openSUSE

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openSUSE Linux
OpenSUSE official-logo-color.svg
OpenSUSE 13.1 Desktop.png
openSUSE 13.1 with KDE 4.11.2
Company / developer openSUSE Project
OS family Unix-like (originally based on SUSE Linux Professional)
Working state Current
Source model Free and open source software
Initial release October 2005; 8 years ago (2005-10)
Latest release 13.1 / November 19, 2013; 8 months ago (2013-11-19)
Marketing target Consumer, Small Business, Development, Developers
Available in English, German, Russian, Italian, many others[1]
Update method ZYpp (YaST)
Package manager RPM Package Manager
Supported platforms IA-32, x86-64
Kernel type Monolithic (Linux)
Userland GNU
Default user interface KDE Plasma Desktop[2]
License GNU GPL and others
Official website www.opensuse.org

openSUSE /ˌpənˈszə/ is a general purpose operating system built on top of the Linux kernel, developed by the community-supported openSUSE Project and sponsored by SUSE and a number of other companies.[3] After Novell acquired SUSE Linux in January 2004,[4] Novell decided to release the SUSE Linux Professional product as a 100% open source project.[5] In 2011 The Attachmate Group acquired Novell and split Novell and SUSE into two autonomous subsidiary companies. SUSE offers products and services around SUSE Linux Enterprise—their commercial offering that is based on openSUSE Linux.

The initial release of the community project was a beta version of SUSE Linux 10.0, and as of November 19, 2013 the current stable release is openSUSE 13.1.

Overview[edit]

The openSUSE Project community, sponsored by SUSE, develops and maintains SUSE Linux distributions components. openSUSE Linux is the successor to "SUSE Linux Professional".

Beyond the distribution, the openSUSE Project provides a web portal for community involvement. The community developing openSUSE collaboratively with its corporate sponsors through the Open Build Service, writing documentation, designing artwork, fostering discussion on open mailing lists and in Internet Relay Chat channels, and improving the openSUSE site through its wiki interface. openSUSE aims to offer a stable base and allow users to use the Open Build Service to get additional or more up to date software, or even a rolling release version with the name Tumbleweed. Moreover, the system should be flexible and make it easy to re-purpose for specific goals like running a web- or mail server.[6]

Like most Linux distributions, openSUSE includes both a default graphical user interface (GUI) and a command line interface option. During installation, the user may choose among KDE SC, GNOME, LXDE and Xfce GUIs. openSUSE supports thousands of software packages across the full range of Free software / open source development.

History[edit]

Company history[edit]

Product history[edit]

In the past, the SUSE Linux company had focused on releasing the SuSE Linux Personal and SuSE Linux Professional box sets which included extensive printed documentation that was available for sale in retail stores. The company's ability to sell an open source product was largely due to the closed-source development process used. Although SUSE Linux had always been open product licensed with the GPL, it was only freely possible to retrieve the source code of the next release 2 months after it was ready for purchase. SUSE Linux strategy was to create a technically superior Linux distribution with the large number of employed engineers, that would make users willing to pay for their distribution in retail stores.[7]

Since the acquisition by Novell in 2003 and with the advent of openSUSE this has been reversed: starting with version 9.2, an unsupported 1 DVD ISO image of SUSE Professional was made available for download as well as a bootable Live DVD evaluation. The FTP server continues to operate and has the advantage of "streamlined" installs: Only downloading packages the user feels they need. The ISO has the advantages of an easy install package, the ability to operate even if the user's network card does not work "out of the box", and less experience needed (i.e., an inexperienced Linux user may not know whether or not to install a certain package, and the ISO offers several preselected sets of packages).

The initial stable release from the openSUSE Project, SUSE Linux 10.0, was available for download just before the retail release of SUSE Linux 10.0. In addition, Novell discontinued the Personal version, renaming the Professional version to simply "SUSE Linux", and repricing "SUSE Linux" to about the same as the old Personal version. As of version 10.2, the SUSE Linux distribution was officially renamed to openSUSE.[8][9]

Over the years, SuSE Linux has gone from a status of a distribution which includes proprietary software, with restrictive, delayed publications (2 months of waiting for those who had not bought the box, without ISOs available, but installation available via FTP) and a closed development model to a free distribution model with immediate and freely availability for all and transparent and open development.[10] Its popularity continues to grow: as of May 2010, for example, patch download statistics show more than two million unique installations of openSUSE 11.1 and 11.2 alone,[11] with the largest numbers located in Germany (28%) and the United States (14%).

