long term support

is there extended support, as in updates, for opensuse? Also, is there phone subscription support? If yes to these two questions… If I became a direct seller of opensuse, how would I budget it?

opensuse has a support/life time of 2 years. If you want more, then get SLED or SLES

As noted, SLED and SLES are the Novell products which are positioned in the market for longer term support. There is a Novell forum as well that is specific to those products:

If it was openSUSE (which has a 2 year life cycle) that you were interested in, then there is detail on the openSUSE community support here: Communicate - openSUSE where that includes:

  • our community online forums;
  • the community IRC chat channels
  • the community Mailing lists
  • various web blogs of community members,
  • various social networks with sub-areas about SuSE (twitter, facebook …etc …)
  • News portal
  • other …

In terms of Novell Support, there is limited support that comes with the openSUSE boxed DVD set, as documented here for openSUSE-11.1 : OpenSUSE 11.1 - openSUSE where it is noted that there is free 90 day phone and email support from Novell (although that support is limited in that it has many caveats as to its scope). You can read those caveats for phone support from Novell here: NOVELL: openSUSE: Support Requirements and here: http://support.novell.com/products/opensuse/support_overview.html

The Novell site lists the support numbers here: NOVELL: openSUSE: Contact Information

Note there is an active community supporting openSUSE, with many wiki and many volunteers , and many 3rd party applications packaged for openSUSE. Its because of that community, with the support given, that I myself prefer the openSUSE product over the SLED/SLES. Having typed that, some users do not like the 2 year openSUSE life cycle.

One thing that many MS-Windows users (and also many MacIntosh users) do not realize when moving to openSUSE, is the importance of the openSUSE community. The openSUSE community is a key part as to the quality of the end product, and if the community do not participate in the developement process of openSUSE, then the end product that is released is not as good. For example, the past few years, where I have been maintaining openSUSE on relative(s) computers, I have started participating in the development process, where I did not before. That is so that I can be certain that the applications that I support for my relatives, and the applications that I need to support my relatives, function in the final GM (gold mastered) release of openSUSE. … While users are encouraged to process in the beta cycle of MS-Windows, IMHO it is much more important in Linux (than in Windows) that there is user participation.

You can read up on some openSUSE concepts here: Concepts - openSUSE Wiki

Again, note I am referring to openSUSE, and NOT to SLED nor SLES.

I looked at SLED in place of openSUSE. It was more restrictive in package availability, I don’t use gnome and the usability did not approach openSUSE. Our company uses thunderbird across all platforms, not evolution so that is not a plus.
To replace windows we also need to have a lower cost than windows, that is the cost compared to a windows pre-install and 3+ years windows updates, I don’t think SLED achieves this.

So although SLED is trying hard, but for business openSUSE with a release with 4-5 years support every 3 years would be my ideal. In fact I would be willing to subscribe to the longer support for the extended support release (make it 2 yrs standard support, subscribe $30 p.a. over 2 yrs).

Ubuntu offer Long Term Support (LTS) for set versions, this is the type of thing that will attract better adoption of openSUSE. If we want to see openSUSE preinstalled by PC vendors, its got to go the life of the machine, the general public could not perform a SUSE update, I still find it challenging after many many years.

If you want to get into making money out of open source, you need to follow the IBM model and offer services like custom installation and custom program development; you are most likely to be successful in that area if you focus on a particular area that you - and potential clients - are interested in.

All consultants have their own specialisms - I wouldn’t hire IBM to help me with music software - and you need to decide what USP (unique selling proposition) you have that you can offer to potential clients, whether current or potential users of open source.

How easy is it to move from openSUSE after 2 years into SLED to be supported? Major re-installation or simple change and viola! you’re supported?

Well openSUSE and SLED are different products. You cannot convert an openSUSE install into a SLED install just like that. The repositories are different, the software might differ slightly in version, some software might not be officially supported in SLED, and so forth. So it’s not a downtime-free conversion.

However given the family similarities you can probably reuse a lot of your config files in /etc.


I think the idea of an OpenSUSE LTS version should not be discarded just like that. There are other community distributions like Ubuntu and Linux Mint who are offering LTS versions, so why should we not even think about it?

