Feeds

OpenSUSE 11 a redemptive OS with a Mactastic shine

For newbies and Linux dark-lords

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Zypper Woes - Also Not a Band Name

Among the potential gotchas for new users is the lack of readily available NVIDIA drivers. Ubuntu and others have made it relatively easy to grab non-free drivers from their default installs, and we were somewhat surprised to find that OpenSUSE skipped on what's become (for better or worse) a fairly common hardware driver solution.

The other problem we had was with the Zypper update utility. Zypper is new and reportedly features significant speed and stability improvements. In fact, early rave reviews about Zypper had us looking forward to testing OpenSUSE. For the command line junkies there's also a "zypper" utility which offers something very similar to yum on Fedora or apt-get in Ubuntu/Debian.

Unfortunately, in the release candidate we tested, Zypper wasn't working quite right. It would find packages that had available upgrades, but for some reason would never actually apply the updates. After a bit of digging we discovered that the issue is a known bug (and it's listed as a blocker in OpenSUSE's bug tracker), so it should be fixed by the final release.

While Zypper had a few pre-release quirks, the YaST panel was everything it's cracked up to be. When Linux users tout the customization options of the platform, they often forget that new users may find the number of options scattered and daunting.

That's where YaST comes in. YaST stands for Your awesome Setup Tool (Or the less inspiring Yet Another Setup Tool - Ed), and it is indeed quite awesome. YaST is by far the simplest way to navigate through the confusion of configuration panels, installing, theming and customizing to your heart's delight.

Shot of the YaST tool

YaSTa McNasty - Click to Enlarge

Also worth mentioning is that the kitchen-sink-DVD option of OpenSUSE includes VMware's openvmtools, which means that setting up VMware Player is a snap. Including the tools by default is a nice touch and will no doubt be appreciated by heavy virtual machine users, who have wrestled with VMware installs on various distros. Of course, if VirtualBox is more your bag, you'll have to set that up yourself.

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. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
You stupid BRICK! PCs running Avast AV can't handle Windows fixes
Fix issued, fingers pointed, forums in flames
Microsoft: Your Linux Docker containers are now OURS to command
New tool lets admins wrangle Linux apps from Windows
Facebook, working on Facebook at Work, works on Facebook. At Work
You don't want your cat or drunk pics at the office
Soz, web devs: Google snatches its Wallet off the table
Killing off web service in 3 months... but app-happy bonkers are fine
First in line to order a Nexus 6? AT&T has a BRICK for you
Black Screen of Death plagues early Google-mobe batch
Microsoft adds video offering to Office 365. Oh NOES, you'll need Adobe Flash
Lovely presentations... but not on your Flash-hating mobe
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
10 threats to successful enterprise endpoint backup
10 threats to a successful backup including issues with BYOD, slow backups and ineffective security.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The hidden costs of self-signed SSL certificates
Exploring the true TCO for self-signed SSL certificates, including a side-by-side comparison of a self-signed architecture versus working with a third-party SSL vendor.