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SuSE Businesses

SuSE CTO & President Steps Down 113

Posted by Hemos
from the where-are-you-now-pussywillow? dept.
peterprior writes: "According to this press release, Dirk Hohndel, SuSE CTO and president has left SuSE. The article simply says that 'Dirk steps away from SuSE to pursue his personal and professional interests.' It goes on to say that 'His departure from SuSE comes at a time when SuSE gathers its forces and resources to strengthen SuSE as a business positioning itself to lead the world towards what is the most powerful and acknowledged alternative to the dominance of one proprietary operating system.'"
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SuSE CTO & President Steps Down

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  • by FortKnox (169099) on Tuesday August 28, 2001 @10:29AM (#2225508) Homepage Journal
    ...If you haven't tried 7.2 professional, I found it mindnumbingly simple to install and get everything running quite nicely. I am very impressed with its newest release. Hopefully, it can continue on with the new CTO.

    And a little </I> would be nice :-P
    • but where is my apt-get upgrade?

      • i know you are just being difficult but YaST makes upgrading SuSE over ftp a breeze.

        Just give it the ftp server and directory, it loads all the files to be installed, you select, and it does the rest.

      • Yes, you have to use Yast2 to automatically upgrade, and click a few buttons. So, you've gotta connect to the machine using "ssh -X" instead of just ssh. :) All it takes is "Yast2" as root, click "online update", select "automatic update", and cliek "next" a couple of times.


        If you're a die-hard command-line person with some bandwidth to spare, then you can do something like rpm -Fvh ftp://ftp.suse.com/pub/suse/i386/current/suse/*/*. rpm. That will update only the packages that are already on your system and have updates. The downside is that it'll download all of the packages first, which kinda sucks. It might be good to wrap that in a shell script that takes the output of "rpm -a" and just downloads those files. I won't write that here, though, because then Debian people wound't have anything to rant about anymore - and I kinda like to hear Debian people always talking about apt-get. It's cute. ;)

        • Did you know that YaST2 runs in TEXT mode?<BR>
          <BR>
          Yes. I routinely ssh into a remote box, and run Yast2 and do online updates -- all in text mode.
          • I'll be damned. I thought that original YaST was the text-mode version. Now that I've tried it, though, I guess I have seen that before (when I've forgotten to do an xhost +localhost before su'ing). Good point, even though it changes my rant a little. :)

            Just run yast2 online_update. That's almost the same thing as "apt-get update". Ignore my earlier crap about ssh -X and whatnot.
            • There's a lot more to YaST2 than the cool graphic/text UI abstraction.

              All of those YaST2 modules are scripts. Yup, you can make your own YaST2 modules. It's Perl-based, too. Check out the devel packages sometime.

              Also, for running X programs as root in SuSE, use 'sux -' instead of 'su -' so that the X stuff is handled for you. I always use sux now.
              • Cool. Both the "sux" and the "yast2 online_upate" (from parent post). Thanks.

                Here is another cool thing I routinely do to a SuSE 7.2 box. Sometimes (at work) I need to X into it from a Win 98 or Win 2000 box. I installed Cygwin on the Windoze box, and also install XFree86 ported to cygwin. Use the latest Test44. It works fantastic! I get a KDM login. I can then remotely run KDE, Gnome, IceWM, and other WM's that SuSE installs. Performance is quite decent. So I may end up running Yast2 in graphical mode to do online updates, instead of text via. ssh.
      • In the Debian distrubution.
    • The entire post was a quote from the submitter, so it should all be italicized. Or conversely, quotes from posts should be normal, while commentary from editors is italicized. Whatever.
    • I have to agree. A couple of years ago we installed SuSE (I think it was a 5.x or something) and YaST just wasn't up to my installation needs (that I be able to teach some kid network admins how to do it too). Red Hat was the way to go then, but now...

      I like the increased useability in the install on all distro's these days. makes it as simple to install Linux as to format a Windows NT 4.0 box...

      That said, i still do all my admin on the command line.

  • I am living in Germnay right now with the US Air Force and SuSE is very big here. Just about every computer store and almost all department store computer sections sell SuSE Pro. or Personal. I use suse on my desktop and the DVD install of Pro. is great. I wish other distros would do the same. SuSE has a very polished YaST online update that works excellent and the distro is very good. It would be a shame if this distro went belly up.
  • Dirk steps away from SuSE to pursue his personal and professional interests.

