The update, called Version 6.0, comes hot on the heels of a similar beta version for Windows and includes features such as support for the Unicode Worldwide Character Set, which makes Opera available for the first time in Asian-Pacific languages, such as Japanese, and Eastern European languages, such as Russian.
"It's very exciting, especially in markets like China and some other Far Eastern countries that have been waiting for this for quite some time," said Dean Kakridas, the company's vice-president of desktop products.
Other new additions include "Hotclick", which allows users to double-click a word or right-click a selected phrase to see a pop-up menu of features such as search, encyclopedia lookup and translation.
Opera has signed deals for search engines with long-standing partner Google, as well as with Fast Search & Transfer ASA's alltheweb.com, and with Lycos for encyclopedia, dictionary and translation services, Kakridas said.
He added that Version 6.0 allows users to choose from a number of custom display options, including buttons, skins and panels.
"We've done some usability studies on all platforms and tried to update our look and feel," Kakridas said. "It's a lot more modern and updated, all in the name of faster usability and good UI [user interface] design."
The new Linux version also includes a cookie management feature, which allows users to examine all the cookies placed on their PC by a particular site and decide whether to edit or delete individual ones. This is a more fine-tuned way of handling cookies than other browsers, which simply allow users to reject all cookies or be notified when they are being placed.
So far cookie management is only available on the Linux browser, but Opera hopes to add it to future Windows versions, too. "It seems like a very useful feature," said Kakridas.
"It was taken care of almost immediately. All Opera versions have a lot of the same code, and it was all rectified in one fell swoop," Kakridas said.
The preview, which can be downloaded free of charge from Opera's Web site, is a publicly released alpha version and prone to bugs and crashes, the company said.