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Novell GUI Software Linux

Novell Linux Desktop Released 183

KingDaveRa writes "Novell have just released Novell Linux Desktop. Its based on SuSE Linux, but is cut down quite a bit to just include essential apps - perfect for a corporate environment. Novell claim to not be going directly after Windows, but rather pushing this as legacy Unix users. The Register has a take on this too."
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Novell Linux Desktop Released

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  • Timing.. (Score:1, Interesting)

    by peterprior ( 319967 )
    Hmm... Nicely timed with Chris Stone leaving...

    *tinfoil beanie on*
    • Honestly, I'm sure that this was one of his "things to do" before he quit. And I don't think he just walked out, I'm sure they knew about it for awhile, and if he's the kind of guy to just quit on the spot, then I have the wrong impression of him.

      Novell has really impressed me over the years, mainly with SuSE Linux 9.1. I look forward to any and all software that this company puts out and their love and support for the open source community.
  • SuSE personal? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by julesh ( 229690 ) on Monday November 08, 2004 @09:52AM (#10753771)
    I've got a system at home that I installed with the SuSE personal ISO image, and then upgraded by downloading SuSE professional RPMs to have all the useful stuff.

    Is this going to be the same? Or have they stopped you from doing this?
    • Re:SuSE personal? (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      This Novell Linux Desktop is to Red Hat Enterprise WS as the Personal Edition of SuSE is to Fedora (or the old line of Red Hat linux releases).

      They let you download a free trial for 30 days, after that software update support ends unless you buy a license.
      • Re:SuSE personal? (Score:3, Insightful)

        by julesh ( 229690 )
        Figures. I knew they'd killed SuSE personal for a reason: they wanted to make money off it and knew they couldn't with the old model.
        • Novell is NOT, I repeat, NOT killing the end-user SUSE LINUX OS product, nor will it turn into a "Fedora-style" project. It is and will continue to be a complete product. Currently the Novell Linux OS product line looks like this:

          For business servers: SUSE LINUX Enterprise Server 9

          For business desktops: Novell Linux Desktop 9 (both have the same system core).

          For hackers, community, enthusiasts, students, anybody who reads Slashdot: SUSE LINUX Professional 9.2 SUSE LINUX Professional includes all th

          • Novell is NOT, I repeat, NOT killing the end-user SUSE LINUX OS product

            No, I'm aware of this. Read my post again. They killed SuSE Personal, which was the single CD trimmed down distribution.
        • That's sad now that Novell just got a $536M infusion of cash from MS [].
    • Re:SuSE personal? (Score:5, Informative)

      by DeckerEgo ( 520694 ) on Monday November 08, 2004 @11:59AM (#10754930) Homepage
      I've actually noticed that RPM and ISO releases have been released faster with Novell than when SuSE was operating alone. Development and beta RPMs seem to be posted faster, and ISOs (which were never released under a standalone SuSE) are released for their personal product line.

      A lot of people seem to get the Personal edition via ISOs or over-the-counter, then point YaST2 to the FTP site where they can install the remainder of the RPMs.

      YaST2 treats FTP sites the same as DVD or CD installations as well, so adding/removing/updating RPMs via FTP uses the exact same interface and means as a local media installation. Very nice.

      Plus you can hook YaST2 into unsupported releases and get the latest SuSE-created KDE, Gnome and other packages.
  • by Silwenae ( 514138 ) * on Monday November 08, 2004 @09:57AM (#10753797) Homepage
    Luis Villa's blog [] has some more interesting information and links as well. (He's a Novell, former Ximian guy).

    You can download an "eval" copy [], after some registration, it's 3 ISO files, but is the full version according to Luis.

    Novell has also released the source [].

    Unfortunately, it's still Gnome 2.6 and some updated KDE stuff, but one of the most interesting things built in is Novell's new iFolder [], an interesting way to share folders remotely, including over different OS's.

