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Novell News Summary – Part II: Ballnux and MSI/HP Return, More Ballnux at CES 2010

Posted in HP, LG, Microsoft, Novell, Samsung, SLES/SLED, Xandros at 4:01 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: A lot of news about distributions and vendors that let Microsoft have its way with Linux


Over the course of two weeks (including CES in the second week), a lot has happened in terms of new products. But just as a decade ended, SJVN decided to put together this list of key events which include the important buyout:

2003: Novell Buys SUSE

One of the great ironies of Linux business history is that Novell, not Red Hat, could have been the first great Linux company. In the early 90s, Novell was working on its own in-house Linux. With a change in management though the company abandoned its early Linux plans So, in 1994, that project’s leaders, Bryan Sparks and Ransom Love left Novell to form a new company, Linux business Caldera. Fast forward to 2003, and Novell, which had changed management again, now realized that sticking with its rapidly aging NetWare had been a fool’s move and so it bought SUSE.

That’s how it started. Here is a sign of SUSE collaboration with SGI, thanks to one report from The Register.

The current machine has a peak capacity of 820 gigaflops and runs Novell’s SUSE Linux with SGI’s ProPack extensions and math libraries.

Also from The Register:

IBM joyfully outs Core i3 chips in entry servers


On these two servers, IBM is supporting Microsoft’s Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2008, Red Hat’s Enterprise Linux Server 4 and 5, and Novell’s SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 and 11. VMware’s ESX 4.0 and ESXi 4.0 hypervisors are also supported. As has been the case on prior System x machines, various implementations of the Xen hypervisor have not been certified on the boxes, and Hyper-V has also yet to be certified.

It’s not an exclusive for SUSE (Novell is still trying to find a niche or specialty) and neither is this article about GNU/Linux in small businesses.

While you can still download many free versions of Linux online, for convenience sake, several vendors offer user-friendly versions and charge a fee for support. Red Hat and Novell are the primary desktop Linux vendors, accounting for nearly 95 percent of the operating system revenue in 2008, according to IDC. Further, these two companies claimed 90 percent of worldwide Linux subscribers during 2008.



It is several years now since Novell acquired SUSE Linux. The company now offers SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop which, like Red Hat, is compatible with a wide range of business applications. It can be deployed on desktops, netbooks, notebooks, workstations or even as a virtual desktop.

Novell also has partnerships with hardware vendors including HP, Dell, Lenovo, Wyse and Micro-Star International. These companies offer SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop preloaded on lots of devices. If you go to the HP site and order a desktop with Linux, for example, you get SUSE.

Here is a new interview with Novell’s Greg Kroah-Hartman. It’s about SUSE.

Greg Kroah-Hartman is a Linux kernel maintainer, and head of the Linux Drivers Project. He is a Novell Fellow, and works on the SUSE distribution for that company. At the Linux Foundation, Kroah-Hartman has helped to compile the “Who Writes Linux?” survey for the past few years. We caught up to him in early October and talked to him about his work past, present and future on the Linux kernel.

Phoronix wrote about the contributions of another Linux developer from Novell, David Reveman.

Back in 2008, Novell’s David Reveman published his own branch of the Distributed Multi-head X (DMX) server which he called dmx-2 as it was close to a complete rewrite of the original DMX implementation. David’s DMX-2 branch was less complex but provided a greater set of features, including X-Video, RandR 1.2, and Composite support in a DMX environment, D-Bus configuration, and many other changes. This branch was never merged to master, but now Red Hat’s Adam Jackson is looking at merging some of the DMX-2 to work into the mainline X Server.

HP’s new sub-notebook has a SUSE option, as before. The real news is about touchscreens.

The netbook will be available by the end of January with the Windows 7, Windows XP, Suse Linux or FreeDOS operating systems.

More here:

A GPS option is also available, and options such as Novell Suse Linux and Sled are supported as well as Microsoft Windows.

SUSE Studio received some coverage in Asia.

Novell Inc, a global software and services company, is helping independent software vendors (ISVs) and end-users suss out and iron out their software problems with its Suse Studio tool.

Suse Studio is part of the Novell Suse’s appliance strategy that enables ISVs to create software appliances.

And from South Africa:

The latest SUSE Linux Enterprise 10 platform for Workgroup customers is now available in South Africa, announced today Novell. SUSE Linux 10 Service Pack 3 comes with the latest updates issues and hardware support for server, storage and networking.

This brings us to the most major news from SUSE, which is this announcement of an MSI sub-notebook running SUSE/Moblin (here is the official press release).

