It may not be as cool as Ubuntu or as cutting-edge as Fedora, but I’ve always had a soft spot for openSUSE Linux. Like MEPIS, another old favorite of mine, openSUSE just works and works well. The last couple of versions didn’t really get me excited though. They seemed more incremental than real advances. Now, though, now, I’m excited by the brand new openSUSE 11.4 release.
Why? Well, a bunch of things really. First, 11.4 uses the 2.6.37 Linux kernel. This kernel does a much better job of scaling virtual memory. That doesn’t matter much to me on my desktop, but it has mattered a lot from time to time over the years on my servers.
On the desktop side, I like that this kernel includes the open-source Broadcom Wi-Fi drivers. It also includes the latest X.org and Mesa graphic driver for noticeably better 2D and 3D acceleration.
On top of this, openSUSE uses the KDE Plasma Desktop 4.6 desktop by default, Over the years, I’ve had my ups and down with the KDE 4.x desktop, but I’ve gotten to like KDE 4.6 If you prefer the GNOME desktop, you can also opt to use the GNOME 2.32 interface. This distro also includes the GNOME Shell, which is part of the forthcoming GNOME3 desktop, available for testing.