Novell Inc is set to change the name of its consumer and community Linux distribution from SUSE Linux to openSUSE in an attempt to avoid confusion with the business-focused SUSE Linux Enterprise products.
The name change was announced by SUSE project manager, Andreas Jaeger, on the mailing list of the openSUSE community, which has been handling the development of SUSE Linux since August 2005.
This set-up has caused internal and external confusion, according to Jaeger, with some developers and potential users unable to differentiate between openSUSE, SUSE Linux, and SUSE Linux Enterprise.
The consumer version was previously known as SUSE Linux Professional, but that naming scheme was dropped when SUSE Linux 10 was used for both the boxed product and download version in October 2005.
Waltham, Massachusetts-based Novell announced in March that the next version of its business-focused desktop Linux distribution, due this summer, will be known as SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop, replacing the previous Novell Linux Desktop brand.
In order to clarify the situation, openSUSE will now be used as the name for both the community development project and its community/consumer product. The change will take effect from version 10.2, the second alpha test version of which is now available on the openSUSE project web site.
Both SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server are built on top of the openSUSE code base and are commercially supported by Novell.