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A complete beginners guide to SUSE Linux – 2022 Edition

In addition to macOS and Windows, Linux is one of the most popular and in-demand operating systems worldwide. But what makes Linux stand out from the other well-known operating systems is its open-source environment. This means it can power every device you think of, from appliances and supercomputers to phones and internet servers.

Linux Tutorial Oct 24, 22 by Nisal N 10 min Read
A complete beginners guide to SUSE Linux – 2022 Edition

Linux was created in the 1990s as a free, open-source alternative to the UNIX OS. And once Linux officially became available to the world, it beat UNIX in no time. However, we are not here to talk about Linux and its greatness. Rather we are here to explore one of its popular distros, SUSE.

What is SUSE Linux, and why is it so in demand? More importantly, what is SUSE Linux used for? Keep reading to find out more!

What is SUSE Linux?

If you have ever encountered programming codes, you probably know what “distribution” means. In short, Linux has many distributions (distros), each containing a Linux Kernel and a package management system. What is package management?

In simple words, each operating system has a set of applications carrying out user tasks. For example, the SUSE Linux package manager helps users to remove, update, download, and install apps on their system.

As you understand, SUSE is one of the Linux distributions. If you haven’t heard about it, you might know Linux other distros, such as:

  • Red Hat
  • Debian
  • Ubuntu
  • Fedora
  • Arch Linux
  • Kali Linux

But here, we will only go over SUSE Linux to see why people are using it and whether it’s a good option as an operating system or not.

What is SUSE Linux history?

SUSE Linux came out 4 years after Linux’s development. So basically, it was introduced to the world as the first Linux distro in 1994. SUSE is a German-based distro that is currently divided into two main OS branches:

  • Open SUSE
  • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES)

So, what’s the difference between these two operating systems?

What is OpenSUSE?

Just as you predicted, OpenSUSE is a free and open-source OS. However, it is designed for desktops and has two versions:

  • Tumbleweed: A rolling release version of OpenSUSE
  • Leap: The long-term release version of OpenSUSE

What is SUSE Linux Enterprise Server?

Unlike openSUSE, an OS solution, SLES is an enterprise solution. It is used in business spaces, mainframes, and servers. As an enterprise solution, the OS is designed to be as stable as possible. So, it does not release updates frequently, which is why it’s not always coming with the latest features.

The first version of SUSE Linux Enterprise Server came out in 2000, and its latest version, SLES 12, came out in 2014. Each version is usually released every 2 to 3 years. However, no new updates had come out since 2017, when SLES 12 and Service Pack 3 were released.

What is SUSE Linux based on?

SUSE is a Linux-based technology. Among all other popular Linux distributions, it is similar to Red Hat. They are both enterprise distros with the same purposes, which makes the battle between them so exciting and striking.

As we mentioned before, SUSE company was initially located in Germany. However, after a while, it moved its headquarters to Luxembourg. Now, they have offices in every corner of the world, expanding even more.

What is SUSE Linux used for?

The two versions of SUSE Linux work differently, so they are used for different purposes. OpenSUSE is a desktop OS. Developers usually use it to create packages for different Linux distros such as Ubuntu, Fedora, SLES, and so on.

On the hand, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server is a tool for innovation. As the name implies, IT professionals use it at the enterprise level.

What is SUSE Linux enterprise desktop uses?

SLES works as a great tool for optimizing and managing assignments. The open-source nature of these products and the standards they were built on enables users to expand the functionality and support to the next level.

One of the unique features of SLES is scalability which helps IT professionals or other users to utilize IT services across different environments. In other words, SLES allows users to:

  • Make use of new technologies
  • Increase security
  • Maintain system reliability
  • Administer with ease
  • Interoperate
  • Increase architectural optimization
  • Set up replication clusters

And all these are possible under one operating system!

How to use cloud-based SUSE Linux?

Many cloud service providers, such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google Compute Engine, offer SUSE-based cloud alternatives. As a result, if IT professionals want to create operating system images on any of these cloud instances, they need to use SUSE Studio or other related tools to optimize their work even better.

Advantages and disadvantages of SUSE

Although knowing what SUSE Linux is used for can help you decide whether to use this OS or not, it’s not enough. As we mentioned before, SUSE is very similar to Red Hat. It also operates just like Fedora to some extent. So, why should you choose this operating system over the many others available?

