openSUSE 11.4 Turned Out Really Great

by Ostatic Staff - Mar. 11, 2011

openSUSE 11.4 was just released and I, like many others, rushed to test it. I've been an openSUSE fan since the beginning and I've really only had issues with one release. All other openSUSE releases have been worry-free, polished and professional. Now, I've only been using 11.4 for a relatively short time, but so far it seems openSUSE has topped itself this time.

Its great looks are not a surprise, openSUSE is always pretty. Its great functionality isn't a surprise either, it always works very well. But the performance is a bit surprising, pleasantly so. It has really gotten a turbo boost this release. This is felt when booting, on the desktop, in the applications, and even with the software manager (which has been notorious for being heavy in the past).

I downloaded the 4.6 gigabyte installer, but it comes in KDE and GNOME live images as well. KDE 4.6.0 is the default desktop and GNOME 2.32 is still the main GNOME desktop. GNOME 3.0 Shell is available to those who wish to test drive it. Xfce 4.8 and LXDE is also available as well.

I didn't spot any drastic changes to the installer other than updated images. These graphics match the new theme of openSUSE system in general that revolves around a customized Stripes wallpaper. The shade of green used combined with the translucent panel make the default KDE desktop look scrumdelicious. This Stripes image is used throughout in applications as splashes as well as backgrounds in the KDE app intro screens and desktop login, etc. openSUSE developers are always quite thorough in updating all the images giving that overall impression of polish and professionalism.

LibreOffice 3.3.1 has replaced this release, and Scribus 1.4.0 and Koffice 2.3.1 are also available. Firefox has been upgraded to 4.0b12. Banshee 1.9.3 is among the many media players and Aaron Bockover said that "100% of referral revenue generated by Banshee's Amazon MP3 support goes directly to the GNOME Foundation. 100%."

Some folks are having a several issues not experienced by me. But this isn't uncommon. What works for one user and their hardware may not work for another.

Tumbleweed gives one the option of a rolling release. SUSE Studio has been updated for 11.4. Packman provides some additional applications.

Here are a couple screenshots of my openSUSE desktop: has some more screenshots. Jim Lynch has put up a short review with more screenshots. See the official announcement or the Product Highlights for more information than anyone needs to know. Download options are here.