Here's an oddity I've noticed with 11.2 M7: using the same settings and with the same desktop environment (KDE 4.3.x), a DVD-based install fails miserably with fsck-related errors (already bugged), but a live CD-based install (still KDE) works like a charm (fsck on first boot works, too, as it's supposed to, like it does with 11.1's first boot). I'm also using the same partition settings on the same hard drive, so, in other words, the only difference is the image itself (DVD vs. live CD). What did the live CD image-writers get right in their HAL that the DVD image writers failed at? (There is a patch for the HALD problems in the M7 DVD image; the surprise is that the live CD image did not have the same problem.)

There are several new surprises in M7 vs. M6 (especially for KDE fans):

1. New artwork! The shade of Gecko throughout the default KDE artwork has changed, as has the artwork itself.

2. Improvements in the Mesa software rasterizer (increased performance, even without DRI vs. the same settings in M6) let you enable compiz even with no 3D acceleration (in fact, compiz is now enabled by default).

3. Greater driver modularization (even vs. M6, let alone 11.1 and earlier). Even though there is more hardware support (especially in the kernel) in M7 vs. earlier milestones and compared to 11.1, The boot-time has been at least halved compared to M6 (and nearly faster by two-thirds compared to 11.1 GM on the same hardware) despite it! (The Sound Blaster X-Fi, which 11.1 didn't support by default, now loads as a module, like other supported Creative sound cards. Also, installing from SATA DVD drives, which 11.1 GM had issues with, especially on nForce chipsets, was issue-free from the KDE M7 live CD image.) If the radeonhd driver (or Catalyst 9.9) can be tuned as well as the rest of the hardware,, this may be the best openSuSE yet.