OpenSUSE's new Linux distribution is for the clouds

OpenSUSE's new Linux distribution is for the clouds

Summary: It's the season for major new Linux releases, and openSUSE is following on the heels of Fedora and Ubuntu with its latest Linux distribution.

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OpenSUSE 12.1 uses KDE 4.7 for its default desktop.

OpenSUSE 12.1 uses KDE 4.7 for its default desktop.

When Novell was bought by Attachmate, people wondered if Novell/SUSE's community Linux distribution, openSUSE, would even survive. Now, we know, openSUSE lives.

The openSUSE Project has released the latest version of its popular Linux distribution openSUSE 12.1. In a statement, Jos Poortvliet, openSUSE community manager for SUSE, said, "OpenSUSE 12.1 represents more than eight months of worldwide effort to create one of the industry's best Linux distributions. The openSUSE distribution and its thousands of open source applications are the result of contributions from individual testers, writers, translators, usability experts, artists, ambassadors, packagers and developers having a lot of fun working together to create a uniquely powerful set of tools and capabilities."

So what does that mean? Well, among other things even more so than Ubuntu, openSUSE is embracing the cloud.

By leveraging SUSE Studio, SUSE's roll your own Linux distribution program, you can build and deploy openSUSE 12.1 instances with your own custom package selections, artwork, scripts, etc. directly to Amazon EC2 or other cloud platforms.

Want to run a private cloud? No problem. OpenSUSE comes with customized Eucalyptus, OpenNebula and OpenStack. It also supports ownCloud 2. This is a do-it-yourself Web-based storage cloud application. OpenSUSE claims that "ownCloud is different from solutions like Google Docs, Dropbox or Ubuntu One in that it lets you own the data."

Well, I believe the others let you own data as well, but what ownCloud does bring to the table is the ability, with the Mirall installation tool and client software, to relatively easily set up own private cloud for storage, music-sharing and calendaring and contact management.

Moving from the cloud to the desktop, openSUSE uses, I'm sorry to say GNOME 3.2, the Linux desktop interface I most love to hate. Fortunately, it also includes the far superior KDE Plasma Workspaces 4.7 as default desktop.

The new openSUSE also includes a pair of tools, Snapper, that lets you easily retrieve older versions of files and revert changes or even roll back system updates and configuration changes. Conversely, it also comes with Tumbleweed, which you can use to update your system with rolling updates that contain the latest stable versions of all software. So this way, you can stay on the cutting edge with Tunbleweed, but then back off it if turns into the bleeding edge with Snapper.

Speaking of the cutting edge, openSUSE is also the first major Linux distribution to ship Google's Go programming language.

Sound interesting? You can download a copy of openSUSE 12.1 and check it out for yourself. There's an everything and the kitchen-sink DVD version, a network upgrade version for people already running openSUSE and live CD-sized versions featuring the GNOME and KDE desktop. I've already got mine.

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Topics: Operating Systems, Hardware, Linux, Open Source, Software

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18 comments
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  • RE: OpenSUSE's new Linux distribution is for the clouds

    Splendid: the best Linux possible.
    Claverhouse
    • Agreed!

      @Claverhouse : However I cannot stand KDE or Gnome 3 or all the other little WM's out there.
      People
  • Great o/s, shame about the desktops.

    Luckily its very easy to install lightweight window managers into openSUSE. In fact icewm (which comes with it) can be a good alternative to KDE or Gnome.
    peter_erskine
    • RE: OpenSUSE's new Linux distribution is for the clouds

      @peter_erskine@... Why would you want to pair a feature-filled OS with a featureless desktop? IceWM is used for distros like Puppy, designed to be very small and to work on ancient hardware.
      jgm2
      • RE: OpenSUSE's new Linux distribution is for the clouds

        @jgm@... wrote:
        "distros like Puppy, designed to be very small and to work on ancient hardware

        Puppy is my no. 2 distro behind Debian and currently supports three (3) editions:
        o Wary Puppy (for "ancient" hardware)
        o LuPu
        o Slack Puppy

        LuPu runs great on my 2005-era desktop with a P4 single-core processor (I wouldn't call it "ancient"). The default window manager is OpenBox. Puppy has a very small footprint on an older hard drive and, among other things, serves as a node for my Cassandra cluster that I run for grins.

