Novell will announce an “OpenSuse” project, making the source code of its Suse Linux operating system available to developers, at next week’s LinuxWorld event in San Francisco.
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The project, which will see a shift to an “open and transparent” development methodology for new versions of Suse, is part of plans to make the operating system more widely available and to broaden the base of Linux users.
Greg Mancusi-Ungaro, Novell’s marketing director for Linux and open source, said the drive to creating an open development community had come from users.
“We’re doing it to serve users and customers worldwide. Suse Linux has been one of the most popular Linux distributions, approaching its tenth release. Customers and users have asked for more ability to influence the product,” he said.
Suse Linux 10.0, which is due for a beta 1 release in late September or early October, would be the first version to benefit from the open development community, which would participate in “defect discovery and patch submission through Bugzilla," Mancusi-Ungaro said.
“The goal of the project is to drive adoption everywhere. If you’re not a tech user, it’s actually very difficult to get Linux. Our number one goal is to make the most useable Linux available everywhere,” he added.
OpenSuse would be “pitched at a broader base of users than a typical open source project”, Mancusi-Ungaro said. “We see lots of students, young people, people new to computers.”
Novell hopes this will have a knock-on effect on enterprise uptake. “Companies use what they’re familiar with. If we can make Linux more prevalent across all user communities, then I think you will see an acceleration of enterprises towards Linux,” said Mancusi-Ungaro.