Novell Releases First Commercial Linux Featuring 2.6 Kernel

March 18, 2004

Higher performance and greater ease of use for both 32- and 64-bit platforms, with newest GNOME and KDE interfaces

HANNOVER, Germany (CeBIT 2004)

Novell today unveiled SUSE® LINUX 9.1 Personal and SUSE Linux 9.1 Professional, the first complete commercial Linux* products based on the 2.6 kernel, providing the only significant retail Linux products on the market. SUSE Linux 9.1 will enable customers to take full advantage of Linux on both 32- and 64-bit platforms, and it includes the latest GNOME and KDE desktop interfaces for product flexibility and user choice.

"SUSE Linux 9.1 brings the latest open source technology into a single, easy-to-use package for beginners and experienced Linux users," said Markus Rex, general manager of SUSE Linux for Novell. "Seasoned Linux users get the power of 64-bit computing and more than 2,500 software packages. Linux beginners can take advantage of 9.1's LiveCD, which requires no installation. For veterans or beginners, SUSE Linux 9.1 has it all."

SUSE Linux 9.1 Professional delivers the latest Linux technology for standard 32-bit PC processors as well as for AMD Athlon* 64 and Intel* Extended Memory 64 Technology. SUSE Linux 9.1 Personal is delivered with a "LiveCD," a self-running Linux CD that lets Linux evaluators experience SUSE Linux 9.1 on their systems without actually having to install it on their machines.

The new 2.6 Linux kernel enables the efficient distribution of hardware resources, for example guaranteeing high-quality music and video performance even as other applications are started and run simultaneously. The DMA mode also accelerates CD and DVD burning. The Advanced Linux Sound Architecture (ALSA), which is spearheaded by Novell's SUSE Linux business unit, is now an integral component of kernel 2.6. ALSA supports most common sound cards and provides diverse audio functions. Kernel 2.6 boasts an improved ACPI (Advanced Configuration and Power Interface) implementation, enabling more-efficient power management and extending battery operation time for laptops.

The Latest Desktops: GNOME 2.4.2 and KDE 3.2.1

SUSE Linux 9.1 ships with the latest versions of the two leading graphical desktop alternatives for Linux: GNOME 2.4.2. and KDE 3.2.1.

The newest GNOME desktop emphasizes usability and user comfort while delivering key new features to Linux users such as CD-burning capabilities, a universal instant messaging client (Gaim), simplified printing configuration (via CUPS) and many other configuration improvements. Specific new GNOME applications include GNOME Meeting video conferencing system, a full-featured video conferencing protocol which supports most video conferencing standards, and Evolution, the award-winning groupware suite featuring GPG support, SSL connectivity for added security and inline spell checking. In addition, significant accessibility improvements have been made. The new Gnopernicus accessibility framework facilitates desktop access by both blind and low-vision users, as well as provides tools that allow disabled users to manipulate the desktop.

The latest version of KDE, version 3.2.1, includes more than 10,000 improvements, making it the fastest, most stable KDE yet. Included among the upgrades, the new personal information manager Kontact now presents a uniform interface for e-mail, calendar, address book and notes. The instant messenger Kopete permits quick contacts through MSN*, AIM*, ICQ*, IRC, Yahoo Messenger* and Jabber*. In addition, there is integrated spell checking for Web forms and e-mail messages, and functionality of the file manager and Web browser Konqueror have been expanded. With Konqueror, Internet Explorer bookmarks can be imported, and users can quickly browse through image directories, network folders and network services, rip audio CDs, and read the contents of digital cameras and USB sticks. Kwallet serves as a central storage for passwords and access information. The music manager JuK enables the smart and intuitive management of large music archives.

Included Applications

SUSE Linux 9.1 Personal and Professional continue to contain a wide range of applications. Standard pieces includes Internet, e-mail, image, graphics, audio and video software. In addition to text processing, spreadsheet and drawing applications, the office package 1.1 offers a formula editor and an HTML editor. exports PDF files with a mouse click, supports the import and export of various XML formats, and exports presentations in flash format. SUSE Linux 9.1 is the first Linux package containing demo versions of the text processing application Textmaker and the spreadsheet application Planmaker from Softmaker. The database application Rekall and the latest version of the home banking software Moneyplex* from Matrica are also new. Professional layouts can be prepared with the desktop publishing application Scribus.

SUSE Linux Personal - Simple Migration, No Installation Needed SUSE Linux 9.1 Personal is the ideal solution for customers who want to use Linux exclusively on the desktop. The new LiveCD enables Linux newcomers to get to know and test the functions and applications of the new system without installing it on the hard disk. A complete user manual helps newcomers get acquainted with the world of Linux. The second CD can be used to install SUSE Linux Personal and the integrated firewall in a few easy steps, either as the only operating system or alongside any Windows operating system (dual boot). YaST Online Update makes sure the system is always up to date and secure.

SUSE Linux Professional - All in One

SUSE Linux 9.1 Professional is a comprehensive Linux edition designed especially for end-users who require network or server functionality or who want to use Linux as a development platform. SUSE Linux 9.1 Professional, designed for use with both 32-bit and 64-bit processors, includes five CDs and two double-sided DVDs (one for 32-bit processors, the other for 64-bit processors) containing more than 2,500 open source software packages. For users wishing to run 64-bit processors, SUSE Linux 9.1 Professional supports AMD64 and Intel Extended Memory 64 Technology.

Another new package is Samba 3, which ensures the optimum interaction of Linux and Windows* hosts in heterogeneous networks. Samba 3 now enables the integration of Linux hosts in Windows domains and access to Active Directory*. Files deleted on the client can now be restored on the server. With the single sign-on, authentication on a Samba server does not require any further changes for a Windows XP client. The consolidation of hardware is facilitated by the option to configure virtual Samba servers.

Other elements include Quanta Plus, the HTML editor and SLP support, and KDevelop 3.0 with C, C++, and Java* support, customizable layout, freely selectable editor, separate class overview for C++, automatic code completion, syntax check, and integrated debuggers. In addition, the UML modeler Umbrello facilitates object-oriented software development.

Available in Early May

SUSE Linux 9.1 will be available at and from bookstores and software suppliers on May 6. The recommended retail price of SUSE Linux 9.1 Personal (two CDs, installation guide, 30 days of installation support) is $29.95. SUSE Linux 9.1 Professional (five CDs, two double-sided DVDs, user guide and administration guide, 90 days of installation support) is $89.95. The update edition of SUSE Linux 9.1 Professional is $59.95.

About Novell
Novell, Inc. is a leading provider of information solutions that deliver secure identity management (Novell® Nsure™), Web application development (Novell exteNd™) and cross-platform networking services (Novell Nterprise™), all supported by strategic consulting and professional services (Novell NgageSM). Active in the open source community with its Ximian and SUSE Linux brands, Novell is firmly committed to open source and offers comprehensive Linux products and services for the enterprise, from the desktop to the server. Novell's vision of one Net - a world without information boundaries - helps customers realize the value of their information securely and economically. For more information, call Novell's Customer Response Center at (888) 321-4CRC (4272) or visit Press should visit

Novell is a registered trademarks; Nsure, exteNd and Nteprise are trademarks; and Ngage is a service mark of Novell, Inc. in the United States and other countries. SUSE is a registered trademark of SUSE Linux AG. * All third-party trademarks are the property of their respective owners.