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Which Linux Should I Use?

Novell Cool Solutions: Feature
By Jason Jones

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Posted: 27 Apr 2005

Among the first questions I asked myself when I became associated with Novell was, "Why is Novell offering so many Linux products?", "What's the difference between them?", and "Which one should I use?"

After being here a while, the answers soon became quite obvious.

why should I use Novell Linux Desktop?

Novell Linux Desktop is built with business in mind. It's engineered for stability, ease of use, and has just enough packages to maximize productivity.

When I think of who would be a perfect "user" of Novell Linux Desktop, I think of the following scenarios:
  • A call center that has 50 employees working at 50 different terminals doing the same thing day in and day out.
  • A non-technical user who uses the computer for printing, office work, browsing the web, email, and maybe some occasional games.
  • A school that has a computer laboratory which houses computers used for specific tasks.
Why are these scenarios best for Novell Linux Desktop? Because Novell Linux Desktop has the following features:
  • Lots of support from Novell, so when you have problems, you've got a friend who can answer all your questions.
  • Enough programs to get most jobs done, but not so many that it creates confusion.
  • An interface most people are comfortable with, and features most people use.

why should I use SUSE Linux Enterprise Server?

When I first started playing around with SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, from as early as the installation, I noticed the focus on security. The defaults for SUSE Linux Enterprise Server are bent around security. For example, the default setting for storing passwords is LDAP, not /etc/passwd.

SUSE Linux Enterprise Server has its focus on server administration and useability, rather than providing generic workstation features.

If you are the type of person who feels that configuring a server should be as easy as clicking a mouse, then SUSE Linux Enterprise Server is ideal for you.

SUSE Linux Enterprise Server comes with the following features:
  • More support than you could hope for. Novell is absolutely committed to supporting its SUSE Linux Enterprise Server community.
  • A certified list of hardware that is 100% compatible with the product.
  • A sofware package that is bent around security and stability - even more so than most linux distributions.

why should I use SUSE Linux Professional?

SUSE Linux Professional is a product aimed at providing an early look to new technology provided for the Linux community. It contains both desktop and server packages, and can do both quite well. I guess it could be said that SUSE Linux Professional is sort of a preview of what is to come in Novell Linux Desktop and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server.

Two words that describe the perfect person who would use SUSE Linux Professional are: "Power User".

This person knows computers well and isn't interested in technical support.

SUSE Linux Professional comes with the following features:
  • Enough programs to do just about anything that is possible with computers today. The enormity of choices given would confuse most average computer users, yet delight most power users.
  • Support from Novell is limited to questions regarding installation within the first 90 days of purchase.
  • Great community support from fellow power users.
  • Cutting edge software containing programs that are new and innovative, but which lack sufficient testing for use in corporate environments.

to sum it all up...

To sum up the usage of all three products:

  • Novell Linux Desktop
    • Use this if you're an average computer user, or you have a business and are interested in using Linux as your desktop platform.
  • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server
    • Use this if you want the most secure, most supported, and most stable server Linux can provide.
  • SUSE Linux Professional
    • Use this if you consider yourself a power user and are comfortable with using cutting-edge software.

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