The latest version of the openSUSE operating system is the first to combine community-developed software with professionally-developed source code from SUSE Linux Enterprise (SLE).
What that means is from here on out SLE and openSUSE will have the same maintenance stream — many bug fixes and other improvements will be available to both operating systems at the same time, and some software packages and updates will also be shared.
Since SLE is designed for enterprise use, there’s an emphasis on stability and reliability, as well as features aimed at system adminstrators. The price to pay for that stability is that you might have to wait a while for updated versions of you software which add new features.
Prefer to live on the edge? You can still install openSUSE Tumbleweed edition for a rolling release with more up-to-date (but less thoroughly tested) software packages.
As for the Leap edition, that’s the new name for the “stable” version of openSUSE. Wondering why the first version is called openSUSE Leap 42.1? The 42 is the start of a new naming scheme that was adopted earlier this year. The .1 is because this version of the software is based on SUSE Linux Enterprise 12 service pack 1. When Service Pack 2 is released, the version number will leap to 42.2.
The default desktop environment for openSUSE Leap 42.1 is KDE Plasma, but you can also use choose GNOME during installation or switch to MATE, Xfce, or Enlightenment after the OS is installed if you’d prefer one of those options.