    It's based on Suse 9.1, but it will be interesting to see what changes the Ximian guys have added to it. The timing seems a bit weird though as Suse 9.2 just came out. Novell's strategy will be something to watch, to see how they position Suse Server, Suse 9.2 and Novell Linux between homes and offices.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Unfortunately this is iFolder 2.x, the same one that has been available for quite some time.

      iFolder 3, the p2p one built on mono, the one that looks /really/ cool, is still a ways from being complete. :(
    • Yes, but is it Novell's Linux distro, or is it Novell's desktop package? Just another distro doesn't excite me, no matter how well thought out it is.

      What I want to see from these guys is built-in Netware logon support, eg a KDM or GDM auth module with drive mapping and all the rest. Something that can be rolled out on an LTSP infrastructure with diskless clients. Something to easily replace the thousands of Windows PCs so many schools and businesses are running with Novell's servers.
  • I certaninly hope this exceeds my expectations! Is this "enterprise" ready? Does it have a consistent look & feel? .. or is it just crap-in-a-box? Let's all try the "eval".
  • Cut down (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Clappingman ( 829179 )
    There should be more versions of the kernels and so on, with almost no packages to download of all the *nixes, those large ISOs are a big turn off.
    • Re:Cut down (Score:4, Informative)

      by Timesprout ( 579035 ) on Monday November 08, 2004 @10:12AM (#10753906)
      I cant believe more distros dont do this. Ubuntu do it quite well. Its a one CD install which is the way it should be, not download 3 or 4 to get a piece here and a piece there. Ubuntu gives you a nicely polished install with enough to satisfy most people and almost everything works out of the box.

      Word of warning though Ubuntu may not be the best option for dual boots on Dell Laptops (more correctly it seems to be the debian installer). It nuked my win2000 install on one and refuses to see any partitions on the other and will only accept the whole device.
      • Re:Cut down (Score:5, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 08, 2004 @10:23AM (#10753975)
        It nuked my win2000 install on one
        Hey, it took them a long time to implement that feature, and now you talk about it like it's a bug.
      • Re:Cut down (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Jugalator ( 259273 ) on Monday November 08, 2004 @10:25AM (#10753989) Journal
        Word of warning though Ubuntu may not be the best option for dual boots on Dell Laptops (more correctly it seems to be the debian installer). It nuked my win2000 install on one and refuses to see any partitions on the other and will only accept the whole device.

        Hmm, what does Dell have to do with this? :-/

        Just curious, since it sounds like a nice distro I'd be interested in. Also looking for 1 CD stuff; they certainly don't need to have many more apps included than Windows XP... I still have a choice if I want to use some less used tools, it's called Internet. :-P

        I'd rather see coders spending time making extraordinary good and easy installers and uninstallers for said downloadable apps instead of looking how to include as much as possible on the CD. Isn't Internet pretty common by now, anyway? And no, Gentoo is probably not the distro for me since I'm not sure it's for amateurs. I'm not even looking for a processor-optimized distro, although it would be a nice bonus of course.

        I never got the idea with mega-sized Linux distros. "Choice" doesn't necessarily have to mean "cram stuff into a lot of CD's to confuse a user". You have software choice even if you don't do this, right?
        • I was very excited about Ubuntu, and I installed it on my new-distro-of-the-month laptop, a LAC Linux made machine that originally came with Debian. Anyway, Ubuntu is good looking and installs well. The big problem is that it kept hanging when I would log off X, and various other apps were crashing etc.

          Not sure what the deal was, but the Gentoo install I had on it earler worked great, and I installed Mepis right after, and it worked wonderfully. I'm sold on Mepis and would recommnend it in lieu of Ubunt
        • As to "small but works" single CD installs, MEPIS got my vote when I installed it last week, _very_ slick, and it is actually a Debian system.

          MEPIS is also apt-get upgrade worthy, unlike Knoppix, that has always gotten hosed when trying an apt-get update/upgrade cycle.
      • I cant believe more distros dont do this. Ubuntu do it quite well. Its a one CD install which is the way it should be, not download 3 or 4 to get a piece here and a piece there. Ubuntu gives you a nicely polished install with enough to satisfy most people and almost everything works out of the box.

