SuSE (properly pronounced /susə/, but often pronounced /suzi/) is a major retail Linux distribution, produced in Germany. The company is owned by Novell, Inc. SuSE is also a founding member of the Desktop Linux Consortium.
SuSE Linux was originally based on Slackware Linux; In mid-1992, Softlanding Linux System (SLS) was founded by Peter McDonald, which was the first comprehensive distribution to contain elements such as X and TCP/IP. The Slackware distribution (maintained by Patrick Volkerding) was initially based in large parts on SLS.
S.u.S.E was founded in late 1992 as a UNIX consulting group, which among other things regularly released software packages that included SLS and Slackware, and printed UNIX/Linux manuals. They released the first CD version of SLS/Slackware in 1994, under the name S.u.S.E Linux 1.0. It later integrated with the Jurix distribution of Florian La Roche (also based on Slackware), to release the first really unique S.u.S.E Linux 4.2 in 1996.
|1.0||- March 1994|
|5.0||- November 1997|
|6.0||- January 1999|
|7.0||- September 2000|
|8.0||- April 2002|
|9.0||- October 2003|
|10.0||- October 2005|
The name "S.u.S.E.", later shortened to just "SuSE", was originally an acronym for the German phrase "Software- und System-Entwicklung" ("Software and system development"). The company is now simply called SuSE Linux, and "SuSE" does not officially stand for anything any more. There is unofficial rumour that the name is analogy with the German computer pioneer Konrad Zuse.
On November 4, 2003, Novell announced it would acquire SUSE Linux (Shankland, 2003). The acquisition was finalized in January 2004 (Kennedy, 2003). According to Ramesh (2004), J. Philips (Novell's corporate technology strategist for the Asia Pacific region) stated that Novell would not "in the medium term" alter the way in which SuSE continues to be developed. At Novell's annual BrainShare gathering in 2004, all computers ran SUSE Linux for the first time. At this gathering it was also announced that the proprietary SUSE administration program YaST2 would be released into the public under the GPL license.
On August 4th, 2005, Novell spokesman and director of public relations Bruce Lowry announced that the development of the SuSE Professional series will become more open and under the community name of openSuSE try to reach a wider audience of users and developers. The software, by definition of open source, already had their coding "open", but now the development process will be more "open" than before, allowing developers and users to test the product and help develop it. As part of the change, YaST Online Update server access will be complimentary for openSUSE users, and along the lines of most open source distributions, there will both be a free download available on the web and a boxed edition. This change in philosophy led to the release of the SUSE Linux 10.0 release on October 6, 2005 in both "OSS" (completely opensource) and retail editions.
SUSE includes an installation and administration program called YaST2 which handles hard disk partitioning, system setup, online updates, network and firewall configuration, user administration and more in an integrated interface.
SuSE has support for resizing NTFS partitions during installation which allows it to co-exist with existing Windows 2000 or XP installations. SuSE has the ability to detect and install drivers for many common winmodems shipped with OEM desktop and laptop systems (such modems are designed to use Windows-specific software to operate).
Several desktop environments such as KDE and GNOME and window managers like Window Maker and Blackbox are included, with the YaST2 installer allowing the user to choose a preselection of GNOME, KDE, or no desktop at all. SUSE ships with multimedia software such as K3B (CD/DVD burning), amaroK (audio playback), and Kaffeine (movie playback). It contains OpenOffice.org, and other common document reading/processing formats such as PDF.
The latest release, SuSE Linux 10.0 is available as a retail package and a free, open source package, referred to as SuSE Linux OSS. In terms of software, the two are nearly identical. The major difference between the two is the retail edition contains some proprietary components, such as Macromedia Flash. In addition, the retail package, available for $59.95 USD, includes a printed manual and limited technical support. Suse Linux OSS is available to download freely from their website. The retail verson contains one DVD and 5 CDs, while Suse Linux OSS uses five CDs.
Other flavors include dedicated Server editions and groupware servers geared towards corporate networks and enterprises, along with a stripped-down business desktop which runs some software designed for Microsoft Windows out of the box by virtue of WINE.
SuSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) is the most popular Linux distribution for the most powerful Linux server, the IBM System z9 mainframe.
Unlike most other makers of Linux distributions who allow immediate download of their final versions, SuSE first releases the Personal and Professional versions in boxed sets which include extensive printed documentation, then waits a few months before it releases versions on its FTP servers. Until recently, the only version available for download was a special Pro version, which lacked some commercial software to comply with that software's licensing terms. This version has no ISO images; the user downloads a small boot disk (either floppy or CD-ROM) and then downloads the selected software over the network before it is installed. Starting with version 9.2, an unsupported 1 DVD ISO image of SuSE Professional was made available for download as well as a bootable LiveDVD evaluation. The FTP server continues to operate and has the advantage of "streamlined" installs: Only downloading packages the user feels they need. The ISO has the advantage of an easy install package, and less experience needed (ie., a Linux newbie may not know whether or not to install a certain package). In the latest release of SuSE, Novell has also published the ISO images of the 5 CDs of SUSE and OpenSUSE 10.
- Kennedy, D. (2003). Novell's Linux buy opens road to top. Retrieved December 20, 2003.
- Ramesh, R. (2004). Novell: SuSE stays the same, for now. Retrieved January 14, 2004.
- Shankland, S. (2003). Novell to acquire SuSE Linux. Retrieved December 20, 2003.
- The official SuSE web site (redirects to Novell's website now that SuSE's been purchased)
- The openSuSE web site
- SuSE Logo's history
- SuSE LINUX development build (download mirrors)
- The Unofficial SuSE FAQ
- SuSE Linux Support Forums
- SuSE Linux Community Forums
- SuSE Wiki
- SuSE Support Knowledgebase
- SuSE 10.0 Review (Tuxmachines)
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