Just days after Gentoo resurrected itself with a new LiveDVD release in celebration of its 10th birthday, the developers behind the Yoper Linux distribution have come around with a new development release of its own. Yoper dates back to 2003, and one of their goals is to be the fastest out-of-the-box Linux distribution, but there has not been a new stable release in 28 months and it is not on a rolling release cycle like Gentoo or Arch. The new release for this distribution is Yoper 2009 Beta 1 "Dresden" and ships with all of the latest Linux packages and offers a new installer and various other improvements. Yoper also remains one of the few distributions shipping with a Zen-powered kernel, and on top of that, they even offer a kernel with the BFS scheduler.
Yoper 2009 will be shipping with KDE 4.3 (Beta 1 is using KDE 4.3.2) along with the Linux 2.6.31 kernel and X.Org 7.5. In this first beta, Yoper 2009 is still using an early development snapshot of X Server 1.7 and not the final release that came out recently, but we suspect that will change shortly. Yoper is only available in a 32-bit flavor optimized for i686 CPUs with no x86_64 option. The default 2.6.31 kernel is from Zen-Sources and as mentioned in the introduction there is also a Yoper kernel available that uses the desktop-optimizes BFS scheduler. The revised Yoper installer remains text-based, but it's easy and quick to use.
KDE 4.3 is the default desktop for Yoper 2009 and is the desktop environment that the Yoper developers have spent the most work on, but Fluxbox, OpenBox, XFCE4, and KDE3 remain available to interested desktop users. As you can see from these screenshots though, the KDE 4.3 desktop has been tuned by Yoper and is not the standard KDE desktop layout. Found on the desktop is Firefox 3.5 and other standard KDE packages along with a few extras like MPlayer, but nothing too special in regards to its default package selection. Yoper continues to use RPM for its packaging.
Those interested in Yoper 2009 Beta 1 can download it from the links found within the release announcement. There is a KDE4 spin of Yoper 2009 as well as a slim installation. The KDE4 ISO can boot to either the text-based installer or can boot to a LiveCD mode. We are continuing to explore this release to see if it is enough to rejuvenate this performance-oriented Linux desktop distribution. Of course, we might end up benchmarking this release too in order to see if this distribution can meet its performance claims.