“The latest release […] brings you speed-ups across the board with a faster storage layer in Linux 3.4 and accelerated functions in glibc and Qt, giving a more fluid and responsive desktop. The infrastructure below openSUSE has evolved, bringing in newly matured technologies like GRUB2 and Plymouth and the first steps in the direction of a revised and simplified UNIX file system hierarchy.” You can download openSUSE 12 from the mirrors.
openSUSE 12.2 released
About The Author
Follow me on Twitter @thomholwerda
2012-09-06 2:57 amthe_trapper
You should give it a try…I’ve been running it for a couple of hours now, putting it through its paces and it feels pretty solid to me. I haven’t encountered any bugs at this point. KDE 4.8.4 feels quite a bit snappier too.
2012-09-07 4:28 amUltraZelda64
I did go ahead and try it. First in a virtual machine, but every openSUSE release always seems to tempt me to try a full install, even if I know it’s not a perfect fit for my usage or my hardware. Long story short, the installation is as stable and “just works” as it always has been, with the only exception being 12.1.
While running the OS I can’t perceive any of these huge speed-ups that people are talking about from the lowest level of the kernel to the desktop (hey, it’s openSUSE, it’s born to be slow…), but it doesn’t seem to have that instability of 12.1. I have already encountered one bug where certain items in the Kicker menu (using classic type) have no text saying what they are beside the icon… maybe a bug brought on by a left-over artifact from when I had older versions of openSUSE and other KDE4 distros installed. It is annoying though.
I’m glad Stellarium is finally in the repository by default–that’s one program I always installed, and it was usually a PITA to figure out what repository to enable to get access to it. On CrunchBang, I don’t even bother installing it because nVidia is always a nightmare to get working in the current stable Debian distribution. My biggest annoyances probably deal with the package management system.
I have Firefox open with 58 tabs (carried over from my previous distro), Pidgin, and Konsole, and it’s sucking up 331MB swap space. This is why I always regret installing distros that run KDE4 or something similar, and distros like openSUSE in general that are known for being heavyweight OSes. If this Kicker menu problem is limited to myself only, then I can imagine this version of openSUSE being a very good choice for “normal” people that have at least a gig of RAM and don’t go wild with the Firefox tabs.
I do like the fact that openSUSE tends to have all the latest software… it’s always nice to use it for that reason alone; it can get boring running Debian exclusively, because it’s just so damn rock-solid. I’m not seeing anything huge that will make me run back to CrunchBang… I’ll just have to deal with a few weird quirks. On the bright side, openSUSE makes it safer to install the nVidia drivers, so I can finally play around with Stellarium and stuff like that again.
Edit: Must be some serious differences in how different Linux distros manage swap space, because while CrunchBang would be getting seriously slow and choppy by the time it hit ~200MB, openSUSE is 100MB past that and running surprisingly good considering the swapping.
Edited 2012-09-07 04:42 UTC
2012-09-08 7:52 amzima
While running the OS I can’t perceive any of these huge speed-ups that people are talking about from the lowest level of the kernel to the desktop
It’s probably largely a variant of ~placebo… notice how new releases of almost anything tend to be usually reported that way? (how fast it should all be by now!)
Why would computing be immune to ~placebo-like effects, why shouldn’t they be similarly prevalent as in, say, audio? (for example: http://plan9.bell-labs.com/wiki/plan9/Mouse_vs._keyboard/index.html or how, contrary to subjective opinions of quite a few “connoisseurs”, actual research seems to suggest that trackpoints are in fact inferior to touchpads… some examples in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pointing_stick#Comparison_with_touchpa… & http://cat.inist.fr/?aModele=afficheN&cpsidt=18522893 – conversely, note how the views and links supportive of trackpoint seem to be “subjective opinion” in character; and I even personally like trackpoints, I’m used to the concept, but…)
Once I did a blind test on a buddy who claimed that overclocking made a big difference – thing is, in a properly controlled test, he was unable to reliably say when the CPU was running at half the speed, his guesses weren’t statistically more significant than chance.
