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OpenSUSE Linux 11.1 review

One of the best known distro's undergoes another overhaul

OpenSUSE Linux 11.1
Not everyone likes SUSE's custom Gnome theme, but we wish that more distros would try it

Our Verdict

A solid build and some useful features make this one of the more robust distro's available.

For

  • KDE 4.1
  • easy MP3 and Flash installation
  • Auto hardware detection

Against

  • YaST still complicated

What can be said about OpenSUSE 11.1 except 'more of the same'? As it turns out, quite a lot.

Sure, there's the version bumps across the board, but there's also the world's finest KDE 4 distribution. If you want KDE 4.1 at its finest, there's no better place to look for it.

Long-time SUSErs will be stunned that YaST remains a usability vortex, although at least there is some documentation to explain what things do. For the future, we'd like SUSE developers to consider this simple advice: if users are saying "what the heck is SAX2?", you've lost.

While the main DVD ships free of closed-source nastiness, the non-open repository is enabled as standard, meaning that Adobe Flash Player 10 and MP3 decoding support can be added.

Following Fedora's lead (albeit a bit late), OpenSUSE 11.1 also includes the Smolt system for bringing system hardware information into one place for submission to a central server. It's quick, automated and anonymous, and should help developers plan tests for future versions.