Novell officially announced the next version of its mainstream Linux offering today, SUSE Linux Professional 9.3.
SUSE Linux 9.3, which ships in April, promises a long list of the latest and greatest in open source software, including the 2.6.11 Linux Kernel, which was released a few weeks ago.
Novell said SUSE Linux 9.3 would add to the mobility support of its predecessor with support for Intel Centrino, Bluetooth devices, as well as mobile device synchronization and improved power management features. File management and transfer support for Apple's iPod are also bundled with this release.
In addition, the Xen "hypervisor" virtualization tool is part of the latest release, marking the first time in an official SUSE Linux release a virtualization product will also be included. Xen recently received development backing from IBM.
The latest version of Mono, release 1.1.4, from Novell subsidiary Ximian is part of the included development tolls, as is the Eclipse 3.0.1 toolset.
The Linphone open source VoIP application is also expected to be part of the 9.3 release. In total, according to Novell, SUSE Linux Professional 9.3 will include more than 3,000 open source packages.
Novell has also promised to include the latest desktop operating environment, including GNOME 2.10, which was released yesterday.
Because the prior version, SUSE Linux 9.2, shipped with only GNOME 2.6, the jump to 2.10 for this release is significant. SUSE Linux 9.3 will also include a pair of high profile though currently unreleased applications: OpenOffice.org 2.0 as well as KDE 3.4.
"SUSE LINUX Professional has always been popular among new Linux users and technical enthusiasts who gain access to the latest enhancements to Linux and open source with a cost effective and easy-to-use Linux operating system," said Markus Rex, vice president of SUSE Linux for Novell, in a statement.
"SUSE Linux Professional also provides corporate Linux users a preview of the technologies in Novell's future enterprise Linux and a means of growing their skills to remain competitive in today's IT market."
Novell's SUSE Linux Enterpriser Server (SLES) is on an 18-month release cycle and is not expected to release a new version until 2006. On the mainstream side, Mandrake's next version MandrakeLinux 10.2 is expected to be released by next month. Red Hat's Fedora Core Project is expected to make its next release, Fedora Core 4, in June.
Novell's SUSE Linux Professional product line keeps in step with its six-month release cycle, and follows version 9.2 from last November.
This article was originally published on internetnews.com.