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Novell News Summary – Part I: Ballnux Downtime, Presto Instant-on, and Other Xandros News

Posted in GNU/Linux, Novell, OpenSUSE, Scalix, Servers, SLES/SLED, Xandros at 3:45 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

THERE HAS been no news about SLE* that we could find, but there were a few developments (and problems) for OpenSUSE over the course of the past week. There was also some coverage of public appearances from Xandros. We’ll go through them quickly.


After a relatively long downtime, Zonker weighed in and eventually confirmed that all services had been fully restored.

The main service affected by the above incident is the downloads service. Novell has also released a live version of OpenSUSE with the latest KDE4, which is available for download.

New KDE Four Live CDs with KDE 4.2.1, KOffice 2.0 Beta 7 and much more are up.

Heise, whose affinity for SUSE is clear to see due to geography, republished the OpenSUSE roadmap.

Stephan Kulow, the OpenSUSE project manager, has proposed a roadmap for the future versions of OpenSUSE. While Ubuntu and Fedora distributions currently aspire to provide a new release every six months, which is loosely pinned to the GNOME development schedule, previously OpenSUSE did not have a have a fixed release schedule. OpenSUSE will now try to ship a new version every eight months as part of their new release cycle.

There was not much in the blogosphere about OpenSUSE, but it was mentioned among 10 GNU/Linux distributions at Device Ace.

It’s very easy to install openSUSE 11.1, then you will have too choose between KDE 3.5.10, KDE 4.1.3, GNOME 2.24.1, Xfce 4.4.3, and 3D desktop using Compiz Fusion or kwin/KDE4 desktop environments. After you customize your categories and sub-categories, then you should try applications like OpenOffice.org 3.0, Wine 1.1.9, NetworkManager 0.7, Firefox 3.0.4, Bittorrent, Pidgin 2.5.1, and Banshee 1.4.1 among many others. openSUSE 11.1 features 3G and Bluetooth support, it’s reliable, free to download, fun and easy to use, and it will help you to get the job done!

Some HOWTOs that we found about OpenSUSE are:

  1. Analyzing boot performance of OpenSuse 11.1 with bootchart
  2. Easy live upgrade from 11.0 to 11.1
  3. All in one Peer-to-Peer File-Sharing Program for OpenSuse

There is likely to be lots more material in OpenSUSE Weekly News.

* openSUSE Project Meeting next Wednesday
* openSUSE Trademark Guidelines Released
* Ken Yap: How to clone a VirtualBox Linux VM to a real machine (v0.9)
* 11.2 Roadmap and Fixed Release Cycle for openSUSE
* Rupert Horstkötter: OSF Status Report #3


It was almost impossible to find anything, but SLES is mentioned in a sentence right here.

Most of those new features are also now available for Linux PCs, Ewing said. Altiris is supporting Novell Inc.’s SUSE and Red Hat Inc.’s Linux distributions, she said.

Novell’s GNU/Linux business is also mentioned in a sentence in the British press.

It could be argued that small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) will suffer more than most in the present bleak economic environment. Shorter cashflow cycles, limited bargaining power, shrinking funds available for IT investment and a lack of internal resources all look to be daunting obstacles.


Nevertheless, the fees for commercial open-source packages such as those on offer from Red Hat, Novell or Ingres, can often equal the total cost of ownership of propriety software over time.

And again, former Novell employee Matt Asay mentions SUSE (Studio) very briefly in this list of companies.

In this way open source embraces the Web, rather than fighting it, and makes software development and delivery an ongoing process, fitting it to how enterprises actually consume software. Novell’s SUSE Linux Studio groks this, enabling ongoing customization of Linux distributions. So does Red Hat’s RHEL distribution, which lets customers subscribe to ongoing, updated software. So, too, does Zimbra, which adds to the subscription commercial extensions.


There was almost more coverage of Xandros than there was of SUSE. It was mostly to do with Presto, which we wrote about last week. It actually made Slashdot’s front page and also appeared in:

i. Exchange alternatives: Pros and cons

CommuniGate Pro (CommuniGate Systems), Kerio MailServer (Kerio Technologies), MDaemon Pro (Alt-N Technologies), MailSite Fusion (MailSite), Scalix Enterprise Edition (Scalix, a Xandros company), and Zimbra Collaboration Suite, Professional Edition (Zimbra, a Yahoo company).

ii. [Feature] CES Roundup: Equipment Makers Play for Survival (2)

Qualcomm Inc of the US is another hot prospect, exhibiting a notebook PC mounting its Snapdragon chipset for mobile equipment (Fig 11). It comes with RedFlag Linux and Xandros OS. The mobile phone network support provided by Snapdragon can be used for communication. CDMA Technologies vice president Mark Frankel of Qualcomm said, “We think this is the first Linux machine in the world capable of communication via the 3G network without any add-ons.” It is expected to ship in the second quarter of 2009.

iiii. Bypassing Windows with a Quick Boot

Software called Presto could provide an alternative to waiting. Demonstrated this week at Demo, a tech conference held in Palm Desert, CA, it joins a handful of products that have emerged recently in an effort to get people working on their computers faster. These products, offered by companies including Intel, HP, and DeviceVM, generally allow a person to boot up in less than 30 seconds, and in some cases less than 10.

Presto made it into this list of “Cool New Technologies.” It also appeared as a feature or merely mentioned in coverage from Canada where parts of the company are based.

Xandros is based in the U.S. with their development lab in Ottawa. They launched Presto, a software application allowing your computer to boot up in seconds rather than minutes. You don’t open up Windows, yet you still access most functions.

Lastly, to address a separate area of Xandros, a Xandros partner issued this press release about Scalix.

A spokesperson for Sentegrity, the exclusive distributor of all Xandros products and services in Latin America, Mexico and the Caribbean, today announced a new client in Ecuador.

The Hilton Hotel Quito Ecuador has standardized their email solution and chose Scalix as their only email and collaboration platform. Sentegrity systems integration partner, Eqtek, provided the hands on implementation and vital guidance to migrate the hotel’s 120 employees to Scalix.

In summary, although GNU/Linux thrives in general, SUSE seems to be slowing down and Xandros is moving to other areas that don’t tackle the desktop market in the most direct of ways.

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