OpenSUSE Drops ZENworks, Opens YAST

Analysis: Novell's community Linux is dropping support for its all-too-often annoying ZENwork client, while finally open-sourcing SUSE's older YAST software installation and system administration tool.

Novell openSUSE project has had a recent history of trouble with its update programs. Now, to make updating openSUSE more pleasant, the project is dropping its support for ZENworks and opening up YAST to community development.

In an openSUSE development list management note, SUSE Project Manager Andreas Jaeger wrote, "OpenSUSE is focusing on native software management by using YAST and Libzypp, the package management library."

At the same time, though, ZENworks Linux Management remains "Novells solution for enterprise-class resource management for desktops and servers. ZENworks components are fully available and supported for SUSE Linux Enterprise-based products and not longer part of the openSUSE distribution."

In the past, openSUSE has been the testbed for Novells business Linux distributions, in much the same manner that Fedora has been for Red Hats enterprise Linuxes. When it comes to software management, however, openSUSE and SLED (SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop) and SLES (SUSE Linux Enterprise Server) will soon no longer be on the same page.

Beginning with the next alpha release of openSUSE 10.3, alpha 4, ZENworks will be gone, according to Jaeger. Instead, openSUSE "will use the native tools only—Zypper, Opensuse-updater, and YAST."

While Jaeger didnt explain why Novell and the openSUSE group had made this decision, the messages on the openSUSE list made it clear that the developers were glad to see ZENworks go. A typical comment came from Ted Bullock, an openSUSE developer, who said, "This is very good news. I have never felt comfortable with the overall reliability and integration of ZENworks in openSUSE. Im glad to see the last of it."

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