After nine months of development the Novell-backed openSUSE Linux distribution has released version 11.3 which adds support for netbooks, touchscreen interfaces and a cloud-based backup and synchronisation service.
At its core, openSUSE ships with kernel 2.6.34 with support for the next-generation Btrfs file system and the display and graphics drivers have been updated. Kernel Mode Setting (KMS) is enabled for ATI, Intel and Nvidia graphics processors and the open source Nouveau is the default Nvidia driver.
Version 11.3 includes three virtualisation hypervisors Xen, KVM and VirtualBox which have all numerous updates.
On the desktop, GNOME has been upgraded to 2.30.1 and a preview of version 3.0 is included for testing; KDE (the default) is upgraded to version 4.4.4; and a new option, LXDE (Lightweight X11 desktop environment), is now integrated with the base system.
In GNOME, Tracker replaces Beagle - originally developed by Novell, but now defunct - as the default search engine and Empathy is the default IM client.
Other improvements include general integration work with the Nautilus file manager and the replacement of HAL with udisks for device management.
The release adds support for two netbook interfaces – KDE's Plasma Netbook Workspace and MeeGo. The openSUSE Goblin team has packaged MeeGo on openSUSE 11.3, including the Banshee music player.
For moble devices, 11.3 adds integration software for smartphones. With support for Android, iPhone and BlackBerry handsets users can sync music, photos or use the phone for Internet access.
OpenSUSE has inked an agreement online backup and file sharing service SpiderOak and integrated the client for 11.3.
SpiderOak replicates data over the Internet for cloud storage and can be used across Linux, Windows, Mac OS X and mobile devices.
The service supports version control and “zero-knowledge” data encryption. The standard 2GB version is free and there is a 15 per cent discount for openSUSE users who buy additional storage space.
For openSUSE servers and development platforms MariaDB and MySQL Cluster services makes an entrance as does Conntrack to filter network packets.
Developers get updated GCC, GDB and Mono environments and IDEs like Netbeans and Qt-Creator and many others. The openSUSE Build Service (OBS) is also available as a free service for developing open source software.