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Sneak Peeks at openSUSE 11.1: The Latest GNOME Desktop

December 16th, 2008 by

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.

GNOME Desktop w/ SUSE GreeterGNOME Desktop

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.

File Broswer with Thumbs

Communication

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!

Configuration Improvements

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.

Multi-monitor Support

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.

New Login

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!

Banshee 1.4 Released

November 14th, 2008 by

Aaron Bockover has announced that the 1.4 release of Banshee is now available. The new release includes support for Android G1, better device support, a new track editor, the ability to rescan libraries for new or deleted tracks — plus 196 bugs fixed since Banshee 1.2.1.

See the Banshee download page for the one-click installer for openSUSE 11.1 and 10.3, as well as packages for other platforms.

Announcing openSUSE 11.0 GM

June 19th, 2008 by

The openSUSE Project is proud to announce the release of openSUSE 11.0 — everything you need to get started with Linux on the desktop and on the server. Promoting the use of Linux everywhere, the openSUSE Project provides free, easy access to the world’s most usable Linux distribution, openSUSE.

The 11.0 release of openSUSE includes more than 200 new features specific to openSUSE, a redesigned installer that makes openSUSE even easier to install, faster package management thanks to major updates in the ZYpp stack, and KDE 4, GNOME 2.22, Compiz Fusion, and much more.

On the Desktop


Whether you use GNOME or KDE, the openSUSE 11.0 desktop is a beautiful experience. Users have the choice of GNOME 2.22, KDE 4, KDE 3.5, Xfce, and more! See the screenshot page for a in-depth look at the openSUSE desktop.

GNOME 2.22

GNOME users will find a lot to like in openSUSE 11.0. openSUSE’s GNOME is very close to upstream GNOME, because Novell and openSUSE want to do as much work as possible in the upstream release. However, we do modify GNOME’s artwork to provide a unified look and feel for the distro. The default GNOME configuration, such as panel layout, is slightly different than “stock” GNOME, and the openSUSE GNOME team backports a number of bug fixes into our GNOME release to ensure stability and the best possible GNOME experience.

GNOME 2.22

GNOME 2.22 in openSUSE 11.0 includes the GNOME Virtual File System (GVFS), with better support for networked file systems, PulseAudio for better sound management, improvements in Evolution and Tomboy, and much more!

KDE 4.0

openSUSE 11.0 is the first openSUSE release to include a stable release of KDE 4.0. This release includes sweeping changes in the KDE desktop, and represents the next generation of KDE. This release includes a new desktop shell, called Plasma, a new look and feel (called Oxygen), and many interface and usability improvements.

KControl has been replaced with Systemsettings, which makes system configuration much easier. KDE’s window manager, KWin, now supports 3-D desktop effects.

KDE 4.0 doesn’t include KDEPIM applications, so the openSUSE team has included beta versions of the KDEPIM suite (KMail, KOrganizer, Akregator, etc.) from the KDE 4.1 branch that’s in development and scheduled to be released in July and for online update.

Note that KDE 3.5 is still available on the openSUSE DVD for KDE users who aren’t quite ready to make the leap to KDE 4.

KDE 4 on openSUSE 11.0

Compiz Fusion

The openSUSE desktop is not only a green glorious sight to behold, it’s also available in 3-D! Compiz Fusion is now the default in openSUSE 11.0. You’ll find a slew of interesting Compiz plugins, as well as easier configuration with Simple CompizConfig Settings Manager (CCSM) and the more comprehensive CompizConfig Settings Manager that allows detailed configuration of your Compiz setup. See the Sneak Peek for a detailed look at Compiz Fusion on openSUSE 11.0.

Firefox 3.0

Firefox is one of the most popular open source applications on the planet, and the openSUSE desktop just wouldn’t be complete without Mozilla Firefox. The 3.0 release has a number of new features and improvements that will make browsing the Web on openSUSE convenient and safe, including better site identification features, simplified add-on installation and management, detection of “phishing” sites, the ability to save tabs on exit, better download manager, and a new page zoom feature that lets you zoom text or the entire page.

