Two Popular Distributions Release Development Milestones

On Thurday, September 2 two leading Linux distributions released milestone developmental versions on the road to their next releases. OpenSUSE released Milestone 1 of 11.4 and Ubuntu released a beta of their upcoming 10.10, codenamed Maverick Meerkat, for developers and community testers.

openSUSE 11.4 Milestone 1

OpenSUSE 11.4 will brings lots of fixes and improvements. The most significant changes in this milestone are seen in the package management system. Libzypp, the backend that serves as the dependency resolver and software API for YaST and Zypper (openSUSE's package management system), has been updated and will support more networking protocols. MultiCurl will replace the old MediaAria backend. It supports HTTP and FTP downloads as well as Zsync transfers and Metalink downloads. Zsync will reduce wait-time for users and server load for openSUSE by only downloading the changes to each individual package. Multicurl also brings support for using password-protected repositories. Additionally, certain bugs in MediaAria caused poor performance at times and these are now eliminated with MultiCurl. Perhaps the most important benefit of MultiCurl is its ability to download multiple streams simultaneously. All this adds up to a major speed increase for openSUSE YaST users.

Other updates seen at this time include Linux 2.6.34, XOrg 1.9, GCC 4.5, KDE 4.5, GNOME 2.32.0 Beta 1, and Firefox 3.6.8. The next milestone is expected on September 30 with public release of final on March 10, 2011.

Ubuntu 10.10 Beta

The one and only beta for the 10.10 development cycle was released on the same day. This cycle Ubuntu developers have been concentrating on the overall user experience. They are tweaking little things here and there to make things a bit more logical. Some of this is just the wording of menu entries and package descriptions, others take the form of theme and color changes as well as redesigned interfaces for Ubuntu tools such as the Software Center.

But they are working on some more significant changes as well. The installer has been streamlined even more than found in the last release. Partitioning is the first step now so that the new system will be installing while users finish answering the tedious timezone, username, and password questions. In addition, the installer offers to install non-free multimedia codecs and plugins - something that even experienced users might appreciate.

Some other highlights are a new default photo manager (Shotwell), the Sound indicator has been enhanced to include music player controls, and the boot process is faster. Also included is Linux 2.6.35, GNOME 2.31, Xorg 1.9, GCC 4.5.1, and Firefox 3.6.9.

The release candidate is expected on September 30 with final release scheduled for October 10.


Susan Linton is a Linux writer and the owner of


Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

When I viewed this discussion

clara vargas's picture

When I viewed this discussion on the Facebook audience claim that's off by 17,000 times I thought Linux's Journal fans really should comment on this: According to ComScore, the average Facebook user is online half a second per day! Yeah, sure!

Ubuntu 10.10.

Anonymous's picture

So Ubuntu 10.10 is being released on 10/10/10. Nice one.

Ubuntu Desktop user

dmikam's picture

Hi! I'm using Ubuntu for about 3 years like a normal desktop operating system. And I'm totally satisfied with it - I have all applications I need and everything I need is free - I don't need to buy or hack. I almost don't need to search applications on internet - a majority of them are on standard repositories or on other one or two that I always install. It is much easier and faster to install(and uninstall) applications.
Linux is very stable. Yes of course you can charge it but it is much more easier to charge Windows. I was (and I am) an advanced user of windows and the times I have "killed" it just installing some program or uninstalling (!!) them is painfully high, and I don't even speak about some configuration. Yes you can reanimate windows and restore some info but normal user can't do this. On Linux it is much more difficult even to "freeze" it.

Linux evolves and windows too. But las years, as I can say with very high assurance, Linux is evolves much more faster - many countries have changed OS that is used in government agencies on LINUX and I sure that the future is on it.

And YES I have installed beta of Ubuntu Maverick 10.10 and I'w writing this comment on it.


Anonymous's picture

While Linux distro's have come an amazing distance, and appeal greatly to the technically inclined crowd (myself included), Desktop Linux as a alternative to Windows has had well over a decade to catch up and be the true preferred OS, but due to misplaced priorities and poor quality has squandered it's chance at dominance. How many years has it been on the edge of being ready for mainstream usage. *nix(s) in my opinion have a superior design model, however due to developers insistence to add more buggy and gimmicky features rather than focus on performance and practicality, it will never measure up to it's potential. Another problem I have identified with the *nix(s) movement over the years are the zealots or fanboys who continue to discredit the OS in a misguided attempt to help it's adoption.
Zealots will argue points such as the performance of the OS being better than Windows through benchmarks of applications, not understanding that the performance of an application is largely dependent on the compiler, libraries, and talent of the coder when writing the software. When argued that the OS itself is faster they often point out the the obvious fact that yes the Linux kernel and GNU tool set by itself is faster than Windows, but how can a true comparison be made when there is no overhead of a GUI forming a complete experience on par with the competition. Also observed is the denial of the the responsiveness of the GUI of the X windows system coupled with the core distro. Any everyday computer user can notice the difference in responsiveness of the GUI when using X coupled with a comparable desktop (ask them) shell vs Windows, why do the evangelists deny the obvious, or fall back on a argument that it's not important? The purpose of the OS is just a platform for applications we need or want resulting in a goal, whether than be writing a essay or playing a game, etc. Granted it's a difficult argument due to design differences, X being designed around a networking model, and it being a independent entity, while Windows being more integrated with a simpler model. What's important from a personal perspective and I'm confident I'm not alone on this, is to accomplish what I desire to do quickly and efficiently. This is turning into an essay in itself and I realize is somewhat out of context to the article, however I felt compelled to express my opinion on the topic of the long time race of these two OS's. I also realize that it's biased despite my intent to remain objective. I haven't touched base on the faults of Microsofts OS, and it's drawbacks in a fair comparison, part of this is due to the fact that despite the pro's and cons, it is the dominate OS we use today. Regardless of what's fair, regardless of technical standpoints, Windows got to where it is from a culmination many factors, simply put.. survival of the fittest.
What may surprise you is, that if it was something I could change I would rather Linux be the mainstream OS we use today, why? Because I like it's Unix based design, it's modularity, it's portability, being able to customize my user experience. Despite my wishes, I use Windows, not for the sake of following the mass, but because I need a standard tool that my peers use as well so not only I can do what I need to do, but we can.
None of this is an attempt to start a flame war, none of it really matters for that fact, it's software, a grain of sand on the shore of life.