There are only a few reputable Linux distributions out there, that are built and maintained by an experienced team that has a well formed understanding of who their target market is and what that target’s needs are.
I’ve always been a fan of SuSE Linux… Its target is not the typical kid crowd that Linux seems to attract (Ubuntu?).
When Novell [SuSE Linux] initially made a deal with Microsoft, everyone was worried (or at least rightfully suspisious) that this was a poison pill designed to kill another company.
This did not happen.
Instead, the deal *worked*. Microsoft realized that 1) Linux was here to stay and 2) they might as well take advantage of that fact and stop fighting the tape.
So who do you partner up with? IBM? RedHat? I don’t think so! You don’t make deals with your enemies just like the US does not negotiate with terrorists.
Novel was a logical choice.
Now we have a Linux distribution that is certified and interoperates with Microsoft products. A distribution that is useful vs. being a play-thing to help spend your time idly.
And here is a great idea that Novel has put out: SUSE Linux Enterprise JeOS.
JeOS (pronounced “Juice”) is a minimal version of the SUSE Linux Enterprise platform. It stands for “Just Enough Operating System”. It allows you to get a base Linux distribution, add your applications to it, and have your clients, customers, etc, deploy the app+os bundle in a virtual machine.
Of course this is nothing new, but the difference here is that you have a well backed business designing, providing and maintaining a product that is targeted to a specific need. Unlike some of these other “lets just throw it at the wall and see if it sticks”‘ business models & their products.
This move by Novell is another key factor for the continuing success of the “software appliances” market.
Software appliances empower ISVs to deliver a fully configured, optimized software stack that incorporates the operating system, lower-level infrastructure products and applications in a unified, easily managed package. This emerging form factor ensures seamless interaction between the operating system and the application, and directly leverages the virtual infrastructure that customers are putting in place today.
The SUSE Appliance Program will enable ISVs to bundle their applications with customized versions of the SUSE Linux Enterprise platform and to deliver the bundle as a software appliance, which can be run natively on x86-based hardware, or as a virtual appliance, which includes a paravirtualized kernel designed to deliver optimal performance in a virtualized environment.
Virtual appliances built in the SUSE Appliance Program will run on customers’ choice of hypervisor, including Xen, VMware ESX and Microsoft Hyper-V, as both a paravirtualized and fully virtualized guest.
[I myself have a great idea about using JeOS for an upcoming product.]