openSUSE 11.0 is out!

OpenSUSE 11.0 was released on Thursday 19th as scheduled in the release roadmap, and can be downloaded from the openSUSE site.

This version of openSUSE supports the 32bit, 64bit and PPC architectures, with a set of media constituted by the conventional, full featured DVD, the installable CD with the GNOME or KDE4 desktops, and the mini ISO CD for the network installation for the most experienced users.

The best innovations introduced in openSUSE 11.0 are listed in the sneak peeks written by Francis Giannaros, that you can read here. The detailed feature list can be found on the product highlights. The following list sums up the most important of them:

  • Kernel
  • gcc 4.3
  • Xorg 7.3
  • GNOME 2.22.1
  • KDE 4.0.4 and 3.5.9
  • Firefox 3.0
  • OpenOffice 2.4
  • Banshee 1.0


OpenSUSE 11.0 comes with a new, very elegant and clean installer, which has been redesigned both in the look and in the structure. The new installation based on images makes the installation process a lot faster and the automatic configuration significantly reduces the number of steps the user has to perform to configure his system. Of course the advanced configuration is always available, and it shows the usual YaST tools to set the details of the system up.

Hardware support

OpenSUSE hardware support has always been great, and this release keeps SUSE reputation. All the hardware of my DELL XPS m1330 was recognized immediately, including the wireless card and the webcam. The only detail which should be improved is the installation of the nVidia accelerated drivers, which still requires manual intervention, even if very reduced thanks to the 1-click technology.


I think that the GNOME implementation of openSUSE 11.0 really deserves some special consideration. OpenSUSE has been a KDE distribution for years, with GNOME considered by many an inferior desktop in this distribution. After some releases (from 10.1 to 10.3), where the GNOME implementation improved, but still had some problems, openSUSE 11.0 clearly shows that GNOME and KDE now receive the same level of attention in openSUSE.

Of particular note is the amazing work done by Novell GNOME team for the implementation of PulseAudio, which was initially problematic for other distributions, with sound glitches when the system was under heavy workload. OpenSUSE has none of these problems: PulseAudio simply works out of the box, and the audio quality is amazing even when the whole CPU is used.

Configuring desktop effects in GNOME is really a 2 clicks operation, with the simplified tool included in the openSUSE GNOME Contol Center. You simply need to install the nVidia accelerated drivers and then to enable the effects. No need of complex configurations.

NetworkManager makes networking extremely easy, automatically reconnecting to your wireless network when it’s detected, and being able to manage mobile broadband, vpn and dsl connections with a single applet.

Banshee 1.0 include a large number of new features it would deserve a separate review to extensively comment all of them. The most interesting ones are the ability of reproducing videos, the integration with Last FM, the new engine to manage the media database, and the redesigned interface.

The new international clock integrates with the weather applet, to show the weather forecasts in each location listed, and of course, it can shows evolution appointments and to-do list, as it already did in its previous versions.

Some problem is present in YaST-gtk when managing printers, but the team has already fixed it and a patch should come through online updates very soon.


OpenSUSE 11.0 represents an important step forward for openSUSE. They got rid off of the package management problems introduced in openSUSE 10.1, which affected the distribution until openSUSE 10.3, and now they can be proud of having one of the fastest package managment tools in the Linux world. GNOME finally reached a good level of maturity, KDE is offered in two versions to grant stability to the users who need it and to provide cutting edge KDE 4 to those who want to experiment.

For the future. I think openSUSE needs to take some breath, working on stabilization and keeping to work on cleaning the distribution as they already did for openSUSE 11.0. I would like to see some more care for details (i.e. fully functional 1-click installs for codecs, well tested YaST modules, …), a less hurried release process to be sure that unexperienced user won’t find difficulties in accomplishing simple tasks.

However, great work Geeko! 😉