SUSE Linux Family Products - Personal category

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Novell divides its SUSE Linux products into Enterprise and Personal. This is essentially the distinction between the versions that are sold with a paid-for software maintenance system and those that are not. The Personal category now consists of just one product, SUSE Linux Professional. (In the past there was a cut-down version of SUSE Linux Professional known as SUSE Linux Personal; with the release of 9.3 this product was dropped. Do not confuse Novell’s customer category Personal with SUSE’s former product SUSE Linux Personal.)

SUSE Linux Professional
SUSE Linux Professional now contains versions for both the x86 (Intel-compatible PC 32-bit) and x86-64 (Athlon 64, Opteron, and Intel EM64T) platforms. It consists of five CDs and two double-layer DVDs. The five CDs form is an installation set for x86 machines. One of the DVDs is an installation DVD for both x86 and x86-64; the other DVD provides the source packages. The Professional version contains a wide range of software, including desktop and server software and development tools. It actually contains considerably more packages than the Enterprise Server versions but should be regarded as essentially an unsupported version, but limited installation support is included in the price of the boxed set. A new version of SUSE Linux Professional appears twice a year.

A Live DVD version (it’s been a DVD since version 9.2; previously this was a Live CD) is released with each version. This is available by FTP and can be burned to disk. This version cannot be installed, but booting a PC from this DVD provides a live Linux system that can be used to evaluate SUSE Linux without installing it or, if you want, as a way of carrying a Linux system around with you (perhaps with a USB stick to hold your files).

Traditionally SUSE did not provide ISO images of the distribution for download. This changed in the summer of 2005 when the full ISO images for version 9.3 were provided in this way. The Professional version has always been made available in an FTP version that allows for network installation, either directly from the FTP site or using a local mirror.

Recently, SUSE has also begun to offer a DVD ISO image (by FTP) of a cut-down installable version of the Professional distribution. This should be thought of as an evaluation edition, or as a replacement for the old Personal edition. This version is made available rather later in the product cycle than the FTP version and is known as the FTP DVD version.

openSUSE
Although the software concerned was almost all open source and freely distributable, the development of SUSE Linux was traditionally a closed process. Beta testing was done internally by the company with the help of volunteers from partner companies and the members of the public who carried out the testing under non-disclosure agreements.

When the first beta version of 10.0 was ready in August 2005, the beta testing process and the development of SUSE was opened up with the start of the openSUSE project. This is intended to create a community around the development of SUSE Linux and make the cutting-edge version of SUSE an entirely free one. In some ways the concept is similar to the Fedora project, which plays a similar role in the development of Red Hat; however, openSUSE aims to draw in a wider genuine participation by outside users and developers and has an interest in desktop usability and the needs of end users.

Future versions of SUSE Linux (at least in the short term) will be available both from openSUSE and as boxed versions that will include the traditional manuals and additional non-free software (such as Sun Java, Adobe Acrobat Reader, proprietary drivers of certain kinds, and so on).

Source of Information : SUSE Linux 10 Bible

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