The openSUSE 13.1 Linux distribution is available now, providing it's users with improved performance and brand new features.
The new release follows the openSUSE 12.3 release by about 8 months, which appears to be right on schedule. The new release of openSUSE 13.1 stands in contrast to the openSUSE 12.2 release that came out in September 2012, which ended up being delayed by two months.
The on time release of the new openSUSE 13.1 is a result of the improvements in the development process that came from the openQA effort. It performs automated testing for openSUSE builds.
Agustin Bethencourt, the openSUSE team leader at SUSE, said that the improvements done in openQA worked much better than expected.
"We detected bugs earlier and our reports were more accurate thanks to the tool," Bethencourt said. "These improvements provided developers more time and better information to fix the problems"
Bethencourt also added that a amount of bugs that were reported and fixed are higher in 13.1 than in the releases before. The openQA effort aslo allowed the project to increase its efforts in other areas like real hardware testing, documentation and translations, and because of this, openSUSE is now more efficient than it ever was before.
"13.1 is the best release in a long time because, among other things, there has been no significant surprises during its development, integration and stabilization phases," Bethencourt said.
Features: At the core of the openSUSE 13.1 distribution is the Linux 3.11 kernel that first came ou in September of this year. The new kernel has the key focus on the ARM server architecture, which is seen in the openSUSE 13.1 release.
"openSUSE on ARM is not yet as mature as on x86/x64, though we are making good and steady progress," Bethencourt said. "We are working to bring those improvements and new ones to openSUSE 13.1 and will announce them when they become fully available."
The Btrfs filesystem benefits as well from the new performance and stability. Bethencourt said that Btrfs is already available for SUSE Linux Enterprise, so it is ready for production use-cases. SUSE has recently announced that it was raising the support length for its SUSE Linux Enterprise release from 7 years to ten years.
"What we have done in openSUSE 13.1 is include new Btrfs features," Bethencourt said. " Some of them are ready for production environments and some still need more stabilization effort; this is why Btrfs is not the default file system in openSUSE 13.1."
Moving forward a bit, Bethencourt also explained that in the tech area, the next big topic will come in December when the openSUSE community will talk about the introduction of significant changed in Factory to improve on the current development process.
"The goal will be to evolve Factory into a bleeding-edge rolling development process that is, at the same time, usable by a wider range of developers," he said.