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Do-No-Evil Saturday – Part II: OpenSUSE 11.1 on People’s PCs, Events Behind and Ahead

Posted in KDE, Linspire, Novell, OpenSUSE, SLES/SLED, Turbolinux, Xandros at 1:53 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

SuSE logo


OpenSUSE 11.1 is already here in the form of a test build and it has received some attention. For another perspective on OpenSUSE, there’s always the OpenSUSE Web site.

In this week:

* openSUSE 11.0 Survey
* openSUSE 11.0 PromoDVD
* openSUSE 11.1 Alpha1 is Available
* Bugzilla: Changed Definitions
* One Year of openSUSE News
* Andrew Wafaa: Lug Radio Live 2008 Report

OpenSUSE 11.1

Perhaps most interesting is the fact that an early live CD of KDE 4.1.0 (final) is built on top of OpenSUSE 11.011.1 alpha 1. Mixing stable with unstable? Anyway:

The KDE team today released KDE 4.1. The KDE developers, including the openSUSE KDE Team, have been working on it for the last six months. Lots of feedback from people trying out KDE 4.0 has gone into KDE 4.1, filling most of the gaps people experienced with the 4.0 releases. See the release announcement for more information and screenshots.

Here is an early look at this combination.

OpenSUSE 11.1 alpha 1 with KDE 4.1


Recently with the rise of KDE 4 and especially KDE 4.1 I’ve kinda wanted to try it just to see whats really going on. Now, personally I cannot stand KDE or qt, I’m a Gnome and GTK kinda guy. So where did I start? I went to Google to find OpenSUSE’s newest alpha which I’ve heard to have KDE 4.1. So I downloaded it, burned it, booted it, and was amazed at the art went into OpenSUSE.

Novell is also looking for some free labour with artwork. Yes, OpenSUSE’s face is bound to change again. Will it stay green? Back to blue maybe?

OpenSUSE 11.0

There was a variety of technical posts such as this one about Windows shares. In what appears like a new site, SUSEGeek, there have been quite a few instructional posts published, including this, this and this.

The following post about Debian 5.0 offers some good words to this latest release from the OpenSUSE developers.

I really like openSUSE…a LOT. It works well for me on my laptop, which is an interesting case. It doesn’t get along very well with a lot of Linux distributions. It’s an older Pentium-M Thinkpad R40 with a dead on-board NIC – it’s only Internet connection now is an Atheros based Wifi PCMCIA card which requires Madwifi to work. Although openSUSE doesn’t have Madwifi out of the box, it’s very easy to hit the Madwifi repository, download the RPM’s, install them and then keep it up-to-date with YaST.

CRN is, as usual, a little cautious and it labels OpenSUSE a distro for the pros.

OpenSUSE is probably best for power users, those who can take advantage of the virtualization support and more experienced Linux users. But for those just looking for a simple desktop to use e-mail or listen to MP3s, OpenSUSE is probably overkill.

If Power Users are the target audience, then surely Beranger might like it.

I was so lazy and disenchanted lately, that I didn’t care anymore about “morality” with regards to what OS I am using. This being said, the “new” laptop is still under openSUSE 11.0, and this should be regarded as a shame for the other Linux distros! So far, this bastard son of SuSE A.G. and Novell Inc. is performing well and it’s very stable with GNOME and KDE3 applications.

Another rants mix from Beranger says a little more about hardships with installation.

How on Earth can such a big distro as openSUSE 11.0 NOT have Glipper in the official repositories? (Or Parcellite, if not Glipper.) You can only get it from from zdenekzapp’s repository, which is hosted on opensuse.org, but it’s not an official repo!

Here are some experiences with KDE 4.x and word about Zypper.

Speaking about OpenSuSE in general… 11.0 seems like a solid release to me. In 10.3 Zypper just sucked. Totally. Waiting 5 minutes before it had even pulled together it’s repository caches was unbearable. It’s a lot better in 11.0, not as fast as apt, but almost there.

Negative experiences exist as well and here is one such examples.

