SUSE Linux today announced the availability October 24 of its newest consumer product - bringing to the consumer the latest advances in Linux technology.
SUSE Linux 9.0 -- the first home user operating system platform to leverage AMD's Athlon 64 processor -- enables easier Windows migration by supporting NTFS file systems and also gives experienced users a sneak peek at the enhanced capabilities of the 2.6 Linux kernel - with many of those capabilities back-ported into the 2.4 default kernel as well. SUSE's latest release provides additional administration and tuning features as well as an expanded slate of software packages.
"SUSE Linux 9.0 brings together the past, present and future of Linux," said Holger Dyroff, general manager, Americas, SUSE Linux. "Building on the Linux heritage of stability, security and flexibility, SUSE Linux 9.0 brings advanced features and easy migration - providing users a path from costly proprietary systems."
Support for 32- and 64-bit environments
With release 9.0, SUSE Linux provides both a version for 32-bit operating environments and a product for the recently released AMD Athlon 64 processor, enabling workstation users performance enhancements available only through the 64-bit architecture.
"We believe that 64-bit applications will rapidly become the standard, and that's why we had an operating system for the AMD Athlon 64 processor available at the time of its introduction," said Juergen Geck, chief technology officer, SUSE Linux. "Providing customers 64-bit offerings since 1999, SUSE long ago innovated the 64-bit Linux market, and proved the viability of Linux for high-performance computing. With SUSE Linux 9.0 for AMD64, customers can run their 32-bit programs until they are ready to take full advantage of 64-bit architectures."
Ease of Migration
Enhanced support for the NTFS file system used by Microsoft Windows enables users to more easily repartition the hard disk space - giving them the opportunity to take advantage of the stability and security of Linux, while maintaining the ability to access the Windows client when/if needed.
First look at the 2.6 Kernel
SUSE Linux 9.0 is based on a SUSE optimized Linux kernel 2.4.21, that enables users to benefit now from many of 2.6 kernel enhancements -- including improved scheduling, advanced Linux sound architecture and greater support for power management.
For test purposes, 9.0 also contains a test version of the 2.6 kernel -- for technically skilled users.
Easy Internet access, upgraded applications
SUSE Linux 9.0 supports a large number of WinModems, frequently provided with inexpensive laptops. With the new desktop, DSL connections, just like ISDN cards and modems, are now auto-detected during installation -- configuring full Internet access with just a few mouse clicks.
Included with SUSE Linux 9.0 are the latest versions of KDE 3.1.4 and OpenOffice.org 1.1. Also, the KDE instant messenger "Kopete" now supports all common services such as AOL, MSN, IRC, ICQ, and Yahoo Messenger.
OpenOffice.org, which includes central office applications for text processing, spreadsheets, presentations, drawings, formulas, and HTML editing, has been substantially improved. New features in version 1.1 include the export of PDF files with a mouse click, the import and export of all kinds of XML formats, and the export of presentation in flash format. A macro recorder enables the use of command sequences by means of a shortcut, e.g. for formatting texts and tables. Complex high-end layouts can be done with the Desktop Publishing program Scribus 1.0.
The improved graphical user interface of "k3b", the Linux-based burning application, facilitates easy DVD creation as well as CD burning. Optimized allocation of the hardware resources in the Linux kernel ensures professional sound and video performance - even if other tasks are performed concurrently.
SUSE Linux 9.0 delivers an extensive collection of audio software -- ranging from hard disk recording to virtual analog synthesis -- meeting the needs of professional DJs as well as musicians who want to prepare musical scores and listen to the result. The new drum computer "Hydrogen" furnishes every music production with the needed groove.
Simplified Tools, Advanced Tools
The SUSE Linux application menu has been greatly simplified using vfolder (virtual folder) technology. With only two levels, the most important preinstalled applications can be accessed comfortably.
During installation, users have a new option to install 50 Linux tools for advanced users, including the editor "emacs", the e-mail programs "mutt" and "pine", and the alternative graphical interfaces "WindowMaker" and "Blackbox". Another new feature is the "SUSE System Doctor", a rescue system for restoring the system following the unintentional destruction or deletion of system-critical files.
Server Services for All
SUSE's system assistant YaST (Yet another Setup Tool) offers a number of useful and practical upgrades. A new YaST module and Samba 2.2.8a enables even inexperienced Linux users to network Linux and Windows systems in no time. DNS, DHCP, and web servers for the home network can easily be configured by means of graphical dialogs. The new XNTP module allows the host to be synchronized with an atomic clock time server. Apart from the widespread Internet protocol IPv4, the next generation IPv6 is also supported.
SUSE Linux 9.0 now includes User Mode Linux (UML). This systems enables users to host one or more complete Linux instances simultaneously. Experienced users can perform tasks like kernel debugging, virtual hosting, and security environments in SUSE Linux without endangering their running system.
An Answer to Every Question
The printed documentation has been expanded to 1,050 pages. The "User Guide" provides detailed information on KDE programs such as the scanning application "Kooka", the appointment and task organizer "Korganizer", and the encryption of e-mail messages with "GNU Privacy Guard". New: a chapter for the GNOME desktop, the browser "Mozilla", and the data synchronization of Palm PDAs. The "Administration Guide" features new chapters covering the LDAP directory service, the Apache web server, and an updated chapter on Samba.
Availability and Pricing
SUSE Linux 9.0 will be available at the SUSE online shop and software retailers from October 24. The recommended retail price for SUSE Linux 9.0 Personal (3 CDs, User Guide, 60 days of installation support) is $39.95. The price for SUSE Linux 9.0 Professional (5 CDs, 1 double DVD, User Guide and Administration Guide, 90 days of installation support) is $79.95. SUSE Linux 9.0 Professional for AMD64 is $119.95.
For more information, go to an interview with Chris Schläger, Director of Distribution Development, SUSE Linux, and see what is new in SUSE Linux 9.0.
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