Without any fanfare, Novell Inc. has released the latest version of its flagship Linux distribution: SuSE Linux 10.
Novell launched its community-based OpenSuSE development operation in early August.
This new distribution is built on the foundation of Novells SuSE Linux Pro line. It is also the successor to Linux Pro.
Like Linux Pro before it, SuSE Linux 10 is designed both to be a cutting-edge Linux distribution for enthusiasts while providing the easy-to-use KDE and GNOME interfaces for less-experienced desktop users.
This distribution comes with GNOME 2.12 and KDE 3.4.2.
In addition to its desktop, SUSE Linux 10.0 includes more than 1,500 open-source Linux applications and packages that can be optionally installed for Web hosting, application development and home networking.
The operating systems package includes the latest Firefox and Opera Web browsers, the release candidate of OpenOffice.org 2.0 office suite and e-mail and instant messaging clients.
The new Linux also includes spam blockers–based on SpamAssassin anti-virus software and an integrated firewall.
The Beagle desktop search engine and Amarok music player have also been improved.
The new SuSE also previews Xen 3 virtualization, iFolder 3 for universal file access and the very early version of Mozilla Sunbird Calendar.
This edition of SuSE also includes features to simplify Windows migration. The operating system can also be run in a dual-boot setup with Windows.
The beta SuSE 10s early reviews from users have been very favorable.
SUSE Linux 10 also comes in two different versions. The first includes some proprietary components such as Adobe Acrobat Reader 7, Real Networks RealPlayer 10, Suns JRE (Java Runtime Environment) and Macromedias Flash Player.
Novell is also offering a version that includes only open-source components.
In both cases, Novell has made it possible to download the operating system by either ftp or BitTorrent.
Either way, pent-up demand has swamped the download systems. There have been many reports of users being unable to get to the main download site or its mirrors.
Ziff Davis Internet senior editor and Linux analyst Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols also had difficulty in finding a viable way to download the operating system.
There are also some mirrors, which appear to still be offering the SuSE Linux Pro 9.3 distribution rather than 10, even though some links to the sites may indicate that 10 should be there.
Would-be downloaders should carefully confirm what it is that they are trying to download.
SuSE Linux 10 will also be used in 2006 as the foundation for the next version of Novells enterprise operating systems: SLES (SuSE Linux Enterprise Server) and its related systems such as Open Enterprise Server.
While the new SuSE Linux can be downloaded for free, it will also come in a retail version.
The commercial edition version comes with installation support and manuals. The free, download versions do not have formal support.
The retail version of SuSE Linux 10.0 will be offered globally via all of Novells major retail channels at a suggested retail price of $59. Previously, SuSE Linux Professional had a list price of approximately $100.
Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest open-source news, reviews and analysis.