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openSUSE:Leap History

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This page tracks the status of the discussion about the openSUSE distribution based on SUSE Linux Enterprise sources.
Warning: This development of openSUSE Leap is ongoing and you should treat the information on this page as subject to change. Keep an eye on our blog for regular updates!

Executive Summary

At the openSUSE Conference 2015 SUSE announced that it has released SUSE Linux Enterprise (SLE) sources, including all maintenance updates, into the OBS reference server. This opened up the possibility to unite SLE and openSUSE developers and processes for stable distribution releases (SLE12/13.2).

Richard Brown captured the idea of a new release using the SLE sources in his presentation The Future is unwritten at oSC15.

The development of Leap proceeded through communications on the Factory Mailing List and how to develop the baby cemented the path toward developing the first version of Leap 42.1.

Current Status

openSUSE Leap 42.1 was released on Nov. 4, 2015,(ANNOUNCEMENT) and can be downloaded from

More details can be found in Roadmap.

Development Discussions


Stephan Kulow proposed that the basic work flow is that SLE sources provide the core system and "desktop stuff" comes from Tumbleweed.

Project Layout

packages with free software license [1]
packages with non free licenses [2]
updates for packages with free software license [3]
updates for packages with non free licenses [4]

Package Submission Workflow

Packagers branch and file submit requests to openSUSE:Leap:42.1 like with any other project. The usual automated and manual review methods as known from Tumbleweed are applied to those requests. After all reviews are passed the project maintainer accepts the submit requests.

Kernel Version

Original plans for Leap were to use the SLE provided Version 3.12 Kernel. However there were concerns regarding the support for new hardware. Takashi Iwai and Richard Brown proposed using the new 4.1 LTS Kernel as the default Kernel in Leap, which was integrated into the distribution on July 22, 2015.

GCC versions

Richard Biener proposed to switch the gcc5 compiler in openSUSE:Leap:42.1 to the old libstdc++ ABI to avoid breakage (when mixing some binaries). The switch to the new libstdc++ ABI would occur at a later flag day. The default compiler version for openSUSE:Leap:42 has not ultimately been set to gcc5 as of July 1 2015; for now, it remains 4.8.

RPM Distro Version Macros

  • suse_version 1315 for the full time life of SLE12 and openSUSE:Leap:42.1
  • additionally is_opensuse 1 for openSUSE:Leap:42.1 to mark differences
RPM macros for SLE12 and openSUSE:Leap
SLE12:GA SLE12:SP1 openSUSE:Leap:42.1 openSUSE:Leap:42.2
%suse_version 1315 1315 1315 1315
%is_opensuse undefined/0? undefined/0? 1 1
%sle_version undefined/0? undefined/0? undefined 120200

Marketing Aspects

Name and Versioning

Rainer Fiebig suggested Leap as a name for the distribution. openSUSE members asked the openSUSE board to make a decision on the name as there were a few others suggested.

On July 6, 2015, The Name & Version for the new openSUSE Regular Distribution email was released. The board decided on the name Leap. The naming of Leap was an extensive thread and can be found under the how to name the baby thread.

openSUSE Leap

The Best of Two Worlds


Leap provides a balance between new and innovative and mature and downgraded. Leap offers that enterprise feel, provides modern hardware support and has intentional downgraded packages to reinforce the Long-Term-Support vision of Leap.Newer releases like KDE Plasma 5 and Libreoffice 5 are in Leap while other mature releases like GNOME 3.16 and GNU Compiler Collection 4.8.5 with the option of GCC 5.2 are in Leap as well.



Leap has a further developed Btrfs filesystem as the default option and an XFS data file system for performance, but there are several other options to choose from. The benefit of Btrfs allows users to take advantage of Snapper. Users can recover the previous status of the system using snapshots. Snapper will automatically create hourly snapshots of the system, as well as pre- and post-snapshots for YaST and zypper transactions, which can be disabled. This new version adds the ability to boot right into a snapshot to recover from corruption of important files on the system (like bash). A powerful system and a powerful tool.

Proven SUSE enterprise-components, an LTS-kernel and long-term support combine with the innovative spirit of the Open-Source community for excellent reliability and just right up-to-dateness.

Target Audience

Agreements were made that Leap would target people who are looking for a stable base for workstations and servers. This was because openSUSE's other distribution Tumbleweed addresses people who are looking for the latest and greatest Free and Open Source software and packages.