openSUSE is a community driven Linux distribution sponsored by Novell. Most of the new technology in openSUSE usually ends up in Suse Linux Enterprise Server and Suse Linux Enterprise Desktop at a later stage. After eight months of development openSUSE 11.4 is now available for download, with a lot of new features.

In openSUSE you can choose from several desktop environments. You can choose the KDE Plasma desktop 4.6.1, GNOME 2.32, Xfce 4.8 and LXDE 0.5. The Freetype in openSUSE 11.4 supports sub-pixel rendering, which delivers much crisper fonts to LCD screens. openSUSE 11.4 will also come with a preview of GNOME 3.0, which is scheduled for release in April 2011.

Like a lot of the other Linux distributions, openSUSE has also replaced OpenOffice with LibreOffice 3.3.1. Several openSUSE developers are active in the LibreOffice community, as well. LibreOffice introduces the ability to import and edit SVG files in Draw, offers support for up to 1 million rows in Calc, and has made slide layout handling in Impress easier.

openSUSE 11.4 comes with the latest beta 12 of Mozilla Firefox 4, which introduces a major redesign of both the UI and the rendering engine. The final release is not out yet but openSuse promises to provide updates as soon as improvements come available. The new rendering engine in Firefox 4 use hardware acceleration when available. It also offers supports for major new web standards like WebM and HTML5.

The openSUSE Package Management has also been speeded up considerably. Updates are now available for download from multiple servers simultaneously and only changed parts of files will be fetched.

One of the major changes in openSUSE 11.4 is called project Tumbleweed. Tumbleweed provides “Rolling Release Management” of stable application packages. After enabling Tumbleweed you gain access to major software updates as they become available, making it easier than ever to keep your software up to date.

Read about all the other new and improved features in openSUSE 11.1 here.

(via TechWorld)