LINUX DEVELOPERS have released the latest version of OpenSUSE, version 12.1, which comes with a number of improved features.
The open source operating system includes four desktop options - GNOME 3.2, KDE, Xfce and LXDE - with the first two heavyweight desktop environments now coming with colour management tools. KDE also comes with the options Oyranos, Apper and Plasma Active, the latter being a tablet computer project.
Web surfing and the cloud are also top of the agenda, with client side support for Chromium 17 and Firefox 7 installed as default. Server side there is Webyast and Horde 4, and OpenSUSE can now run directly on Amazon's EC2 cloud servers.
Another major feature is called Snapper, a snapshot feature based on an update to the Linux b-tree file system. This allows users to make space efficient copies of files, which they can then view or revert back to easily, making this an important backup and restore tool.
OpenSUSE 12.1 comes with a new boot system called 'systemd', which was developed with the Linux Distribution Fedora. This promises greater security and faster boot times.
The release also supports the Google Go programming language and comes with the LLVM3 and Clang compilers for working with the C and C++ languages. Software should also run faster on SUSE machines thanks to the link-time optimisation of GCC 4.6.2.
SUSE was first developed as far back as 1992 by the German Company for Software and System Development before being acquired by Novell in 2004 and Attachmate in 2010. The SUSE Linux distribution was always open source, but development was managed in-house until the OpenSUSE project opened it up to public contributions and testing in 2005.
The OpenSUSE Linux distribution can be downloaded from the OpenSUSE web site. µ