest desktops bring additional polish with much faster metadata handling, a new print manager and improved bluetooth integration in KDE’s Plasma Desktop and improved notifications, better file management and account integration for Exchange and Windows Live in GNOME Shell.


New Features
12.3 brings new technologies to users with the inclusion of PostgreSQL 9.2 which comes with native JSON support (noSQL style). We’ve moved over from MySQL to MariaDB as default. This is the first openSUSE release with a complete OpenStack “Folsom” for cloud fans and this release debuts the E17 desktop and the Sawfish and awesome window managers.


Moving forward
openSUSE moves forward with the inclusion of updated applications. DigiKam 3.0 comes with much expanded abilities for batch processing of images and new and improved filters & plugins; the major PIM applications received updates with Evolution now having an automatically updated search folder and spell checking all over while Kontact’s quick filter searches the full mail bodies and has an improved composer. Development tools like KDevelop, monodevelop and valgrind got preliminairy Android support; Development libraries like GTK3 and KDE Development Platform are included with new releases. This release also brings proper UEFI support for x86_64 hardware and experimental support for Secure Boot enabled hardware.

„We’re very proud of openSUSE 12.3 as  a stable and current operating system, also we are looking forward to the openSUSE Conference in Greece this summer, where we can celebrate its release and continue working towards the future of Free Software.”

– said openSUSE Board member Richard Brown.

The Details

For Users

KWin brings openGL in most virtual machines and per-monitor support for color management. Also introduced are better printer management with a new and smarter printer wizard and a reworked update manager Apper (0.8) which shows and describes untrusted packages and automatically downloads packages in preparation for review. See this great introduction to Plasma Desktop on openSUSE 12.3.


GNOME 3.6 includes smarter notifications including a redesigned Message Tray, the activities overview and the Nautilus file manager received an improved layout and a new Lock Screen which provides an attractive view when the device is locked, plus handy functionality like media controls. See the great GNOME3 in 30 seconds videos on youtube.


XFCE, awesome, Enlightenment
Other desktop improvements include an updated XFCE which brings a tabbed Thunar file manager with improved bookmark handling and extensive performance improvements and a quake-style drop-down mode in xfce4-terminal (0.6.0) which keeps a running terminal around that can be quickly accessed through a keyboard shortcut. New in openSUSE 12.3 is awesome, a highly configurable, next generation framework window manager for X. It is very fast and extensible and primarily targeted at power users and developers. Enlightenment 17, also known simply as E, is a stacking window manager for the X Window System which can be used alone or in conjunction with a desktop environment such as GNOME or KDE.


For Admins

Virtualbox 4.2 brings support for limiting network IO bandwidth, improved 3D performance and better network device support. The KVM and Qemu updates to 1.3.0 vastly improved the USB stack with mass storage device and USB3 support as well as MSI/MSI-X support for the XHCI controller. This release includes the first major release of Boxes, an application for using remote systems and virtual machines. It offers a pretty and simple interface for handling any number of connections using Spice as protocol, featuring auto-detection of Virtual Machine format and a variety of other conveniences in a pretty interface.


12.3 moves from MySQL to MariaDB as default. MariaDB was first shipped with 11.3 back in 2010 and over the years proved itself. Native JSON support was added to PostgresSQL (9.2), it provides an efficient mechanism for creating and storing documents for web APIs. Range Types allow developers to create better calendaring, scientific, and financial applications.


12.3 is the first release of openSUSE to feature complete packages for OpenStack, the leading open source cloud computing platform. We now ship all the tools needed to setup and communicate with a cloud on your system or via an API remotely.  On top of that, packages for Grizzly (next release of OpenStack due in April) are already being worked on and will be available for 12.3.


For Developers

IDEs and tooling
Anjuta (3.6) with git integration improvements. QtCreator (2.6) with ‘Kits’ offering settings for which device type to develop for. KDevelop (4.4) introduces a new welcome screen which helps you to get started with a project in an intuitive way. New in 12.3 is the Fossil Distributed Version Control System, which offers a number of unique features like distributed wiki, bugzilla and blog functionality; autosync mode to reduce pointless forking and merging; and a build-in web interface.


