The new openSUSE 13.1

New Hope

© Lead Image © marigranula, 123RF.com

© Lead Image © marigranula, 123RF.com

Article from Issue 161/2014
Author(s):

Version 13.1 of the community-based openSUSE offers many useful updates and will receive extended maintenance.

In mid-November, the openSUSE project released openSUSE 13.1 [1], introducing a large number of new features for Linux fans. An updated version 3.11.6 Linux kernel handles RAM more effectively than older versions, and the mechanism for reusing memory pages is optimized to ensure that the system is more responsive for I/O-intensive applications.

SUSE started life as a Linux pioneer in Germany and was acquired in 2004 by Novell, which did not necessarily please all stakeholders. After the acquisition of Novell in 2011 by Attachmate, SUSE became independent again and now takes part in the enterprise Linux market [2] with renewed vigor. The community-based openSUSE is a scaled-down version of the enterprise variant that is available under a completely free license.

Filesystems

A new feature called Zswap [3] promises better performance of swap pages, which the kernel stores in compressed cache memory before being selectively swapped to disk. This process helps to reduce the number of computationally expensive I/O operations. Further improvements in the I/O area have been incorporated into various filesystems, such as Btrfs; ext4, which can now store small files directly in the inode; and XFS, which now supports checksums for metadata and journaling. F2FS (flash-friendly filesystem) introduces a completely new filesystem for flash memory [4]. The systemd init system used by SUSE now cooperates with Udev, which ensures that Ethernet cards keep the same names after a reboot.

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