Novell renames its free Linux OS 'openSUSE'

To make it easier for customers to choose among its Linux operating system offerings, Novell today said that it will call the free, open-source version of its software openSUSE to differentiate it from the company's flagship SUSE Linux Enterprise product.

In an announcement Thursday, Novell, which owns SUSE, said the openSUSE name was chosen to echo the name of the Novell-sponsored open-source Linux project, openSUSE.org.

The openSUSE operating system continues to be available for free download and is aimed at the general computing market and Linux enthusiasts, while the SUSE Linux Enterprise version is aimed at business users.

Technologies previewed in openSUSE may appear in future Novell enterprise Linux software when they're refined and fully supported, according to the company. The current version of openSUSE is 10.1, with Version 10.2 scheduled to ship late this year.

"The new name openSUSE distinguishes our community distribution from our enterprise products, helping us maintain clear brands for our two main Linux constituencies," John Dragoon, senior vice president and chief marketing officer at Novell, said in a statement.

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