OpenSUSE Linux, a community Linux distribution backed by Novell, chalked up its latest milestone today with the release of version 11.0, which promises to make Linux more appealing on the desktop.
According to the openSUSE project, the 11.0 release includes more than 200 new features: a redesigned installer, faster software management, KDE 4, GNOME 2.22, and Compiz Fusion for desktop effects.
In addition to the default GNOME desktop, openSUSE users can now choose KDE 3 or 4 during the installation as openSUSE 11.0 is the first release to include a stable release of KDE 4.0.
As KDE 4.0 doesn't include the PIM applications, the openSUSE team has included beta versions of the KDEPIM suite from the KDE 4.1 development branch. The final KDE 4.1 release will be available in July as an online update.
Novell supports the openSUSE project as a bleeding-edge distribution that can test software for its more commercial SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop (SLED) operating system, but that doesn't mean Novell shouldn't care about the potential of openSUSE. As Ubuntu proved with its own operating system, even a free distribution can be a good business venture.
The openSUSE 11.0 release will be supported until June 30, 2010 during that time users will receive two years of security updates for included packages and critical bug fix updates.