Friday, November 18, 2011

openSUSE 12.1 review

With the sea-salt whiff of Fedora 16 still hanging in the air, we now have another updated Linux distribution based on the new 3.1 kernel. OpenSUSE 12.1 offers the GNOME 3.2 shell along with KDE, Xfce and LXDE desktop flavors should you prefer something different. There are goodies like Chromium 17 and Firefox 7 and improved server side tools including WebYaST, Horde 4 apps and the ability to run on the Amazon EC2 cloud. The source link below lists plenty more improvements and of course they're all free. Software should also run faster on SUSE machines thanks to the link-time optimisation of GCC 4.6.2.

Here a Windows installation exists in parallel, openSUSE defaults to installing the boot manager in the Linux partition's boot sector and sets the active flag for this partition.

Special highlights are the Btrfs snapshot management tools and the resulting roll-back function in Yast – no other distribution currently offers this functionality. The Yast module doesn't yet allow users to create custom snapshots or delete individual snapshots from the list.

openSUSE 12.1's default browser is Firefox 7, its default email client is Thunderbird 7.0.1, and LibreOffice 3.4.2 is included.

the Packman repository should be enabled in the software manager of openSUSE's Yast admin tool, as it contains various multimedia codecs.

ZFS is copy-on-write, self-healing with 256-bit checksums, supports compression, online pool growth, scales much better than the UFS file-system commonly used on BSD operating systems, supports snapshots, supports deduplication, and the list goes on for the features of this file-system .

Otherwise, BTRFS is a lot faster (3x) with compression enabled than ZFS. BTFS also beats EXT4. At 32 threads of 32MB random writes, Btrfs continued running just fine (36MB/sec) while ZFS dropped to writing at 1.67MB/s, this was barely faster than the UFS+S speed of 1.63MB/s.

Remember BSD 8.2 BSD has slower file system, but more highest security and built for mission critical data like databases like health records that need protection from Chinese.

desktop shells 9.0 - KDE 4.7.2 faster than KDE 4.6.0 in 11.4 and KDE 4.5.5 in PC-BSD 8.2
filesystem 10 - beats ZFS in performance
overall 9.0

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