Languages and Libraries
Mono 3 supports the new async C# 5.0. Though Python 2.7.3 remains the default, Python 3.3.0 is now available, bringing a wide range of changes. Python-qt4 supports Qt 5 now. The KDE Development Platform introduces a more comprehensive SDK for Plasma and GTK 3.6 add support for cross-fading and transitions, CSS animations and blur shadows.


openSUSE Tools
KIWI (5.04.37) with support for creation of images for arm based boards, for the apt-get/dpkg package manager and btrfs seed live ISO images. The Open Build Service command line client OSC now supports creating and releasing maintenance updates for openSUSE.


Under the hood

Linux 3.7 offers a wide range of improvements, varying from bugfixes to performance enhancements and the usual steady stream of new hardware support. A few highlights:

  • Raid 10 support for the device mapper
  • Aggressive SATA device sleep for SSD and HD power saving and (opportunistic) suspend in the kernel and system tools.
  • btrfs snapshot diffs, disable copy-on-write on a per-file base and snapper 0.1.1 for snaspshots by users and LVM thin-provisioned snapshots
  • Performance profiling with perf trace
  • Higher TCP performance (Fast Open/Early Retransmit/Small Queues) and more resistance to the dreaded ‘buffer bloat’
  • SMBv2 protocol support as well as stable NFS 4.1
  • Improved security with support for signed kernel modules, stronger sandboxing for sshd and more
  • faster and more stable Nouveau NVidia driver, supporting newer hardware


System Tools

  • support for Bluetooth audio sources and virtual surround sound in PulseAudio 3
  • Rewritten zypp PackageKit backend for improved integration with the cross-distro PackageKit and the graphical apper software update and installation tool
  • This release also brings proper UEFI support for x86_64 hardware and experimental support for Secure Boot enabled hardware. Read this blog for more information and find out how to use it in the wiki.


Live Media
The KDE and GNOME live images are now designed to be written to, booted and installed from a USB disk rather than a CD; consequently, they are now about a GB large each. They are now also more feature rich and include:

  • the entire LibreOffice 3.6 stack
  • GIMP!
  • the openJDK java environment
  • delectable set of system recovery and backup tools, including:
    • gparted, the user friendly and powerful disk partition manager
    • grsync, a GUI for rsync and a very useful backup tool
    • GNU dd_rescue and photorec, data recovery tools


Rescue CD
12.3 now ships an XFCE based Live CD designed to provide a lightweight and effective environment and powerful applications for recovering lost data, backing up existing data, editing disk partitions and accessing the help channels of openSUSE. Among others, it provides the following applications:

  • gparted and YaST’s disk partition manager for creating and modifying partitions
  • Subset of YaST modules to help with system recovery: bootloader manager, network device management
  • GNU dd_rescue and photorec for recovering lost or corrupt data
  • grsync, an rsync GUI, useful for backups
  • lftp: a feature rich ftp client
  • a lightweight web-browser (Midori), Xchat for irc chat, and a pdf reader to read pdf manuals


SUSE Studio
SUSE Studio users can expect availability of openSUSE 12.3 right from the release date, and support for upgrading existing appliances shortly after. This means it will be possible to easily create your own operating system for the cloud, desktop or portable devices based on openSUSE 12.3 with a custom package selections, artwork, scripts and any other properties. You can share your appliance or also browse other’s shared appliances on SUSE Gallery.

„6 months of open collaboration by our international Free Software community has once again resulted in a awesome product. It is great to see openSUSE again bring a stable but not outdated product to its users.”

– said Michael Miller, VP of SUSE

Support and life cycle

As usual, this release will continue to receive bugfixes and security updates for at least 2 release cycles + 2 months. Currently, openSUSE 13.1 is scheduled in about eight months.

