openSUSE is a general purpose operating system built on top of the Linux kernel, developed by the community-supported openSUSE Project and sponsored by SUSE and a number of other companies. After Novell acquired SUSE Linux in January 2004, Novell decided to release the SUSE Linux Professional product as a 100% open source project. In 2011 The Attachmate Group acquired Novell and split Novell and SUSE into two autonomous subsidiary companies. SUSE offers products and services around SUSE Linux Enterprise -- their commercial offering that is based on openSUSE Linux. The initial release of the community project was a beta version of SUSE Linux 10.0, and as of today May 21, 2013 the current stable release is openSUSE 12.3. The openSUSE Project community, sponsored by SUSE, develops and maintains SUSE Linux distributions components. openSUSE Linux is the successor to "SUSE Linux Professional". Beyond the distribution, the openSUSE Project provides a web portal for community involvement. The community developing openSUSE collaboratively with its corporate sponsors through the Open Build Service, writing documentation, designing artwork, fostering discussion on open mailing lists and in Internet Relay Chat channels, and improving the openSUSE site through its wiki interface. openSUSE aims to offer a stable base and allow users to use the Open Build Service to get additional or more up to date software, or even a rolling release version with the name Tumbleweed. Moreover, the system should be flexible and make it easy to re-purpose for specific goals like running a web- or mail server. Like most Linux distributions, openSUSE includes both a default graphical user interface (GUI) and a command line interface option. During installation, the user may choose among KDE SC, GNOME, LXDE and Xfce GUIs. openSUSE supports thousands of software packages across the full range of Free software / open source development
The openSUSE project aims to release a new version every eight months. Since version 11.2, critical updates have been provided for two releases plus two months, which results in a support lifetime of 18 months. To add predictability and to prevent people from thinking the .0 releases are more major, the openSUSE version scheme has changed starting in openSUSE 12.1. All November releases have a .1, all July releases have a .2, and all March releases have a .3. Every two years, when another .1 version is released, the major version number is bumped up 2.1
The initial stable release from the openSUSE Project was SUSE Linux 10.0, released on October 6, 2005. This was released as a freely downloadable ISO image and as a boxed retail package, with certain bundled software only included in the retail package. On May 11, 2006, the openSUSE Project released SUSE Linux 10.1, with the mailing list announcement identifying Xgl, NetworkManager, AppArmor and Xen as prominent features. For their third release, the openSUSE Project renamed their distribution, releasing openSUSE 10.2 on December 7, 2006. Several areas that developers focused their efforts on were reworking the menus used to launch programs in KDE and GNOME, moving to ext3 as the default file system, providing support for internal readers of Secure Digital cards commonly used in digital cameras, improving power management framework (more computers can enter suspended states instead of shutting down and starting up) and the package management system. This release also featured version 2.0 of Mozilla Firefox. The fourth release, openSUSE 10.3, was made available as a stable version on October 4, 2007. An overhaul of the software package management system (including support for 1-Click-Install), legal MP3 support from Fluendo and improved boot-time are some of the areas focused on for this release. 2.2
openSUSE 11.0 was released on June 19, 2008. It includes the latest version of GNOME and two versions of...
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