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Novell renames free Linux version OpenSuse

As expected, Novell has renamed its free version of Linux OpenSuse to avoid brand confusion. The former name, Suse Linux, was based on the OpenSuse collaborative development project, but was to too close to the Suse Linux Enterprise product naming.

"The new name...distinguishes our community distribution from our enterprise products, helping us maintain clear brands for our two main Linux constituencies," John Dragoon, chief marketing officer at Novell, said in a statement. OpenSuse is built in cooperation with outside programmers and is intended to showcase and test new features; version 10.2 is due to be released in late 2006, Novell said.

Novell programmer Andreas Jaeger announced the move more quietly in July on a mailing list posting.

"With current naming, we experienced confusion internally and externally between the project OpenSuse and the distribution created there. And especially with the new naming of our Linux business products (Suse Linux Enterprise 10), the differentiation between our business products and community/consumer product is not intuitive," Jaeger said.