SUSE Linux

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SUSE Linux (/ˈsuːsə, ˈsuːzə/ SOO-sə, SOO-zə, German: ) is a computer operating system developed by SUSE. It is built on top of the free and open-source Linux kernel and is distributed with system and application software from other open source projects. SUSE Linux is of German origin, its name being an acronym of "Software und System-Entwicklung" (software and systems development), and it was mainly developed in Europe. The first version appeared in early 1994, making SUSE one of the oldest existing commercial distributions. It is known for its YaST configuration tool.

Novell bought the SUSE (then "SuSE") brands and trademarks in 2003. Novell, one of the founding members of the Open Invention Network, decided to make the community an important part of their development process by opening widely the distribution development to outside contributors in 2005, creating the openSUSE distribution and the openSUSE Project. Novell employed more than 500 developers working on SUSE in 2004. On 27 April 2011, Novell (and SUSE) were acquired by The Attachmate Group, which made SUSE an independent business unit. Later, in October 2014, the entire Attachmate Group, including SUSE, was acquired by the British firm Micro Focus International. SUSE continues to operate as an independent business unit. On 2 July 2018, it was announced that Micro Focus would sell SUSE to Blitz 18-679 GmbH, a subsidiary of EQT AB, for $2.535 billion. The acquisition was completed on March 18, 2019.


SUSE at Linuxcon

The developer

The developing Gesellschaft für Software und System Entwicklung mbH (Lit. Company for Software and System Development) was founded on 2 September 1992 in Nuremberg, Germany, by Roland Dyroff, Thomas Fehr, Burchard Steinbild, and Hubert Mantel. Three of the founders were still mathematics students at a university; Fehr had already graduated and was working as a software engineer.

The original idea was that the company would develop software and function as an advisory UNIX group. According to Mantel, the group decided to distribute Linux, offering support.

Their name at founding was "S.u.S.E." (Software und System-Entwicklung "Software and systems development"); however, the full name has never been used. "S.u.S.E." was shortened to "SuSE" in October 1998 and restylized to "SUSE" in 2003.

SUSE GEEKO official plush toy

The official logo and current mascot of the distribution is a veiled chameleon officially named GEEKO (a portmanteau of "gecko" and "geek"). As with the company's name, the GEEKO logo has evolved to reflect company name changes.


The company started as a service provider, regularly releasing software packages that included Softlanding Linux System (SLS, now defunct) and Slackware and printing UNIX and Linux manuals, and offering technical assistance.

These third-party products SUSE initially used had those characteristics and were managed by SUSE in different fashions:

To build its own Linux distribution, S.u.S.E. used SLS in 1992 and jurix in 1996 as starting point. This was created by Florian La Roche, who joined the S.u.S.E. team. He began to develop YaST, the installer and configuration tool that would become the central point of the distribution.

In 1996, the first distribution under the name S.u.S.E. Linux was published as S.u.S.E. Linux 4.2, a reference to the answer to "The Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe and Everything" from the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. YaST's first version number, 0.42, was a similar reference.

Expansion FVWM running on SUSE 5.1

Over time, SuSE Linux incorporated many aspects of Red Hat Linux, such as its RPM Package Manager and its file structure.

S.u.S.E. became the largest Linux distributor in Germany. In 1997, SuSE, LLC was established under the direction of president and managing partner James Gray in Oakland, California, which enabled the company to develop Linux markets in the Americas and Asia. While Red Hat was ubiquitous in the United States, SuSE Linux continued to grow in Germany as well as in Nordic countries such as Finland and Sweden. In October 1998, the name was changed officially to, SuSE (without dots). Linus Torvalds, the creator of the Linux kernel, used it fairly often. SuSE entered the UK in 1999.

In 2001, the company was forced to reduce its staff significantly in order to survive.


SUSE/Novell company building in Nürnberg

On 4 November 2003, Novell announced it would acquire SuSE Linux AG for $210 million. The acquisition was finalized in January 2004.

In a move to reach its business audience more effectively, SuSE introduced the SUSE Linux Enterprise Server in 2001, and a few months before Novell's purchase, changed the company name to "SUSE Linux". "SUSE" is now a name, not an acronym.