        As Ubuntu is Debian based, you can say the same for Debian. I always just download the netinstall ISO to do a base install, and fetch the rest of the stuff - I need - online via APT.

        • I cant believe more distros dont do this. Ubuntu do it quite well. Its a one CD install which is the way it should be, not download 3 or 4 to get a piece here and a piece there. Ubuntu gives you a nicely polished install with enough to satisfy most people and almost everything works out of the box.

          As Ubuntu is Debian based, you can say the same for Debian. I always just download the netinstall ISO to do a base install, and fetch the rest of the stuff - I need - online via APT.

          Actually, you can't. The U

    • Re:Cut down (Score:2, Insightful)

      by pooh666 ( 624584 )
      Why don't you just crawl back into your weenie box. Yeah, that is what my boss asks for consistently in a desktop OS, more Kernels!
  • Posting from... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Hanul ( 533254 ) on Monday November 08, 2004 @10:01AM (#10753823) Homepage
    ... freshly installed evaluation copy of Novell Linux Desktop 9. Well, nice startup screen, nice Ns everywhere.

    Uhm, and Firefox came with Slashdot already bookmarked.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 08, 2004 @10:03AM (#10753835)
    Yes, it costs money. $59 USD. There IS an evaluation version available for free. From their site:

    NOTE: The only limitation of this evaluation software is the duration you will have free access Should you choose to license Novell Linux Desktop, you will be provided with a new registration code, which you can easily update in your desktop in order to re-enable access to for product patches and updates.
  • Novell claim to not be going directly after Windows

    Yeah, from the screenshots, it looks an awfully lot like a hybrid between Windows, MacOS, and MacOSX.
  • So, it has KDE? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by 10Ghz ( 453478 ) on Monday November 08, 2004 @10:06AM (#10753855)
    I wonder what that means to those folks who claimed that "Novell is placing their bets on Gnome! KDE is going down!". Open mouth, insert foot, eh?

    Well, the people who made those claims seemed quite often to be connected to Ximian... Either they were astroturfing/spreading FUD, or they didn't know what their company was doing.
    • I am a true Gnome lover, and of course hope that Novell will go for Gnome in the long run.

      BUT, Gnome and KDE need each other in order to improve, just like Linux need MacOSX and Windows.

      Gnome and KDE steal idea from each other, and often improve them in someway.

      Think if we only had Mozilla and IE. Oprea invented tabbed browsing, and the idea to have search bar in the toolbar among MANY other neat features, that FireFox now have.

    • Re:So, it has KDE? (Score:3, Informative)

      by GauteL ( 29207 )
      Ximian people have never claimed that KDE was going away. That was the conclusion of others (less well informed).

      This offering from Novell however seems to default to GNOME but includes KDE, unlike SuSE which defaults to KDE.

      The flash animation shows off GNOME, and their is GNOMEified, with GNOME-icons and the new GNOME file-selector.

      Their main applications are a gnomified, Evolution (gnome), and Mozilla Firefox (uses gtk widgets), GAIM (gtk/gnome), Red Carpet and Ya
      • Ximian people have never claimed that KDE was going away. That was the conclusion of others (less well informed).

        Well, I remember some Ximian-folks post on /. and make claims that Gnome is Novells future, with KDE fading away. Hell, they spread the same FUD in the press as well! []. Christine McLellan, the one spreading the "Gnome will receive improvements, KDE will not"-FUD came to Novell via Ximian.

    • Re:So, it has KDE? (Score:3, Informative)

      by theantix ( 466036 )
      Yes, it has KDE. Take a look at the application list [] that NDL supports. How many of them are QT based and how many of them are GTK based? I'll let you do the math for yourself, and come to your own conclusions.

