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OpenSUSE 11.3 LXDE Rename/Rebranding Would Help

Summary: Why OpenSUSE-derived distributions can avoid the Microsoft/Novell patent liabilities, probably by avoiding the SUSE/OpenSUSE trademark

OpenSUSE LXDE (variant of Ballnux) is not a normal Novell project, but it uses Novell trademarks. LXDE is a relatively new project. "It is maintained by an international community of developers," according to the OpenSUSE Wiki. OpenSUSE LXDE is built on OpenSUSE, but might as well rename itself and distance itself from Novell. Microsoft's deal with Novell forbids use of OpenSUSE to make money; basically, Microsoft and Novell agreed that OpenSUSE users will be "safe" as long as they are just so-called 'hobbyists'.



A few weeks ago we saw that OpenSUSE sought more independence from Novell, which is up for sale. Generally speaking, OpenSUSE would be better off forked and made independent from the whole patent deal [1, 2].

Pascal is a prominent community (non-employee) member of Novell's OpenSUSE and here is what he wrote some days ago:

Our good friend and contributor Lee "oldcpu" Matheson did a nice screencast of the very lightweight LXDE desktop on openSUSE 11.3 RC1.


Here is the video in question:



The branding in this distribution is still property of Novell. If they change it, then people will no longer associate this unofficial distribution with Microsoft. Let Novell take care of OpenSUSE, which technically is not so bad. From a new (p)review of the coming release:

Overall, openSUSE 11.3 does a decent job and packs the usual extras you would expect from a project that feeds into a commercial, enterprise Linux distro like SLED.


Well, but it comes with obligations to Microsoft and it therefore has limitations inherited from Novell. Why not rebrand derivatives/flavours/forks of OpenSUSE? That might actually overcome the contract Microsoft signed with Novell -- a contract that specifically mentions OpenSUSE, a property of Novell.

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