That’s why you need to know SUSE's pros and cons. Also, knowing the key differences between SUSE, Fedora, and Red Hat would help you make up your mind better. So, let’s dive in.

Advantages of SUSE

  • SUSE is widely used
  • It has a user-friendly environment
  • It is accessible from all around the world
  • Its administer-friendly services make it useful for industrial purposes
  • It observes Linux standards better than other distros
  • It is more stable than most
  • It supports enterprise products
  • It has a reasonable setup time
  • It has friendly and professional customer service
  • It has high-quality documentation

Disadvantages of SUSE

What is SUSE Linux's disadvantage?

  • It doesn’t contain a virtualization platform.
  • It’s not completely free (Using SUSE support and patches requires payment, which varies depending on your service and how you use it.)
  • It doesn’t have an active community.
  • It doesn’t have frequent updates, so for some problems to fix you need to wait a long time.
  • Its official support package repositories are limited

SUSE vs Red Hat

One of SUSE's primary competitors is Red Hat. These distributions are open-source and have approximately the same software components. As a result, what makes a huge difference between them is their hardware, features, updates, and software support.

On the other hand, each of these distros targets a different audience. Red Hat (RHEL) is located in the U.S., so its main target is the U.S. market and domestic audience. But as you know, SUSE is located in Germany. So, all its efforts are toward the European market. Below, we’ll list some of RHEL and SUSE similarities and differences so that it becomes easier to understand:

Similarities

What are SUSE Linux and RHEL similarities?

  • They both support the same architectures.
  • They both work well for servers, workstations, and mainframes
  • They are both free to download and use

Differences

  • RHEL is more stable than SUSE.
  • SUSE contains software tools, such as YaST, that makes it easier to understand this OS functionality. RHEL, on the hand, is harder to work with and not suitable for beginners.
  • Red Hat has a more solid operating system compared to SUSE.
  • System breaks and downtime occur far less in RHEL than in SUSE.
  • SUSE customer support is more expensive than RHEL. (SUSE standard support is $785, and premium support is $1,460 per year. RHEL standard is $799, and the premium is $1,299 yearly.)

SUSE vs Fedora

As Red Hat is Fedora’s sponsor, they have many similar features. So, we can say the similarities and differences are somewhat the same. However, Red Hat competes with SLES, while Fedora’s main competitor is openSUSE. So, to better answer the question- of what is SUSE Linux and Fedora Linux differences – we should go over Fedora and OpenSUSE features:

  • Fedora’s default desktop is Gnome, while openSUSE uses KDE as its default desktop.
  • OpenSUSE is more conservative compared to Fedora.
  • OpenSUSE is more user-friendly than Fedora.
  • Fedora is harder to use compared to openSUSE.
  • Fedora is more stable, while openSUSE has an automated testing tool for hardware and installation.
  • Fedora is more secure as it supports IPsec and Internet Key Exchange.
  • OpenSUSE is not as good as Fedora when it comes to hardware support.

SUSE Linux download

Now that you are no longer wondering what SUSE Linux enterprise server and its pros and cons are, you can decide whether it will meet your needs or not.

If so, below, we will outline what you need to download this valuable operating system for free. Your system must have the following requirements:

  • At least 512 MB RAM
  • 64bit AMD64 or Intel* EM64T processors
  • 4 GB free space on your drive
  • 1024 x 768 resolution

If your system meets these requirements, you can use SLES DVD to install Linux OS on your computer. You’ll need to reboot your system to install and use SUSE OS properly.

Wrapping up

Each Linux distribution has its unique features. SUSE works for both enterprise and individual systems; if you want to use an open-source OS on your device, whether a computer or an appliance, SUSE can create a unique experience for you.

Nevertheless, SUSE Linux is a must for any enterprise system. SLES is a stable OS that keeps all your data safe and lets you use software apps unlimitedly. In this article, we laid out everything you need to know about what SUSE Linux is and how to use it. So, read on and decide for yourself.

author img

Nisal N

Computers has always fascinated me since I was a kid and here we are. I love travelling for 2 reasons: the first one to see a new part of the world and second (the most important one) to experience the rich culture hidden among the country and people. I'm pretty good at cooking but very poor when it comes to baking.

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