One small Leap for OpenSUSE as 15.5 arrives ahead of business sibling

The openSUSE Project has released its newest stable version, which should be closely followed by its enterprise sibling.

openSUSE Leap 15.5 has just appeared, and ISOs and VM images are available now. The project has both a highlights page with an executive summary of what's fresh, and also a much longer features list detailing all the latest versions of its many components. The new version has the most recent KDE Plasma 5.27 and Xfce 4.18, but GNOME fans get the older GNOME 41 release.

Although it's still based on kernel 5.14.21, notably, this version has Mesa 22.3.5 and DRM 6.0, and includes support for several new GPUs: AMD Radeon RX 7600, AMD Radeon RX 7900 XT/XTX, Intel Arc A380, Intel Arc A750, and Intel Arc A770.

The Leap release shares a common core with SUSE's enterprise distro, SLE, as it has for a couple of releases now, so that will soon see version 15 SP 5 as well. Version 15 has been in beta since early this year and has its own project page with more info.

SUSE is still working on its next-generation enterprise distro, codenamed ALP, and released a third preview release, "Piz Bernina", in April - along with a project status email. It is also considering a comparable openSUSE ALP sibling. In the meantime, though, its existing codebase is still getting updated - and will continue to be for longer than originally planned. There will be a Leap 15.6 around this time in 2024, with its end of life in 2025.

This is good news for the many SUSE and openSUSE users who are pretty happy with things as they are. The market for containers and Kubernetes is substantial, which is of course why SUSE acquired Rancher in 2020 - before CEO Melissa di Donato rode off into the sunset earlier this year.

Even so, plain old Linux servers are still a substantial part of SUSE's business, and the migration model to containerized workloads is not yet entirely clear. This move may reassure SUSE's investors, as there are reports that "SUSE is suffering from weak customer demand". ®

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