My next pick was openSUSE 11.0, which I already was somewhat familiar with. It is a very nicely productized desktop environment and has some nice repositories available for backports. After installing and fine-tuning everything in place, I went on to watch a video in YouTube that a friend has sent me – Firefox crashed. Restarted it and tried a couple more videos, and got just as many crashes.

Public Appearances/Events

Zonker (Joe) took some notes about OSCON that he wanted to share :

I can’t believe OSCON is over already. It seems like the week flew by, probably because there was almost zero downtime from the time I arrived in Portland until the time I went to the airport.

Serdar Yegulalp also had some notes ‘spillover’ from OSCON. Some of it was about Joe.

(Joe Brockmeier (“Zonker”) sounded off on the above as well, although more from the point of view of the Linux community now being more willing to accept criticism of its methods and practices generally than the silo effect alone.)

A few days ago, Joe sent out the following E-mail about LinuxWorld.

Join the openSUSE Project for a day of fun and FOSS at the LinuxWorld
Expo! On Wednesday, August 6th, the openSUSE Project will be holding
its first “openSUSE Day” in North America, in conjuction with the
LinuxWorld Expo at the Moscone Center in San Francisco.

We’ll have a full day of presentations about the openSUSE Project,
KDE, GNOME, the Linux kernel, the openSUSE Build Service, and much
more. Come by and learn all about openSUSE, pick up an openSUSE 11.0
DVD and some of the fabulous door prizes — We’ll be giving away two
Chumby’s (must be present to win) and tons of openSUSE swag –
including openSUSE t-shirts, caps, and other big prizes.

The schedule runs from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., including an openSUSE
Birds of a Feather at 4:15 p.m. See the full schedule at:


We will also have a booth in the .Org area at LinuxWorld, so stop by
and say hi and learn all about openSUSE. Attendance is free, and if
you’re registered you also have access to the show expo floor. To
register, go to http://linuxworldexpo.com/live/12/register//SN335015.
Select the openSUSE Community Day and sign up.

Want to help with the openSUSE Day or help staff the openSUSE booth in
the LWE .Org Pavilion? We’d love to have you! If you’d like to get
involved, speak up on the opensuse-marketing list or contact Joe
‘Zonker’ Brockmeier (zonker@opensuse.org).

Joe has also just blogged about it here.


Videos like this new one make it difficult to criticise the project.

Ogg Theora


Not much to see here, but watch Gentoo taking over SUSE territories.

Companies like 1and1 and Strato offer virtual servers based on the Virtuozzo virtualization technology. While these machines are quite cheap and provide a full linux work environment they run SUSE by default. Not my favorite linux distribution…

I was pretty certain that I could also switch the server to Gentoo. But when I asked the customer support they told me that they have no one running Gentoo on any of these machines. And that they would have no clue if that could work.

Here is a bit of a fluke that can either be blamed on IBM or SUSE (or something upstream).

I was preparing to move to my Linux desktop yesterday when all hell broke loose. It seems the SLED 10 box and its partner in crime Lotus Notes were having a very bad day. Let me recapitulate.


IBM and Novell, the two of you are going to have to a whole lot better if you are going to think about challenging the Microsoft hegemony. I just hope I’m still around to see it!

Also SUSE-based are the products from rPath, which are covered in this article.

One thing that did catch my attention is the amalgam of licenses used in the rBuilder Appliance. rBuilder itself also isn’t open source, at least as far as I can tell. But I’ve suspected for a while now that we’re going to see more of this kind of amalgamating of open and proprietary.

Mixed-source? Perfect match for Novell.


Turbolinux Appliance Server 3.0 seems to have been released. Most of the mysterious articles seem to be in Japanese. Turbolinux is another company that sold out to Microsoft. There has been nothing from Xandros recently; it devoured Linspire silently.

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  1. Anonymous said,

    August 3, 2008 at 12:27 am


    > live CD of KDE 4.1.0 (final) is built on top of OpenSUSE 11.1 alpha 1.

    It’s built on top of openSUSE 11.0.

    > Mixing stable with unstable?

    No, just usual misinformation of this site.

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    August 3, 2008 at 12:49 am


    Hmmmm… someone told me it was OpenSUSE 11.1 alpha 1. Bad source. I’ll correct the post, thanks.

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