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New openSUSE heads for cloud, virtual markets

Google’s Go gets a groupie

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The openSUSE Project has shipped its 12.1 build, with enhanced cloud and virtualization integration tools. It's also the first distro to ship with support for Google’s Go language.

From the look of the new build, Attachmate has kept its promise to carry on supporting openSUSE after its $2.2bn deal to buy Novell. The new code, in line with the beta El Reg examined last month, is built around kernel 3.1 and contains the latest software, including Firefox 7, Thunderbird 7, LibreOffice 3.4.3, and GIMP.

The distribution is also a big win for Google, as it's the first major release to support the open Go language. Alan Clark, board chair of openSUSE, told The Register that this was at the project member’s request.

“Go was initiated by the community,” he explained. “Our community is going really well, and is very active. The last annual conference saw 400 people attend, up around 25 per cent, even on the short time frame after the Attachmate deal.”

On the visualization front, support for Xen 4.1, KVM, and VirtualBox is built into the code, and the new build lets SUSE Studio users create unique versions of the OS and upload and manage them simply. Using SUSE Studio also has the advantage of a one-click upload to Amazon’s EC2 service, a benefit of the two companies' close association. Clark said that the group was in negotiations with other vendors to add similar simple uploading.

On the desktop front, the build includes GNOME 3 and KDE 4.7, as well as the lighter-weight Xfce or LXDE options. There has been considerable debate among users over interfaces since the move from GNOME 2, but it may be a fuss about nothing, Al Hilwa, program director for IDC's application development software research told The Register.

“I think the different styles of user interface (KDE vs GNOME) have their fans," he said, "but Linux in general is not used as a client PC by a large base of PC users, even though the user base is significant and influential, as it is mostly made up of developers, hackers (in the positive sense), and technology tinkerers and gurus.” ®

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