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).

OpenSUSE 42.1 Leap is now available for download, and the developers call it the first “hybrid distribution” of the Linux-based operating system.

opensuse 42

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.

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6 replies on “OpenSUSE Leap 42.1 is a Linux distro for enterprise or casual users”

  1. Why not make XFCE the default GUI? Distro packagers should keep in mind that the future of Linux server and desktop computers is low-end hardware, like white box servers, cheap notebooks and tablets, miniPCs, and old desktops that Windows won’t run on. Unity, Gnome and KDE ignore all that and aim directly at the power user. Until someone presents a compelling case that their customizations are worth the additional bloat, I’ll stick with a low overhead granddaddy distro like Debian and a lightweight window manager.

    1. Because the ‘default’ in openSUSE is meaningless – all of our desktop environments are supported equally. I use GNOME, lots of us use XFCE, LXDE, whatever.. the default is just there for people who don’t know what they want to use.

  2. “but you can also use choose GNOME during installation or switch to MATE, Xfcie, or Enlightenment” It should be “Xfce” (no “i”).

    As for Leap, I think it is a great non-rolling release alternative with a good focus. I like the idea of it working WITH enterprise SUSE rather than a feeder (Fedora -> Red Hat) or just supported longer as LTS (Ubuntu).

  3. Just recently I made an inventory of all my old computers. I found a very old IBM server that had OpenSUSE on it. I didn’t remember much of it besides it running it quite well on 128MB of RAM. I didn’t know they still made it.

    1. I would not be surprised if a lot of people thought that. Good thing they still do make it as it’s my favorite distro. I suspect it needs a bit more RAM these days, though.

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