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openSUSE Leap is the more stable version of the Linux-based project and distribution (distro) called openSUSE. openSUSE is sponsored by SUSE Linux GmbH and other companies, and like other Linux distros it is created as a community project and freely available. Two versions of the free distro are available: openSUSE Leap and openSUSE Tumbleweed. Leap uses source from SUSE Linux Enterprise, which gives it a great deal of stability. This helps with the maintenance of the core of Leap, which comes from the SUSE engineers, and fixes and security updates are also inherited from them. It is ideal for users who are more interested in having a system that is stable and gets bug fixes and security updates regularly, and less interested in having the newest software and who do not want to compile their own kernel modules.

 

Leap is available in a series of minor releases and has a life cycle of 18 months of maintenance and security updates per minor release. The first release of openSUSE Leap was November 4, 2015 with the release of openSUSE Leap 42.1. openSUSE Leap 15.0 was released on May 25, 2018 and the 15 series is projected to have an estimated 36 months of maintenance and security updates. openSUSE Leap is built for 64-bit architectures, so will not run on older hardware without 64-bit support.

 

The Linux kernel used in Leap is old compared with the one used in Tumbleweed. This is because Leap uses the same kernel version as the one used in the commercial release (SUSE Linux Enterprise), since it is based on the same source code. This provides a lot of the stability of the Leap version of the distro, because that version of the kernel is thoroughly tested and hardware and ISV certifications are already in place for it. The older kernel is kept updated with patches and backports to support new hardware as needed.