Novell Must Be

By Steven Vaughan-Nichols  |  Posted 2005-08-03 Print this article Print

Aware of Fedoras Success"> Certainly Novell also had to be aware of Red Hat Fedoras growing success. In the Fedora community-based approach, the development cycle is driven not just by the companys engineers working on Linux but by the larger open-source community. The result is a cutting edge Linux for enthusiasts.
Once the code matures to the point where enterprises can use it, it is then locked down, given quality and assurance testing, and released it as a commercial product with support.
In Red Hats case, the final stage of each version of Fedora becomes the basis for RHEL (Red Hat Enterprise Linux). With Novell, the SuSE Linux code will become the foundation for the next version of SLES (SuSE Linux Enterprise Server), the Linux component of OES (Open Enterprise Server) and NLD (Novell Linux Desktop). The first version of SuSE Linux will consist of the Linux 2.6-based beta for SLES 10. This will be roughly equivalent to what would have been SuSE Linux Professional 9.5. The model isnt quite the same as Red Hats though. Unlike Red Hat, which only makes Fedora available as a download and doesnt offer support for it, Novell will also sell SuSE Linux in a retail, boxed version with manuals and paid technical support. The full version will be freely available from the OpenSuSE site as both source code and in ISO downloads. Sources close to the company say that dual-approach is because Novell wants SuSE Linux to be both worked on by the community and ran by users who dont want to develop but do want a supported, cutting-edge Linux. Like Red Hat and Fedora, Novell will initially be running the SuSE Linux show, but control will eventually be ceded to a steering board. Officially, Novell would not confirm this story. Bruce Lowry, director of public relations, did say, however, that any changes in how Novell was developing Linux had nothing to do with announced European employee cuts. "Novells European financial performance has been disappointing and this is part of the effort to turn this around." "This is in no way connected with SuSE engineering and development staff. It is directed at our redundant sales force. This move is designed to make Europe more profitable." Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest open-source news, reviews and analysis.

Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols is editor at large for Ziff Davis Enterprise. Prior to becoming a technology journalist, Vaughan-Nichols worked at NASA and the Department of Defense on numerous major technological projects. Since then, he's focused on covering the technology and business issues that make a real difference to the people in the industry.

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