There is currently and a . It looks to me like people have been using them indiscriminately. Calling the Red Hat experts: are these tags synonyms? If there's a difference, please make it clear from the tag wikis, and retag mistagged questions. (The tag wiki says it's about the company, but the questions are about the distribution.)

There's a similar split amongst : there's also . Is there enough difference between the two to warrant two different tags? (Possibly, after all we have alongside .) If the two tags should be kept, would the SuSE experts in the audience please check that they are used consistently, and write a tag wiki that (tries to) direct askers to the correct tag.

Given the response: please synonym into .

When writing tag wikis for distributions, I suggest using a similar presentation as , , .

  • @gilles is there enough difference between ubuntu and debian? centos and rhel? actually I'm about 90% sure redhat and rhel should be synonyms. suse in theory could refer to pre novell ownership. Commented May 4, 2011 at 21:06
  • @xenoterracide: Debian/Ubuntu, absolutely. Apart from the packaging system and some of the networking setup, if you need to invoke a specific distribution, they're often different. Centos/RHEL, perhaps less, but I remember at least one question where the difference was crucial; one question alone doesn't justify a tag so I'll let the experts pipe up. Commented May 4, 2011 at 21:13
  • @gilles to be honest there probably is enough of a difference at some point... in some proprietary tool or something... hah... better yet... why don't we just ask on the main site. Commented May 4, 2011 at 21:15
  • @xenoterracide: /suse should perhaps be renamed /sles, if it's about “Seleste Linux”? Commented May 4, 2011 at 21:33
  • @gilles well there's sles, sled, and opensuse currently. suse was a distro that novell bought. Commented May 4, 2011 at 21:35
  • @gilles do you think that novell should be a tag synonym of the above? Commented May 4, 2011 at 21:36
  • @xenoterracide: No one's tried to use it, so no. Commented May 4, 2011 at 21:37
  • I don't know how much is different between sles and sled but those 2 are to opensuse as rhel is to fedora and I suspect many people would say those are quite different. Commented May 4, 2011 at 21:45

1 Answer 1


From the prospective of someone who used to work at Red Hat (and familiar with how they like their branding portrayed) my answer to the question is that, the former is and really always was, just a reference to the company name, Red Hat Linux, was always Red Hat Linux, and Red Hat Enterprise Linux, has always being Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

While technically "RHEL" isn't a good reference to Red Hat Enterprise Linux (as I recall, RHEL isn't actually trademarked by Red Hat, which is why it is never used formally - this may have changed though), red-hat-enterprise-linux is too long of a tag, so I think is fine to use on Unix & Linux as a reference to Versions 2.1, 3, 4, 5 & 6.

I don't see much point for as a result, I don't even think it should be a synonym for really, it'd be better (and I'm not sure if this solution exists on Stack Exchange) if the use of the tag would prompt something to the effect of: "This tag is vague, please choose out of (for pre-RHEL releases) or ...".

should remain as is, there is enough real separation from the two projects that the tags should be different. yum update issues etc, will have completely different causes due to different update mechanisms (RHN, yum repository etc).

As for while I'm not an expert on the SuSE Linux/OpenSuSE/Novell branding side of things, my understanding is Novell's enterprise, flagship product, is "SuSE Linux Enterprise" I think it's fair to either continue using , and keep the tag as is, as well. It would just be a case of checking to make sure people don't use the SuSE tag where the OpenSuSE tag is more appropriate/correct.

  • redhat is what a lot of people use to refer to RHEL (I don't think anyone's ever asked about pre-RHEL). So it should be kept. From your answer, I think a synonym is the way to go. Commented May 13, 2011 at 22:14

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