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What is the openSUSE project?

The openSUSE project is a community program sponsored by SUSE. Promoting the use of Linux everywhere, this program provides free, easy access to the world's most usable Linux distribution, openSUSE. openSUSE delivers everything that Linux developers and enthusiasts need to get started with Linux. Hosted at, the project features easy access to builds and releases. It also offers extensive community development programs for open access to the development process used to create openSUSE.

What are the goals of the openSUSE project?

The openSUSE project has three main goals:

  • Make openSUSE the easiest Linux for anyone to obtain and the most widely used Linux distribution
  • Leverage open source collaboration to make openSUSE the world's most usable Linux distribution and desktop environment for new and experienced Linux users
  • Dramatically simplify and open the development and packaging processes to make openSUSE the platform of choice for Linux developers and software vendors

Who should participate in the openSUSE project?

Linux developers and Linux users everywhere are welcome to participate in the project. We believe that the project will appeal particularly to:

  • Millions of openSUSE users worldwide
  • Experienced Linux engineers and application developers who want to create their own packages for openSUSE
  • Corporate Linux experts, who regard openSUSE as the distribution that consistently delivers the latest Linux packages to the community in a stabilized integrated build

Current Linux users and others interested in getting started with Linux can visit to download the recent official release of openSUSE. More technical users who wish to participate directly in the development of openSUSE will can download the current developer build of the distribution and submit bugs and patches through Bugzilla. Less technically advanced people can do other things, perhaps act as an openSUSE Ambassador.

Do participants need to register?

Generally, no. No registration is required for software, source code downloads, enhancement requests in openFATE or participation in mailing lists. However, registration is required to submit bug reports or patches.

How is the openSUSE project organized and managed?

All successful open source communities start with a strong vision and the support and leadership of a small, dedicated group. Initially, the openSUSE project was driven by a core team of SUSE personnel. The project's organizational model was changed over time as the openSUSE community grew.

Today the openSUSE Guiding principles describe the goals of the openSUSE project and how it is driven. An openSUSE Board consisting of SUSE employees and community members was setup to lead the overall project. openSUSE Members are specifically acknowledged contributors who have brought a continued and substantial contribution to the project (browse member list), who enjoy some perks and will elect the next openSUSE board.

For additional team members browse the openSUSE User Directory.

What is the openSUSE project Release Schedule?

openSUSE has two distributions; Tumbleweed, which is a rolling release, and Leap, which has no concrete development cycle with the exception that the previous release is supported for six months after the current release. This means that Leap 15.1 (released in May 2019) will have its End of Life six months after the release of Leap 15.2. View the openSUSE Roadmap for more a more current view.

Why did SUSE start the openSUSE project?

At its inception, the openSUSE project was created as a direct response to the needs of Novell customers, which originally started and sponsored the project. With millions of users worldwide, openSUSE Linux is known for its innovation and ease of use, and is one of the most popular Linux distributions available today. openSUSE Linux users have asked for greater opportunities to collaborate on the testing, design and integration of new openUSE features. Now, through the openSUSE project, Linux users everywhere have the opportunity to shape and improve the software they use on their personal laptops and home networks. They will also ultimately influence the commercial SUSE Linux products businesses use to run their applications.

What is the relationship of the openSUSE project to SUSE?

The openSUSE project is sponsored by SUSE, which contributes significant engineering, management and infrastructure resources. The openSUSE operating system and associated open source applications are used by SUSE as the basis for its fully supported and hardened enterprise Linux offerings.

What is the difference between openSUSE and SUSE's enterprise offerings?

openSUSE, created and maintained by the openSUSE Project, is a stable, integrated Linux operating system that includes stable (Leap) and newer (Tumbleweed) open source packages for desktop productivity, multimedia, Web-hosting, networking infrastructure and application development. It contains everything you need to get started with Linux and is ideal for individuals who wish to use Linux on their personal workstations or to drive their home networks.

openSUSE is the foundation for SUSE's enterprise products. SUSE refines and enhances openSUSE to create a hardened and supported suite of enterprise Linux products suitable for data center deployments, edge server deployments, business desktops, and business infrastructure deployment.

What makes the openSUSE project different from Fedora?

The Fedora Project, sponsored by Red Hat, is an open source effort with a strong community. There are also many other significant open source projects, such as Debian and Ubuntu, that serve active user and development communities. Generally speaking, these open source projects focus on engineering-centric issues that serve their technical community of Linux developers and users.

The openSUSE project explicitly looks beyond the technical community to the broader non-technical community of computer users interested in Linux. The openSUSE project creates — through an open and transparent development process — a stabilized, polished Linux distribution (openSUSE) that delivers everything a user needs to get started with Linux. (openSUSE is consistently cited as the best-engineered Linux and the most usable Linux.) To fulfill its mission of bringing Linux to everyone, the openSUSE project makes openSUSE widely available to potential Linux users through a variety of channels, including a complete retail edition with end-user documentation. Only the openSUSE project refines its Linux distribution to the point where non-technical users can have a successful Linux experience.

When compared specifically to Fedora, the openSUSE project embraces and develops several additional important open standards not included in Fedora, such as CIM (the Common Information Model), and YaST (a standard, open source configuration and management suite for Linux). Plus, the openSUSE project has a large desktop and usability effort, strengthened by many of the top open source GUI designers in the world.

What is the security update life cycle for openSUSE?

View Leap portal for more information as the release cycle has no consistent cycle.

What is the default desktop of openSUSE - GNOME or KDE?

openSUSE supports a number of popular desktop environments, including GNOME and KDE. During installation from DVD, the user is asked to choose among GNOME, KDE, XFCE, LXDE and other common environments. KDE is the default environment beginning from openSUSE 11.2. The two most common desktop environments are KDE and GNOME. Both desktop environments are mature and feature-rich, which one a user chooses is a question of personal taste.

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