Today the SUSE Appliance program was launched by Novell. The interesting part for openSUSE is the launch of SUSE Studio. SUSE Studio is a web-based tool to build complete software appliances based on SUSE Linux Enterprise and also openSUSE. A software appliance is a ready-to run image that you can copy on your harddisk and start directly – or it comes packaged as a virtual image that you can boot using e.g. Xen. Normally software appliances are custom made for a specific purpose, e.g. a database server.
I just build on top of openSUSE 11.1 a git server appliance. The interface is very intuitive so that most of the time used was waiting for the image to be created – and building the images is extremely fast (the LiveDVD image took 4:21min to build, the hard disk image only 2:35mins)! The SUSE Studio folks have created a great product – congratulations!
SUSE Studio has a couple of cool ideas that I like and that come in handy for image building:
- it is fast with building images – it uses prebuild images as base and doesn’t start from scratch
- you can test the image remotely in the browser
- during a test run every change to the image is recorded and can be applied for the next build. So, you can edit e.g. /etc/hosts, add the change to the image config – and the next image you build has this change already in.
I haven’t seen many openSUSE images published that were created with SUSE Studio yet, I guess most images right now are done with kiwi directly (SUSE Studio is a very nice frontend to kiwi). I do know that Andrew Wafaa used SUSE Studio to create netbook images based on openSUSE 11.1 – and I’ve seen Studio mentioned several times on planetSUSE for openSUSE.
SUSE Studio and openSUSE
Studio offers as base distributions currently SUSE Linux Enterprise 11 and openSUSE 11.1.
It works together with the openSUSE Build Service so that you can build packages in the openSUSE Build Service, import these into SUSE Studio and then create your own appliance in Studio.
Once you have created your appliance, you can also export the kiwi configuration from Studio, import it into the Build Service and build the image in the Build Service whenever one of your packages changes so that you always have an updated image directly available.
Btw. we have written the openSUSE Trademark guidelines to make it possible for you to name the appliance afterwards an openSUSE installation – and also created branding-upstream packages some time ago (first for openSUSE 11.0) to make it easy to debrand the image.
Please share your success stories using SUSE Studio with openSUSE, I’m interested in what you’re doing.
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