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Novell News Summary – Part II: SUSE Studio, National Vision, and Xandros

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Novell, Patents, Servers, Turbolinux, Xandros at 8:14 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Lagarto - running lizard

Summary: Many stories about SUSE and fewer ones about Xandros, Kyocera Mita, and Turbolinux

Novell has a little series about FOSS and lobbying. The fourth (and final) part of these videos was released several days ago and there is a lot of coverage of Studio/Appliance, so we’ll start with that.


Novell wrote about the SUSE Appliance Programme and eWeek reviewed Novell’s SUSE Studio, with a corresponding slideshow that it put here.

SUSE Studio is a Web-based service for creating software appliances on Novell’s family of SUSE Linux-based operating systems. SUSE Studio could prove very useful for any individual or organization that uses Novell’s Linux distributions by easing complex customization tasks.

This review was also promoted by a sister site of Ziff Davis/eWeek; two of them in fact.

Novell’s new SUSE Studio web-based service for creating software appliances on SUSE Linux has been favorably reviewed by eWEEK. While SUSE Studio does not offer the breadth of features of rPath’s rBuilder, Novell’s product is much easier at appliance creation, says the review.

In addition to a lot of coverage last week, we also have:

i. Roll your own Linux distribution with SUSE Studio

People have always been able to build their own Linux distributions. That’s one reason why there are over a hundred Linux distributions today. But, building them easily to do a particular job and with major vendor support … well, that’s not so easy. But now Novell has made it downright easy and — pay attention ISVs (independent software vendors) — they’ll also support your particular house-brand Linux when you take it to market.

ii. Running Linux in the browser

Most people are quite surprised to see an operating system boot up in their web browser. But for SUSE Studio, this is an essential part of the user experience. In this post, I’m going to tell you about my favorite feature in SUSE Studio: Testdrive. Why did we build it, and how does it work?

iii. SUSE Studio

Last week we launched our SUSE Studio service announcing its 1.0 status. It’s been an honor to be part of the team behind it. I mean what other project uses javascript, flash, java, ruby, perl, mysql and git and at the same time qemu, kvm, libext2fs or fontforge, inkscape and blender?

iv. SUSE Appliance Program WebYaST alpha demo

v. Build your own Linux with SUSE Studio

vi. SUSE’s Amazing Software Vending Machine

vii. Novell Touts ISV Support for SUSE Appliance Program

viii. Novell unveils SUSE app tools

Here comes BitRock again (we mentioned the accompanying press release last week): “BitRock introduces virtual appliances for open source applications”

The company said that the BitNami application appliances showcase its new virtual appliance creation service, an extension of the Custom Stacks Service it has been offering to software vendors for the past four years. The company has reportedly developed technology to interface with SUSE Studio and generate virtual appliances from BitRock-created application stacks.

They could also use rPath, which has done this for ages.

Here is some new video coverage of SUSE Studio.

Comments can be found in Slashdot where Francis (of OpenSUSE) appears to have submitted the news. Novell’s PR people spoke about it also.

Check out this podcast with Novell Senior Marketing Manager Matt Richards who discusses the recent SUSE Appliance Program announcement.


There was nothing particularly interesting here other than this announcement about National Vision putting SLE* on their registers.

Novell today announced that National Vision Inc., one of the largest optical retailers in the United States, plans to use SUSE(R) Linux Enterprise Point of Service to improve the performance, stability and uptime of the network of 5,000 point-of-sale devices within its stores. With more than 500 retail locations in 44 states, including America’s Best Contacts & Eyeglasses and Vision Centers at select Wal-Mart stores, SUSE Linux Enterprise Point of Service will provide National Vision with an agile, reliable and cost-effective operating system.

Reuters has this copy of the press release and TMCNet is rewriting the press release, as usual. No news outlets have covered this seemingly important development.

National Public Radio has this little tiny portion about Novell in sub-notebooks.

ARMSTRONG: You hit it dead on the head. I mean, I’m holding the Novell Netbook in here, and you’re absolutely right. These are not really built. I mean, there’s no CD-ROM on this for me to really install software. So this is perfect for using Web applications. You hear the term cloud computing and things of that nature all the time. This is what they’re talking about, being able to then run programs and even, to some extent, leave your data out on the Web.

In the New York Times, the roots of Open-Xchange is a subject which was brought up towards the end.

The Open-Xchange folks have deep technical knowledge and have as good of a chance as anyone at getting the technology underpinnings right. Mr. Geck, for example, crafted SuSE’s Linux server product, making it a real force in the operating system market. (Novell now owns the SuSE software.)

There are a couple of articles about Novell signing OEM partnerships, namely:

i. Novell to Sign OEM Partnerships with ISVs

Novell, a global software corporation specializing in enterprise operating systems such as SUSE Linux, will sign OEM contracts with ISVs for its new offerings on SUSE Studio. The vendor last week released SUSE Studio, a web-based service for creating software appliances on SUSE Linux, in India. With these OEM partners, Novell wants to tap the banking and the government segments, chiefly the e-governance projects.

ii. Novell signing OEM contracts with ISV’s for new offerings

Novell signing OEM contracts with ISV’s for new offerings – A global software company, Novell specialized in enterprise OS such as SUSE Linux will be signing up OEM contracts with ISVs for new offerings on SUSE studio.

