The OpenSUSE project will make beta and early development versions of the software available to developers to allow organisations to test the software. The vendor will also accept contributions from outside developers.
"This allows you to download code at a much earlier stage in the development of SuSE Linux," David Patrick, Novell's vice president of Linux, told delegates.
Novell launched a website at the event where developers can download early versions of the forthcoming SuSE 10.0, which adds support for Xen virtualisation technology and Novell's AppArmor application level security.
Red Hat has been offering early access to its Linux distribution through the Fedora Project. Novell waited with launching OpenSUSE because it needed time to improve the quality of the SuSE software in a closed development environment, according to Patrick.
"We felt we needed to have a significant amount of control to get the quality that our customers needed," he said. "Now we felt that it was appropriate to open up that processes to the community."
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