    Reads to me more like he was pushed than he jumped.
  • I don't know, I kind of like /. looking all italicized like that. I say keep it, it makes this big bunch of dork news look like a wedding invitation.
  • In the U.S, when a Executive of a company goes to "pursue his personal and professional interests." that's ususally a nice way of saying he was fired. Does it work the same way overseas? I had not heard of any financial trouble with Sude, what might be the cause of this?
  • by luugi (150586)
    To tell you the truth I'm getting worried. But it feels like Linux companies are doing bad lately. I know that most tech companies are havin a slump I feel that Linux companies are too fragile for the times.

    Feels like all I've been hearing is Top dogs in the Linux world stepping down. Do they know something we don't?

    • Is Suse in financial trouble? I haven't heard news indicating that they are.
      • by teg (97890)

        Is Suse in financial trouble? I haven't heard news indicating that they are.



        They're not a public company, so there's no reason to tell anyone either (not that I know they are, I just know that there is a reason for shortage of public information on them)

    • Dedicated Linux companies are victims of Linux's success and adoption by the major players. Notably IBM. This is good and bad depending of ones view. The old camaderie feeling is unfortunately gone but the Linux as such is of little danger (Little as the danger of IBM coopting Linux is still present). For the ones that like the "old time fiddling", start playing with Linux of PDA's or Game Consoles.
    • Re:Scary (Score:2, Funny)

      by ldopa1 (465624)
      Do they know something we don't?

      Yep, they sure do. They have access to information before it goes public, and while they can't talk about it, they sure can do something about it. If you're wondering what that information is, just take a look at CNNfn.com [cnnfn.com] to get an idea...

      On another front though, it does sound like he was pushed. If he "stepped down", that first step is a doozy. Hope he had a golden parachute.

      On yet another front - CTO's, CFO's, CEO's, CIO's and all the rest of the acronymati leave all the time.

      • Why should we care?

      ( Acronymati - You heard it here first.. watch for it on your buzzword bingo cards soon!)

      Main Entry: acronymati
      Pronunciation: a-kr&-'ni-mä-tE
      Function: noun plural
      Etymology: First coined by ldopa1 on http://www.slashdot.org [slashdot.org]. An amalgamation of the two words "Acronym" and "Illuminati".
      Date: 2001
      1 capitalized : any of various groups claiming special professional enlightenment
      2 : persons who are or who claim to be unusually promoted
      3 : persons who are bolstered in their employment by complex employment agreements guaranteeing an obscene payscale

    • Feels like all I've been hearing is Top dogs in the Linux world stepping down. Do they know something we don't?

      Yeah, there's no money in free software. But that's not a problem really until you get investors involved who want to see some returns.

      Why would you worry though? If Joe CEO steps down how is that going to impact Linux in general? It might mean the end of your favorite distribution but that's not going to do much to the community as a whole other than shine a little more light on the other distros out there.
  • Well, not that I know him well, but I've certainly
    seen Dirk's quotes and interviews and such
    on XFree86. The part I liked about this release
    was seeing his email address linked in the
    press release - how many "big cheese departs"
    press releases have that on them? (At first I
    thought they had omitted the obligatory "to
    pursue personal interests" but on second look
    it is there).
    • The part I liked about this release was seeing his email address linked in the press release - how many "big cheese departs" press releases have that on them?

      Maybe this practice will become more common, in case someone has a job offer for one of these cheeses.

      Don't think of it as supporting their economy. Think of it as burning their crops - Kinky Friedman on Cuban cigars.
  • he got canned.
    His departure from SuSE comes at a time when SuSE gathers its forces and resources to strengthen SuSE as a business positioning itself to lead the world towards what is the most powerful and acknowledged alternative to the dominance of one proprietary operating system.


    Why else would they mention "gathering forces and resources" when that's exactly the opposite of what happened here?

    Then again, it could just be the regular PR bullcrap that most businesses seem to produce now instead of a quality product. (No Flame intended)
    • Or maybe he just got tired of his job. People get bored sometimes, and even CTO's are people. Not everything is an ugly conflict or a conspiracy.

      The PR garbage at the end is designed to assure investors that SuSE will not collapse with the loss of their CTO. It is empty language, and doesn't say anything meaningful about SuSE's future.

    • I think as a developer (working on XFree86) he
      probably got tired of a managament position.
      Didn't feel to comfy in that suit&tie all the
      time.....

  • Those wacky Germans and their world domination...didn't work the first two times so why should it work now?

    Fick mich, du miserabler Hurensohn
    • Oh for god's sake grow up. That sort of immature broadswipe at a now very much a peace loving nation, is simply not funny, not clever, and not the sort of comment i've come to expect at /. - not to mention the sort of insult that it conveys for the many german readers of this site.
      • 1.)Your idea of peace loving [amnesty.org] is different than mine. The US isn't much better but it can be [amnesty.org].