      My conclusion: this is a Gnome-centric distribution. Yes, you can run KDE on this distro, but it makes as much sense as running KDE on Red Hat or Gnome on SuSE.
    • And gee, the people who made the reverse claim? Well, they're stuffed too! NLD contains Gnome!

      Obviously, this points indisputably to the fact that Novell is intending to replace Gnome and KDE with ROX and FVWM2. Without a doubt.
  • by MrCranky ( 187240 ) on Monday November 08, 2004 @10:06AM (#10753859) Homepage
    not the consumer version. This version is for use in big business by general knowledge workers. It's features are maintainability and stability of pachages, not end-user featuritis. In other words, it's for corporate desktop drones. It's designed to work best in a corporate environment, of course complementing Novell's upcoming Open Enterprise Server. It's timed to match the upcoming release of that product.

    SUSE Linux 9.2 Pro is the geek version, for home and mobile users mostly.
    • A trim desktop for the corporate drone is exactly what the market needs. Sun is sort of trying to do it with JDS, but they're selling it as one desktop for every kind of corporate user. The lean desktop with only necessary packages that's easily maintainable is what a lot of companies need if they're going to slowly switch away from Microsoft. It eases headaches and drastically cuts administrative costs. I hope Novell is very smart in the way they market it.
      • by cduffy ( 652 ) <> on Monday November 08, 2004 @11:56AM (#10754901)
        I hope Novell is very smart in the way they market it.

        Yup, they are -- if not marketing, at least sales.

        We're probably going to switch to it at my workplace -- we're certainly going Novell's SLES9 on the servers we ship, as soon as I finish handling the technical headaches involved with getting off of RHEL3. (For the workstations, they're currently a very aging, heavily customized RH9 environment -- no longer supported, so we're moving them over too).

        And why? Besides the price point, and the goodies SLES9 comes with that RHEL3 doesn't, there's one huge advantage Novell has:

        Their "sales staff" has technical people too, and they're helpful and available. We were feeding money into Red Hat, and getting practically nothing back by way of support. Novell, on the other hand, is giving us all kinds of support (and access to goodies like the NLD beta) -- and we haven't even paid them yet!

        I have no doubt that Red Hat would do the same thing for a big enough shop -- but right now we're a small, cash-impacted startup. The level of support they've given us already shows an impressive level of dedication. We're impressed, anyhow.

        (The first time they visited us, they brought along one employee who was formerly Ximian, one who was formerly SuSE, and one who was a Noveller all along. I took that as Good Tidings as to their directional change, as well).
        • That's very interesting, because historically Novell has had zero interest in small shops and individual sales -- they'd rather sell a single 1000 license pack than a million single seats. There's a big SOHO market out there that can't buy 10-packs, but sure would buy single seats as they grow, but Novell has historically ignored this market. Hopefully your experience does indeed mean that they are now looking at these small but steady markets.

      • It's also exactly what the average home user needs. The average user doesn't need every server and every compiler known to man, and shouldn't have to decide whether to install stuff they have no knowledge of and aren't likely to ever care about. And it's that much less stuff to worry about securing against the big bad outside world.

        When and if these home users DO care, they can always switch to a full-featured disty.

        And hopefully this will make it a bit more average-hardware friendly. TCO goes out the win
    • Excellent explaination and right on the money. In that same vein there's also real support (something Novell does quite well). If you're running Netware, got a CNE or two this distro was built for you. IMO it's there to help people running Netware move their desktops away from MS Windows. Something I whole heartedly support. =)

      There are other (better IMO) distros for home, small office, etc. users like Ubuntu (Ubuntu is so sweet) or for hard core tweakers Gentoo (also a fantastic distro). Many distros off

  • Age Old (Score:5, Insightful)

    by z0ink ( 572154 ) on Monday November 08, 2004 @10:08AM (#10753876)
    Perhaps Novell can help in providing more legitimacy toward linux desktops to the Corporate World. It's not that linux desktops geared toward corporations haven't been around, but more the lack of a Name Brand company to trust purchasing it from. I'm being hopeful, but any amount this release can cut into Microsoft's market share is good for us all.
  • by HangingChad ( 677530 ) on Monday November 08, 2004 @10:08AM (#10753883) Homepage
    The Register said it would retail for $50.00. That's a good entry price point, very competitive. Especially considering it comes bundled with OpenOffice and Evolution with the Exchange connector.