The Register wrote about wares that support SUSE, namely:

i. SGI chases Cray with baby cluster

SGI has certified Windows HPC Server 2008, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 and 11 – including the SGI ProPack 6 math library extensions for SLES – and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4 and 5 for the CloudRacks, and more than 50 popular applications across the HPC spectrum can run on the iron as well.

ii. Can Liquid Computing ride Cisco’s California coattails?

As far as operating systems go, the LiquidIQ box can support Microsoft Windows Server 2003 or 2008, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4 and 5, Novell SUSE Linux 10, and Sun Microsystems Solaris 10. Microsoft’s Hyper-V hypervisor is supported, as well, as are older ESX Server 3.0 and 3.5 releases from VMware. Oracle’s clone of RHEL and its clone of Xen are also supported. And like Cisco with its California blade boxes, LiquidIQ has a tight partnership with NetApp for iSCSI storage.

SUSE is quite big on IBM's mainframes and according to this, Novell leaves the door open to Windows programs.

Recent announcements by Novell and Mantissa Software suggest it is possible to run many Windows applications, without code change, on the mainframe.

Also regarding mainframes, there is this new interview which includes:

Q: What’s our long-term OS outlook?

A: The core OS to focus on for mainframe virtualization is Linux, with Novell SUSE and Red Hat leading the pack. Linux has a nine-year track record on big iron and multiple options for deployment. I/O volume and integration between Linux and legacy mainframe apps are the two main considerations.


Q: Do we need a training plan?

A: Yes. CA issued a survey last year that reported 72% of organizations have mainframe pros eligible for retirement. So how hard is it to migrate and retrain staff? We’d equate it to moving from Novell NetWare to Microsoft Active Directory.

On virtual SUSE servers:

One large German automaker, for example, started its virtualization effort with Windows but now is increasing the number of SUSE-based virtual machines, at least partly due to the availability of Linux-based enterprise applications, he said. Hardware improvements in this year’s chipsets have boosted virtualization across all platforms by reducing memory latency, which had been a deterrent for running virtualized enterprise applications, he said. Input/output and CPU latencies were addressed in previous hardware upgrades, he said.

Virtualisation is sometimes made synonymous with ‘clouds’, so this one is also worth mentioning very quickly.

Novell, Dell, Microsoft — in fact, anyone who is anyone with a stake in operating systems has been mentioned at least once in conjunction with a cloud operating system.


There was a fair bit here in terms of density, with Presto receiving a mention in:

i. Fast Boot Your PC With Xandros Presto

Presto is a fast boot Linux operating system from Xandros. It provides one of the easiest ways to dual boot Windows with Linux. Presto is intended to be a complement to Microsoft Windows rather than a replacement. What makes Presto a bit of an oddball in the Linux world is than it can only be installed in Windows XP or Vista. It requires an NTFS partition and automatically creates an entry in the Windows boot loader upon installation. There is no way to install it without having Windows on your PC first.

ii. Xandros Presto Linux review

There are a few other issues to watch out for. Machines using nVidia graphics drivers are said to boot more slowly (a driver issue out of Xandros’ control) and anyone using a wireless keyboard will have problems selecting it from the command line in place of XP, as Xandros hasn’t figured out how to load the driver early enough.

iii. DeviceVM brings search to its ‘instant-on’ Splashtop software

San Jose, Calif.-based DeviceVM might also find itself competing with Google next year, when the search giant releases Chrome OS , a fast, lightweight operating system aimed at getting users onto the web — if Chrome OS is everything Google promises, it could make software like Splashtop less necessary. Meanwhile, competitors like Xandros are also announcing new products . But Bottoms says Splashtop has the advantage of already being installed on 10 million computers, due to partnerships with HP, Acer, Lenovo, ASUS, Sony, and LG.

EApps are something that was mentioned last week because it relates directly to Xandros. TMCNet is pretending to have an article by warping the press release on EApps and another press release mentions Xandros very briefly.

– Announced that Synchronoss has partnered with Xandros, the leader in providing seamless Windows-Linux interoperability and open source netbook software solutions. Together, the companies offer the first single-source solution to automate the activation and provisioning of netbook devices on 3G and 4G wireless networks.

Turbolinux/Kyocera Mita

Kyocera Mita signed a patent deal with Microsoft and it is mentioned in this new review, which also mentions Turbolinux.

We tested with the Windows XP drivers, but support is also available for OS X 10.2 and above, and for UNIX and Linux in various configurations.

In general, Asian vendors that joined Microsoft’s Linux racket are scarcely mentioned in the English-speaking press, so it makes sense not to worry so much about them. Novell and Xandros are the key problems right now.

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