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SUSE Linux Professional

Current Version: 10.2

Editions: Professional, Live Eval, openSUSE

Features: 2.6.18, KDE 3.5, Gnome 2.16, X.Org 7.2, Xen, 2.0

Package management system: SUSE's native RPM-based software management is done through YAST (Yet Another Setup Tool).

Price: Free download (openSuSE), or order direct from Novell (

Website: Novell SUSE Linux ( or openSUSE (


User opinions:

History: For those of you who didn't know this particular chunk of distro trivia, SUSE used to stand for 'System und Software Entwicklung'. Entwicklung is German for 'development'. SUSE used to be written S.u.S.E to represent the fact that it actually meant something, and then changed to SuSE (no full-stops), but it's now just SUSE and doesn't mean anything any more (or so we're told).

English people are notorious for pronouncing SUSE 'incorrectly', with the most common variants being 'sooz' (rhymes with lose), 'soose' (rhymes with loose) or 'suzy' (rhymes floozie). It's supposed to be pronounced 'SUE-zuh' (rhymes with User (though not with any regional inflection) or Lollapalooza), which is a peculiarity in itself - usually people are allowed to pronounce things as they wish, but people who pronounce SuSE the non-German way are often corrected. Anyone know why it is we care so much about sue-zuh?

It seems that there's quite some debate about the correct pronunciation of SUSE. In English 'received pronunciation', 'sue' is pronounced differently to 'soo', instead being closer to 'syoo'. SUSE is definitely not pronounced Syoozuh. Long live soo-zuh.

Current: Novell completed the aquisition of SUSE Linux on 13 January 2004 - Novell Completes Acquisition of SUSE LINUX ( Since then Novell SUSE LINUX Professional has remained a cutting edge distribution incorporating new technologies rapidly. Paid versions with installation support and documentation continue to be released every six months with a free downloadable version available 3 - 4 months later.

Novell also produce other versions of Linux including Novell Linux Small Business Suite 9 (, SUSE LINUX Enterprise Server 9 ( and NovellĀ® Open Enterprise Server (
--ollie 09:19, 30 Aug 2005 (BST)

System Requirements: You can install SuSE on a Celeron or a Pentium II of at least a clock speed of 233Mhz. (I have successfully installed SuSE on a 266Mhz Celeron machine.) If you do, you will need to have at least 256MB of RAM for the 10.x versions, and at least 128MB of RAM for the 9.x versions, and you will need to run hdparm -c3 /dev/hda to speed up the performance.

I do not recommend installing SuSE on machines with less than 256MB of RAM. You need at least 96MB of RAM just for YaST in text mode.

I do recommend that you install SuSE on at least a 500Mhz Pentium III machine with at least 256MB of system RAM for real performance. Generally, the faster the machine, and the more memory you have, the better.

PCI and AGP based video cards are a must for this distribution. As for the audio card, PCI-based audio cards are preferred as they are autodetected and configured. I recommend a Sound Blaster Live!, Audigy or other Creative Labs audio card as this type is well supported by Linux, and newer Creative Labs cards are supported with commercial Linux drivers.

Best Used: SuSE is best used on both laptops and desktops as there is extensive support for both in terms of open source and commercial drivers and software.

Current Notes: Despite the Microvell deal, openSuSE 10.2 contains real innovation when it comes to the desktop. KDE looks like any other KDE desktop I have used, but with one exception. The menu has been replaced with a window that allows you to scroll history, applications, logout options, and opens to a favorites page with common applications such as DigiKam,, amaroK, and Firefox (now at 2.0). The window takes up only a small amount of screen real estate rather than having the menus cover the entire screen, especially if you have a lot of applications installed.

The same is true for the GNOME desktop. By default, GNOME is setup the same as the KDE desktop, i.e. with the panel at the bottom. After moving the panel to the top and creating a new panel (to make GNOME more like the GNOME that it is supposed to be), I was surprised to find that Novell implemented a similar window approach used in current versions of SLED instead of the traditional menu.

Having used both KDE and GNOME, I like the consistency of the menu setup. However, if you are used to using only GNOME, this may not be a welcome change, especially if you use multiple distributions.

This change was intended for those used to doing things the XP and/or Vista way.

Now the downside. Some applications such as the TeXmacs (TeX editor) package that comes with 10.2, no longer run under openSuSE 10.2 (a real disappointment, and very much pointless to include the RPM in the first place). Much of these packages are not GNOME or KDE applications, but I value these applications nevertheless. amaroK included MP3 support in openSuSE 10.1. The amaroK in 10.2, sadly does not include MP3 support. The good news here is that the Banshee player makes up for that shortcoming.

-- Patrick G Horneker 2007-03-09 (updated)