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Novell News Summary – Part I: OpenSUSE Survey and Site Changes, Breakage

Posted in GNOME, GNU/Linux, KDE, Marketing, Novell, OpenSUSE at 2:50 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: OpenSUSE news from the past fortnight, extending from Boxing Day to present

LAST week there was no post on the subject because of the holidays. This week’s post is a calm and mostly positive one.


Zonker, a Novell-paid spinner, writes about writing release announcements, which are naturally filled with a lot of promotional language.

I’ve been spending a fair amount of time away from the computer while on vacation, which has been nice, but I took some time yesterday to catch up on my RSS feeds. Even thought it’s pretty quiet out there right now, I found several posts and announcements about beta releases, project releases, and so on.

Zonker also writes about SCALE again. OpenSUSE will have presence there.

The Southern California Linux Expo (SCALE) is coming up shortly. We’re looking for some volunteers to help man the openSUSE booth at the show. If you’re an openSUSE enthusiast and planning on attending SCALE, please drop a note to the openSUSE marketing list.

Novell is hoping to put the red “N” and green Geekos right in people’s faces.


OpenSUSE 11.2 is far from a new release, but eWEEK did a special report on it just around Christmas.

eWEEK Labs’ Jason Brooks and Andrew Garcia discuss Novell’s latest community-oriented Linux OS, OpenSUSE 11.2, which is packed with official OpenSUSE versions of the latest and greatest of what the open-source software world has to offer. Where OpenSUSE 11.2 sets itself apart from its Linux rivals is its focus on highlighting community software contributions alongside the official distribution-provided packages. This community software focus, combined with the long time “power user” orientation of SUSE distributions, makes OpenSUSE 11.2 a very configurable–but potentially confusing–Linux-based operating system option.

Zonker wrote about promo DVDs of OpenSUSE 11.2 and later on he mentioned the OpenSUSE survey. OpenSUSE-Edu Li-f-e got coverage from Download Squad:

The best collection of Linux educational software for all ages that I know of is the openSUSE-Edu Li-f-e (Linux for Education) Live DVD.


There’s a wide variety of “edutainment” software on this DVD for kids 12 years old and up. For religious education there’s BibleTime, a Bible study tool. For chemistry, there’s Avogadro, Chemtool, gElemental, and XDrawChem. For astronomy, there’s the Stellarium planetarium simulator, and for math there’s Dr. Geo, Euler, K3DSurf, KSEG, wxMaxima and Xaos.

Let’s look at some reviews of OpenSUSE 11.2.


Here is a new comparison which was labeled “The Ultimate Distro Showdown”. Important distributions like Fedora are conspicuously missing, whereas OpenSUSE 11.2 is included.

We laid our hands on all the three biggies—Ubuntu 9.10, Mandriva 2010 and openSUSE 11.2—and pitted them against each other. What followed was the battle of the century, as each distro pulled off one unique trick after another to stay on top of the game.

A KDE developer had some difficulties with OpenSUSE 11.2, but it might not be related OpenSUSE itself. Other people who are closer to OpenSUSE seem to be getting along just fine.

Now finally yesterday I installed OpenSUSE 11.2 on my notebook (this one).

Installation went very smooth, and it seems all the hardware components were recognized automatically, 3D graphics, even WLAN.

Only issue, it still seems modern networking (aka networkmanager) doesn’t like me. Or I am too stupid.

By contrast:

In summary, all is well with openSUSE 11.2 on the Dell Mini 10v including the 3D desktop with compiz.

Looking at the GNOME side, OpenSUSE 11.2 received this fantastic new review.

openSUSE 11.2 Emerald is really a phenomenal release. It’s smooth, polished, expensive, with extreme attention to little details. It comes with everything you may need, want or desire. You will have to work very, very hard to find any flaws.


There were many posts of a technical nature but nothing spectacularly new or exciting. Ben Kevan wrote some posts about OpenSUSE and packages that it includes. Thunderbird 3.0 is among them:

Thunderbird 3.0 got released and is available as official update for openSUSE 11.2

Google Chrome got tested under OpenSUSE 11.2 over at Linux Crunch, which is a nice new Web site.

I would like to share with you my short experience with Google Chrome on openSUSE 11.2. Although it is in a beta stage, it is stable and fast. I like many things in it and I even tried to emulate them in Firefox (thanks to Firefox add-on). In this post, I will state my personal thoughts about Google Chrome and I will refer to Firefox in any comparison. I am using version


I can summarize the GUI design of Google Chrome with three words: simple, clean and effective. I like the way Google Chrome puts tabs in the title bar. I enjoy also how Google Chrome populates the speed dial page with time. There is no status bar.

We have found many HOWTOs relating to SUSE Studio or OpenSUSE 11.2 and Masim still makes a lot of OpenSUSE HOWTOs, such as this one. Here is an extensive installation guide for OpenSUSE 11.2:

When I wrote and published my extensive Ubuntu installation guide, I promised you many more step-by-step installation guides to come. Indeed, I have kept my word. You have had the Windows 7 guide and the new dual-boot guide for Ubuntu and Windows 7. Now, it’s time for the openSUSE installation guide.

Currently, openSUSE 11.2 is the latest openSUSE release, which will be the focus of our article today. We will learn how to choose the right edition, download it to our computer, burn the image to a CD/DVD, and then install the distribution to hard disk.

For those who want to build OpenSUSE packages, more information was made available [1, 2] and Katarina says that “YaST is falling” as she makes some suggestions.

Other technical posts of interest include:

Gemcutter + openSUSE Build Service cooperation (idea)

Last but not least: If Fedora and Mandriva had gem2rpm templates in a perfect shape too, Build Service could provide packaged gems also for their distributions.

Command-Line Tool Fuzzer Beta 2

On my train travel to Nuernberg I heavily rewrote fuzz-cmdline while testing it by fuzzing several setuid command-line tools on openSUSE 11.2.


OpenSUSE Weekly News went on as usual throughout the holidays (issues 103 and 104 are out, as well as an audiocast in German). They are looking for more translators/polyglots.

Improvements have also been made to openFATE, which we last mentioned a month ago (more details here).

Today i’ve made an little Cleanup in the openFATE Databse.

Site changes are an ongoing issue that led to technical problems and the OpenSUSE Wiki keeps getting changed, even “renewed” according to one source.

The openSUSE wiki is on the way to be renewed.

They have been saying this for quite a while now. Some of it appears to be coordinated in IRC.

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A Single Comment

  1. uberVU - social comments said,

    February 8, 2010 at 12:33 pm

    Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Identica by schestowitz: #OpenSUSE Survey and Site Changes, Breakage *http://boycottnovell.com/2010/01/09/suse-boxing-day-to-present/…

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