According to J. Philips, Novell's corporate technology strategist for the Asia Pacific region, Novell would not "in the medium term" alter the way in which SUSE was developed. At Novell's annual BrainShare conference in 2004, for the first time, all of their computers were run with SUSE Linux and it was announced that the proprietary SUSE administration program YaST2 would be released under the GPL license.

The openSUSE Project

On 4 August 2005, Novell announced that the SUSE Professional series would become more open, with the launch of the openSUSE Project community. The software always had been open source, but openSUSE opened the development process, allowing developers and users to test and develop it. Previously, all development work had been accomplished in-house by SUSE. Version 10.0 was the first version that offered public beta testing.

SUSE Linux 10.0 included both open source and proprietary applications and retail boxed-set editions. As part of the change, YaST Online Update server access became free for all SUSE Linux users, and also for the first time, the GNOME desktop was upgraded to equal status with the traditional KDE.

In November 2005, SUSE founder Hubert Mantel announced his resignation from the company. He stated that Novell's acquisition had changed SUSE beyond his expectations and that he did not believe it was the same company that he had founded 13 years earlier. The resignation apparently stemmed from a dispute over the implementation of Ximian products in the GNOME-based default desktop environment for the Linux distribution. He re-joined only a year later.

Microsoft agreement

On 3 November 2006 (renewed 25 July 2011), Novell signed an agreement with Microsoft covering improvement of SUSE's ability to interoperate with Microsoft Windows, cross-promotion/marketing of both products and patent cross-licensing. The agreement is considered controversial by some in the Free Software community.

The Attachmate Group takeover

On 22 November 2010, Novell announced that it had agreed to acquisition by The Attachmate Group for $2.2 billion. The Attachmate Group plans to operate Novell as two units with SUSE becoming a stand-alone business, and it anticipates no change to the relationship between the SUSE business and the openSUSE project as a result of this transaction.

The U.S. Department of Justice announced that in order to proceed with the first phase of their acquisition of certain patents and patent applications from Novell Inc., CPTN Holdings LLC and its owners would have to alter their original agreements to address the department's antitrust concerns. The department said that, as originally proposed, the deal would jeopardize the ability of open source software, such as Linux, to continue to innovate and compete in the development and distribution of server, desktop, and mobile operating systems as well as middleware and virtualization products.

Stipulations regarding the licensing the patents were:

The acquisition was completed on 27 April 2011. Subsequently, on 23 July 2011 The Attachmate Group launched a new website for the SUSE business.

Micro Focus merger

On 20 November 2014, the Attachmate Group merged with Micro Focus to form the Micro Focus Group. SUSE is operated as a separate business unit with a dedicated product portfolio.

EQT AB acquisition

On 2 July 2018, it was announced that Micro Focus would sell its SUSE business segment to EQT AB for $2.535 billion. The acquisition was completed on March 18, 2019.


SUSE provides a thirteen-year product life cycle for SUSE Linux Enterprise 11 & 12.

