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openSUSE Wants to Replace Leap With a New Offering

openSUSE Leap is set to be replaced with a new option. Learn more about it here.

Richard Brown, a long-time contributor to the openSUSE project, shared some results from a recent contributor survey.

It was about the interest and feasibility of replacing openSUSE Leap with a new community-built offering. Yes? A replacement to openSUSE Leap?

Interesting news, right? 😳

It's not shocking. The openSUSE team hinted at Leap being discontinued in 2022 with the introduction of the Adaptable Linux Platform (ALP). So, it was expected.

But, what are the options to replace openSUSE Leap with?

A Derivative of Tumbleweed Likely to Replace Leap

As per the replacement proposal, we have two options:

  • Linarite: A regular old-fashioned release desktop distribution, likely with a narrower package selection than we're used to with Leap unless we find significantly more contributors to be able to support everything
  • Slowroll: A derivative of Tumbleweed, built automatically as much as possible, using automation and metrics to copy packages from Tumbleweed only after certain conditions (max age, X weeks without change, etc). Basically an attempt to provide something less scary than full speed Tumbleweed.
As an update to this story, OpenSUSE now has a webpage for Slowroll for you to test.

However, the survey results show a mixed bag of opinions.

Most users choose "Slowroll" as a viable replacement going forward, which they would like to contribute to.

In contrast, contributors voted not to replace openSUSE Leap or use Tumbleweed instead.

But, when choosing one option, the contributors chose "Linarite".

So, the users and existing contributors have different choices.

OpenSUSE decides to go with the users' preference as Slowroll, a rolling release distro. It would need more contributors than what the survey highlights as interested.

Richard also revealed that either of the two replacements will need more effort than Leap, and as of now, the contributors interested in both options are fewer in number when compared to Leap.

Leap has struggled even with 61 folk contributing directly to the codebase and backports/PackageHub. And this is when we've had the SLE codebase to borrow from, which dramatically reduced the work required.

Either Slowroll or Linarite would require considerably more packaging and maintenance work than Leap.

He also emphasized that any Leap replacement should focus on desktop use cases rather than trying to cater to both server and desktop.

To Replace or Not?

The announcement of survey results challenges the community to answer if openSUSE should proceed with replacing Leap or not.

And, if they go ahead, can the community help them support it?

💬 What do you think should be the final decision for openSUSE? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below.

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