This release is available in multiple languages including asian languages such as Korean, Chinese and Japanese apart from a bunch of European languages. However Indian language support is still weak, though more are getting added ( Tamil, Hindi, Marathi, Bengali, Kannada, Telugu etc are already included in many distros).
Supported CPU architectures:
x86 ( your traditional Intel/AMD 32 bit CPUs) such as Pentium, Xeon, Pentium-M, Athlon, Duron etc.
AMD64: Extended x86 64-bit technology from AMD, Opteron and Athlon64 CPUs
EM64T: Extended x86 64-bit technology from Intel.
Key Applications and versions:
Kernel version 2.6.8
Gnome Desktop version 2.6
KDE Desktop version 3.3
Evolution v2.0 which can connect to MS-Exchange servers
GCC c/c++ and fortran compilers v3.3.4, Perl, PHP, Python etc
Several server programs such as Apache - web, Postfix – mail, Bind – DNS, DHCP – server, MySQL and PostgreSQL database servers, LDAP, News, NFS and Samba for Windows networking, Zope - AppServer
On the security front you get Kerberos client, SSL, GNU TLS, SUSE firewall script, nmap, nessus, chkrootkit, Selinux policy compiler etc.
SuSE is switching to X.org's new X11 server from the old XFree servers.
Also new are:
Inkscape - a vector drawing program
and Nvu – a WYSIWYG website editor – based on the famous Mozilla suite. I find that it is quite useful for static website creation. ( I traditionally use vim or quanta)
Apart from the large collection of Open Source applications, SUSE has packaged some commercial software such as Adobe Acrobat Reader, TextMaker/PlanMaker and MainActor5 (video editing). However I did not try out these applications.
SuSE has thoughtfully included SUN Java 1.4.2, Flash Player and RealPlayer 10, which is quite useful.
The Professional series is released about twice a year by SuSE. Software updates are available for two years, which, for a desktop, laptop and high volume ( 2-way, web/file/email/print/dns etc) server, is quite reasonable.
If you need much longer maintenance periods, or certifications, probably you should look at SuSE Linux Enterprise Server products or Novell Linux Desktop 9, which are fully certified against major applications and supported for 5-years.
Using the YAST tool, a few clicks will take you through locating mirrors for getting update packages, selecting which ones to install and complete the action. Due to the Open nature of Linux, aggressive updates are quite common, and by the time I finished installing the systems, there were already some updates waiting to be applied!
SuSE places a round SuSE Watcher applet on the desktop that monitors for updates and changes color depending on the importance of the patch ( Red – when security patches are pending, Orange – When normal or bug fix patches are pending), a click brings up a password prompt for root user and launches the update program. (Note that logging in as root or administrator is heavily discouraged on Linux systems, you are required to create a normal unprivileged user and login with that account)