Hi. I'm from Debian Land.

I've used OpenSUSE before, but never on my own systems. I'm now attempting to understand it better as we have an application in development which will run on OpenSUSE.

OpenSUSE has a 'Tumbleweed', 'Factory', and a 'Leap'.

There is very little clear and concise information on the official OpenSUSE website describing the differences between these. The information is jumbled, mixed, poorly written and frustrating. (The OpenSUSE Wikipedia article appears outdated as well.)


What is the difference between these various OpenSUSE releases/flavors?

  • install a container in top of Debian with OpenSUSE and be done with it... Nov 19, 2015 at 21:24
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    @RuiFRibeiro ---> You could not answer the question with an actual answer but I admire your snark. Nov 19, 2015 at 21:26
  • We have had SuSE and OpenSUSE here. Remarkably similar to RedHat/CentOS. SuSE is the paid version, and you guess it OpenSUSE is the free version. I am not joking. I know very soon I will be asked to install a RH application and I will do the same. Nov 19, 2015 at 21:29
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    @RuiFRibeiro: If you migrated everything to Debian then you certainly know what you are doing. Smart move..........for this question here, I will wait for an answer from someone. Nov 19, 2015 at 21:37
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    To be truthful, I sure know SuSE has been investing a lot in commoditisation of virtualization in the last version(s). Combating the prevalence of RedHat in the Enterprise, mainly in Europe. Their integration products are an easy sell. Nov 19, 2015 at 21:53

1 Answer 1


I'm just quoting the openSUSE wiki here:

The Factory project is the rolling development codebase for openSUSE Tumbleweed.

There is a constant flow of packages going into Factory. There is no freeze; therefore, the Factory repository is not guaranteed to be fully stable and is not intended to be used by humans. The core system packages receive automated testing via openQA.

When automated testing is completed and the repo is in a consistent state, the repo is synced to the download mirrors and published as openSUSE Tumbleweed. That usually happens once or twice a week.

Factory is mainly used as an internal term for openSUSE's distribution developers, and the target project for all contributions to openSUSE's main codebase.

Power users, developers, and openSUSE contributors are recommended to use the Tumbleweed rolling release.

Conservative users who just need a working system ("if it ain't broke, don't fix it") are advised to stay with the current stable release.

Leap is the current stable release.

Clear and concise enough for me.

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    Just a note, from my perspective, the clarity could possibly use some work. As of now, opensuse.org refers to Tumbleweed as "Stabilized!" and "Tested!" and to Leap as merely the "most complete" "regular-release". To an outsider, this could seem to be the opposite of what the wiki says. Nov 22, 2015 at 15:34
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    I do get that from the wiki, but coming from Debian land myself, I just looked at the opensuse.org site ... and found that clicking for more information on Tumbleweed tells us that it is a "stable platform", whereas clicking for more information on Leap does not mention the word "stable", but describes Leap as "stabilized", which described Tumbleweed on the previous page. Room for more clarity there, I'd say. Nov 23, 2015 at 1:42

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