I’ve been using OpenSuSE as a desktop for many years now, but just recently downloaded and installed Novell SLED 11.0 for evaluation.
There isn’t much cosmetic difference that I can see. When I called Customer Service at Novell, the young lady who answered the phone told me that SLED is pretty much merely a desktop, while OpenSuSE is more of a complete operating system.
Here’s my question: Considering that I’m an end user on one PC with no other network connections than the Internet, are the differences between the two versions substantial enough to warrant installation of one over the other?
Thanks VERY much in advance.
Joshua Tarplin, AEMT, MCP, ABCDEFG (Ret.)
When I called Customer Service at Novell, the young lady who answered the phone told me that SLED is pretty much merely a desktop, while OpenSuSE is more of a complete operating system.
Huh? This is a weird explanation… both are operating systems and I don’t see how openSUSE could be more operational than SLED.
SLED is an enterprise system, meaning that it is aimed to work within business levels where system stability is of utter importance, therefore it is less “bleeding edge” than for example openSUSE. Enterprise systems also feature much longer support periods and direct support from the maintainer (in this case: Novell).
I think what the young lady meant was that with SLED you only get a basic Gnome installation with enough programs to get you going; with openSUSE you get a choice of KDE, Gnome, LXDE and a wide range of repositories to access to meet different needs.
I think this is an interesting question to speculate about the relationship between openSUSE and Novell. I speculate:
Novell sees openSUSE as a testing playground. They do need any testing possible, because they want to sell SLED as stable as can be. But think about this theoretically: As an example if you have a system of about 10000 components (packages), where you have a configuration choice of - lets take only a minimal - two, then you have to test 2 power 10000 possibilities of configurations of your system.
Even if all of the packages of an openSUSE Release have stable status upstream the openSUSE system as a whole cannot be tested in a lifetime…
Many of the use cases of a typical openSUSE user might be tested after a while and in these areas SLED might be pretty much the same for this has been gone through good testings. Other things like identification in huge corporate networks, or kernel optimizations for large java applications, Novell Linux should be in advance and much more reliable than openSUSE.
About politics between openSUSE community and Novell: If the community would decide to abandon gnome for instance, Novell would loose interest in sponsoring openSUSE, because they would loose the field for this use case to test. If openSUSE would loose Novell we wouldn’t have this well configured and patched Linux kernel any more.