On April 27, 2011 Attachmate completed its acquisition of Novell. Attachmate split Novell into two autonomous business units, Novell and SUSE. Attachmate made no changes to the relationship between SUSE (formerly Novell) and the openSUSE project.

Distribution[edit]

openSUSE is fully and freely available for immediate download, and is also sold in retail box to the general public. It comes in several editions for the x86 and x86-64 architectures (as for version 13.1):

  • openSUSE Download Edition: This is the freely downloadable ISO version, available from the openSUSE downloads page. It is available as a Live-CD version (KDE4 or GNOME) which can be installed on the hard disk, or as a more complete single layer DVD-5. A CD containing additional proprietary software and an additional CD containing files for internationalization (less common languages) are also available. This version does not include any technical assistance, nor printed manuals.
  • openSUSE Retail Edition or openSUSE Box: Users are able to purchase a German version of the openSUSE box from www.opensourcepress.de. The box is delivered with printed documentation. There is no official English version of the Retail box.
  • openSUSE FTP: There is also a small ISO to install openSUSE directly from FTP (network install). There are mirrors on the two different FTP trees: one for open-source packages (OSS), a second for non-open-source packages or whose license is restrictive (non-oss). The FTP can be used to complement the Download and Retail editions.
  • openSUSE Factory: This is the continuous ongoing development version, from which the development team take out regular snapshots (Milestones and RC) to get the stable openSUSE.
  • openSUSE Tumbleweed: Rolling release, in which new stable versions of packages are made available as soon as they are released.

Features[edit]

YaST Control Center[edit]

Main article: YaST

SUSE includes an installation and administration program called YaST which handles hard disk partitioning, system setup, RPM package management, online updates, network and firewall configuration, user administration and more in an integrated interface. In more recent times, many more YaST modules have been added, including one for Bluetooth support. It also controls all software applications. SaX2 was once integrated into YaST to change monitor settings, however with openSUSE 11.3 SaX2 has been removed.

YaST's user interfaces
GTK+ 
Qt 
ncurses 
Web 

AutoYaST[edit]

Main article: YaST

AutoYaST is part of YaST2 and is used for automatic installation. The configuration is stored in an XML file and the installation happens without user interaction.

WebYaST[edit]

Main article: YaST

WebYaST is a web interface version of YaST (picture shown above as web). It can configure settings and updates of the openSUSE machine it is running on. It can also shutdown and check the status of the host.

ZYpp package management[edit]

Main article: ZYpp

ZYpp (or libzypp) is a Linux software management engine which has a powerful dependency resolver and a convenient package management API.

Build Service[edit]

Main article: Open Build Service

The Open Build Service provides software developers with a tool to compile, release and publish their software for many distributions, including Mandriva, Ubuntu, Fedora and Debian. It typically simplifies the packaging process, so developers can more easily package a single program for many distributions, and many openSUSE releases, making more packages available to users regardless of what distribution version they use. It is published under the GPL.[12]

Desktop innovation[edit]

Xgl and Compiz[edit]

On January 2, 2006, SUSE developer David Reveman announced Xgl, an X server architecture designed to take advantage of modern graphics cards via their OpenGL drivers, layered on top of OpenGL via glitz. Compiz, one of the first compositing window managers for the X Window System that is able to take advantage of this OpenGL-acceleration, was also released.

KDE Desktop innovations[edit]

SUSE has been a leading contributor to the KDE project for many years, and now SUSE sponsors more developers to work directly within KDE than any other distribution. Hence, SUSE’s contributions in this area have been very wide-ranging, and affecting many parts of KDE such as kdelibs and KDEBase, Kontact, and kdenetwork. Other notable projects include:

GNOME innovations[edit]

The Ximian group became part of Novell, and in turn made and continued several contributions to GNOME with applications such as F-Spot, Evolution and Banshee. The GNOME desktop used the slab instead of the classic double-panelled GNOME menu bars from openSUSE 10.2 to openSUSE 11.4. In openSUSE 12.1 slab was replaced with the upstream GNOME Shell and GNOME Fallback designs.

