OpenSUSE and SLED 11 - what difference?

I have to use opensuse 11 - 2 or 3 years, on my home PC and on my work PC (i’m 3d disigner and VFX artist)

But sometimes i have to see some advertisements about SLED - Suse Linux Enterprise Desktop.

I have a simple question:

What main difference between openSUSE and SLED ? What i can get with SLED ? May be SLED is for windows-users who want simplified way to try linux?

Can i get some advantage with SLED ? What is the benefit ?

  • SLED has a very long release cycle
  • it has fewer applications (programs) than openSUSE
  • you can get direct support if you pay for it
  • it has fewer bugs than openSUSE
  • it costs about $350 per year more than openSUSE (which costs nothing)
  • it’s more expensive than windows I suppose, never thought of that before

In summary, there’s not a compelling reason to have it if you’re not an “enterprise” sized business/department.

No doubt plenty of ppl will say different.

it has fewer applications (programs) than openSUSE

  • bad…

as i understand - the most major SLED points - is the consulting and support ?
This is not home solution, but for business scheme, and SLED mean acting from support-side ?

And OpenSUSE - is a mostly flexible and open solution for home?

swerdna wrote:
> - it costs about $350 per year more than openSUSE (which costs
> nothing)
Sorry for the correction, but this seems to be the price for SLES (around
250 Euro) not SLED, the Desktop version you can get from Novell for about
50$/year or somewhat cheaper for if you subscribe for 3 years 135$ =

PC: oS 11.3 64 bit | Intel Core2 Quad Q8300@2.50GHz | KDE 4.6.3 | GeForce
9600 GT | 4GB Ram
Eee PC 1201n: oS 11.4 64 bit | Intel Atom 330@1.60GHz | KDE 4.6.0 | nVidia
ION | 3GB Ram

Thanks for the correction – SLED is cheaper then, didn’t know that. If a user keeps it for maybe 3 years it’s on a par with windows in cost, good pricing level then.

Yes there is excellent support for SLED, at a cost of course, but they also have free forums like here. And there is equally good support for openSUSE for the user who likes to come here and other Net places for support.

BTW I hope there are other opinions coming here than just mine – I don’t have much personal experience with SLED. Also maybe you should ask the same question over in the SLED forum too.

I do not think that we can differ here simply between home use and enterprise use. It depends on the requirements of the user. It may well be that someone wants a long term solution even for the private home use and has not so much interest in the packages available for openSUSE which are not available for SLED. Packman also supports SLED to a certain degree and the OBS too. So it comes all down to what someone wants.
The easiest solution is to check it by downloading the 60 day evaluation of SLED and see if it is worth the extra money. I did that some time ago and came to the conclusion that for me openSUSE is the better choice even for business use. Someone else has different requirements and can come to the conclusion that SLED is better even for home use.
And sorry but I forgot to add the link for the prices
Buy Linux | SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop
scroll down that page to see the different prices for basic, standard and priority support. Basic is in principle installation support and forum support plus the updates.

Thanks for the replies. I was interested in the opinions of openSUSE users about SLED. It is interesting to compare. The fact that another set of packages - is disappointing. Trial period - I’ve have downloaded, just before installing the doubt - I need it or not.

On 06/05/2011 02:36 PM, swerdna wrote:
> If a user keeps it for maybe 3 years it’s on a par with windows in cost,
> good pricing level then.

except for the fact that SLEDs cost includes everything most folks
need…so nothing more is required to keep out the viruses,
keyloggers etc, nor for office apps, etc…

when i got this little machine i was offered a “special price” of only
$50 a year for McAffee anti-something… so, SLED is only the cost of
the first required add on…

via NNTP openSUSE 11.4 [] + KDE 4.6.0 + Thunderbird 3.1.10
Acer Aspire One D255, 1.66 GHz Atom, 1 GB RAM, Intel Pineview graphics

  • When your gecko is broken you have a reptile dysfunction! *

Once i used sled11(it comes with my Hp laptop).i installed it.but i don’t have any idea how to use that.i don’t know how to make that os for home use.because i can’t get any sound from my speaker,can’t connect to my wireless network.simply can’t do anything.i came to this members asked me to try Opensuse.after a month i downloaded and installed Opensuse on my is working good and i have no problem with that.if any problem I’ll post a thread in this forum and gets solution in minutes.

I love Opensuse and it’s forum.

The OEM version of SLED on notebooks needs to be activated via a
network cable to add the necessary OEM repositories to install the
proprietary drivers for wireless, sound etc.

I’ve been using SLED as a home user since 2006 and works fine
for me (I also have a SLES server as well). Having OBS is a definite
plus, but you can also customize a version on SuSE Studio.

It also runs on my ASUS netbook, however I’ve been hooked on Gnome 3.0
so it feels a bit strange falling back to Gnome 2.x

That being said, you use what works for you :wink:

Cheers Malcolm °¿° (Linux Counter #276890)
openSUSE 11.4 (x86_64) Kernel
up 3 days 3:46, 4 users, load average: 0.05, 0.08, 0.06
GPU GeForce 8600 GTS Silent - Driver Version: 270.41.19

On 2011-06-05 20:36, malcolmlewis wrote:

> Hi
> The OEM version of SLED on notebooks needs to be activated via a
> network cable to add the necessary OEM repositories to install the
> proprietary drivers for wireless, sound etc.

