Last week OpenSuSE 11.0 Alpha 1 was released, and in addition to including KDE 4.0, PulseAudio integration, and various package updates, Alpha 1 features improvements to the OpenSuSE installer. This installer uses Qt4 and is much improved, which warranted us taking a closer look.
While OpenSuSE continues to evolve with each new release, their installer hasn't changed much and can certainly be considered bland when compared to the latest releases of Anaconda (the Fedora/RHEL installer) and Ubiquity (the Ubuntu LiveCD installer). With Solaris Express Developer / Project Indiana, their installer had even become more visually appetizing than the earlier YaST installer. However, with OpenSuSE 11.0 there is a much-needed face-lift. The underlying installer hasn't changed much, but its interface now uses Qt4, which Trolltech has now made available under the GPLv3 license.
With this new YaST installer, OpenSuSE 11.0 has a world map (like Anaconda and other Linux installers) for selecting your location and setting the correct time. Previously, the OpenSuSE installer had relied upon a menu-based system for selecting the region and time zone. Aside from the GUI facelift and being written for Qt4, this time zone area marks about the only area of the installer that received an overhaul.