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OpenSUSE cuts maintenance period to 18 months

From:  Michael Loeffler <>
Subject:  [opensuse-announce] Change in maintenance for openSUSE 11.2 and future versions
Date:  Fri, 14 Aug 2009 14:03:12 +0200
Message-ID:  <>
Archive-link:  Article


with regards to the discontinuation mail for openSUSE 10.3 [1] sent out by 
Marcus the other day I'd like to clarify the changes in the maintenance period 
of openSUSE. 

openSUSE will shorten the maintenance period to 2 versions plus 2 months 
which translates with the current release cycle of 8 months to 18 months 
instead of 24 months we had with openSUSE 11.1 and previous releases. 

With that we now can guarantee an overlap time from a maintenance perspective
which gives enough time to update machines to newer versions. 


Michael Löffler, Product Management
SUSE LINUX Products GmbH - Nürnberg - AG Nürnberg - HRB 16746 - GF: Markus Rex

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OpenSUSE maint. period: 18 months, Release schedule: 8 months

Posted Aug 15, 2009 20:16 UTC (Sat) by socket (subscriber, #43) [Link]

A note to people who haven't been following OpenSUSE as closely:

OpenSUSE has also decided that the six month release schedule followed by certain other distributions doesn't make much sense, and the schedule is going to be every eight months... except, I suppose, this time: I'm currently using OpenSuSE 11.1, which was released on December 18th of last year. 11.2 is scheduled to be released on Nov. 12 of this year. That's closer to 11 months than 8.

Not that I especially mind... I suppose they're measuring the 8 months starting from the time they decided to do 8-month releases, rather than from the release date of the presently current release. A little confusing, but whatever.

Combine this fact with the 18 month maintenance period, and remember that if your release is (much) more than 2 releases old, you're not going to get maintenance updates.

I personally think the maintenance period should be closer to 3 or 4 releases than 2, speaking for myself... particularly since there isn't a CentOS equivalent to SLED/SLES. It looks like I'd have to call Novell to get a sales quote to find out how much they consider longer-term support worth, and I suspect my hobbyist and occasional independent consultant use of several computers is a little below their radar. So, probably, are non-profits.

CentOS equivalent for OpenSUSE, anyone?

OpenSUSE maint. period: 18 months, Release schedule: 8 months

Posted Aug 16, 2009 18:05 UTC (Sun) by Nelson (subscriber, #21712) [Link]

A CenTOS like version of SLES seems like something that would be good for the community and spur some competition.

Perhaps a serving oriented fork of OpenSUSE would be interesting too.

OpenSUSE maint. period: 18 months, Release schedule: 8 months

Posted Aug 17, 2009 8:34 UTC (Mon) by forthy (guest, #1525) [Link]

The fact that zypper can now upgrade a distribution makes maintaining a server with OpenSuSE a lot easier. If you can flawlessly upgrade a distribution with just one reboot (necessary for any kernel update), you probably don't want to stick to an old distribution that long.

OpenSUSE maint. period: 18 months, Release schedule: 8 months

Posted Aug 16, 2009 18:07 UTC (Sun) by dmantione (guest, #4640) [Link]

I'd rather see some people step forward that start working on updates for
old OpenSUSE releases rather than canibalize on the work Novell is doing
to maintain their enterprise releases.

OpenSUSE maint. period: 18 months, Release schedule: 8 months

Posted Aug 18, 2009 20:45 UTC (Tue) by socket (subscriber, #43) [Link]

You know, I wouldn't mind stepping up to do that work, but that would probably require more of a time commitment than I can make without it being my day job. Good maintenance is more than just minimal security updates, after all.

Now, if Novell (or anyone else) would like to hire me to help them extend the maintenance period of OpenSUSE, I'd take that job.

Why would they pay?

Posted Aug 18, 2009 21:26 UTC (Tue) by dmarti (subscriber, #11625) [Link]

Novell paying to extend the maintenance period of OpenSUSE would be like KFC paying you to shoot, cook, and give away wildfowl outside their restaurants, or like Red Hat paying for longer maintenance of Fedora. The key to making business users go for an "enterprise" distribution instead of the "community" distribution is that the community distribution will be EOL before a customer can complete an IT project using it.

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