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SuSE Linux joins Debian to embrace Mac

Adds 'x86 world' credibility to existing Linux-on-PowerPC projects

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SuSE is to join Debian as the second major Linux distributor to expand its horizons beyond the x86 world to the PowerPC processor in general and the Mac in particular. A "beta quality" version of SuSE 6.3 for the Mac will be unveiled tomorrow at MacWorld Expo, here in San Francisco. The finished release is set to ship in the Spring, but in the 'in-development' Linux world, most software is inherently in a kind of permanent beta test state, so SuSE's stability should be pretty good. The release will be identical to the versions of the open source OS SuSE offers for x86 and Alpha platforms, the company said today. The PowerPC version will ship with SuSE's own administration and configuration tools. Debian's version of Linux for PowerPC has been in the works for some time, though the organisation has largely kept quiet about it, awaiting for the next major release of the Intel version, 2.2, when the two releases can be consolidated, before shipping the Mac release. It's a testament to the success of Mac projects like LinuxPPC and the more commercially-oriented Yellow Dog Linux that the big names in the Linux world are viewing the Mac as a viable platform to support, particularly given the Mac's generally poor showing in Linux's traditional home, the server market, and the strong x86-orientation of most Linux users and developers. That focus on the x86 platform has largely kept Linux on the PowerPC in the shadows, despite the efforts of the platform's supporters to keep it up to date with the x86 kernel. The arrival of Debian and SuSE should help 'legitimise' Mac Linux in the eyes of the x86 world, and will hopefully ensure kernel upgrades cross to the PowerPC that bit more quickly. A basic version of Debian for PowerPC can be downloaded from the Debian Web site. SuSE will also make its 'beta' release available for download. A $49.95/Euro 46 package containing installation CD and 60 days' tech support will also ship shortly. ®

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