SuSE Gears Linux Desktop for Large Sites

SuSE Linux Desktop is designed for large IT infrastructures and software development and high-performance computing environments.

SuSE Linux A.G. is set to ship an enterprise Linux desktop solution, SuSE Linux Desktop, designed for large IT infrastructures and software development and high-performance computing environments.

Holger Dyroff, who heads up SuSEs North American operations in Oakland, Calif., told eWEEK in an interview that the company is targeting installations of between 500 and 1,000 licenses with the of the product—which will ship before the end of the month—across the public and private sectors in the United States and Europe.

The new product, first reported by eWEEK in March, is based on the same code as SuSE Enterprise Server 8. The base package will cost $598, which includes five licenses, an installation kit and a 12-month SuSE Maintenance Program. The maintenance agreement essentially covers the delivery of updates, fixes, patches and installation support, he said.

Customers can choose to buy four additional years of maintenance, starting at some $90 per system per year and falling sharply for large-volume customers. While configuration support is not included in this contract, it can be bought at an additional cost.

While SuSE has not yet signed any deals with OEMs to have the new desktop product ship preinstalled on any of their hardware, later this month the IBM ThinkPads A31 and T40 and the IBM NetVista desktop computers will become certified for SuSE Linux Desktop, thereby ensuring smooth interaction between hardware and software, even under high workloads, Dyroff said.

SuSE Linux Desktop has already achieved Linux Standards Base (LSB) Certification, verifying adherence to the community- and industry-developed standards for Linux distributions and Linux-based applications.

SuSE Linux Desktop users can choose between Linux and Windows productivity tools. While the product comes bundled with Sun Microsystems Inc.s StarOffice 6.0 and 1.0.2, users can also install Microsoft Office—ensuring familiarity, flexibility and interoperability while still taking advantage of the stability and scalability that Linux delivers, Dyroff said.

The migration of Microsoft Windows installations to SuSE Linux Desktop is facilitated by the inclusion of Codeweavers CrossOver Office 2.0 in the product. It enables the utilization of Word, Excel and PowerPoint from MS Office 97/2000/XP as well as MS Outlook, Visio 2000 and other Microsoft applications. Agfa Monotype fonts ensure true format printing and display of Microsoft documents.

IBM Lotus Notes can also be utilized on the SuSE Linux Desktop, which provides interfaces enabling access to application servers and mainframes like the SAP client, Windows 2000 Terminal client and IBM terminal emulators.

"We think customers will be pleased with the pricing, which we feel is fair and reasonable. They are getting a stable desktop, which is also more secure and lets them run their Windows applications if they choose to," Dyroff said.