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Tux cashes in on paint

Dec 1, 2008 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

Paint retail giant Sherwin-Williams announced it will standardize on Novell's SUSE Linux Enterprise Point of Service (SLEPS) for its multi-function desktop registers and in-store servers. More than 3,000 retail stores will install systems running the Linux distribution, which is optimized for point of sale/service (POS) operations, say the companies.

The nation's self-proclaimed “largest specialty retailer of paint, stains, coatings, wall coverings and sundry items,” Sherwin-Williams sells paint from its stores in 50 U.S. states, Canada, and Latin America. Novell channel partner Mainline Information Systems will offer implementation and consulting services to help with the transition to SLEPS, says Sherwin-Williams.

Updated earlier this year, SLEPS is designed for large networked POS environments such as major retail chains, says Novell. SLEPS can help reduce costs through centralized administration and deployment tools, small footprint images, and support for heterogeneous IT environments, claims the company.

SLEPS ships as both a kernel server, which offers images for a variety of supported POS hardware, as well as a filesystem server. The distribution offers tools for customizing POS images, including native Linux development tools and JavaPOS tools. SLEPS image updates can be distributed from a central administration server to multiple local branch servers, enabling centralized management of device images in a “multi-tiered” architectures, says Novell.

(Click for details)

Sherwin-Williams did not announce which hardware platforms would run the software. SLEPS supports a wide variety of Linux-compatible equipment, and is being cross promoted with the NCR RealPOS 80XRT (pictured at right), a high-end terminal based on an Intel ATX Plus motherboard.

The massive deployment planned by Sherwin-Williams should continue to increase the rising market share of Linux in the POS market. According to a POS study released earlier this year by IHL Grou,p Linux grew 32 percent year-over-year in POS terminal sales. The operating system's current $475 million haul of the $5.56 billion market places it third overall with an 8.5 percent market share, says the study.

Stated Tim Bartel, manager of POS Applications Development at Sherwin-Williams, “We wanted a supported Linux platform to replace our current POS operating system and evaluated several distributions before selecting SUSE Linux Enterprise. We chose Novell because of its flexible pricing model, support capabilities, and code compatibility across our relevant applications, desktops, and servers.”


Neither Sherwin-Williams or Novell announced when they expected the transition to SLEPS will occur. More information on Novell SLEPS may be found here.

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