The SUSE Linux is one of the Linux distributions more solid and reliable when it comes to solutions for the corporate market and servers, but many people always asked, SUSE is paid or free? Is there more than one version? Shouldn’t free software be free? Here, you will understand all this to help you in choosing.
What is SUSE Linux? Is it free or paid?
SUSE Linux Enterprise Server is a distribution developed by the German company SUSE, which focuses on enterprise solutions, especially servers and large machines, although it can also be used on end-user computers.
However, unlike most Linux distros, SUSE Linux is not free.
The SUSE (of Software und System- Entwicklung in German) was founded in 1992 and launched the first version of the distro in 1994. In 2005 the company was acquired by Novell. Purchased by Attachmate in 2011, it decided to make SUSE an independently managed company. In 2014, Micro Focus bought Attachmate and SUSE, maintaining management, and finally by 2018 EQT would buy only SUSE for $2.5 billion.
SUSE Linux Enterprise, like Red Hat, is a distro initially geared towards businesses. However, unlike the one that only charges for enterprise support, SUSE is distributed only through paid licenses, which covers usage and support.
But isn’t Linux free software?
This is a confusion that many people make by saying that free software should be free. In fact, the fact that software is free does not necessarily mean that it has to be freely distributed. For this, the distribution and its maintainers must follow all Four Freedoms of the GNU General Public License (GNU GPL).
- Freedom to run the program for any purpose;
- Freedom to study how the program works and adapt it to your needs (access to source code);
- Freedom to redistribute copies so that you can help others;
- Freedom to perfect the program and release its modifications to the community so everyone can benefit.
Yes, the list starts with Freedom 0; Richard Stallman, founder of the GNU Project and the Free Software Foundation. Thus, as long as a distribution observes and follows all Four Freedoms, the author may retain the rights to and sell it.
Can I use SUSE Linux without paying?
Yes and no.
Although the Enterprise version is distributed through paid corporate licenses, you can download and test this version for 60 days without the need to purchase it. However, after the period you will need to open the wallet to fully use it.
Now, if you want to use SUSE resources permanently and for free, there’s one option: since 2005, Novell has been running the openSUSE Project (now linked to EQT), which involves the community in developing and maintaining a free version, too. call openSUSE, launched the same year, to end users.
Unlike SUSE Linux Enterprise, which focuses on servers, openSUSE is a desktop and end-user distribution that lends stability to the enterprise version; In addition, community commitment benefits openSUSE in the same way as other free Linux distros.