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SUSE Linux (/ˈssə/, German: [ˈzuːzə]) is a computer operating system. It is built on top of the Linux kernel and is distributed with system and application software from various projects. SUSE Linux is of German origin and mainly developed in Europe. The first version of this distribution appeared in early 1994, making SUSE the oldest existing commercial distribution. It is known for its YaST configuration tool. The developer rights are owned by Novell, Inc. since 2003, when the company bought SUSE.

Novell, one of the founding members of the Open Invention Network, decided to make the community an important part of their development process by opening widely the distribution development to outside contributors in 2005, creating the openSUSE Project.

Thus, SUSE Linux is available under two major branches, openSUSE and SUSE Linux Enterprise.

  • openSUSE is a community-oriented distribution driven by the openSUSE Project. It includes some of the latest "bleeding edge" Linux technologies and designed for home users and enthusiasts. It is a freely available and is released on a comparatively frequent basis and generally uses more recent versions of the various open source projects that it includes.
  • SUSE Linux Enterprise is Novell's open-source solution for major enterprise, widely tested and certified. It uses a version of the openSUSE distribution as a basis, and includes a reduced number of packages which is preferred for enterprise use, whereas general community users generally prefer a less specialized distribution with extensive options.

Beyond the distribution, the openSUSE Project provides a web portal for community involvement. The community assists in developing openSUSE collaboratively with representatives from Novell by contributing code through the openSUSE Build Service, writing documentation, designing artwork, fostering discussion on open mailing lists and in Internet Relay Chat channels, and improving the openSUSE site through its wiki interface. Novell markets openSUSE as the best, easiest distribution for all users.

Like most Linux distributions, openSUSE includes both a default graphical user interface (GUI) and a command line interface option. During installation, the user may choose among KDE, GNOME and Xfce GUIs. openSUSE supports thousands of software packages across the full range of Free software / open source development.

More about openSUSE and SUSE Linux Enterprise