        2.) "not the sort of comment i've come to expect at /.
        - Um. look around there are comments far worst than mine.

        3.)It's called comedy, let me get the definition for you:

        comedy (km-d)
        n. pl. comedies

        A dramatic work that is light and often humorous or satirical in tone and that usually contains a happy resolution of the thematic conflict.
        The genre made up of such works.
        A literary or cinematic work of a comic nature or that uses the themes or methods of comedy.
        Popular entertainment composed of jokes, satire, or humorous performance.
        The art of composing or performing comedy.
        A humorous element of life or literature: the human comedy of political campaigns.
        A humorous occurrence.


        It was a joke in the same way we joke about the Brit's lack of dental care, the Irish drinking problems (I'm irish), and the same way the rest of the world mocks the US by acting like a big Texan. Do you get offended by Mike Meyer's "Dieter" character, who portrays all Germans as Artsy, Fetishistic, and Cold? Laugh, sometimes it's the only way to make it through the day.


        And althought my note about the german phrase wasn't in the version on the site, That quote was from Zappa's Joe's Garage.

        • 1.)Your idea of peace loving is different than mine. The US isn't much better but it can be.


          Have you actually looked at those web pages that you're linking? The list of violations in Gemrany is a lot shorter than in the US, and it cites some events from 1999, which is unusual for a 2000 report. Go ahead and read the reports on other countries too. You will realize that Germany does very well compared to most others. Implying that the US is better, as you did, is simply unfounded based on the references you provide.

          -Tobi (a German, living in the US)

    • Why is it that some persons at /. always have to get political and offensive towards Germans when there are some news about German companies?

      According to the press release, Dirk Hohndel has been CTO at SuSE for three years now, he is in the new economy, so maybe after three years it's time for a new project for him? Being more involved in the XFree86 project sounds more interesting to me than being CTO of a Linux distribution from a developer's point of view. So let's just say thanks to him that he did a great job for the last three years for the SuSE distribution and wish him good look for his new position. Don't you think it's time for a change in your personal life every few years? Well, I do, I hate the vision to do one job at one position at one place for the next 30 years.

      Sometimes you have to change the position, sometimes you have to change the company in order to go on with your professional (and personal) life. I personally don't think that he has been fired. He just wants to advance.

      What I'm asking myself, has this something to do with the CEO change announced on 07/20/01?
      • It was a joke!!! Ha Ha! Nothing political about it.

        /me now a target of political assignation becuase of a f***ing joke.

        It is good to see, however, that Germans are very defensive about their country. The same way most would be....but we also can take a joke.

        (for more German jokes, please see humor.org [humor.org])

        Thanks,
        Shecky
  • I wonder what this means for SuSE Linux as it is today? SuSE recently replaced RedHat as my Linux of choice (Why you might ask, because I find that SuSE is more flexable for the things that I do).
  • I wouldn't worry about their financial future, all they should have to do is fudge some numbers and claim a profit, that'll make everyone happy.

    Unfortunately for the dot coms, it's too late. Good luck SuSe, I'd hate to see you lose your Playstations!

  • by perdida (251676)
    Okay u have a press release. That's news.

    Then you have some fud from it.

    That is not news.

    You passed on a piece of what Kuro5hin calls "Mindless Link Propagation.." To make it a story, some analysis of the significance of this fact, the CTO/President stepped down is called for.

    I know nothing about this particular company, but the reasons for the step down could be either be a) truly personal reasons,

    b) Hohndel doesn't like whatever SuSE is doing to "lead the world towards what is the most powerful and acknowledged alternative to the dominance of one proprietary operating system,"

    c) SuSE doesn't like the guy,

    d) some horrific scandal,

    e) The mob,

    f) Aliens.

    I suppose you expect the posters to contribute A, B, C, D, E and F.

    But, if you don't do a little more research you might as well re-name Slashdot to "Mindless Link Propagation."

  • When I first decided to get my feet wet in linux, SuSE was the install I chose, unfortunately because the fellow idiot at CompUSA (I wanted a boxed version with a MANUAL for my first try) nodded his head vigorously and told me that it would be the best for me.

    Well, I think that was SuSE 5.x something. . .At the time, the documentation stunk--I thought--really. . .the translation on the manual was incomplete and horrible, although and I thought that the direction to 'masterbooten' was pretty funny. ;o) In addition, I, a windows neophyte, had to learn to compile and install the tulip driver for my network card in order to get networking. That was a trip in itself.

    Now, with SuSE 7.x, its freakin easy to get going with their new installer, tulip is included (I'm pretty sure), and everything goes so smooth a monkey could set up a great linux box. They're moving in the right direction!

