SUSE Manager based on Fedora Spacewalk

SUSE announced the availability of SUSE manager. Having a closer look to it, one recognizes it is based on Fedora Spacewalk. It is a clone of the Red Hat Satellite.

A few weeks ago I was puzzled to see a post on the spacewalk-devel mailing list. SUSE was contributing some code. What the heck? Now it is clear, they are using Spacewalk as there source for its own product. Spacewalk is no longer just the upstream of RHN Satellite, but also a major tool for managing SLES systems.

The open source way
It is good practice to share knowledge and code between different distributions. SUSE profits from the work Red Hat has done before, and Red Hat profits from the contributions of SUSE. IMHO this is the right way how open source software should work.

The price tag
SUSE claims “SUSE Manager allows you to save up to 50 percent for Linux support”. Really?

Lets have a look to How to buy. The price is exactly the same as for RHN Satellite: USD 13,500. Really the same price tag? Lets dig deeper on features Click on Database support. One would read

"SUSE Manager provides a built-in Oracle XE database, but can also leverage existing 
Oracle 10g or 11g databases, to locally store all data related to the 
managed Linux servers."  

Means: With the free Oracle XE database delivered with SUSE you can manage just a few systems. If you want to manage more systems, you need to buy a very expensive Oracle License which, last least, doubles the price tag of SUSE Manager.

And Debian? There are some works going on, maybe I’m going to write soon about Spacewalk and what it can do for and with Debian.

Because SUSE was not in a hurry to release its new product, I can not understand why SUSE was not helping the Spacewalk project to get PostgreSQL production ready before releasing it. This would provide its customers (and the spacewalk community) a real benefit.

I hope that SUSE will sustainably contribute code to Spacewalk, it is now in the interest of users of both distributions.

Have fun!

11 thoughts on “SUSE Manager based on Fedora Spacewalk

  1. Joachim Werner says:

    The SUSE Manager team is actively working on improving the PostgreSQL support, and of course SUSE will contribute that work back to the Spacewalk project. This is one of the highest priorities we have on our roadmap.

  2. Marcus says:

    As SUSE is targeting at Satellite Customers, I cannot really understand the pricing model.

    During migration you will need two licences and keep the Satellite going in order to sync the Red Hat Channels.

    They should have released it for free with additional commercial support.


    PS: Maybe we will buy a licence in order to get some Spacewalk bugs fixed 🙂

  3. Martin says:

    Hopefully the SUSE team will contribute to the spacewalk project – for example the code to use zypper and to sync with novell network. Worst case would be a behaviour like oracle is showing – taking without contributing.



    • Joachim Werner says:

      Martin, just look at the spacewalk-devel mailing list from time to time. You’re going to see more and more contributors with SUSE e-mail addresses on this list. 🙂

      We have already published all our sources at time of the release as a source RPM iso:

      And of course we are also working on bringing the patches upstream one by one.

      • Luc de Louw says:

        I just can copy what Joe says,

        Even more: It seems that Red Hat developers such as Jan, Justin and Miroslav are are working nicely together with SUSE developers such as Uwe and Michael.

        I think this is a Win Win Win Win Win Win situation (Six winners): Red Hat and its customers, SUSE and its customers plus the Spacewalk community and all “Enterprise Linux” Engineers and Admins.

        Thats the way open source works: Only winners 🙂



        • Martin says:

          Sounds great, thanks for the answer (and sorry for the late reponse!)
          That is the way it should work!

  4. Alber says:

    Typical Novell.
    They don’t upstream their patches , they work behind closed doors and only push code when required by GPL.This isn’t the way you work in an open source project – this is how you take from an open source project

    Looking at the article here

    The Novell guy claims they are contributing but they haven’t yet.
    Just take from the community and charge their customers.
    Interesting link in the comments of that article that seem to prove the point.

    Sad to see Novell following Oracle’s example. I don’t imagine they’ll be in business much longer

    • Luc de Louw says:

      Dear Alber,

      Sorry, thats bullshit. Do you have any proof of this?

      Have you been watching the taffic on the spacewalk-devel list? Have you got a look to the spacewalk git logs? What you are stating is simply not true, SUSE has sent patches and hopefully they will send further patches in the future. It also seems that Red Hat and SUSE engineers are working nicely together.

      At the end of the day it is great to have a tool to manage both of the major enterprise Linux distributions with one tool.

      Quoting the article you linked: “We want to help bring standardization to systems management for Linux,” Doug Jarvis, product marketing manager, Linux Enterprise at Novell told the point, but Red Hat should also start to support SLES with the Red Hat Satellite.

    • Luc de Louw says:

      Roy, please explain what the SUSE manager has in common with Novell’s deal with Microsoft.

      With the Spacewalk engagement of SUSE, I think Novell is doing the contrary of “ripping the community apart”. Anyway, I’ll soon meet some Red Hat people, I’ll ask them what they are thinking about SUSE Manager.

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