SUSE's YaST to be GPL'd, SUSE 9.1 Personal Features KDE

Several sources have been reporting on the GPL'ing of YaST, SUSE's system administration and setup tool that is fairly well-integrated into KDE (and reportedly even more so in SUSE 9.1). While this suddenly makes SUSE all the more palatable to the free software community, it could also be quite interesting for KDE. YaST is potentially a starting point for a free cross-distribution, and eventually maybe even cross-platform, KDE-based administration tool.

In other good news, it has been reported by beta users that the KDE Desktop, several key KDE applications as well as a KDE'fied are featured exclusively in the SUSE 9.1 Personal normal installation as well as live CD feature. Since SUSE Personal is targeted at users who might feel bewildered by excess choice and functionality overlap, cutting the cruft significantly improves usability for that demographic. SUSE 9.1 Professional, on the other hand, will include a broader swiss-army knife choice of desktop environments and applications to satisfy experienced users.


OK. According to the posting mentioned below it looks like I was too pessimistic.

But Novell's Chris Stone just said officially that they want to combine both Desktops on the basis of one of them. So there will be a clear descission for one of them. IBM announced to use SUSE as standard Linux distribution on thier servers and HP even on servers, desktops and laptops. So this will be a really frustrating day for one of the DE's.

The posting says further "Later that day it leaked out, that Novell decided to use QT as development-environment and -library".

Maybe I'm paranoid but that's a) unofficially and b) quite vague (Why "development"?)


Using Qt doesn't necessarily imply KDE, although Qt is obviously at home with KDE so there is an implication that the desktop base will be KDE-based.

"IBM announced to use SUSE as standard Linux distribution on thier servers and HP even on servers, desktops and laptops. So this will be a really frustrating day for one of the DE's."

I don't think so. There's still a heck of a long way to go for Linux and free desktops in general.

"Maybe I'm paranoid but that's a) unofficially and b) quite vague (Why "development"?)"

I assume they use the word development because they are developing with it? Just a wild stab in the dark.

I suspect it simply means that the best of all applications will be included. KDE has some good ones, gnome has some good ones. Openoffice and Mozilla are neither.

Ximian has the software update stuff that is good. Also the exchange plugin.

I'm sure that the rest of the stuff will be argued and fought over.

Competition is good. Novell seems smart enough to not try to dictate, rather observe, contribute and listen.


heise has a really interesting article on the topic:

In der letzten Keynote der Messe fuhr Chris Stone, der eigentliche Lenker von Novell, am Mittwochmorgen schon ein anderes Kaliber auf. Stone erklärte, dass die Desktops auf der Basis eines Desktop-Vorbildes kombiniert werden sollen. Schließlich sickerte im Verlauf des Tages die Nachricht durch, dass Novell sich bei der Entwicklungsumgebung und -bibliothek für Qt entschieden hat, womit praktisch KDE das Rennen machte -- dieser Unix/Linux-Desktop baut im Unterschied zu Gnome auf Qt. Ein leitender Suse-Manager zeigte sich mit der Entscheidung zufrieden und betonte, dass Qt die besser definierten Schnittstellen und eine erhebelich größere Gemeinde von Entwicklern hinter sich habe. Die Entscheidung für KDE sei so gesehen die logische Konsequenz.

the second part roughly says "In the course of the day, news were floating in that Novell made the decision to use Qt as development environment and library, meaning that it is practically KDE that is making the race -- .... A leading Suse-Manager was very content with that decision and pointed out, that Qt had a much better defined interface and a much larger community of developers. The decision for KDE was the logical consequence of this"

Hope this help to clears things up before SuSE/Novell comments directly.

I guess we will see a lot of Mono/Qt apps by Novell then, the best of both worlds...

"So the question is, what aspects of Ximian are they going to exactly 'merge' in SUSE? And what consequences will this have on KDE and SUSE?"

None. They are breaking Ximian Desktop up.

by charles dickens (not verified)

I have a couple of friends that are very closed to Ximian and Miguel de Icaza. Miguel is trying very very hard to convince Novell that KDE is a waste of time and money. It's very real, and Miguel cannot say the opposite.

I've heard rumors that there is very much internal friction in Novell (not Ximian or Suse) over COD (choice of desktop)

by Anonymous (not verified)

I'd like to hear his arguments.

by David (not verified)

I have very close friends in the airport business, and I heard that Miguel de Icaza sacrifices the innocent children KDE developers so he can worship his satanic Gnomish gods. He has cast a spell on all of Novell, and has made them buy Suse so he can introduce C memory leaks into KDE, and take dumps in burning paper bags and leave them on the doorstop of KDe users.

Its very real, and Miguel cannot say the opposite. Swear to god, hope to die if I'm trolling.

by Jasem Mutlaq (not verified)

Well, we should all take this seriously, and should embrace for a counter strategy. Let's start by worshiping some kickass God that can beat the hell out of the Gnomish ones.

I for one, vote for Thor, The NordiK God of Thunder!

by charles dickens (not verified)

Do you have a couple of emails coming from Novell/Ximian employees?
Can you read romanic languages? (so, do you understand why I can't disclosure them w/o losing some friends? :-).

I can forward them to you. Just write your real email address (yup, didn't check "David"'s link in your message yet:).

BTW, it seems that at Ximian they are really convinced that KDE is pure crap and that Gnome is going to rule the desktop with the support of all big companies, while KDE will be just the place for free [software] volunteers.

