SUSE is a German LinuxDistribution that has the same sort of importance in Europe as RedHatLinux has in the rest of the world. The latest version of SUSE includes Kernel 2.6, KDE, GNOME, and has full support for the amd64 architecture.

The official capitalization of the name (SuSE, SUSE, Suse, etc) has been changed many times.

SUSE (the company) is now owned by Novell, so expect the LinuxDistribution to either become the base of "Novell Enterprise Linux", or to gain a lot more relevance in the future as a product of its own merit, with NetWare services running on top of it. SUSE are putting a foot in the water by establishing openSUSE to be a free version of SUSE and to act like FedoraCore is to RedHatEnterpriseLinux.

Many seasoned users find SUSE pretty awful as far as distributions go. Its configuration tools interfere with manual tweaking a lot of the time, and while you can ignore them and remove all the automatisms, that certainly means no less work than setting yourself up on a less "puffy" distro. The default install doesn't include things like a Compiler, make(1), locate(1) and others that really should be available on every "real" system, though you can easily add these missing tools with a few clicks once you know about them.

It is not a bad choice as an introductory system, but most adept users seem to move on to other distributions once they're a bit more familiar with Linux. If you want a beginner friendly LinuxDistribution that might last you longer, Ubuntu is possibly a better choice. It is also one you're likely to find help with among WLUGgers -- SUSE never had much of a following in NewZealand.

SUSE is best suited for businesses rather than end users. Where flexibility and control over any one machine matters less than easy roll-out and maintenance of mass installations, it is an excellent choice. SUSE offer a popular Enterprise Linux flavour of their distribution, which is often the only option other than RedHatEnterpriseLinux that third-party software vendors will support. In these situations it is a reasonable choice.

See also