The 8.1 release features the SuSE's system assistant, YaST2 (Yet another Setup Tool), an administration console aimed at the first-time Linux user. SuSE said that YaST2 allows new users to install Linux in less than 30 minutes.
Other improvements to installation include an updated hardware detection facility designed to detect USB2.0 and Firewire devices. A system profile manager "SCPM" (SuSE Configuration Profile Management) is included to help IT managers administer multiple system configurations.
Security improvements include an expanded SuSE Firewall 2, a crypto file system that protects laptop and hard disk data, and the GNU Privacy Guard (GPG encryption). The recommended retail price for SuSE Linux 8.1 Personal (which includes three CDs, user guide and 60 days of installation support) is £39.