Don't believe me? Just a clue, Miguel de Icaza had planned to go to Brazil this year, it's cancelead for the moment. He is not going to Spain in the coming months, neither.

I't no _so_ important, just don't believe on unconditional support from Novell/SUSE while Ximian/Gnome is the same [war]ship. Be skeptical.

by Thomas (not verified)

"[...] Dickens' writing style is florid and poetic, with a strong comic touch.
Much of Dickens's writing seems sentimental today[...]"

by David (not verified)

No, I'm not the David above, and please don't hand out confidential information from anyone to anyone. That's just not good. This is a matter for Suse/Novell and the relevant people, and really has little to do with KDE believe it or not.

"BTW, it seems that at Ximian they are really convinced that KDE is pure crap and that Gnome is going to rule the desktop with the support of all big companies, while KDE will be just the place for free [software] volunteers."

Well, they are probably the only people who are convinced, but we knew that already.

"I't no _so_ important, just don't believe on unconditional support from Novell/SUSE while Ximian/Gnome is the same [war]ship. Be skeptical."

I doubt whether Ximian will have much influence over Suse.

by Thomas (not verified)

well, it's going to be official the next days:
Seems, that Novell has decided to go for KDE on their "corporate desktop" - whatever that is... (Google translation)

by Anders (not verified)

Please avoid those looooooooooong URLs in here, make it a link. And btw, try that it actually works.

by A nony mous (not verified)

quote from ( (Google translation)):

"If KDE the dominating Desktop becomes, there is a faith war less"

by David (not verified)

Yer, I love Google translations :).

Maybe he should try to tell Trolltech that Qt is a waste of time and money.
I'd look forward to that discussion.

Maybe, novell doesn't want to put all their effort into a gnome based desktop, and gnome based apps, just to have redhat take all of their work and put it into the redhat environment. This sounds like a great busines move for novell. No reason to do all of redhats work for them.

by Thomas Diehl (not verified)

According to the German c't Newsticker, KDE won the race against GNOME at Novell. At least they say they will follow a single desktop paradigm and standardize on Qt. At the same time, IBM and HP confirmed that they will be using SuSE for their desktops. See (German).


Oh please. I hated comments like this when they were directed at KDE, and I hate them vice versa.

Yes Suse is doing what they think best for future strategy, and that is a matter for Suse rather than KDE, but people are making it sound as if KDE has taken over the world just as, not two months ago, people said Gnome was taking over. May I remind everyone that 90% of the world is Windows and there are still Macs out there, so the one desktop stuff is total rubbish. I now know why Microsoft rushed off into the distance in the late 80s/early 90s.

Whatever happens, people are going to have to cater for different desktops. It's that simple. Let's not drink the Koolaid people.

by Christian Loose (not verified)

I couldn't agree more!

by Bert (not verified)

Everybody knows that there is no plattform war on the side of KDE, I also use and like Gnome. But what I found ugly was the media fud against KDE/qt and the Vapor-announcements about Novell of Ximian employees. What I also don't like is lack of cooperation.

SuSe is a KDE focussed distribution, it always was. They will switch to gnome in order to please a small tecznology buyout. SuSe sells a product, miguel provides technology.

I don't care if a hacker uses Xfce, xpde, Gnome, Gnustep whatever. But for the desktop KDE is the plattform of choice as it has the maturity now.

what we will see is that Suse starts market research which products its customers for a special product want.

by anon (not verified)

The german newspaper Der Standard is throwing some caution into Heise's scoop:

From the GoogleFish of the text under the 'Ein Desktop' section:

"A Desktop as eweek reported also announced head of the company Jack Messman that the company wants the best from both worlds to unite and a common Linux Desktop platform create wants. *Remains unclear however for the time being still on basis of which Widget LIBRARY this passing is, while heise reports that it is to concern thereby geruechteweise QT*, stressed the Novell EntwicklerInnen opposite that to weaving and pool of broadcasting corporations for the time being that still no decision is to be fallen."

by David (not verified)

This is just something Jack Messman came up with earlier on. The Qt stuff came up later, although none of it is official and I wouldn't take either article as written as a lot of people may very well be spreading misinformation.

However, the article you quote seems to put a very Ximian oriented spin on things, and I wouldn't be surprised if some have been listening to the wrong people as usual. It also talks about most of the desktop talks at Brainshare being from Ximian and the, now ubiquitous, Qt license crap at the bottom.

If you look here (, there are many significant talks about Linux desktops by Suse and Novell people, a large return on investment talk being one of them. The Ximian talks tend to be made by themselves, so I just don't believe this article. The article also talks about some big thing happening in May where different groups will come together over the issue.

Until we hear something official don't believe anything, and certainly don't believe the Ximian people. In this article (, before the ink was even dry on the Suse/Novell, Nat Friedman was spouting crap about Ximian Desktop being put onto Suse 9.0 and tightly integrated with Novell software. I must have missed that one Nat. Nice prediction, and I'm sure Suse were pleased to hear someone talking about the future of their products, probably without them knowing. Stuff like this is somewhat politically naive and stupid considering that it wouldn't have pleased the Suse people at all, supposedly Ximian's new partners. Certain people cannot keep substituting hype, vapourware, blogs and general hot air for results and substance. Desktop Linux has got to start working, and fast.

Anyway, whatever happens, at the moment it probably won't make a whole lot of difference to be honest.