To my knowledge, there is no EULA (pdf) limitation that says you can not use SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop (SLED) for an HPC compute node. However, depending on the specific application and libraries required, SLED may not satisfy your needs in a supported way. SLED and SLES have the same core of SUSE Linux Enterprise code, but the applications and services offered (and more importantly supported) on these two Novell products (SLED and SLES) will differ.

For example, OpenOffice.org is included with SLED but not with SLES. I have no technical problem in running OpenOffice.org on a SLES server, however, it is not something I would be able to get support from Novell on if I ever needed it. The same would be true for any other application, package or library differences which might exist.

Wanna see what’s officially supported packages are part of SLED and SLES?
http://support.novell.com/products/server/supported_packages/
http://support.novell.com/products/desktop/supported_packages/

Alternatively, here’s an online list and description of all the packages included in SLED and SLES:
http://www.novell.com/products/server/packages.html
http://www.novell.com/products/desktop/packages.html

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