Note that openSUSE 11.0 ships with Firefox 3.0 beta 5, and updates to the final 3.0 release will be available through online update.

Firefox 3.0

Banshee 1.0

openSUSE 11.0 includes Banshee 1.0. The Banshee media player has been re-written to improve performance and includes many new features, including video playback, better “shuffle” playback, support for iPods, MTP devices, and mass storage player devices, and support for podcasts and better Last.fm integration.

Banshee 1.0

OpenOffice.org 2.4

You can work hard and play hard with openSUSE. If you need a high-quality office suite that’s Microsoft Office compatible, look no further than Novell’s OpenOffice.org 2.4. This release includes import support for OpenXML, 3-D transitions in Impress, SVG import support, improved performance over standard OpenOffice.org, and better Excel support and VBA macro support.

NetworkManager 0.7

NetworkManager has been vastly improved since 10.3, and now includes support for multiple network interfaces and UTMS and EV-DO cards.

Under the Hood

  • Linux kernel 2.6.25
  • glibc 2.8
  • GCC 4.3

Media and Download


openSUSE is now available for immediate download. The openSUSE 11.0 release brings several new options for installation media, as well as familiar choices:

  • openSUSE 11.0 DVD 32-bit
  • openSUSE 11.0 DVD 64-bit
  • openSUSE 11.0 KDE 4 32-bit Live CD
  • openSUSE 11.0 GNOME 32-bit Live CD
  • openSUSE 11.0 KDE 4 64-bit Live CD
  • openSUSE 11.0 GNOME 64-bit Live CD

You can download openSUSE 11.0 via HTTP, FTP, BitTorrent, and Metalink from software.openSUSE.org.

You can also purchase a retail box with openSUSE 11.0 that includes 90-day installation support, physical media, and a printed Getting Started guide.

Communicate


We want to hear from you! The openSUSE Project has many channels of communication:

To keep up to date with openSUSE, be sure to keep an eye on openSUSE News and watch Planet SUSE for blog posts from the openSUSE community.

Want to help the openSUSE Project? To get involved with openSUSE see the How to Participate page on the openSUSE wiki. We can use lots of different skills to help the project, so feel free to jump in!

All of the contributors who have worked on openSUSE deserve a huge thank you. Without your hard work, this release would not have been possible. openSUSE 11.0 is the best openSUSE release yet, and will help promote the use of Linux everywhere! Now, get openSUSE 11.0 and have a lot of fun!

Sneak Peeks at openSUSE 11.0: Talking GNOME with Vincent Untz

June 18th, 2008 by

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.

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Banshee 1.0 Released!

June 10th, 2008 by

The Banshee team has released version 1.0! This release will be found in openSUSE 11.0, and includes tons of new features and improvements over the previous Banshee releases. This is a ground-up rewrite that improves speed, a redesigned interface, better integration with Last.fm, and video management!

See the entire release announcement on the Banshee homepage, including screenshots and a full list of new and notable features.If you’d like to help spread the news, please use this Digg link to vote it up.

The Banshee team includes openSUSE contributors Aaron Bockover, Gabriel Burt, and James Willcox.

openSUSE Wants Your Vote (on Bugs)

May 19th, 2008 by

Attention openSUSE users and contributors! It’s time to exercise your vote and help the openSUSE team identify the bugs that need to be squashed prior to the openSUSE 11.0 release. On May 22nd, we’re having a bug voting day to help ensure we identify the most troublesome issues in Bugzilla under openSUSE 11.0.

Please join us on Thursday, May 22nd from 07:00 UTC until 19:00 UTC. Check out the voting instructions on the Bugzilla and openSUSE wiki. We’ll also have live help available in the #openSUSE-Factory channel on Freenode.

