Sun Offers Pre-Bundled SLED 10 on Opteron Workstations
Published: April 10, 2007
by Timothy Prickett Morgan
Sun Microsystems, one of the founders of the RISC/Unix workstation market in the 1980s that went on to become a dominant player in the server market, is trying to get back to its workstation roots. And Linux is apparently a part of its workstation plans.
Last week, Sun announced that it was prebundling Novell's SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10 on its Ultra line of X64-based workstations. This is not the first time that Sun has bundled SUSE Linux on its workstations. Back in the summer of 2003, before Novell acquired commercial Linux distributor SUSE, Sun had inked a deal to distribute SUSE Linux on its X86-based servers and workstations, and the following summer, it allowed its Sun Ray thin clients to talk back to SUSE Linux and Red Hat servers as if they were Solaris. And in the summer of 2005, Sun announced a Sun Ray 170 thin client that actually ran a variant of SUSE Linux that Sun rebranded the Java Desktop System 2. (Remember that?) By the way, Java Desktop System 3 is based on Solaris 10, not SUSE Linux, and runs on Sparc and X64 iron.
Knowing this, you might be asking yourself: Why bother with installing SLED 10 on X64 workstations at all? Well, not everyone wants to cope with Solaris any more, even if it is no more expensive than Linux and is probably the best of the Unixes. And if Sun is seeing customers pull out Solaris workstations for Linux machine, or just adding incremental Linux machines, it is far better to get a slice of the Linux pie than to go hungry. So that is why Sun is bundling SLED 10 on its Ultra 20, Ultra 20 M2, and Ultra 40 M2 workstations, which are based on Opteron processors from Advanced Micro Devices. Sun has partnered with Novell to get OEM versions of the SLED 10 software, and is selling its own support services, which are backed up with Novell tech support. SLED 10 is, of course, much more appropriate in terms of features and cost for workstation customers, who have been only able to choose the server variant of SUSE Linux up until now.
Last November, Sun and Canonical, the creator of the Ubuntu variant of the Debian flavor of Linux, announced that Ubuntu Long Term Server (LTS) 6.06 was certified on the X4100 and X4200 "Galaxy" servers and the Ultra 20 and Ultra 40 workstations from Sun.
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