Moving Forward, Looking Back: SUSE Linux in 1997


As the weekend draws near, and the openSUSE team basks in the success of its 12.3 release, I thought it would be fun to share a little of where openSUSE and SUSE Enterprise Linux came from.

A few weeks ago, German developer and IT administrator Christian Stankowic was kind enough to share his discovery of some old installation media from S.u.s.e. 5.0 on Twitter.


He wanted to try and get it running on a virtual machine, which he did… but initially in console mode.

We asked if he could get it running on X, and sure enough, last week, on openSUSE 12.3 release day, he posted his own blog entry on his successful installation of the SUSE Linux of 1997.


It wasn’t easy, it seems. Eventually it took VMWare Workstation running in Workstation 4 legacy mode to get a functioning S.u.s.e. 5.0 running X. This was well before the days of GNOME (and KDE was only eight months old), so Stankowic selected FVWM as one of his window manager choice, as you can see in the image at right.

For more info and a fun glimpse into SUSE’s history, check out Stankowic’s entire entry (auf Deutsch).

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