If you don’t have a Bugzilla account yet, you can sign up for one here. You know you want one! Sign up today!

By prioritizing the bugs, we can ensure that we’ve got the right bugs in our sights for the openSUSE 11.0 release.

Of course, you can help with bug voting at any time. There’s no need to wait for a bug day! Just roll up your sleeves and head over to the openSUSE Bugzilla and jump right in.

Questions or suggestions before the bug day? Drop me a note at zonker@opensuse.org.

Announcing openSUSE 11.0 Beta 1

April 18th, 2008 by

The openSUSE team is proud to announce the first Beta release of openSUSE 11.0! There are many exciting enhancements and features in the new release. Among these is the incredibly fast package management (libzypp), KDE 3.5.9 and 4.0.3, GNOME 2.22.1, a beautiful new installer, live CDs and much more.

What’s New

 

The openSUSE 11.0 beta 1 includes quite a few changes and new features that users will find interesting, including:

KDE 4 and KDE 3.5: The openSUSE 11.0 beta 1 includes KDE 4.0.3, which includes a number of new features, fixes, and optimizations. See the KDE4 page for more info on the KDE4 branch. To help test, see the wiki for info on reporting bugs in KDE. Not quite ready to move to KDE4? No worries, the beta includes an installation option for KDE 3.5 in addition to KDE4.

GNOME 2.22: Beta 1 includes GNOME 2.22.1 with plenty of new features and packages. Interested in helping with testing for GNOME in openSUSE 11.0? See the wiki for all the info you need.

YaST ported to Qt4: openSUSE’s administration and installation tool, YaST, has been ported to Qt4, providing beautiful styling for the installer, and an improved look for areas such as package management.

Screenshots!

 

Here’s a quick look at openSUSE 11.0 beta 1:

os110beta1-inst7_thumb.jpg os110beta1-kde4-2_thumb.jpg

os110beta1-kde3_thumb.jpg os110beta1-gnome_thumb.jpg

For some more screenshots head over to Screenshots/openSUSE_11.0_Beta1 on the wiki.

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openSUSE KDE/GNOME Packaging Day: 30th November / 1st December

November 21st, 2007 by
Packaging

The GNOME and KDE teams have teamed up to provide two packaging days, from November 30th until December 1st (from any timezone to any timezone). It will take place on IRC in the #opensuse-buildservice channel.

We will help interested newcomers and already experienced packagers in learning all the little tricks and bits needed for creating good openSUSE packages of your favourite application with the openSUSE Build Service. A little existing experience in compiling software from source is recommended, and the wiki page also lists several other useful things to read.

So join our effort in creating more packages for your favourite Linux Distribution!

Dirk Mueller and Michael Wolf

First GNOME Team Meeting

September 24th, 2007 by

The GNOME team will hold its first public meeting this Thursday at noon EDT/18:00 CST/1600 GMT.

In general we will follow the meeting guidelines outlined for the openSUSE project, except we will use #opensuse-gnome as the IRC channel. Please add agenda items and questions to the meeting page. This particular meeting will be centered around 10.3 cleanup, 11.0 planning and the process/planning improvements for the team (ie having these meetings, and re-organizing our section of the wiki like we’ve done over the past couple of weeks).

Meeting agenda:
http://en.opensuse.org/GNOME/Meetings/20070927

GNOME meetings info:
http://en.opensuse.org/GNOME/Meetings

Sneak Peeks at openSUSE 10.3: SUSE-Polished GNOME 2.20

September 20th, 2007 by

openSUSE has been driving innovation on the Linux desktop, and in today’s serial we’ll be discovering just what has been happening on the GNOME front. Among other things, openSUSE 10.3 is set to contain, and be among the very first to have, the new GNOME 2.20. We’ll see what new things you can expect from this version, what additional polish openSUSE brings to the desktop, and finally we’ll be talking to JP Rosevear (jpr), an openSUSE and GNOME developer, to find out a little more.

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