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Leap 15.1, the release that nobody talks about

openSUSE Leap 15.1 is almost ready for release! (1) This is always a high point of the year for me. I started researching what was new in this release. However, there is not much buzz around this release. I found only a few articles on Softpedia (2), Phoronix (3) and the announcement by Ludwig Nussel (4).

When I tried to establish what was new (5) in Leap 15.1, I started to understand why. Leap 15.1 mostly features minor updates. Still there are updates that are noteworthy. In the table below I highlighted in green the updated packages that are really new. In blue, I highlighted new packages that are also present in updated Leap 15 installations.

Package nameLeap 15Leap 15Leap 15.1Tumbleweed
with updates
Calligra suite3.
Chromium browser66737373
Gnome Applications3.
GNU Cash3.
KDE Applications17.1217.12.318.12.319.04.0
KDE Plasma 5 desktop5.
Linux kernel4.*5.0.9
Mozilla Firefox60.
Mozilla Thunderbird52.760.
Rapid Photo Downloader0.

Software package updates

Calibre is updated to 3.40 and includes some improvements to Kobo drivers, support for the Kindle Whitepaper 2018, a bunch of improvement for the Edit book functionality, the Content station has a new “Copy to library” function and some usability improvements of the Tag browser.

Darktable is updated to 2.6, including a new retouch module, a new filmic module, a new module to handle duplicates in the darkroom, you can now change the cropped area in the perspective correction module, the mask blur feature has been extended with a guided-filter to fine tune it and the color balance module has two new modes based on ProPhotoRGB and HSL.

Digikam is updated to 6.0. This means that you can now manage video files in the same way as you would manage photos. In the album management, you can now use virtual folders (RAW/JPG/PNG) to sort items in a list. Digikam 6.0 uses libraw 0.19, which enables support for over 200 new RAW files. This includes support for iPhone 8, 8+ and X and support for Samsung S7, S7 Edge and S8. There are also many improvements for connecting with external web services. Finally, Digikam now uses a separate database for fussy and duplicate search, improving performance and reliability.

Flatpack is updated to 1.2.3, which includes many security improvements.

KDE applications got a big update to 18.12. Dolphin (file manager) received many improvements, including the ability to hide the Places panel and dock the Terminal panel. The folder view and settings dialog have been updated. Ocular (PDF and document viewer) has a new typewriter annotation feature that enables you to type everywhere on a page. Konsole (terminal application) now has full support for emoji. The Gwenview (image viewer) has seen many improvements, including the crop tool, the reduce red eye tool, improved zooming and better drag and drop functionality. Spectacle (screenshot tool) gained the ability to sequentially number screenshot files and now remembers the lastest save settings. With the rectangular region selection mode, you can select a part of the screen . Ark (unzip tool) now supports the tar.zst archive file standard.

Krita is updated to 4.1.8 and introduces the new reference images tool that lets you place and edit a reference image to help you with drawing. Another help with drawing is provided by the improved vanishing point assistant. Krita 4.1 features many animation improvements and a better color picker tool.

LibreOffice 6.1 offers 2 new icon themes ‘Colibre’ and ‘Karasa Jaga’, it loads documents with many images faster, the gradient tool has been improved and new fill gradients are available, you can now add page numbers and page counts in the header and footer sections of Writer, you can insert a Signature line in Writer, you can now sort images anchored to cells in Calc, the merge cells dialog box has become much clearer in Calc, you can now use CSVs as data sources in Calc and a new page menu has been added in Impress.

Linux kernel has received some back-ports of Graphics hardware from the Linux kernel 4.19, including better support for AMD Vega cards.

Rapid Photo Downloader (from the Graphics repository) is updated to 0.9.14. Canon’s latest RAW file format CR3 is supported on systems that have ExifTool 10.87 or newer.

YaST has received several improvements and is updated to 4.1.68. YaST has improved the default partitioning proposal for systems with less than 12 GB, YaST received some UI improvements including better support for 4K monitors, the YaST Firewall module has been adapted to work with Firewalld, the Partitioner can now directly format full disks and create MD RAIDs on top of disks without partitions.

Installation options

Besides the standard installation options (full ISO, KDE live ISO, Gnome live ISO, network installer) there is now full support for Raspberry Pi installations. The server installation now features an option for a transactionally updated system. Furthermore there are the more traditional server installations for X86_64 and JeOS (the minimal server installation for the Cloud). You can find the Beta versions of Leap 15.1 here.

Published on: 4 May 2019