Novell Speeds Linux Innovation with Open Build Framework and Tools

Public build service to simplify creation of Linux packages for SUSE Linux and other Linux distributions

3 April 2006

Novell today introduced an innovative Linux* build service framework that will simplify the creation of Linux packages for SUSE® Linux or any other Linux distribution and will become the development platform for future SUSE Linux distributions. When complete, the build service will allow community Linux engineers to easily create for the first time executable Linux packages from community source code that will be installable on Novell's SUSE Linux or other Linux distributions, thus hastening innovation and getting useful software into users' hands more rapidly.


A preview of the openSUSE build service is now available at Novell's community Web site, with the complete build service to be rolled out gradually throughout 2006. At LinuxWorld* Expo in Boston this week, Novell® will be demonstrating the first components of this build service in the area of the .ORG Pavilion.


Open source developers need more and better ways to streamline the routine and mechanical process of creating installable Linux packages from their own source code,” said Eric Anderson, vice president of Linux engineering at Novell. “Now community engineers will be able to go to one site and have free access to the tools and services they need to build their applications for SUSE Linux-based distributions. We plan to extend this build service into a one-stop Linux development center by supporting not just SUSE Linux-based distributions, but also other popular distributions such as Red Hat*, Debian and others.”


The openSUSE build service contains a server back-end and a client front-end. The server back-end will host sources, the build infrastructure, package download and mirroring tools, and communication infrastructures. The client front-end will include the tools and interfaces needed to organize and build packages from source code, including a command line and a Web-based interface. Many server and all client components of the openSUSE build service are open source tools with a public application programming interface so they can be easily integrated with existing build tools.


Tony Iams, vice president of System Software Research at Ideas International, Inc., said, “The development of a universal build service, capable of creating Linux packages for all Linux distributions, is a strong indicator of Novell's commitment to the open source process and of its overall confidence in their market position. Novell is implementing open source technology that will truly simplify the way Linux packages are created. Linux engineers everywhere should look closely at what Novell has done to make Linux development easy.”


Currently, the openSUSE build service is being made available to a small set of initial testers for community inspection and bug fixing. A more robust hardware infrastructure is expected to be introduced during the second quarter along with developer access to SUSE Linux core packages, allowing the creation of entirely new SUSE Linux-based distributions that are optimized for specific tasks. Full public access to the build service is expected to be available later this year, including direct access to code stored in popular online project repositories, such as SourceForge, freshmeat and others.


The openSUSE project is a Novell-sponsored community initiative that promotes the use of Linux everywhere. It has more than 20,000 registered members, including Linux engineers, graphic artists, application developers, user interface designers, technical writers and end users. Every day, more than 7,500 copies of SUSE Linux, the distribution created by the openSUSE community, are installed. For more information, visit

About Novell

Novell, Inc. (Nasdaq: NOVL) delivers Software for the Open Enterprise™. With more than 50,000 customers in 43 countries, Novell helps customers manage, simplify, secure and integrate their technology environments by leveraging best-of-breed, open standards-based software. With over 20 years of experience, more than 5,000 employees, 5,000 partners and support centers around the world, Novell helps customers gain control over their IT operating environment while reducing cost. More information about Novell can be found at

Novell and SUSE are registered trademarks, and openSUSE and Software for the Open Enterprise are trademarks of Novell, Inc. in the United States and other countries. *Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds. All other third-party trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

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