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openSUSE Moves Forward with 12.1 Release

  • November 22, 2011
  • By Sean Kerner

Release numbers don't always advance in a predictable way on the Linux Planet. Case in point is the openSUSE 12.1 Linux release that debuted last week. The release version numbering system isn't the only Linux 'number' that is growing in leaps and bounds. This past week in the world of supercomputers, Linux powered machines expanded their performance at a faster rate than ever before.

1. openSUSE 12.1

The openSUSE release cycle places the Linux distribution third on the calendar after Ubuntu and Fedora. Being last in the cycle can often have advantages, giving openSUSE access to more up-to-date upstream packages that may not have been mature enough for other distros release cycle.

With the opensuse 12.1 release that debuted last week, the openSUSE project added a number of interesting new open source projects. The new 'Snapper' tool is a way for openSUSE users to take full advantage of the Btrfs filesystem that is also part of other distros. With Snapper, openSUSE users have more control over file rollbacks to help recover lost or overwritten data.

On the cloud front, openSUSE 12.1 includes OwnCloud which is an open source alternative to Dropbox.

With dropbox, you install a small client and then you do your service with dropbox.com," openSUSE Board Chairman, Alan Clark told InternetNews.com. "The difference here is that this is an open source project, where I set up my own servers, and I don't have to go someone else's service."

The openSUSE 12.1 release comes six months after the 11.4 release, which introducedt he ZYpp system for faster package installation.

2. Android 4 Ice Cream Sandwich Released

You scream, I scream, we all scream for Ice Cream?

After Google's botched Android 3.x Honeycomb release, which never fully materialized as an open source project, Google is aiming to make Android 4 open from the start.

Last week Android 4's source code was officially released in an effort to help Android hardware and software vendors.

"This release includes the full history of the Android source code tree, which naturally includes all the source code for the Honeycomb releases," Jean-Baptiste Queru, software engineer, Android Open-Source Project at Google, wrote in the release announcement. "However, since Honeycomb was a little incomplete, we want everyone to focus on Ice Cream Sandwich."

3. Linux Dominates Top500

Twice a year, the Top 500 list of the world's most powerful supercomputers is released. Last week the November listing was released and once again, Linux-powered machines dominated the list.

When measured by operating system family system share, Linux represented 457 machines on the list, for a 91.4 percent share. Unix came second at only 30 machines, or a 6 percent share.

In contrast, Windows had only one, that's right, only one single solitary machine that made it onto the Top500 list for November.

Going a level deeper, the Top 500 list doesn't show any one particular Linux vendor as leading the pack. The Top 500 list identifies generic "Linux" with an 82.8 percent share. Looking at specific distributions, SLES9 has a 2.2 percent share, CentOS has a 1 percent share, and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.1 has a 0.2 percent share.

4. GNOME 3.2.2

GNOME developers continue to refine and enhance the GNOME 3.x desktop. This past week, GNOME 3.2.2 was released, delivering the second incremental update to GNOME 3 since its' release in April of this year.

The GNOME 3.2.2 release included updated versions of NetworkManager, glib, gtk+ and gconf.

5. Red Hat Advances PaaS

Another area of emerging Linux dominance is the Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) space. Red Hat pushed forward its latest PaaS update last week with enhancements to the OpenShift service.

OpenShift now integrates with Java build and development tools including the Jenkins Continuous Integration (CI) application and the Maven Java repository.

"So now all the dependency resolutions, loading of libraries and the building and compiling are done in the cloud," Isaac Roth, PaaS Master at Red Hat told InternetNews.com. "So as a developer you've got a much faster experience that is also lightweight."

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of Internet.com, the network for technology professionals.

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