In my opinion an LTS version would be a good alternative for small businesses who cannot afford SLES yet. Keep in mind this might change when they grow larger over time. Also there are private ( esp. “average joe”) users who would like to have their os supported for a long period of time. It would certainly be a good thing for everybody involved in the SUSE brand (that includes Novell) to try to keep this people and companies SUSE users.

Please note that the longer an operating system is supported, updated and fixed, the more stable and complete it will become. I don’t know about you, but 11 and 11.1 have not been very stable on my systems, sometimes it felt really buggy. A stronger focus on stability could be just the right thing for our distro right now.

So to me, the question is not if we should create an LTS OpenSUSE, but if we can. Do we have the human ressources, is the community active and big enough? I don’t know, but if so, I think we should start working on it.

An alternative would perhaps be a SUSE equivalent to CentOS, which has been talked about many times in recent years but sadly never seriosly worked on, at least not to my knowledge.

Thanks for reading.

In my opinion an LTS version would be a good alternative for small businesses who cannot afford SLES yet. Keep in mind this might change when they grow larger over time

Not only for small businesses, who might over a successful financial period make a move to SLES/SLED, but what of schools and non-profit groups who are out there doing good work in the community and needing all the help they can get in return to aid them?

an LTS type release would be a terrific thing for those market groups and would also go along way to encouraging adoption of Linux in respected user markets.

Big Bear

That’s the rub isn’t it? Maintaining a LTS distro is a lot of work, to keep up with just security patches, let alone normal bug patches. It’s no good having a whole bunch of users, you really need enough developers with enough time to work on it. Since there is no rich sponsor, it’s all volunteer work.

However the OBS could be seen as a step towards making volunteer support easier. I can see that some packages like squirrelmail have been spun off to there.


Do you think a community version of SUSE Linux Enterprise would be easier to accomplish than an LTS OpenSUSE? I honestly don’t know, but with new tools like OBS and SUSE Studio this might be the case. We would perhaps need to get rid of the brandings of SLES/D, but there would be a smaller amount of actual development (by the community) needed imho, because of Novell.

I started a topic about this on the Suse Studio forums/mailing list, but didn’t get much of a response so far.

Perhaps, perhaps not but it would surely increase the proliferation of SuSE in businesses.

Let’s face it - many smaller businesses aren’t interested in paying for SLED/SLES for the sole reason that they are stupidly expensive.

Having a free CentOS style distribution version would not only help acceptance but perhaps foster contributions and move more Windows based shops to Linux.

Pricing depends a bit on your own perspective. It is not a typical Small Business Server, but more targetted on the larger enterprises. So for an OS that can handle over 4 CPU’s and over 32GB of memory it is not that expensive at all.

And if the new “zypper dup” is working as nicely as Debians “apt-get dist-upgrade” (only time and a lot of tests will tell), LTS is not really an issue any more.

Apples and oranges.

The bottom idea behind an LTS version is to retain the SAME versions that were shipped and only backport security patches so vendors can certify their products against a certain distribution and version or upgrade them via a service pack - not mindlessly upgrading them via dup.

Every OS have few years of support thats it then your are or everyone on there own.You can always switch to the next Version it is up to everyone. I dont know if opensuse support may till 3 or 4 years I don`t know.Some of OS do 3-4 years of support.

No it is not expensive for few of us like me I can handle it Motherboard with over 30gb+ will be few $1000 of euro and you have to spend for very good system about $20.000 -30.000 Euro for larger enterprises.
But the one is you have to build your own system then you know what you get from your own money,that is the KEY;).

