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Novell News Summary – Part I: KDE 4.2 in OpenSUSE, DELL Picks SLED

Posted in GNU/Linux, KDE, Novell, OpenSUSE, Scalix, Servers, SLES/SLED, Turbolinux, Xandros at 7:10 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

SuSE logoIt’s Saturday again!


FOR OpenSUSE at the least, the past week has been an exceptionally quiet one, but events from the previous week got posted in the OpenSUSE Web site, namely:

* openSUSE@FOSDEM2009
* HP Builds on the openSUSE Education Project
* Masim Sugianto: Tutorial : VirtualBox on openSUSE 11.1 Part 2
* openSUSE Forums: How to install KDE 4.2
* Build maemo-apps with openSUSE BuildService ? – It works !

The biggest event in the past week was probably the availability of KDE 4.2 for OpenSUSE.

The KDE Project released KDE 4.2 on Tuesday, and of course openSUSE packages were available in time for the release. If you missed the pointer from the KDE announcement info page, you can get your KDE 4.2 fix in a number of ways.

There are a few other OpenSUSE HOWTOs of interest and also this development notice which relates to openSUSE 11.2.

The openSUSE Factory distribution is our permanent development distribution. Currently used to develop openSUSE 11.2. We want to make the factory distribution better usable for everybody to get a better testing for next release.
One of the complaints we received in the last years is that the huge amount of newly built packages makes it hard for people to keep their system up to date, simply due to the time needed for downloading and installing the packages.

OpenSUSE was listed here as a GNU/Linux distribution option which is “decent”.

My first port of call was OpenSUSE, a distro I have used on and off over the years; it was in fact my first serious introduction to Linux. The problem with it was that Fedora had installed a disk partitioning scheme that the SUSE installer couldn’t deal with, and it gave up with a cryptic error message when I tried installing it. The only solution was to transfer all my files to another computer, completely erase all my partitions and install afresh, which I did. The network problems persisted, and (unlike Fedora) it could not install the drivers for my ATi graphics card. So, that had to go as well.


The main development was to do with Dell’s thin clients. From the press release:

SUSE Linux Enterprise Thin Client to be preloaded on new Dell OptiPlex thin client devices

Novell today announced that Dell will preload SUSE Linux Enterprise Thin Client, the market’s leading enterprise-quality Linux thin client operating system, onto Dell’s new OptiPlex FX160 thin client device. The OptiPlex FX160 is part of Dell’s diverse portfolio of Flexible Computing Solutions, which was introduced in October 2008. SUSE Linux Enterprise Thin Client from Novell in conjunction with Dell’s Optiplex FX160 will help customers dramatically lower costs, while simplifying IT from the desktop to the data center.

Among the early coverages:

This week Novell announced they’ve signed a deal that will see Dell using SUSE Linux Enterprise on their new OptiPlex FX160 thin clients. This move means corporate IT departments will be able to simplify IT at a lower cost than ever before.

More analysis indicates that it goes beyond just the thin client:

Well, well, how about that Dell? In a landmark decision, Dell announced that it has penned a deal to use Novell’s SUSE Linux in its data centers to power its new OptiPlex FX 160 thin client systems. Wow. Dell is doing this to save money and simplify its IT infrastructure and requirements.

This was covered in:


On the server side, there was some progress too.

SoftLayer Adds SUSE Linux Enterprise Server


On-demand virtual data center services provider SoftLayer Technologies (www.softlayer.com) has added SUSE Linux Enterprise Server from Novell (www.novell.com) to its portfolio of server operating systems, giving all customers an enterprise-grade distribution of the open source Linux OS for no additional cost.

The Indian press referred to Novell’s Linux a little more generally.

Bangalore, Feb. 4 The economic slowdown is prompting companies to migrate even their mission critical systems to open source platforms such as Linux, a move that would help them cut costs, consolidate and run their IT infrastructure more efficiently.

Novell Inc, an enterprise infrastructure software and services vendor, expects more customers to migrate their mission critical applications onto Linux.

“Linux has seen most of growth coming from on the edge Unix processes. And, now, customers have started shifting the mission critical systems to Linux. That’s where we have focused aggressively as a company,” said Mr Ronald W. Hovsepian, President and CEO, Novell.

It’s not so clear what version of SUSE is used here.

Digitar has been using Novell’s (NASDAQ: NOVL) SUSE Linux software on its HP (NYSE: HPQ) servers since it opened its doors. However, the company tried the Linux storage subsystem a few years ago with unsatisfactory results.

“At that time, we found the Linux storage subsystem to lack reliability and the Linux Volume Manager (LVM) to be slow,” said Williams. “Back then, I wasn’t familiar with OpenSolaris and I must confess that I was anti-Solaris, as I had found it difficult to use while at college. I preferred the Solaris kernel but believed Linux to be more user-friendly.”

Ditto for this one:

Areas of expertise are Linux, High Availability, Virtualization, and Backup and cross platform solutions. Vendors include: Novell, Acronis, Parallels, Coyote Point, Avira and Propalms, among others.


The presence of Scalix at an exhibition was mentioned last week and here is another press release (also in MSNBC).

Scalix, the premier Linux email, calendaring and messaging company, today announced that key staff will showcase powerful hosting solutions that enable email, messaging and group calendaring capabilities, including rich Outlook support, without the expense of Exchange, at the Parallels Summit 2009, Las Vegas, Nevada, February 3-4. The Parallels Summit features in-depth technical, business, and product sessions that focus on Cloud Computing, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), Automation and Virtualization.


There is almost nothing going on there except for occasional advisories and responses to them.

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  1. Needs Sunlight said,

    February 8, 2009 at 6:52 am


    Roy, what is the point with all that above?


    I thought this was “BoycottNovell” not “PromoteNovell” When you find articles touting some MS Novell or MS Suse product, simply look for the other distros they are reacting to. Publish those instead, please.



  2. Shane Coyle said,

    February 8, 2009 at 8:11 am


    I thought this was “BoycottNovell” not “PromoteNovell”

    It’s a sticky point, but to me there is indeed a distinction between the folks in the OpenSUSE community who volunteer so much time and effort to help the community and the people at Novell, who made a deal to exploit those very same folks’ efforts.

    Even then, I think it’s a dubious position to assume that Novell hasn’t anything of value to contribute to the community, I don’t hate Novell, I just want them to see their errors and repudiate the deal that eviscerated the GPL.

    <shamelessplug>But, if ya like, KDE 4.2 is also available over at EDU-Nix.org <⁄shamelessplug>.

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