Enterprise Linux Log

Nov 6 2008   4:49PM GMT

Free the Penguin virtualization desktop giveaway offer extended

Don Rosenburg Profile: Dkr

Due to popular demand, Waltham, Mass.-based Novell Inc. and two Canadian firms have extended their Free the Penguin desktop virtualization giveaway program that organizers hope will promote Linux in schools. Originally scheduled to end Nov. 30, the offer has been extended to Dec. 31.

Alberta, Canada-based Userful Corp. and its systems integrator, Omni Technology Solutions Inc. of Edmonton, Canada, will continue to give any nonprofit school or university up to three Linux-based Multiplier virtualization systems apiece for free. Each Multiplier virtualization system subdivides the hard drive of a single PC, enabling up to 10 students to use an individual workspace on the same computer by simply connecting multiple keyboards and monitors to a PC.

Novell, too, will repeat its original offer to give away free SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop licenses to the first 30 respondents, matching its initial offer when the program was launched several months ago.

Each lab, which runs on any flavor of Linux, uses slightly more energy than a single PC and avoids the discharge of tons of carbon emissions into the atmosphere.

The only limitation of the Multiplier system is distance. The keyboards and monitors must be within 21 feet of the PC to avoid signal degradation over the cable.

To date, Novell and the Canadian firms are both pleased with the campaign results, which Userful says has resulted in the distribution of more than 900 licenses to 50 customers since the beginning of the special offer.

Grant Ho, Novell’s senior product marketing manager for SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES), welcomed the giveaway extension, which is a boost to SLES’ modest but growing adoption in U.S. and European school systems.

“SLES is helping schools save dramatically on costs while gaining a user-friendly desktop experience,” Ho said.

The giveaway program does not include hardware. Additional information is available on the Omni website.

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