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opensuse, opensuse tumbleweed
openSUSE pronunciation: /ˌoʊpənˈsuːzə/, formerly SUSE Linux and SuSE Linux Professional, is a Linux-based project and distribution sponsored by SUSE Linux GmbH and other companies It is widely used throughout the world The focus of its development is creating usable open-source tools for software developers and system administrators, while providing a user-friendly desktop, and feature-rich server environment

The initial release of the community project was a beta version of SUSE Linux 100 The current stable release is openSUSE Leap 422 The community project offers a rolling release version called openSUSE Tumbleweed, which is continuously updated with tested, stable packages This is based on the rolling development code base called 'Factory' Other tools and applications associated with the openSUSE project are YaST, Open Build Service, openQA, Snapper, Machinery, Portus and Kiwi

Novell created openSUSE after purchasing SuSE Linux AG for US$210 million on 4 November 2003 The Attachmate Group acquired Novell and split Novell and SUSE into two autonomous subsidiary companies After The Attachmate Group merged with Micro Focus in November 2014, SUSE became its own business unit


  • 1 Overview
  • 2 History
    • 21 Company history
    • 22 Product history
  • 3 Distribution
  • 4 Features
    • 41 YaST Control Center
    • 42 AutoYaST
    • 43 WebYaST
    • 44 ZYpp package management
    • 45 Build Service
    • 46 Default use of Delta RPM
    • 47 Desktop innovation
      • 471 Xgl and Compiz
      • 472 KDE Desktop innovations
      • 473 GNOME innovations
  • 5 Criticism
  • 6 Releases
  • 7 See also
  • 8 References
  • 9 External links


The openSUSE Project community, sponsored by SUSE, develops and maintains SUSE Linux distributions components openSUSE is the successor to SUSE Linux Professional

Beyond the distributions and tools, the openSUSE Project provides a web portal for community involvement The community develops openSUSE collaboratively with its corporate sponsors through the Open Build Service, openQA, writing documentation, designing artwork, fostering discussions on open mailing lists and in Internet Relay Chat channels, and improving the openSUSE site through its wiki interface openSUSE offers a stable base with its openSUSE Leap version Users that prefer more up-to-date free software can use its rolling release distribution Tumbleweed Users can also use the Open Build Service Moreover, the flexibility of openSUSE makes it easy to re-purpose for specific goals like running a web- or mail server

Like most Linux distributions, openSUSE includes both a default graphical user interface GUI and a command line interface option Users of openSUSE may choose several desktops environments GUIs like KDE Plasma, GNOME, LXDE and Xfce openSUSE supports thousands of software packages across the full range of free software / open source development


Company history

Further information: SUSE Linux distributions § History

Product history

In the past, the SUSE Linux company had focused on releasing the SUSE Linux Personal and SUSE Linux Professional box sets which included extensive printed documentation that was available for sale in retail stores The company's ability to sell an open source product was largely due to the closed-source development process used Although SUSE Linux had always been open product licensed with the GPL, it was only freely possible to retrieve the source code of the next release 2 months after it was ready for purchase SUSE Linux' strategy was to create a technically superior Linux distribution with the large number of employed engineers, that would make users willing to pay for their distribution in retail stores

Since the acquisition by Novell in 2003 and with the advent of openSUSE, this has been reversed: starting with version 92, an unsupported one-DVD ISO image of SUSE Professional was made available for download, as well as a bootable Live DVD evaluation The FTP server continues to operate and has the advantage of "streamlined" installs, permitting the user to download only the packages the user feels they need The ISO has the advantages of an easy install package, the ability to operate even if the user's network card does not work "out of the box", and less experience needed ie, an inexperienced Linux user may not know whether or not to install a certain package, and the ISO offers several preselected sets of packages

The initial stable release from the openSUSE Project, SUSE Linux 100, was available for download just before the retail release of SUSE Linux 100 In addition, Novell discontinued the Personal version, renaming the Professional version to simply "SUSE Linux", and repricing "SUSE Linux" to about the same as the old Personal version As of version 102, the SUSE Linux distribution was officially renamed to openSUSE

Over the years, SuSE Linux has gone from a status of a distribution with restrictive, delayed publications 2 months of waiting for those who had not bought the box, without ISOs available, but installation available via FTP and a closed development model to a free distribution model with immediate and freely availability for all and transparent and open development Its popularity continues to grow

On April 27, 2011, Attachmate completed its acquisition of Novell Attachmate split Novell into two autonomous business units, Novell and SUSE Attachmate made no changes to the relationship between SUSE formerly Novell and the openSUSE project After the 2014 merger of the Attachmate Group with Micro Focus, SUSE reaffirmed their commitment to openSUSE


openSUSE is fully and freely available for immediate download, and is also sold in retail box to the general public It comes in several editions for the x86 and x86-64 architectures as for version 131:

  • openSUSE Download Edition: This is the freely downloadable ISO version, available from the openSUSE downloads page It is available as a Live-CD version KDE Plasma or GNOME which can be installed on the hard disk, or as a more complete single layer DVD-5 A CD containing additional proprietary software and an additional CD containing files for internationalization less common languages are also available This version does not include any technical assistance, nor printed manuals
  • openSUSE Retail Edition or openSUSE Box: Users are able to purchase a German version of the openSUSE box The box is delivered with printed documentation There is no official English version of the Retail box
  • openSUSE FTP: There is also a small ISO to install openSUSE directly from FTP network install There are mirrors on the two different FTP trees: one for open-source packages OSS, a second for non-open-source packages or whose license is restrictive non-oss The FTP can be used to complement the Download and Retail editions
  • openSUSE Factory: This is the continuous ongoing development version, from which the development team take out regular snapshots Milestones and RC to get the stable openSUSE This is also the source from which stabilized packages are provided for openSUSE Tumbleweed see below as of 2014-Nov-04
  • openSUSE Tumbleweed: Rolling release, in which new stable versions of packages are made available as soon as they are stabilized from Factory
  • openSUSE Factory and Tumbleweed merge: In 2014 the development model of Factory was such that it in effect became a rolling release Therefore, with the release of openSUSE 132, Tumbleweed and Factory merged


YaST Control Center

Main article: YaST

SUSE includes an installation and administration program called YaST "Yet another Setup Tool" which handles hard disk partitioning, system setup, RPM package management, online updates, network and firewall configuration, user administration and more in an integrated interface In more recent times, many more YaST modules have been added, including one for Bluetooth support It also controls all software applications SaX2 was once integrated into YaST to change monitor settings, however with openSUSE 113 SaX2 has been removed

YaST's user interfaces


Main article: YaST

AutoYaST is part of YaST2 and is used for automatic installation The configuration is stored in an XML file and the installation happens without user interaction


WebYaST Main article: YaST

WebYaST is a web interface version of YaST It can configure settings and updates of the openSUSE machine it is running on It can also shutdown and check the status of the host

ZYpp package management

Main article: ZYpp

ZYpp or libzypp is a Linux software management engine which has a powerful dependency resolver and a convenient package management API

Build Service

Main article: Open Build Service

The Open Build Service provides software developers with a tool to compile, release and publish their software for many distributions, including Mandriva, Ubuntu, Fedora and Debian It typically simplifies the packaging process, so developers can more easily package a single program for many distributions, and many openSUSE releases, making more packages available to users regardless of what distribution version they use It is published under the GPL

Default use of Delta RPM

By default, OpenSUSE uses Delta RPMs when updating an installation A Delta RPM contains the difference between an old and new version of a package This means that only the changes, between the installed package and the new one, are downloaded This reduces bandwidth consumption and update time, which is especially important on slow Internet connections

Desktop innovation

Xgl and Compiz

On January 2, 2006, SUSE developer David Reveman announced Xgl, an X server architecture designed to take advantage of modern graphics cards via their OpenGL drivers, layered on top of OpenGL via glitz Compiz, one of the first compositing window managers for the X Window System that is able to take advantage of this OpenGL acceleration, was also released

KDE Desktop innovations

SUSE was a leading contributor to the KDE project for many years SUSE’s contributions in this area have been very wide-ranging, and affecting many parts of KDE such as kdelibs and KDEBase, Kontact, and kdenetwork Other notable projects include:

  • KNetworkManager – a front-end to NetworkManager
  • Kickoff – a new K menu for KDE Plasma Desktop

GNOME innovations

The Ximian group became part of Novell, and in turn made and continued several contributions to GNOME with applications such as F-Spot, Evolution and Banshee The GNOME desktop used the slab instead of the classic double-panelled GNOME menu bars from openSUSE 102 to openSUSE 114 In openSUSE 121 slab was replaced with the upstream GNOME Shell and GNOME Fallback designs


After he spent months discussing with developers on the project's Bugzilla, Linux creator Linus Torvalds harshly criticized openSUSE and its security settings in a blog entry in early 2012 He criticized openSUSE for asking users for a root password for everyday tasks such as setting up printers This was fixed in openSUSE 122


Main article: OpenSUSE version history

The openSUSE project aims to release a new version every eight months Since version 112, critical updates have been provided for two releases plus two months, which results in a support lifetime of 18 months

Starting with version 121, to add predictability and to prevent people from thinking the 0 releases are more major, the openSUSE version scheme has changed All November releases have a 1, all July releases have a 2, and all March releases have a 3 Every two years, when another 1 version is released, the major version number is bumped up

Starting with version Leap 421 after version 132, each major release is expected to be supported for at least 36 months, until the next major version is available eg 431, aligned with SUSE Linux Enterprise Releases Each minor release eg 421, 422, etc is expected to be released annually, aligned with SUSE Linux Enterprise Service Packs, and users are expected to upgrade to the latest minor release within 6 months of its availability, leading to a similar support lifecycle of 18 months as earlier

Evergreen is a community effort to prolong maintenance of selected openSUSE versions after they reach official end-of-life

