Advancements to openSUSE Linux Distribution Improves User Experience and Eases Community Contributions

December 18, 2008


The openSUSE(R) Project, a Novell sponsored and community-supported open source project, today announced the release of openSUSE 11.1, the latest version of its free open source Linux* distribution. The new release delivers a richer user experience with significant enhancements to desktop productivity, entertainment applications, and software and system management. openSUSE 11.1 is also the first version completely developed using the openSUSE Build Service, allowing for greater transparency in the development process and additional contributions from the community. The openSUSE distribution provides the foundation for Novell's award-winning SUSE(R) Linux Enterprise products.

"The openSUSE Project has a lot to be proud of in this release," said Andreas Jaeger, Platform director for openSUSE. "Not only is it an excellent update to 11.0, it's a huge leap forward for the project. As the first release created entirely in the openSUSE Build Service, it is a major milestone for the project. We can now work transparently with all contributors to openSUSE, allowing us to achieve great things as we work on future releases of openSUSE."

For users, openSUSE 11.1 features an easy to use and attractive desktop and comes packed with thousands of tools and applications, including games, Web browsers, instant messaging clients, multimedia and playback tools, productivity tools, security features, and effortless connections to wireless networks.

OpenSUSE 11.1 was entirely developed using the recently released openSUSE Build Service 1.0, a unique collaboration system that enables contributers to work closely together on Linux packages or solution stacks. This makes it easier and quicker for developers to contribute to the openSUSE project.

Updates to openSUSE 11.1 include:

  • The new Linux kernel which adds support for a number of new devices and improved video camera support
  • An unmatched remote desktop experience with Nomad
  • A simpler license that eliminates the EULA and removes software which previously made it difficult to redistribute openSUSE
  • Improvements to YaST(R), openSUSE's system administration and installation suite, including an improved partitioner, new printer module, and a new module to check system security
  • Latest versions of major applications including Firefox* 3.0.4, 3.0, GNOME* 2.24.1, KDE 4.1.3 + KDE 3.5.10 and Mono(R) 2.0.1
  • Most recent versions of GNOME and KDE:
    • GNOME improvements include updates to the powerful Nautilus file manager, simplified managing and editing of photos with F-Spot, enhanced synchronization with Banshee(TM) and mobile devices and better communication tools with Pidgin, the IM client, a VoIP client for video chat and the Totem movie player for YouTube videos and digital television
    • KDE 4.1.3 includes improvements to Plasma, the Dolphin file manager, KDE-PIM suite, Kwin desktop effects enabled by default, power management with Powerdevil and OpenStreetMap integration with Marble
  • Increased productivity with OpenOffice 3.0 Novell(R) Edition, which includes a word processor, presentation creator, spreadsheet creator, and the ability to read and write to all Microsoft* Office files
  • Further improvements to software management through improvements to the zypper/libzypp utilities

"Our goal for the openSUSE 11.1 release was to not only provide updates to all of the popular applications and improve the overall distribution, but to also build it more transparently and improve the ability to re-distribute and to enable more contributions," said Joe Brockmeier, openSUSE community manager. "Novell is really interested in engaging the community in developing and building on openSUSE, and this release moves the ball forward significantly in that regard."

openSUSE 11.1 can be freely downloaded now at . A retail box version is also available for $60 at and includes 90 days of installation support, commercial applications not on the main DVD, and the popular "Getting Started Guide," a printed manual for new Linux users.

About openSUSE
openSUSE is a community distribution sponsored by Novell to promote the use of Linux everywhere. openSUSE delivers everything Linux developers and enthusiasts need to get started with Linux. Hosted at , the project features easy access to builds and releases. It also offers extensive community development programs for open access to the development process used to create SUSE Linux Enterprise.

About Novell

Novell, Inc. (Nasdaq: NOVL) delivers the best engineered, most interoperable Linux platform and a portfolio of integrated IT management software that helps customers around the world reduce cost, complexity and risk. With our infrastructure software and ecosystem of partnerships, Novell harmoniously integrates mixed IT environments, allowing people and technology to work as one. For more information, visit

Novell, Mono, openSUSE, SUSE and YAST are registered trademarks and Banshee is a trademark of Novell, Inc. in the United States and other countries. *All third-party trademarks are the property of their respective owners.