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Open Source Community Embracing Novell's openSUSE project

Growing community of contributors, soaring numbers of new registered SUSE Linux installations and contributions demonstrate strong interest and support

BARCELONA (BrainShare® 2005)
September 12, 2005

openSUSE.org, an open source Linux* project sponsored by Novell and launched in early August, is off to a strong start, generating extensive interest and support from both the development community and end users. Within the first few weeks, registered installations of the SUSETM Linux distribution have soared to morethan 5,000 per day, with a copy downloaded every 18 seconds. Already, there are more than 4,500 registered members at openSUSE.org, representing a broad cross section of the technology community, including students, IT professionals from major corporations, open source developers and long-time Linux enthusiasts. As a result, the openSUSE project has developed significant momentum toward achieving its goals of increased global adoption of Linux and development of the world's most usable Linux.

“Novell is absolutely right to focus on growing the user base for Linux beyond the established technical community, ” said Gary Barnett, research director at OVUM. “The investment that Novell is making in its work on usability is proof that it understands that there's still work to do in helping Linux cross the divide between the technically savvy and those users who just want to use software to make them more productive. This, combined with the impressive early participation numbers at openSUSE.org, demonstrates that Novell is committed to making Linux more accessible and relevant to non-technical users and technical users alike.”

Through the openSUSE project, the community of Linux developers, designers, writers and users can leverage the existing SUSE Linux 9.3 distribution and participate in the creation of the next version of the distribution, SUSE Linux 10.0. To facilitate public review, the openSUSE project team has already made five beta or pre-release builds of SUSE Linux 10.0 available to the public in the last month. These builds have been downloaded and installed more than 12,000 times. Community members have already reported more than 500 bugs to the openSUSE project, which immediately helped to improve the total quality of SUSE Linux 10.0.

The community is also directly contributing to the openSUSE.org wiki, creating more than 100 additional Web pages and almost doubling the site's content since its launch. Increasingly, questions are being asked and answered by this community, fostering a dialogue that will help improve the quality of both the project and the distribution.

The openSUSE project is fast becoming an international effort. The project has already received numerous user requests to translate some or all of the online content into local languages. With the Novell-sponsored launch of a full-featured openSUSE site for China, openSUSE.org.cn, in mid August, the fast growing Chinese open source community is directly participating in the creation of a global Linux distribution for the first time.

“The community's initial response to openSUSE.org has been tremendous, but this is only the beginning,” said David Patrick, vice president and general manager, Linux, Open Source Platforms and Services at Novell. “Our goal is to help users succeed with a stabilized Linux distribution that they can use for their everyday computing needs.”

For more information on the openSUSE project, please visit: www.opensuse.org

About Novell

Novell, Inc. (Nasdaq: NOVL) delivers software for the open enterprise. With more than 50,000 customers in 43 countries, Novell helps customers manage, simplify, secure and integrate their technology environments by leveraging best-of-breed, open standards-based software. With over 20 years of experience, Novell's 6,000 employees, 5,000 partners and support centers around the world help customers gain control over their IT operating environment while reducing cost. More information about Novell can be found at http://www.novell.com.

Novell is a registered trademark; BrainShare is a registered servicemark; and SUSE is a trademark of Novell, Inc. in the United States and other countries. *Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds. All other third-party trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

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Susan Morton
Novell
Telephone: (781) 464-8239
Email: smorton@novell.com

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