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openSUSE, Now with More Open

Jun 29, 2009, 20:04 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Christopher Smart)

[ Thanks to An Anonymous Reader for this link. ]

"The initial release was merely a German translation of Slackware Linux, the oldest surviving distro today. Soon thereafter the team decided they needed an installer and better system management tools, and so YaST (Yet another Setup Tool) was born. YaST is perhaps the single most defining aspect of the distribution, something which is still integral to the distribution today. From these early beginnings, SuSE has grown and matured into one of the most popular and indeed beloved Linux based operating systems in the world and is especially popular in Europe.

"After setting up a presence in the United States in direct competition with Red Hat, SUSE Linux was purchased by Novell in 2004 for US$210 million in cash (with a US$50 million injection from IBM). Having been beaten by Microsoft once before, many thought Novell might once again take aim at their former foe, but in actuality nothing has been further from the truth. As Novell made clear at the time it acquired SUSE, their goal was to well position themselves so as to defeat the number one player in the market, Red Hat Linux. Novell’s Chief Executive said: “Together, we are an effective competitor to the current No. 1 company in Linux.” At the time they also stated that they had no immediate plans to alter the development of the operating system. They took on an additional workforce of over 400 staff and things mostly stayed the same. So how has the distro changed?

"Upon the acquisition of SUSE Linux, Novell set about integrating products and services and selling them to enterprise business customers. In 2003 however, their main competitor Red Hat created a community based version of its commercial offerings, called “Fedora Core”. Now known simply as “Fedora”, it is a community based operating system which Red Hat uses as a test bed for their commercial products."

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