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Novell Raises the Bar for the Linux Desktop


Significant enhancements to Xgl framework enable development of advanced graphics to enhance functionality for end users.

WALTHAM, Mass.—07 Feb 2006—Novell today announced it has released significant enhancements to the Xgl (X over OpenGL) graphics subsystem, which will let developers create richer graphical experiences for Linux* desktop users. Xgl is new core rendering technology for the Linux desktop that takes advantage of now widely available accelerated 3D rendering hardware. These enhancements make Linux desktops more usable, increase end-user productivity and more firmly position Linux at the forefront of client computing technology.

“The release of Xgl and the accompanying ’Compiz’ compositing/window manager puts Linux at the forefront of desktop graphics capabilities among all operating systems,” said Nat Friedman, Novell vice president of Linux desktop engineering. “Open source developers can now use their creativity to build new special effects and user interface paradigms as plug-ins to Xgl/Compiz. No other platform gives you this capability. Novell is a key contributor to the next generation of Linux platform innovation.”

Under the leadership of engineer David Reveman, Novell has sponsored the effort to develop the Xgl graphics subsystem to benefit both hardware vendors and software developers, and thus end users. Novell’s release of Compiz enables developers to easily create graphical effects plug-ins which deliver rich visual effects, including transparency and advanced animation. For the first time, open source developers have the ability to easily add industry-standard effects like transparency and window animations to the Linux desktop, supported on the broadest possible set of hardware.

Industry Support for Xgl and Compiz

Hardware and software vendors express strong support for Xgl while open source community members agree today’s enhancements clearly and positively impact the state of the art of Linux desktop graphical capabilities.

HP Vice President of Open Source & Linux Organization Christine Martino: “HP is committed to helping customers deploy cutting-edge open solutions in environments from desktops to data centers. HP is confident that usability and visual enhancements to the Linux desktop experience will fuel even more growth within this emerging market. Today’s news marks another step in HP and Novell’s long history of delivering customers the choice and confidence they need in order to integrate open solutions.”

ATI Technologies Software Engineering Division Vice President Ben Bar Haim: “ATI believes the Xgl framework is a fundamental building block for powerful new enhancements to the Linux desktop, and we are committed to supporting Novell’s efforts in making Linux a viable desktop platform.”

Mozilla Corporation CTO Brendan Eich: “Novell’s work on Xgl demonstrates the kind of focused innovation that the Linux desktop needs in order to thrive in today’s market. Users should expect to harness the full power of their modern graphics hardware in all aspects of their work and play, and Xgl is a major step towards making that a reality.”

Xgl graphics subsystem enhancements and the Compiz framework are the latest additions to the fast-growing openSUSE™ project. Sponsored by Novell, is a community-based effort that involves developers worldwide in the review, testing and development of SUSE® Linux with the goal of making it accessible to end users, not just developers. More information on Novell’s Xgl and Compiz contributions can be found at Source code is available for public download at
About Novell
Novell, Inc. (Nasdaq: NOVL) delivers Software for the Open Enterprise™. With more than 50,000 customers in 43 countries, Novell helps customers manage, simplify, secure and integrate their technology environments by leveraging best-of-breed, open standards-based software. With over 20 years of experience, more than 5,000 employees, 5,000 partners and support centers around the world, Novell helps customers gain control over their IT operating environment while reducing cost. More information about Novell can be found at

Novell and SUSE are registered trademarks, and openSUSE and Software for the Open Enterprise are trademarks of Novell, Inc. in the United States and other countries. *Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds. All other third-party trademarks are the property of their respective owners.


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