    Unless I'm overlooking something that's a very attractive package. Anxious to see how it sells. If this takes off it's going to hit MSFT's pricing model fairly hard.

  • Can I ... (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    does novell linux have YaST and if so can I install packages from SuSE ftp sites?
  • Mirror? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Snuden ( 252397 ) <morten&lightworkings,dk> on Monday November 08, 2004 @10:16AM (#10753934) Homepage
    Does anyone have a mirror or a bittorrent tracker? The site was sort of okay before 12:00 GMT+1 but now it's rather dead...
  • Looks like they're going to support GAIM. With the 'Corporate' backing of the project is it likely that the vendors (AIM, YAHOO, etc) will work with Novell/GAIM on modules? I see this becomming another X type setup where the modules are closed source but the client open. Mixed feelings on that one. On the one hand there's the "Everything Needs To Be Open" camp, but to some extent a little give in some areas can help drive adoption (i.e. a closed Linux solution is better than no Linux solution) in some ar
  • Anyone who has used Novell much has noticed how Novell has had to remake every Windows version to even work as a network enabled desktop should. Because Windows is so not network enabled it isnt well suited to be in a network period. The amount of work they have had to put into Windows just to get it to log into a Novell server is staggering for anyone who has used pam_auth_ncpfs on linux. A linux desktop is ready today for Novell, all its lacking is zenworks like features with centrally managed menus and c
    • by Anonymous Coward

      wtf makes this FUD post anything more then a troll attempt to bash MS??

      "Novell has had to remake every Windows version "

      since when did Novell make Windows at all??

      "Windows is so not network enabled it isnt well suited to be in a network period"

      guess you never is very network enabled...

      lets see, Linux is ready... "its lacking is zenworks like features with centrally managed menus and common login scripts" Zen has been linux for some time now, but it is a sepperate tool. "The profiles
    • Yep, using pam_auth_ncpfs to get a Windows desktop to login to a Novell server would be crazy amounts of work. Fortunatly, they have this thing called the "Novell Client" which is for windows. It takes all of about 5 minutes to install. Windows 3.11, Windows 95, and all later versions, are specificlly built to accept network client drivers, like say, those from Novell.

      Or do you mean it is crazy amounts of work for Novell to write a widows client? I doubt it. For Windows, Novell currently has two clients, one for 95/98 and one for NT/2000/XP. The "log into the server" part is a minor component, trivial in comparision to every thing else it does, ZENWorks integration for one.

      And this is not Windows NT or Netware 3.12 days. You login to the network not into a server.

    • by idesofmarch ( 730937 ) on Monday November 08, 2004 @11:19AM (#10754507)
      Windows is so not network enabled it isn't well suited to be in a network? Are you stark raving looney? While you may have many legitimate criticisms of Windows, this surely is not one of them.

      While not preinstalled, Windows has come with a Client for Netware Networks for as long as I can remember. I know that Novell recommends its client, but I have not had any issues with the MS client whenever I have used it.

      Anyway, Novell was king of the network hill for a good while. It should have leveraged this position while it had it to put out its own desktop back then. It will be an uphill battle now.

    • Actually, Novell stopped its strategy of developing native NCP (Netware Core Protocol) clients a couple of years ago and you will not see one on Linux ever. Instead, they implemented CIFS on the backend and the user logs into Novell Directory Services using a small agent on the client. This implements NDPS (for print services) along with the core directory services. It's small and very clean.

      Combine it with ZenWorks agents and you can do full client management of policies and software distribution.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 08, 2004 @10:41AM (#10754112)
    The corporate world started way back when with Windows PCs and Microsoft Office. Any Unix desktops are specialized applications, such as Graphics Design and Virtual Simulations (Unigraphics, HP-UX, SGI, IBM AIX.) They pay for these systems (in the 10 thousands each) because they are good at what they do and there is a company that stands behind them. If it weren't for these systems, everything would be running MS Windows. And it would be safe to say, any company running Macs will not migrate to Linux, because Macs are now more affordable (as compared to their Unix counterparts,) Unix based, and are already in niche markets.

    So I would say, if they are going after corporate desktops, they are going after MS Windows, because this is where the PC is. Linux will also allow better integration with existing and vested Unix and Mac systems.

    No, they are going after MS Windows. Their "not-going-after-Windows" statement is for investors and people who manage tech, but not into tech and understanding tech from the ground level, so as not to still certains waters that Microsoft is monitoring.
    • by Jason Earl ( 1894 ) on Monday November 08, 2004 @12:18PM (#10755193) Homepage Journal

      Novell is going after the "low hanging fruit" in much the same way that Red Hat's biggest efforts to date have been in convincing Solaris customers to switch to Linux. What's the sense in attacking Microsoft outright when you can make more money somewhere else.

      The folks at Novell know that over the long haul an inexpensive, secure, and stable no-frills desktop is going to make a market for itself just about everywhere. However, Novell is absolutely right in pointing out that for right now the obvious application is in locations where a minimal set of applications is needed.

      To give you an example, I used to work in a french fry factory. The factory had about 90 PCs, but less than 20 of these PCs were used by office workers. The rest of the PCs were out in the plant and were used mostly to let people out on the floor view data. The machines out on the plant floor could easily have been running Linux, and it would have saved the company a substantial sum of money.

      Novell knows that there are lots of businesses like that french fry plant, and they also know that in the long run once these locations get a little bit of experience with Linux clients that essentially run themselves that the IT folks are going to start looking at ways to migrate the remaining office workers to Linux. More importantly, when they buy or build new applications they will be far more likely to create the applications in a way that is portable to Linux.

      Which brings us to the second part of Novell's master plan. Novell plans to use Mono to entice existing .NET developers into creating cross-platform applications.

  • So, will there be an upgrade for those of us using Ximian Desktop 2? Not sure if I want to install yet another distro.
  • Can I install the NLD on top of Debian? Where do I point my sources.list?
  • Xandros Deluxe 2.0 (Score:2, Informative)

    by webzombie ( 262030 )
    I tried Xandros Open Circulation on the weekend and this distro is the closest to what a home user would expect from a "windowed" OS.

    The install was FLAWLESS. Truly. Network setup a breeze and it even found my Windows shares and an OLD SoundBlaster 16 ISA sound card. I haven't had any problems with it since installing it.

    I've tried many of the other distros and they are just not ready for the home or small business market. Its like the Linux community can't bring itself to simplify the environment in case
    • Me too ! ,
      Im a gentoo user by day, but having recently been required to set up a laptop for a family member and not wanting the chore of maintaining a windows box - I thought I'd give Xandros open circulation edition a try. It was an IBM Thinkpad T22 - and as you describe the installation was flawless all the hardware was detected perfectly and there was no requirement to go through the driver installation - reboot cylcle once the main installation had taken place (unlike windows). I will add though i had t
  • It's really encouraging to see industry heavyweights starting to give Windows some competition. Not only will it enrich the user's set of choices, it should also result in a better Windows for those who do choose to use that system.

    My bet is that the death gong for Windows will sound when Google releases a Linux desktop.
  • []. Listen to the announcer's voice. Surreal.

    = 9J =

  • GNOME or KDE, had a quick scan but could not find out. SUSE was always KDE, but now its Novell who bought Ximian I'm guessings its mostly GNOME (if not all). Has anyone gleaned the answer, It says it uses (Novell) Evolution however this does not mean its a GNOME desktop as it's pretty popular in the KDE camp too.

Don't tell me how hard you work. Tell me how much you get done. -- James J. Ling