According to Guy Lunardi, Novell’s director of client preloads, the mix and match of SUSE/Moblin’s core package is built on top of the Moblin 2.1′s 2.6.31 Linux kernel. Above that, most of the software is from SLED 11. Instead of KDE 4.3, though, for the interface, it uses the Moblin Web-oriented interface. So, for example, to use Firefox for your Web browser, you’ll get to it via the Moblin toolbar.

Lunardi has been focused on these goals for quite some time now [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8]. This was covered in many other news sites.

MSI and Novell will ship in February the first netbook based on the SUSE Moblin open-source Linux operating system. The pair is showing the device at this week’s CES event in Las Vegas.

Here is the official page from Novell. It says:

SUSE Moblin combined with Intel Atom Processor-based netbooks and nettops equals a paradigm shift in computing.

As for something a little different, a few days ago someone uploaded this video of eDirectory on SUSE:


Both SUSE and Samsung (Ballnux) find themselves united in the hands of Roger Whittaker, who has worked for SUSE for a very long time.

Exactly ten years ago today (Tuesday 4th January 2000) was the first working day of 2000 and was the day that I started work at SuSE Linux Ltd at Borehamwood. A lot has happened since then…

Samsung has a new phone which uses Android (Linux) and The Register wrote about it the following:

It seems no one will be updating the Galaxy to Android 2, annoying customers whose purchase decision was based on what it would do rather than what it could do.

Samsung has other new phones that we covered here before — ones that continue to receive coverage elsewhere.

The Samsung M1 Vodafone 360 is a handset that offers a veritable feast of functions encased within a smart and stylish casing. It is a recently released smart phone which adds a different dimension to the Samsung range. The handset comes with an ARM Cortex A8 600 MHz processor, whilst employing the benefits of Power VR SDX graphics capabilities. In addition it utilises the Linux based LiMo operating system.

It’s not just ARM for Samsung. They will also use x86 for future sub-notebooks with HyperSpace (Linux):

Samsung announced four netbooks using Intel’s new N450 “Pineview” Atom. The N210, N220, N150, and NB30 include 10.1-inch “anti-reflective” displays and up to 12 hours of battery life, and two models run the Linux-based Phoenix HyperSpace fast-boot environment, the company says.

It is likely that Samsung will pay Microsoft for Linux here, as they already agreed. Samsung also has new E-readers (more information at The Register):

At the Consumer Electronics Show in Vegas, Samsung introduced its first e-book reading devices. They’re called the E6 and the E101, coming in six and ten-inch screen sizes.

It probably runs Linux just like all E-readers. Microsoft should not be allowed to profit from Linux on E-readers. It’s market distortion, even perversion.

More on Samsung at CES:

Personally, I’d rather see it united by a common cross-manufacturer platform. This could be like Linux (where there are different builds, but overall compatibility) or something more specific such as Android.


LG is one of the companies that lost their Linux focus after a Microsoft patent deal that’s an attack on Linux. Microsoft booster Gavin Clarke raves about the company’s support of Windows Mobile, which is a terrible platform.

LG introduced some Ballnux products at CES as well, based on Intel’s Moblin.

LG GW990 is manufacturers first device to run the Linux based Moblin 2.1 operating system. GW990 is powered by Intel’s Moorestown CPU and features a 4.8-inch panoramic widescreen display, 3D gaming, A-GPS, Wi-Fi, digital compass and 5 megapixel camera.

More at Ars Technica:

Intel has unveiled a new LG smartphone built on Moorestown that runs the Moblin Linux platform. The device will be among the first x86 smartphones.


Presto seems like distant history judging by the press. It no longer generates any press coverage. Linux Today linked to a very old article about it and one reader wrote:

> I am surprised to see an article about a Linux distro that costs 19$, personally I would suggest that we stick to free software such as ubuntu NBR 9.10 that boots pretty fast and remains free!

It’s $19, not 19$, and you’re making the common mistake of confusing “free as in freedom” with free of cost. Read this, it will help:


It figures. This gets worse.

On the other hand, new buzz from Freescale happened to mention Xandros somewhere along the way [1, 2].

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  1. TheTruth said,

    January 9, 2010 at 4:25 pm


    So ROY, I wonder if you were successful in destroying Novell as is you’re wish… How would be feel about that ?

    Would you be happy that you worked hard to put many many people out of work, and on social security ?

    Would you be happy to see Novell employees losing thier homes ?
    Or their children going without ?

    Would you be happy that you would put alot of FOSS skilled programmers OUT OF WORK.

    Would you be happy that the Linux kernel would have many less contributors ?

    What about the overall loss to FOSS, or the message you send to any other company that may be considering moving into FOSS ?

