SuSE Readies Linux Upgrade for 64-Bit

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2003-10-06 Print this article Print

Suse linux ag is set to release its latest desktop product, SuSE Linux 9.0, with support for Advanced Micro Devices Inc.'s Athlon 64 processor, giving workstation users performance enhancements available only through the 64-bit architecture.

Suse linux ag is set to release its latest desktop product, SuSE Linux 9.0, with support for Advanced Micro Devices Inc.s Athlon 64 processor, giving workstation users performance enhancements available only through the 64-bit architecture.

Version 9.0, which will be available on Oct. 24, also allows easier Windows migration by supporting NT File Systems and gives technical users an early look at the enhanced capabilities of the upcoming 2.6 Linux kernel.

"We are delivering SuSE Linux 9.0 for 32-bit systems as usual, as well as for the Athlon 64-bit systems, targeted at those technical enthusiasts and desktop users who want to do things like rendering and play games," Holger Dyroff, SuSEs general manager for the Americas, said in an interview from Oakland, Calif.

SuSE in May delivered its Enterprise Server product on AMDs Opteron platform, and, according to officials, the company has sold 1,000 licenses so far, primarily to systems resellers for their research, educational and government customers.

Version 9.0 Personal will cost $39.95. The Professional edition, which comes with five CDs, a double DVD, user guide, administration guide and 90 days of installation support, will be $79.95. The Professional version for AMD 64-bit architecture will cost $119.95.

The update will include a Linux 2.6 kernel test system, which allows users to try the upcoming kernel and see the new features it contains, including improved scheduling, advanced Linux sound architecture and greater support for power management. "[The test kernel] will probably only be used by technical enthusiasts," Dyroff said.

Version 9.0 also will offer improved Windows integration and enhanced support for the NTFS, which lets users more easily repartition the hard disk space, he said. Dyroff said the support gives customers the opportunity to take advantage of the stability and security of Linux, while maintaining the ability to access the Windows applications.

Meanwhile, Dyroff said Linux usage is still growing and taking share from the traditional Unix operating systems rather than from Microsoft. Asked about Sun Microsystems Inc.s new Java Desktop System, he said that it is good for Linux and SuSE. "Whatever helps us to have less Solaris and Windows in the market is good for us all," he said.

Responding to Hewlett-Packard Co.s decision last week to indemnify its customers against claims from The SCO Group for its use of Linux, Dyroff said this will help move customers and those delaying Linux adoptions to the platform. But he reiterated SuSEs stance that users should not pay for a license from SCO for indemnification, saying the Lindon, Utah, company has "no case."

Peter Galli has been a financial/technology reporter for 12 years at leading publications in South Africa, the UK and the US. He has been Investment Editor of South Africa's Business Day Newspaper, the sister publication of the Financial Times of London.

He was also Group Financial Communications Manager for First National Bank, the second largest banking group in South Africa before moving on to become Executive News Editor of Business Report, the largest daily financial newspaper in South Africa, owned by the global Independent Newspapers group.

He was responsible for a national reporting team of 20 based in four bureaus. He also edited and contributed to its weekly technology page, and launched a financial and technology radio service supplying daily news bulletins to the national broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, which were then distributed to some 50 radio stations across the country.

He was then transferred to San Francisco as Business Report's U.S. Correspondent to cover Silicon Valley, trade and finance between the US, Europe and emerging markets like South Africa. After serving that role for more than two years, he joined eWeek as a Senior Editor, covering software platforms in August 2000.

He has comprehensively covered Microsoft and its Windows and .Net platforms, as well as the many legal challenges it has faced. He has also focused on Sun Microsystems and its Solaris operating environment, Java and Unix offerings. He covers developments in the open source community, particularly around the Linux kernel and the effects it will have on the enterprise.

He has written extensively about new products for the Linux and Unix platforms, the development of open standards and critically looked at the potential Linux has to offer an alternative operating system and platform to Windows, .Net and Unix-based solutions like Solaris.

His interviews with senior industry executives include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Linus Torvalds, the original developer of the Linux operating system, Sun CEO Scot McNealy, and Bill Zeitler, a senior vice president at IBM.

For numerous examples of his writing you can search under his name at the eWEEK Website at


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