openSUSE Releases Updated openSUSE 12.2 Li-f-e for Users in Education

Aimed at students, teachers and school administrators, the new version of the open-source openSUSE 12.2 Linux for Education (Li-f-e) OS has myriad new capabilities.

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The open-source openSUSE 12.2 Linux for Education (Li-f-e) OS has many new capabilities.

openSUSE is rolling out the latest version of the openSUSE 12.2 Linux for Education (Li-f-e) open-source operating system with a full range of features aimed at better serving students, teachers and school administrators.

After a two-month delay, openSUSE 12.1 Li-f-e has been launched and now is available for download.

The "openSUSE Education team once again presents Li-f-e (Linux for Education) built on hot new openSUSE 12.2, including all the post release updates," team member Lars Vogdt wrote Sept. 14 on the openSUSE Website.

The new release includes updated and improved versions of the KDE and GNOME Linux desktops, as well as the innovative Cinnamon desktop, which is similar to GNOME 2.

Also included in the latest version is the Sugar Learning Platform desktop suite, which was built as part of a worldwide effort to improve educational opportunities for children around the world.

"Li-f-e also gives a full multimedia experience right out of the box without having to install anything extra," wrote Vogdt. "The live installable DVD ISO stands at 3.3GB [with] an incredible array of software from the open-source world … on it. We have not just bundled them in, but have tried to integrate it with the distribution to give everything a seamless feel."

According to the release note for the operating system, the Live DVD contains KIWI-LTSP server that can be installed and configured easily even by nontechnical users. Li-f-e can be installed on thin clients, PCs and laptops, over a network.

The LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP) stack that is included is needed for developing or hosting PHP Websites and all other major development tools.

Because Li-f-e is based on openSUSE 12.2, all the official 12.2 updates and services can be used to keep it up to date, according to openSUSE.

Minimum hardware requirements for the operating system are 1GB of RAM and 15GB free disk space. It can be installed from a USB stick (after download), which is faster, or from DVDs. openSUSE provides instructions for creating a live USB stick on a VFAT partition or by using other GUI and terminal methods.

The noneducational version of the updated openSUSE 12.2 launched Sept. 5, and its debut touted lots of new features, which are also included in Li-f-e.

Inherent in both new openSUSE 12.2 releases are "speed-ups across the board with a faster storage layer in Linux 3.4 and accelerated functions in glibc and Qt, giving a more fluid and responsive desktop," according to openSUSE. "The infrastructure below openSUSE has evolved, bringing in mature new technologies like GRUB2 and Plymouth and the first steps in the direction of a revised and simplified UNIX file system hierarchy."

“We are proud of this release, maintaining the usual high openSUSE quality standards,” Andrew Wafaa of the openSUSE Board, said in a statement. "The delay in the schedule caused by our growth in the last two years means we have to work on scaling our processes."

With openSUSE 12.2, the GRUB2 bootloader is now the default, and efforts continue to revise and simplify the Unix file system hierarchy to improve compatibility across distributions, according to openSUSE.

Other improvements include a reworked GNOME 3.4 Linux desktop that brings smoother scrolling in applications, as well as an improved System Settings app, a more polished Contacts manager and a faster Dolphin file manager.

openSUSE 12.2 is built on the Linux 3.4 kernel.