Novell Enhances Linux Development with New Open Source Services

With openSUSE Build Service, developers now have an open source tool to build software packages and customized versions of multiple Linux distributions

24 January 2007

Novell today announced the open source availability of the openSUSE™ Build Service, an innovative framework that provides an infrastructure for software developers to easily create and compile packages for multiple Linux* distributions. Novell also announced the immediate availability of KIWI, a system imaging tool to create live media, including Xen* virtual images. As a result, open source developers can more quickly build a Linux distribution that meets their particular use case, rigorously test it to ensure product quality, and easily package it for quick installation.

“The openSUSE Build Service is now completely open source, giving developers and users free and full access to build their choice of Linux packages, whether based on openSUSE, SUSE® Linux Enterprise, Fedora, Debian, Ubuntu or other projects,” said Holger Dyroff, vice president of outbound product management for SUSE Linux Enterprise at Novell. “This proves Novell's continuous commitment to the open source community. The openSUSE Build Service is the unique distribution development platform for the creation of Linux packages for multiple distributions and broad user audiences.”

With the openSUSE Build Service, open source developers can maintain and build packages at a single location for multiple Linux distributions. From this repository, developers can create complete system images using KIWI.

Developers can use the user-friendly, automated process in the openSUSE Build Service to build open source packages and resolve dependencies with other packages. The build service is completely free, offering packages for a variety of Linux distributions, including the community. Users can easily find and download the latest open source packages for their distributions, including upgrades for older packages. Direct access to code stored in popular source repositories such as Novell® Forge and SourceForge is also possible. The source and documentation for the build service tools are hosted on within the openSUSE project.

The openSUSE Build Service contains a server back-end and a client front-end. The server back-end hosts sources, the build infrastructure, package download and mirroring tools, and communication infrastructures. The client front-end includes the tools and interfaces needed to organize and build packages from source code, including a command line and a Web-based interface.

An essential part of the openSUSE project, the openSUSE Build Service is available at Novell's community Web site. With more than 35,000 registered members, the openSUSE project is a Novell-sponsored community initiative that promotes the use of Linux everywhere. The openSUSE project is the base Linux distribution from which Novell compiles and builds its SUSE Linux Enterprise platform. OpenSUSE has more than 6,000 open source packages on its Web site, from which Novell selects approximately 2,000 for hardening and testing for inclusion in SUSE Linux Enterprise.

The openSUSE Build Service and the KIWI imaging tool are available for immediate download. Both tools will get further enhancements as open source projects, which are open to contribution. For more information, visit

About Novell

Novell, Inc. (Nasdaq: NOVL) delivers infrastructure software for the Open Enterprise. We are a leader in enterprise-wide operating systems based on Linux and open source and the security and systems management services required to operate mixed IT environments. We help our customers minimize cost, complexity and risk, allowing them to focus on innovation and growth. For more information, visit

Novell and SUSE are registered trademarks, and openSUSE is a trademark 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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