back to article openSUSE 11.4 rocks despite missing GNOME

openSUSE 11.4 brings a host of KDE and GNOME updates, the first release of OpenOffice fork LibreOffice, and numerous speed improvements. Perhaps the biggest news, though, is what's not included. That would be GNOME 3.0. Unfortunately for openSUSE fans, the distro's release schedule just didn't quite mesh with GNOME's, so …


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  1. Ilmehtar

    GNOME 3

    GNOME 3 will be available for OpenSUSE when it is released. I believe this will include a GNOME 3 'remix' ISO.

    The GNOME 3 project are actually using openSUSE for their demo CDs on

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I think this was the FIRST SuSE review that El Reg has done that you could tell that they actually put some work into it! Normally they only put work into the Ubuntu & Fedora reviews.

  3. Will Stephenson

    openSUSE release timing, KDE and GNOME

    The choice of KDE and GNOME versions is set only by our timed release policy, every 8 months, not our default desktop. Since the desktops have a 6 month cycle this means that sometimes we miss one of their releases - for 11.3 we missed KDE 4.5.0 by a small margin. The next openSUSE will feature GNOME 3.2. Since people value stability, we don't ship betas of entire desktops (insert KDE 4.0 joke here if you must, but we shipped 3.5 too in that release).

    Since the official demo live media for both GNOME 3 ( and KDE ( are based on openSUSE, a lot of people are getting the latest desktops along with a dose of SUSE.

    'Go' because if you poke yourself in the eye, it looks like a SUSE logo.

  4. Mick Russom

    SuSE low quality.

    Like Mandriva, SuSE chooses to release often and broken. This massive myriad of Linux distros in general is not improving quality. I stick to the RHEL dervied distros, its not perfect, but its way more stable - doesnt crash, and the ABI/kABI remain stable over time.

    SuSE and Ubuntu LTS and most other distros are like the wild-west bazaar paradigm - chaos.

    SuSE 11.3 actually BRICKED on of the motherboards I ran it on.

    1. handle

      SuSE "bricks" motherboards?

      How does it do that? Or are you simply assuming that because you had a hardware failure while you were running a particular OS, the OS was responsible?

    2. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge


      I have been using OpenSuSE for years without issues.I have had issues with Ubuntu, but to date everything under OpenSuSE has been solid for me. I also fail to see how an OS can brick a motherboard.

      1. Chemist


        Been running it since the early SuSe distros. Rock solid - running on 6 machines at the moment on 11.2

    3. Chika

      Thick as a brick?

      Sorry, I might have a few niggles about openSUSE 11.3 but bricking PCs isn't one of them. I'll admit that the majority of my systems are at 11.2 but the one netbook I own ran 11.3 all last year and apart from a niggle with the mousepad and NetworkManager, it worked fine. I have one particular system that regular runs for days on end under 11.2 and its predecessor ran similar overnight work on 11.1. In fact I can trace my use of SuSE back to 6.1 and it has never killed any system I used.

      I suspect that if anything bricked your motherboard, it was a clear case of PEBCAK.

    4. Jim 59
      Thumb Down

      Heavy Horses

      Debian is widely acknowledged as one of the most stable operating systems in history. The server versions of Ubuntu are not far behind.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        This is getting Too Old

        I have to Stand Up and say, metaphorically speaking, metaphorically, that it would be A big Benefit to other El Reg readers if the Linux users could keep their preferences Under Wraps instead of us having to read their Passion Play out in the comments every time there's a review (and This Was a good one). Don't you all get tired of distro War, children?

        Pirate, because even though I'm a penguin it's the closest I get here to a Crest of a Knave, a Broadsword and a Beast.

  5. jonathanb Silver badge

    One major annoyance

    is that you have to disable AppArmor to get Samba server to work, and AppArmor doesn't really like being disabled.

  6. cccccccccccc

    The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

    How suse makes money ? Last time I installed it it never asked anything. Solid distribution.

    One other thought - pussies run linux inside virtual machine, men run it on iron.

    1. Captain Scarlet


      Not even for simply testing it?