When I started using Linux/GNU distributions, I found it exciting, and most of the software and desktops “Gnome, KDE” were fast. Everything is hype it seems now a days. Fedora pushing all new, “better” software. I really just want my install to work, and have the best software supported and installed on it. I don’t want to go through a third party that doesn’t have the resources to keep a system like this free from bugs, while keeping it secure. I liked KDE and used it for awhile. But one little thing that bothered me was that setting up the weather docklet was so complicated compared to gnomes. I couldn’t understand why it had to be so difficult. I thought to myself “why can’t they just rip off gnomes weather docklet?”. So I ditched KDE. It really bothered me that KDE software had to suffer because it had to be K branded. Even if it’s K branded, rip off the GTK counterpart. It’s opensource, what’s the problem? It really, really bothered me. So I used Gnome. And I enjoyed it. Until I started to get into the package managers. Spending hours reading online, Linux Format, Linux Journal, I found all this cool software, that seemed to be sometimes better than whatever branded desktop was using. So why can’t these DE just eat up the code and ditch the ****? It’s not really stopping me to install and keep up to date software that I find, and publications reccomend, but it’s the ignorance that pisses me off. It’s over zealous, like Stallman always mentioning the GNU/Linux, not Linux. Like somehow he’s not getting enough attention. These DE are the same way.
Anyways, I jumped on the debian band wagon because of apt. I missed the ease of YAST. Run a search on google, and bam, YAST4debian. Finally, someone see’s the light. Well that light slowly dimmed into oblivion.
Knoppix came out, with fantastic hardware detection, and made it easy for noobs, myself included, to setup a debian based distro. However, it wasn’t designed to be a debian replacement. Now there was the Gentoo hype. YOPER came out with the first attempt at making linux work faster, and carried the newest features that were supposed to make linux great. Maybe even a MS Windows replacement. Sadly the effort that was made, by learning from Gentoo’s install guide for tweaking and making your install blazing fast, and having YAST support, the original maintainer was doing most of the work himself. Couldn’t keep up with the likes of Gentoo or Debian for carrying, and supporting through bug and security fixes. So back at Ubuntu, they had installer that was great. Everything seemed peachy, even though there was no YAST. With Miguel writing redcarpet, it seemed that SuSe was going to have simple installing of software like debian. It died, and now theres Fedora. They offered YUM, but it seemed at the time that people rather use Apt4rpm. Still, I wanted speed, and YOPER speed without the fuss. I wanted to be able to install something with speed that I could install and walk away from. My family and friends could be in awe, and enjoy the ease of configuring it with YAST. From Gentoo, and now Archs convention of rolling updates, it would seem that setting it and forgetting it would make it breezy. Well most of the big distro players support this, but it’s utter ****. Not once have I had a happy experience with this. I ditched Ubuntu because I couldn’t understand this. Take a working system, fill the users with hyped new features, then get them to update. If there was a blue screen in linux, it would be popping up all the time. So with all this hopping, VIDALINUX comes out. Takes Anaconda from redhat, slaps it on Gentoo, and weehaw lets party. But no, it was buggy as anything else, and you had to fork out money if you wanted to install precompiled packages. There was a forum, and everyone seemed to need help compiling the software with emerge.
Listen. Out of all the players, OpenSuse is the only one that has the prerequisites to Checkmate everyone else. I know you guys went KDE and if that’s what floats your boat then cool. But at least, try to get just one, that’s all I ask, cause no ones done it. Get one release out, that has the packages available, the bugs fixed, the speed worked on, and the software that is the best, no matter what “race” you are. Keep it working. Don’t compete with others, make them compete with you. At least don’t be releasing new and “better” upgrades that are worse than the last release. Maybe use a crafted approach of gentoo, like emerde for Slackware. I’m done with these hobby distro’s that have all the right things and none of the support. Maybe get ahold of VidaLinux and Yoper, and assimilate. They seem to be coming back online, but I’m not going to try and use them, I know it’s just going to let me down. It’s sad, very sad. All this culture and community, all wanting attention. Give the baby’s their bottle. It’s too upsetting to keep on going like this. Too much potential all pissed up wind.

I posted earlier in this thread and I still think an LTS version isn’t necessarily a bad idea.

I will say that with the advent of easy upgrading brought into the mix by 11.2 that it makes the dire need for something like that much less.

One of the things I appreciate so much about Debian is being able to update easily via apt/synaptic. Opensuse joins that level of ease with this release.

Mind you, this is desktops/workstations I am talking about. Servers is something else entirely.

I only provide security updates to servers and functionality when needed. otherwise, servers are left to be until absolutely necessary to update/upgrade.

In which case, SLES would be the better choice in terms of Novell products.

Just my opinion,

Big Bear