Feeds

SLED 11: a distro for businesses, not idealists

Fruit of Novell's Microsoft marriage delivers

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Mobile application security vulnerability report

Once the installation is finished you'll be greeted by a very Windows-like arrangement of Gnome, with the main panel, and even start button, down at the bottom of the window. As with openSUSE 11, the focus is on making the Gnome environment match the Windows experience. The results will be familiar enough for Windows users to pick up on, but shouldn't leave Linux fans feeling lost.

The one place we found SLED's setup to be a bit confusing was the system admin tools. There are no less than three panels you'll need to dig through to make any customizations to your system - the Control Center, Application Browser and the YaST2 setup panel. Those unfamiliar with SLED's setup will have a hard time figuring out which options are in which panel.

The rest of our experience with SLED matched that of other Linux distros but with slight Novell tweaks - apps like OpenOffice 3.0 and the Evolution Mail client have been customized to work better with Microsoft tools like the Open Office XML (OOXML) format for OpenOffice, and Exchange Servers in Evolution.

Again, you could do the tweaking and adding yourself, but the idea is that Novell saves you the trouble. For the home user that isn't much trouble to save; for a business administrator with 1,500 workstations to keep track of, well, you can see the selling point.

SLED Open Office

Document-level interoperability in SLED 11

And for the most part the "interoperability" that Novell likes to boast about, did indeed work. We were able to connect to an Exchange Server and retrieve mail without any issues. Opening, saving and working with OOXML files also presented no real problems, though in one case when we moved the documents back to Microsoft Office 2007 there were some mangled characters and other formatting flaws.

Performance-wise SLED is on par with other distros using the 2.6.27 Linux kernel and Gnome 2.24. You'll miss out on some of the newer features in Gnome 2.26, but you can always upgrade yourself. On the KDE side it's disappointing to see the rather lackluster 4.1 version is the default, especially given that 4.2 is a huge stability improvement.

The bottom line? We definitely do not recommend SLED for the casual home user or the free-software purists.

For the enterprise, though, SLED 11 is a worthy desktop distro, which has the extras that might finally give those businesses still sitting on the fence what it takes to pick Linux rather than Windows for their PCs. ®

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
KDE releases ice-cream coloured Plasma 5 just in time for summer
Melty but refreshing - popular rival to Mint's Cinnamon's still a work in progress
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
Put down that Oracle database patch: It could cost $23,000 per CPU
On-by-default INMEMORY tech a boon for developers ... as long as they can afford it
Another day, another Firefox: Version 31 is upon us ALREADY
Web devs, Mozilla really wants you to like this one
Google shows off new Chrome OS look
Athena springs full-grown from Chromium project's head
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.