SUSE Linux (pronounced /ËˆsuËsÉ™/, German: [ËˆzuËzÉ™]) is a computer operating system. It is built on top of the Linux kernel and is distributed with system and application software from various projects. Suse Linux is of German origin and mainly developed in Europe. The first version of this distribution appeared in early 1994, making SUSE the oldest existing commercial distribution. It is known for its YaST configuration tool. The developer rights are owned by Novell, Inc. since 2003, when the company bought SUSE. Novell, one of the founding members of the Open Invention Network, opened widely the distribution development to outside contributors in 2005, creating the openSUSE Project.
Novell employed over 500 developers working on SUSE in 2004.
SUSE family products
Novell offers SUSE Linux under two major branches, openSUSE and SUSE Linux Enterprise.
* openSUSE: This is a free distribution, including some of the latest "bleeding edge" Linux technologies and designed for home users and enthusiasts.
* SUSE Linux Enterprise: This is Novell's open-source solution for major enterprise, widely tested and certified.
openSUSE vs SUSE Linux Enterprise
The former, openSUSE, is a freely available, community-oriented distribution project that releases on a comparatively frequent basis and generally uses more recent versions of the various open source projects that it includes. The SUSE Linux Enterprise branch is Novell's commercial edition of SUSE Linux, which Novell releases much less frequently in order to offer long term support more effectively for enterprise production deployments.
Novell typically uses a version of the openSUSE distribution as a basis for creating SUSE Linux Enterprise products. Novell states that the reduced number of packages is preferred for enterprise use, whereas general community users generally prefer a less specialized distribution with extensive options.
SUSE Linux Enterprise Server vs Desktop
Within the commercial SUSE Linux Enterprise line, the two major offerings from Novell are SUSE Linux Enterprise Server and SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop. Each of these distributions has been selectively pared down to include the open source packages for its specific purpose. For example, SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop does not include the Apache Web Server, and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server does not include Xgl/Compiz.