    I couldn't say this a few years ago, but NEWBIES, GO GET SUSE! Its cheap, comes with a TON of stuff, has a nice manual, and the installation is VERY smooth.

    -s
    • I agree completely!

      SuSE has come so far over the past few years. With each new version, it gets easier and easier to install and configure.
  • A couple of years ago we installed SuSE (I think it was a 5.x or something) and YaST just wasn't up to my installation needs (that I be able to teach some kid network admins how to do it too). Red Hat was the way to go then, but now...

    I like the increased useability in the install on all distro's these days. makes it as simple to install Linux as to format a Windows NT 4.0 box...

    That said, i still do all my admin on the command line
  • Dirk is a very bright man who probably made this decision with great care. It is possible that Suse is in the midst of being purchased.
    Suse is a very stong company, especially in Germany, and they would make an interesting aquisition target for RedHat or another tech firm.
  • Dirk Hohndel (Score:5, Informative)

    by alistair (31390) <alistair AT hotldap DOT com> on Tuesday August 28, 2001 @11:27AM (#2225729)
    Dirk used to work at Deutsche Bank where he was head of Unix Strategy. You can see a short biography of him [suse.com] at the main SuSe site.

    He was heavily involved in the XFree86 project, which SuSE have supported for a number of years, in addition to their support for KDE, OpenLDAP etc.. There is an interview with him at Changelog [lwn.net].

    I think he will be missed at SuSE but they employ over 220 people worldwide and support many more development effors, while making a profit, so don't write them off on the basis of this announcement.

    I am currently running SuSE 7.2 on both my PC and Laptop. It is the best distribution I have used to date and the Support for XFree86 and KDE2.x is useful and appreciated.
    One interesting observation concerns a recent install I did on my IBM X21 Laptop, when SuSE was installed from DVD it installed completely in under an hour and correctly recognised network card and video Driver. Installing Windows 2000 on the other partition failed to recognise network or video card, it took 5 hours of downloads to fix this. Power management also works a treat on the laptop by defaut, credit and thanks to SuSE for this, and good luck for the future.
    • One interesting observation concerns a recent install I did on my IBM X21 Laptop, when SuSE was installed from DVD it installed completely in under an hour and correctly recognised network card and video Driver. Installing Windows 2000 on the other partition failed to recognise network or video card, it took 5 hours of downloads to fix this.

      Isn't this a little ignorant? Because it took you 5 hours to figure out your Win2K problem, doesn't mean it's the OSes fault. W2K took 45 minutes to install on my machine and everything was recognized on my system on 1st boot. OTOH, when I installed RH7, it refused to boot properly at all. I don't go around saying "Win2K is better than Linux 'cause I got it to work right away" because I wasn't knowledgeable enough to know what the problem was.
      • One interesting observation concerns a recent install I did on my IBM X21 Laptop, when SuSE was installed from DVD it installed completely in under an hour and correctly recognised network card and video Driver. Installing Windows 2000 on the other partition failed to recognise network or video card, it took 5 hours of downloads to fix this.

        Isn't this a little ignorant? Because it took you 5 hours to figure out your Win2K problem, doesn't mean it's the OSes fault. W2K took 45 minutes to install on my machine and everything was recognized on my system on 1st boot. OTOH, when I installed RH7, it refused to boot properly at all. I don't go around saying "Win2K is better than Linux 'cause I got it to work right away" because I wasn't knowledgeable enough to know what the problem was.

        And can't you read? All he said was his observation, and that it took 5 hours of downloads to remedy the situation. If you've ever downloaded drivers for Thinkpad notebooks, you'd understand he's not joking around. He never waved his hands, and said that proves Linux is superior to Windows.

        By your logic, we should think you're a dumb ass, because you couldn't even get Red Hat to boot up. You weren't "knowledgeable" enough to fix the problem, right?

        • And can't you read? All he said was his observation, and that it took 5 hours of downloads to remedy the situation. If you've ever downloaded drivers for Thinkpad notebooks, you'd understand he's not joking around. He never waved his hands, and said that proves Linux is superior to Windows.

          "interesting observations" are usually "isn't it ironic..." statements. They imply something without having to "wave your hands." Take a lit class and learn about interpretation.
          5 Hours of downloading on a 56K - I'd believe it. How long does it take to download a Linux distro on a 56K?

          By your logic, we should think you're a dumb ass, because you couldn't even get Red Hat to boot up. You weren't "knowledgeable" enough to fix the problem, right?