Name Version Codename Release date End of life Kernel version
Regular Evergreen
SUSE Linux Old version, no longer supported: 100 N/A 2005-10-06 2007-11-30 N/A 2613
Old version, no longer supported: 101 N/A 2006-05-11 2008-05-31 N/A 2616
openSUSE Old version, no longer supported: 102 N/A 2006-12-07 2008-11-30 N/A 2618
Old version, no longer supported: 103 N/A 2007-10-04 2009-10-31 N/A 2622
Old version, no longer supported: 110 N/A 2008-06-19 2010-06-26 N/A 2625
Old version, no longer supported: 111 N/A 2008-12-18 2011-01-14 2012-04 2627
Old version, no longer supported: 112 Emerald 2009-11-12 2011-05-12 2013-11 2631
Old version, no longer supported: 113 Teal 2010-07-15 2012-01-16 N/A 2634
Old version, no longer supported: 114 Celadon 2011-03-10 2012-11-05 2015-07 2637
Old version, no longer supported: 121 Asparagus 2011-11-16 2013-05-15 N/A 310
Old version, no longer supported: 122 Mantis 2012-09-05 2014-01-15 N/A 346
Old version, no longer supported: 123 Dartmouth 2013-03-13 2015-01-01 N/A 3710
Old version, no longer supported: 131 Bottle 2013-11-19 2016-01 2016-11 3116
Older version, yet still supported: 132 Harlequin 2014-11-04 2017-01-16 N/A 3166
openSUSE Leap Older version, yet still supported: 421 Malachite 2015-11-04 Q2 2017 N/A 41
Current stable version: 422 N/A 2016-11-16 Q2 2018 N/A 44
Tumbleweed Latest preview version of a future release: rolling N/A rolling N/A N/A 488
Legend: Old version Older version, still supported Latest version Latest preview version Future release

See also

  • SUSE Linux distributions
  • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server
  • SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop
  • Open Build Service


  1. ^ "Release Notes | openSUSE Leap 421" openSUSE Release Notes openSUSE 2015-10-28 Retrieved 2015-11-04 
  2. ^ "softwareopensuseorg: Download openSUSE 122" 
  3. ^ "openSUSE - Portal:Distribution" Retrieved February 9, 2015 
  4. ^ How do you say SUSE - YouTube Novell October 14, 2011 
  5. ^ "Sponsors - openSUSE" Retrieved July 6, 2015 
  6. ^ "Novell Announces Agreement to Acquire Leading Enterprise Linux Technology Company SUSE LINUX" Novell November 4, 2003 Retrieved July 6, 2015 
  7. ^ "Micro Focus International completes merger with the Attachmate Group" Micro Focus International plc November 20, 2014 Retrieved July 6, 2015 
  8. ^ "openSUSE Strategy" opensuseorg Retrieved 2012-05-07 
  9. ^ "Managing Firm-Sponsored Open Source Communities" Masters Thesis 
  10. ^ "SUSE Linux 102 Alpha2 Release - and distribution rename" opensuseorg Retrieved 2008-04-27 
  11. ^ "SUSE Linux Becomes openSUSE" slashdotorg Retrieved 2008-03-03 
  12. ^ "openSUSE Guiding Principles" 
  13. ^ " Statement on the recent Merger announcement" listsopensuseorg Retrieved 2016-05-01 
  14. ^ "Tumbleweed, Factory rolling releases to merge" 
  15. ^ "Complete openSUSE Build Service under GPL available" opensuse-announce mailing list Retrieved December 12, 2015 
  16. ^ Torvalds, Linus 2012-02-28 "Venting" 
  17. ^ Loeffler, Michael August 14, 2009 "Change in maintenance for openSUSE 112 and future versions" opensuse-announce mailing list Retrieved 2009-11-10 
  18. ^ "openSUSE Lifetime as of 2011" Retrieved November 19, 2011 
  19. ^ "openSUSE Lifetime as of 2015" Retrieved September 17, 2015 
  20. ^ "openSUSE Roadmap as of 2015" Retrieved September 17, 2015 
  21. ^ a b "openSUSE Evergreen" 
  22. ^ "openSUSE Roadmap" 
  23. ^ "openSUSE Lifetime" 
  24. ^ but done by openSUSE project
  25. ^ Yunashko, Bryen 15 July 2010 "openSUSE 113 is here!" opensuse-announce mailing list Retrieved 15 July 2010 
  26. ^ "Portal 114: openSUSE 114 was released on Thursday the 10th of March 2011" 
  27. ^ "Portal 121: openSUSE 121 has been released on Wednesday, the 16th of November 2011" 
  28. ^ "Portal 122: openSUSE 122 has been released on Wednesday September 5th 2012" 
  29. ^ "Portal 123: openSUSE 123 has been released on Wednesday, March 13, 2013" 
  30. ^ a b "Supported Regular distributions" 
  31. ^ "Evergreen EOL" 
  32. ^ "Release Notes openSUSE 421" 
  33. ^ "Optimal Release for Linux Professionals Arrives with openSUSE Leap 422" November 16, 2016 
  34. ^ "Tumbleweed" 

External links

  • Official website
  • OpenSUSE at DistroWatch

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