SUSE distributions
Project Version Date of issue End of General Support End of LTSS Linux kernel version
S.u.S.E. Linux (Slackware-based) 4/94 1994-03-29 ???? ???? 1.0
7/94 1994–07 ???? ???? 1.0.9
11/94 1994–11 ???? ???? 1.1.62
4/95 1995–04 ???? ???? 1.2.9
8/95 1995–08 ???? ???? 1.1.12
11/95 1995–11 ???? ???? 1.2.13
S.u.S.E. Linux (jurix-based) 4.2 1996–05 ???? ???? 2.0.0
4.3 1996–09 ???? ???? 2.0.18
4.4 1997–04 ???? ???? 2.0.24
4.4.1 1997-04-24 ???? ???? 2.0.28
5.0 1997–07 ???? ???? 2.0.30
5.1 1997–10 ???? ???? 2.0.32
5.2 1998-03-23 2000 ???? 2.0.33
5.3 1998-09-10 2000 ???? 2.0.35
SuSE Linux 6.0 1998-12-21 2000 ???? 2.0.36
6.1 1999-04-07 2001 ???? 2.2.6
6.2 1999-08-12 2001 ???? 2.2.10
6.3 1999-11-25 2001-12-10 ???? 2.2.13
6.4 2000-03-09 2002-06-17 ???? 2.2.14
7.0 2000-09-27 2002-11-04 ???? 2.2.16
7.1 2001-04-21 2003-05-16 ???? 2.2.18 / 2.4.0
7.2 2001-06-15 2003-10-01 ???? 2.2.19 / 2.4.4
7.3 2001-10-13 2003-12-15 ???? 2.4.9
8.0 2002-04-22 2004-06-30 ???? 2.4.18
8.1 2002-09-30 2005-01-31 ???? 2.4.19
8.2 2003-04-07 2005-07-14 ???? 2.4.20
SUSE Linux Enterprise 9.0 2003-10-15 2005-12-15 ???? 2.4.21 / 2.6.1
9.1 2004-04-23 2006-06-30 ???? 2.6.4
9.2 2004-10-25 2006-10-31 ???? 2.6.8
9.3 2005-04-16 2007-04-30 ???? 2.6.11
10.0 2006-07-17 2007-12-31 N/A 2.6.16
10.1 2007-06-18 2008-11-30 2010-12-01
10.2 2008-05-19 2010-04-11 2013-04-10
10.3 2009-10-12 2011-10-11 2014-10-31
10.4 2011-04-12 2013-07-31 2016-06-30
11.0 2009-03-24 2010-12-31 N/A 2.6.27
11.1 2010-06-02 2012-08-31 2015-08-30 2.6.32
11.2 2012-02-29 2014-01-31 2017-01-30 3.0.13
11.3 2013-07-01 2016-01-31 2019-01-30 3.0.76
11.4 2015-10-13 2019-03-31 2022-03-31 3.0.101
12.0 2014-10-10 2016-06-30 2019-07-01 3.12
12.1 2015-12-22 2017-05-31 2020-05-31 3.12
12.2 2016-11-08 2018-03-31 2021-03-31 4.4
12.3 2017-09-07 2019-06-30 2022-06-30 4.4
12.4 2018-12-12 2020-06-30 2023-06-30 4.12
12.5 2019-12-09 2024-10-31 2027-10-31 4.12
15.0 2018-07-16 2019-12-31 2022-12-31 4.12
15.1 2019-06-24 2021-01-31 2024-01-31 4.12
15.2 2020-07-21 2021-12-31 2024-12-31 5.3.18
15.3 2021-06-21 2022-12-31 2025-12-31 5.3.18
15.4 2022-06-08 2023-12-31 2026-12-31 5.14.21
15.5 2023-06-20 6 months after SLES 15 SP5 release TBD 5.14.21
15 Overall 2018-07-16 2028-07-31 2031-07-31 4.12
Project Version Date of issue End of General Support End of LTSS Linux kernel version
  End of Life   Long-term support and service SUSE Linux Enterprise Server
SLES version Latest SP FCS Release date General Ends LTSS Ends LTSS Core Ends
Old version, no longer maintained: first 31 October 2000 ?
Old version, no longer maintained: 7 13 October 2001 ?
Old version, no longer maintained: 8 4 1 October 2002 30 December 2007 30 December 2009
Old version, no longer maintained: 9 4 3 August 2004 31 August 2011 1 August 2014
Old version, no longer maintained: 10 4 17 June 2006 31 July 2013 30 July 2016
Older version, yet still maintained: 11 4 24 March 2009 31 March 2019 31 March 2022 31 March 2028
Older version, yet still maintained: 12 5 27 October 2014 31 October 2024 31 October 2027 1 October 2030
Current stable version: 15 6 16 July 2018 31 July 2031 31 July 2034 1 December 2037
Legend:Old versionOlder version, still maintainedLatest versionLatest preview versionFuture release

SUSE family products

SUSE Linux is available under two brands, openSUSE and SUSE Linux Enterprise. openSUSE is a free, community distribution driven by the openSUSE Project. It includes some of the latest "bleeding edge" Linux technologies and is designed for home users and enthusiasts. SUSE Linux Enterprise is Suse's tested and certified open-source solution for major enterprises.

openSUSE vs SUSE Linux Enterprise

openSUSE is a freely available, community project that releases versions on a comparatively frequent basis, and generally uses the latest versions of the various open source projects that it includes.

