A new OpenSUSE Linux is coming to town, and it's all about stability

Based on SUSE Linux Enterprise, OpenSUSE Leap 42.2 just hit beta

Linux users come in many shapes and sizes, but those in the business world typically steer clear of the bleeding edge. That's why the OpenSUSE project recently switched to a two-pronged development approach, with one version focused on constant updates and another on enterprise-grade stability. On Wednesday, the latter took a big step forward.

The first beta version of OpenSUSE Leap 42.2 is now available, giving enterprises and other stability-minded users the chance to check it out and get a taste of what's coming in the final release, which is due Nov. 16. This is the first key update to the Leap software since OpenSUSE adopted its dual-path approach late last year with OpenSUSE 42.1.

“Leap is for pragmatic and conservative technology adopters,” Ludwig Nussel, the release manager for OpenSUSE Leap, said in the software's official announcement. “Testing the beta helps make Leap even more mature, so we encourage as many people as possible to test it.”

Whereas Leap versions focus on stability, Tumbleweed is the name of the constantly updated rolling release version. Among the key differences underlying that distinction is that Leap is based on SUSE Linux Enterprise, while Tumbleweed is based on Factory, OpenSUSE's main development codebase.

The development team for Leap has also stuck with somewhat older releases of key packages in the interests of stability: Systemd 228 rather than 331, for instance, and Qt 5.6 rather than 5.7.

Also included are Puppet 3.8.7 and version 4.4 of the Linux kernel, along with numerous back-ported patches, project spokesman Douglas DeMaio said via email.

Overall, OpenSUSE Leap is "the safe choice" because it has the stability of an enterprise distribution, the project team said.

The software is now available as a free download from the project site. Coming up next are two more beta versions and two release candidates before the software's final November arrival.

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Katherine Noyes

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