What is the relationship between Aeon and Kalpa?

So I was made aware of a thread on reddit where it’s brought up that folks don’t understand the relationship between openSUSE MicroOS, openSUSE Aeon, and openSUSE Kalpa.

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I think it is a mistake for openSUSE to go with this naming scheme. Fedora is moving away from naming each desktop environment as its own spin because of all of the confusion it causes. openSUSE has Leap, Tumbleweed, Micro OS (which from what I understand is evolving into Aeon and Kalpa), and Micro Leap. It’s getting too confusing

You’re certainly entitled to your opinion, but this decision was made well over a year ago, and it’s not "openSUSE"s decision to make.

Good for Fedora. This isn’t Fedora.

If you’d actually read the post, instead of just deciding you knew what was going on, you’d know that what you’ve just said here about MicroOS evolving into anything other than MicroOS is patently false.

I know that this naming scheme is going to be applied to the Xfce desktop, and presumably all of the ones after that. This will add increasing complexity to the naming structure. openSUSE and Fedora target similar audiences, so we are likely to encounter similar confusion. Keep in mind, most people aren’t as invested in openSUSE, or any operating system, as we are.

“In 2023, the decision was made to “Rebrand” the MicroOS Desktop to clear up any confusion with the MicroOS server distribution, and focus more on the desktop. This is when “openSUSE MicroOS Desktop GNOME” became “openSUSE Aeon” and began to diverge from MicroOS.” This is an excerpt from your post. Maybe it didn’t come across as you intended, but it sounds like Aeon is a successor to openSUSE MicroOS Desktop, at least for the Gnome offering. Also, I shouldn’t have to read a post from a random website to understand openSUSE’s offerings.

I don’t mean for my original post, or this one, to come off as combative. These are great operating systems, but the naming scheme is going to be a big point of confusion for many people, as you saw with the Reddit thread. People choosing an Operating system already have many offerings from Fedora, Ubuntu, openSUSE, et cetera, and having this many offerings without an intuitive naming scheme is going to overwhelm a lot of people.

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There is no “MicroOS Desktop” anymore. There is no successor. There were ever only two versions of it, that had any sort of “official” to them, GNOME and KDE Plasma.

Could somebody decide they want to resurrect the “MicroOS Desktop” name? Sure, but as of right now, there is no such thing as the “MicroOS Desktop”.

I attempted to summarise it in this old post.

I just asked chatGPT-4o to make my diagram dot-file “more corporate” in style and color. I did not tell it what the diagram contained. Without prompting on my part it added ALP Bedrock server and ALP Micro cloud-native, which appears to be correct :open_mouth:. New diagram is as follows:

@mchnz everything is pulled direct from Tumbleweed, there is no relationship/path between MicroOS and Aeon (TIK, FDE, systemd boot etc)

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Thanks for the diagram. That’s a lot of offerings, even more than I originally thought. I feel like they’re all self explanatory up until the atomic variants. I get that we don’t want super long names, but we need some way to better convey the characteristics of each offering

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@6m-uTnj There is only one offering, Factory/Tumbleweed… It’s the distribution Ikea so to speak… :wink:

There are teams that work on specific user targets and of course hardware architecture which anyone (eg Slowroll) can itch their target audience, whether that is bare-metal, edge, cloud, virtualization and of course WSL.

Aeon for example is a GNOME desktop environment and only supports x86_64, UEFI, TPM 2.0 and maybe only v3+ CPU’s at some point, it also is not related to MicroOS in any way…

Bleeding edge is Tumbleweed, Long Term and Atomic/Transactional/RO from that you can make anything your wanting to do for your requirements/architecture.

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Thanks for the clarification.

So MicroOS, Aeon, and Kalpa are separately pulled out of Tumbleweed and share nothing in common? Or perhaps they share some/all of a common architecture and a build/pull process that spits out each of them? Perhaps a common architectural virtual ancestry which might be a non-concrete node of some kind.

My original intent when I drew this was to flush out a real/official description/diagram. I find it all quite confusing, even after spending some time studying, I still got it wrong.

@mchnz well for example Aeon targets a GNOME DE, Kalpa the Plasma DE, what about all the other desktop variants?

Everything is Factory first, which goes into Tumbleweed (as a snapshot release), from that users/teams can pull anything they want, or skip openQA and use Factory to build their images I guess…

You really need to drill down from https://download.opensuse.org/ to see them all…

You also missed Harvester on the SLE side (since you mentioned variants…) and then there is Liberty Linux…

A plethora of headaches :wink:

So these teams don’t have any coordination? All of the variants are just distros of openSUSE Factory (through Tumbleweed)? For some reason I had expected openSUSE to be more monolithic in terms of it’s development, but I guess this explains all the variety

I think I’ll add this to the too hard basket.

I was most interested in the major versions that might (eventually) have some “official” kind of support (web front page presence with download links).

I resorted to asking chatGPT-4o for some details. It also got it wrong and seemed to think Aeon and Kalpa are variants of MicroOS, so we’re all a little confused :face_with_spiral_eyes::

Question to chatGPT-4o:

Can you summarise the family tree of all the OpenSUSE variants?

