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Novell News Summary - Part I: Novell's Commitment and the OpenSUSE-SLE Question

YaST boot mode



Question of Morale



AFTER some recent setbacks and difficulties [1, 2, 3], this project has picked up the pieces and even though Novell will need to make staffing adjustments, the project's leader remains optimistic and alleviates further fears.



Addressing the layoffs



[...]

Despite the layoffs, Novell is still investing in openSUSE and it remains and important part of the company’s Linux strategy. We will continue to open our planning and decision making processes. We are going to concentrate on our strengths and focus on the areas most important to our community. We can do anything, but we can’t do everything — so we will be making choices about the areas where we invest our time and effort. And we will see to it that the community has the tools and infrastructure to take openSUSE in directions we may not focus on.


One good comment points out the outrageous:

[SUSE] not only made the biggest part of the revenue but also was the only one that increased.

The award for the people who created this? ~20% were laid of …

I really hope the “genius” who was responsible for that decision gets fired ASAP and the laid of people get new job offers. If you want to cut fat to save money do it in some fields that are a waste of money, not in the few that still earn some.


Another person points out that "Zonker had to write in favour of Novell using the most general words and not telling anything [concrete] about layoffs and the truth."

A writer who is fairly close to Microsoft argues that Novell's OpenSUSE commitment is still being tested.

Novell's OpenSuSE commitment is tested



[...]

Sources close to Novell have told us those sales went well, and coupons were redeemed - Microsoft agreed in 2006 to distribute 70,000 SuSE Linux certificates. The problem, as we saw at the time, was really big customer deals failed to drop and Novell overly relied on Microsoft rather than using the breathing space it secured in the deal to stand on its own two legs.


Technical



Linux Journal has this instructional video about CLI-based package management in OpenSUSE (distribution specific) and another person explains how to install LXDE on the latest OpenSUSE. DistroWatch walks its readers through a minimal installation of OpenSUSE 11.1, maybe because Ladislav still likes SUSE.

If you want a really light weight environment then openSUSE might not be the way to go, but if it's your favourite operating system, you don't have to give it up just yet! You can tweak the system to make it quite small, especially with the help of Zypper and its ability to lock packages. At the very least, you will learn some more about how your openSUSE system works and, if at the end you decide to just install everything, well, you can do that too!


Another shorter look at SLED suggests that it's similar to OpenSuSE 11.1.

Using SLED on the HP 2133 continued the impression that I got during the installation. It is a lot like openSuSE, but with a bit more polish. Things that I normally have to install myself are already installed - media players for audio, WMV, Sliverlight and Flash, Acrobat Reader, Citrix ICA Client, and so on. In fact, once it was booted and I was working with it, I found that I generally forgot whether I it was SLED or openSuSE that was running.


Here is another small comparison that includes SLE and OpenSUSE.

A quick look at some popular distros and what they’re up to:

SLES

SLES (SUSE Linux Enterprise Server) is Novell’s enterprise Linux distribution targeted at the business market.

It is a common mistake (which I sometimes make myself) to refer to both SLES and openSUSE as just “SUSE”, but these are different distros. See below for openSUSE.

There is also a SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop (SLED), based on the same codebase as SLES.

Current stable release: SLES 10 (SP2). ReiserFS is the default file system. ext3, XFS and JFS are also available.

Next release: SLES 11 some time in 2009. (March 2009 was mentioned but later deleted on one Novell webpage). ReiserFS will be replaced by ext3 as the default filesystem in SLES 11.

openSUSE

The openSUSE project is a community program sponsored by Novell.

Current stable release: openSUSE 11.1. Uses 256byte inodes. ext3 has been the default filesystem since this was changed from ReiserFS for openSUSE 10.2.

Next release due: openSUSE 11.2 planned for September 2009.


Heise took a look at a preview of SLE 11.

Novell is offering a sneak preview of the forthcoming Suse Linux Enterprise 11 server (SLES) and desktop (SLED) versions to download. SLE 11 contains current software, including kernel version 2.6.27, X.org 7.4, Gnome 2.24 and KDE 4.1, Apache 2.2.10 and Samba 3.2.5, PHP 5.2.6, and Python 2.6. For systems management, a new update stack has been included with a new command line tool – zypper, for managing repositories and packages. To enable use in heterogeneous environments the developers have implemented the Common Information Model (CIM) and WS-Management system management standards.


Some other new posts may appear in this belated weekly digest.

In this Week:

* Open Letter to the openSUSE Community * Andrew Wafaa: Ciao For Now And Bonne Chance Amigos * Lars Vogdt: Why the Buildservice is currently not for endusers * Miguel de Icaza: Mono Runtime Debugging * Jonathan_R: Getting YaST to read your own community repos



Next up, we shall deal with SLE, which is OpenSUSE's 'better-packaged' sibling. OpenSUSE is essential to Novell because it is the basis for SLE development (just being slightly more 'on the edge').

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