Linux / Open Source

SUSE Makes openSUSE Leap and SUSE Linux Enterprise Binary Compatible

15 Jun 2021 7:00am, by

Open source enterprise software provider SUSE is set to make two of its Linux distributions, the openSUSE Leap community edition and SUSE Linux Enterprise (SLE) fully binary compatible when it releases its SLE Service Pack 3 (SP3) in July.

The idea is to, among other things, both improve support for openSUSE as it benefits from the same service pack as SLE and to help facilitate an enterprise migration from openSUSE Leap to SLE. In practical terms, DevOps teams can test applications and codes on openSUSE Leap for free and more easily — and securely — migrate to SLE.

openSUSE Leap and SUSE Linux Enterprise (SLE) previously shared the same source but were not binary compatible.

The compatibility will also introduce SUSE Linux Enterprise Base Container Images (SLE BCI), which provides “truly open, flexible and secure container images and application development tools for immediate use by developers and integrators without the lock-in imposed by alternative offerings,” Keith Basil, vice president, cloud native infrastructure at SUSE, told The New Stack.

SUSE’s move was also seen as an effort to help attract users of Red Hat’s CentOS that served as a free version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL). However, Red Hat is “shifting focus” from CentOS Linux in favor of the RHEL rebuild CentOS Stream, which CentOS said will track “just ahead of current RHEL releases.” In other words, users will only have the option of rolling releases if they opt for CentOS Stream.

Since SLES 15 SP3 will deliver “full binary compatibility between openSUSE Leap and SLE, users might be encouraged to switch away from CentOS Stream to benefit from more stable release updates,” Basil said. “With CentOS no longer providing a binary compatibility with any commercial Linux distribution, SUSE will introduce programs and services to solve this so those users can migrate to Leap.”

Since SLES 15 SP3 will deliver binary compatibility between openSUSE Leap and SUSE Linux Enterprise and with CentOS no longer providing a binary compatibility with Red Hat’s commercial Linux distribution, “SUSE will introduce programs and services to solve this so those users can migrate to openSUSE Leap,” Basil said.

The core between openSUSE Leap and SLE will share “exactly the same set of packages,” Michal Svec senior product manager at SUSE, said during SUSE’s recently held SUSECON 2021 conference. “Since migration between Leap and SLE is very easy to do and very, very quick, this enables developers to play with openSUSE Leap in open source and free-of-charge environments,” Svec said. “Once they need enterprise assurance, they can go with an SLE subscription and migrate easily.”

The service pack connection is key in that it will ensure that openSUSE users can benefit from more secure and stable updates, instead of having to rely on rolling updates. The rolling updates are not as thoroughly tested and vetted, and thus do not benefit from the same quality assurance (QA) as the more rigorously vetted service pack releases that are issued twice a year. However, for those who seek SUSE updates for openSUSE on a more regular basis, they can install the beta service packs before the final releases are issued or opt for a rolling release cycle with openSUSE Tumbleweed.

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