OpenSUSE Linux 11.1

One of the best known distro's undergoes another overhaul

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Our Verdict

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


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


  • 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.