SUSE Studio is a great online program. It enables pretty much anyone create their own customized Linux distribution without being a Linux kernel engineer. But after you had built it, you were on your own... until now. Starting July 8th, SUSE will support your roll-your-own Linux if it's based on SUSE Linux.
For several years, SUSE Studio has enabled power-users to mix and match open-source programs and then bake them into their own distribution. For example, if you wanted a server using Nginx for its Web server with MariaDB for its backing database management system without any excess programs taking up room, you could have it.
Once your special-blend Linux is ready to run, you can then deploy it in a variety of formats including CD, DVD and USB-drive images; virtualization images, or even deploy them directly to Microsoft's Azure cloud, Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), and the SUSE Cloud.
Setting up was easy, but getting support was another question. SUSE now provides an answer.
Andreas Jaeger, the SUSE Studio product manager, wrote, " If you run a SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (or Desktop) image and have a valid subscription for it, we would support you under the same conditions as if you have installed the product directly from the installation media."
Jaeger continued, "For support purposes, additional packages might need to be installed to help with diagnosing and reporting. Also, if you replace software packages that are part of SUSE Linux Enterprise by others, than the replaced software and packages dependent on it cannot be supported."
So, how do you know what's supported and what isn't without needing to be a Linux designer?
Easy. "When you create a SUSE Linux-based distribution or application, SUSE Studio creates a 'Supportability Report' for each SUSE Linux Enterprise appliance. This report executes an automatic analysis of the generated appliance and uses heuristics to determine out what SUSE will support."
Generally speaking, if the packages you choose to use in your home-brew distro are supported in the underlying SUSE Linux Enterprise products, SUSE will support them.
I've long found SUSE Studio to be useful for quickly and easily building customized Linux distributions. Now, with paid technical support available for these operating systems, I can see SUSE Studio distributions gaining far more business customers.