The two companies will work together on developing the SuSE Linux Enterprise Server OS for IBM's eServer series, SuSE said. The German company's OS software for enterprise servers is available for IBM's iSeries, pSeries, xSeries, and zSeries machines.
IBM cooperates with several Linux distributors besides SuSE, including Caldera Systems, Red Hat, Turbolinux, and various regional vendors.
The systems giant has made no secret of its enthusiasm about Linux, especially in the server market, and last year allocated $1bn (£710m) to developing Linux-based support services and technology. In a keynote speech on 30 January, William Zeitler, senior vice-president of the IBM's server group, saluted the open-source movement, saying it spells the end of proprietary systems' domination of the IT market.