Compare Red Hat Linux (RHEL) vs. SUSE Linux Enterprise

Red Hat Linux (RHEL) is ranked 3rd in Operating Systems (OS) for Business with 3 reviews while SUSE Linux Enterprise is ranked 4th in Operating Systems (OS) for Business with 2 reviews. Red Hat Linux (RHEL) is rated 8.6, while SUSE Linux Enterprise is rated 8.0. The top reviewer of Red Hat Linux (RHEL) writes "GUI for network adapters, and built-in tools such as Mozilla browser, are key for us". On the other hand, the top reviewer of SUSE Linux Enterprise writes "Out-of-the-box SLES supported all of our HBAs and hardware specific components. I have not been overly impressed with their technical support". Red Hat Linux (RHEL) is most compared with SUSE Linux Enterprise, Oracle Linux and Windows Server, whereas SUSE Linux Enterprise is most compared with Red Hat Linux (RHEL), CentOS and openSUSE Leap. See our Red Hat Linux (RHEL) vs. SUSE Linux Enterprise report.
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Most Helpful Review
Find out what your peers are saying about Red Hat Linux (RHEL) vs. SUSE Linux Enterprise and other solutions. Updated: January 2020.
398,259 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Quotes From Members

We asked business professionals to review the solutions they use. Here are some excerpts of what they said:

Open architecture allows for accelerated growth while secure repositories guarantee stability.The GUI for network adapters and built-in tools provided by RHEL, such as the Mozilla browser, have been valuable. Since they come built-in, it saves the time of having to install them, and you have everything necessary with the installation itself.Until now, RHEL has been the most stable OS I have ever seen. Nothing seems to break, with frequent updates. I have been running it 24/7 for the past 18 months and it runs flawlessly.Enterprise support is available for our customers.

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Out-of-the-box SLES supported all of our HBAs and hardware specific components.It also was very easy to setup, and offered an easy to use advanced setup option as well. This helped to create special configurations for different use cases.YaST simplifies the server management of SUSE allowing for a centralized utility to control most of the server functions.The initial setup for most modern Linux distributions is normally straightforward. Most of the common distributions use an ncurses or GUI install.

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Workstations: More applications for graphics.Servers: More applications for monitoring (e.g., nmon).I really think that the upgrade policies between the major versions, like from from RHEL 5 to RHEL 6, should be much easier, similar to what is in place for upgrading from RHEL 6 to RHEL 6.8.

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When working in a Department of Defense environment, Security Technical Implementation Guides (STIGs) have to be followed. SLES is not really addressed directly here. It did make following security policy difficult.I have not been overly impressed with their technical support.All distributions of Linux could use some improvement.The only stability issues that I can recall encountering with SUSE would be with KDE. However, that is limited to just the desktop environment as I have not had stability issues with ​most server functions.

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Pricing and Cost Advice
The pricing is a bit on the expensive side, mainly because of the support they provide. However, it is quite affordable if you are an organization. If, as a small company or individual, this is an expensive option, I would recommend CentOS, which is an exact replica of RHEL, minus the customer support.

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As far as licensing goes, there is nothing unusual here. The price and model have worked fine for my organization.I would advise others to download the free or strictly open source versions, then test them in their environment before committing to a purchase. This will allow for testing suitability for applications that they want to run.

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Answers from the Community
Miriam Tover
author avatar
Real User

Both distributions have similar pricing strategies. RHEL and SLES support many of the same architectures, including ARM64, x86-32, x86-64; and Power Architecture, and they are both suited for servers, mainframes, and workstations.
SuSE linux administration is a bit easier than RHEL because of the YaST. in other aspects they are very similar to each other.

author avatar

Both are excellent, but the decision is related about what the customer wants to do, means their project.

If customer is developing with app servers based on Red Hat Technologies, the recommendation is Red Hat.
If you are migrating from Oracle Linux, then the option is Red Hat.
But if customer has a SAP Project then SLESforSAP from Suse is the right path.
If you are looking for a POS Linux to deploy a project in retail, then SLES from Suse is the best option

At the end it´s depend of the project both have zones were they dominate, but still Red Hat has more market share than Suse.

author avatar

Red Hat was just bought by IBM and are the de facto supported distribution
with what I guess is 70% or more market share.
They are strong and are seen as the open source inventors although Linux is
maintained by a community including various other companies
- that said strangely enough they have a very proprietary approach to
their customers and tie them into hard contracts and an all or nothing
clause as well as automatic renewals. They have managed to create a
successful opensource + commercial model

Suse is the German version and will probably be used more in Europe,
especially in Germany. They have been having a lot of financial problems
and have
been sold and bought to VC companies a couple of times.Less commercially
astute I would guess.

Despite no longer being with Oracle that is the distribution I would
recommend as the model is open, no tying the customers down as RHEL, Best
features and a big financial backer in Oracle...

author avatar

It really depends on the requirement of the business. All of linux administrators of every industry know that most of upstream linux's package are from Debian. And RedHat leverage Fedora, SuSE do it through OpenSuSE. Then they packed them through their way such as SUSE go with Autobuild process. In the application level, Most of SAP are running on SUSE. But most linux applications are running on RedHat. In the management level, RedHat had Satellite, SuSE had SuSE Manager which are both built from Spacewalk. In the security level, they do most the same thing from CVE and the each advisory channel.
But worth to know is that along with MicroService and modern application model, RedHat bet OpenShift and 3scale and has it's JBoss platform to construct the new service ecosystem. It's really better then SuSE's CaaS in the ecosystem.
Another consideration is that SuSE comes from a very serious QA process, and drivers/functions backport to meet the enterprise's requirement, so if your business is the `long stay' application in your datacenter or IT environment, you may wish to bet on SuSE solution. Because SuSE's server is more stable than other distro which is base on our past experience.

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Also Known As
Red Hat Enterprise Linux
Red Hat
To put your enterprise in a position to win, you have to break down the barriers that hold you back. With Red Hat Enterprise Linux, a platform with unparalleled stability and flexibility, you can reallocate your resources toward meeting the next challenges instead of just maintaining the status quo.

The modern and modular OS helps simplify multimodal IT, makes traditional IT infrastructure efficient and provides an engaging platform for developers. As a result, you can easily deploy and transition business-critical workloads across on-premise and public cloud environments.

Learn more about Red Hat Linux (RHEL)
Learn more about SUSE Linux Enterprise
Sample Customers
Travel ChannelAir India, Akademicki Szpital Kliniczny (ASK), Allone, Altran, Apollo, ARCHIVA, Asia Innovatory Management School, ATLAS ELEKTRONIK GmbH, AutoData Norge AS, Baldor Electric, Business Connexion, CASIO, Ciclum Farma, Delta Lloyd, Edumate , HPE, SAP SE, Lenovo, BMW, T-Systems, UCX, Turners & Growers, Shenzhen Development Bank, Bosch Group, JK Tyres & Industries, IOCL, European Space Agency, Daimler AG, China Minsheng Banking Corp, Café Coffee Day, Unisys, Petrochina Company Ltd, Fitch Ratings, ABeam Consulting Co Ltd, Tyro Payments, Rackspace, Pacific Textiles, ...
Top Industries
Software R&D Company44%
Comms Service Provider9%
Manufacturing Company6%
Software R&D Company45%
Comms Service Provider13%
Manufacturing Company7%
Find out what your peers are saying about Red Hat Linux (RHEL) vs. SUSE Linux Enterprise and other solutions. Updated: January 2020.
398,259 professionals have used our research since 2012.
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