          By your logic, both of you are jackasses for using a 56K line to download drivers for this thing ;-)

          • Actually, it was meant simply as an observation, not a general comment on the general status of all Windows and Linux installations. I have been using Windows since 3.0 and Linux for about 3 years. When I started the install I thourougly expected to spend about 2 days getting X to work under Linux and about 3 hours getting Windows to work. It is a tribute to the work of Dirk and all the contributors to the XFree86 that the X included with SuSE recognised both the Laptop Video card and the Matrox multiheaded card in my Compaq box.

            The five hours of downloads were really caused by Windows not recognising the Network or Modem card in the Thinkpad, so I had to boot the machine into Linux, find and download the correct drivers from IBM, copy to floppy and then copy into Windows from the floppy to install. Once I had done this the IBM drivers site was excellent for picking up the remaining Video drivers, which are now working very nicely.

            So perhaps the more genaral observation, based on this very small sample size, is that a modern Linux distribution, specifically SuSE according to this sample, can be considered equivelent to Windows 2000 in it's detection and installation of device drivers on a very small sample of machines, nothing more, nothing less.
  • Maybe this is the much needed "kick in the pants" SuSE needs to rejuvinate their product and workforce. In professional sports, replacing the head coach often proves effective in refocusing the team - and as we know - sports and business nowadays is the same damn thing.


    If SuSE wants to lead the Linux world (and they have a chance), they're going to have to truly innovate to differenciate themselves from the other distributions, not just incrementally improve.

  • I have been trying to post articles on Slashdot for a month now, but they are insistant on publishing other articles. I just posted an article on Quantum Computing. I think you will all enjoy it quite a bit. For those of you who do not know what Quantum computing is, the article explains it quite well. Here is the link [designtechnica.com] . You can post comments on the article below it. Please tell me what you think.
  • Too bad the SuSE distro treats all quotes and double quotes as control characters... Has anyone else noticed that the have to hit the single quote button twice to get a measly single quote output to the OS? And that if you hit other characters right after a quote, you sometimes get those funky foreign characters?

    Solomon
  • Rats are running away from the sinking ship. That's all. First - layoffs, then - running rats
  • 'Dirk steps away from SuSE to pursue his personal and professional interests.' It goes on to say that 'His departure from SuSE comes at a time when SuSE gathers its forces and resources to strengthen SuSE as a business positioning itself to lead the world towards what is the most powerful and acknowledged alternative to the dominance of one proprietary operating system.'"

    (sigh) When an Open Source company starts speaking in corporatese, it's time to say goodbye. Was nice knowing ya SuSe, I guess the ride's over.

    This one reminded me of a Dilbert strip:

    "I'd like to dialogue with you about utilizing resources..."

    Disgusting.

    -Kasreyn
    • When an Open Source company starts speaking in corporatese, it's time to say goodbye.
      Um, yeah, its a German company. They probably have PR people to translate from German to Corporate English, not Hacker English.
  • The PR rep had a couple of short comments that, while not earth-shaking in their revelation, at least shed a little bit of light on Hohndel's mindset-- here at Newsforge. [newsforge.com]
  • it's interesting to see how Big corps can make bucks out of linux while the small companies who where there from the start are faltering. is this another form of corporate buyout..? it's along the same lines as the local bookstore never making it while has no trouble finding customers..
  • It seems that the August article on the "Linux Chameleon" in Linux mag was a bit uninformed as the instability of his position there. Its a great article but the you'll have to grab the print copy of it since the website [linux-mag.com] seems only to carry the TOC. Its a crying shame to see him get his walking papers. But, needless to say, I think a "keep an eye on that one" is appropriate, whatever his "personal insterests" turn out to be.
  • SuSE has nothing bad against them. They have been a great distro and will continue to improve. I run 7.2 and have no problems installing it on a PIII 450. A big bounus is that the programs used aren't specialy crafted for SuSE, they are the original.
  • His departure from SuSE comes at a time when SuSE gathers its forces and resources to strengthen SuSE as a business positioning itself to lead the world towards what is the most powerful and acknowledged alternative to the dominance of one proprietary operating system.


    This sounds just like the PalmPilot Dilbert mission statement generator...


  • SuSE is a great distro.

    Now you pop in a CD, answer a couple questions about language choice and location and go watch TV for 20 minutes and your new linux box is ready.

    Works great. No fuss no muss no outside assistance.

    You can leech RedHat RPM's too.

    Hang on SuSE... many are just starting to see the green light!

    Thrazzle

  • SuSE seems like a nice distro, but I got the feeling that they are trying much harder than, say, RedHat, to force people to buy the CDs. I think it would be problematic for Linux if SuSE became the predominant distribution.

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