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.

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