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Linux-based POS system ships

Mar 5, 2008 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 4 views

Novell has updated its Linux distribution for administrators wishing to manage and customize point-of-sales/service (POS) systems. SUSE Linux Enterprise Point of Service (SLEPS) supports Linux-compatible equipment such as NCR's RealPOS 80XRT terminal, and can be used in large, “multi-tier” POS environments such as major retail… chains, Novell said.

SLEPS appears to function as a Linux kernel and filesystem image server for networks of POS terminals. As a kernel server, it comes with images for a variety of supported POS hardware. As a filesystem server, it comes with images aimed at satisfying basic requirements in retail environments.

SLEPS includes tools for customizing POS images. These appear to include both native Linux development tools and JavaPOS development tools.

Updates to POS kernel and filesystem images can be handed down from a central administration server to multiple local branch servers. This feature allows for centralized management of POS device images in a “multi-tiered” architectures, Novell said.


Novell and NCR are cross-promoting their products as an integrated POS solution. The NCR RealPOS 80XRT (pictured above) is a high-end terminal based on an Intel ATX Plus motherboard. The board is based on an Intel Q965 Express chipset, and supports a 1066MHz Core2 Duo E6400 processor, an 800MHz Pentium Dual-Core E2160 processor, or an Intel Celeron 440. There's 512MB of RAM, upgradeable to 8GB. The GPU is Intel's GMA3000, which can borrow up to 256MB from the main system memory.

The RealPOS 80XRT is equipped with either an 80GB or 250GB SATA hard drive. It offers eight USB ports, two serial ports (expandable to eight), and a parallel port. The NCR system also includes a PCI and PCI Express slot, as well as CD-RW and DVD-ROM options.

In the North American market for POS (point of sales/service) terminals, Linux grew 32 percent year-over-year, according to figures released by IHL Group. The research firm reckons Linux accounted for $475 million of the $5.56 billion market, putting it third overall with an 8.5 percent market share. More details can be found here.

Stated Richard Arnold, NCR VP of retail and hospitality marketing, “Store environments have become more demanding as retailers strive to achieve consumer-centric retailing.”


SUSE Linux Enterprise Point of Service and the NCR RealPOS 80XRT are both available now, with undisclosed prices. More information on the Novell product can be found here. More information on the NCR RealPOS 80XRT is available here.

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