Understanding openSuse Tumbleweed and Leap



  • Newcomers to the Suse and openSuse worlds will likely be confused by their approach to the distro. The Ubuntu world has Ubuntu LTS and normal Ubuntu in the same series. The Red Hat world has Fedora and the RHEL/CentOS series. And Suse has SLES/Leap and Tumbleweed.

    opensuse leap and tumbleweed

    In the old days, openSuse would make regular releases (about every six months) and from time to time Suse would "freeze" one of these and offer long term commercial support with the frozen product known as SLES (Suse Linux Enterprise Server.)

    The openSuse world evolved from the "rapid" release images to a rolling release system known as Tumbleweed. Tumbleweed is an "always up to date" system without hard release cycles like other distros. This caused the openSuse and SLES worlds to diverge more than originally intended.

    Recently, openSuse Leap has been introduced which provides for an openSuse provided free release that matches the current SLES release. This makes it much more in line with the Red Hat world where Fedora is roughly analogous to openSuse Tumbleweed (but one is rapid images and the other is rolling) and RHEL is analogous to SLES as a long term commercial support offering and CentOS is analogous to openSuse Leap (identical to the LTS release, but free.)



  • How do you mean rolling updates? If I download tumbleweed today and they update to a new release I just have to run the built in updater to get the newest release?



  • @coliver said:

    How do you mean rolling updates? If I download tumbleweed today and they update to a new release I just have to run the built in updater to get the newest release?

    You just update, there are no concepts of "releases." There isn't a new release for them to update to.



  • @scottalanmiller said:

    @coliver said:

    How do you mean rolling updates? If I download tumbleweed today and they update to a new release I just have to run the built in updater to get the newest release?

    You just update, there are no concepts of "releases." There isn't a new release for them to update to.

    Thanks.



  • I don't know why others don't follow with this. I'm sure there are reasons I can't see, but it just seems easier with a rolling release like Arch or Tumbleweed.

    They can still snapshot at a point in time to create the LTS release. Maybe it's more work on their part since with a rolling release there can be so many packages that change rather quickly?

    I know it's almost enough of a pain to do the upgrade from release to release sometimes to make me consider just wiping and starting over (I usually do that with my laptop and Fedora since home is on a separate drive).