SUSE Linux Enterprise is SUSE's commercial edition, which SUSE releases much less frequently, enabling it to offer support more effectively for enterprise and production deployments. It is certified for a wide variety of enterprise applications and offers a number of special enterprise features including, High Availability and Point of Sale extensions. SUSE historically uses a heavily tested subset of packages from openSUSE Linux as the basis for SUSE Linux Enterprise. Starting with openSUSE 15, SUSE made its "Leap" variant directly upgradable to SUSE Linux Enterprise.

SUSE offers SUSE Linux Enterprise Server and SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop. Each focuses on packages that fit its specific purpose. For example, SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop does not include the Apache Web Server, and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server does not include Xgl/Compiz.

In contrast, openSUSE does not have separate distributions for server, desktop, and tablets. Rather, its repositories contain the needed software, and use installation patterns to accomplish the same.

openSUSE Linux

openSUSE is driven by the openSUSE Project community and sponsored by SUSE, to develop and maintain SUSE Linux components. It is the equivalent of the historic "SuSE Linux Professional". After their acquisition of SUSE Linux, Novell (now SUSE) decided to make the community central to their development process.

It has a theoretical development cycle of 8 months and a lifetime (duration of the critical updates) of 18 months from the date of release. It is fully and freely available for immediate download.

openSUSE was the ninth most popular Linux distribution in 2023 on DistroWatch.

SUSE Linux Enterprise

SUSE develops multiple products for its "enterprise" business line. These business products target corporate environments, with a higher life cycle (10 years, extendable to 13), a longer development cycle (6 to 18 months), a guarantee of stability at the potential expense of development speed, technical support, and certification by independent hardware and software vendors. SUSE Linux Enterprise products are only available for sale (updates fees).

SUSE Linux Enterprise has fewer packages than the openSUSE distribution. Most of the differences are desktop applications that are more suited to consumers than to business. The enterprise products are:

When installed using a Linux kernel, Novell Open Enterprise Server (OES) uses SUSE Linux Enterprise Server as a platform. This product is also known as OES-Linux.

SUSE Linux Enterprise was included with VMware's vSphere licensing, up until June 25, 2014, for 'free', as noted on SUSE Partners website

SUSE Studio

SUSE's SUSE Studio product was a web interface (built using Ruby on Rails) to openSUSE's KIWI and the Open Build Service tools. It allowed users to put together a custom Linux distribution graphically and to generate output including a large variety of Virtual Machine and Disk Images. SUSE Studio merged with Open Build Service and the resulting project was renamed to SUSE Studio Express in September 2017.