Criticism[edit]

After he spent months discussing with developers on the project's bugzilla, Linux founder Linus Torvalds harshly criticized openSUSE and its security settings in a blog entry in early 2012. He criticized openSUSE for asking users for a root password for everyday tasks such as setting up printers.[13] This was fixed in openSUSE 12.2.

Releases[edit]

10.x Series[edit]

The initial stable release from the openSUSE Project was SUSE Linux 10.0, released on October 6, 2005.[14] This was released as a freely downloadable ISO image and as a boxed retail package, with certain bundled software only included in the retail package.[15]

On May 11, 2006, the openSUSE Project released SUSE Linux 10.1, with the mailing list announcement identifying Xgl, NetworkManager, AppArmor and Xen as prominent features.[16]

For their third release, the openSUSE Project renamed their distribution, releasing openSUSE 10.2 on December 7, 2006. Several areas that developers focused their efforts on were reworking the menus used to launch programs in KDE and GNOME, moving to ext3 as the default file system, providing support for internal readers of Secure Digital cards commonly used in digital cameras, improving power management framework (more computers can enter suspended states instead of shutting down and starting up) and the package management system. This release also featured version 2.0 of Mozilla Firefox.

The fourth release, openSUSE 10.3, was made available as a stable version on October 4, 2007.[17] An overhaul of the software package management system (including support for 1-Click-Install), legal MP3 support from Fluendo and improved boot-time are some of the areas focused on for this release.

11.x Series[edit]

openSUSE 11.0 was released on June 19, 2008. It includes the latest version of GNOME and two versions of KDE (the older, stable 3.5.9 and the newer 4.0.4).[18][19] It comes in three freely downloadable versions: a complete installation DVD (including GNOME, KDE3, and KDE4), and two Live CDs (GNOME, and KDE4 respectively). A KDE3 Live CD was not produced due to limited resources.[19] Package management and installation were made significantly faster with ZYpp.[20]

openSUSE 11.1 was released on December 18, 2008. Updated software includes GNOME 2.24.1, KDE 4.1.3 + KDE 3.5.10, OpenOffice.org 3.0, VirtualBox 2.0.6, Compiz 0.7.8, Zypper 1.0.1, continued improvement in the software update stack, X.Org 7.4, Xserver 1.5.2, and Linux kernel 2.6.27.7. [21] openSUSE 11.1 was the first Evergreen supported release. [22]

openSUSE 11.2[23] was released on November 12, 2009. It includes KDE 4.3, GNOME 2.28, Mozilla Firefox 3.5, OpenOffice.org 3.1, improved social network support, updated filesystems such as Ext4 as the new default and support for Btrfs, installer support for whole-disk encryption,[not in citation given] significant improvements to YaST and zypper, and all ISO images are hybrid and now support both USB and CD-ROM boot.[24][25]

openSUSE 11.3 was released on July 15, 2010. It includes KDE 4.4.4, GNOME 2.30.1, Mozilla Firefox 3.6.6, OpenOffice.org 3.2.1, SpiderOak support, support for the Btrfs filesytem and support for LXDE. It also updates the Linux kernel to version 2.6.34.[24]

openSUSE 11.4 was finished on March 3, 2011 and released on March 10, 2011. It includes KDE 4.6.0, GNOME 2.32.1, Mozilla Firefox 4.0 beta 12, and switched from OpenOffice.org to LibreOffice 3.3.1. It updates the Linux kernel to version 2.6.37.[26]

12.x Series[edit]

openSUSE 12.1 was released on November 16, 2011. This includes KDE 4.7 and GNOME 3.2 and Firefox 7.0.1. The Linux kernel was updated to 3.1.0[27] It also introduced an advanced disk snapshot tool, called Snapper, for managing Btrfs snapshots.[28] openSUSE 12.1 was also the first release of openSUSE to use systemd by default rather than the traditional System V init. Users can still select to boot to System V init at startup time.

openSUSE 12.2 was to be released on July 11, 2012, but was postponed due to persistent stability issues.[29] The final release candidate was eventually announced on August 2, 2012 and the final release date was September 6, 2012.[30] 12.2 includes the desktop environments KDE 4.8, GNOME 3.4, and XFCE 4.10 and now uses Plymouth and GRUB 2 by default.

openSUSE 12.3 was released on schedule on March 13, 2013. This includes KDE 4.10, GNOME 3.6, Firefox 19.0, LibreOffice 3.6, and the removal of SuSEconfig. Also, the Live CD images were replaced with Live USB images and an XFCE rescue image.