WRT your setup, OpenSUSE seems to have an ~official LXDE variant now… (though Lubuntu probably would be nicer, it kinda looks like the premier, almost-official LXDE distro). And yeah, swap behaviour can be very different between OS and applications (so maybe also how the same is packaged etc. between distros?); a bit frustrating – one OS & app combination seems to go rather nicely on 768 MiB RAM and around 1 GiB of swap in use, another chokes almost in any swapping.
PS. In related news – curious, no lemur-trolling.
Edited 2012-09-08 07:53 UTC
2012-09-08 10:32 amUltraZelda64
Well, there were some real technological improvements made all the way down from the kernel to the desktop. So theoretically, it *is* faster. Technically, it may be, but I will mention again (I did already didn’t I?) that I haven’t used openSUSE in quite a while, so it’s actually “feeling” of speed is not fresh in my mind. I just know, from what I remember, everything is mostly the same. The installation, especially, doesn’t seem any faster.
Well anyway, I decided to try completely removing the Kicker applet from the taskbar and then adding it back. I figured what the hell, I don’t enough about KDE’s user config directory setup to go removing stuff, so what the hell. I didn’t think it would do anything (I’m pretty sure I’ve used the option to “switch” between old and new launchers with no success), but it was worth a shot. Surprisingly, that did solve my problem of having menu entries without text. The menus are much better now; apparently there were in fact some remnants from older versions of KDE4 in both older openSUSE releases and other distros that were the culprit.
Very nice! Thanks very much openSUSE developers. I applaud their decision to delay the release until it became more stable instead of rushing out a half baked OS. It’s looking good now.
My initial comments:
+ Nice boot animation.
+ Fast boot.
+ Thank you, thank you, thank you, for still offering <700 MB CD-size editions with both Gnome and KDE and still managing to include LibreOffice!
+ Still offers an add-on CD with proprietary software, for users that don’t have a fast internet connection.
+ YAST is still light years ahead of any other Linux system configuration GUI.
– No XFCE or LXDE live CD spin (although one can be created on SUSE Studio.
– On KDE live CD edition, LibreOffice Calc isn’t included, but Draw is. If I had to choose between the two, I would take Calc over Draw. And really, they should have both fit on the CD. By the time the major LibreOffice base packages are installed, the individual components add very little additional size.
– Very cluttered menu on the KDE version when switching to the classic menu. Duplicate menu items for Kaffeine, and “More programs” sub-menus scattered all over the place at random. Yikes!
– LibreOffice looks dreadfully ugly under KDE. LibreOffice simply is not a KDE program and will never look good with a forced pseudo-Qt theme engine. My personal preference is to force is to use a simple Gnome theme engine like Industrial. It looks a bit out of place under KDE, but it least the menus and scroll bars look nice and clean.
– Pity that Gnome 3.6 didn’t make the release.
Thanks again for this update to the best FOSS Linux distro on the planet. Cheers.
Anyone could help with some more info or links on what the “first steps in the direction of a revised and simplified UNIX file system hierarchy” exactly are in this case? I couldn’t find anything more yet, and I’m very interested in the topic!
Had fixed my 12.1 with KDE 4.9 and so many other adjustments that I’m going to delay that upgrade. But there’s others two desktops here at the office that run 12.1 with no other repository than the original. Let’s see how the native upgrade goes.
YAST on the command line still years ahead of anything I saw about system management. With an old E61 running Symbian and PuTTY I can still do a lot remotely.
Sounds good. 12.1 was a huge, buggy disappoint, and I’m hoping 12.2 brings openSUSE back to the quality it had back before that release.
Only problem, I don’t know if I should attempt to install it and blow away my nice, speedy CrunchBang desktop, or attempt running it in a virtual machine instead. It sucks having only a gig of RAM… it’s really not enough to run the OS optimally in either case. If I install, I’ll probably be forced to abandon it soon enough, because I need all the RAM available that I can get. Even with Openbox, Firefox or Chrome with a few dozen tabs open will start eating into swap.