For an even more detailed feature guide visit opensuse.org/12.3.

Go, get it!

Downloads of openSUSE 12.3 can be found at software.opensuse.org/123

Users currently running openSUSE 12.2 can upgrade to openSUSE 12.3 via the instructions at this link. Users who have a properly set-up Tumbleweed setup will automatically migrate to the new release without any additional effort!

Check out ARM images at the ARM wiki. Experimental ARM64 images are already available, stable 12.3 based images are there and will receive full maintenance alongside 12.3.


12.3 represents the combined effort of thousands of developers who participate in our distributions and projects shipped with it. The contributors, inside and outside the openSUSE Project, should be proud of this release, and they deserve a major “thank you” for all of the hard work and care that have gone into it. We hope that 12.3 is the best openSUSE release yet, and that it will help to encourage the use of Linux everywhere! We hope that you all have a lot of fun while you’re using it, and we look forward to working with you on the next release!

About the openSUSE Project

The openSUSE Project is a worldwide community that promotes the use of Linux everywhere. It creates one of the world’s best Linux distributions, working together in an open, transparent and friendly manner as part of the worldwide Free and Open Source Software community. The project is controlled by its community and relies on the contributions of individuals, working as testers, writers, translators, usability experts, artists and ambassadors or developers. The project embraces a wide variety of technology, people with different levels of expertise, speaking different languages and having different cultural backgrounds. Learn more about it on opensuse.org

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104 Responses to “openSUSE 12.3 – Awesome as 1-2-3”

  1. Gilbert

    Hi, I’ve been using SuSE/openSUSE (in dual boot with Windows) since 2002. Until this 12.3 release the releases I’d liked best were the early 10.x, 11.x and 12.1. I’d had problems installing 12.2 in particular on a large partitioned RAID 5 drive shared with Windows and lots of problems with WiFi making 12.2 virually unusable. I kind of pinned my openSUSE hopes on 12.3…

    And, wow, I installed 12.3 last night and you guys HAVE REALLY OUTDONE YOURSELVES! This release is slick, classy and smooth! No installation problems (granted I did just import my working mount points from 12.2) and the problems I’d been having with WiFi dropping off and having to be continually restarted appear to be resolved. Great, great work guys! Congrats on the new baby and THANK YOU!

    • bgd


      I hope it is just me, but I am afraid that dual booting with Windows lead to OpenSuSE WiFi conncection problems. Not from the first day, but in a week or 2 from the use of Windows..
      At least this is what seems to happen to me, I had to start W a while a go and bang, no more WiFI in OpenSuSe… I reinstaled OpenSuse..all ok till I had to resart W again.. and again in a week or 2 no more Wifi… I reReinstaled OpenSuse…and now I am afraid to restart Win…
      Does Anybody know anything about this?

      • Gilbert

        Hi E17?

        I haven’t experienced this with 12.3. I have had a few connectivity problems when trying to go through Network Manager so I stopped fiddling with that as my installation is on a desktop anyway; wifi in 12.3 using YasT2 has been rock soid so far in dual boot with Win7 (unlike my experience with 12.2). For what you describe to happen, Windows would have to be changing settings in your wifi hardware. Very strange. Sorry I can’t help more, but in any case this isn’t a support forum. It’s a slap on the back forum :)

      • professor

        When I put 12.2 on my laptop, the wifi worked. And then with use, slowly over a few weeks, the wifi became worse and worse, to the point now where it is totally worthless. I do not think that W is doing anything to it. I do not have W, but it does it to itself, all by itself.

        12.3 live, I can not get network manager to work at all. Tried it on a working machine with 12.1 and in 12.3 live, it has no connectivity at all, and I mean wired connectivity. Tried it several times, no idea why.

