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SuSE builds server Linux for small firms

The German Linux distributor says that next month it will start selling a version of the operating system for servers that are used in small companies.

Software distributor SuSE Linux plans to release next month a new version of its Linux operating system for servers that is designed for small and midsize companies.

The Standard Server 8 product will work with 32-bit processors from Intel and Advanced Micro Devices and support up to two central processing units or clients, SuSE said Tuesday. It's based on the German company's SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 8 code, but it doesn't support 64-bit technology.

The new software lets a computer handle server tasks including hosting Web sites, routing e-mail traffic, managing print jobs, sharing files over a network and acting as a gateway connecting other computers to the Internet, SuSE said.

SuSE is the largest Linux seller in Europe and competes with Red Hat and other Linux sellers. Last month, it debuted its Linux 9.0 operating system for desktops, which includes support for AMD's 64-bit Athlon processor as well as Intel's 32-bit Pentium and Xeon chips.

It's not alone in targeting small businesses; Red Hat released a version of its software that's aimed at that market last year.

SuSE said the small business release supports Web-based remote administration and allows secure access over virtual private networks (VPNs). Data security can be ensured using access control lists, which can be modified from remote hosts as well.

Standard Server 8 will cost $449 in the United States and will be available directly from SuSE online or through resellers the first week of November. The price includes software, documentation, installation support and one year of participation in a maintenance program.

SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 8, by comparison, costs $749.