    And do you actually think that you are doing FOSS a favor or do you think you trying to destroy a company that helps and supports FOSS is a good thing ?

    I tell you what, I would go into hiding if I were you, and you were responsible for destroying my job do you can big note yourself.

    Do you think this is a game ROY, or are you grown up enough to think about the big picture ?

    So come across as a little spoiled child that wants to get his way no matter what the cost.

    But if you are successful in damaging Novell, and in removing even one job from a software company, there will be ALOT of hate generated towards you.

    And whats a person in the UK doing spending their life working to destroy a company in the US.

    What business is it of you’re, you dont even work in the industry, you’re lucky you dont live down the street from the Novell offices, or in the US in general.

    I would suggest you dont go there either.

    Is that why you refuse to attend any FOSS meetings or groups, do you fear for your safety.. you should.

    How would you feel if someone took out your parents business, and you suddenly found that you actually had to work for a living.

    I cant understand why anyone would or could be so filled with hate, to want to put good honest people OUT OF WORK, in this day and time.

    You really are a bag of Sh1t ROY, and it’s no wonder there is so much hate directed towards you.

    your_friend Reply:

    Look, a mirror troll. This is much like Rob Enderle’s attack on Grok Law and free software advocates from 2004. While Microsoft was paying upper management to engage in a suicide attack on free software, Rob had the nerve to blame free software advocates for the destruction of SCO. So the criminal blames those who complain for the result of their crimes. As Mr. Enderle and Microsoft’s ruined reputations demonstrate, this is not a tactic that works.

  2. TheTruth said,

    January 9, 2010 at 7:47 pm


    your_friend, ? are you the “on duty” ROY guard dog today.

    And yet you still refuse to comment on the actual facts and argument.

    So I ask again, ROY what are you goals, and how would you feel if you put good hard working people out of work, or were responsible for putting a large group of people on Social Security.

    I know ROY you dont work, and are looked after by Mom and Dad, but one day, (when you grow up) you may realise that playing your little games with other people lives and careers may come back to bite you one day.

    So you’re guard dog is saying, you have no effect, and that if Novell did go down, you would claim you had nothing to do with it.

    how are you going to explain to all those people who are trying to help FOSS and code for it, who work at Novell that will be out of work.

    Either you are having an effect and therefore you should make a statement about this, or you have no effect and you should make a statement as to why you are doing it if you are not getting anywhere.

    So are you a spoilt little boy ROY ?? dont you care that your actions may cause hardship for parents and their children.

    Do you think that as you dont work, it’s not necessary for others to work.

    What’s you’re payoff ROY ?? (as Dr Phill would ask).

    What do you get out of this massive effort and hope to destroy lives and careeers ??

    What’s your payoff ROY ?? and are you proud of your actions??
    (I would hide my head in shame if I were you, THANKS goodness im not).

    And your guard dog, seems to think if it’s ok for someone else to do it, (ofcourse not giving proof that they actually DO),

    Then that means it’s ok for you to do the SAME THING ?

    Are you OK with that, (childish, “they did it first”) argument.

    Again, you seem to come across as a spoilt brat that wants to get his way, with a rich daddy that allows you to act in such a childish and spoilt manner.

    So answer the question ROY, explain you’re motives, and how you would feel if you put good people out of work, mabey lose their Homes, and their children going without ?

    Just because you have a bee in you’re bonnet..

    And if you cant explain youreself, then I again assert that you are just a spoilt peice of crap that has nothing better to do, but to create hate, and lie to get his way.

    Grow up ROY, you’re an adult now, not a spoilt brat..

    Mikko Reply:

    No facts found!

    do not troll again!

  3. TheTruth said,

    January 9, 2010 at 7:52 pm


    so tell me what crimes has those hard working employees of Novell, and their wives, husbands and children have commited.

    That would prompt you ROY to spend you’re life to destroy theirs?

    If you’re guard dog claims that tactic does not work, why are you spending your life using that very tactic ?

    You’re personal reputation ROY, is in the gutter, and im quite sure anyone looking to hire you in the future will quickly find all the Bullsh-t you have posted and they will NOT hire you.

    Which I guess is fine for you, as you do not seem very keep on becoming a productive member of society.

    Just another leach, mooching off mom and dad, wallowing in your own crapulance.

  4. TheTruth said,

    January 9, 2010 at 7:59 pm


    So ROY why are you so scared to engage me in a decussion on these matter, or am I asking too many hard questions regarding your motives and goals.

    instead you’ll just call me “mutex” and leave you’re guard dogs to fight your battles.

    I would really like to know why you want to put FOSS coders out of work, and damage families spouces and children. Just because you want to big note yourself.