        My observation has been that many experienced desktop Linux users prefer a light window manager to either KDE or Gnome. Fortunately, there are some good ones to choose from.
        Rabid Howler Monkey
  • RE: OpenSUSE's new Linux distribution is for the clouds

    Dolphin is so ugly!
    vahnx
    • RE: OpenSUSE's new Linux distribution is for the clouds

      @vahnx

      It beats explorer hands down, still no split windows there.
      Alan Smithie
  • Why bother with this

    ...when there is Windows 7. Seriously!
    adacosta38
    • RE: OpenSUSE's new Linux distribution is for the clouds

      @adacosta38
      Why, because OpenSUSE is a tool and may work for a user.
      Windows 7 works for you great, might not be needed for everyone.
      daikon
    • RE: OpenSUSE's new Linux distribution is for the clouds

      @adacosta38 Because there are no features Windows 7 offers that OpenSUSE doesn't (I know; I had to decide between upgrading Windows XP to Windows 7 or OpenSUSE) but there are features OpenSUSE has that Windows 7 doesn't or only includes in the Ultimate edition (like full-disk encryption). You also save $150+ on top of everything else, plus gain a faster product development lifecycle (and the ability to use it as a rolling distro and gain improvements even faster). There are also ecosystem addons like SUSE Studio to easily create your own versions of OpenSUSE for hard drive, USB, CD, DVD, cloud, etc.
      jgm2
      • RE: OpenSUSE's new Linux distribution is for the clouds

        @jgm@... There is a lot of work being done on an ARM port right now and it might very well see ARM compatibility before Windows 8 is released, which is another nice selling point if you've been eyeing all of those ARM-based tablets like I have and wishing they ran something more full-featured than Android or iOS.
        jgm2
    • Re; Why bother with this

      @adacosta38
      Because for some openSUSE suits their needs better than Windows 7.
      For a lot of users the opposite is of course true.

      For me: I tried Windows 7 RC , and found it lacking and lagging well behind openSUSE for [b] my purposes [/b].
      This is valid for me. It may very well be the opposite for you.

      It is good to have choices anyway.
      hkommedal
      • It is good to have choices!

        @hkommedal
        Let me ask though, you state for your purposes, openSuse is better. What do you consider your purposes?

        This is not meant to rip someone apart, demean (as I'm sure I'll be accused), etc. It's meant to gain a better understanding of someone elses perceived purposes. You have your purposes, I have mine, which are obviously different.

        What of your purposes makes Linux a better desktop? Understanding that kind of information on a broad scale could be key to furthering the success of any non-MS operating system.
        Cynical99
  • RE: OpenSUSE's new Linux distribution is for the clouds

    Kde is actually the official default OpenSuse desktop, though others can be selected on install if using the dvd, that aside nice to see a reasonably well-written objective article, a refreshing change from some of the recent rants I've read on zdnet

    But why the hell do some people have to turn everything into a windows v linux bitchfest, windows 7 is an excellent system and probably the best windows yet, opensuse is an excellent system, and as someone already said, it can do everything win 7 does plus a whole lot more

    Accept it, live with it, and remember you don't have to bear arms and fight to the death in defence of your chosen OS
    just_some_guy
    • It's Religion!

      @just_some_guy
      It seems that the Holy War of Operating Systems knows no bounds, and many consider this the epicenter.

      People like me just enjoy yanking the chains of the Holy Warriors.

      Steven thrives on it. The Holy War is about the only thing that keeps his blog alive. Without the Holy War, he'd just be another blogger no one listened to.

      Come to think of it, no one really listens / reads the blogs, they just come here to argue, hence Windows V Linux is the only consistent subject.

      Note that this was a normal, somewhat news worthy announcement and almost no action on the comments. Give him a week or two and he'll dig up something a bit caustic to get the comments moving!
      Cynical99
      • RE: OpenSUSE's new Linux distribution is for the clouds

        @Cynical99 <br>+1

        By the way; I will reply to your other post later. At the moment I'm tired and I want to give you a proper answer that I hope will show you why my preference for openSUSE is valid in my opinion.
        To do that I will need to present my points (valid for me) in a way that is as precise as possible without anything that may be mistaken for flaming.
        That will require me to do a point for point comparison and as I need to be fully awake for that.
        hkommedal
    • RE: OpenSUSE's new Linux distribution is for the clouds

      @just_some_guy +1,000,000,000

      Just a shame about all the fanboys out there that are a-holes and ruin everything for everyone else AND makes linux (or their distro or other os of choice) look like crap
      Win8AnUglyDisaster
  • RE: OpenSUSE's new Linux distribution is for the clouds

    Cynical99 I agree and pretty much knew all that I just feel like slapping some people upside the head and accompanying it with a 'ffs grow up' retort sometimes is all

    And I do notice that windows fanbois (and girls?) just have to hurl jibes at linux with every given opportunity, most of them have never tried it (properly) and you just KNOW that some are pretending that they have in an attempt to give their childish retorts some imagined weight

    'But but but ... I use windoze and I don't understand linux so windoze MUST be the best!'

    Linux people tend to have a far better understanding of windows than windows people do of linux, and that's why you see the more intelligent arguments from the linux people ... and they're by no means all geeks

    The machine I'm posting this from has arch, debian, opensuse and win 7 installed, when I read some of these articles I feel left out cos when I'm using windows I don't slag linux off and vice versa

    Maybe I'm just too grown-up'n reasonable for teh interweb
    just_some_guy