13.x Series[edit]

openSUSE 13.1 was released on November 19, 2013, and includes updates to KDE 4.11, GNOME 3.10, Firefox 25.0, and LibreOffice 4.1. Some other changes include a YaST port to Ruby, the LightDM KDE greeter, and experimental Wayland support in the GNOME Shell and KDE Plasma Desktop. openSUSE 13.1 will be an Evergreen supported release, meaning it will receive community patches for 18 months after SUSE support ends. [31]

Version history[edit]

The openSUSE project aims to release a new version every eight months. Since version 11.2, critical updates have been provided for two releases plus two months, which results in a support lifetime of 18 months.[32][33] To add predictability and to prevent people from thinking the .0 releases are more major, the openSUSE version scheme has changed starting in openSUSE 12.1. All November releases have a .1, all July releases have a .2, and all March releases have a .3. Every two years, when another .1 version is released, the major version number is bumped up.

Evergreen[22] is a community effort to prolong maintenance of selected openSUSE versions after they reach official end-of-life.


Name Version Release date [34] End of life Kernel version
Regular [35] Evergreen [22]
SUSE Linux [36] Old version, no longer supported: 10.0 6 October 2005 30 November 2007 - 2.6.13
Old version, no longer supported: 10.1 11 May 2006 31 May 2008 - 2.6.16
openSUSE Old version, no longer supported: 10.2 7 December 2006 30 November 2008 - 2.6.18
Old version, no longer supported: 10.3 4 October 2007 31 October 2009 - 2.6.22
Old version, no longer supported: 11.0 19 June 2008 26 June 2010 - 2.6.25
Old version, no longer supported: 11.1 18 December 2008 14 January 2011 13 April 2012 2.6.27
Old version, no longer supported: 11.2 12 November 2009 12 May 2011 1 November 2013 2.6.31
Old version, no longer supported: 11.3[37] 15 July 2010 16 January 2012 - 2.6.34
Old version, no longer supported: 11.4 [38] 10 March 2011 5 November 2012 1 July 2014 2.6.37
Old version, no longer supported: 12.1 [39] 16 November 2011 15 May 2013 - 3.1
Old version, no longer supported: 12.2 [40] 5 September 2012 15 January 2014 - 3.4
Older version, yet still supported: 12.3 [41] 13 March 2013 15 September 2014 - 3.7
Current stable version: 13.1 [42] 19 November 2013 1 May 2015 1 November 2016 3.11
Future release: 13.2 [42] 1 November 2014 [43] N/A - TBA
Future release: 13.3 [42] 1 March 2015 N/A - TBA
Legend:
Old version
Older version, still supported
Latest version
Latest preview version
Future release

System requirements[edit]

openSUSE 12.3 has full support for 32-bit i586 and 64-bit x86-64 PC hardware. Official support for PowerPC (PPC) processors was dropped after openSUSE 11.1,[44] The basic requirements for non-PPC hardware is as follows:[45]

  • CPU: Intel Pentium III 500 MHz or higher minimum, Pentium 4 2.4 GHz or any AMD64 or Intel64 CPU recommended.
  • RAM: 1 GB, 2 GB recommended
  • Hard drive: 3 GB for minimal system; 5 GB recommended for standard system

