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OpenSUSE changes licenses

Dec 23, 2008 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

With its recent 11.1 release, OpenSUSE has changed the end-user license agreement (EULA) users must accept in order to install the distribution. The new, more Fedora-like license could increase the distribution's appeal among those wishing to redistribute the software, including engineers assembling filesystems for embedded Linux devices.

Available only in English for now (with translations in progress), and modeled on Fedora's highly successful license, the new EULA aims to raise fewer eyebrows than the old license, Community Manager Joe “Zonker” Brockmeier suggests in a detailed interview on our sister site,

The 11.1 release is also the first OpenSUSE release to use a new open build system. For device developers, the system could simplify the integration of key upstream code between official OpenSUSE releases, while also potentially offering an easier channel for SUSE-specific patch contributions.

One more potential appeal for developers — OpenSUSE features tight integration with the similarly Novell-sponsored Mono tools for open .NET development. For more about the recent Mono 2 release, see DesktopLinux's interview with Miguel de Icaza.

The Brockmeier interview address topics that include:

  • License changes and open source EULA/trademark license unification
  • Challenges of license translation
  • Novell's Go.OO branch of OpenOffice
  • Licensing of SUSE-specific configuration tools such as YAST
  • How Novell's deal with Microsoft affects open source
  • The state of KDE in OpenSUSE 11.1, and future releases
  • The results of OpenSUSE's community outreach efforts

Throughout the interview, screenshots illustrate the software being discussed. The full interview can be found here.

OpenSUSE is the community-supported foundation for Novell's commercial SUSE distributions. SUSE/OpenSUSE was used in products and projects by about 2.6 percent of LinuxDevices readers over the last two years, according to our most recent annual survey results. It has long been supported by rPath tools for creating custom appliance distributions, was used recent in the MSI Wind, and was recently adopted by Wyse for thin clients.

This article was originally published on and has been donated to the open source community by QuinStreet Inc. Please visit for up-to-date news and articles about Linux and open source.

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