I've already evoked openSUSE here while I was installing Dropbox or promoting openSUSE Build Service library; but I never really took time to introduce this Linux distribution properly. Just so you really get to know a little bit more about this distribution, let me do first a little historical.
SUSE originally stands for "Software und System-Entwicklung", which can be literally translated "Software and System development". S.u.S.E. was the name of a 4 persons German company created in 1992 which offered consulting, manuals and softwares in the UNIX and Linux world. S.u.S.E. Linux 1.0 was actually a German version of the Slackware Linux.
Finally according to the legend, S.u.S.E. got tired about correcting Slackware's bugs and decided to create their own distribution which was named S.u.S.E. Linux 4.2 and was released in 1996. Why 4.2 and not 1.1 or 2.0 ? Well let's say there was obviously some geeks who knew 42 is "the ultimate answer to the great question of life" (if you don't get it, READ YOUR CLASSICS !!)
First version of YaST, 0.42, got its number for the very same reason. YaST (Yet Another Setup Tool) is one of the most powerful installation and configuration tools in Linux world, and still today one of the major arguments for choosing openSUSE among the numerous distribution available. The distribution also came with several Red Hat Linux functionalities, including the famous RPM packages manager (RedHat equivalent to Debian (and therefore Ubuntu) DEB packages manager).
Thanks to S.u.S.E. Linux 4.2, S.u.S.E. became the first distributor in Germany and the company aura grows rapidly when even Linus Torvalds himself used it for a while. If in some markets S.u.S.E. didn't manage to impose its distribution against local competitors (like in France against the Mandrake), S.u.S.E. became worldwide and opened subsidiaries in U.S.A. (1997) and in U.K. (1999). In the meantime, S.u.S.E. became SuSE (1998).
Sadly such a quick growth brought too much optimism and the company had to rapidly stop its expansion and even to close some subsidiaries as its survival became critical with the economic crisis of 2001-2003.
On November 2003, Novell publicly announced it was interested to acquire SuSE and made an offer for US$ 210,000,000. The deal was signed on January 2004 and SuSE became SUSE Linux. The same year Novell announced that Yast2 would run entirely under the GPL licence which made the distribution therefore totally free according to the Free Software Foundation.
On 2005 the community oriented project openSUSE was announced. Like RedHat's Fedora, openSUSE's goal is to make SUSE Linux far more accessible and user friendly to most people and promote Linux in their homes and not only their companies. From now on openSUSE became the free community orented distribution while SUSE Linux designated Novell's open-source solution for major enterprise..
On 2006 Novell has signed an historical partnership with Microsoft. If today a few Linux hardcore fans are still angry after Novell for that, it has also concurred to make openSUSE coming to the front of the scene and since then, openSUSE's prestige grows more and more and it is today one of the 5 most important competitors in the Linux distributions challenge including such great competitors like Debian, Ubuntu, Fedora, Mandriva, Mint, ... and the list is just getting longer everyday
In two days from now, on July 15th, the new version of the OS: openSUSE 11.3 will be released. If we'll know exactly all the new content on Thursday, here is what we now for now, thanks to novellshareware.com.
novellshareware.com wrote:What's new in openSUSE 11.3?
And in addition to the usual updates, some new goodies will be there.
The version of vertices:
- As usual it will be available for i386 and x86_64 architectures
- The retail version comes back to dual-layer DVD for 32bit and 64bit, with a printed manual and free installation support
Innovations on the basic system:
- The date and freshly released Linux kernel 2.6.34 will be there
- Alsa 1.0.23
- GCC 4.5
- KDE 4.4.3
- GNOME 2.30
- Xfce 4.6.1
- OpenOffice.org 3.2.0
- Mozilla Firefox 3.6.4
New in openSUSE 11.3 KDE Desktop
- Kernel Mode Setting (KMS) enabled by default for Nvidia, ATI and Intel
- The free NouveauTreiber is the standard Nvidia drivers
- Boot Manager grub2 is included, but is not used by default
- Zypper is the availability of updates, notifications about
- The graphical interface LXDE is included on the DVD medium
- Upstart init system is included as an option to
New applications in 11.3
- Synaptic touchpad Konfiguratiostool contained
- KTorrent is now shipped with DHT Support
- KUpdateapplet now supports an upgrade Distri
- KAddressBook is completely new and now uses the PIM framework Akonadi
They are up to now some details of the upcoming openSUSE 11.3. Of course this short list is not exhaustive. But these are the details published to date. It will be announced soon more details on 11.3, specifically the Gnome desktop and the server services. When the time comes you can find them here on http://www.novellshareware.com
- ImageWriter (surface to create a Live USB stick)
I've tested several Linux version these last months and my main laptop runs with openSUSE 11.1 and 11.2 version for so long now that I didn't yet changed it, even if I really want to test Mint outside a virtual server one of these days. I am really very pleased with that distribution which is very stable and has a very active and friendly community (the strongest point of Ubuntu). I can't wait to try this new version !