That’s strange. I think that if you buy a computer (HP) with SLED installed
everything should already be configured and working out of the box, same as
they do with their windows machines. Complete with rescue partition.

Cheers / Saludos,

Carlos E. R.
(from 11.4 x86_64 “Celadon” at Telcontar)

Malcolm you have already told this to me.remember i had sent you a private ask me to contact a Novell forum member.i contacted him he told that if i use that it will be 60days evolution activate you should contact the Novell’s blaw blaw blaw.he also told me the it is not easy to activate that product.i also want to tell you that i didn’t buy was a gift.

AFAIK they have the rescue partition. You can buy different
support plans, hence the registration number you use determines your
entitlement and system to add the required HP repositories as well as
the Attachmate (well I guess SUSE ones now :wink: ) update and pool

Cheers Malcolm °¿° (Linux Counter #276890)
openSUSE 11.4 (x86_64) Kernel
up 3 days 9:25, 4 users, load average: 0.38, 0.14, 0.09
GPU GeForce 8600 GTS Silent - Driver Version: 270.41.19

I was under the impression that your notebook came with the
pre-installed version of SLED? The OEM HP version is not the same as
the download from Attachmate…

Cheers Malcolm °¿° (Linux Counter #276890)
openSUSE 11.4 (x86_64) Kernel
up 3 days 10:37, 4 users, load average: 0.08, 0.10, 0.13
GPU GeForce 8600 GTS Silent - Driver Version: 270.41.19

Yes it is preinstalled.but i think it is not the OEM version of Hp.

I also have a question regarding SLED:

how is it with multimedia? Are mp3 codecs and the other stuff included in the version, you finally buy? I could imagine, that in the trial it is not included, but does this change, when you buy it? Or is it the same as with openSUSE, through Packman?


I briefly tried SLED late last year and early this year. I lost my SLED install when the PC that had SLED installed died, and I decided not to re-install SLED.

I found SLED more polished than openSUSE.

I did find that despite having some packman support, the number of multimedia apps for SLED was signficantly less than that of openSUSE. Perhaps I should say SIGNFICANTLY less. ie upper case. Like the difference between SLED and openSUSE Packman support was (in my view as a home user) MAJOR. SLED fairs poorly here.

Likely for an office SLED’s supply of multimedia is more than adequate, but for a home enthusiast, I found one is often forced to rebuild one’s rpms from openSUSE on to SLED (or beg someone to do some packaging).

I also found SLEDs repository strucuture SIGNIFICANTLY different (note upper case) from openSUSE and highly confusing for a user brought up on openSUSE. I searched but likely looked in the wrong places, as I never did find an explanation that helped me in understanding the SLED repository structure.

In the end I found the SLED learning curve over the Internet too time consuming as a home user who has openSUSE running. I had to decide :

  • do I want to spend my spare time trying to learn SLED where it is stable for a long time, or
  • do I want to spend my time with openSUSE that works well for me but requires frequent version updates

In the end I decided that since it is so quick to re-install openSUSE with every new openSUSE release, that it was far quicker and easier for me (as a home user) to use openSUSE than it was for me to use SLED.

Perhaps if I had been ‘raised on’ SLED it would have been different, but SLED was frustrating for me - mostly because of the strangeness of the repository structure and SIGNIFICANTLY less 3rd party packaged home user apps (again note the ‘upper case’ for emphasis) .

And also, again, for a professional office environment with many computers, my guess is SLED is significantly superior to openSUSE, but NOT IMHO for a home user.

Mp3 if a free codec… but it’s the same as openSUSE, bit more
integration on the moonlight side. Just add packman and switch just
like openSUSE. I found it easier to install the fluendo codec bundle on
my SLED install.

Cheers Malcolm °¿° (Linux Counter #276890)
openSUSE 11.4 (x86_64) Kernel
up 16:21, 4 users, load average: 0.28, 0.19, 0.14
GPU GeForce 8600 GTS Silent - Driver Version: 270.41.06

While SLED has long term support does it also provide support for newer kernels. I was running openSUSE 11.1 and built a new machine. I needed the kernel in 11.3 to support some new feature. I can’t remember what but it was one or more of the audio chip set, USB3 or the CPU. I have been reading some documentation on SLED support. While things seem to have improved from SP1 onwards, I am not sure what gets fixed or upgraded when (if at all). I suspect from the documentation I have read that I would only understand it after I had installed and payed for SLED.

Is there a good explanation of what gets fixed and upgraded and when?

Is the openOffice/LibreOffice integration with office 2007/2010 better than that provided in the openSUSE version?

If I find a relatively serious bug and I report it via bugzilla, is there a chance that it could be fixed before the next SP or version without paying lots of money?

If you install non-Novell code do you still get support?

How simple is the migration to a new SP or Version?