Novell Gives openSUSE the (Faster) Boot

Latest Linux release updates core packages and speeds up boot time, too.

Novell Thursday updated OpenSUSE to version 10.3, adding the latest and greatest the open source community has to offer. Perhaps just as importantly, it's now also faster to get to all the latest and greatest, with what Novell claims is the shortest boot time yet for its community Linux distribution.

The openSUSE 10.3 release includes the Linux kernel OpenOffice 2.3 and the latest GNOME 2.20 and KDE 3.5.7 desktop GUIs among the myriad of updated packages.

Though openSUSE 10.3 adds in a lot of updated programs, the project's contributors took a stab at also making the operating system more efficient. Of particular focus in this release were boot-time enhancements.

"There are now some incredibly impressive speed-ups, with desktops booting in around 24 seconds, or laptops booting in 27 seconds, compared to a 55 second wait in openSUSE 10.2," developer Francis Giannaros wrote on the openSUSE blog.

Novell has also improved the way that openSUSE users get their packages. openSUSE 10.3 includes new and redesigned modules for their YaST (Yet another Setup Tool installer) including a revamped network module.

The new release will also make it simpler for users to build customized distributions, with a YaST front-end for KIWI, openSUSE's application for creating custom system images. KIWI first debuted in January, at the same time Novell announced AutoBuild, which also figures prominently in this release. As one might guess, AutoBuild enabling developers to automatically build packages for openSUSE.

Another notable enhancement to the 10.3 release is openSUSE's "1 click install" feature, which takes advantage of the build service.

"1 click install works directly from your Web browser, without any need to invoke YaST or any other package management tool first, with a single click," Gerald Pfeifer, director of product management for SUSE Linux told "Leveraging this, anyone can set up a Web page with a reference to a set of packages and users can install this very easily."

The openSUSE 10.2 release emerged in early December 2006 and included the "pirate" kernel. Pfeifer said today's openSUSE 10.3 release, coming some 11 months after the prior release, appeared on schedule.

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