SuSE Linux is releasing its latest offering, the SuSE Linux Desktop operating system (OS) distribution today. It ships with the Linux 2.4.19 kernel plus the KDE 3.1.1 and GNOME 2.2 graphical desktop suits. SuSE, along with Mandrake Linux and Red Hat Linux, is one of the three leading GNU/Linux OS distribution families.
According to SuSE, SuSE Linux Desktop is an enterprise-class Linux desktop solution, It is a user-friendly, flexible, SuSE maintained desktop built for large IT infrastructures, software development and high performance computing environments. For $598 you get a SuSE Linux Desktop installation kit and a 12-month SuSE Maintenance Program for up to five workstations.
SuSE Linux Desktop appears to be an enterprise grade workstation designed to compete with Microsoft Windows workstations. The Linux operating system is a better OS than MS Windows. However, one reason people use MS-Windows-based machines instead of Linux-based computers, particularly in the business and enterprise environment, is because they think MS Windows has better office productivity and graphics applications.
SuSE Linux Desktop narrows the office productivity and graphic applications gap between GNU/Linux and MS Windows in several ways. One way is to provide a suite of office and graphical tools that are on a par with comparable MS Windows applications. Another way is to provide an application interface environment that lets users run MS Windows applications on GNU/Linux OSs without the need to run the MS Windows operating system.
The GIMP and StarOffice are included with SuSE Linux Desktop. GIMP is functionally and feature-set-wise comparable to Adobe PhotoShop, which currently is not available for the GNU/Linux OSs. Likewise, StarOffice is functionally and feature-set-wise comparable to Microsoft Office. While neither the GIMP nor StarOffice outshine their Windows counterparts, PhotoShop and Office, they are quite usable and very cost effective compared to their MS Windows counterparts.
That's where Codeweavers CrossOver Office comes in to play. It lets you run some MS Windows applications directly on a GNU/Linux-based computer. According to Codeweavers and SuSE, the Microsoft Office Suite applications, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and so forth plus Adobe PhotoShop will run on SuSE Linux Desktop -- without the need to install the MS Windows OS.
We have not tested SuSE Linux Desktop yet. However, our experiences with SuSE products are that SuSE makes good stuff. If SuSE Linux Desktop proves itself to be as good as other comparable SuSE products, it should be a real winner -- with Microsoft the big loser. SuSE Linux Desktop likely will pull customers from SCO Unix and UnixWare too.
Other SuSE enterprise products include:
Enterprise Server 8 for x86
Enterprise Server 8 for IBM Mainframe
Enterprise Server 8 for IBM i/pSeries
Enterprise Server 8 for Intel Itanium Processor Family
SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 8 for AMD64
SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 8 for AMD64 Press Release
Interesting Linux/Unix Books
Running Linux, 4th Edition, By Matt Welsh, Matthias Kalle Dalheimer, Terry Dawson, Lar Kaufman, December 2002, ISBN: 0-596-00272-6, $44.95
Unix Power Tools, 3rd Edition, By Shelley Powers, Jerry Peek, Tim O'Reilly, Mike Loukides, October 2002, ISBN: 0-596-00330-7, 69.95