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09 November 2012, 10:51

New openSUSE 12.3 milestone ready for testing

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openSUSE logo A new milestone for version 12.3 of openSUSE has been released, bringing with it a number of changes to the Linux distribution's underlying infrastructure and included software. The Milestone 1 release sees the removal of SysVinit, which was officially classified as deprecated in openSUSE 12.2 in favour of the systemd init system, and completes the process of moving several top-level directories under the /usr/ directory.

The milestone is based on the 3.6.3 Linux kernel and offers a choice of the KDE SC 4.9.2 or the GNOME 3.6 desktop environments. New and updated packages include version 1.0 of the GStreamer multimedia framework, Qt 4.8.3, and the latest stable 16.0.2 releases of Firefox and Thunderbird. Several applications have also been removed; these include the Evolution GroupWise connector (due to lack of maintenance), the F-Spot image organiser, the Sabayon configuration management tool, and the Smolt hardware tool "as it was deemed to have served its purpose".

Other changes include an updated version of systemd, including improvements to its journal, and the phasing out of SuSEconfig, which was originally created to replace /etc/rc.config and is no longer needed. Switching to version 1.5 of the libpng PNG reference library, upgrading GCC to the 4.7.2 release, Python 3.3 and Mesa 9 are among the major toolchain and platform changes. According to openSUSE board member Will Stephenson, the developers are also currently discussing the future of the Dracut initramfs infrastructure and PackageKit.

At the time of writing, the most annoying bugs page for 12.3 only lists a single issue: some graphics cards require "NO KMS" to install. Users testing the release are encouraged to provide feedback and report any bugs that they find.

An overview of the changes and enhancements in the new milestone can be found in the release announcement. Milestone 1 of openSUSE 12.3 is available for 32- and 64-bit systems from the Development Version download page. According to the 12.3 timeline, this latest development release will be followed by another milestone on 13 December, with a beta arriving on 17 January. Two release candidates are planned for February ahead of the release of the final stable version on 13 March.

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