November 9, 2005 12:06 PM PST

Suse co-founder leaves Novell

Suse co-founder and kernel team member Hubert Mantel has resigned from Novell, the server software company that acquired the German Linux company in 2004.

Mantel announced the move on a Suse Linux mailing list Tuesday, and Novell confirmed the move Wednesday.

"I just decided to leave Suse/Novell. This is not (any) longer the company I founded 13 years ago," Mantel said in the e-mail. "I have been the maintainer of the Suse kernel for more than a decade now. I'm very confident the Novell management will find a competent successor very quickly."

The move won't affect Novell, spokesman Bruce Lowry said. "He was one of a large number of people on the kernel team. It doesn't impact our strategy or our ability to execute on it," he said.

Novell acquired Suse Linux in 2003 for $210 million and has been under pressure to build its open-source business faster. Novell last week announced a plan to elevate its Linux products, lay off 600 employees and divest its Celerant consulting group.

Despite its troubles, Suse Linux is the top alternative to Red Hat and remains a major factor in the Linux market. It's certified globally to work with major server and software products, something others haven't achieved. But Red Hat Enterprise Linux remains much more popular, and Red Hat is much more profitable.

The cuts at Novell last week were significant, but there was "virtually no impact" to the Linux development team, Ron Hovsepian, Novell's president and anticipated chief executive officer, said in an interview last week.

One significant change in Novell's Linux strategy, reported earlier by eWeek, is the decision to make the GNOME software the default user interface for its Linux products. That's a sharp change for Suse, which long preferred the rival KDE project as its default. That preference was complicated by the fact that another Linux company Novell acquired in 2003, Ximan, specialized in GNOME.

Another person no longer working for Novell is Chris Schlaeger, vice president of research and development at Suse Linux, sources familiar with the situation said. Schlaeger had been a longtime KDE contributor. Novell declined to comment on Schlaeger's status.

7 comments

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The rats are leaving the sinking ship
How many companies are still using Netware?They've got Microsoft, Sun, Red Hat and a few others desperate to eat their lunch.
Let's see what happens to the Mono project

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://otherthingsnow.blogspot.com/" target="_newWindow">http://otherthingsnow.blogspot.com/</a>
Posted by SqlserverCode (165 comments )
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Ximian is destroying Novell and SuSE
It is becoming increasingly clear that the Ximian people have grabbed the reins and are steering Novell into oblivion. Suse was a successful Linux leader. Now that the former Ximian people are in control, they are dismantling it. Ximian failed to generate any real revenue, but they are still trying the same strategy with Novell. It's failing again. Novell will be out of business soon if they continue to let these fools have any say in their business operations.
Posted by josprey (1 comment )
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I hope this doesn't hurt SuSe
SuSE is a top notch distro, and it would suck if something bad happened to it. It is a distro that any old timer can dig his teeth into and one a total computer novice can cut his teeth on.
Posted by Bill Dautrive (1179 comments )
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Suse must make major changes
Redhat is making money because their OS is easier to install, easier to use and easier to update compared to Suse.

Suse installer is slower than a pig. It usually takes twice as long to install Suse.

Their kernel implementation is a piece of crap. Linux novices have no F* idea how to update the kernels or compile driver sources. It is a piece of crap.

I cam go on but I hope Suse people listen and fix Suse. It can be much better if Suse listens to people like me who would like to support Suse but I won't support Suse until they fix their problems.
Posted by dean2354 (3 comments )
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You ned a fix too....
I must be a real novice writing this crap, ever tried to use the setup that came with the SuSE distribution ?.

First of all you don't hav to do any thing other than answer ordinary setup questinons. Second you don't need to do any kernel update or compile drivers - Yast will do i all for you, either while installing or with Yast online update any time you like when the OS is running - everything for free, and without any deficult registration and extra configuration as with Redhat.

Further more SuSE is one of the best Linux distributions I know when it comes to support of hardware, and especially wireless and wpa is working right out off the box - last i gave Redhat a go, there was even not any clue of these things.

So hopfully SuSE continues this good work, even despite the real brains is leaving. And hopfully Novell won't destroy the nice work the founders have done to make it a real linux alternative to the properitary one(s) - which include keeping a fully supported, and default KDE desktop.
Posted by ackursus (2 comments )
Link Flag
You ned a fix too....
It must be a real novice writing this crap, ever tried to use the setup that came with the SuSE distribution instead ?.

First of all you don't have to do any thing other than answer ordinary setup questinons. Second you don't need to do any kernel update or compile drivers - Yast will do it all for you, either while installing or with Yast online update any time you like when the OS is up and running - everything is for free, and without any deficult registration and extra configuration as with Redhat.

Further more SuSE is one of the best Linux distributions I know when it comes to support of hardware, and especially wireless and wpa is working right out off the box - last i gave Redhat a go, there was even not any clue of these things.

So hopfully SuSE continues this good work, even despite that the real brains is leaving. And hopfully Novell won't destroy the nice work the founders have done until now, to make SuSE a real linux alternative to the properitary one(s) - this including keeping a fully supported, and default KDE desktop.
Posted by ackursus (2 comments )
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Bad news for SuSe users
No one knows exactly what drives a co-founder to leave his baby behind and move elsewhere but I can tell you out of personal experiance that this is not an easy move! One wonders what the motive was for Novell to takeover Suse.

Being a SuSe-Linux user myself, this does make one a little worried. What will the future of our distro be? It used to be known for being an easy-to-use and stable disto, but where is it going?
Maybe it's time to change to the mainstream and join the red-hat users group...
Posted by heart4uganda.org (6 comments )
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