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10.03.09

Novell News Summary – Part I: OpenSUSE, Novell SUSE, and Samsung

Posted in GNU/Linux, Novell, OpenSUSE, Samsung, SLES/SLED at 3:25 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Gecko on tree

Summary: OpenSUSE 11.2 Milestone 8 is out, more conference notes, customised versions of OpenSUSE, and SLES

Here is a rundown of OpenSUSE news from the past week, accumulated independently from OpenSUSE Weekly.

Releases

The main story is about Andreas Jaeger announcing the release (or arrival) of OpenSUSE 11.2 Milestone 8 — a milestone soon followed by Heise coverage:

openSUSE developer Andreas Jaeger has announced the availability of the eight milestone in the development of openSUSE 11.2, code named Fichte. The eight milestone, the last before the first release candidate, includes several changes and updates since the release of the previous milestone from mid-September.

Jaeger also wrote about the in-place upgrade mechanism while eWeek wrote a lot more about technical aspects of OpenSUSE 11.2.

The OpenSUSE Project has released the last milestone of OpenSUSE Linux before an anticipated final release in November. OpenSUSE 11.2 Milestone 8 (M8) features numerous bug fixes, Linux kernel 2.6.31, improved partioning, social networking clients, and new versions of packages including GNOME 2.28, says the project.

More here.

Conferences

OpenSUSE Conference 2009 may be over now, but some members of OpenSUSE still write about it, upload material, and share notes.

Conference was great. Meeting so many people interested in openSUSE. And so many interesting talks. Sometimes it was really hard to decide where to go as there were four simultaneous talks most of the time. My todo list was growing most of the time. I’ll mention few talks I found most interesting in random order.

Zonker already prepares for another event in Canada.

The third annual Ontario Linux Fest is going to be taking place on Saturday, October 24th in Ontario, Canada — and I’m pleased to report that I’ve been asked to deliver the “Musical Guide to the Future of Linux” keynote at OLF!

Here is a new interview with Zonker, who spoke to Tux Radar.

Joe Brockmeier: Mainly, 11.2 is going to have refreshed desktops. WebYAST is very important. So overall in 11.2 I see a ton of enhancements… We should also have a Moblin version of OpenSUSE called Goblin – I’m looking forward to that for my netbook. We’ll be shipping Gwibber, one of my favourite social networking tools.

Technical

Tux Training has published zypper cheatsheets for OpenSUSE and more zypper stuff comes from here. Andreas Schneider is writing about a KDE “killer app” known as kio (a personal favourite) and some other programs are being packaged, e.g. bleachbit 0.6.5.

OpenSUSE turns out to have another refugee and here is a chart that’s mapping OpenSUSE ambassadors, which can be roughly indicative of adoption and following around the world.

Why distributions shouldn’t ship development versions
At Desktop Summit Lubos asked me what openSUSE has to do that I will switch back to SUSE. I replied that I am satisfied with Kubuntu and so I don’t see any need to switch the distribution. So what has changed since July?

GNU/Linux adoption is generally very high in Brazil, so it turns out that OpenSUSE is rather popular there.

Brazil is doing great here, doubling any other country’s Ambassadors number in the region. No doubt it’s not just users who are pushing Open Source out there but also their government and enterprises (example:Fisl), and I am glad openSUSE is a real choice for them.

Customisation

LifeHacker has this article about the fake ‘Chrome OS’, which was built with SUSE Studio.

“Chrome OS” was built using SUSE Studio, a distribution and virtual appliance builder spawned from the OpenSUSE Linux distribution. It loads up with a Chrome icon, uses built-in webapp links to Google Calendar, Gmail, and other Google services as apps, and carries a copy of OpenOffice, just in case you need some straight-up desktop editing done. Most importantly, it holds the latest development copy of Google Chrome inside, along with a pre-built Flash plug-in.

This was followed by a more detailed introduction to Studio.

SUSE Studio is what powered the fan-made “Chrome OS” we posted yesterday, which, in that case, was a semi-stripped-down system loaded with the developers’ version of Chrome, Google webapp links, and OpenOffice. If speed and cloud computing aren’t your bag, you can create a fully functional system with Firefox, 3D graphics, and whatever apps you can find installed. Want your system to start up with an AWN dock and Launchy keystroke launcher running? Not a problem.

One variant of OpenSUSE is OpenSUSE for Education, which got some coverage along with the LXDE variant of OpenSUSE.

Another form of OpenSUSE variant makes use of Moblin, but it is not so well received so far.

Ready? Really?

As it turns out, I wound up actually “eating the dogfood,” if you will — I used the little Seashell and OpenSUSE/Moblin to post stories from this year’s IDF tradeshow. I can’t say that it was the ideal environment for a working compujournalist — Moblin UI technology really is not aimed at business users. Yet, I did manage to get work done, for example posting a fairly involved photo highlights gallery.

Overall, I found Novell’s Moblin implementation to be very usable, though like any OS with the Moblin UI, it’s different enough from other OS environments to take a bit of getting used to. Some limitations, currently, include:

* The Firefox-based browser has been stripped of features need by “professional” browser users
o The ability to right-click to copy an image or link URL
o There’s no way to view source without typing “view-source:” in front of the URI
o No “Alt” shortcuts (Alt-backarrow [back] and Alt-r [reload] being the most useful)
o No “Page Info” panel

SUSE (SLES/SLED)

Apart from a bunch of technical writings at Novell’s Web site, not much news could be found this week, almost none at all. The following press release (also in PR Newswire) was probably the sole exception.

Novell today announced The Burton Corporation, the world’s leading manufacturer of snowboards, moved its mission-critical applications from UNIX* to SUSE® Linux Enterprise Server from Novell to improve system uptime and reduce overall server-related costs by 80 percent.

Samsung

Not so long ago we wrote about a Samsung phone to avoid (Samsung signed a Linux patent deal with Microsoft) and here it is again.

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