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Rumour: Canonical Interested in Buying OpenSUSE

Posted in GNU/Linux, KDE, Novell, OpenSUSE, Rumour, Ubuntu at 7:45 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

A secret

Summary: Canonical employee is claimed to have blurted out something about Canonical buying OpenSUSE from Novell

A SOURCE of ours, who claims to have spoken with a Canonical developer, said that Canonical might be considering an OpenSUSE acquisition (Novell is still up for sale, and selling in pieces is a possibility). This rumour did get some responses but no other source has yet been able to verify. Has anybody else heard something similar? Mark Shuttleworth was looking to hire SUSE developers about four years ago.

Either way, Novell recently hired KDE's Jos Poortvliet to manage OpenSUSE's community and Poortvliet already lays out a KDE strategy for OpenSUSE. From his good blog:

I’d be willing to write such a proposal (yes, short notice, I know) if ppl think we should have it. I’m NOT saying here that that’s the direction we, as in openSUSE, should choose – personally I like the poweruser proposal as well as the developer proposal. Oh and the cloudy one as well… Besides, I’ve been involved only so short, my vote doesn’t count as I’m not even an openSUSE Member right now. So the openSUSE community should vote – not me. I’m just here to help!

Novell has also just hired another developer for SUSE. From the blog:

I guess most people who discussed with me there knew already and Michael already let the cat out of the bag: I’ve joined Novell, to work on SUSE MeeGo.

There are some other new posts about OpenSUSE. One says that Fedora is losing to OpenSUSE and another offers “quick impressions” of OpenSUSE 11.3:

About two weeks ago, the openSUSE Project released version 11.3 of its popular Linux distribution, and after putting it off for quite a while, I decided to give the latest version a download and see what SUSE has been up to. After all, the last time I took a serious look at SUSE (over four years ago!), it still went by “SuSE”… yes, it’s been quite a while. So far, my initial impressions of the latest version are quite good.

Novell claims to have made its SUSE business profitable a couple of quarters ago. Is it true that it considers selling it now? We hope that someone else has heard something through the grapevine. Novell is super-silent these days as it quietly negotiates with bidders.

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  1. woods said,

    August 3, 2010 at 11:28 pm


    That _would_ be interesting.

    With regards to individual components, it would leave Canonical holding both of the largest users of AppArmor, whereas Redhat would be left with the largest two (RHEL(CentOS)/Fedora) using SELinux.

    (AppArmor is going into kernel 2.6.36 thanks to Canonical’s contributions (seems like they picked up the ball after Novell))

    (Also Canonical would then be holding two Mono-friendly distros)

  2. Will said,

    August 4, 2010 at 2:51 am


    Still, could be a good thing. If Canonical bought openSUSE, that could give Kubuntu a much needed shot in the arm to turn it into a first class citizen within the company and perhaps the best KDE distro around, and it would also allow the work of openSUSE to distance itself from the Novell deal and Novell in general.

  3. dyfet said,

    August 4, 2010 at 4:06 am


    One intriguing aspect of Suse is that it is perhaps is the one RPM based distro that most closely follows packaging policies, practices, and naming conventions of Debian. For one example, they version package names and use naming conventions as per Debian for shared libraries.

    However, a kde based distro in the Canonical stable? I think it would upset too many kubuntu apple-carts, as it is said the kubuntu folks have felt somewhat neglected all these years. But that is simply a flash opinion. In any case, I think this is purely a wild-eyed rumor only.

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