Bonum Certa Men Certa

Why Novell is the Next Sun and OpenSUSE Should be Forked

Summary: Assuming that Novell's buyer will only care about immediate profit, the OpenSUSE community should start considering independent life outside Novell

Reuters has been the leading source so far when it comes to Novell acquisition news. It reported the number of bidders and about 3 months ago it also broke the news about Elliot. Novell is still up for sale and another new article from Reuters reveals a possible parallel. "It's picking the Sun technologies that are commercializable and focusing on those," said Larry Ellison, "and ignoring those that are not. They are just science projects."



“It's picking the Sun technologies that are commercializable and focusing on those and ignoring those that are not.”
      --Larry Ellison, Oracle
This leads to the question, would Novell's buyer be committed to the Free software projects inside the company? Oracle has already suppressed or shut down some Free software projects that Sun created and/or maintained. The same can happen to Novell when it gets bought. So regardless of raves about Novell's proprietary software, it is time to think what would happen to Mono, Moonlight, and OpenSUSE. SLES and RHEL are quite swappable, so there is no risk for GNU/Linux as a whole, but what about OpenSUSE?

OpensuseNovell’s Markus Rex speaks about the mainframes this week, but there is no risk there because Red Hat would be better off kicking Novell (with Microsoft tax) out of those IBM mainframes anyway.

The big question is, should OpenSUSE volunteers already begin forking OpenSUSE (there was at least one major derivative before)? OpenSUSE is owned and controlled by Novell, which also owns the trademark. A few days ago we stressed this point and expanded on it.

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