Users of the community enterprise distributions can be confident in the direction of openSUSE Leap for those who might be hunting for a stable Linux distribution that offers predictability and longevity.
Minor releases like openSUSE Leap 15.2 sometimes get compared to a major release. The minor releases are essentially updates that people can choose rather than have forced updates.
Major versions of Leap receive long periods of maintenance and security updates; the release cycle has additional overlap that is greater than that of alternatives. Major releases are coming roughly every three to four years and minor releases come usually once a year, which leads to a life cycle of about 18 months of maintenance and security updates per minor release. Many of the package’s versions are the same as in previous minor releases.
Leap aligns with SUSE Linux Enterprise and its Service Packs (SP), which keeps the system updated, stable and patched. openSUSE and SUSE have been collaborating to bring openSUSE Leap 15.3 and SUSE Linux Enterprise 15 SP3 even closer together to make them fully compatible.
openSUSE Leap not only offers the sources, but Leap 15.3 will also offer the binaries and tools like the Open Build Service to rebuild the distribution. However, no rebuilding efforts are needed to benefit from the enterprise-grade code base. OBS also offers other capabilities like easy to add container builds and openSUSE’s Devel Project allows for the latest software on a stable platform that is much more refined without impacting the underlying enterprise code base. Testing of migrations are also made with the project’s openQA test suite automatically for older releases.
openSUSE Leap has continually moved closer together with SUSE Linux Enterprise, but the openSUSE Project is independently driven by its community and the path for Leap is foreseeable. openSUSE has a thriving global community with multiple distributions, so users pondering a switch from another distribution can consider openSUSE Leap and it’s community a safe haven for their future.