openSUSE 11.0 is one of the most anticipated Linux distribution releases of recent times. The openSUSE team released version 11.0 yesterday, and it comes with the latest KDE4, GNOME, kernel, all the usual latest and greatest. In addition, it carries a few new Compiz Fusion plugins, improved package management (still a weak spot for openSUSE), and a brand new front-end to the installer. Reviews are starting to trickle in, and they are almost exclusively positive.
First we have The Register, who finds that openSUSE 11.0 has a ‘Mactastic’ shine.
Overall OpenSUSE 11 is a nice evolution in the SUSE line, building on the features in 10.3, but also making the distro more approachable for Linux newbies without withholding power user tools. The DVD distro in particular offers just about all the options one could ask for and manages to make the installation process every bit as simple and elegant as a closed source system like Mac OS X, which is no small feat.
Provided the name Novell doesn’t send you running for the free software hills, OpenSUSE 11 is an easy-to-use distro and worth a closer look.
Linux.com’s Susan Linton also has nothing but praise for openSUSE 11.0. She concludes:
openSUSE 11.0 is a fabulous release. The pretty new graphics set the stage for significant improvements under the surface. All the time and energy put into the package management system has paid off. Including KDE 4 is not as big of a risk for openSUSE as it might be for other major distributions because of the conservative and intuitive way KDE 4 is set up. openSUSE has given me hope that I could actually like KDE 4.
As many point-0 releases, 11.0 does have bugs and rough edges. I experienced a few, and others are likely to be reported in the upcoming weeks. For the most part, the ones I encountered were insignificant, not showstoppers.
Overall, 11.0 is a commendable release. The developers have done an admirable job walking that fine line between stable and bleeding edge. If you like the latest software or wish for a nice usable KDE 4, then openSUSE 11.0 is for you. If you’re completely happy with 10.3, well, perhaps you might want to wait for further reports.
Last but not least, Ars Technica took a quick look at openSUSE 11.0 and the KDE4 variant it comes with, and came to the conclusion that openSUSE 11.0 delivers the best implementation of KDE4 currently available.
This is a very strong OpenSUSE release with a lot of compelling improvements. OpenSUSE 11 offers the best KDE 4 experience out there and will continue to be our reference distribution for KDE testing. OpenSUSE 11 is also an increasingly solid choice for GNOME users – its unique GNOME customizations add a nice level of polish, and the inclusion of Banshee and Beagle ensure that it provides a better set of default applications out of the box than Ubuntu and Fedora. It’s no Ubuntu-killer, but we can definitely expect to see OpenSUSE gain a larger following in the coming months.