SuSE enhances multimedia, security of Linux OS

Sitting atop version 2.4.4 of the Linux kernel, SuSE Linux 7.2 will be based on the KDE 2.1.2 graphical user interface (GUI) desktop. An alternative GUI -- GNOME 1.4 -- will be available as an optional install, said a statement from Nuremberg, Germany-based SuSE.

The KDE-based GUI, dubbed "Konqueror," will include multimedia enhancements in the form of plug-ins for Netscape Communications Corp.'s Communicator Web browser. The plug-ins will allow the OS to support Macromedia's Flash, RealNetworks' RealAudio and RealVideo multimedia file formats, the company said in a statement. The company claims to have improved sound support for music fans by including an MP3 player, a MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) keyboard and a multi-function editing studio.

At the core of SuSE Linux 7.2 are new security components to protect data, the company said. A personal firewall, called AMaViS (a mail virus scanner), will allow users to detect and eliminate viruses from incoming files. A new data-encryption tool will block unauthorized access to data. Access to unencrypted data will be provided only after successful authentication, the company said.

SuSE Linux 7.2 will also include the Samba 2.2 print and file server, which supports Microsoft's Distributed File System, which will allow the OS to support clients based on Windows 2000 workstation, according to the statement. The OS will also support the Kerberos 5 authentication tool, a handy feature for heterogenous networks, the company claimed.

SuSE Linux 7.2 for Intel's 32-bit platform will be available in personal and professional editions. The personal edition will sell on retail outlets for $US30 and include 60 days of technical support. The professional edition, priced at $US70, will include 90 days of technical support. Both packages will include free downloads of security updates and bug fixes.

In February, SuSE released Linux SuSE 7.1, its first operating system based on the 2.4 Linux kernel.

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