    I know you dont like answering real questions, you’re interview was SO FUNNY, how could you do an interview like that and be unprepared. Have you not been preparing for such things for the past 3 years.

    As you have, it’s clear you have no real idea of what you are doing, but some people look up to you, and that is enough to justify you hurting people and companies that are trying to make FOSS better.

    Yes, you are damaging FOSS, greatly, and if you put even ONE person out of work you ought to be condemned for you’re actions.

  5. TheTruth said,

    January 9, 2010 at 9:25 pm


    I did not think you would be game to pipe up and explain yourself ROY, and where is it here where im making personal attacks, im attacking your position and actions.

    And questioning your motives.

    I want to know what is you’re payoff for all this, ?
    what do you get out of it, and will you be happy if you succeed to do damage, and put people out of work.

    And as far as personal attacks go, ROY you are the master of the personal attack, it seems that is almost all you can do.

    (we know you have a limited toolbox of abilities, balance and logic are AWOL.)

    your_friend Reply:

    You continue to blame Roy for crimes committed by Microsoft and Novell management and are only here to harass. Repeating your accusation five times does not make it more true. Your hateful rhetoric is not an honest attempt at discussion. It is obvious, even to a casual observer, that you are some kind of crank or troll.

    I may take a little time to look back on your posting history to see if there are any patterns to your obsessive obstruction.

  6. TheTruth said,

    January 10, 2010 at 10:15 am


    Honest attempt at discussion ?

    Yea right, and why can you not answer those simple questions ?

    I know, YOU CANT. so all you can do is abuse, And im not blaming ROY for crimes committed by MS or Nevell.

    Im blaming ROY for lying, and distoring the truth to suit his own cause. And im calling him a coward for not having the guts to address these issues.

    It shows ROY’s convictions, that he’ll make wild statements, and run for the hills if he’s questioned on it, he sends out his guard dogs, because he has no answers.

    I appoligise to you, it’s not you’re fault, you’re only doing what you’re told, defending ROY and his tactics, and doing you’re best to misdirect and avoid the debate.

    But it’s not you’re job to defend ROY, he’s a big boy now, im sure (well im not) he can look after himself. And if he was so sure he was doing no damage, im sure he would engage me in a debate.

    But he wont, he does not have the guts, we all know he’s incapable of forming logical arguments “on the fly”, as clearly shown by his self destruction in the Jonno interview.

    So I fully understand why ROY will make wild comments, but be completely silent, or revert to personal abuse.

    Because he does not have a choice, he cannot prove he is not damaging FOSS, and its quite clear he IS damaging FOSS.

    Novell contribute a huge amount of code to the linux kernel, (the very same kernel you USE) .

    So how can you claim to be boycotting Novell, when you PC is probably executing LOTS of code from novell this very second.

    then again mabey I just dont like HATE sites that have nothing better to do than to spin facts, and troll the web for more facts to spin.

    Look at the BN WEB site, all it is is trolling, ROY spends his days googling away and lifting articles from others, or even quoting anonymous commenters, and presenting it as facts.

    Im not __NOT__ personally attacking ROY, im just attacking everything he represents and stands for.

    I dont like ROY, he comes across as spoiled, shallow and untruthfull.

    It appears to most people that ROY thinks this is just a FUN GAME, and that screwing with people lives and careers is an honorable persuit.

    It’s not,

    So how about it ROY, have you got what it takes to address the issues, or are you happy to sick you’re dogs on me, and resort to lowest level personal attacks.

    ROY you’ve made youreself a public figure, and as such you are answerable to the public. You should not be afraid to address issues people have regarding you’re integrity.

    You should be man enough to be honest and defend you’re cause.

    But you dont, you get you’re minions to do you’re dirty work.

    So when is the follow up interview with Jonno, or have you given up on all public appearances now, learnt you’re lesson.

    You were pwoned, and I guess you’re not a bit camera shy.

    As I said, if you cannot address these issues, and resolve them, you are displaying you’re complete lack of integrity and credability.

    Running and hiding, is what you do when things get a bit hard, or you post a comment, but will not address the real issues.

    (you cant, they are indefenceable). as you well know, thats why you are silent in this (and every other) matter.

    Good luck ROY, you cred is shot, and again you’re just too easy to take apart, you’re transparent, we can see right through you. and it’s clear as day what you are, and what you’re doing.

    And it’s not a good look, hate, propaganda, lies, and smear are you’re tools of trade.
    And when you’re called out you run and hide.

    Thats why I consider you a coward, but if thats you’re nature I have a little pitty on you. (not that much).

    But it must be a sad bitter life you live.

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