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    Thanks for the apparmor tip, was bugging the hell out of me :-)

  8. gerryg
    Thumb Up

    It's brilliant

    I was beginning to think that my 8yr old 32bit Athlon 3200 nvidia 6200 system was running out of juice with 11.3 and KDE 4.4

    Nope, 11.4, 4.6.1 using nouveau and everything is singing. Deferred a 64 bit upgrade yet again.

    Solid, apart from some personal stupidity with a networked HP printer, completely smooth upgrade.

    Repositories now blistering speed (not that I actually cared, but a nice to have).

    Aside from the obvious software improvements this feels like the best project iteration since I started using 6.3

    1. Chika
      Thumb Up

      Glad to hear it...

      I shall be using my disused 11.1 machine as an upgrade test before I go into any depth with the live system which is on 11.2. It's a rather outdated single core Celeron. My biggest objection to KDE4 to this point has been its resource hunger which kills the performance on any system I have previously tried it on (at which point I load up the "unsupported" KDE3 repository and load up that which, on 11.2 and 11.3, works well with only a single niggle, that being the NetworkManager system when trying to run a wireless NIC which I normally resolve by switching that side off and dropping back to ifup). If KDE4.6 is as good as you imply, I may finally have loaded my last KDE3!

    2. Anton Ivanov

      Tip of the trade

      KDE 4.x: Use a proper central MySQL server for akonadi (absolute must if you have $HOME on NFS) or disable it completely, disable the bloody indexer and it will happily run even on a dead badger as long as the dead badger has a working video card. I had it running acceptably on a 1GHz/1GB G4 PPC (with $HOME ecryptfs encrypted) and a 1.3GHz PentiumM/512MB. Compared to these an Athlon 3200+ is like comparing a Backfire to a lancaster bomber (or even a sopwith camel).

      That is my biggest gripe with KDE4 - it tickles every possible bug that there is in the radeon drivers and works quite badly on systems where video is not accelerated (your typical xterm). I ended up switching to xfce4 after 7 years of using KDE as a result. Not happy :(

      On the overall - I can see the grand plan with KDE4, I am just not willing to suffer from being a test subject towards it.

      1. gerryg

        I agree, however...

        ... isn't indexing disabled by default?

        IANAS but I think you'll find that KDE 4.6 is delivering on the potential. No idea about Radeon drivers though

  9. Rainer

    OpenSuSE 11.4 - my windows lose focus

    It's basically the only problem I seem to have.

    I start typing something and suddenly, the focus will be removed from the window I type in, basically going nowhere.

    I've got to click in the window again.

    Sort of totally ruins the experience....

    Also, having the 3d-effects enabled by default is not a good idea on systems that are too weak to handle them.

    1. Chika

      My windows...

      I get that occasionally, but it's usually either because something has started up and has stolen focus (I get this on Linux and Windows, to be honest) or because I caught the mousepad!

  10. JP19

    Misleading title and needless speculation

    "openSUSE 11.4 rocks despite missing GNOME"

    It's not missing GNOME. GNOME is included.

    "Perhaps another reason for GNOME 3's absence is that KDE is the default openSUSE desktop. "

    Speculative comments like this seem unnecessary given that there's a very obvious and simple reason why GNOME 3 isn't included. GNOME 3 isn't yet released.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Firefox 4 and LibreOffice

    I have tested OpenSuse 11.4 with the KDE desktop. Looks nice but I had some problem with Yast2. It krashed. And I was not able to find "aMSN" there. So you must look for repo sources where it is.

    If I want to use a distribution that include Firefox 4 and LibreOffice I must say PARDUS 2011 is the best avaible choice at the moment for a ordinary home user if I want to use a single operating system installed in the hardrive.

    But maybe "Linux power users" prefeer OpenSuse.

  12. captain veg Silver badge


    Will it play nice out of the box with my nVidia graphics adaptor? I'm a just a bit fed up with X failing to start after every upgrade.