      • GlennD

        I’ve been using a Windows XP/Linux Mint 14 dual-boot system and have alternately booted in both. After a week or so the Linux Mint Wi-Fi has failed progressively as “bgd” and “professor” describe, and the Network Manager itself appears to collapse. You click on the menu button, it flashes, then nothing else happens!
        The XP has continued to give Wi-Fi access to my modem whenever used.
        I only got OpenSUSE yesterday and I’m writing this from a LiveCD install. Just thought you’d like to know the problem might not be restricted to OpenSUSE distros. I’m going to try a few distros out on a multi-boot hard disk over the next few weeks.

  2. erin


  3. Chris

    I critized the 12.1 12.2 and maybe some other release for some really annoying Bugs. I used Suse sinde version 7.0 and since around the 9.x i felt a downwarding trend.

    But i have to admit that 12.3 is a real fine piece of Software!

    Finally i can use OpenSuse again ;)

  4. E17?

    I just wish that there’s a proper individual E17 release though, I mean c’mon I know that you guys love KDE that much but really?

  5. Claude

    I finished upgrading two major servers from 12.1 to 12.3 via zypper dup. The upgrade worked flawlessly. I had only some minor issues thereafter which I would like to share with you:

    * Previously I has rsystem and syslog-ng installed (using the former one). With 12.3 I am unable to uninstall syslog-ng.
    * Samba did not start the first time. I had to have all table files regenerated.
    * vsftp required the options seccomp_sandbox=NO to work correctly.
    * Tomcat is now version 7 rather than 6. I had to upgrade Jira for it to work with V7.
    * Setting the run-level via yast2 does not work in all cases. I reverted to doing it manually.
    * Emacs gives a strange warning message (Error retrieving accessibility bus address …) which does not impair its functionality.
    * Apache2 did not start Perl support as the file mod_perl-startup.pl was missing (maybe this is due because of upgrading from 12.1). Uninstalling the apache packages and re-installing them solved the problem.
    In addition I find it curious that 12.3 ships with 3.7 Kernel, wich is (according to http://www.kernel.org) marked “End of Life”.

    As a system administrator, I would love to have a longer life-span of the releases. Having to upgrade every 18 months is tedious (especially with all the testing that goes with it). Why not have the X.1 release supported until release X+1.1 comes out and have the releases X.2/3/4 supported until the next release, i.e. X.3/X.4/X+1.1 (plus 2 months).

  6. Dear all! I would like to be able to install both Gnome and K.D.E desktop on my machine and then choose which desktop I want to use. This facility was there in SUSE professional 9.1, 9.3 10.1 etc. Since open SUSE 11.3(I have that at present) users are forced to choose the desktop, Gnome of K.D.E. Which is undesirable to me. Can this not be corrected.
    Thanks and regards

  7. David

    oops – 12.3 doesn’t play well with ACPI on certain systems (constant reboots during install phase, must disable ACPI in GRUB2 to get workstation to boot even after install has completed) nor does it care too much for nVidia 8400 GS hardware; stuck at 640×480. Proprietary nVidia driver freezes system when udev loads.

    While 12.3 is fine on my AMD-based laptop – I am forced to fall back to 12.2 on my media center.

  8. Anton

    Долой windows, да здравствует openSUSE!
    Никогда не думал, что это скажу, но это правла.

    • Vidas

      Ja toze tak dumal. Liubov prixodit i uxodit, a zrat xocetsa kazdyj den. :) Ja uze vot 10 let ebus bezplatno :)

  9. Anonymous


  10. Penny

    My first installation of SUSE12.3 was OK, gnome, and xWindows were running flowlessly… when I tried to acces the BIOS, something happened to the system, and suddenly xwindows would not run any more.!!!!
    I have tried to reinstall, but nothing…
    I don’t know what happened to the systemmm!!!!

    I am hating for having tried to access BIOS…!!!

  11. Dear all! How to download md5checksum for open SUSE12.3 DVD ISO file from the download site so as to compare with the down loaded 12.3 DVD ISO file on my computer?
    With regards to all

  12. Great, just great !