Feeds

SLED 11: a distro for businesses, not idealists

Fruit of Novell's Microsoft marriage delivers

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

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. ®

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Inside the Hekaton: SQL Server 2014's database engine deconstructed
Nadella's database sqares the circle of cheap memory vs speed
Oh no, Joe: WinPhone users already griping over 8.1 mega-update
Hang on. Which bit of Developer Preview don't you understand?
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Half of Twitter's 'active users' are SILENT STALKERS
Nearly 50% have NEVER tweeted a word
Internet-of-stuff startup dumps NoSQL for ... SQL?
NoSQL taste great at first but lacks proper nutrients, says startup cloud whiz
IRS boss on XP migration: 'Classic fix the airplane while you're flying it attempt'
Plus: Condoleezza Rice at Dropbox 'maybe she can find ... weapons of mass destruction'
Ditch the sync, paddle in the Streem: Upstart offers syncless sharing
Upload, delete and carry on sharing afterwards?
Microsoft TIER SMEAR changes app prices whether devs ask or not
Some go up, some go down, Redmond goes silent
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.