openSUSE

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openSUSE
OpenSUSE official-logo-color.svg
GNOME applications overview 42.1.png
openSUSE Leap 42.1 with GNOME Shell
Developer openSUSE Project
OS family Unix-like (originally based on SUSE Linux Professional)
Working state Current
Source model Open source
Initial release October 2005; 11 years ago (2005-10)
Latest release Leap 42.2[1] / November 16, 2016; 16 days ago (2016-11-16)
Marketing target Desktop, workstation, server, development
Available in English, German, Russian, Italian, Portuguese and many others[2]
Update method ZYpp (YaST)
Package manager RPM Package Manager
Platforms IA-32, x86-64, (secondary/preview: PPC64, PPC64le, ARM, ARM64)
Kernel type Monolithic (Linux)
Userland GNU
Default user interface Command-line, GNOME, KDE Plasma Desktop (user-selectable)
License Free software licenses
(mainly GPL)
Official website www.opensuse.org

openSUSE[3] (pronunciation: /ˌpənˈszə/[4]), formerly SUSE Linux and SuSE Linux Professional, is a Linux-based project and distribution sponsored[5] 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 10.0. The current stable release is openSUSE Leap 42.2. 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[6] 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.[7]

Overview[edit]

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.[8]

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.

History[edit]

Company history[edit]

Product history[edit]

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.[9]

Since the acquisition by Novell in 2003 and with the advent of openSUSE, this has been reversed: starting with version 9.2, 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 (i.e., 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 10.0, was available for download just before the retail release of SUSE Linux 10.0. 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 10.2, the SUSE Linux distribution was officially renamed to openSUSE.[10][11]

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.[12] 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.[13]

Distribution[edit]

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 13.1):

  • 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.[14]
  • 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 13.2, Tumbleweed and Factory merged.

Features[edit]

YaST Control Center[edit]

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,[when?] 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 11.3 SaX2 has been removed.

YaST's user interfaces
GTK+ 
Qt 
ncurses 

AutoYaST[edit]

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[edit]

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[edit]

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[edit]

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.[15]

Default use of Delta RPM[edit]

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[edit]

Xgl and Compiz[edit]

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[edit]

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:

GNOME innovations[edit]

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 10.2 to openSUSE 11.4. In openSUSE 12.1 slab was replaced with the upstream GNOME Shell and GNOME Fallback designs.

Criticism[edit]

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.[16] This was fixed in openSUSE 12.2.

Releases[edit]

The openSUSE project aims to release a new version every eight months. Since version 11.2, critical updates have been provided for two releases plus two months, which results in a support lifetime of 18 months.[17][18]

Starting with version 12.1, 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.[citation needed]

Starting with version Leap 42.1 (after version 13.2), each major release is expected to be supported for at least 36 months, until the next major version is available (e.g. 43.1), aligned with SUSE Linux Enterprise Releases. Each minor release (e.g. 42.1, 42.2, 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.[19][20]

Evergreen[21] is a community effort to prolong maintenance of selected openSUSE versions after they reach official end-of-life.


Name Version Codename Release date[22] End of life Kernel version
Regular[23] Evergreen[21]
SUSE Linux[24] Old version, no longer supported: 10.0 N/A 2005-10-06 2007-11-30 N/A 2.6.13
Old version, no longer supported: 10.1 N/A 2006-05-11 2008-05-31 N/A 2.6.16
openSUSE Old version, no longer supported: 10.2 N/A 2006-12-07 2008-11-30 N/A 2.6.18
Old version, no longer supported: 10.3 N/A 2007-10-04 2009-10-31 N/A 2.6.22
Old version, no longer supported: 11.0 N/A 2008-06-19 2010-06-26 N/A 2.6.25
Old version, no longer supported: 11.1 N/A 2008-12-18 2011-01-14 2012-04 2.6.27
Old version, no longer supported: 11.2 Emerald 2009-11-12 2011-05-12 2013-11 2.6.31
Old version, no longer supported: 11.3[25] Teal 2010-07-15 2012-01-16 N/A 2.6.34
Old version, no longer supported: 11.4[26] Celadon 2011-03-10 2012-11-05 2015-07 2.6.37
Old version, no longer supported: 12.1[27] Asparagus 2011-11-16 2013-05-15 N/A 3.1.0
Old version, no longer supported: 12.2[28] Mantis 2012-09-05 2014-01-15 N/A 3.4.6
Old version, no longer supported: 12.3[29] Dartmouth 2013-03-13 2015-01-01 N/A 3.7.10
Old version, no longer supported: 13.1[30] Bottle 2013-11-19 2016-01 2016-11[31] 3.11.6
Older version, yet still supported: 13.2[30] Harlequin 2014-11-04 2017-01-16 N/A 3.16.6
openSUSE Leap Older version, yet still supported: 42.1[32] Malachite 2015-11-04 Q2 2017 N/A 4.1
Current stable version: 42.2[33] N/A 2016-11-16 Q2 2018 N/A 4.4
Tumbleweed [34] Latest preview version of a future release: rolling N/A rolling N/A N/A 4.8.8
Legend:
Old version
Older version, still supported
Latest version
Latest preview version
Future release

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Release Notes | openSUSE Leap 42.1". openSUSE Release Notes. openSUSE. 2015-10-28. Retrieved 2015-11-04. 
  2. ^ "software.opensuse.org: Download openSUSE 12.2". 
  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". opensuse.org. Retrieved 2012-05-07. 
  9. ^ "Managing Firm-Sponsored Open Source Communities" (Masters Thesis). 
  10. ^ "SUSE Linux 10.2 Alpha2 Release - and distribution rename". opensuse.org. Retrieved 2008-04-27. 
  11. ^ "SUSE Linux Becomes openSUSE". slashdot.org. Retrieved 2008-03-03. 
  12. ^ "openSUSE Guiding Principles". 
  13. ^ "[opensuse-announce] Statement on the recent Merger announcement". lists.opensuse.org. 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 11.2 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 11.3 is here!". opensuse-announce mailing list. Retrieved 15 July 2010. 
  26. ^ "Portal 11.4: openSUSE 11.4 was released on Thursday the 10th of March 2011". 
  27. ^ "Portal 12.1: openSUSE 12.1 has been released on Wednesday, the 16th of November 2011". 
  28. ^ "Portal 12.2: openSUSE 12.2 has been released on Wednesday September 5th 2012". 
  29. ^ "Portal 12.3: openSUSE 12.3 has been released on Wednesday, March 13, 2013". 
  30. ^ a b "Supported Regular distributions". 
  31. ^ "Evergreen EOL". 
  32. ^ "Release Notes openSUSE 42.1". 
  33. ^ "Optimal Release for Linux Professionals Arrives with openSUSE Leap 42.2". November 16, 2016. 
  34. ^ "Tumbleweed". 

External links[edit]