The openSUSE project is a community project sponsored by SUSE LLC. Promoting the use of Linux everywhere, openSUSE.org provides free, easy access to the world's most usable Linux distribution, openSUSE. The openSUSE project gives Linux developers and enthusiasts everything they need to get started with Linux.
The goals of the openSUSE project are:
- Make openSUSE the easiest Linux distribution for anyone to obtain and the most widely used open source platform.
- Provide an environment for open source collaboration that makes openSUSE the world's best Linux distribution for new and experienced Linux users.
- Dramatically simplify and open the development and packaging processes to make openSUSE the platform of choice for Linux coders/programmers and application developers.
In 2005, Novell, Inc., then owner of SUSE LINUX AG announced that it would open the development of the SUSE LINUX distribution to the community under the openSUSE project banner. SUSE Linux 10.0 OSS (Open Source Software) edition was the first release from the openSUSE project. During the development of the 10.2 point release, the name of the community distribution was changed from SUSE Linux to openSUSE, bringing the name of the distribution into alignment with the name of the project.
In 2010, Attachmate Corporation announced its intent to acquire Novell, and the acquisition was completed in 2011. As part of this acquisition, Attachmate re-established SUSE as a stand-alone business from Novell. Attachmate merged with Micro Focus International plc in 2014, and in 2018, EQT AB announced its plan to buy the SUSE business unit from Micro Focus. With the sale to EQT, SUSE will operate as fully independent business. Throughout SUSE's various transitions, its commitment to and relationship with the openSUSE project has remained unchanged.
The chairperson of the openSUSE Board is appointed by SUSE, and the board members are elected by the openSUSE community. Alongside community developers, SUSE developers are heavily involved in the development of openSUSE, from which the SUSE Linux Enterprise server and desktop products are derived. SUSE LLC is the primary sponsor of the openSUSE project, but other sponsors include Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (AMD), B1 Systems GmbH, Core-Backbone GmbH, Heinlein Support GmbH, Marvell Technology Group Ltd., and TUXEDO Computers GmbH.
There are two openSUSE distributions: Tumbleweed and Leap. openSUSE Tumbleweed, introduced in 2010, adheres to a rolling-release model, whereas openSUSE Leap, introduced in 2015, operates on a fixed release cycle. Leap replaced the previous design of openSUSE versioned releases. openSUSE Leap shares a common base with SUSE Linux Enterprise and adds community contributions to that base. Major openSUSE Leap releases (e.g. 15, 16, etc.) are expected to occur approximately every 36-48 months. Minor openSUSE Leap releases (e.g. 15.1, 15.2, etc.) are expected to occur annually. Major openSUSE Leap releases are supported for at least 36 months (i.e. until the next major release is available). Minor openSUSE Leap releases are supported for approximately 18 months (i.e until 6 months after the release of the next minor release). Due to its shared base with SUSE Linux Enterprise, some of the software versions in openSUSE Leap repositories might not be the most recent. openSUSE Tumbleweed does not share this design, and as a rolling release, it can be updated indefinitely to the latest stable versions of software.
openSUSE packages are created in the .rpm file format. There are currently nearly 55,500 packages in the "OSS" repository and close to 60 packages in the "Non-OSS" repository.[note 1] openSUSE uses zypper (an RPM frontend) for traditional package management with dependency resolution; Flatpak is also included as part of the default package set for KDE-based installations of openSUSE Leap and for KDE-based and GNOME-based installations of openSUSE Tumbleweed.
openSUSE features the YaST (Yet another Setup Tool) installation and configuration tool. openSUSE allows the installation of packages via One Click Install. One Click Install uses a file format called YPM. A YMP file contains instructions which tell the package management system which packages to install, and where they are located.
- These figures are approximations based on counts obtained for Tumbleweed via
zypper pa -r http://download.opensuse.org/tumbleweed/repo/oss/ | wc -l; zypper pa -r http://download.opensuse.org/tumbleweed/repo/non-oss/ | wc -l.