Novell has published a second release candidate (RC) of its landmark Suse Linux 10.1 release, following weeks of delays.

RC2, which appeared early on Saturday, differs little from RC1, which appeared earlier in April, but fixes a number of serious flaws, according to industry observers.

Suse 10.1, which uses contributions from the OpenSuse community project, introduces some major changes to the distribution, such as an XGL-based 3D user interface. Another big change, the integration of Novell's ZENworks Linux Management (ZLM) into the Yast configuration tool, is said to have been particularly thorny, contributing to delays.

Other strings of problems were reported with the bootloader, the updating mechanism, and Yast2 itself. "A development versions are always a development version, but this shouldn't be a RC," said one developer of RC1, commenting on an online Suse forum.

Earlier, Novell had been planning to release the first release candidate in mid-February, with the production version released at the beginning of March. A later revision changed the final production date to mid-April.

Novell is now planning to release RC3 next week, with the final release to follow soon after, according to Suse's Andreas Jaeger. "We are confident that we will move rapidly through the final phases of the release," said Jaeger in a statement.