Gifts from Novell

I am always glad when my latest Novell Connection magazine arrives in the mail, but I was particularly pleased to find that Novell had included an evaluation copy of their latest SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 9. It came on four discs, and I couldn’t wait to give it a shot when I got to work the next day. SUSE was an early favorite of mine years ago, before I became fed up with rpm-based distros altogether. I haven’t touched it since SUSE 6.0, but I was excited about this one because of the Novell connection. I have been a long-time fan of Netware, and believe that Novell’s directory services, NDS/eDirectory, are their greatest asset. Microsoft’s Active Directory continues to disappoint in comparison to the NDS that I grew to love years ago on Netware 4.11! Today, Netware 6.5 is available today with all of Netware’s services, but they are quickly migrating these services to Linux. This is why I was excited to get this copy of SUSE. I was hoping to install it to find NDS/eDirectory, ZENworks, and Groupwise. I didn’t find these things, but I was impressed, nonetheless.

The complete installation was incredibly polished, as many modern commercial Linux distros are. The thing I was most impressed with about the install was the option to resize existing partitions. It allowed me to resize an existing NTFS partition on the disk. When it booted, I was greeted by a KDE 3.2.1 environment. Perhaps the greatest part of the distro came next, when I discovered YaST2. YaST had administration modules for many common network services, and some that aren’t so common.

I have been very impressed and I’m looking forward to installing eDirectory to make it a more complete Novell box.