Enterprise Linux Log

Mar 25 2008   10:56AM GMT

Linux on the desktop: Soon, but not yet



Posted by: Suzanne Wheeler
Tags:
Administration, interoperability and integration
Hardware issues
Interviews
Linux blogs and news
Linux desktops
Linux versus Windows
Open source applications
SUSE/Novell
Updates and upgrades
Windows

This blog was contributed by SearchEnterpriseLinux.com expert Sander van Vugt.

At Novell Inc.’s annual BrainShare user conference in Salt Lake City, I talked to Guy Lunardi, one of the most important guys behind Novell’s SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop (SLED). I had one pressing question for him. I showed him my new Dell XPS laptop, which has a lot of fancy stuff and runs out of factory Windows Vista (since that is the only OS that will allow me to use all the fancy stuff). So I asked him, “When will I install SUSE Linux on that?”

He responded, “Sander, if you go to a shop, buy a Vista DVD and install it on your laptop, do you think it will all work?” The answer was of course not.

When you introduce new hardware, one of the major issues is driver support. “Currently we are talking a lot with the people that develop the devices that are in these new computers to make sure that Linux drivers will be available,” Lunardi explained. “We help them wherever we can and it’s only getting better. It helps that we have some major customers like the Peugeot car manufacturer in France that demand specific functionality. They ask [for] a feature, we’ll make sure they get it and the result of all the effort will be in our new software.”

So there have been lots of developments recently. As a result, when it comes out later this year, openSUSE 11 will be as good as Windows Vista in supporting devices. “But,” Lunardi assured me, “you’ll always have to complete the installation of your operating system by downloading and installing additional drivers. That’s the case for Linux, [just] as it is the case for Windows.”

Fair enough. I’ll give it a try when openSUSE 11 comes out.


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  • Suzanne Wheeler
    The dirty little secret of computer usage is that many, and perhaps most, users don't use the "fancy stuff" referred to in the article, don't need it, don't want it, and don't want to pay for it. For those users above all, desktop Linux is completely appropriate right now. I stopped using Windows on my main desktop computer after trying out a beta copy of Vista and realizing that I would need a new computer to run Vista properly. Now it's Linux Mint or Debian or Puppy Linux for me, and Suse works great too! I'm happy as a mollusk, and guess what bliss they have!
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