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openSUSE Leap 15.3 Enters Beta Phase As an Exciting CentOS Alternative With Xfce 4.16, Power10 Support, and More

openSUSE is unquestionably an interesting distribution. We also have a separate article listing some compelling reasons to use openSUSE.

While it’s been almost a year since openSUSE 15.2 Leap released with a focus on containers, it is almost time for the next minor release.

Now, openSUSE announced the 15.3 minor version reaching the beta phase, meaning – it is up for testing. Even though it is technically a minor release, there are some significant changes worth noting along with some updates and improvements.

Let me briefly highlight those for you.

openSUSE Leap 15.3: What’s New?

The major change to talk about here is how they’re trying to build openSUSE from now on. The new approach to build openSUSE was pitched in the form of a prototype (Jump), as a proof of concept. But, now they’ve put that in action for 15.3 beta release.

Basically, they were trying to bring the code streams of both Leap and SUSE Enterprise Linux closer by building Leap on top of the binary packages from SLE.

And, it looks like they’ve achieved it with 15.3 minor release reaching its beta phase.

So, this should enable you to easily develop on community releases and put it in to production on an enterprise release without much hassle. As they mention it in the announcement post:

The changes make the migration from openSUSE Leap 15.3 to SLE 15 Service Pack 3 practically instantaneous and there are no socket or virtual machine limitations.

Now, with this kind of seamless migration experience, openSUSE could be an interesting CentOS replacement as well.

Another key highlight with this release is the availability of s390x architecture for testing along with x86_64, aarch64, and PowerPC.

In addition to this, an updated version of GNU C Library brings Power10 support as well. Not to forget, the Xfce desktop users will get the latest Xfce 4.16.

You can explore more about the changes in their official announcement post.

openSUSE Leap Beta Testing & Download

The beta images are available to download from the official website. They insist you to try testing the migration from Leap to SLE for the testing.

You can record your test results in the official spreadsheet with a chance to get a T-shirt as a token of appreciation. And, the bug reports should end up in openSUSE’s Bugzilla.

Do note that the release candidate is being targeted for April followed by the Gold Master release on May 21.

Happy testing folks! Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

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