If your business is ready to migrate from Windows to Linux the choices of distributions can be overwhelming. But when you narrow the choices down to enterprise-ready distributions the selection grows much smaller. Of those choices SuSE Enterprise Linux Desktop 10 from Novell stands out as one of the best.


  • Supported CPUs: AMD64, Intel 64, Intel Pentium 4, 2.4GHz or higher
  • RAM: at least 512MB
  • HD: at least 2.5GB
  • Graphic resolution: 1024×768
  • Additional information

Who’s it for?

Novell’s take on the enterprise Linux desktop environment is designed for any enterprise-level deployment looking for a solid, secure, user-friendly operating system. Now, thanks to Novell, the Linux operating system is 100 percent ready for the desktop. If you have any doubts, download SLED 10 and request a trial license. My guess is that it won’t take you more than a 24 hour period of use before you realize that installing SLED is an upgrade to the operating system you are currently using. Not only is SLED 10 easy to use, it contains everything the enterprise desktop needs and more.

What problem does it solve?

For most individual Linux users the standard distribution is all you need. But for the enterprise user, distributions such as SuSE Linux Enterprise Desktop (SLED) are more applicable. The SLED distribution solves a problem that could easily doom other distributions — SLED eases the user from the Windows desktop to the Linux desktop with both ease and grace.

Standout features

  • Beagle 0.2.18
  • Evolution 2.6
  • glibc 2.4
  • GNOME 2.12
  • Java 1.4.2
  • KDE 3.5.1
  • Kernel 2.6.16
  • GroupWise gwclient 7.0.3
  • OpenOffice 2.4
  • OpenSSH 4.2pl
  • OpenSSL 0.9.8a

What’s wrong?

The installation of SLED hearkens back to old-school ways of installation. When you purchase SLED you will have (either from a boxed set or downloaded ISOs) seven CDs. As you would expect, the installation is quite lengthy. There are a lot of extra steps involved in this process.

For example, during the installation process, your system will ask if you want to connect to the Novell Customer Center to create or manage subscriptions. The Customer Center provides technical support and product updates. Another added step is the ability to authenticate with various types of setups, such as: Windows Domain, LDAP, Local, and NIS.

The installation is so lengthy it seems to me that SLED is intended to be installed once and then cloned for deployment. SuSE has even added such a process at the end of the installation. The very last step asks if you would like to Clone the installation with AutoYaST. This system allows for automated installation without user intervention. Taking advantage of AutoYaST would allow for very simple large deployments of SLED 10. Considering the length of the installation, this would be a smart tool to take advantage of.

Outside of length, the installation of SLED is certainly one of the most thorough installations I have come across. This is certainly one installation geared specifically for the enterprise user.

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Bottom line for business

If you are looking for an enterprise-ready Linux distribution that is primed for migrating users from Window to Linux, Novell SuSE Linux Enterprise Desktop is the perfect solution. But one issue you will have to prepare to over come is the installation. Creating an automated installation with AutoYaST will become a necessity if you are planning on doing any large-scale roll outs. Outside of that, you can not go wrong with SLED as your next enterprise desktop operating system.

User rating

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