The openSUSE Project and its community, contributors and release engineers have entered the Release Candidate phase for the upcoming openSUSE Leap 15.3 version today after a snapshot was released, which transitions the release to a new phase.
The RC signals the package freeze for software that will make it into the distribution, which is used on server, workstation, desktop and for virtualization and container use.
openSUSE Leap offers a clear advantage for servers by providing at least 18 months of updates for each release. There is a projection as of April 2021 that Leap 15 will extend to Leap 15.5. Leap Major Release (15.x) extends maintenance and support until a successor. At present, a successor has not been declared; Leap 15’s lifecycle fully aligns with SUSE Linux Enterprise and uses the source code and Leap is built with the exact same binary packages..
Desktop environments for the release include KDE’s Long-Term-Support version of Plasma 5.18, GNOME 3.34 and Xfce 4.16. Packages for artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning are available for data scientists who use the release. A list of some of the packages in openSUSE Leap 15.3 can be found on the Wiki.
Leap release manager Lubos Kocman recommends Beta and RC testers use the “zypper dup” command in the terminal when upgrading to the General Availability (GA) once it’s released.
During the development stage of Leap versions, contributors, packagers and the release team use a rolling development method that are categorized into phases rather than a single milestone release; snapshots are released with minor version software updates once passing automated testing until the final release of the Gold Master (GM). At that point, the GM becomes available to the public (GA expected on June 2) and the distribution shifts from a rolling development method into a supported release where it receives updates until its End of Life (EOL).
Kocman listed the following important dates related to the release:
- May 14 - Translation deadline
- May 21 - Gold Master
- June 2 - Public Availability of the Release (5 to 10 days after GM)
- June 2 - Start of Release retrospective survey
- June 16 - Collect feedback from the retrospective
Users upgrading to openSUSE Leap 15.3 need to be aware that upgrading directly from versions before openSUSE Leap 15.2 is not recommended. Due to the upgrade path, it is highly recommended to upgrade to Leap 15.2 before upgrading to Leap 15.3.
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