openSUSE 12.2 arrives with Linux 3.4 and GRUB 2.0
Following a two-month delay, the openSUSE project has announced version 12.2 of its Linux distribution. The latest major release of openSUSE is based on the 3.4 Linux kernel and offers users a choice of either the GNOME 3.4.2 or the KDE 4.8.4 desktop environments out of the box; as with 12.1, KDE is selected by default.
Thanks to improvements in the kernel and an update to systemd version 44, the developers say that openSUSE now boots and runs faster than before, while the use of glibc 2.15 improves the performance of many functions, especially on 64-bit systems. Other under-the-hood changes include switching to using version 2.00 of the GRUB boot manager and moving to a Plymouth-based start-up process.
New and updated packages include LibreOffice 3.5, GIMP 2.8, version 2.4 of the Krita image editing application, Inkscape 0.48.3.1, version 2.5 of the Amarok music player, GCC 4.7.1, X.org 1.12, Qt 4.8.1 and Firefox 14.0.1 (the developers note that users will be upgraded to version 15 when they first run online update). The Chromium and Rekonq browsers, the Scribus publishing program and the Tomahawk music player are among the other included applications.
While KDE 4.9 has been available since early August, the developers have previously stated that they opted to stick with the 4.8 series due to stability concerns, despite the delay to the final release and numerous requests from users. However, those wanting to upgrade to KDE 4.9 can add it to their repository list and upgrade using the openSUSE Build Service. Alternatively, users can select from either the Xfce 4.10 or LXDE minimal, lightweight desktops, which have both received improvements. Jos Poortvliet, openSUSE Community Manager for SUSE, shows off the KDE version in a short video:
The road to this release of openSUSE has been more eventful than usual. The major update to openSUSE was originally expected to arrive on 11 July but was later delayed following a "Wake up call" to developers over the project's release methodology and organisation, after which release manager Stephan Kulow pushed back the final release until September in order to fix and stabilise the code base.
Further information about the new version, including a full list of changes, can be found in the openSUSE 12.2 Features page and in the release notes. openSUSE 12.2 is available to download for 32- and 64-bit systems from software.opensuse.org. For those upgrading to the new version, the developers note that some desktop components in 12.2 depend on services that systemd provides. Therefore, any user who is making use of the now deprecated and "probably even faulty or broken" sysvinit fallback support is asked to first run systemd before reporting bugs.