Answer:

Here’s a summary of the family tree of OpenSUSE variants, highlighting the key versions and their relationships:

OpenSUSE Family Tree

  1. SUSE Linux Enterprise (SLE)

    • SLE Server (SLES)
    • SLE Desktop (SLED)
    • SLE Micro (containerized)
    • SLE Linux RT, HPC, etc.
  2. SUSE Adaptable Linux Platform (ALP)

    • Future platform under development, aimed at containerized environments
    • ALP Bedrock server
    • ALP Micro cloud-native
  3. OpenSUSE

    • OpenSUSE Leap
      • Derived from SLE sources, intended for general use
      • OpenSUSE Leap Micro (containerized)
    • OpenSUSE Factory
      • Rolling release development repository, leading to Tumbleweed
    • OpenSUSE Tumbleweed
      • Rolling release version, based on Factory
    • OpenSUSE Slowroll
      • Future planned version, based on Tumbleweed with more stability
      • OpenSUSE Slowroll Micro (containerized)
  4. OpenSUSE MicroOS

    • Focused on containerized server environments
    • OpenSUSE Aeon (MicroOS Gnome)
    • OpenSUSE Kalpa (MicroOS KDE)

Relationships and Evolution

  • SUSE Linux Enterprise (SLE) is the foundation for enterprise-grade SUSE products.

    • SLE Server (SLES) and SLE Desktop (SLED) are traditional server and desktop products.
    • SLE Micro targets containerized environments, emphasizing lightweight and minimalistic installations.
    • SLE Linux RT, HPC, etc. cater to specialized real-time and high-performance computing needs.
  • ALP (Adaptable Linux Platform) represents the future direction of SUSE, focusing on cloud-native and containerized workloads.

    • ALP Bedrock server and ALP Micro are specific implementations of the ALP concept.
  • OpenSUSE variants are community-driven and include:

    • OpenSUSE Leap, which is directly based on SLE sources and aims for stability with regular releases.
    • OpenSUSE Leap Micro, a containerized version of Leap.
    • OpenSUSE Factory, the bleeding-edge development repository.
    • OpenSUSE Tumbleweed, the rolling release derived from Factory, continuously updated with the latest software.
    • OpenSUSE Slowroll, a planned future release that balances the rolling release nature of Tumbleweed with more stability.
    • OpenSUSE Slowroll Micro, a containerized version of Slowroll.
  • OpenSUSE MicroOS is designed for containerized server applications, focusing on immutability and minimalism.

    • OpenSUSE Aeon and OpenSUSE Kalpa are variants of MicroOS, tailored for GNOME and KDE desktop environments respectively.

Summary

The OpenSUSE family consists of various distributions tailored to different use cases, from enterprise environments to cutting-edge development. The community-driven nature of OpenSUSE ensures a range of options, from stable releases like Leap to rolling releases like Tumbleweed and specialized environments like MicroOS. The development of ALP indicates SUSE’s commitment to adapting to modern containerized and cloud-native workloads.

I decided to make a table of the information I’ve gathered so far. I didn’t include lineage, only characteristics. @malcolmlewis would you say that this is accurate? Does it have all modern openSUSE variants?

Factory

Tumbleweed

Slowroll

Leap

Leap Micro

Micro OS

Aeon

Kalpa

Baldur

Package model

Traditional

Traditional

Traditional

Traditional

Atomic

Atomic

Atomic

Atomic

Atomic

Release Model

Rolling

Rolling

Rolling (slow)

3-4 years with annual service packs

3-4 years with annual service packs

Rolling

Rolling

Rolling

Rolling

Desktop Environment

Not Specific

Not Specific

Not Specific

Not Specific

Not Specific

Not Specific

Gnome

KDE Plasma

Xfce

Target

Development

Enthusiast Desktop

Standard Desktop

Standard Desktop

Containerized workloads or edge

Containerized workloads or edge

"Just Works” Desktop

"Just Works” Desktop

"Just Works” Desktop

Working State

Active

Active

Pre-release

Active

Active

Active

Pre-release

Pre-release

Pre-release

Some of my table got cut off, so here are the atomic variants again

Micro OS

Aeon

Kalpa

Baldur

Atomic

Atomic

Atomic

Atomic

Rolling

Rolling

Rolling

Rolling

Not Specific

Gnome

KDE Plasma

Xfce

Containerized workloads or edge

"Just Works” Desktop

"Just Works” Desktop

"Just Works” Desktop

Active

Pre-release

Pre-release

Pre-release

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@6m-uTnj I would not include Baldur (Xfce) at present since it’s development and is living outside the openSUSE infrastructure at this point.
https://en.opensuse.org/Portal:Baldur

FWIW, I run Hyprland on MicroOS, but mainly kubernetes (RKE2 and K3s) :wink:

There are also Live Images and a Rescue one…

Factory is just staging for openQA then once passing available for a Tumbleweed snapshot release and should not be used for installation…

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In large part, no, there’s not any coordination like you’re describing. The openSUSE Project doesn’t have any “steering” committees like Fedora has with FESCo or their SIG’s, or whatever it is that Debian and Ubuntu do (I’ve been out of the debian based world for a long time, so I’d be speculating wildly if I tried to describe what they do).

The only real “codified and coordinated” development process is Factory/Tumbleweed (I group them together, as nobody I’m aware of really runs Factory directly as an install, and Tumbleweed versions/configurations don’t tend to diverge much from what’s in Factory) → SUSE Enterprise Products → Leap.

Everything else are independent projects, run by their individual developers/development teams, making their own decisions, in essence.

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Oh, I wasn’t aware of this!

So what is the the openSUSE board for?

And are MicroOS, Aeon, Kalpa and the like just like GeckoLinux independent distributions only using the openSUSE code base?

@susejunky No, they are supported releases by the openSUSE Community, the others are third-party…