OpenSUSE 13.1 is not due for a few months yet, so I thought we’d take a look at where development currently sits with the much anticipated next release of this well-respected Linux distribution.
I tested the OpenSUSE 13.1 M4 (Milestone 4) build, running a Live KDE system. I experienced some slow kernel load times during system boot. Once the kernel was loaded in to memory, the live system began the usual system boot process. I might also add that the actual system boot times were just as slow. The very fact that both kernel load and system boot times were noticeably slow, the times were consistent with each other and probably suggests that the slow-downs were more related to the USB media used for testing rather than the actual operating system build.
Once KDE had completed booting, the system was ready for use.
The first thing I experienced in testing was a notification window advising that Desktop Effects were not possible on the running system and hardware and effects would be disabled. This is not a problem as disabling the effects is usually something I do out of habit anyway. But that’s where I did notice a small issue. Heading in to the System Settings and navigating deep in to the Desktop Effects settings advised me that effects were Enabled. Odd, since just one minute ago I received a notification advising me that this was not possible. I Disabled the effects and the system did simplify its appearance and performance accordingly, indicating that the effects were in fact Enabled and in use. There’s definitely a graphics driver issue here that needs to be resolved before 13.1 reaches its final stages of development.
What is fixed?
There is two specific issues which have plagued me for years when using OpenSUSE. Firstly, automatic detection of dual displays and resolution settings. Secondly, automatic network enable for wireless networking. When testing OpenSUSE 13.1 I was pleased to notice that both of these issues have now been resolved. My dual displays were correctly detected and the correct resolution was set for each display. No complaints here.
Wireless networking was automatically detected and I was easily able to connect to the office wireless network without being forced to delve in to the network settings to get things enabled, running and connected. Again, no complaints.
Taking a quick look at what makes up this build, it runs a Linux kernel 3.10.1-3. The desktop-environment was KDE build 4.10.97. And the developers have been quick to add LibreOffice 4.1.
We’ll take another look at the final technical details when OpenSUSE 13.1 goes gold. But for now, what is included in the development build is solid and up to date.
It’s understandable that when you test a development build of a Linux operating system (or any software), you’re going to run in to the odd bug or two. My experience was pretty impressive for the M4 build. The small issues I have experienced with past versions of OpenSUSE seemed to have been resolved, yet there is now issues with graphics detection and desktop effects.
Unixmen Australia will follow the final stages of development for OpenSUSE and take another look at the final system once it has gone gold. Until then, I anticipate that the OpenSUSE developers will resolve all the noted issues and any other outstanding bugs. OpenSUSE always deliver a fresh, solid and well-polished release. I suspect that 13.1 will be no different to its previous impressive line-up.