"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