The actual achievable minimum specs differ. Older processors that still belong to the i586 family are usable, for example the AMD K6-III. When excess language/translation files and documentation are removed and X is not needed, decent console-based router systems can be made using 300 MB disk space. Most console workloads also cope with 128 MB RAM at the cost of increased swap activity in tight situations.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ software.opensuse.org: Download openSUSE 12.2
  2. ^ Ryan Paul (2009-08-21). "openSUSE community konfesses love for KDE, makes it default". Condé Nast Digital. Ars technica. 
  3. ^ openSUSE Community (April 27, 2012). "openSUSE Sponsors". Retrieved 2012-05-07. 
  4. ^ "Novell Completes Acquisition of SUSE LINUX". Novell Press Release. January 13, 2004. Retrieved 2006-01-13. 
  5. ^ Tina Gasperson (August 3, 2005). "Novell frees SUSE Professional under new branding". NewsForge. Retrieved 2006-01-13. 
  6. ^ "openSUSE Strategy". opensuse.org. Retrieved 2012-05-07. 
  7. ^ Managing Firm-Sponsored Open Source Communities masters thesis
  8. ^ "SUSE Linux 10.2 Alpha2 Release - and distribution rename". opensuse.org. Retrieved 2008-04-27. 
  9. ^ "SUSE Linux Becomes openSUSE". slashdot.org. Retrieved 2008-03-03. 
  10. ^ openSUSE Guiding Principles
  11. ^ openSUSE statistics
  12. ^ [opensuse-announce] Complete openSUSE Build Service under GPL available
  13. ^ Venting., Linus Torvalds, 2012-02-28.
  14. ^ CowboyNeal (October 5, 2006). "SUSE 10.0 OSS Released". Slashdot. Retrieved 2007-01-13. 
  15. ^ Joe Harmon (September 19, 2005). "Packages on the retail version and not the OSS version of SUSE Linux 10.0". Novell.com. Retrieved 2007-01-13. 
  16. ^ Andreas Jaeger (May 11, 2006). "SUSE Linux 10.1 Release". opensuse-announce mailing list. Retrieved 2007-01-13. 
  17. ^ Francis Giannaros (October 4, 2007). "Announcing openSUSE 10.3 GM". openSUSE News. Retrieved 2007-10-08. 
  18. ^ "openSUSE 11.0 KDE4 inclusion". 
  19. ^ a b "KDE with Stephan Binner". 
  20. ^ "Sneak Peeks at openSUSE 11.0: Package Management". 
  21. ^ openSUSE 11.1 Released!
  22. ^ a b c openSUSE Evergreen
  23. ^ "openSUSE 11.2 Review". 
  24. ^ a b Bryen Yunashko (July 15, 2010). "openSUSE 11.3 is here!". opensuse-announce mailing list. Retrieved 2010-07-15. 
  25. ^ "OpenSUSE 11.2". Retrieved 2009-10-05. [dead link]
  26. ^ openSUSE 11.4 Repository
  27. ^ openSUSE 12.1 Repository
  28. ^ Introducing Snapper
  29. ^ openSUSE 12.2 release delayed, team calls for a rethink, The Register, 2012-06-14 
  30. ^ Will Stephenson (2012-08-02), openSUSE 12.2 RC2 Ready for a Final Test, openSUSE News, retrieved 2012-08-20 
  31. ^ openSUSE 13.1: Ready for Action!
  32. ^ Michael Loeffler (August 14, 2009). "Change in maintenance for openSUSE 11.2 and future versions". opensuse-announce mailing list. Retrieved 2009-11-10.
  33. ^ "openSUSE Lifetime".
  34. ^ openSUSE Roadmap
  35. ^ openSUSE Lifetime
  36. ^ but done by openSUSE project
  37. ^ Bryen Yunashko (July 15, 2010). "openSUSE 11.3 is here!". opensuse-announce mailing list. Retrieved 2010-07-15. 
  38. ^ Portal 11.4: openSUSE 11.4 was released on Thursday the 10th of March 2011
  39. ^ Portal 12.1: openSUSE 12.1 has been released on Wednesday, the 16th of November 2011
  40. ^ Portal 12.2: openSUSE 12.2 has been released on Wednesday September 5th 2012
  41. ^ Portal 12.3: openSUSE 12.3 has been released on Wednesday, March 13, 2013
  42. ^ a b c openSUSE:Roadmap
  43. ^ Mailinglist announcement on the delay of openSUSE 13.2
  44. ^ DistroWatch: openSUSE
  45. ^ Hardware requirements - openSUSE. En.opensuse.org (2013-05-16). Retrieved on 2013-09-29.

External links[edit]