Linux Top 3: openSUSE 12.3, Kali Linux 1.0 and the Linux Kernel
1) openSUSE 12.3
The openSUSE 12.2 release in 2012, was a delayed released, as the community that builds the distribution dealt with a myriad of issues. That delay however did not cascade into a delay for openSUSE 12.3 which debuted, on schedule, last week.
The openSUSE 12.3 release includes support for Secure Boot, enabling the Linux distro to be booted on hardware originally locked down to Microsoft's Windows 8. The Linux 3.7 kernelis the base of the distro, which boosts performance across the board.
With the release, openSUSE is now also moving to MariaDB as its default open source database of choice, away from the Oracle led, MySQL effort.
The openSUSE 12.3 release also includes a complete set of OpenStack Folsom cloud platform packages, providing similar capabilities as the SUSE Cloud public offering.
2) Kali Linux 1.0
For years, the BackTrack Linux distribution has been the standard bearer for security distros. This past week, the lead sponsors behind BackTrack, OffensiveSecurity, debuted the successor to BackTrack with the new Kali Linux distribution.
"Seven years of developing BackTrack Linux has taught us a significant amount about what we, and the security community, think a penetration testing distribution should look like," Offensive Security wrote in it Kali Linux release announcement. " We’ve taken all of this knowledge and experience and implemented it in our “next generation” penetration testing distribution."
Among the big ticket items in Kali Linux is a shift to Debian base for distro. The build system now also pulls regularly from Debian repos enabling users to build their Kali Linux with extreme levels of customization.
In total, over 300 different pentesting tools are now baked into the new Kali Linux
3) Linux Kernel Development
While new Linux distribution continue to come out, Linux kernel developers continue to push the leading edge forward as well.
Linus Torvalds released the third release candidate of Linux 3.9 on Sunday March 17th.
"There was clearly some pending stuff that came in for -rc3, with network drivers and USB leading the charge," Torvalds wrote in in mailing list message. "But there's other misc drivers, arch updates, btrfs fixes, etc etc too.