Two Popular Distros Release Latest Wares

Two popular Linux distributions recently released new developmental versions on the road to their finals. One is early in its cycle and the other is about to cross the finish line.

openSUSE 11.3 RC2

openSUSE 11.3 RC2 was released in all its formats and desktops to anxiously awaiting testers. This release is fairly significant because it is the last release before final. This is the last chance for those bug finders to file any complaints before the July 8 Goldmaster. As per the openSUSE Project's usual procedure, the July 8 Goldmaster will become the public release a week later if no major show stoppers are found.

openSUSE 11.3 RC2 is available in a 4.7 GB full install DVD suitable for installations or upgrades in 32 bit and 64 bit. Users can also test Live CDs in either GNOME or KDE varieties in 32 bit or 64 bit. Bandwidth conscious users can also perform a network installation, where only the packages desired are downloaded. openSUSE always features Extra Languages images as well as a NonOSS CD that contains software distributed under proprietary licenses such as Adobe Acrobat Reader, Sun's Java Runtime Environment, Adobe Flash Player or Opera Web browser. This release candidate release features KDE 4.44, Xorg X Server 1.8.0, Mozilla Firefox 3.6.4, and 3.2.1.

Ubuntu Maverick Meerkat Alpha 2

Ubuntu developers released an early alpha of their upcoming verion of Ubuntu 10.10 due October 2010. The Alpha 2 image can be freshly installed or used to upgrade an existing install. This release comes in 32 bit or 64 bit versions with variations for GNOME, KDE, Xfce, server, Mythbuntu, and Ubuntu Studio.

This release features GNOME 2.31, Linux kernel 2.6.35-6.7, Xorg X Server 1.7.5, GCC 4.4.4, and KDE 4.5 RC 1 for Kubuntu. Btrfs is available for those who perform manual partitioning. The Ubuntu Software Center has seen some GUI tweaks, microblogging sharing, and more available data in the History tab. The sound volume applet has also received some attention with expanded functionality and is closing in on the visions expressed for it at the Ubuntu Developer Summit. The Unity netbook interface got some updates to the GUI as well mostly thanks to the introduction of global menus. Perhaps the most significant change for some users is Ubuntu is now compiled for i686 processors. So those with older machines are out of luck.


Susan Linton is a Linux writer and the owner of


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Memory requirements shut out most 586 and older

cwsnyder's picture

I am not affiliated with Ubuntu, but I haven't seen any variation of Ubuntu with X which will run in less than 256M of RAM, and there are very, very few of the 486 and 586 processor computers which could be expanded to more than 256M.
If you are running less than 256M and want more than a CLI, look at Puppy, Damn Small Linux (not supported any more), SliTaz, ArchLinux, Debian, or one of the specialty distributions.

Older PC suggestion for linux installation

Anonymous's picture

One way I found that I could install Ubuntu on older computer (Athlon III/P550) was to install older Ubuntu (6.1 or 8.04). Surprisingly, Ubuntu 6.1 installed without giving me any error. Then, upgrade the Kernel. Or, just use Puppy Linux. This will allow oyu to do limited stuff, but cannot beat Windows 98SE, NT, ME, or XP. The fact is there were so many developers to support Microsoft OS, Intel CPU, and HP Printers. I myself had tried Linux on old PC, but had to go back to Win98SE to be able to use the GDI-based Xerox Printer whose driver is no longer available.

I think Linux community has (or had to) abandoned to cover the older PC for one reason - cannot compete with Microsoft otherwise. True, the new linux distros are very -- VERY -- good, but so is Windows 7.

For my test, I like LinuxMint9 "Isadora", Scientific Linux 5.5(used by CERN), MandrivaOne, and Ubuntu 10.04, of course.

But, for non-profit organisations, I would say have some fund colelction event and get a decent custom built PC that can support modern printers, monitors, and faster networks. All can be done in one weekedn fund raiser of $300 - $500. Then use Linux so that no virus or malware problem (at least risk of rootkit during installation/upgrade is still there).

Um.... what?

Anonymous's picture

Um.... what?

Try Debian "Testing" release, codenamed Squeeze

Anonymous's picture

I find Debian "testing" release to be up to date like Ubuntu, but FAST on older machines unlike Ubuntu, but similar to Lenny's performance. Absolutely no stability problems whatsoever in 5 months of daily use.

Older machines

Jimmy the Geek's picture

There are LOTS of non-profits out there that run machines older than Pentium 4. Case in point is our local African American Heritage Center. I'm in the process of refurbishing our old computers, which run Celeron processors to donate to them. The lack of support for older than i686 also means that these distros cannot be used on machines that are old for firewall/proxy server purposes, not that anyone would WANT to upgrade a firewall box like that.


Anonymous's picture

Intel atom processors are i586, I think

go green no shit color

Anonymous's picture

go green

no shit color distro's please

Ubuntu has ditched the shit

Anonymous's picture

Ubuntu has ditched the shit color in the last revision, and you could easily change it otherwise

i586 with Ubuntu

Jake's picture

I've got to wonder--does anyone actually run Ubuntu on a Pentium or older? Pentium Pro up are all i686. I seriously doubt any variant of Ubuntu would run comfortably on any i586 or i486 architecture. I've tried a slimmed down version on a K6 with little success, but that's still in the cut off (Fluxbuntu btw).


joe10169's picture

I have put the new distro on a old amd 1800 and a p4 and a p3 ran with no problems just a little slow on the p3 as to be expected I am giving away the old p3 and board. I did it so I could run boinc on these older machines and get away from windows.