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Novell details OpenSUSE 11.1 ahead of tomorrow's release

The newest version will see a change in the licence to GNU GPL 2, which Novell hopes will encourage more contributions.

Novell has laid out more details about the next version of its SUSE Linux distribution, set for release tomorrow.

One of the more notable changes is an alteration of the licence governing the software, which Novell hopes will encourage further contributions from the open-source community.

OpenSUSE was previously offered under a standard user license agreement, as it contained proprietary software from Adobe and Sun. That software has now been removed, meaning openSUSE 11.1 can be offered under the GNU GPL version 2 licence. The proprietary software will need to be downloaded separately by the user, if they need it.

"We've modified the licence so it's easier to distribute," says Joe Brockmeier, Novell's openSUSE community manager. "As an open-source project, that's important. It was usually a bit of a headache around release time, trying to coordinate with all the publishers."

Among the other changes openSUSE 11.1 makes use of the Gnome 2.24 desktop environment, which brings tabbed browsing to the Nautilus file manager and the updated networking manager, which allows users to detect and connect to 3G networks from the same panel they use to manage Wi-Fi connections.

However, Novell has decided against employing the Empathy instant messaging client. Designed to offer much tighter desktop integration, Empathy will eventually succeed Pidgin, though for this release, Novell has decided it needs more time to bake.

Novell is also bundling its Slab navigation panel, which offers a favourite applications list, and quick search facility as the expense of the top panel usually found in the Gnome release. KDE lovers are also catered with version 4.1, making its ways into the release.

Software hasn't been neglected either. The Linux kernel steps up to version 2.6.27, while open-source favourites Firefox and OpenOffice both moving to version 3.

OpenSUSE 11.1 is due for release tomorrow. Further details and links to downloads can be found here.

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