See also



  1. ^ SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10 Demo Archived November 8, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ Maria Saavedra (Executive Creative Director), Scott Worley (Director of Video Production). SUSE - Rosetta Stone (Marketing Video). Hewlett-Packard. (, YouTube)
  3. ^ Arthur Griffith, CompTIA Linux+ Certification (Virtual Training Company, 2004)
  4. ^ a b "Novell Completes Merger with Attachmate and Patent Sale to CPTN Holdings LLC". Retrieved 28 April 2011.
  5. ^ "Micro Focus to Buy Attachmate in $1.2 Billion Share Deal". Bloomberg L.P. 15 September 2014. Retrieved 15 September 2014.
  6. ^ a b c "View SUSE Through the Years". SUSE. Retrieved 10 February 2015.
  7. ^ "Proposed sale of the SUSE Business". Retrieved 2018-07-02.
  8. ^ a b Ian Murphy (2019-03-18). "EQT completes aquisition of SUSE from Micro Focus". Retrieved 2020-05-02.
  9. ^ a b "SuSE Rebrands Ahead of 9.0 Launch". Retrieved 2008-03-03.
  10. ^ "Archive:S.u.S.E. Linux 4.2 - openSUSE Wiki".
  11. ^ jurix Readme file
  12. ^ History of Jurix.
  13. ^ "Novell to acquire SuSE Linux". CNET news. Retrieved 2020-01-13.
  14. ^ Kennedy, D. (2003). Novell's Linux buy opens road to top. Retrieved December 20, 2003.
  15. ^ Ramesh, R. (2004). Novell: SuSE stays the same, for now. Retrieved 14 January 2004.
  16. ^ The previous YaST license allowed modification and redistribution, but not sale of the code.
  17. ^ "Why did SuSE Linux's founder resign from Novell?". 2005-11-17. Archived from the original on May 20, 2018.
  18. ^ "Suse founder returns to Novell". ZDNet.
  19. ^ "Microsoft, Novell Extend Controversial Partnership". WIRED. 2008-08-20. Retrieved 2018-06-26.
  20. ^ "Microsoft cannot declare itself exempt from the requirements of GPLv3". Free Software Foundation. 2007-08-28.
  21. ^ Novell Agrees to be Acquired by Attachmate Corporation, Novell, 22 November 2010, retrieved 2010-11-22
  22. ^ Attachmate Corporation Statement on openSUSE project, Attachmate Corporation, 22 November 2010, retrieved 2010-11-23
  23. ^ "SUSE is now part of Micro Focus | SUSE". Retrieved 2016-05-01.
  24. ^ Burton, Graham (2 July 2018). "Micro Focus to sell SUSE Linux to private equity firm for US$2.5bn". Computing. Retrieved 29 August 2018.
  25. ^ "Proposed sale of the SUSE Business". Retrieved 2018-07-02.
  26. ^ "SuSE: Version 6.3 end-of-life announcement - The Community's Center for Security". Archived from the original on 2017-02-15. Retrieved 2010-08-28.
  27. ^ Support fuer SuSE Linux 6.4 wird eingestellt Archived 2016-03-03 at the Wayback Machine
  28. ^ Supported Distributions
  29. ^ "Re Discontinued 7/7.2/7.3 - msg#00105 -". Archived from the original on 2016-03-06. Retrieved 2010-08-28.
  30. ^ Linux Today - End of Life for SuSE Linux 7.2, Mandrake Linux 8.2
  31. ^ Discontinued SuSE Linux Distributions
  32. ^ End of support for SUSE 8.0
  33. ^ Discontinued SUSE Linux Distributions: 8.1
  34. ^ Discontinued SUSE Linux Distribution: 8.2
  35. ^ SuSE Security announcements: Discontinued SUSE Linux Distribution: 9.0 Archived 2020-12-05 at the Wayback Machine
  36. ^ "Discontinued SUSE Linux Distribution: 9.1". Archived from the original on 2020-12-05. Retrieved 2020-01-13.
  37. ^ "Discontinued SUSE Linux Distribution: 9.2". Archived from the original on 2020-01-13. Retrieved 2020-01-13.
  38. ^ "SUSE Linux 9.3 security support discontinued soon". Archived from the original on 2020-12-05. Retrieved 2020-01-13.
  39. ^ "Release Notes for SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 Service Pack 4 (SP4)". Retrieved 2015-11-27.
  40. ^ a b SLES Lifecycle Dates
  41. ^ SLES Long Term Service Pack Support
  42. ^ Prakash, Abhishek (May 26, 2018). "openSUSE Leap 15 Released! See the New Features". It's FOSS. Retrieved March 21, 2020.
  43. ^ Bhartiya, Swapnil (June 27, 2017). "openSUSE Leap Is Now 99.9% Enterprise Distribution". Retrieved March 21, 2020.
  44. ^ "Drive transformation of your IT infrastructure with Enterprise Linux" (Press release). Retrieved March 21, 2020.
  45. ^ Toulas, Bill (2012-01-23). "Interview with Jos Poortvliet from SUSE". Archived from the original on 2012-05-09. Retrieved 2016-02-06.
  46. ^ "openSUSE:Factory development model - openSUSE". Retrieved 2012-10-30.
  47. ^ " Put the fun back into computing. Use Linux, BSD". Retrieved 2024-05-07.
  48. ^ "SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for VMware". Archived from the original on 2016-05-03.
  49. ^ SUSE Studio online + Open Build Service = SUSE Studio Express, September 22, 2017, retrieved 2018-06-12

General sources

External links