    1. gerryg


      Full disclosure, nvidia closed source drivers ran into some problems on 11.3 that seemed to be tracked down to gcc however:

      if when you upgrade you enable the nvidia repos openSUSE sorts it automatically

      (see above) I'm not a gamer but for the first time I'm using nouveau and it's fine

  13. hendersj

    If you want to look at the GNOME 3 preview

    sudo zypper in gnome-shell

  14. E 2


    I do understand that Fedora jumped the gun on KDE4 several years ago, and the KDE4 devs protested that they did not consider their new desktop ready for prime time.

    Still I am glad that 4.6 is available in a mainstream distro... 4.4 is perhaps 60% of the way to matching the customizability of 3.5.x, I expect 4.6 closes the gap more.

  15. E 2

    @Mick Russom

    I seriously doubt an OS can brick a mobo. Perhaps you do not understand what 'brick' means?

    As for OpenSuSE, have used it since 9.1 and the only problem I have ever had was in 10.1 where g++ was a bit flakey under certain circumstances. But that was fixed in short order by an OpenSuSE update.

    1. cccccccccccc

      perhaps you won't like this

      You sir fail, as it is a proper fact that kernels 2.6.27rc1 through 2.6.27rc7 are known to brick the intel lan eeproms mobos...


  16. E 2

    @captain veg

    Google 'OpenSUSE NVIDIA repository".

    If you use ATI or NV proprietary driver then every kernel upgrade needs upgraded/rebuilt graphics kernel module. THat's just the nature of Linux. But the above google will find you explanation of how to set up a repo that will update your NV driver at the same time as the kernel.

    1. captain veg Silver badge

      to clarify

      Actually, kernel updates have been fine. It's upgrading SuSE that kills the display driver. Perhaps I should set up the repositories for the new SuSE version in advance of updating. Or maybe the installer really ought to do that for me.


      1. stratofish


        I've had to recompile the proprietary NVidia driver for every kernel update.

        Only takes minute or so though so not too fussed but will look into the repo for it.

  17. Blue eyed boy

    Have they restored

    the ability to move a message from the "Sent" box to a more appropriate heading in KNode? This works in SuSE 11.0 (my current version), but was lost in 11.1 (tried and rejected) and 11.2 (likewise).

  18. asdf

    bah kde sucks

    If I wanted a kitchen sink bloated windows manager I would use M$ windows. Only killer app imho from KDE is K3B but even its not worth 100 meg plus of libraries just to use. Many true geeks consider gnome bloated (xfce is a very tolerable windows manager under OpenBSD on usb stick fyi) but my god KDE is an order of magnitude worse than that.

    1. asdf


      Both gnome and KDE are bloated so not fair to say one so much worse than other. I use neither as a general rule.

    2. asdf

      wow KDE has went to shit

      Lmao . I hated KDE3 sounds like they figured out how to make it suck even more and even linus blasted em for it.

  19. ben_myers


    Please, can we think of a more misleading title? Gnome was there in the Live SUSE 11.4 I downloaded and tested. Just an earlier version, that's all. But you got my attention.

    I'd like to make a one sentence rant about all the childish K-names in KDE? I'm sure the developers are proud of their work, but Konquerer, KMail, Konsole, KWord and KSpread are very much off-putting. Sorry, but I cannot take KDE seriously, no matter how wonderful it might be. This is the sort of software-naming nonsense that inhibits Linux distros from being more generally accepted for use in business. The plethora of distros does not help either. Too damned many egos, I guess. And too many revenue streams damaged if the number of distros was cut down... Ben

    1. gerryg

      enough with the kname complaint...

      ...then of course there's amarok, digikam, dolphin, okular, plasmoids, (few if any begin with k) calligra (words, tables, plan, flow, stage, ok, you've got karbon krita and kexi) but if you're going to troll at least keep up

  20. johnh3


    Here is the first real review of OpenSuse 11.4:

  21. enerider

    I just upgraded from 11.3

    And so far it is carrying on with what I ask of it, which isn't a heck of a lot to tell the truth :-)

    Might try a fresh install - chances are the /home user directory I've kept for several *nix based OS installs has a wide selection of old config files in the mix.

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