Suse Linux Enterprise Desktop 11

The dream of Linux displacing Windows on the business desktop won’t die, at least if Novell has its way.

Price
£32

Suse Linux Enterprise Desktop 11, or SLED 11 to its friends, is the first enterprise product Novel has produced based on its free openSUSE 11.1 Linux distribution. In addition to the value-add of technical support that comes with paid-for licences, SLED 11 has a decent number of software additions designed to give it the edge over the free version.

Differentiators

If there's one single feature of SLED that makes it stand out from standard, unsupported Linux distros produced by the open-source community, it's Windows compatibility. Everything is focused on Microsoft interoperability, and Novell makes no assumption that SLED will be used with its sister product, Suse Linux Enterprise Server, or even in a Unix network.

Quite the reverse, in fact: the idea is you can drop it directly into existing Microsoft infrastructure. SLED bends over backwards to accommodate Microsoft in every way it can, not only in back-end compatibility, but in look and feel.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below
Advertisement - Article continues below

Interoperability

It's designed to be deployable as a general-purpose vanilla desktop platform, expressly to replace the run-of-the-mill Windows desktop the average office worker needs. SLED has full Active Directory compatibility, Exchange Server interoperability (see below for more on that), and a raft of details to ease the pain of the Windows transition for end users. For instance, it includes the Novell edition of OpenOffice.org 3.0. Unlike the standard version, Novell has licensed fonts which exactly match the standard Microsoft fonts. The result is a far less alien-looking environment and much better preservation of formatting when you open up a Word file. You also get Adobe-licensed Flash support, Microsoft Silverlight support (via the first release of Moonlight, the open-source Silverlight project) and a Java runtime out of the box, making the web just as accessible as it is through a Windows platform.

On the admin side, central management can be handled by Novell's YaST tool. The YaST interface also includes Novell's AppArmor, allowing for user-based application permissions and lockdown. It's a far easier system to use than the nightmarish SELinux tool.

Installation

There are no great surprises here. The standard 32-bit OS is a 3.6GB ISO-file download, and on installation you have the choice of GNOME or KDE desktops. There's a more restricted set of packages available than standard do-it-all distros like Fedora (no dev packages for instance), and you also need to accept a raft of EULAs, which feels odd for a Linux installation. Aside from that, the installation is at least as slick and as automated as Vista or Windows 7. Automated push of network installations can be accomplished with the AutoYaST tool.

Featured Resources

How inkjet can transform your business

Get more out of your business by investing in the right printing technology

Download now

Journey to a modern workplace with Office 365: which tools and when?

A guide to how Office 365 builds a modern workplace

Download now

Modernise and transform your sales organisation

Learn how a modernised sales process can drive your business

Download now

Your guide to managing cloud transformation risk

Realise the benefits. Mitigate the risks

Download now
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/cloud/cloud-computing/354767/google-cloud-snaps-up-multi-cloud-analytics-platform-for-26bn
cloud computing

Google Cloud snaps up multi-cloud analytics platform for $2.6bn

13 Feb 2020
Visit/mobile/28299/how-to-use-chromecast-without-wi-fi
Mobile

How to use Chromecast without Wi-Fi

5 Feb 2020
Visit/cloud/microsoft-azure/354771/microsoft-azure-is-a-testament-to-satya-nadellas-strategic-nouse
Microsoft Azure

Microsoft Azure is a testament to Satya Nadella’s strategic nouse

14 Feb 2020
Visit/operating-systems/27717/how-to-fix-a-stuck-windows-10-update
operating systems

How to fix a stuck Windows 10 update

12 Feb 2020