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Novell Eyes YaST Solutions of Various Stripes

Not Just Another Setup Tool Anymore

  • April 12, 2004
  • By Jacqueline Emigh

In releasing YaST (Yet Another Setup Tool) to open source, Novell has thrown down the welcome mat to management solutions aimed at homes and small businesses as well as enterprises, according to Novell officials.

Although YaST drew lots of attention among developers at BrainShare, the Linux installation and administration tool had been released to the open source community even before last month's show, noted Chris Schlaeger, Novell's VP for R&D.

"All we've done with YaST (at BrainShare) is to change the license to GPL," Schlaeger said in an interview. "For iFolders, though, we both announced a release to open source and announced the GPL license."

Novell also plans to work with partners such as Hewlett-Packard and IBM on building a "unified management layer" around YaST, according to Markus Rex, VP and general manager for SUSE Linux.

"YaST started out in 1994 as a tool for installing a Linux OS. Yet it also has functionality for various other things. One of these things is to serve as a framwork for systems administration and management," Rex said in another interview.

"We have a chance right now to put a stake into the ground for a unified management layer, from which you can go to your choice of local system management tools."

For its own part, Novell already sells two commercial enterprise management products, Rex pointed out. "YaST is not a competitor to either ZenWorks or Red Carpet," he maintained.

However, YaST is already used by some small businesses for simple network management tasks, such as adding a user or changing a directory, according to Rex.

Upcoming solutions from the open source community might build on YaST's capabilities in the areas of remote management and local desktop management, Schlaeger suggested.

YaST is already built into all three editions of SUSE Linux: Enterprise, Professional, and Personal.

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