Novell Announces Mono 1.2 Beta, SUSE Linux 10.1

At the Boston conference Novell said Mono 1.2 will offer support for Windows. Forms and partial support for Microsoft's .NET 2.0 framework, making it easier to port .NET client-side applications to Linux.

In addition, Novell, Waltham, Mass., announced upcoming availability of SUSE Linux 10.1 later this month and a preview of the OpenSUSE build service on

Noivell announced plans to acquire Mono developer Ximian in 2003. Version 1.0 of the open source framework was released in July of 2004.

Mono is intended to enable the development of .NET-based applications and Web services that run on Linux, Unix, Solaris and Windows. Microsoft's NET 1.1 framework has been available since 2003. The .NET 2.0 framework was included in Microsoft's Visual Studio 2005 that shipped in November.

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The enhanced Mono announced Monday at LinuxWorld will make it easier for customers and partners to port .NET client-side applications to Linux, Novell said

Support for the Windows Forms API -- the GUI portion of the .NET framework -- will also enable developers to more easily develop cross-platform desktop applications, the company added.

Optaros, a Cambridge, Mass open-source consulting firm that has used Mono, is positive about the release of Mono 1.2 in beta.

"We helped a client port an existing server-side .NET application to run on Linux using Mono. The conversion was relatively painless and needed very few code changes," said David Gynn, application infrastructure practice manager at Optaros,. "Mono now has support for Windows.Forms, which represents a significant component of the .NET framework and opens up a whole class of client-side applications built on .NET that can now be ported to run on Linux very easily. "

Mono 1.2 also offers additional platform and hardware support, virtual machine upgrades, and enhanced Java support, Novell said.

As it preps Mono 1.2 and SLED for completion in the coming months, Novell also announced an update of its SUSE Linux 10.1 for developers at The finished version will be released as a free download in late April, Novell said.

At LinuxWorld Expo, Novell also announced the developer's build of SUSE Linux 10.1, an open source desktop that will serve as the basis for SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop to be released this year. Several components of SLED were developed using Mono including the Beagle search engine and Banshee music player, Novell said.

SUSE Linux 10.1 is a full-featured desktop that integrates the Firefox, browser 2.0 office suite with support for Visual Basic macros; networking manager, e-mail and instant messaging clients, Novell-developed Beagle search engine and security software.

It also bundles Adobe Reader, RealPlayer, Macromedia Flash Player and Java as well as features that simplify Windows-to-Linux migrations.

Novell also announced a preview of the planned openSUSE build service available at with plans to offer components gradually throughout 2006. See CRN Online

The build service framework will allow Linux engineers to create executables on SUSE Linux so they can deliver code to users more speedily. The first component of the build service will be demonstrated at LinuxWorld expo this week.