opensuse 11.2 — the art of GNOME

Nov 12 2009

As of today is the day you can enjoy a fresh new release of opensuse, the mothership of projects like Banshee, Evolution, F-Spot or Kiwi.

While 11.2 defaults to KDE, we have a solid GNOME release as well. GNOME ships on both the DVD and a separate LiveCD. Now you can actually put the ISO on a USB stick or an SD card and boot from that.

Styling of 11.2 may be a bit different to what you’d expect from SUSE and is a bit of a return to the golden Ximian days. Darker, less saturated shades of the background let your content get all the attention. It’s still green though :)

Gilouche has been the opensuse theme for a while now and 11.2 introduces a new default, Sonar. Sonar is a metatheme consisting of window manager decorations and a widget theme. Unfortunately a key element didn’t make it in time – the icon theme. By default you still get the familiar Gilouche folders. You can, however, install the Sonar icon theme from Factory. It’s also the first time we’re using the opensuse font, 5th Leg, for window titles. 5th Leg is the result of opensuse’s Hackweek and have to express my gratitude to Novell for this event yet again.

SUSE Moblin

Sonar isn’t the only new theme addition though. Building on top of some great design coming from the openedHand/Intel team working on Moblin I’ve experimented with a simple glyph style (although slightly less minimalistic) and an easier workflow for creating such an icon theme. While the font approach ended up as a failure, the SUSE Edition of Moblin is now shipping a theme based on the foundation of the hackweek experiment.

Unfortunately the theme isn’t independent of the widget and WM theme color yet (if any hacker is interested in figuring out how to best recolor the SVG glyphs based on gtk colors, please step forward ;). The good news is that you can try the complete package on the desktop even if it was designed for a small netbook screen (with a clumsy touchpad). It works quite well if you have enough screen estate.

You can grab the latest and greatest moblin-cursor-theme, moblin-icon-theme and moblin-gtk-engine from my personal repo.

Go ahead, try opensuse 11.2. We love GNOME too!