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I can't be the only one surprised with the $2.5 billion acquisition?

Suse basically fell off my radar a decade ago, I thought the next announcement I was going to hear about them was going bankrupt and being sold off for parts. Guess they've been super quiet achievers and have managed to accrue an Annual Revenue of 300M that I've somehow missed behind the release/announcements of flashier distros, but here we are with news of a 2.5B acquisition - congratz to the team.

Indeed, SuSE has a long history of substantial engineering investments: https://lwn.net/Articles/613006/

Based on this expertise, the only real competitor in their business is Red Hat.

For some weird reason Suse sees a lot of use in European countries with less English influence, but I haven’t seen any exact numbers in years.

In my country (Denmark), most enterprise runs Redhat, but my personal opinion is that Suse would make more sense after the IBM purchase, especially for public sector usage.

It’s not weird, they just have a decent sales muscle in their original markets. It’s actually weird how the US media insisted ignoring it even after the Novell acquisition.

SuSE originally was a German company, so it's not surprising that it got a foothold in German-speaking countries, being able to provide support and contracts in German etc. Years ago (late 90s or so), you could even buy boxed SuSE Linux in electronics stores in Germany, next to the Windows CDs.

I bought a boxed copy of SuSE from a store (Best Buy?) in the US in the early 00’s. I believe it had a green gecko on the front of the box.

They had a different color box for each version. Suse actually would mail you multiple boxes for free at one point!

Boxed copies were sold on other countries too, I still have one in my shelf that I bought in Norway in I guess 1999 or 2000.

As an employee of IBM Denmark I'm interested in hearing what makes you think so from a danish perspective.

IBM is my first employer and while my inside impression has been great, I'm wondering what the danish view from outside is!

In my experience IBM is one of the worst companies to do business with in Denmark, if your requirements and needs end up being different from what was specified in the original contract.

That’s not what I meant though, IBM is an American company, that holds inherent problems for the European public sector. Basically I think we should bet on our own, because recent years have shown us that we may not always have a great political relationship with the US. I think it’s highly unlikely that we’ll have a bad relationship with the US, but it’s a risk assessment we need to think about when we enter into multi-million or billion dollar decade long contracts.

> recent years have shown us that we may not always have a great political relationship with the US

IBM happily helped Hitler plan the Holocaust during World War II. Not even war could stop them from making a buck, so I doubt Trump's shenanigans would.

I haven’t used SuSe since version 4 or 5 I think.. do you see it as a viable replacement for CentOS?

It is, or rather it would be, if more cloud providers etc. bothered to provide images.

Indeed, I think that RedHat & SuSe are very similar in their ideas and in their usage patterns. Both contribute quite a bit to upstream projects (there is a lot of work being done on CNCF-stuff in both places, both are RPM-based and both offer a number of different "tracks" depending on your needs). openSUSE also has been very good at keeping up with things that are in development.

On the desktop-side, I think openSUSE is actually nicer, since they officially support a myriad of DEs (notably both Gnome and KDE).

For what it's worth, I use (and have been) using openSUSE both on my work laptop and my private laptop as my daily driver, and I use openSUSE on various private projects as a server OS, though I'm using CentOS 7 at work for all our servers because some of the software we use only supports Ubuntu LTS and CentOS (because the vendor is incapable of building non-idiotic RPMs/DEBs...).

> they officially support a myriad of DEs

For years, Suse was the de-facto reference implementation of KDE, where it was the primary desktop. I believe this changed after the Novell acquisition (but it’s been so long, I might misremember), and KDE had to find other ways to get an equivalent “showcase” distro.

Novell changed it because they had also bought Ximian, who at the time was one of the bigger GNOME development companies.

Unfortunately, that legacy remains with us today, and SUSE is not very friendly to KDE for the enterprise, which I think is really a shame.

First you need to distinguish paid vs. non-paid variants.

Suse has SLES and IBM has RHEL. I am not in the position to compare them.

The non-paid variants are OpenSUSE vs. CentOS. One big difference there is the support life. CentOS 6 with an ancient 2.6.32 kernel and upstart came out 2011 and is still supported. OpenSUSE releases are supported ~ 1.5 years. There are different opinions whether upgrading from one OpenSUSE release to the next one should be done or not. I typically prefer new installations because they result in cleaner systems. But I also upgraded once an it was painless.

CentOS is RHEL, just without the branding. SLES and openSUSE share the same core packages. So you get the stable, well tested enterprise stuff.

Correct. I'd say openSUSE is more akin to Fedora in that context as both base and development distribution for SLES, much like Fedora is for RHEL (which in turn then "becomes" CentOS).

There are 2 OpenSUSE variants, LEAP and Tumbleweed. Their release model has changed maybe 3 years ago.

LEAP is exactly the same package versions as in the newest SLES I believe. I would expect them often to be a bit older package versions than Fedora, but I haven't compared recently.

Tumbleweed is a leading/bleeding edge rolling release distro. The closest equivalent is Fedora Rawhide.

Sure! They have the same goals and both have a good track record. CentOS has the market share advantage.

the SAP team at my old workplace had a bunch of SUSE merch sitting around. Suspect this might be a data point.

A couple of years ago (last time I worked with it) the SAP developer server images for consultants (iirc. it was preconfigured ISOs, it was a bit odd) ran on SUSE so there's a tight connection between the two. Since both have German origins it's not surprising.

Indeed, SAP wants you to run their products primarily on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, with RHEL being an "also ran" (despite enjoying full support from SAP).

This despite SLES' controversial and never-working-quite-right "vm.pagecache_limit_mb" kernel parameter (which they're finally ditching in SLES15, I hear).

Don't get me wrong, SLES these days is a mature, high-quality distro (I'm working with hundreds of installations running SAP products), but sometimes they do weird things, like bumping kernel version from 2.6 to 3.0 within one service pack (sometimes back in SLES10 or SLES11 days, iirc).

Linus talks about the 2.6 -> 3.0 change here: http://lkml.iu.edu/hypermail/linux/kernel/1107.2/01843.html

>As already mentioned several times, there are no special landmark features or incompatibilities related to the version number change, it's simply a way to drop an inconvenient numbering system in honor of twenty years of Linux.

All they said was that it was weird. Even with the explanation I'd still agree that it's weird.

"a bit odd" seems normal for SAP (where some value of "a bit" is "a lot")

Yes, SAP seems to be the main selling point ... "SUSE Linux Enterprise Server was the first OS for SAP HANA and SUSE continues to be a co-innovation partner for solutions such as SAP S/4HANA, SAP Cloud Platform, SAP Data Hub and many more. ... "

... and the cloud versions of these products are SuSE based as well.

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