Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Novell to launch OpenSuSE at LinuxWorld

Novell is opening SuSE Linux to community-based development, sources say, with a model similar to Red Hat's recent move with Fedora. Novell will be launching a community-based Linux distribution, OpenSuSE, at next week's LinuxWorld in San Francisco, according to sources close to the company.
I'm sure a lot of Linux geeks will be happy to hear this news but as a SUSE Linux user since version 7.3 a few years back, I'm concerned.

One of the reasons I like SUSE is because it's not cutting-edge but as a result is also more stable. It's frankly one of the best distros going. Red Hat did the same thing when they started the Fedora Project and it took several incarnations and years before Fedora became anywhere near stable. And in Red Hat's case, they discontinued the retail version.

I'm all for SUSE making a community-driven version as long as they don't give up on the retail version. For the time being, it doesn't look like they intend to:
The expected distribution model isn't quite the same as Red Hat's, though; unlike Red Hat, which only makes Fedora available as a download and doesn't offer support for it, Novell will also sell SuSE Linux in a boxed retail version with manuals and paid technical support, sources said.
Red Hat gave up on the retail product before launching Fedora I'm sure in no small part due the amount of money they make on the enterprise version. It makes total sense for Novell to do this, not sure it makes as much sense for the users who could end up with a less solid product.


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