Novell today announced the winners of its First Annual “Dister” Awards, handing out two $10,000 grand prizes to software companies Radical Breeze and Anderware.  The Dister Awards celebrates innovators and inventors who build Linux-based software appliances using the award-winning SUSE Studio from Novell.

A panel of five independent judges awarded Radical Breeze, of Everett, Wash., the top honors in the “Commercial” category for its Illumination Software Creation Station, a self-contained solution that allows users to visually design their own software applications with no programming experience required and no need for set-up.  Anderware, a software company from Sweden, won in the “Community” category for its Hypergrid to Go appliance, which allows users to easily set up an extension to the OpenSim platform to create a multi-user 3D world similar to Second Life.

The “Commercial” category features appliances that include commercial, proprietary components or applications.  The “Community” category consists of appliances created from components of openSUSE, SUSE Linux Enterprise, the openSUSE Build Service, and other open source components that are freely available. Entrants created appliances and posted their entries in SUSE Gallery, an online showcase where developers can publish their appliances and end users can download them at no cost.

In addition to the top winners, the contest recognized a pair of appliances for honorable mentions: the EasySpooler Appliance by ROC Software’s Paul Scripko, in the Commercial category, and the BrowserBox appliance by Opera Software’s Jacob Rask was honored in the Community category. The contest also handed out a “Spirit Award” – recognizing a creative and innovative use of SUSE Studio that’s useful to the community at large – to Gourav Shah of Efficient Frontier in India for his FreeSWITCHBOX appliance.

The Disters were selected by a panel of leading Linux and open source luminaries, including Jason Brooks, eWeek Labs editor in chief; Sean Michael Kerner, senior editor at InternetNews; Jos Poortvliet, openSUSE community manager; Markus Rex, senior vice president and general manager of Open Platform Solutions at Novell; and Jim Zemlin, executive director of the Linux Foundation.

Since July 2009 and the launch of the SUSE Appliance Program, more than 585,000 Linux appliances were built using SUSE Studio, the industry’s most successful web-based appliance creation tool with more than 95,000 registered users worldwide. SUSE Gallery serves as a centralized storefront where SUSE Studio users can browse and access appliances. Only SUSE Gallery offers software developers this opportunity to publish and promote their software appliances to millions of potential users.

The winners of the First Annual Dister Awards are being honored during a virtual event on Facebook at 12:00 noon EST on Wednesday, Dec. 15. To learn more about the Dister Awards, visit  For more information about the SUSE Appliance Program, visit  

Supporting Quotes
“It is incredibly exciting to have Illumination Software Creation Station chosen as a winner for the Disters,” said Bryan Lunduke, president of Radical Breeze.  “Being able to provide a turn-key solution for anyone to test drive and use our software, using SUSE Studio and SUSE Gallery, has proven to be a major benefit to our business.”

“This is a true honor for Hypergrid to Go,” added Tommy Anderberg of Anderware. “Using SUSE Studio and SUSE Gallery, we were able to create a much easier way to enter the OpenSim/Hypergrid environment and find content. We hope this will lower the barrier to entry for everybody interested in the nascent 3D web.”

“The quality of submissions in the Dister Awards showcases how far software appliances have advanced in the marketplace,” said Markus Rex, senior vice president and general manager of Open Platform Solutions at Novell. “Companies are generating significant value from our SUSE Appliance Program, getting to market quickly and easily with fully-supported software and virtual appliances, while promoting their offerings through SUSE Gallery. The financial prizes awarded through the contest should help the winners advance their appliance adoption even faster.”

“The Dister Contest submissions really represent the power of Linux and open source software to spur innovation and push the envelope on what software appliances can do,” said Jim Zemlin, executive director at The Linux Foundation. “Congratulations to the winners and thanks to Novell for hosting this important contest.”