Enterprise users can now download an update of SuSE Linux's enterprise server software, which claims to offer improved hardware support and enhanced storage access.
Service Pack 3 for SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 8 includes the latest version of the kernel at the heart of its operating system software: kernel 2.4.21 is capable of managing up to 2,000 physical hard discs compared with only 600 discs in the 2.4.19 version.
The software also allows up to 27 large hard disc drives to be bundled with redundant, reliable access paths in a process known as "multipathing".
Service Pack 3 supports the latest member of IBM's thin-blade server family, the BladeCenter JS20, while providing improved support for x86 hardware, Intel's Itanium systems and mainframes.
The update is available for free to enterprise customers participating in SuSE's maintenance programme. It can be downloaded directly from the company's maintenance website.
SuSE has also started distributing a free version of its desktop operating system, SuSE Linux 9, which targets the consumer market. The commercial version of the software, which was one of the first home-user operating systems to run on Advanced Micro Devices Inc. Atholon 64 processor, has been available since late September.
The free downloadable version contains the entire operating system but lacks several other software applications, such as Macromedia Flash, which was not included because of licence restrictions.
While users can install the File Transfer Protocol version of SuSE Linux 9 from a network or hard drive, they cannot create installation CDs, nor do they receive support or documentation.
John Blau writes for IDG News Service