The OpenSuse development team will today release version 11.0 of its open source operating system. The community-developed OpenSuse project is one of the primary desktop Linux versions and with this release could well establish itself as the biggest threat to Ubuntu Linux domination.
Among the major changes in this release is a much improved Yast2 application manager that reports already suggest make package management significantly faster.
Installation times have also been significantly improved with this release and the development team says that a full installation should be as much as 60% faster than with previous releases. On some platforms that could mean a full install will take just over 20 minutes.
As is customary, OpenSuse will ship in a both a Gnome and KDE version. On the KDE side, OpenSuse will default to the KDE 4.0.4 desktop which adds a significant amount of sparkle to the desktop.
While KDE 4.0.4 is more attractive than earlier versions of KDE it does still have a number of rough edges so the development team has included KDE 3.5 in the install as well which is still more stable that KDE4 on a range of hardware.
For Gnome users OpenSuse will ship with Gnome 2.22, the version released in March this year and included in Ubuntu’s Hardy Heron.
Going head-to-head with Ubuntu Linux, one of the areas in which OpenSuse has a headstart over Ubuntu is in the better integration of PulseAudio with this release than in Ubuntu’s Hardy Heron. PulseAudio is the new advanced sound server which has advanced features such as network streaming, per-application sound control and the ability to shift sound between output devices.
OpenSuse also makes it as easy for users new to Linux to manage their desktop through Yast2, the open source package manager.
With this release OpenSuse looks well placed to take its position at the top of the Linux pile.