Linux Top 3: Fedora 25, openSUSE 42.2 and Zorin OS 12
This is the time of year when Linux distribution releases start to slow down (just a bit), but there have been several noteworthy recent releases to recognize before 2017 starts.
1) Fedora 25
Red Hat's community Linux project Fedora releases Fedora 25 on November 22, providing the second milestone update for 2016. Among the big features is full support for the Wayland display server, which finally replaces the decades old X11 system.
"Wayland has been under development for several years and seeks to provide a smoother, richer experience for graphical environments and better capabilities for modern graphics hardware," Matthew Miller, Fedora Project Leader wrote in his mailing list announcement message. "To further enhance ease-of-use, Fedora 25 Workstation also features GNOME 3.22, which offers multiple file renaming, a redesigned keyboard settings tool and additional user interface improvements."
2) openSUSE 42.2
While Fedora continues to act as a sort of proving ground (they don't like calling it a 'beta') for features that often end up in Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), SUSE is taking a very different approach with its openSUSE Leap distribution.
With Leap, ideas and technologies already proven in SUSE Linux Enterprise come to the freely available openSUSE 42 distribution. The openSUSE 42.2 Leap release debuted on November 16.
Leap is made to give stability-minded users and conservative technology adopters peace of mind. openSUSE Leap 42.2 is powered by the Linux 4.4 Long-Term-Support (LTS) kernel and is a secure, stable and reliable server operating system for deploying IT services in physical, virtual or cloud environments.
A selective process of including well-established packages in openSUSE Leap 42.2 gives new meaning to the term Linux Optimization; openSUSE Leap is simply the safe choice that offers Linux professionals a user-friendly desktop and a feature-rich server environment.
3) Zorin OS 12
Unlike Fedora and openSUSE which are both backed by large vendors, Zorin is a smaller operation, but it's still trying to generate revenues. Zorin Core is freely available, while the Ultimate edition, which adds games and support is a paid commercial release. The new Zorin OS 12 distribution became generally available on November 18.
At the core of Zorin is the Zorin Desktop Environment which is based on Gnome Shell.
With the new Zorin Desktop 2.0 environment comes a fresh new look. The dark tones of the interface shell create a contrast against the app windows to give a clear distinction between the system UI and the work you’re focusing on.
Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at LinuxPlanet and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist