Interview with Chris Schlaeger of SuSE

Today we feature a mini-interview with Chris Schlaeger of SuSE and Novell. Chris answers some questions about SuSE 9.3.1. What are the most important new features on 9.3?

*One of the best features in SUSE LINUX Professional 9.3 is a sneak peak into upcoming server-based Linux, including the XEN virtualization environment. XEN is the first open source virtualization solution where a user can set up different Linux systems on the same machine in different independent instances with shared hardware resources.

* A complete office suite with 2.0. OpenOffice is the most popular Linux office suite. It includes word processing, spreadsheet, an HTML editor, presentations and a drawing tools. The Novell Edition of OpenOffice is a significantly enhanced version of the open source productivity suite. It includes improved Microsoft Office file compatibility and integration with Novell Evolution and the Web browser.

* Cutting edge new Mobility Support via Improved Wifi connections and
Bluetooth devices. SUSE LINUX Professional 9.3 offers Bluetooth wireless support, including automatic recognition of Bluetooth-enabled devices via the YaST central configuration and administration tool. For busy mobile users, it supports quick and easy access to wireless networks.

* Voice over IP support with Linphone. It’s a free Web phone you can use to make calls anywhere in the world. The cost of the phone call is the cost that you spend connected to the internet. Linphone uses the SIP standard.

2. How is SuSE Linux different than Novell Linux Desktop?

Novell Linux Desktop is engineered for enterprise users and is based on the SLES kernel and development.

SUSE LINUX Professional 9.3 is designed with the latest and greatest
software in the Open Source community, and is geared for technical
enthusiasts and home users. Many of the more esoteric packages are not included in Novell Linux Desktop.

When an enterprise requires pushing out patches and updates, it is helpful to have a desktop based on the same kernel build as their servers – that is one of many reasons why Novell Linux Desktop was created.

However, SUSE LINUX needs a way to access the feedback and development
support of the Open Source Community. SUSE LINUX uses the Professional
product as a way to gather that information for its development and testing process of the enterprise server product.

3. Which desktop environment is the default on SuSE? Is KDE still the default or Novell has shifted to Gnome?

KDE is still the default desktop environment for SUSE LINUX Professional 9.3. The majority of our customers do prefer it, so we honor their needs and those of the OSS community. But we offer both desktops at the highest possible level to maximize a customer’s choice. We also spend a great amount of development effort to
make both KDE & Gnome interoperate smoothly.

4. Which platforms SuSE 9.3 supports? How’s AMD 64bit support nowadays?

SUSE LINUX Professional 9.3 supports x86 and x86_64 (AMD64 and EMT64T). x86_64 is on the same level as the x86 platform.

5. Do you also ship Novell’s iFolder?

No, Novell’s iFolder is not included in SUSE LINUX Professional 9.3. It’s still in development but will be ready soon.

6. Is there any GUI configuration for Bluetooth? For example, can I use a GUI to connect to my phone and dial out with it?

Bluetooth can be configured through YaST using its gui.

Currently there is no gui for dialing-out. We enhanced the Yast-Module to allow more security, but for the configuration of dial-out internet-connections an editor is currently still needed.

However, if what you mean by ‘dial-out’ is internet connection, then you can use the kmobiletools in KDE. For example, you can connect to your cell phone using Bluetooth and read/send SMS or force the phone to dial. Please keep in mind only certain phones from certain manufacturers will work.

7. Is Red “ZenWorks” Carpet included?

Yes, the ZENworks Linux Management is included in a stripped down version. However, YaST Online Update is the recommended tool for online updates for SUSE LINUX Professional 9.3.


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