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OpenSUSE 11: nice kid, bad custodians

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SUSE

Sometime back, I had a couple of encounters with OpenSUSE, the so-called community distribution which was started by Novell in 2005. Neither of them was exactly salutary. With version 11, there is somewhat better news. Or maybe I should I say mixed news.

First the good news. OpenSUSE has retained some of the good features it had back in the days when it existed as just one avatar - SuSE Linux. You can't strip away all the good oil in five years, even if you are a company like Novell. A second avatar of SUSE exists - something called SLED or SUSE Linux Enterprise Distribution, which is sold. Presumably Novell gets some development work done free by running the community project. Something similar to what Red Hat does.

Version 11 has live CDs available; GNOME, KDE4 and KDE3 are the available options. You can also get a DVD which has a great deal more software. I downloaded the KDE4 and GNOME live CDs and installed both. To the zealots - this is NOT a review. Sundry observations follow, make of them what you will.

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